BOSTON (CBS) – Conservative Maine Governor Paul LePage’s extremely blunt and politically incorrect mouth has gotten him in trouble again. And LePage critics were briefly excited Tuesday morning by the news that he was considering resignation.
After all, LePage’s long string of verbal stink bombs that have included telling the president to “go to hell” and calling the IRS “the new gestapo” haven’t had the same bounce as his most recent gaffe, making racially-charged comments about Maine’s drug trafficking and leaving an obscene, threatening voice mail for another pol who criticized him.
But the prospect of a LePage abdication didn’t last long.
By lunchtime, LePage had apologized to the voice-mail target and was tweeting: “reports of my political demise are greatly exaggerated.” I suspect he will remain in office now that he has focused attention away from his foul mouth and towards attempts to invalidate his election.
Pay close attention to LePage if you want to understand how Donald Trump became the Republican presidential nominee and remains within reach of the presidency.
LePage won election twice in multi-candidate fields because he attracted a loyal group of conservative voters who hate political correctness, and see LePage as their only hope for real representation, warts and all. Trump’s path and base are similar, and both men have shown the ability to turn heat into political rocket fuel.
Sometimes, politics is about issues. Other times, it’s about the personal feelings of voters. Abhor Trump and LePage if you want, but don’t underestimate them.