Olympia Snowe and Americans Elect

New York's Jon Chait has speculated, with his characteristic perspicacity, that Olympia Snowe’s statement of non-candidacy for the Senate may have also been a statement of candidacy for the Americans Elect presidential slot. He further noted that the endorsement yesterday of Wall Street’s favorite third party by former Oklahoma Senator David Boren (D-Exxon Mobil) sets up a proper Americans Elect ticket, since the group stipulates that its ticket must be made up of one Democrat and one Republican (or two independents).

Still, it seems to me that Americans Elect can only make a sizable impact on this year’s election if the Republican Party anoints the champion of Goyishe Sharia, Rick Santorum, as its nominee. A Santorum nomination would send a considerable number of Republicans in search of a more socially moderate Republican alternative, and Snowe most surely fits that bill. But in the more likely eventuality of a Mitt Romney nomination, the political space that an Americans Elect ticket could fill becomes excruciatingly narrow. Like Snowe, Romney is a New England moderate, albeit decked out in utterly unconvincing far-right garb. Writing in today’s Washington Post, my friend Matt Miller, who’s long championed Americans Elect, makes a less-than-convincing case that Romney has moved so far right that he’s opened the door for an Americans Elect alternative. But in the face of a Romney-Obama election, the addition of Olympia Snowe to the mix seems like little more than the political expression of the narcissism of small differences. How many moderates can dance on the head of a pin?

Comments

What a waste of time. It's clear such third parties have only one purpose, which is to nudge or push the two principal parties to the right. Even commenting on them provides an undeserved veneer of legitimacy.

The only thing more certain than the fact that a third party candidate cannot win the Presidency is that if (a HUGE if) they did somehow manage to win they could not govern. If you think there is gridlock now with two parties imagine what throwing a third party into mix would do. Nobody would get anything.

In order to become the Americans Elect nominee, the candidate will need to receive many thousands of supporters. Currently Snowe has 70, compared with Paul's 3300, Huntsman's 1700, Sanders' 1200, and Obama's 1050. Boren has not even been drafted.

Perhaps Snowe is being completely honest and, like many of us voters, truly finds the current political process totally dysfunctional and in need of a revolutionary approach that bypasses political parties altogether. Americans Elect offers all registered voters, no matter what their political leanings, an opportunity to select a nominee whose views most closely match their own. The AE process is driven by issues and preferences deemed most important by its member delegates (i.e. YOU!), not parties, pundits, or political strategists. The more of us who join and participate in selecting an AE nominee, the more acceptable will be the AE Presidential ticket and the greater the chance of victory for people over party in November.

I've been trolling for comments for years. I find them irascible at times, prescient at others. It's disingenuous to aver that a movement fomented at this time can actually amass the infrastructure to beat party-based candidates and their Super-Pacs (where is Jon Stuart and Colbert's SP when we need them?). I echo the previous concern that an AE victory for President would be disastrous for legislation.

Snowe is a MINO - moderate in name only. In the last 4 years, what has she done that can be called moderate? Has she voted to end any filibuster? Has she supported any of Obama's reasonable, moderate proposals? NO. She is another REpukeliscum hatchet wielder who wants to be considered a moderate. She is not in any sense a moderate.

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