Take Five With Sen. Olympia J. Snowe

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Posted November 13, 2012 at 1:22am

It’s time for Take Five, when HOH sits down with a member of Congress for five fun questions. Today, Sen. Olympia J. Snowe, R-Maine, who is retiring at the end of this Congress, reflects on her career — and what planet she’d most like to visit.

Q: What is your favorite television show, past or present?

A: I have always enjoyed “I Love Lucy.” There’s just something about her brand of humor that has always made me laugh. Maybe it’s how she always managed to find trouble for her husband, Ricky — not that I can relate to that!

Q: What would you consider your greatest political accomplishment?

A: Reflecting on my 34 years of public service in the United States Congress, some examples of my proudest legislative accomplishments from a national perspective would include establishing the E-Rate program with Sen. Jay Rockefeller, which has wired America’s schools and libraries to the Internet, and joining forces with the late Sen. Ted Kennedy on the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. … These efforts also demonstrate a collaborative and bipartisan approach to legislating, which has always been one of my overarching objectives throughout my tenure in Congress.

Q: What place has better seafood — Maine or D.C. — and why?

A: That may be the easiest question I’ve ever been asked! It’s Maine, without question. Maine is known worldwide for its first-rate seafood because of the iconic lobstermen and fishermen who have dedicated their lives to this legendary industry, traversing the waters off of our nearly 5,500 miles of coastline for the freshest lobster and fish imaginable. And there’s nothing quite like a Maine lobster bake.

Q: What planet would you most like to explore, and why?

A: I have to say I have an affinity these days for Pluto even though it’s no longer a planet — it’s sort of like how it sometimes feels being a moderate these days in the political solar system in Washington!

Q: What is your next step, post-Senate?

A: I will continue my efforts to help return the Senate to its roots as a place of refuge from the passions of politics, just from the outside. I’m writing a book to be released next spring, which will serve as a call to action on the decisive role the American people can play in ensuring that lawmakers in Washington have no choice but to find common ground and once again forge solutions to our monumental challenges. I have also launched my own political action committee, Olympia’s List, to encourage Americans to support and vote for individuals who will follow the principles of consensus-building. And I announced the formation of the Olympia Snowe Women’s Leadership Institute, which is designed to raise the aspirations of Maine girls by giving them exposure to all of the opportunities and possibilities available to them to pursue in their lives.