Hot or What?
GoLocalProv has a weekly article by Dan McGowan where he tracks the locals that are “Hot or Not“, which is more a barometer of public perception than any physical characteristics.
It’s pretty surprising to see David Cicilline ranked as a “hot” in a week where he’s been getting negative criticism from his own party and even called a liar by Anthony Gemma. McGowan’s reasoning on the “hot” ranking is that Cicilline may be coming out of the redistricting process with a better map for his re-election bid. However, this could be a “win the battle, lose the war” scenario, as also mentioned by Ian Donnis. I’m just not too sure how you can go through a process that is supposed to be transparent but then get lambasted by people who should be supporting you, and be considered a win.
Also mentioned in the Cicilline column is that Merrill Sherman isn’t going to contest Cicilline in the primary and this is said to be a win for Cicilline. I’m not so sure that’s true. Cicilline has a big negative rating and will have a great many people looking to vote against him, so they’ll need someone to vote for. If there are multiple candidates with which to vote against Cicilline, that splits up all those votes and maybe dilutes them to the point of Cicilline getting enough votes to make it through the primary. Having just one opponent to gather up all of the anti-Cicilline sentiment could prove politically deadly for the Congressman. The more candidates in the primary, the more that those votes get spread around.
As mentioned earlier, my understanding of the “hot or not” is to gauge the perception of someone recently, or even just over the last week. David Segal gets a “hot” when he didn’t even do anything. McGowan mentions that maybe he’ll get in the race for Congress again. Great. So that equates to a “hot”?
I definitely agree that Governor Chafee deserves a “Not” this week, and it’s based on his popularity ratings in the recent Brown University poll. I also found it interesting when listening to the WPRO news this morning where they had Chafee talking about the numbers and he seemed to attribute it to the economy and that people are frustrated with the economy. Really Gov? The problem with your popularity numbers is the economy? I guess the only positive there is if that’s what he thinks, then he’s really not going to ever “get it” and will be a one-term governor.
One “Not” that I think was missing is Congressman Jim Langevin. McGowan gives a Not to Ed Pacheco, the Democratic Chair for not intervening in the Cicilline/Langevin kerfluffle, but I think at the same time if you’re going to give Cicilline a win for what the maps may look like after redistricting, then you have to give Langevin a loss. Just as David Scharfenberg mentions this week in the Providence Phoenix, if you’re going to be politically aloof and not engage with your party, don’t really expect the party to come to your aid later on when you need it. This is how you choose to play the game, live by the results. Langevin deserved a “Not”.
This column often gets criticism for being left-leaning and seeming to offer propaganda for the Democrats’ benefit. I think quite often, McGowan is fair to a degree in his Hot or Not, but this week to say that Cicilline had a good week, might be a bit of a stretch to defend.