Snowe: Democrats Best Frenemy?

By Jacqueline Klingebiel

Oct 14, 2009 7:22am

Olympia Snowe’s decision to support the Baucus bill sent a jolt of excitement through the WH and Democratic ranks.  But progressives fighting for a public option likely to find that yesterday’s best friend is tomorrow’s worst enemy.

In her conversation with Robin Roberts this morning on GMA, the Maine Senator made it clear that a public option “trigger” is her bottom line.   Democrats hoping for a more robust option – even Senator Tom Carper’s state opt-out – won’t get any more out of her.   The insurance industry’s Sunday salvo boosted the public option.  Snowe’s vote yesterday snatched those gains away.

The chances that something will pass this year are still better than they’ve ever been.   But deep differences over the public option, the employer mandate and how to pay for the final bill aren’t even close to being bridged.  And progressives may come to resent the Senator who so relieved them in the Finance Committee.

Here’s my conversation with Diane Sawyer on GMA…

- George Stephanopoulos

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