AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) – Former Senate leader George Mitchell is urging Maine lawmakers to learn to listen, be patient and respect colleagues with whom they disagree.
In an address to the Legislature on Tuesday, the Maine Democrat said politicians must respect their opponents in campaigns because in office they’ll be required to compromise to effectively govern. Mitchell, who served as special envoy to peace negotiations in Northern Ireland, said that the most important political lesson of his life was to learn to listen.
He spoke prior to the unveiling of his portrait, painted by an Irish artist, that will hang in the Hall of Flags.
A who’s who of Maine politics was on hand for Tuesday’s festivities. A spokeswoman says Republican Gov. Paul LePage missed the event because of a “family medical issue.”