July 8, 2010

Chafee and His Supporters Get National Play

Marc Comtois

The national press loves the independent candidate and USA Today (h/t Ian Donnis) is the latest to report about them in this year of the disgruntled voter. RI's own Lincoln Chafee plays prominently in the story and all of the classic Chafee themes are there. First, there's the typical RI attitude towards "name candidates" like Chafee:

As Chafee carries bags of the eatery's signature doughboys — a cardiologist's nightmare of deep fat-fried dough and crab — Antonio Ferreira, 67, comes over to get his photo snapped and a trio at the next table give him a friendly wave.

"I remember when he went to Cedar Hill Elementary School," says Hilda Poppe, 83, a retired librarian from Warwick whose younger daughter was in Chafee's class. She and her husband, Norman, 84, are having lunch on the outdoor deck with their older daughter, Nonnie O'Brien, 59.

"I always vote Democratic except for him," O'Brien says.

"He has a Republican name but he's always been independent," her father says approvingly.

What about his idea of raising the sales tax?

Norman Poppe hadn't heard about the proposal. "I don't like that," he says, frowning.

"But if it pays the debt," his wife chimes in. With the state's finances in trouble — there's a projected budget shortfall for next year of $405 million — she says any remedy will be painful.

"The others are saying they won't do it," her husband concedes, "but they might when they get in anyway."

Can talk ourselves into and out of anything, can't we? Then there was the Chafee-as-victim of ungrateful Republicans theme:
Chafee, 57, is a happier, more confident candidate than he was during his last race four years ago.

Then, he was challenged from the right in the Republican primary by Cranston Mayor Steve Laffey. He lost in November to Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse.

Chafee felt rejected by the GOP, which no longer seemed willing to include moderate Republicans like himself.

Lest we all forget, Chafee won the GOP primary, largely thanks to the support of national Republicans, who campaigned for him & gave him money all while Chafee actively ran as and independent-minded Republican who proudly stood against a President of his own party. As to the Moderate part? Well...that leads to the final theme: an example of the Chafee disconnect:
After losing the race, he taught at Brown, his alma mater, and wrote a book titled Against the Tide. In 2008, Chafee voted for Barack Obama, his first vote for a Democrat. He weighed joining the Green or Libertarian parties but found neither a good fit. Chafee considered Rhode Island's fledging Moderate Party but thought the name sounded "wishy-washy."
In other words, "I'm a moderate but I didn't run as a Moderate Party candidate because that name, 'moderate', sounds so wishy-washy." So now he's a liberal Independent instead of a "big M" moderate (there is a difference, right?) because I guess that doesn't sound as wishy-washy. Okey doke.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

Actually, the moderate party would be a perfect fit for the wishy-washy Chafee.

Posted by: Mik Cappelli at July 8, 2010 5:44 PM

I am supporting Vic Moffitt for Governor and Bob Tingle for Lt. Governor.
However I will always remember when Lincoln Chafee called me when I was a Republican Town Council Member in Hopkinton, and I made my opposition clear against "Big Box" stores at Exit#1 off Interstate#95, and Chafee congratulated me on my actions.
Governor Carcieri did not call me, nor no one from Republican Governor Carcieri's office called me!
Chafee visited our town shortly thereafter.

Posted by: Scott Bill Hirst at July 8, 2010 6:28 PM

"Actually, the moderate party would be a perfect fit for the wishy-washy Chafee.
Posted by Mik Cappelli at July 8, 2010 5:44 PM "

Actually, the wishy washy Loser Linc will make a PERFECT governor for the corrupted and brain-damaged majority in this state.

Posted by: Tommy Cranston at July 8, 2010 7:06 PM

Chafee is not corrupt.He doesn't need the money.He is,however, brain damaged.
He spouts tripe.No idea what real people put up with.One of those horses he was shoeing must've kicked him real hard in the head.He has the vacuous grin of an IMH patient.
Lynch is fatally compromised.
Ken Block is smart,but uninspiring,and has no clue on immigration.
Caprio and Robitaille have something on the ball.I'm having to think about which one I'd support.

Posted by: joe bernstein at July 8, 2010 8:18 PM

Actually, the Moderate party is too conservative for Chafee who is running far to the left of the Democrats.

Posted by: BobN at July 8, 2010 8:43 PM

I hope you look at Vic Moffitt for Governor and Bob Tingle for Lt. Governor. Also Mark Zaccaria for U.S. House, District #2, and John Loughlin, U.S. House, District#1 in the upcoming GOP primaries.

Posted by: Scott Bill Hirst at July 9, 2010 4:26 PM

I have heard Moffitt directly in several venues and will not support him. He is too much a believer in centralized state control over the municipalities and the people, and not enough of a principled advocate of originalist American liberty. His idea of "working with the General Assembly" is naive and defies the hard lessons in bare-knuckle power politics that we have seen over decades in RI; he doesn't seem to understand that the Governor's direct relationship with the people is his most effective lever, and he doesn't seem to connect with people that well. He wants to be seen as an expert, but doesn't demonstrate enough expertise on the critical issues to convince me of this claim. Besides, the idea of a government of bureaucratic "experts" running everything according to their prescriptions is the Progressive model, not the Republican model of government. He fails to address the real reforms of labor law, taxation and regulation that are required to turn RI around from its headlong rush to disaster. Lastly, his advocacy of a state aquarium to be funded by unspecified private investors in a non-profit corporation makes no sense from either business nor civic perspectives.

Posted by: BobN at July 10, 2010 8:18 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

Important note: The text "http:" cannot appear anywhere in your comment.