The Washington Post

Olympia Snowe leaving Congress, not the national debate


Long before there was almost-constant speculation about a first lady somewhere running for political office, Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) was serving the dual roles of first lady and lawmaker.

Elected to Congress in 1978, Snowe soon started dating the other member of Maine’s House delegation, John “Jock” McKernan Jr. He became Maine’s governor in 1987, and the couple married in 1989, a year before they both faced grueling reelection fights. An economic recession and prolonged budget battle fueled anti-incumbent sentiments in 1990 — a scenario not unlike today’s political environment.

Snowe recalled the early days of their relationship — and provided some advice for aspiring political couples in a recent interview to mark her retirement, which you can watch here, or below:

Watch the video clip above, read our full story on Snowe’s impending departure, and share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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Follow Ed O’Keefe on Twitter: @edatpost


Ed O’Keefe is covering the 2016 presidential campaign, with a focus on Jeb Bush and other Republican candidates. He's covered presidential and congressional politics since 2008. Off the trail, he's covered Capitol Hill, federal agencies and the federal workforce, and spent a brief time covering the war in Iraq.



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Ed O'Keefe · December 10, 2012