RI Monthly on the Governor’s Race

Ian Donnis of WRNI radio’s (1290 AM) On Politics Blog points to Mark Arsenault‘s story on the Rhode Island Governor’s race appearing in December’s Rhode Island Monthly. To pick out just a few of the many items of note that appear in the article…

  1. Donnis, in his link to the article, highlights speculation coming from Lincoln Chafee that Steve Laffey will run as an independent…
    [Steve Laffey] has maintained radio silence on the governor’s race, though he tells me he’s furious about the state of the state.
    Chafee, for one, expects his old rival will forego the party system and also run for governor as an independent.
  2. Chafee, Rhode Island’s undeclared independent candidate for Governor, describes the coalition he seeks to build upon…
    In addition to the name, Linc Chafee, a former mayor of Warwick, has his own political base. “For me, it’s a mix of environmentalists, Warwick voters, anti-war people, progressive Republicans,” he says. “I’m not an enemy to labor. I’d like to have labor on my side as much as possible.”
    Would anyone who continues to insist that Chafee is a “moderate” and not a “liberal”, where “moderate” is used as a stand-in for “fiscally conservative” and “socially liberal”, care to explain where the support for “fiscal conservatism” is going to come from, given that base?
  3. With the caveat that we can’t be sure exactly when Arsenault conducted his interview (always an issue with a monthly publication), Arlene Violet is mentioned in the article as a possible candidate for the Moderate Party, but…
    Violet would be a reluctant contender. “I prefer to try to build that effort and let someone younger run,” says Violet, who is sixty-five.
    If the Moderates can’t find another credible warrior, “That would certainly put a lot of pressure on me,” Violet says. “I wouldn’t do it just to get 5 percent. I’d do it to win.”
    Does that sound like someone whose party’s candidate-search is going well?
There’s some stuff on the major party candidates too, all of which Arsenault writes-up in a very engaging manner. Maybe a local newspaper should consider hiring him to jazz-up its political coverage…

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steadman
steadman
11 years ago

In addition to the name, Linc Chafee, a former mayor of Warwick, has his own political base. “For me, it’s a mix of environmentalists, Warwick voters, anti-war people, progressive Republicans,” he says. “I’m not an enemy to labor. I’d like to have labor on my side as much as possible.”
I’m just put off a little bit by this statement. “Anti-War people”? Since when does a national issue such as that draw support for a candidate for governor? What would your views on the wars matter when voting for someone who will be running your state? It seems highly illogical and very suspect to me, he should realize he isn’t running for senator anymore. Can you really trust a man who views things in this way? Does anyone else sort of get where im coming from? Its foolish to say such things, and your suppose to be taken seriously?

George
George
11 years ago

“Anti-War people”? Since when does a national issue such as that draw support for a candidate for governor?
Two part answer: 1. When someone as dumb as Lincoln Chafee is running. 2. When an electorate is so dumb that it is very likely to elect Linc Chafee.
Chafee can use that sound-bite in a State-oriented campaign because, that is what stupid people think “smart” sounds like. Most people who vote in the 2010 RI statewide election will not even know what the state issues are!

Patrick
Patrick
11 years ago

“Most people who vote in the 2010 RI statewide election will not even know what the state issues are!”
Agreed. And like in the last gubernatorial election, another 70,000 of them will connect that one line at the top that just reads “Democrat” and hand in their ballot.

Bob Walsh
Bob Walsh
11 years ago

Mark Arsenault is moving to Georgia soon. His departure from the ProJo was one of several setbacks to their depth and experience in covering local politics.

MadMom
MadMom
11 years ago

“Would anyone who continues to insist that Chafee is a “moderate” and not a “liberal”, where “moderate” is used as a stand-in for “fiscally conservative” and “socially liberal”, care to explain where the support for “fiscal conservatism” is going to come from, given that base?”
Would anyone care to explain why Linc Chafee thinks he will get ANY fiscal conservative’s vote?

BobN
BobN
11 years ago

Sure, Chafee is a “moderate” in the sense that he’s such a milquetoast wimp that he can’t assume the nasty tone of genuine liberal.

Monique
Editor
11 years ago

“where people claim that it’s “fiscally conservative” to raise big taxes to cover big spending.”
Yeah, wow, is that ever not true.

Phil
Phil
11 years ago

Yeah, wow, is that ever not true.
Monique
Even though I’m glad that you have now resolved your personality issues I’m not sure I’m too happy with the one you have chosen that was responsible for the sentence above. One day at a time as they say.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

Monique-Aren’t you glad “Dr.Phil”has approved your choice of personality?I guess there has to be a forum after Oprah.
Linc Chafee is a joke,but the bigger joke is that this crosseyed nitwit milksop could actually get elected.
Arlene is a good choice,but the Moderate Party sounds like its going nowhere.

BobN
BobN
11 years ago

Arlene would be a terrible choice. She has neither the executive experience nor the political toughness to deal with RI’s problems. Her speech at the Gaspee Day Tea Party was embarrassingly bad.

MadMom
MadMom
11 years ago

Much as I like Arlene personally, I agree that she would not be a good choice. She also has neither money nor name recognition (surprisingly) and it’s a bit late in the game for anyone with those hurdles to jump in the race.

Phil
Phil
11 years ago

joe bernstein
Remember that it was “this crosseyed nitwit milksop” that did not roll over for Vice President Cheney or for President George W. Bush about going to war in Iraq or giving the wealthy huge tax cuts. Maybe we as a nation would not be in the shape we’re in now if a few more Senators had done the same.

Madmom
Madmom
11 years ago

Name recognition is one thing, but anyone without the ability to self fund a campaign or raise big bucks quickly is already behind the eight ball at this point in the game.

MadMom
MadMom
11 years ago

Nope, I don’t see it. In fact, it seems like Rory has gone into hiding lately, not even committing to participating in the Rhode Island Voter Coalition Gubernatorial Forum on Jan 8th, whereas Chafee, Caprio, and Lynch all have committed. Strange strategy for a guy with the least name recognition in the pack to pass up an opportunity like that, as no doubt it will get a lot of press.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

Sorry,Phil-this guy was actually correct in his vote against the Iraq War(surprised?)but that doesn’t alter my impression of him in general.He sounded like a nitwit on 10 News Conference.
Getting one thing right does not indicate success as a Governor.

rhody
rhody
11 years ago

Linc needs to settle the question of whether he has the fire in the belly for this camoaign. He needs to get out there a little more aggressively – Caprio is showing some willingness to court the progressive vote, and I think the race is his to lose if he continues to do so. Dan Yorke seems to have turned against Frank – a good feud with Pope Daniel is a good way to Frank to get progressive votes without even having to change a policy position.
As long as Linc’s in the race, chancs are excellent Laffey will jump in. It’s not just politics between those two guys – it’s personal.

Phil
Phil
11 years ago

Joe Bernstein
I’ll admit I am surprised.
Rhody
You mentioned Steve Laffey and Dan Yorke in your comments. Did you happen to catch the performance of Laffey on WPRO ‘S Yorke show recently. He apparently was filling in for the vacationing Yorke. I listened for about 45 minutes as I staightened out a tangle of groundline. He sounded shrill and unstable, wildly talking about everything under the sun in a breathless rush. His mind with his tongue following seemed to be moving at breakneck speed towards derailment. Comments about events occuring during his short stint as mayor of Cranston were sprinkled in with his ever increasing mad rush of words. You may be right about the personal animus that exists between he and Chaffee and that may get him into the Governor’s race. He may be just crazy enough.

BobN
BobN
11 years ago

I didn’t get such a negative impression of Laffey’s performance sitting in for Dan Yorke last week. In fact, I was favorably impressed.
Laffey may not be perfect (neither, as we have just discovered, is Tiger) but he knows the issues, has strong conservative and free-market instincts, and has displayed the management and political skills, ability to use the bully pulpit, and guts to work effectively with or against the General Assembly, as necessary.

MadMom
MadMom
11 years ago

I did not hear Laffey on Yorke but his perfomance as a radio talk show host is irrelevant to his ability to lead the state as Governor. The guy has more ideas in his little finger than all the other candidates combined, and the guts necessary to effect change. Without Laffey at the helm and a robust change in the GA after November 2010, we can say syonara to what’s left of RI.

Phil
Phil
11 years ago

ideas in his little finger
and the guts necessary to effect change.
Sorry, but I think that stability, a calm temperament, the ability to find consensus, and perseverance are some of the things I look for in elected officials. If it was just about ideas and guts why not just vote for Chris Young. He has plenty of both.

MadMom
MadMom
11 years ago

“stability, a calm temperament, the ability to find consensus, and perseverance are some of the things I look for in elected officials.”
Phil, I’m looking for a bold leader, not a nanny.
Re: ability to find consensus. I’m sure most of the current contenders for Governor would fill that role nicely. Which is exactly the problem.

Phil
Phil
11 years ago

Phil, I’m looking for a bold leader, not a nanny.
I find your dismissal of an elected official with an ability to bring together people who represent different points of view and positions the problem. That ability is one tool for getting things done in a pluralistic democracy. Maybe you object to the idea of a pluralistic democracy where there is no one center of power. In that case you would favor a “bold leader” as the Italians, Spaniards, Germans, and Russians did in recent history. The framers of the U.S. Constitution who the tea party crowd is so enamored of certainly knew that the concentration of power with one leader was not a wise idea. As to your “nanny” reference I do not have a clue. Perhaps you are better acquainted with “nannies” than I.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
11 years ago

Phil-listen to yourself.Really.
What is Obama?He is a man who is attempting to concentrate power and push through his agenda come hell or high water by means of the cult of personality.We don’t have to look to Russia or Germany for that nowadays.
Spain?Are you still going on about Franco?He was not the simple tyrant many wanted to picture him as.
Franco let 40,000 Jews into Spain to avoid Hitler’s death camps-the “great”FDR turned back a mere shipful.
If you ever do some serious reading on he Spanish Civil War,you will understand the complexity of that struggle-not only were numerous different disposed Spanish forces in conflict,but both fascist and communist foreign powers conducted proxy campaigns there.

MadMom
MadMom
11 years ago

“ability to find consensus”
Really Phil? In RI? Where everyone goes along to get along. Where there has been one major (progressive) voice in governmnet for the past 70 years? Most of the current contenders for Governor will have NO problem with that, my dear. Because they are part and parcel of the problem; they represent that same voice. Not tough to find consensus amongst your own.
Nobody who will fix this state will find consensus with the dimwits in the GA until enough of them are booted out to make a difference. To effect change, the next Governor is going to need to use the bully pulpit.

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