At one point it seemed like Olympia Snowe was the most important person in the entire health care debate — she had "tremendous leverage," on account of being a RINO a centrist willing to participate in shaping legislation, remember that?
So why didn't she appear on the America's Next Top Health Care Bill show yesterday? Turns out it's a classic case of his communications team says, her communications team says…
White House officials said President Obama had long ago told Snowe he wanted to include her in any public discussion about health care, and was trying to make good on that promise. When he saw that she was not on the list of members chosen by Republican leaders, he had [Rahm] Emanuel call to invite her, and did the same for Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden (Oregon).
But a top aide to Snowe disputed that account on Thursday. "The President never once in all their meetings or discussions ever told Senator Snowe she had an open invite to attend any future health care meetings," John Gentzel, Snowe's communications director, said.
Too bad. Just imagine how different this scene would've been if Sen. Snowe had participated:
Olympia Snowe: I am willing to consider ideas from both sides, if they are good ideas.
Republicans: Shut up, traitor, or we will shame you with more gimmick mail.
Olympia Snowe: Ayuh.
This is what they call "a game changer."
* Coincidentally (or NOT), Olympia Snowe's district was slammed with a massive wind/rain/hail storm last night, and now hundreds of thousands of her constituents are without heat and power. Some of them are even being forced to blog from a coffeeshop with 1990s-speed internet because it is 40 degrees at home and the flooded basement is starting to smell like death. No doubt Barack Obama ordered Rahm Emanuel to do this, too.
Tags: Barack Obama, Democrats, Health Care, Maine, Olympia Snowe, Rahm Emanuel, Republicans