Policy-wise, Linc Chafee might best belong as a Democrat, and he often finds common ground with the progressive movement, but personally my favorite thing about our governor was how he seemed to relish his independence. He seemed to have no friends or natural allies on Smith Hill and he didn’t seem to care.
Chafee had thrown off the shackles of party politics and was willing to go it alone for the Ocean State. Or so I told myself. But now, he will soon have the dubious distinction of running for office under more party labels than Buddy Cianci. Linc Chafee, the principled independent is now a DINO.
Party affiliation is no small thing in our political process, and it sure seems to me Chafee is a Democrat of convenience rather than of conviction. Next stop: the Moderate Party. Then Cool Moose.
Scott MacKay and Ted Nesi both opine that they think Chafee’s most recent change of heart will benefit Gina Raimondo more than Angel Taveras, but I don’t see it that way. Don’t forget about this must-read recent post by Ian Donnis about how important the ground game could prove – and Taveras can still crush both these better-funded candidates on the ground. I wouldn’t think this changes anything for labor – two of them worked together to unilaterally slash public sector pensions while the other negotiated cuts; that seems like pretty basic math to me. And Taveras is still the only Latino in the race. So while the limousine liberals split their money between Linc and Gina, activists, labor and Latinos will be out in force for Angel.
But what if they all run in the general election too? Should we start the conversation now about instant runoff voting before this really gets out of hand?