Candidates aiming to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins hope voters were watching over the weekend when “Saturday Night Live” ripped into Maine’s senior senator.

The opening skit of the long-running comedy show featured a parody of “Meet the Press,” with the host questioning three leading Republicans about what they are willing to do to rein in President Donald Trump, including one pretending to be Collins.

Cecily Strong portrays U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, in a parody on “Saturday Night Live.”

Seven-year SNL veteran Cecily Strong, portraying Collins, responded she would “be the first to admit that some of the things this administration is doing make me want to shake my head vigorously, and wag my finger once — perhaps twice,”

Asked what she would do if special counsel Robert Mueller testified to Congress that the president had obstructed justice, Strong’s Collins answered, “Well, I’d have to write a strongly worded email and send it straight to my draft folder.”

During the sketch, host Kyle Mooney, playing newsman Chuck Todd, interviewed Strong and two actors portraying Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

Skewering all three GOP leaders ruthlessly, the skit showed Collins as a senator who says she dislikes the president’s actions but will not do anything to hinder him.

“It was spot on. It was perfect,” said Derek Lavasseur, a Fairfield Republican who is waging a primary against Collins.

Collins, who faces re-election next year, did not respond Monday to requests for comment about her portrayal.

Bre Kidman, a Saco lawyer who is seeking the Democratic nomination to take on the senator, said Monday, “It’s sort of wild to me that Sen. Collins, who was such a solid voice for so long, has become the sort of senator who makes for a punchline like that.”

Kidman said, too, “I suppose if we didn’t laugh at our legislators’ lack of conviction in the face of increasingly absurd circumstances, we’d be crying — or running for office.”

Danielle VanHelsing, an independent U.S. Senate candidate from Sangerville, said Monday that Strong’s “voice acting was spot on,” and captured Collins’ “indecisive flip-flopping very well.”

VanHelsing said the senator she hopes to replace “saves any solid decisions for the last moment to try and make herself look loyal to whomever benefits her at the time.”

Lavasseur said he thought the skit was funny and expressed hope the show might add him to the mix someday. He said he loves humor so he would not mind if SNL were to make fun of him.

In the television skit, Strong has Collins answering her reaction to an absurd policy initiative from Trump by saying, “That would be the most outrageous, ridiculous thing that I’d ever end up definitely voting for.”

Saturday’s show was not the first time Strong has portrayed Collins. During the hoopla over the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, she showed a Collins character promising to “party like it’s 2020” after backing the controversial judge.

Collins is running for a fifth term in the Senate — though she does not plan an official announcement until autumn — and has been raising money to get ready for what could be a tough re-election battle.

Kidman is the only active Democratic challenger, while VanHelsing is the only independent. Lavasseur is the only GOP challenger in the contest.

Other possible candidates are eyeing a run, including state House Speaker Sara Giden, a Freeport Democrat; Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap; former Lewiston Mayor James Howaniec; and Democrat Betsy Sweet, a lobbyist who ran an unsuccessful race for governor last year.


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