Paul LePage
Credit: MaineDOE/Flickr

The Republican Party’s Gauleiter in Maine wasn’t appointed by the Fuhrer but by our American first-past-the-post elections that enabled him to earn a term as governor with 37.4% of the vote in 2010 and then a second term in 2014 with 37.6%. It would be exhausting to adequately detail Paul LePage’s toxic record of incompetence, boorishness, and lunacy, but he has to be the worst governor in the country, and perhaps the worst governor this country has seen in my lifetime. We’ve had some spectacularly corrupt, foolish, hateful and outclassed governors, but none that I can think of who have combined so many horrible human traits in one cranium.

If Paul LePage isn’t a racist, then we should just take that word and put it in mothballs. It’s not even a controversial proposition up in Maine, where newspapers discuss it as a matter of fact.

He doesn’t like to be called a racist, however, and so he does things like like this:

Gov. Paul LePage left a state lawmaker from Westbrook an expletive-laden phone message Thursday in which he accused the legislator of calling him a racist, encouraged him to make the message public and said, “I’m after you.”

LePage sent the message Thursday morning after a television reporter appeared to suggest that Democratic Rep. Drew Gattine was among several people who had called the governor a racist, which Gattine later denied. The exchange followed remarks the governor made in North Berwick on Wednesday night about the racial makeup of suspects arrested on drug trafficking charges in Maine.

Here’s what Governor Paul LePage said in that voicemail:

“Mr. Gattine, this is Gov. Paul Richard LePage. I would like to talk to you about your comments about my being a racist, you cocksucker. I want to talk to you. I want you to prove that I’m a racist. I’ve spent my life helping black people and you little son-of-a-bitch, socialist cocksucker. You … I need you to, just friggin. I want you to record this and make it public because I am after you. Thank you.”

Now, I bring this up not because I think the whole country is all that interested in what happens between a governor and a state legislator in Maine, but because Donald Trump made a promise at the beginning of August when he was campaigning Down East.

Q: Speaking of Governor LePage, do you foresee any space in your cabinet for him and if so what would you like him to do?

A: I’ll tell you what. I don’t know that he would want that but he is a very talented guy, he is also a great person, a tremendous person and if he were available I would certainly find something for Paul because he’s done a great job up here, he’s not only popular, he’s done an unbelievable job so I would certainly say that he would be a candidate.

As I sarcastically pointed out at the time, none of things that Trump said about LePage were remotely true:

1. Paul LePage is a very talented guy
2. Paul LePage is a great person, a tremendous person
3. Paul LePage has done a great job, an unbelievable job
4. Paul LePage is popular

But it doesn’t surprise me that Trump wants to find a job for LePage in his administration. The Senate, no matter who controls it, would never confirm LePage to even a position as Deputy Undersecretary of Pooper-Scooping, but the important point is Donald Trump’s total lack of moral compass. He says that he doesn’t want the support of white supremacists and that his campaign is all about love but he wants to put Paul LePage in an important position within his administration. Trump says he loves “the blacks” but he wants to empower a guy who says that President Obama “hates white people,” has refused to participate in Martin Luther King Day, told the NAACP to “kiss his ass,” refers to young blacks as “D-Money, Smoothie, and Shifty” and claims they only come to his state to sling heroin and impregnate Maine’s white girls.

So, the question is, would Paul LePage make a good Secretary of State or would he be better-suited for, say, running the Department of Housing and Urban Development?

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at