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Maine U.S. Sen. Angus King27:12
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Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, listens as Chuck Hagel, President Obama's choice for defense secretary, testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing on Jan. 31. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)
Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, listens as Chuck Hagel, President Obama's choice for defense secretary, testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing on Jan. 31. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

The U.S. Senate has been called the world's greatest deliberative body. But not these days. Sadly, many Americans know it as a hyper-partisan, chamber of gridlock and dysfunction. The atmosphere was so toxic, that long-time moderate GOP senator Olympia Snowe of Maine, called it quits last year.

That opened an opportunity for the former two-term Maine governor Angus King, who won the seat last November. King is an Independent — a man who answers to no party — though he caucuses with the Democrats.

He's was optimistic on the eve of his election about the possibility of a grand bargain on the country's budget, the prospect of filibuster reform, and on a chance to blow away some of the politically toxic fog that has settled over the Potomac.

So A few months later, how does all that look?

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Angus King, U.S. senator from Maine, former governor of Maine

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CNN: "Raised near the shadow of Robert E. Lee's Virginia home, Maine's freshman senator today lives down the street from the house once owned by Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, the Union hero who oversaw the formal surrender of Lee's army at Appomattox."

PBS NewsHour: "The 68-year-old former governor also was a wind power company executive. He won the seat held by retiring Republican Senator Olympia Snowe with 53 percent of the vote."

Daily Beast: "Not just the "hyperpartisan environment” and dysfunction that convinced his frustrated predecessor, moderate Republican Olympia Snowe, that it was time to leave after eight terms in the House and three in the Senate, but also a scary memory or two."

This segment aired on March 11, 2013.

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