He’s done it again. Gov. LePage told a radio host yesterday that he is planning to run against independent Angus King in 2018 for the U.S. Senate.
The notion has already been reported by several news outlets and seeped across social media, but let me assure you: It’s not true.
Aside from the fact that it would be ridiculous for a just-elected governor to jump into a Senate race that’s four years removed, the statement fits a pattern from LePage of making waves where there is no water.
In June of 2013, I was one of the journalists who reported LePage’s claim that he was mulling a run for U.S. Congress. It took only a day or two for LePage to say something like “you guys take me too seriously.” Now, like then, LePage has already brushed his statement off as a joke and said Tuesday that his quote about running for Senate was a “wisecrack.”
However, the longer I spend around the governor, the more I realize that most of what he says is calculated to make a point — including allusions to running for Congress.
“It can’t be any worse in Washington than it is here,” he said in 2013 about running for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District seat, not long after Democrat Mike Michaud announced he’d abandon it to run against LePage. At the time, LePage was embroiled in a number of clashes with the Legislature, including now-infamous insults he hurled at then-Sen. Majority Leader Troy Jackson.
On Tuesday, LePage said he made his statement about King because he is disappointed with Maine’s junior senator for switching his support from independent Eliot Cutler to Democrat Mike Michaud in the the final days of the gubernatorial election when it was obvious Cutler couldn’t win.
“I’ve always looked up to him; I was always very fond of Gov. King,” said LePage. “But dumping Eliot Cutler at the very end, I thought was unheard of. I just couldn’t believe it so I had to make a wisecrack.”
Here are a few other promises LePage has made about what he’ll do when he leaves the Blaine House:
- Play lots of golf (that one’s probably true).
- “Going back to Marden’s to stock shelves, who knows?”
- Move to Boothbay Harbor. The LePages have purchased a house there.
- Stand guard against First Lady Ann LePage jumping out of any more airplanes. (Maybe true?)
- He once threatened to move his office out of the State House if he wasn’t allowed to install a television outside his office
- In 2013, while on vacation in Jamaica, he tweeted, “If Democrats have my hospital bill on my desk by Saturday, I will give up my pension. Ya mon!”
And if you’re buying all of that, here’s some BREAKING NEWS about LePage’s retirement aspirations: He said Tuesday he wants to take advantage of tractor dealers so he can accomplish a landscaping project for free. The comments were made to hundreds of farmers and equipment salesmen during a lunchtime speech LePage made at the Maine Agricultural Trade Show in Augusta.
“I’m looking for a mid-sized tractor with a bucket and a backhoe,” said LePage. “I’ve got about two weeks worth of work. A few days of testing from each dealer and I could get it done.”