Phil Harriman (left) and Ethan Strimling, BDN Agree to Disagree bloggers. Credit: Gabor Degre / BDN

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Phil: Those of us keeping an eye on the political canary in the coal mine (yes, I know how that is considered hate speech to green new dealers) are looking for the man bites dog moments (PETA hate speech?) which change a campaign dynamic for both candidates. 

Ethan: “Canaries.” “Dogs.” You are on an animal analogy kick this week. But I think you mean like when Bill Green, a seemingly non-political man who is beloved by everyone, suddenly endorses Sen. Susan Collins, and brings the wrath of half of Maine upon his head?

Phil: Yes! Well done young Jedi. Green basically secured the re-election of our senior senator in my analysis with only his street cred and sincerity. 

Ethan: So did former President Donald Trump just endorse Democratic Sen. President Troy Jackson for Senate?

Phil: Not quite, but the fact that the law enforcement community endorsed U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, rather than former U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, boosts my confidence in my prediction that Golden will win re-election.

Ethan: The cops may want to reconsider that endorsement considering Golden voted against the assault weapons ban. No one should understand better why these military-grade weapons should not be sold without a permit. 

Phil: From what the Fraternal Order of Police said, Golden was endorsed because he voted against the George Floyd Act, which would have put police in very vulnerable legal positions, creating personal liability for just doing their jobs.

Ethan: That bill would have allowed America to finally hold racist, trigger-happy cops accountable. Sadly, he did vote against that one, but only after he voted for it. 

Phil: I expect he flip-flopped because he took so much heat after that vote in his last re-election. Smart.

Ethan: Poor Poliquin. He tries so hard to be liked, but then he gets rejected by the folks who should most be on his side. I mean they endorsed former Gov. Paul LePage in that same press release.

Phil: Candidly, I think the Fraternal Order of Police may be mistaken here. In the end, if Democrats maintain a majority in the House, Golden assures that Speaker Nancy Pelosi remains in power. If law enforcement wants a Congress that truly supports the police, that has to change. 

Ethan: Not sure how much more supportive Congress can be. They basically haven’t done anything but throw more money and bigger guns at police officers for decades. But do you think these kinds of endorsements actually matter?

Phil: Previously, police had endorsed Donald Trump nationally and Susan Collins in Maine. Had they done the same and endorsed only Republicans this year, no one would have cared. But because they broke with tradition, it got a few headlines. Plus, with crime on the rise nationally, having the police on your side will be comforting to a large segment of the population in the 2nd Congressional District.

Ethan: “Crime on the rise” in the 2nd District is a bit like saying a new family moving to Presque Isle is a population explosion. I can’t imagine this issue is at the top of almost anyone’s list, especially since crime is not on the rise in Maine.

Phil: True. It will be the economy through and through, which is why Poliquin still has a strong chance to make my prediction look foolish and make you look Nostradamus for predicting he will win. But he needs to avoid these man-bites-dog moments.

Ethan: Or at least get a few going the other way. Maybe he could get Gov. Janet Mills to endorse, since the cops voted for her opponent?

Phil: Based on her popularity up there, don’t you think Golden would be fine with that?

Correction: An earlier version of this column incorrectly said that the Fraternal Order of Police has endorsed Bruce Poliquin in previous campaigns. It had not.