Who Really Could Be RI’s Lamont?
2nd Congressional District Democrat challenger Jennifer Lawless has recently taken to likening herself to fellow New England Dem upstart Ned Lamont (as Andrew wrote about earlier this month). However, Time magazine’s Joel Klein (via Patrick Casey) wonders if it may be Steve Laffey that most resembles Lamont.
Laffey is all adrenaline, the metabolic opposite of Chafee. And despite espousing the usual grab bag of social and economic conservative positions, he seems to most enjoy populist tirades against corporate special interests (especially the oil companies: he favors a robust alternative-energy plan for national-security reasons) and also against federal spending. “If you want big checks like the $150 million Chafee brought back from the $27 billion highway bill, vote for him. Rhode Island gets the short end of the stick when it comes to earmarks. I mean, the bridge to nowhere alone was $223 million,” he says, referring to the famed Alaskan boondoggle. “I’m going to vote against all that.”
If he gets the chance. Both Laffey and Chafee trail Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse, another Protestant aristocrat, in the polls. Rhode Island voted overwhelmingly for John Kerry in 2004; it probably hasn’t grown any fonder of George W. Bush since then. Laffey doesn’t care. He’s running on a different wavelength, against the big shots in both parties. “Have you ever seen a campaign like this?” he exclaims, jogging to the next house. No and, sort of, yes. A fellow named Ned Lamont just overturned the Establishment next door, in Connecticut.