Maine Governor 2014

By Alex Hammer

    Was it less than four years ago that Mainers, by a narrow margin, elected Paul LePage?
    Somehow it seems longer. It doesn’t take a psychic to predict that the next Governor of Maine will be Eliot Cutler, Mike Michaud or the current occupant, LePage.

    In no particular order:
    Paul LePage: The question is, is his base (and possibly his ceiling as well), at 35 percentage no matter what he says and does, or is there room for slippage?
    Personally, I believe that people underestimate Governor LePage. I remember many in the electorate saying that “W” was stupid but you don’t become president – twice – by being stupid. And you don’t become governor by being stupid as well.
    Yes, I understand the three way dynamics of the race in 2010 (actually four way, Moody’s vote total could have easily put Cutler over the top) and LePage was more of an unknown quantity at that time. However, polling to date has put LePage as the candidate to beat in a three way 2014 contest.
    Personally, I think that some (maybe all) of LePage’s inflammatory rhetoric is a contrived appeal to his base. I even think it is possible that he allowed Republican legislative support to waver on the budget with this being an election year (look how effective LePage has been in pulling in the troops on other bills, why is the budget an exception?) as he could still rail against the budget result nonetheless what would LePage’s election chances have been, for example, if we had had a government shutdown?
    Eliot Cutler: Yes, he has wanted to be Governor since before he was born. Eliot is an extremely bright individual. Some people go along, some people go against. Eliot is an original and deep thinker — and I respect that.
    But to my mind he is also an Independent in Name Only (IINO?). In some respects I believe he will be fearless in regard to advocating for what he truly believes to be right. However, Eliot is, and/or potentially represents, monied interests (you don’t see him fighting to preserve Maine Clean Elections for gubernatorial candidates). To me, being independent means being independent of special interests. Including corporate interests to any excessive real or perceived degree.
    Mike Michaud: I respect Mike Michaud. I believe he has great integrity. However, he’s a tried and true Democrat. That isn’t meant as any kind of insult whatsoever, except that we can be pretty sure up front how he will vote on a whole host of issues.
    I don’t think he has it in him to pretend to be something that he is not. I anticipate that a good deal of the election debate will focus on his supporters and detractors arguing, alternatively, whether he is a moderate or a liberal.
    If the media calls you a moderate you’re halfway home. If they start throwing in the L word in stories, even to report what others are saying, then you know he’ll have an upward climb.
    I expect a close contest. Although I am far from an expert on it, I don’t like ranked choice voting because I believe that second choice is in fact second best.
    Here we go again.
    Alex Hammer is a Bangor resident and was a 2010 Independent candidate for Governor.

Get the Rest of the Story

Thank you for reading your4 free articles this month. To continue reading, and support local, rural journalism, please subscribe.