April 17, 2012

Re: Democrats Stay Home

Monique Chartier

As Patrick points out, with his announcement Sunday, Anthony Gemma feigns disregard for his primary election in September and, in fact, expresses near sympathy for his primary opponent.

"Gemma paused and said "I won't hit a man when he's down." Then later went on to add "This race is between me and Brendan Doherty.""
There's something very strange here. First of all, how did we go from the ferocious primary contender of two years ago to not wanting to "hit a man" - that same reprehensible opponent! - when he's "down"? We should also clarify here that "down", in this case, doesn't mean some fatal disease (unless you count a pathological inability to speak the truth where it would make him look bad). It means that David Cicilline finally had to confront, to a very limited extent, his own lying and covering up of Providence's actual fiscal condition - official conduct which was so bad that it warrants a criminal investigation.

Most importantly, however, Mr. Gemma doesn't get to face off against Colonel Doherty unless he first beats the prevaricator currently representing CD-1. But Mr. Gemma is disregarding this critical fact. There are three possible explanations for this course of action; none of them reflect well on Mr. Gemma:

1.) Under Patrick's post, Jon identifies the first: Mr. Gemma is staying on as a straw candidate to assist David Cicilline.

2.) Mr. Gemma has been told that David Cicilline is going to withdraw from the race. This information would have to come from the candidate himself or a very close surrogate for Mr. Gemma to be guided by it; you don't pull your political punches on the say-so of a campaign underling. Accordingly, if this is the case, Mr. Gemma is making the fatal error of conducting his campaign on the basis of the word of David Cicilline.

3.) Mr. Gemma has seen poll results which give him what he believes to be an insurmountable lead in the primary. But, of course, there is rarely such a thing as an insurmountable lead in a political campaign. "Rarely" becomes non-existent when it comes to an opponent who is willing to utter any lie and do just about anything (as we saw during his tenure as mayor!) for political gain.

It doesn't bother me to watch a Rhode Island Democrat step on a political banana peel. Sometimes, though, it is a fascinatingly perplex-full occurance.

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The only logical explanation is that Cicilline is close to a job somewhere and will be dropping out. Otherwise in politics, you never take your foot off the gas, or your opponent's throat. You politically stomp him until the results are in because you just never know. There is no other explanation, other than Gemma and his team are a band of idiots, which I'm not ready to assign.

Posted by: Patrick at April 17, 2012 5:27 PM

By all accounts, Gemma's behavior at the end of the press release was extremely bizarre and insulting to the press and supporters who attended, and this would also be consistent with an unprepared and eccentric candidate. Perhaps you are reading too much into it. The simplest explanation is usually the right one.

Posted by: Dan at April 17, 2012 6:03 PM

Gemma did make the talk radio rounds.Including Helen Glover who was very fair to him.He stumbled very badly on Buddy's show.
Gemma sounds unprepared,which is odd because he had a long lead time.

Posted by: joe bernstein at April 17, 2012 6:53 PM

My first impression was that Gemma is acting as a straw for Cicilline. Recall two years ago that Gemma, after saying something to the effect that Cicilline should be indicted, later -- after Cicilline beat him in the primary -- said he'd support Cicilline. Gemma -- too much exposure to sewer fumes and drain cleaners?

Posted by: Bill at April 17, 2012 11:24 PM

"a straw candidate to assist David Cicilline"

I'm not sure I understand how it would help right now? Would having an opponent, any opponent, help him raise money sooner for the 'real battle' against a Republican?

Would it force endorsements? Contributions from peers?

Posted by: mangeek at April 18, 2012 6:18 PM
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