Governor LePage’s press team must have been so pleased. They had beautiful pictures, video footage, and quotes from his time aboard a “KC-135 conducting a refueling mission to several F-16s based in Vermont.” Even more, his wife, who typically shuns the spotlight, was along, making jokes and adding to the story.
The visit could have been a net political plus, as it highlighted the base in Bangor, a city where he received 34.5% of the vote in 2010, below his state-wide net of 37.6%, and in which the Republican state senator signed a letter expressing her “discomfort and dismay with the tone and spirit of some of the remarks coming from” the governor.
But the lovely photo op was not to be, as the story was to focus instead on comments made about the budget, about making cuts “until it hurts.”
Much will be made of these remarks and about who will be hurt by budget cuts. Indeed, the impact of the federal budget on the state will play out for quite awhile, must be confronted by Maine government, and will have consequences for Maine people.
And the governor may complain about the press once again, even as it was he who stepped on what his staff had put together.