Today in outrageous new benchmarks for bipartisanship, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) says she’d be more likely to vote to ratify the START Treaty if former Presidents, George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush were to speak out in support of it.
“It would be wonderful if President [George H.W.] Bush would come out for the treaty. That would be so powerful and definitely help,” Collins told the Washington Post.
For those keeping score, here’s an abbreviated list of influential Republicans who support the swift ratification of START: Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Dick Lugar; former Bush-41 National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft; former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger; former Secretary of State James Baker; former Secretary of State George Schultz; Reagan Chief of Staff Kenneth Duberstein; Reagan Chief of Staff Howard Baker; and former Secretary of State Colin Powell.
For better or worse, before the Obama Presidency, these men held plenty of sway with elected Republicans. The new START treaty would result in modest reductions to the U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals while re-establishing just-expired verification measures.
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at email@example.com.