Breaking News
More () »

Political Brew: Lobster politics, second in the U.S. primary? Another term for King?

Our analysts this week are former state senator and mayor of Portland Ethan Strimling and former state senator and Yarmouth town councilor Phil Harriman.

MAINE, USA — When he was re-elected four years ago, Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, indicated that it would likely be his last campaign. But this week, King's staff said he will likely seek a third term in 2024 when he turns 80 years old.

Our analysts say if he wants it, he should go for it.

"I think it's fair to say he's still got the passion for it," Phil Harriman said. "I think he could probably walk his way to reelection."

Ethan Strimling thinks King is doing a good job in Washington. 

"He's taking principled stances. He's been able to fight for Maine in very important ways. It's a good example of why term limits are never a good idea. People should have the ability to choose who they want as their leaders."

Lobster and politics have become intertwined in Maine this year, and they were on the menu at President Joe Biden's first state dinner. The soiree for French President Emmanuel Macron featured butter-poached Maine lobster.

Politicians praised the decision to buy and serve 200 Maine lobsters. But Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine, made the sharpest point, tweeting.

Strimling agrees that this is an important political issue but said because the matter is in the courts, it is not the president's place to try to influence the outcome.

But Harriman said it was a good move for Golden to bring this up as a national issue.

Since the 1950s, the path to the White House has run through New Hampshire. But now national Democratic Party officials have accepted Biden's suggestion that the Granite State lose its first-in-the-nation status.

He recommended South Carolina go first, with New Hampshire and Nevada a week later, and on Friday, the party agreed.

Things could get sticky because New Hampshire law requires the state to have the earliest presidential primary.

Perhaps coincidentally, Biden finished a distant fifth in the 2020 New Hampshire Democratic primary. But he told elections officials, "We must ensure that voters of color have a voice in choosing our nominee much earlier in the process and throughout the entire early window."

"Joe Biden is right," Strimling said. "We need a better system in order to make sure that more voices are included."

Harriman argued, "I don't think which state goes in which order is really that much of a factor."

Our analysts also discussed the Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruling allowing the CMP hydropower transmission corridor to use a disputed patch of public land, the new leadership teams in the Maine Legislature, the rationale that some Republicans are offering for their disappointing election performance, and Maine's big turnout in the 2022 election.

Now, a personal postscript:

This is my final Political Brew segment because I am retiring from NEWS CENTER Maine after 43 years.

I want to express my gratitude to all of you who have given us some of your time each Sunday morning.

Our analysts, Phil Harriman and Ethan Strimling, Ray Richardson, Betsy Sweet, Ken Altshuler, and utility infielder Joe Bruno, have been terrific about offering thoughtful and serious analysis and some laughs along the way too.

I also thank our dear departed friend John Richardson, who filled the Democratic slot for so long, and old comrades Barry Hobbins, Rollin Ives, and Bill Nemitz, among others, who offered their insights in the old days of In The Arena.

Though I won't be here, Political Brew will go on. Don Carrigan will fill this slot for a while starting next week, so you will all be in good hands. He taught me everything I know about Maine politics but not everything he knows.
Again, my sincere thanks for watching.

- Pat Callaghan

More NEWS CENTER Maine stories

Before You Leave, Check This Out