Angus King @anguskingmaine

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Angus King photos and videos

14 hours ago

Saturday night on the coast of Maine. This is near Reid State Park, looking out toward Seguin Island. Maine never disappoints—and in my line of work, moments like this are precious. #mainecoast #reidstatepark #eveningsurf

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6 days ago

This great shot by my brother-in-law Tom Herman beautifully captures the energy and character of two remarkable women, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and my darlin’ Mary. Heidi was my colleague and good friend for the past six years and visited us in Maine this weekend for a fun reunion. Heidi is one of the most impressive people I have ever met in public life—really smart, totally down-to-earth, committed to the common good, and a pragmatic problem-solver. Unfortunately, she lost her re-election last fall, as near as I can tell almost entirely due to party label. She was a Democrat running in a state the president carried by 36 points, which turned out to be too steep a climb, even for someone of her talent. She and Mary bonded during the Senate orientation six years ago when she interrupted a lecture on which senate stationery could be used for which purpose (dome for birthdays, eagle for funerals-I’m not making this up ) and asked, “Aren’t there more important things we should be worrying about around here??”. Mary and I both became fans on the spot. Heidi is still fully engaged—teaching, commentating on TV, and advocating for the interests of rural voters. It was great to see them together, but it made me a little nervous—between the two of them, they sure don’t need me to save the world. #heidiheitkamp #reunion #northdakotastrong #barharbormaine

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2 weeks ago

The Golden Hour, Five Islands. In our troubled times, moments like this take on special importance. The news seems incessant and rarely good; and yet, on this perfect Maine evening, the world outside the harbor feels far away. Lincoln said, “we cannot escape History”, (although some of my colleagues seem to be trying ), but on a night like this, we can pause, take a deep breath, and let history wait, if only until the day returns. #fiveislandsmaine #georgetownmaine #thegoldenhour #mainesummer #workingwaterfront #maldenisland

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4 weeks ago

My senator friend Martin Heinrich of New Mexico visited Maine in early June with his wife Julie, and one of their stops (after I taught him how to catch stripers in the Kennebec ) was at our new national monument, Katahdin Woods and Waters, just north of Millinocket. Tonight he forwarded me this great shot of The Mountain from a ridge within the Monument itself. Controversial for years, KWW seems to have made a place for itself amid the other beautiful spots in the region and has already proven to be an economic boost to the surrounding towns. Thanks, Martin, for the cool shot; you’re welcome in Maine anytime! #katahdinwoodsandwaters #mtkatahdin #millinocketmaine #magiccity

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4 weeks ago

I remember an artist named Arthur Secunda from my younger days whose specialty was paintings like this—showing mountains upon mountains fading to the horizon. But this is the real thing, captured this morning from the top of Sugarloaf by my friend Libby Simpson. To have settings like this, only a few hours from our spectacular coast, is amazing, in the literal sense of the word. The mountains and the ocean remind us of the power, beauty and variety of the world around us (especially in Maine ) as well as our responsibility to tend and protect it. But that’s enough preaching, even if it’s Sunday; instead, thanks to Libby for this great shot! (P.S., how many ridgelines can you count?? ) #sugarloafmountain #maineneverdisappoints #carrabassettvalley #mainemountains #secunda #westernmaine

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5 weeks ago

When I taught about leadership, my students and I always tried to understand the qualities that define a leader, whether in politics, business, a family, school, sports, or any other setting where people interact with one another. Each year the list was pretty much the same—vision (if you don’t have a goal, you’ll never get there ), empathy, communication (“bayonets!!” ), optimism (“failure is not an option” ), willingness to take risks, creativity, management, and several others. But the list always ended with character—the hardest to define, but the most important. Integrity, honesty, trustworthyness, courage, adherence to principle are all components, but there are some mysterious, undefinable qualities in there as well. I’ve always thought this portrait of Joshua Chamberlain, which hangs on the second floor of the old library at Bowdoin, is as good a representation of what character actually looks like as I have ever seen. It was said of him that he had the soul of a lion and the heart of a woman; but his face also shows the steel of his magnificent character. #joshuachamberlain #littleroundtop #bowdoincollege #character #gettysburg #brunswickmaine

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last month

Mary just shared tonight’s Maine sunset, a welcome moment of calm in these hectic days. No deep message and no politics; just take a deep breath and be in that little boat, if only for a while. #mainesunset #sunset #mainecoast #becalmandcarryon

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last month

How cool is this? My friend Matthew Felling just got this great shot of the Apollo 11 rocket projected onto the Washington Monument to commemorate this week’s 50th anniversary of the first men on the moon. The successful voyage of Apollo 11 was an amazing achievement, made all the more so by the primitive computers available at the time. There’s no doubt that your car has more computing power than that which guided this incredibly complex and dangerous mission. I’ve always thought that this joyous moment was especially poignant since the person who set it all in motion never saw the realization of his dream. The Eagle has landed, indeed. #apollo11 #johnfkennedy #washingtonmonument #saturnV #armstrongaldrinandcollins

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last month

Saturday night, Rockland Blues Fest. (OK, it was the pink shirt and the moon that made me go for this shot ). Main Street is closed and every 50 yards or so, a different local band is warming up. Great names like Matt and the Barnburners, Brave New Blues, Memphis Lightning, Blind Albert Blues Jam, and my personal favorite (name, that is—I couldn’t choose between the bands ), the Downeast Soul Coalition. Met people from all over the state and plenty from away, all just enjoying the sounds and warm night. We are all so fortunate to have landed in this place (whether by birth or by choice )—and a night like this reminds us why. #northatlanticbluesfestival #rocklandmaine #streetfestival #blues

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last month

Every summer, Mary and I take the RV to the North Atlantic Blues Festival in Rockland—and just before turning in Friday night, I caught this shot of the encroaching fog through the coach window (can you see “exit”? ). This is one of our favorite weekends in Maine—great music, wonderful food, and a fun spirit. Main Street is closed on Saturday night to make way for local bands on every block. From fine art to lobstering to boat building, Rockland is a terrific spot; add world-class blues and a bluebird day and you’ve got a slice of Maine at it’s best. #northatlanticbluesfestival #rocklandmaine #mainecoast #mainelobster

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last month

Start Me Up, Brown Sugar, Honky Tonk Woman (I used to know the cowbell intro ), It’s Only Rock and Roll (But I Like It ), You Can’t Always Get What You Want (a good rule in my line of work ), and of course, Satisfaction among many others. Mick was, well, Mick (and is a year older than me! ) and the band doesn’t seem to have lost a step. This is my fifth Stones concert, which I was sort of smug about until the guy next to me told me it was his 28th! Took my 11 year-old grandson tonight and realized mid-way through that my first—exactly thirty years ago—was with my then 14 year-old son. The amazing thing is, he’s now 44 and I’m still in my thirties—at least when I’m listening to Mick. “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.” #rollingstones #gillettestadium #mickjagger #greatestrockandrollband #generations

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last month

Any guesses where I am tonight with my guitar-playing grandson?? #gillettestadium #mick #ronnie #keith #charlie

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last month

Maine flyover, beach style! #reidstatepark #kiteboarding #mainesummer #flyover #shade

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last month

So, I was on an environmental inspection tour of the lower Kennebec this morning and this striped bass just up and jumped in the boat! Actually, my son Duncan and two Senate colleagues, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, joined me and charter boat captain Nathan Gould of Bath with the express purpose of a catch like this. It was a spectacular Maine morning, complete with bald eagles, osprey, leaping sturgeon, and enough fish to keep us very happy. I think this is the biggest fish I’ve ever caught (and was a keeper ), but we released him to continue his journey up the river nonetheless. There was a point where he was taking the line faster than I could reel and the rod bent almost in half; those are the moments every fisherman lives for—and I just wish my dad (who my mother used to say would rather fish than eat ) could have been with us on that boat. I miss you, dad, but you should know that I remembered to keep my rod tip up. #stripers #kennebecstripers #kennebecriver #mainefishing #rockfishcharters

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last month

Reflected sunset with rainbow thrown in—from the deck of the estimable Grey Havens Inn in Georgetown. There’s something special about the light at this time of day; the low sun turns into a spotlight, in this case illuminating the edges of the islands. Our guests tonight live far from the ocean—and this view was a revelation to them. Like I say, Maine never disappoints. #sunset #reflectedsunset #greyhavens #mainesunset #daysend

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last month

Saturday sunset on the coast. We have out-of-state visitors this weekend and all day I have been seeing Maine through their fresh eyes—and realizing anew what an extraordinary place it is. Years ago, it struck me that all over America at any given moment there are literally millions of people looking forward to their week’s vacation in Maine—and we get to live here full-time. Gotta admit, when my friend saw this, I was delighted—and just a bit smug—that Maine was showing off once again. #sunset #mainesunset #maineatherbest #mainecoast #midcoastmaine #daysend

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last month

Sometimes, what I try to do in these posts is offer a view of Washington not usually seen or noticed. Here, for example, is the magnificent back door of the Supreme Court, caught at dusk on my way home from dinner with some friends on what we call “the House side”. One of the problems with the barely functional Congress is the lack of relationships, largely caused (in my opinion ) by the odd work schedule which has us here only mid-week (late Monday afternoon to mid-afternoon Thursday ). Otherwise, everyone (and I mean everyone—even the Senators from Hawaii, Montana, Ohio, and, yes, Maine ) goes home for the long weekend, touring factories, visiting schools, and otherwise meeting and listening to constituents. Nothing wrong with that, but it means that we have little chance to actually get to know each other, and therefore rarely develop the relationships that engender trust and the ability to work through contentious issues, no matter how important. The result is what you see—polarization, distrust, and, ultimately, an acceptance of failure. I’ve often thought that this place is like a high school football team that hasn’t won a game in five years—we’ve literally forgotten how to win, to make the process work. A friend once pointed out to me that it’s hard to hate someone if you know the names of their kids. So it’s that errand that takes me across the hill each week to break bread with some political adversaries—who are also becoming friends. #ussupremecourt #breakbreadtogether #washingtontwilight #wethepeople

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June 2019

The long drive home was worth it; rainbow over Reid State Park after a day which featured gorgeous sun, thundershowers, and even a little hail. This is another in the Beautiful State series; Maine simply never disappoints. #mainerainbow #reidstatepark #mainesunset #atlanticcoast #solitude

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June 2019

Road Trip!! So, the flight from Washington to Maine was cancelled (after we sat on the runway for over an hour ). I was going to try to make a later flight, which may or may not have made it out, when I ran into this crew who had decided to forget the airlines, rent a car, and drive through the night to Maine. I signed on on the spot, and here we are just north of Baltimore headed to an early-morning arrival in Portland. Two software engineers, a college professor, a lawyer, and a U.S. Senator—what could possibly go wrong? Left to right, Rebecca Gibbons, Ramon Krikken, his own self, Matt Dusoe, and Tim Schneider. Takes me back—sharing the driving, trying to find music everyone likes, and chipping for gas. Hey Maine, see you in the morning! #roadtrip #interstate95 #cancelledflight UPDATE—11:55 and we’re on the George Washington Bridge; GPS says landfall in Maine should be about 4:00 AM. Like I said, see you in the morning! UPDATE 2—Portland! Made into Maine a little after 4:00 AM; home stretch (literally )! UPDATE 3 (Final ) Home, Safe and sound. I took the last driving shift (wanted to be behind the wheel when we entered Maine ), and hit Brunswick about 6:00. Thanks to our fun crew for including me and to all of you who wished us safe travels; now for a couple of hours sleep; g’night (or actually ) g’day!

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June 2019

Another shot which really doesn’t need much of a caption. Mary was up early this morning and caught this spectacular sunrise over Reid State Park. To repeat myself from Friday night, Wow, do we live in a beautiful state! #reidstatepark #mainesunrise #mainecoast #sunrise #mainethewaylifeshouldbe

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June 2019

No profound caption for this one; just your typical moon over the ocean. Wow, do we ever live in a beautiful state! #reidstatepark #moonrise #mainecoast #surfsup

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June 2019

June 14, Flag Day at Carrie Ricker Elementary in Litchfield. Leading the parade is Kyle Stanley, a phys ed teacher at Libby Tozier and Sabbattus primary. He is tall anyway, but next to a bunch of kindergarteners, he looked like he was on stilts. Sometimes patriotism can be misused, so it’s important to be reminded every now and then that true patriotism is loyalty to our values, and that’s what this day was all about. #flagday #lifelibertyandthepursuit

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June 2019

“All that inhabit this great earth, Whatever be their rank or worth, Are kindred and allied by birth, And made of the same clay.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Sidewalk philosophy; this wonderful plaque is embedded in the sidewalk in front of Senter Place in Brunswick. Poets like Longfellow were the rock stars of the 19th Century and his imprint (literally, in this case ) lives on. Tribalism is one of the strongest of human instincts and all of us can use reminders like this one that we have a lot more in common than we think. We are all from the same clay, indeed. #longfellow #sailonoshipofstate #maineman #bowdoin #thankspetersimmons

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June 2019

Angus, Brad and the Anson Bear. This is chainsaw artist Brad Clark at the Carrabec High School graduation Friday night in Anson, Maine. This ceremony was memorable for me for a bunch of reasons. First, the class presented me with The Bear which is fabulous (don’t you love his expression which seems to say, “Wait? What? You’re leaving me with this politician??” ) which Brad had crafted—with a chainsaw. Second, it was a special community evening; 35 graduates and at least 500 in the audience. And finally, because it capped a day for me which started with breakfast in Paris (France, not Maine ) and ended in the Carrabec gym. I had been in France (for barely—or should I say bearly-24 hours ) with a delegation from the Senate attending the 75th anniversary of D-Day at Normandy. My mates were staying through the weekend but Susan Collins and and I broke off early so we could make graduations in Old Town and Anson, respectively. When asked about leaving early, it was fun to say, “to go to the Carrabec graduation, of course!” I texted Brad this morning and thanked him beary much. #nomandy75 #carrabechighschool #maintainingpriorities #bradclarkartist #chainsawcarving

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May 2019

Friday, May 24, Windham, Maine—27 new citizens from 22 countries. (Don’t you love the young man in the tux? ) If you’ve never been to a naturalization ceremony, you’ve missed one of the most moving experiences in our civic life. This one was especially powerful because it was held in the local Veterans Center at the beginning of Memorial Day weekend. Add the third grade chorus singing the National Anthem and “Proud to be an American” and there weren’t many dry eyes in the house. I asked the new citizens to turn and look at the audience as I asked for a show of hands of those who were immigrants or descendants of immigrants, and, of course, all the hands went up. This morning was a vivid reminder that, unlike most other countries in the world, America is an idea—about equality, freedom, and opportunity— and not simply a place defined by a single race, religion, or ethnic heritage. It hasn’t always been easy, but our history has been defined by the energy, ideas, and initiative of those who have made their way here, often against long odds (I have one friend who started his journey by swimming from mainland China to Hong Kong—twice; he got caught and hauled back the first time )—and their descendants. And by the way, the Oath they’re swearing in this picture is to the Constitution itself, not a political party or any particular set of leaders. A great day for these new Americans—and for the rest of us. #americancitizens #naturalizationceremony #allarecreatedequal #immigrantswegetthejobdone #wethepeople

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May 2019

Friday night, Congress Square in Portland. Mary and I were leaving a powerful film and discussion on opioid addiction—and recovery. The film focuses on Maine Works, an extraordinary program led by Portlander Margo Walsh, which is all about recovery, work, and redemption. By providing honest work, structure, and, crucially, no stigma, Maine Works is literally changing (and saving ) lives. After the film, we heard from some Maine Works participants, past and present, all of whom had been caught in the web of addiction and most of whom had spent considerable time in prison. What came through to me was their varied backgrounds and the fact that they could have been the kid next door—or the kid in your own house. The other thought was the importance of second (or third or fourth ) chances and that recovery is possible with a complicated combination of therapy, work, love, and respect. Margo is one of my heroes, as are those who have fought battles few of us can imagine. #maineworks #margowalsh #recoverywarriors #recoveryjourney

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May 2019

OK, this is just plain fun. The first thousand fans at Wednesday night’s Portland Seadogs game got a Joan Benoit Samuelson bobble head—and here are Mary and Slugger proudly displaying theirs. Joan, of course, was the winner of the first Olympic women’s marathon; watching her enter the Los Angeles Coliseum all by herself wearing that Bowdoin painter’s cap was one of the greatest moments in Maine sports history. She’s still running marathons, and steadfastly supporting good causes throughout Maine. Her track coach at Bowdoin once said she was the toughest athlete he’d ever coached, and I believe it. So here’s to the Seadogs, especially Slugger, my darling Mary, and, of course, Joanie—who, by the way, took this great shot! #joanbenoitsamuelson #womensmarathon #olympicgold #mainepride

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May 2019

Future Senator with mother and sister, circa 1948. My mother was a strong character, as you can sense from this picture. Although she looks pretty upscale (my friends in high school thought she was some kind of duchess ), her background and life story were decidedly American. Neither of her parents went beyond the eighth grade (nor did my grandparents on my father’s side ); her father worked for the Southern Railway for 52 years, starting as a messenger boy and retiring as superintendent of the freight yard in Alexandria. She effectively put herself through college by taking a scholarship which obligated her to teach a year for each year of college. She was tough on us, always demanding our best and never being quite satisfied, no matter what we accomplished. She once called after seeing me on C-Span as Governor, and instead of expressing praise or pride, her exact words were, “Angus, this is your mother. I saw you on television last night and you looked tired; you’re not getting enough sleep.” Don’t know what she’d think of my being a Senator; probably something along the same lines. Deeply religious and ethical to a fault, she would probably be a Bishop today had she been born 50 years later. An amazing woman; I chose my parents exceedingly well; actually, I was blessed. #happymothersday #mothersday #thosewhoformedus #thanksmom

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May 2019

Walking home tonight, I ran across this “urban-country” path a few blocks from the Capitol, an oasis of calm in a crazy time and place. I can never remember a time when one person so dominated (saturated might be a better word ) the public consciousness. Believe it or not, we are working on things that don’t involve Russia, Mueller, or even Trump. Land conservation, the preservation of our national parks, medical research, drug prices, cyber security, criminal justice reform, nuclear waste, broadband—all in various stages of hearings, debates and sometimes even passage as laws. We could certainly do more (that’s an understatement ), but maybe it’s a little reassuring that, contrary to what you see on TV, it’s not really all Trump all the time. #capitolhill #walkinghome #urbanscenery

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May 2019

Rainy night in Scarborough. No political message this morning, but a thought about community, in this case, the family of high school sports. There weren’t many of us on this cold night (it was Brunswick-Scarborough boys lacrosse ) but it was definitely extended family—a scattering of classmates, but mostly parents (in our case, parents of one of the coaches ); all into the game and enjoying the mixture of pride and anxiety that goes with having a kid on the field; (speaking of anxiety, you haven’t lived until you’re the parent of a goalie, trust me ). Some of my happiest moments have come on nights like this (and some sad ones, too ), and I wouldn’t trade those times for all the pomp (and pomposity ) of politics. My advice to young parents just starting this adventure, BE THERE, for the games, concerts, spelling bees, ski races, and school plays; if missed, you can never get ‘em back. The office can surely wait. #highschoolsports #brunswickdragons #rainynight #scarboroughredstorm #familycomesfirst

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May 2019

There’s a special story behind this picture. This is Marielle Thete, who has been my state scheduler in our Washington office and today is leaving us to join the staff of CARE International. She is effective, conscientious, and unfailingly pleasant (can you tell by the smile? ), and has done an exceptional job, moving me efficiently around Maine and smoothing feathers when I can’t make every invitation. Aside from her skills and happy demeanor, however, she also has a compelling life story. Born in the Congo at a time of escalating violence, she came to America with her mother as a refugee at the age of six and ended up in Maine. After learning English along the way, she graduated from high school in Portland, went on to Wheaton College and came to my office as an intern three years ago. She is exactly the kind of person we need in Maine and throughout the country—smart, productive, and an exceptional addition to any community—but if she were fleeing the Congo today, she probably would never make it to Maine, or anywhere else in our country. Here are the shameful numbers— in 2016, the US admitted 97,000 refugees from around the world (after they’d gone through a rigorous vetting process which generally takes two years ); in 2017, that number dropped by two-thirds to 33,000, in 2018, 22,000, and half way through this fiscal year, 12,000 have been admitted. The numbers from Iraq, where I visited last week, are even more shocking—2016, 5,000 refugees admitted; 2017, 3,000; 2018, 49. You read that right, 49. And many of the rejected applicants from Iraq helped our troops, thereby putting their lives at risk for us. This is not only an ethical and moral failing, it is economic suicide. As any business in Maine will tell you, our biggest problem right now is a lack of workers, but our government is deliberately cutting off one important source of the new workers we so desperately need. (By the way, the conservative think-tank, the Cato Institute, has reported the number of Americans killed by refugees-turned-terrorists since 1975–zero ). But back to Marielle; did I mention she speaks six languages?

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April 2019

On November 12, 2004, Capt. (now U.S. Senator ) Tammy Duckworth of Illinois was piloting her Blackhawk just north of Baghdad when a fluke shot of a rocket-powered-grenade bounced into the cockpit and took both of her legs. Here she is fifteen years later, on her first return to Iraq, looking down as the helicopter taking us to Taji slowly circles the spot of that tragic event. We met with the leadership of the country (President, Prime Minister, Speaker of the Parliament ), the leaders of the Kurdish region in the north, and the unsung heroes of our State Department and military, but this moment was the emotional high point of the trip for me. This is a picture of courage, commitment, and immense grit. I’ve got a new hero. #senatortammyduckworth #iraq #courage #classylady #blackhawkdown

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April 2019

Mary and I visited friends in Washington County Saturday and I was struck by this muscular (which just seems the right adjective ) stone wall. I think this one is relatively new and involved backhoes and bobcats to move the stones, but there’s still a lot of hard work—and art—in this horizontal sculpture. But imagine what it took to build the thousands of similar walls throughout Maine entirely by hand. Add to that no running water or central heat and it paints a picture of some pretty hardy people. Do you suppose future generations will think of us as hardy? Or merely fool-hardy? #stonewalls #washingtoncounty #sunrisecounty #mainestonewall

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April 2019

Visited Lewiston-Auburn college this morning and was stunned by this photo in one of the hallways, taken in a Maine textile mill around 1900. The story for me is the barefooted kids in the front row, most of whom look about 12 and that one little guy in the dark shirt probably even younger. I believe in capitalism, but with guardrails like antitrust and reasonable regulation; this picture is what it looks like without the rules we’ve come to take for granted, like child labor, minimum wage, and reasonable safety standards. And on top of this, whatever that plant produced in terms of waste went straight into the Androscoggin River. I know there can be overregulation and rules that are more annoying than useful, but the next time you hear someone complaining about too much government and harking back to the good old days, ask them which of their kids they’d like to see in this picture. #lacollege #childlabor #whatnoregulationlookslike #osha #barefootboys #noworkerscomp

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April 2019

OK, this post is about three months late. This is my estimable Chief of Staff and wonderful friend of 25 years, Kay Rand, who retired in January to return to Maine. Raised in Aroostook County, Kay knows Maine as well as anyone I’ve ever met, both in terms of people and policy. She managed my improbable campaign for Governor in 1994; after the election, I asked her to come into the governor’s office as Chief—but she turned me down in favor of a job in the private sector. Two weeks later, she called back and took the job after all; when I asked why she had changed her mind, her answer was succinct, honest, and emblematic of her deep respect for authority (not ), “Because I was afraid you’d screw it up by yourself.” And she was right; the truth is that no one can do a job like Governor (or Senator or certainly President ) by themselves; it takes smart, dedicated staff who will always tell the boss the truth, even if it’s not what that boss wants to hear. And Kay has always met this standard, sometimes painfully so for me. It’s impossible to overstate how much I owe this lady, and I will be forever grateful. (And by the way, I have no idea what we are laughing at! ) #kayrand #chiefofstaff #ussenate #loyalty #truthtopower

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April 2019

How am I supposed to concentrate on making sense on TV with Jon Tester kibitzing from the sidelines? The CNN and MSNBC “booths” are right next to each other in the rotunda in the Russell Senate Office Building and it’s impossible not to eavesdrop on whoever is being interviewed a few feet away. Tester, from Montana, is one of my favorite people in the Senate—smart, funny, honest, and courageous. He’s an honest-to-goodness farmer who spends most weekends on a tractor back home, and has the kind of common sense we need more of around this place. You can tell by his expression the deep respect and admiration he has for me. Yeah, right; more likely, he was trying to distract me from whatever deep thought I was about to share. #russellrotunda #russellsenateofficebuilding #jontester #cnnnewday #ussenate

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