Arthur Christopher Schaper
Former Mayor, Governor, and US Senator (though not entirely in that order) Lincoln Chafee has announced his interest in running for US President in 2016.
First informed through Facebook, I thought this announcement from the Republican turned Independent turned Democrat was a joke. April Fool’s Day has come and gone, but Rhode Islanders are still electing Democratic candidates (but also more Republicans, so things are getting a little bit better). US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is preaching the evils of climate change (guess he missed all those snowstorms pounding New England the past three months). Folly is in full aplenty among the Ocean State political classes.
Lincoln Chafee is running for President? Not quite, but that the fact that he is thinking about elicited the following responses:
Brad Chang He's an idiot for even considering a run at the presidency...
Yesterday at 10:23am · Like
Our own David Clyde offered the following:
David Clyde He is an Obama plant to throw dart at Hilary
23 hrs · Unlike · 1
Colleen Conley of North Kingstown offered a droll assessment of “Governor Gump”, first listing Linc’s basic political resume: Mayor of Warwick, appointed US Senator to replace his father John Chafee, then winning election in 2000. After losing reelection in 2006 to Attorney General Sheldon Whitehouse, Chafee went Independent, ran for Governor in 2010 in a four-way race, winning the executive mansion with a mere 17% of the vote. She then summed up the political wunderkind (or political wanderer):
On Thursday, Chafee said he would give himself “even odds” at winning the nomination. Fitting terminology for a former farrier.
I never knew about Chafee’s horse-shoe trade, and critics are submitting that he should go back to the racetrack. Pitching a winning game of horseshoes would be a better bet for Chafee than the Presidency.
Or would it?
My take on a “Governor Gump’s” bid for President? Run, Forrest, er, Chafee, run!
I enthusiastically applaud Chafee throwing his hat into the ring, tentatively.
First, he would serve as the Elizabeth Warren-Bernie Sanders uber-progressive foil to Wall Street Establishmentarian Hillary Clinton. He would reveal to the nation the true nature of today’s Democratic Party: progressive opportunism seeking to balance out and fulfill the ultra-liberal fantasies of Barack Obama. Let’s not forget that in his opening remarks for his exploratory committee, Chafee submitted that the Republicans ruined the economy, while President Obama aided economic recovery.
Even if his talking points have no basis in reality, Chafee's party loyalty is unassailable.
Second, the former Rhode Island governor’s bid would force the national limelight onto Rhode Island, because former Governor Chafee would have to explain himself and justify his record in comparison to other Democratic contenders, like Hillary Clinton, but als former US Senator Jim Webb of Virginia and former Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland.
Specifically, what record would the former US Senator and Governor run on, besides his staunch opposition to the Bush tax cuts and the War in Iraq?
1. Snowstorms blasting the New England coastline, and his staggered responses.
2. The massive pension reforms, in name only, which have eroded confidence in the fiscal solvency of municipal and state governments.
3. His petty attempt to take the Christ out of Christmas and celebrate a "holiday tree".
Other questions which would emerge to national consciousness, which even the marginalized media could not ignore, should Chafee run and have to reveal Rhode Island’s current state of affairs:
Why do public sector unions dominate the Ocean State, that they can threaten radio hosts and try to shut them down?
Why has the state legislature consistently tried to limit or remove Second Amendment rights, and how have local partisans, in the most Democratic of states, pushed back against this illiberal onslaught?
How come a tech administrator from Warwick, Rhode Island, was not permitted to run for office, for fear of losing his job?
What is RhodeMap RI, and why did former Governor Chafee refuse to answer basic questions about this land-grab masquerading as a federal program of efficiency and sustainability, which has even the most apathetic of Rhode Islanders up in arms?
If nothing else, a Chafee Presidential campaign would put a magnifying glass on the rampant, routine corruption of Rhode Island elected officials, the culture of pay for play, and Chafee’s lackluster response. Beyond that, the former Rhode Island Governor's run would spotlight everything that defines, and undermines, liberal-progressive politicking, and why this country cannot afford another Democrat in the White House, especially a rigid adherent to the Big Government agenda in spite of its numerous failures.
So, since US Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) has repeatedly insisted against her running for President, I gladly shout:
Run, Chafee, Run!
Arthur Christopher Schaper is a writer, blogger, and political commentator on topics both timeless and timely; political, cultural, and eternal. A life-long Southern California resident, Arthur currently lives in Torrance.