The perfect summary of Lincoln Chafee’s run for the democratic nomination can be summed up with one out-of-context Hillary Clinton quote from Tuesday’s debate.
Where does this come from? Chafee is polling near the bottom alongside with Martin O’Malley and Mike Webb, but at least the latter two seemed like professionals (despite the sometimes ludicrous matters they discussed). Chafee, though, was at a whole other level of intolerable during the debate.
He oozed fear on that stage and Anderson Cooper had a field day with him. Cooper’s assault on Chafee included a range of questions from voting for big banks, despite attacking Hillary Clinton for being too close to them, to not being able to find a distinct political alignment over the course of his career.
It was almost as though Chafee was in the neighborhood in Nevada and just decided to grab the podium to make himself sound foolish. It was almost surreal. Chafee, who is routinely mocked in the smallest state in the union, running for president on a national platform? That’s like letting your friend who tells a good joke every once in a while go on Last Comic Standing.
The novelty wears off fast. You see through the surface and realize none of the other candidates, especially Clinton and Bernie Sanders, want anything to do with him whatsoever. It was easy to laugh at, but for Rhode Islanders it was an embarrassing display.
Our tiny state very rarely gets on the national stage. This past summer, for example, Warwick North Little League made it all the way to the Softball World Series Final. The broadcaster identified Warwick, one of the biggest cities in Rhode Island, as somewhere near the middle of the state. No distinct boundaries or where it is, just somewhere in the middle…of the smallest state. Nice.
Providence College’s hockey team winning the NCAA Championship this past season was the most significant event to happen in a long time, and Rhody treated it as such. When the Ocean State reaches the big stage it should be for a positive reason in light of the little coverage we receive.
This failed attempt at a presidential run isn’t one of them. This is embarrassing. Now, when non-Rhode Islanders think of the state I cherish they will envision the puppet that spoke on Tuesday. “He represents Rhode Island? Man, they must be some real imbeciles to elect him.”
Chafee should do himself and the state he once governed a favor and drop out of the race. I have as strong a chance to reach the oval office as Chafee does, considering he has polled at 0 percent for a majority of his campaign. It’s damaging to his “reputation,” and just plain laughable to the Rhode Islanders who have watched this circus for years.