Retiring Sen. Snowe of Maine plans book for 2013

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NEW YORK (AP) - Sen. Olympia Snowe plans a few words about politics even after leaving office.

The Maine Republican, who has cited Washington’s partisan atmosphere as the reason she is stepping down this year, has a deal with Weinstein Books for a publication due out in the spring. Weinstein is billing the book, currently untitled, as a “memoir and call to action.”

“The point is that elected officials have a responsibility to take on the issues that are confronting the nation,” Snowe, who plans to work on her book with a collaborator, said Monday during a brief telephone interview.

Snowe and fellow Maine Sen. Susan Collins have long been moderate Republicans, an increasingly marginalized part of the party. Snowe, a consistent vote-winner for decades, shocked Maine’s political establishment in February when she announced she would not seek re-election after three terms. She said at the time that the “sensible center has now virtually disappeared.”

During the interview Monday, the 65-year-old Snowe listed several reasons for her unhappiness with Washington, from the influence of money to the growing trend of politicians appealing to their “base” and not to the broader public.

“We are constantly mired in ideological/philosophical debates with no solution,” she said.

Her choice of publishers is an example of working with the other party. Weinstein BooksHarvey Weinstein is not just an Oscar-winning film producer, but a prominent Democrat. Snowe said she was grateful to Weinstein for his “strong interest” in the book and in “having this voice heard, this voice of practicality.”

Senator Snowe’s core message _ that bipartisan cooperation is critical to effective government _ is equally true of book publishing,” Weinstein said in a statement. “This is a book that should be read by all Americans, whether liberal or conservative.”

For her book, Snowe was represented by Washington attorney Robert Barnett, a Democrat with his own bipartisan history. Barnett’s clients include such top Democrats as President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton and such top Republicans as former President George W. Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney.

Financial terms for the book were not disclosed. According to Weinstein Books, Snowe will share her “family story as the daughter of a Greek immigrant and first generation American, and being orphaned at the age of 9 and widowed at age 26, tragedies that influenced her approach to public service and formed her philosophy.

“Additionally, it (her book) will include her insider’s accounts of her legislative experiences with some of the monumental issues and key political figures of the last 30 _ the 2008 economic crisis, health care reform, and the debt ceiling among them.”

Weinstein Books is a partnership with the Perseus Books Group and part of the multimedia Weinstein Company co-founded by brothers Harvey and Bob Weinstein.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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