Posted 9 years ago on Feb. 29, 2012, 9:19 a.m. EST by bensdad
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Maine GOP Sen. Olympia Snowe announced Tuesday she would not seek re-election to a fourth term because she is frustrated with polarization in Washington.
"Maine people appreciate my independent voice and my willingness to stand up to the president and the party, to be a voice of reason and a consensus builder. There are fewer and fewer such voices as politics becomes increasingly polarized, and that's not good for Maine or for America."
"It's not healthy for the country to have parties with polar opposite views without that bridge that you need to build consensus."
"Ultimately, we're heading to having the smallest political tent in history, the way events have been unfolding. If the Republican Party fully intends to become a majority party in the future, it must move from the far right back toward the middle."
Senator Olympia Snowe, one of the few remaining Republican moderates in Congress, stunned both parties on Tuesday by announcing she will not seek re-election for a fourth six-year term in November, complaining of partisan gridlock. Snowe said both parties are to blame for the gridlock that has plagued Congress and she expected no short-term improvement despite public disapproval ratings near 90 percent.
"I think people are shocked by the Senate not being able to come together and to come up with solutions to the big problems,"
"We're wasting precious time. We could have done some big things. We could have had an energy policy. We could have had tax reform. We could have had regulatory reform."
She urged Americans to "expect and demand" an end to gridlock from their elected officials.
With Snowe out of the running other Democrats are expected to jump in before the March 15 filing deadline.