Early Review of Primary Mistake

And speaking of books, the American Spectator has an early review of Steve Laffey’s forthcoming book on the 2006 Rhode Island Senate campaign, Primary Mistake: How the Washington Republican Establishment Lost Everything in 2006 (and Sabotaged My Senatorial Campaign)

A good portion of Primary Mistake is devoted to Laffey coming to terms with why, as an American citizen who met the constitutional requirements to serve in the Senate, people kept telling him he couldn’t run. He recalls getting similar treatment when he first decided to run for mayor of Cranston: The party establishment told him he couldn’t run because they already had a candidate…In the end, Laffey’s story is really about the frequently ignored difference between the Republican Party and the conservative movement. Political parties are about winning elections and wielding power. Ideological movements are about ideas and values. Confuse the two and you wind up with something like the Chafee-Laffey primary contest.

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brassband
brassband
14 years ago

Is there anyone out there who really thinks that Laffey could have beaten Whitehouse?
I think Laffey would have lost by 15 – 20 points.
What evidence is there from any recent statewide election in RI that voters here would embrace someone like Laffey?
It would have been a much more entertaining race, no doubt, but I just don’t see any way that Laffey would have won.

Will
14 years ago

As a Laffey supporter, I think Laffey would have fared far better than Chafee in debates against Whitehouse — who has the charisma and personality of white bread. Chafee really didn’t put up much of a challenge. At least I know that Laffey would have put every last ounce of energy into the race.
That being said, given the type of year that Republicans had in 2006 generally — with 20/20 hindsight — I really don’t know if Laffey could have pulled it off in November. All that I know is that it would have been a much more exciting race with clear differences between the candidates to choose from.
Laffey knew the odds going in. I think voters in 2006 made the “safe” choice intially by backing the incumbent, which occurs about 98% of the time. However, since the imcumbent was ideologically indistinguishable from his general election challenger, and it was not a Republican year, they ended up going with someone else.
PS I’ve read some of the opening chapters of the book … it’s great stuff. Already available for pre-order on amazon.com!

brassband
brassband
14 years ago

If Laffey really cares about the issues and about RI, he should run for General Assembly in 2008. He could use that platform to stir things up a bit. He should recruit some other candidates to run with him in other districts, and run as a team.
I think a group of vocal, articulate, TV friendly Repulbicans could generate a lot more interest in the day-to-day activity of the GA and focus public attention on what goes on there. You only need a few more seats to begin to have some impact.
He can still run for Gov. in 2010, if that’s what he wants. But from the GA he might be able to shine the light on a few things going on there, in the public interest.

Sol Venturi
Sol Venturi
14 years ago

Brassband, and doubters-at-large et al:
Speculating on the past is a total and complete waste of valuable time. The stone in the shoe of Cromwell’s horse comes to mind. Who cares if, if, if, if, ad nauseum. Stop dreaming. RI needs a tough reformer. Period.
Add some value. Read the book. Volunteer.
RI is a stage 5 mess, and there is only one person who has the will, guts, smarts, political savvy, energy and expertise to fix it…
Sabaticals are necessary. Now’s the season for some Laffeymania.
SV

Sol Venturi
Sol Venturi
14 years ago

Andrew:
1. You are right. The Laffey Campaign against Whitehouse would have been a much more action packed movie.
2. You are wrong. Carcieri won. And he’s no Laffey!
SV

Sol Venturi
Sol Venturi
14 years ago

Andrew:
1. You are right. The Laffey Campaign against Whitehouse would have been a much more action packed movie.
2. You are wrong. Carcieri won. And he’s no Laffey!
SV

Virginia Redneck
Virginia Redneck
14 years ago

Hey ya’ll:
I just can’t wait for Laffey’s book, I’m sure he’ll blow the cover of all those stupid RINO’s up there in Rogues Island.
Heck, I hear you can’t even smoke Reds in the bars up there.
I do remember Chafee whining that he had no money after the primary, isn’t he worth lots of $$$??
I know that the Laffey campaign wouldn’t have been soft on Whitehouse like the Chafee campaign was, what losers!

brassband
brassband
14 years ago

Well, as I said, I didn’t think Laffey could win, but I did think he would have run a more exciting campaign against Whitehouse.
SV — The “only one person who can save us” mentality is not a healthy one. I think Laffey tries a little to hard to prove that he’s the one. The fact is, it takes more than a Governor or a Senator to bring about real change. It takes good ideas, well articulated and presented to the public in a coherent and persuasive fashion. What we really need is a “Contract with Rhode Island.”

SusanD
SusanD
14 years ago

“The fact is, it takes more than a Governor or a Senator to bring about real change. It takes good ideas, ”
… and fewer special interest automatons in the General Assembly.

Tim
Tim
14 years ago

Loved the part of the Spectators review where they credited Laffey for adding some humor to his writing to take the edge off his sour grapes. Proud to say I have no desire to read Laffey’s book but am really enjoying the schoolgirl giggles of his minions on this board. It’s like I’m back in elementary school and my classmates in 5th grade are reading their TigerBeat magazine. lol
The Primary Mistake was Steve Laffey’s foolish involvement in the 2006 Senatorial race that he would have never won.
brassband,
Laffey doesn’t care about Rhode Island or the issues. His only concern is himself. Laffey will run for Governor in 2010 and Bob Healey is his worst nightmare.

Tom W
Tom W
14 years ago

>>Laffey doesn’t care about Rhode Island or the issues. His only concern is himself.
Sounds then like he also has the potential to be a great public sector union boss here in Little Rhody!

Anthony
Anthony
14 years ago

1. Every polls at the time showed Laffey would have lost big (over 15 pts.) against Whitehouse.
2. Any race with a guy like Laffey is entertaining.
3. Given the comments by his supporters, Laffey is running again in 2010. We’ll be able to see whether Laffey’s failure in ’06 was simply the result of voters rejecting him or whether the national GOP was just that good at propping up Chafee.
While no one can re-create the conditions of ’06, in many ways a 2010 Laffey candidacy tests the thesis of his new book.
Unlike the Senate race, the national GOP could care less about the RI governor’s race; there is no Republican incumbent or even a heir apparent to Carcieri; and instead of one Democrat running, the Dem. field will be crowded.
All the reasons Laffey gives for his underwhelming performance in the 2006 race do not apply. If Laffey’s supporters are correct, 2010 should be a cakewalk for him.

Stretch Cunningham
Stretch Cunningham
14 years ago

Tim, Anthony, Brassband, time to let go… time to heal thyselves from the odious snobbery of the Chafee inner circles! If you took only the slightest bit of time, with an open heart and mind, to get to know Steve Laffey, your soul would be lifted by him, I guarrantee it!

Matthew P. Sloan
Matthew P. Sloan
14 years ago

To me Steve Laffey is an example of why this is the greatest country in the world.
No one should criticize a man who is willing to step up and run for office at great personal sacrifice in order to make this a better country.

Tim
Tim
14 years ago

Stretch,
What makes your comments so hilarious is you actually believe them. lol
Anthony,
As you correctly point out the 2010 governor’s race should be a walk in the park for Steve Laffey based on all the excuses given for his 2006 failure. But we both know that will not be the case and it’s why Laffey is praying for economic armageddon around here. He knows only a crisis will make him a viable and attractive statewide candidate. A sad commentary don’t you think?

Tom W
Tom W
14 years ago

>>But we both know that will not be the case and it’s why Laffey is praying for economic armageddon around here. He knows only a crisis will make him a viable and attractive statewide candidate. A sad commentary don’t you think?
Laffey doesn’t have to pray for an economic armageddon to hit Rhode Island – it’s pretty much inevitable, thanks to the Democrat General Assembly and its perennial refusal to conduct itself in a fiscally responsible manner instead of a pander to the unions and welfare industry manner.
Can you say: “$5 billion unfunded pension liability at the state level (for state employees and teachers alone)”?
Can you say: “This doesn’t include the unfunded liability for retiree health care for those groups”?
Can you say: “And the above doesn’t include pension / health care unfunded liabilities totaling billions of dollars at the municipal level in Rhode Island”?
Can you say” “Infrastructure – bridges, roads and buildings – that haven’t been properly maintained and are deteriorating to the point of collapse”?
Can you say: “In an increasingly knowledge-based economy, a future workforce “graduating” from public schools that rank well below average for the U.S., which in turn ranks well below average among the major industrialized countries (thanks a lot, teacher unions)”?
Can you say” “A well deserved national reputation for political corruption”?
Can you say: “Consistently ranks among the worst states for business climate, i.e., employers”?
Perhaps someday Laffey will run for Governor promising to “fix” Rhode Island – but this won’t be because his prayers were answered, but merely in response to the legacy of corruption and incompetence left us by the Democrat General Assembly.

David Davis
David Davis
14 years ago

Anthony:
Still haven’t had enough time to heal yet? You really now how to Whine like the best of them.

Sol Venturi
Sol Venturi
14 years ago

Brassband:
RE: 8.30.07 – 2:39PM
It takes leadership, fearless leadership. Period!
What the hell is a “Contract with RI”? What does that mean?
Look around. Are you blind? There is no room or time for soft peddling. It’s time to put on our armor and do battle with the entrenched corruption on Smith Hill, a legislature that has misplaced our trust, wasted our money, and who use their power to operate a culture of bribery and corruption right under our noses.
Good ideas are just that. You probably have a lot of good ideas. Good for you. Without leadership to shepherd those ideas into meaningful legislation that breaks the back of special interests nothing happens. The self serving SI use their influence to feather their own nests at taxpayer expense and wrest management rights away from the elected leaders the taxpayers prefer.
SV

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