The Ebola hysteria is continuing across the nation as two of the nurses who cared for Thomas Eric Duncan in Texas have contracted the virus and dozens of others are currently being monitored. President Obama made a responsible decision cancelling visits to New Jersey, Connecticut, and Rhode Island to focus on the Ebola issue. In remarks Obama said he hugged and kissed several of the nurses who cared for Duncan and he is not concerned about contracting Ebola. Let’s just start by saying what everyone is thinking. Are you serious? If the president gets Ebola, it would cause national panic. Let’s just hope he is right to not be concerned.
Unfortunately Obama’s cancelled trip hurts Rhode Island Democrats and their political plans.
Democrat Gina Raimondo still reeling on the momentum of the Democrat Unity dinner and the visit from National Democratic Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was probably planning to announce that the President was endorsing her when he arrived and hoping that he would weigh in on it. Instead, she had to release the big endorsement via email. She lost major press play on the endorsement as the president cancelled his visit.
Meanwhile Allan Fung lucked out as the media focus turned to Mitt Romney’s presence in the Ocean State. Instead of being buried behind the President’s visit, Romney’s visit was the lead. Next week, Raimondo will have her chance as Hillary Clinton heads to Rhode Island to stump for her.
The Democrats had a win this week as they hosted the “Unity Dinner” and rallied their base behind their slate of candidates. While they may not all get along, they do a good job putting on a show and looking united. It ultimately doesn’t matter what they each do in their private voting booths, it is more about having the public see them all playing for the same team and working together. Like Lincoln said, a “house divided against itself cannot stand.”
Most notably, at the “Unity Dinner” Seth Magaziner, candidate for General Treasurer, had a win as he was described as a rising star with in the party and the future of Rhode Island Democrats. Magaziner took some criticism this week too as his opponent Independent Ernie Almonte took issue with a recent statement Magaziner made to the Providence Journal where he said a half million dollar campaign contribution was part personal income, part family money. Almonte is now questioning whether that “family money” is ethical.
The Democrats also won this week as they swept the latest Joe Flemming Poll for WPRI-TV and the Providence Journal. The only problem is the last Joe Flemming poll before the primary called most of the races wrong, so is this a good thing or a bad thing?
Looking at the poll, Moderate Party Candidate Bob Healey had a win as he polled at 8%. Ken Block only got 6% of the vote when he ran in 2010 and he was in the race for a much longer period of time and invested money. If Healey is polling at 8% without television ads and with a late entry into the race, that is very impressive and a huge score for the Moderate Party.
State Representative Bob Craven is under fire after GoLocalProv printed a story discussing Craven’s expunged criminal record where he was convicted of domestic violence. While the news is shocking to some in the political community, ultimately it is probably lost on voters in North Kingstown since lets face it, it is a struggle to get most people to turn out to vote let alone actually be engaged.
Mayoral Candidate Buddy Cianci as under fire this week too, but not from his opponents Democrat Jorge Elorza or Republican Dan Harrop, this time it is from U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. Whitehouse, former Governor Lincoln Almond, and Attorney Robert Corrente, all former U.S. Attorneys who are familiar with Operation Plunderdome warned against electing Cianci to the mayor’s office. Whitehouse even indicated that if Cianci were Mayor, it could hurt the city’s chance of getting federal grant money. Cianci responded to the critics indicating they have no idea what it is like to live in the city of Providence and pay taxes there. He suggested that the three were elitists out of touch with the lives of Providence Residence.
Cianci might be right. It seems like a good deal of the lower income portion of the city is concerned with public safety and not so much with past federal investigation. I bet a lot of people could care less about possible corruption in the city as long as they feel that they are safe when they go to bed at night and wake up in the morning.
Attorney General candidate Dawson Hodgson took aim at Attorney General Peter Kilmartin this week in a move that some are considering to be “too little, too late.” Hodgson suggested that Kilmartin was traveling a bit too much on the tax payer dime and was hiring former co-workers and friends to work in the Attorney General’s office. Kilmartin didn’t address the concerns head on instead he brushed the attacks off as “politics as usual.” Kilmartin’s Campaign manager Matthew Lenz described the attacks as “pathetic” from a “floundering candidate.”