March 5, 2008

Explaining Rhode Island to Outsidahs

Carroll Andrew Morse

For any national folks out there searching for an explanation of Hillary's Clinton victory in Rhode Island, forget about all of the identity politics stuff that the analysts are trying to foist on you. Here's all you need to know, starting with some wisdom from Jonah Goldberg of National Review Online

The Clinton team reinforced the perception that Hillary is the closest thing to an incumbent the Democrats have.

This is not the year for incumbents. This is not the year for a candidacy whose central argument amounts to “it’s my turn”.

Then realize, despite the relevance of Goldberg's observation to other states, that Rhode Island is the state that in 2006 -- despite facing recurring multi-hundred million dollar deficits in the previous years -- re-elected an incumbent Governor and every incumbent state legislator who re-ran for his or her seat, regardless of their race, gender, age, or party.

Rhode Islanders don't do "change". They just expect it to happen. End of story.

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It's a lot more complicated than that. All 3 states gave Hillary roughly 2/3 of the non-black vote. The vacancy of "Yes We Can!" is wearing thin for people to be turning out in such numbers for a very unlikable woman like HRC.

Posted by: Mike at March 5, 2008 9:21 AM

Karl Rove may have left the political stage for now, but the Clinton campaign obviously found his playbook.

Posted by: rhody at March 5, 2008 11:03 AM

Former Sen. Chafee might have something to say about whether all of the RI incumbents were re-elected in 2006 (of course, that assumes that he can remember 2006).

Posted by: brassband at March 5, 2008 2:39 PM

I simply explain Rhode Island with "For God's sake, don't move here!"

Posted by: Greg at March 5, 2008 3:23 PM


I would argue that most Rhode Islanders do not want change period. They relish in their parochial misery.

Posted by: Tim at March 5, 2008 7:29 PM

I think the first step in maybe "encouraging" change would be to run a GOP legislator in every district. The state party shouldn't worry about facing Jack Reed this year, it's just not worth it honestly. Change starts at home, and wether or not the citizens take to it right away, there were too many unopposed races in 2006.

Brassband, it says "State Legislator", not our federal delegation.

Posted by: Cassidy at March 6, 2008 2:21 AM
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