Having run his home state as Governor — and as an Independent — Angus King’s ability to work with both sides is well-known. He has chosen to join the Democratic caucus partly because of their position in the majority, giving him better access to key committees, and also because the other Maine Senator Susan Collins’ status as a Republican isolates her from those same committee placements. By taking up with the majority, King makes a pragmatic choice to give his home state a stronger voice in government. By taking the opposing caucus from his fellow Maine senator, he also guarantees that the minority view is also held, thanks to the Senate and the strong minority voice it holds due to her placement. With Maine having had two Republican senators for so long, it has lacked a voice on many issues which are important to the state.
Within 24 hours of his announcement, however, Senator-elect King began weighing in on some more choice issues, namely the Republican attacks on UN Ambassador Susan Rice:
This is in response to Senators McCain and Graham’s comments against the ambassador over her vocalizing the CIA reports on the Benghazi attacks earlier this year. The attacks on Ambassador Rice are a clear sign of partisanship and even more ironic coming from a man who chose Sarah Palin as a running mate.
So far Senator-elect King has been making a reputation for himself in the Senate, months before he is sworn in. It looks as if the people of Maine, and the United States itself, have gotten a friend and ally in him. Already he has come out on a wide variety of topics to help the people of the United States. He stands in opposition of Citizens United, he is for enhancing or expanding the healthcare law, he is against the privatization of social security and medicare. He is a strong leader, an independent voice in the Senate. His history of bluntness has not made him friends, but it has earned him respect from those he has worked with. As governor he vetoed his own anti-smoking bill when the state legislature failed to offset the added taxes in it with similar cuts to low-income workers. That is a man who knows how government works.
But even more importantly, he knows how it should work, and fights for that.