2014 Man of the Year: Paul Lepage

Gov. Paul LePage / AP
December 31, 2014

Paul LePage is America’s governor.

He’s defied odds his whole life, escaping an abusive home at age 11, getting through college despite French being his first language, and sticking to his conservative beliefs once in politics. He defied them again this year by winning a second term as governor of Maine, the most purple of states.

In Washington, politicians constantly utter empty platitudes and falsely praise their opponents. LePage doesn’t engage in such blather in Maine. Indeed, he appears to have no filter whatsoever.

He accused one Democrat of being the first politician to "give it to the people without providing Vaseline," hates newspapers and said he wanted to blow up one’s headquarters, and told the unemployed to "get off the couch" and get a job.

Oh, and he said the NAACP could "kiss my butt."

As a result of LePage’s brash behavior, he was declared by media outlets across the country to be one of 2014’s most vulnerable incumbents. There were good reasons for pessimism: he took less than 38 percent of the vote in 2010 in a three-way race; his disapproval rating was over 50 percent this fall; heconstantly butted heads with the state’s Democratic legislature, vetoing more bills than any other Maine governor according to The Weekly Standard. Maine went handily for President Obama in 2008 and 2012.

But in a wave election for Republicans, voters endorsed LePage’s policies of tax cuts, investigation of welfare fraud, and scaling back of environmental and labor regulations, as one Politico profile described it. LePage won 48.2 percent of the vote in another three-way race.

Winners don’t shut up or back off their core principles out of fear of criticism. Paul LePage is still in office and a Free Beacon Man of the Year as a result.

Published under: Man of the Year