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Olympia Snowe On Washington Moderates24:01
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In this Dec. 13, 2012 file photo, Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, smiles on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP)
In this Dec. 13, 2012 file photo, Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, smiles on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP)

In Washington these days, the only thing rarer than a camera-shy politician, is a moderate one. That's the way politics works in 2013:

Fundraising coffers have to be filled. Outspoken politicians get all the coverage. Primary voters demand allegiance to the party line.

So, reaching toward the middle in the name of compromise is increasingly rare. Bi-partisanship is out. Grid lock is in. And our national debate gets meaner and and more shallow.

The climate in the capital got so toxic last year, that after four decades of public service, Maine's moderate Republican senator Olympia Snowe called it quits, saying she was frustrated by how hard it is to get things done.

Snowe was known as a moderate, a Yankee Republican. Some of her detractors even called her a RINO — a Republican-in-name-only. But whatever she was called, Olympia Snowe was willing to stand alone during her nearly 20 yeas in the Senate. She played key roles is some key debates, including the push for national health care reform.

Guests

Olympia Snowe, former senator from Maine, she's the author of the new book Fighting For Common Ground.

This segment aired on May 22, 2013.

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