06.19.12 6:00 PM ET
Can Angus King Save the Senate?
If I ever ran for national office, I would focus like a laser on rooting out the causes of political paralysis and actually try to make government function. So it's encouraging to see Angus King, a popular former governor of Maine running for Olympia Snowe's Senate seat, planning to do exactly that:
"My principal issue is the functioning of the Senate," said King, who aligned himself with No Labels, a non-partisan group that has outlined changes aimed at improving how Congress functions. King backed several of its proposals, including changing the filibuster rule that allows senators to block legislation and fast-tracking the approval process for presidential nominees.
Why can he oppose the filibuster? Because he currently refuses to take sides with either the Democratic or Republican caucus:
King won't say before Election Day whether he will align himself with Republicans or Democrats if he wins. "I don't answer that question because I don't know," King told USA TODAY in an interview.
That stance just might get him elected:
The consequence of King's decision has been a non-issue in Maine. "There doesn't seem to be a lot of partisan loyalty (in Maine)," Duffy, [an analyst for the Cook Political Report] said. "This whole notion of somebody not declaring a party and people not caring, apparently isn't that crazy."