SWING VOTE

Olympia Snowe, Health-Care Decider?

As one of the few remaining moderate Republican senators, Olympia Snowe (R-ME) is under heavy pressure from both sides in the health-care debate. Given Ted Kennedy's death, her importance is only magnified, as she could provide the 60th vote to break a Republican filibuster over a bill. “I certainly hope not,” Snowe told The New York Times when asked about the prospect of being the lone Republican to jump ship. Snowe has not yet decided on her vote, but she has been clear in acknowledging a health-care crisis and has even said she would consider some form of public option in finding a solution, a heretical position among Republicans. It's earned her some fans in the White House, however, who appreciated her vote in favor of the stimulus plan earlier. “She is really in it for the policy," Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, told the Times. "When you think of an ideal senator, regardless of party or philosophy, Olympia Snowe really fits that mold."