Plea for Bipartisanship

Early seeds of change?  I had a conversation with former Maine U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe and former Governor Ed Rendell about political gridlock. Snowe is a senior fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center which was created 6 years ago by former Congressional leaders, Republican and Democrat.  Rendell told me that it’s “time for those of us in the majority to wake up.” He saysImage“We’re not as avid voters as the fanatics(on both sides.)”  But that people are “hungry” for an end to the stalemate.

Snowe says currently, “There are too many incentives to divide.” She wants the American people to demand that Congress pass a budget (which it has not formally done for several years.)  Rendell believes there is plenty of room to compromise at the margins without violating each side’s principles. He says the “media are a little responsible, too.”  Both think voters can pressure Congress into action. They also want open, not closed primaries and other incentives to take away the political rewards that divisiveness allows right now.

I inferred from Snowe’s comments that President Obama and the White House also need to do more. A “President has to engage and so do his people.”

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