In their June 2012 issue, Maine, the magazine published a behind the scenes profile of Independent Senate Candidate Gov. Angus King. At IVA, we’ve been following King’s campaign with a close eye, and this piece offers a particularly interesting look at his candidacy from the perspective of a close friend, author Jaed Coffin.
Particularly worth noting in the article are King’s remarks on the state of the Senate and running as an Independent candidate, especially in light of the fact that he’s a huge favorite to win the race for Olympia Snowe’s vacated seat in November:
“I’ve been accused in the past of having this cock-eyed optimism for believing that things can actually get better, that things can be fixed,” Angus says. “I don’t want to compare the Senate to a tool, but I feel as though the tool we’re using is broken, and the kitchen pipes are leaking everywhere, and in order to get things done we need to fix the tool.” Then Angus refers to his recent inspiration from the story of Oakland A’s head coach Billy Beane, who was profiled in the book Moneyball. To Angus, Moneyball is a story about a man who couldn’t compete with the status quo, so he had to “do something entirely different to fix the problem from the outside.” In short, Independent Baseball.
“I don’t know whether I can really change things or not,” Angus tells me as we make our way past Portland and back onto 295, “but until we try something different, I know that there’s a zero-percent chance of things getting better.”
In another interesting anecdote from the campaign trail, King intoned Abraham Lincoln during a recent stump speech to fire up some of his volunteers:
Monday morning, at 10:30 a.m., Angus will stand before a packed campaign office in downtown Brunswick… After a moment of nearly meditative quiet, Angus will lean forward into the microphone, and recite from memory the words of the only American politician whom he may admire as much as Joshua Chamberlain—Abraham Lincoln. As he recalls Lincoln’s words—”we must rise with the occasion…we must think anew and act anew…and then we shall save our country”—they will sound as though they were not only written for today but, perhaps, for another day come November.
If you have a few minutes to read the whole piece, it’s a fascinating portrayal of a man who will most likely become our nation’s first centrist Independent senator since Dean Barkley. Apologies to Independent socialist Bernie Sanders and Independent by convenience Joe Lieberman – both could certainly be called IINOs (Independents in name only).