February 14, 2008

Chafee's (Last?) Day in the Sun

Marc Comtois

So former Senator Lincoln Chafee has endorsed Barack Obama, primarily, he says, because Obama (like Chafee himself) was against the Iraq War from the beginning. Can't say anyone should be surprised. As the ProJo reported last week, Chafee was leaning this way for a while and he has a book coming out that is critical of Democrats for rubber-stamping President Bush's "rush to war."

In his upcoming book, Against the Tide [due April 1 from St. Martin’s Press], Chafee excoriates congressional Democrats who voted in 2002 to give President Bush the authority to invade Iraq.

He writes: “Being wrong about sending Americans to kill and be killed, maim and be maimed, is not like making a punctuation mistake in a highway bill.” Some leading Democrats “argue that the president duped them into war, but getting duped does not exactly recommend their leadership. Helping a rogue president start an unnecessary war should be a career-ending lapse of judgment.”

Spare me any stories of Chafee being principled and all that. The guy was more than happy to take money from his former party in 2006. And this endorsement effectively places him in opposition to his "good friend" John McCain, a man who campaigned for Chafee back then. Once again, I guess loyalty is a one-way street in Chafee-land.

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Dear John:

Remember how in 2006 you travelled to Rhode Island to support my reelection campaign and help raise money for me?

Well, it is on this the very same day that you are visiting Rhode Island as part of your own campaign that I am choosing to publicly announce my support for your likely opponent Barak Obama (and thus renouncing any support for you).

Those radical right Republicans always accused me of having a lack of party loyalty (among other failings). As you now know, I’m also an ungrateful ass!

But then again, I’m sure that you understand better than anyone my compulsion to “reach across the aisle” …

Your “friend,”

Linc Chafee

Posted by: Tom W at February 14, 2008 1:00 PM

In Chafee's wacky world "spineless jellyfish" means "independent thinker."

Posted by: Mike Cappelli at February 14, 2008 1:07 PM

At the last State Central Committee meeting, Chairman Gio made an appeal for funds holding up some charts, "these people gave, these people didn't give, everyone should give".

Tell me why Gio! Why should I waste my money on a party whose leadership lied to the entire delegation on behalf of that mindless and spineless Chafee?

Why should I contribute to an organization that supported a complete phoney over a rock solid Republican?

Why should I donate my money to an organization that made headlines for giving more to the Governor's pals, aka "Consultants" than to candidates.

Why should I contribute to an organization that calls itself the Republican Party that has SO turned off Republicans that the "check-off" (money the party gets from people who designate a donation to the party on their tax returns) has gone down from a fairly consistent yearly average of $75,000 to around $30,000.

Why should I when the chairman won't even stand before the group and say those things won't happen again.

The funny thing here is that Chafee is so dumb that he doesn't even realize how much more Obama will help conservativism than McCain.

Posted by: George at February 14, 2008 1:41 PM

Fox just reported Romney will endorse McCain. I'm not moved. I already knew he hated Huckabee.

Posted by: George at February 14, 2008 1:44 PM

Man this is confusing. So Carcieri and the RI Republican party supported Lincoln Chafee. The Republican National Committee supported Chafee. The National Republican Senatorial Committee supported Chafee. Fellow Republican Senator John McCain came to RI to campaign for Chafee. And now, THE DAY McCain comes to RI for his own race, Chafee announces he is supporting McCain's potential opponent, a Democrat?
Man, can you even try to be more of a backstabbing a$$#@le? Wow, with friends like that, who needs enemies? Did a horse kick this guy in the head?
It sounds to me like Chafee was the fairy little rich kid who cried whenever he didn't get his way growing up. And this guy was a US Senator? Unbelievable!

Posted by: Mike Cappelli at February 14, 2008 2:05 PM

As Reagan would've said, Chafee didn't leave the GOP. The GOP left him.

Posted by: rhody at February 14, 2008 3:16 PM

For all of those Republicans who told us that we shouldn't vote for Laffey in the primary because he couldn't win ... and that we should then support Chafee because of party loyalty ...

Told 'ya so!

Yeah, like you said, we'd end up with Senator Whitehouse. So we get the same political philosophy from a known adversary, rather than "one of us" who delights in stabbing Republicans in the back.

The irony of "Republican" backstabber McCain being stabbed in the back by Chafee is just too delicious!

Those Republicans who are supporting McCain best be prepared to receive the Chafee treatment from "President McCain."

Posted by: Tom W at February 14, 2008 4:19 PM

"As Reagan would've said, Chafee didn't leave the GOP. The GOP left him."

Hopefully, he and his ilk are left behind for good. Yeah Rhody, Reagan would have said exactly that -- back in 1981. However, Chafee's so dull, he only finally just got the message that he wasn't even a Republican In Name Only (RINO) this past year. I hope he joins the Democrat Party now to seal the deal. Let him be your millstone. Today's endorsement only makes me even more satisfied about my principled primary and generally election votes in 2006, now that he's shown his true colors.

Regardless of your thoughts about Linc the Listless, one has to love the delicious irony in all of this today. Beware the horn of the RINO -- even former ones!

Posted by: Will at February 14, 2008 5:27 PM

who cares what this "slapschwanze" takeoff on phil donahue has to say about anything?

Posted by: joe at February 14, 2008 6:31 PM

Let us take time to remember a great Republican, Conservative,Veteran, and Patriot Russell Morgan Jones. His obituary is in today's Providence Journal http://www.projo.com ,. I remember him saying " I am so far to the right you can't see me",. Rest In peace, Russell! Russell just didn't talk. He "put his money where his mouth was",.

Posted by: Scott Bill Hirst at February 14, 2008 6:37 PM

As I type this I'm imagining Russell getting as well deserved pat on the back from Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan.

Posted by: Tom W at February 14, 2008 7:29 PM

Russell was a great friend to us all. In many ways, he reminded me of Ronald Reagan. He was eternally optimistic and a consistently upstanding individual, with a love for God, country, and family. My favorite saying of his was "Gun Control Is Using Both Hands."

Him having been an enthusiastic Romney supporter to the end, I guess one should find just a little comfort in his having passed away before Mitt ended up endorsing McCain earlier today.

His wake is tomorrow, with a military burial Saturday morning. There's already a post and his obit over at The Ocean State Republican about him:


Posted by: Will at February 14, 2008 8:29 PM

Mike C.

Bad as Chafee is, you might want to re-think the comment about the horse.

During the 1960s Chafee's sister was died tragically (I think she was a teenager at the time) after being kicked by a horse.

Posted by: brassband at February 14, 2008 9:14 PM

The Republican Party pumped money into Chafee's campaign because it knew that he represented their best chance to retain a Republican seat in the senate. It was politics, not love. Just look at Connecticut during the same election when the Republican Party deserted its candidate and poured money into "independent" Lieberman's campaign. Again, it was politics, not love. Exactly what is it that you are decrying.

Posted by: Richard Tuoni at February 14, 2008 10:26 PM


For those of us who enjoy sarcasm well-delivered,

Yesterday's open letter to Elizabeth Dole - first published on the Club for Growth web site - pretty well demolishes the RNC's logic.

Ocean State Republican has posted it:


Posted by: Tom W at February 15, 2008 8:30 AM

You missed the point. Please explain the principle behind the RNC's support of Chafee and its abandonment of the hapless Republican who had won the party primary in favor of Lieberman, an independent. The RNC was consistent it put its money on the "best bet" both times. No morality, no loyalty, realpolitik. Quit your squaking.

Posted by: Richard Tuoni at February 15, 2008 7:53 PM

If the party was in a better position politically and was thinking about expanding its 55-44 majority instead of just trying to hang onto control of the Senate, the RNC would've endorsed Laffey.
Chafee made a political calculation. So did the party manadrins.

Posted by: rhody at February 15, 2008 9:33 PM
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