"Lincoln Chafee exploring White House bid" by James Pindell Globe Staff April 09, 2015
Lincoln Chafee was elected to the US Senate as a Republican and Rhode Island’s governor as an independent; now, as a Democrat, he is exploring a run for president. Spread the word.
He’s also vowed to spend the next few months in Iowa and New Hampshire, states that traditionally hold the first presidential nomination contests.
The early White House race’s most formidable Democrat, Hillary Rodham Clinton, is expected to announce her campaign in the coming days. While other Democrats are looking at launching a bid in spite of Clinton’s candidacy, Chafee, 62, indicated that she might be the reason he’s running. In an interview, he criticized her 2002 vote in the US Senate to authorize the use of military force in Iraq.
“I would argue that we should not have a president of the United States who voted for that big of a mistake, and we will not have a Democratic nominee for president who made that big of a mistake,” said Chafee, who was the only Republican in the US Senate to vote against the war.
He was soon out of the Senate.
With his announcement Thursday, he joins a handful of Democrats also thinking about challenging Clinton, including former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley and former US senator Jim Webb of Virginia, and independent US Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
As with others in that group, Chafee’s first challenges will be in raising money and obtaining name recognition in key states. Chafee said he will reach out to local party leaders in Iowa and New Hampshire and ask to speak at their meetings.
Once in those states, Chafee said, he wants to tell Democratic activists how he reduced unemployment in Rhode Island. As governor, Chafee also signed into law a same-sex marriage bill, proposed tax increases, opposed the death penalty, and made national headlines when he attempted to name a State House “holiday tree” instead of a Christmas tree.
Will that be enough to win over the Zionist War Lobby?
Former Davenport, Iowa, mayor Tom Hart, who serves as chairman of the Scott County Democrats, said Chafee’s changing party affiliation will be a “red flag” to party activists.
University of Rhode Island professor Maureen Moakley, who has written a book on Ocean State politics; however, Moakley said, she can see a scenario where Chafee uses foreign policy issues to criticize Clinton, a former US secretary of state, the way that Senator Elizabeth Warren might chide Clinton’s domestic policies — Chafee has had a contentious relationship with Clinton and her husband, the former president. In 2008, Chafee endorsed Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton. In 2010, Bill Clinton appeared twice to campaign for the Democratic candidate for governor in Rhode Island when Chafee ran as an independent.
It’s unclear whether Chafee will even have support from Democrats in his home state.
“My sense is that Rhode Island Democrats will mostly all back Hillary, but they will tolerate Chafee,” Moakley said.
Oh, he won't even be winning his home state?
Neither the state’s governor, a Democrat, or anyone in the congressional delegation, also Democrats, had commented on Chafee’s move..
Chafee said he has been thinking about running for president for about two years, but he wanted to wait until he finished his job as governor before taking any official steps.
Good campaign slogan. He'll get the job done.
“He has spent most of his adult life in public service, and clearly misses it,” said Providence College political science professor Joe Cammarano. “A presidential run will generate attention and give him something new to do.”
And he is from a wealthy family.
Chafee graduated from Phillips Academy in Andover, attending the school at the same time as former Florida governor Jeb Bush and New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick....
All these guys know each other and they all make the papers.
UPDATE: Lincoln Chafee’s unlikely campaign