Snowe, Not Palin, Is GOP's Real Maverick

Maine senator's yes on health reform isn't first time breaking with the party
By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 13, 2009 7:30 PM CDT
Sen. Olympia Snowe confers with fellow Republican Senate Finance Committee members Jon Kyl and Orrin Hatch, left, today.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Today’s committee vote for a key health-reform measure isn’t the first time Sen. Olympia Snowe has broken with fellow Republicans—and leads Laurie Kellman to call her, and not former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the GOP’s real maverick. Snowe also voted for President Obama’s stimulus package, Kellman notes for the AP, and against President Bush on bill extending health coverage for kids.

“This is a vote of conscience and a vote of concern for her constituents and concern for the country. And I think it took plenty of courage,” said Angus King, a former governor of Snowe’s notably independent home state of Maine. “I don’t think it’s possible for any of us to fully appreciate the pressure she's under and has been under to vote with her Republican colleagues.”