March 1, 2012

Just Politicians After All: Raimondo and Taveras Throw Support Behind Cicilline

Marc Comtois

Recent polls show that General Treasurer Gina Raimondo and Providence Mayor Angel Taveras enjoy broad-based, multi-partisan support in the state, particularly for their willingness to take stances that are politically unpopular amongst their natural consistencies. These "pragmatic progressives" have thus benefited from some good press and good feeling that, perhaps, they were a different sort of politician.

They have both just undermined that line of thinking by their avowed support for unpopular Rep. David Cicilline. Mayor Taveras set aside the apparent irony of throwing his support behind a man who contributed to the "Category 5 Hurricane" he inherited by saying it didn't happen "overnight" and we need Democrats in Washington, D.C. For her part, Raimondo tried to walk back any impression that she had formally endorsed Cicilline, but such a stance is too cute by half.

General Treasurer Gina Raimondo confirmed her position in the host committee for a fundraiser for Congressman David Cicilline but when asked if was an endorsement she replied, “no.”

A spokesperson later clarified that Raimondo, while supporting Congressman Cicilline, has not formerly endorsed him.

“I’m part of that host committee for that event and I am supportive of the congressmen,” said Raimondo.

It's hard to walk a line that isn't there, Treasurer. As WPRO's Dee DeQuattro tweeted, "She has officially become a politician..."

Both have allowed their ideological instincts to trump their "pragmatic" political ones and may have made a political miscalculation in supporting such a polarizing figure as Cicilline. It will chip away at the bi-partisan political capital they have both earned--particularly amongst dispositionally skeptical independents and conservatives--and serves to confirm that, by supporting a prototypical politician like David Cicilline, they, too, are typical RI politicians after all.

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Bonehead move by two otherwise smart people-they could've sat it out-it's not like Doherty expects their endorsement or something.

Posted by: joe bernstein at March 1, 2012 11:38 PM

What a disappointment. I was so impressed with these two. Guess they have feet of clay like all the others.

Posted by: shadylady at March 2, 2012 12:05 PM

anyone who is truly surprised, raise you hand.

Posted by: Kathy at March 2, 2012 8:29 PM

Business as usual.

Posted by: JTR at March 5, 2012 12:36 PM
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