Open Thread: Chafee 2016 – Because Why Should All the Clowns Be on the Repub Side?

… Which is probably unfair. I’m sure Mr. Chafee is a very nice person, he was indeed the only Republican in the Senate” to vote against Dubya’s Iraq War resolution, and he was an early Obama supporter. The men in his family have always been Very Important People in Rhode Island (which, from the Massachusetts side of the border, translates as “the biggest roosters crowing on a small dunghill”). There is nothing in his resume that would disqualify him for the Presidency.

On the flip side, his qualifications are all of the sanded-down, last-year’s-best, tallest-midget model. He sidled from the leftmost edge of the GOP to the hopeless-progressive Democratic wing by way of a media-friendly stint as an Independent. He was mayor of the second-largest city in Rhode Island until he inherited his dad’s Senate seat, where his every vote seems to have been of the most high-minded, which didn’t save him from being ejected by an actual Democrat. Working to get Barack Obama elected President gave him sufficient credentials to be elected as governor in a state that leans Democratic, but the irrational negativity of Rhode Island politics meant his approval rating stood at 25% when he decided he wouldn’t bother running for reelection.

So today, per CNN:

Lincoln Chafee announced a presidential exploratory committee as a Democrat on Thursday, arguing that Hillary Clinton’s 2002 vote authorizing the Iraq War disqualifies her from the presidency…

He also looked to demonstrate he is not afraid to attack Clinton, at the same time that other Democrats considering run — former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb and Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders — have shied away from direct attacks…

“Yes,” Chafee said when asked if he plans on making the Iraq War central to his campaign against Clinton. “That’s one of our big differences.”…

Well, that campaign model worked beautifully for Barack Obama, eight years ago. And there are certainly many Progressives, some of them Democrats, who also feel that Hillary’s Iraq War vote should never be forgiven; not to mention those who believe that a fierce primary battle is all to the good. (Whether those forces constitute a voting bloc big enough to move beyond a rounding error in the polls is a separate issue.)

But when I look at the peevish expression in the photo at the top, I see a little thought balloon: Why her, and not me?

I don’t think O’Malley, Webb, or even Sanders would have much trouble knocking Chafee out of the arena. He’s a John Vliet Lindsay for the new millenium… and Lindsay didn’t do so well even in 1972.






167 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    At least Chafee became a Democrat a couple of years ago, something Sanders (who I like better) still hasn’t done.

  2. 2
    Gin & Tonic says:

    I posted this a couple of threads ago. I’ve met Linc (this is a small state.) He possesses something I can only describe as anti-charisma. People do not hate him, but he has the personality of Miracle Whip on Wonder Bread, and when he walks into a room everybody else works overtime to find an excuse to leave. He is less likely to be the Democratic nominee than I am.

    A shame in some ways, as he is a decent, intelligent man with an interesting background (after graduating from Brown, he went on to Montana State U to learn horseshoeing) but good Lord, is he dull.

  3. 3
    Pogonip says:

    Does anybody here read The Archdruidreport? He mentions one of my pet peeves–televisions babbling everywhere you go–and a heartening number of people wrote in saying they hate it too.

  4. 4
    Tree With Water says:

    As I recollect, when the chips were down in 2009 Chaffee rejected Obama’s offer of a cabinet post. And he believes himself worthy of the party’s presidential nomination? Who on earth does this guy see staring back at him when he looks in a mirror?

  5. 5
    jibeaux says:

    Lincoln Chafee, for all I knew, could have been dead for eight -ten years, and I follow politics reasonably closely.

  6. 6
    Kropadope says:

    And there are certainly many Progressives, some of them Democrats, who also feel that Hillary’s Iraq War vote should never be forgiven

    I can get around the Iraq vote and general support for Wall Street, my problem with her is her lack of major political accomplishment, her bad attitude regarding disagreement, and the Republican-level zeal with which her supporters accept this and demand party unity.

  7. 7
    Peter VE says:

    @Pogonip: Off topic, but the Archdruid is a must read late every Wednesday.

  8. 8
    Baud says:

    @efgoldman:

    No dispute about Sanders’s policies. Like I said, I like him better. But it’s not just a label. The Democratic Party is an organization of people, and affirming that you want to be associated with that organization has meaning. Normally, that meaning is relatively small in the scheme of things, but if you want to run for a party’s nomination for the highest office in the land, it tends to have more significance.

  9. 9
    NotMax says:

    Mike Gravel 2.0.

  10. 10
    Baud says:

    @Kropadope:

    her bad attitude regarding disagreement, and the Republican-level zeal with which her supporters accept this and demand party unity.

    So you’re saying she should be a blogger instead?

  11. 11
    Kropadope says:

    @Baud: I hadn’t thought of that, but it’s not a bad fit.

  12. 12
    Elizabelle says:

    I don’t think it’s fair to call Lincoln Chafee a clown. Way to get more people into politics.

    And maybe he and the others are running for VP, or to see that some issues get raised.

    Mr. Chafee is heads above anyone on the GOP side.

  13. 13
    Tripod says:

    @Baud:

    Blog commentator.

  14. 14
    Baud says:

    @Kropadope: I support it. Anything to get more posts and open threads throughout the day here.

  15. 15
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Elizabelle: Mr. Chafee is heads above anyone on the GOP side.

    …and not a few on the Dem side

  16. 16
    Tripod says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Prob not VP. One of the domestics. HHS, Labor.

  17. 17
    lamh36 says:

    is there any doubt that if the dash cam video had come out before the witness video, what the media narrative would be?

    ICYMI: Witness who recorded shooting of #WalterScott has emotional meeting with the victim’s family (Video)

  18. 18
    NotMax says:

    @Tripod

    Ambassador to Tahiti is a nice gig.

    :)

  19. 19
    Peter VE says:

    This is a small state, though I have yet to meet Eric… but I have met Linc. He’s a decent guy, but I could never tell if he is extremely ingenuous, or just kinda dumb. When selling his book Against the Tide (http://www.amazon.com/Against-.....B003A02SD4), he expressed shock that his fellow senators had lied to him when first he came to DC…. Anyways, he has given the blogosphere a topic for the evening!

  20. 20
    amy c says:

    Lincoln Chafee. I voted for him in my very first election, when I was 18. He was my choice for Mayor of Warwick. I’ve had a political soft spot for him ever since, and agree with his positions fairly often. Though I do wish he hadn’t eventually caved to the War on Christmas crowd. (For a couple of years, he insisted on lighting a “holiday tree” in the State House.)

    But…G&T has it about the charisma. There is hardly a human being on this planet less obviously destined for national office than Lincoln Chafee. I don’t know why on Earth he’s setting his sights past Rhode Island.

  21. 21
    Joel says:

    Hillary’s Iraq War vote should never be forgiven

    I’m one of them. But it won’t prevent me from voting for her. Politics is about compromise, even if it means compromising with the assholes who drove us into Iraq.

  22. 22
    amy c says:

    @efgoldman:

    What a challenge, having all that money and time to burn…

  23. 23
    priscianus jr says:

    @Baud: … something Sanders (who I like better) still hasn’t done.

    You actually care? Besides, Sanders was never a Republican.

  24. 24
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @efgoldman: EPA or Interior? I admit my knowledge of him comes mostly from one Fresh Air interview several years ago, but I was impressed. He came across as thoughtful

  25. 25
    PeakVT says:

    I can forgive someone for a horrible vote/past policy position if they demonstrate a capacity to admit their mistake and learn from it. I have’t seen Clinton really do either wrt. the Iraq War. (Or on a number of other issues, for that matter.) That’s why I’m not enthused about her as a candidate.

  26. 26

    @lamh36:

    Interesting thing I noticed while listening to NPR on the way home — they referred to the victim as “former Coast Guard member Scott.”

  27. 27
    Tripod says:

    @efgoldman:

    Maybe he should just cut a check for an ambassadorship.

  28. 28
    Baud says:

    @PeakVT: She’s admitted her Iraq vote was wrong.

    @priscianus jr:

    Yes, I care.

  29. 29
    priscianus jr says:

    This post bears some resemblance to a hissy fit. Chafee’s a good guy. If he could possibly beat Hillary, I’d be delighted. I’m not holding my breath, but it might make what promises to be a dull campaign season just a little more interesting.

  30. 30
    Peale says:

    Criminies. I wouldn’t vote for him, but honestly, we could use a few more vanity candidates. I don’t know. They might want to at least talk about issues that are at least of interest to Democratic voters. Like what do they plan to do if the Supreme Court gets rid of the subsidies. Or whether they have the spine to even fix anything related to voting. Or how they plan to rebuild the state and local parties – I mean, technically we are electing the head of the party, aren’t we?

    Otherwise, it will just be talking about what the latest crazy republican is saying for the next 2 years.

  31. 31
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    went looking for this, wrt idle rich trust funders with famous names

    Josh Barro @ jbarro · 10h 10 hours ago
    Area Wackjob Listened To Because He Is A Kennedy:

    (RFK Jr is using his name to fight vaccines again)
    found this, also, too

    Josh Barro @ jbarro · 7h 7 hours ago
    Lincoln Chafee enters the race “with strong name recognition among people who use ‘summer’ as a verb.

    Barro is quoting Kevin Drum, I think

  32. 32
    KG says:

    @Tree With Water: I thought that was the senator from NH that ended up going from republican to independent?

  33. 33
    WaterGirl says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: If you made me come up with the name of one republican that I kind of like, it would be Josh Barro. After that, crickets.

  34. 34
    KG says:

    @Peale: I for one, couldn’t imagine anything bad happening if Clinton ran virtually unopposed and on an inevitability platform. Nothing at all.

    Also, didn’t Sanders basically declare his candidacy last night on the Nightly Show?

  35. 35
    Baud says:

    @KG: If he did, I have yet to see anyone (MSM or blogs) cover it.

  36. 36
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @priscianus jr: Sure he’s a good guy, and maybe he can raise some questions worth asking. But please stop pretending he’s a serious candidate. He has zero chance of getting the nom. He declined to run for re-election as Governor last year because he knew he’d get trounced — an incumbent Democratic Governor in the 3-rd bluest State. Why that suddenly gives national pretensions escapes me completely.

  37. 37
    NotMax says:

    @WaterGirl

    Some of the regular writers at American Conservative are level-headed. Not necessarily principally correct, but level-headed.

  38. 38
    Mandalay says:

    Hillary’s Iraq War vote should never be forgiven

    On the contrary, we should celebrate her shameful choice with every day of Obama’s presidency; it was a blessing in disguise.

    If she had done the right thing then today we would have President Clinton and Senator Obama.

    But she fucked up massively, and for that we should all be grateful.

  39. 39
    mdblanche says:

    I’m sure Mr. Chafee is a very nice person

    A very nice person, but as Foghorn Leghorn would put it, he’s about as sharp as a bowling ball.

    The rumor I’ve heard is that the Clinton camp put him up to running, to help prevent the Democratic race from turning into a coronation. If that’s true, then it’s already all over but the crowning, and nobody’s more unhappy about that than Hillary. Including @Kropadope.

  40. 40
    Kropadope says:

    @Mandalay:

    But she fucked up massively, and for that we should all be grateful.

    My only concern with that is that she has a long history of this.

    Edited blockquote, weird, I thought I copied my new quote.

  41. 41
    Baud says:

    @Mandalay:

    Interesting take. Historically accurate also.

    I don’t know why anyone thinks the Iraq vote is going to matter in 2016 when it didn’t stop Kerry from being the nominee in 2004.

  42. 42
    jl says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    ‘ He is less likely to be the Democratic nominee than I am. ‘

    “Gin & Tonic”, that has some name recognition there.

    If you could campaign using that one, maybe you should go for it.

  43. 43
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym says:

    @efgoldman: As long as BU beats the Fighting Whioux, I’ll be happy. Meanwhile, I’ll just keep enjoying a third win in four years at the real Frozen Four.

    Edit: And as I type that, BU makes it 4-1.

  44. 44
    Kropadope says:

    @mdblanche: Askew might be more unhappy about it. I’ve read through several Hillary threads that I sat out, like Cole’s two-week long Hillary binge around the time of the e-mail scandal. He or she is serious about it.

  45. 45
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Barro is quoting Kevin Drum, I think

    He’s quoting Tim Murphy, who is one of the people filling in for a few weeks while Drum is out of action getting a bone marrow transplant.

  46. 46
    mdblanche says:

    @Baud: Sanders has run for office in the past as a de facto Democrat. Unlike Chafee.

    @efgoldman: Be fair. Chafee at least succeeded where Cutler failed, leaving Maine a worse place in the process.

  47. 47
    KG says:

    @Baud: i was only half listening last night(ly), but here’s the clip.

  48. 48
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym says:

    @efgoldman: I now work overnight shifts so I’m mostly here during those stretches of the day when no one is commenting.

  49. 49
    Baud says:

    @KG:

    Couldn’t find it with your link. I’m about to call it a night anyway, but thanks.

  50. 50
    Pogonip says:

    @Peter VE: Yes, I read him every week.

    Nobody else hates TVs blaring everywhere?

  51. 51
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: Sanders was on last night and he basically said that he will definitely run IF there is a show of support and enough interest.

    edit it was at the end of the show so it should be easy to find. sanders wasn’t coy at all, it was a real answer. that was the only question asked during the keep it 100.

  52. 52
    KG says:

    @Baud: stupid internets not working right… here’s the clip, starts around the 7:00 mark.

  53. 53
    ruemara says:

    My Hillary hating uber liberal friends have been in a posting frenzy for weeks but this has them positively jubilant. I’m like, seriously, you think a Jonny come lately liberal Repub is better than hilz because–? You don’t see the hypocrisy of some Repub is better and will make her better in the general, when he’s a back bench warmer with no actual achievements you can name off the top of your head? Jesus.
    Tell me why he’s going to improve Hillary somehow and stop wasting my time with blog opinion posts from people who gladly hate Hillary as much as you do. I can’t stand her and I will bust my ass to get her and as many lesser Dems elected as possible in 2016. Right up there with describing the religious freedom laws as petty squabbles. Must be nice to be so damned comfortable you can squat on reality. After all shit like this won’t bother my mostly white, male and upper middle class friends, which is why I get to be their narrowminded, more compromising black friend.

  54. 54
    RaflW says:

    @NotMax:

    Some of the regular writers at American Conservative are level-headed. Not necessarily principally correct, but level-headed.

    I find it useful to read Daniel Larison sometimes. I find I have to speed read some of his stuff, he’s a bit labored, but he seems to try to make arguments, based on thinking and analysis. I know, shocking!

  55. 55
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym: I didn’t know that about Drum. He’s a good guy, here’s wishing him the best.

    @Baud: I’m not convinced that Hillary couldn’t have managed to lose to a Palin-less McCain, even with the “I’m suspending my campaign! My friends!”

  56. 56
    Cervantes says:

    Anne Laurie:

    Which is probably unfair.

    I agree.

  57. 57
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @jl: I have run for elective office before, but not under this nym, true. It is an experience I am not rushing to repeat.

  58. 58
    askew says:

    @Baud:

    You have a quote for that admission? I remember her trying to say that her vote wasn’t for war and that it was W’s fault it turned out the way it did. And trying to say that her position was the same as Obama’s. I don’t remember an apology for her vote.

  59. 59
    askew says:

    @mdblanche:

    If Hillary put him up to it, it’s because she wants to dilute the non-Hillary vote and make it more of a coronation. She has zero interest in a vigorous campaign. She wants the presidency handed to her on a platter and has learned nothing from 2008.

  60. 60
    Peale says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: the other night, I was watching an old SNL with McCain as the guest host. He actually appeared relaxed and like a guy who had a good sense of humor. He’s now such a straight up crab.

  61. 61
    askew says:

    @ruemara:

    Hillary doesn’t have any real accomplishments either. Your liberal friends should be excited about O’Malley who has actual accomplishments, has been a Democrat his whole career and is to the left of Hillary.

  62. 62
    jl says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    ” but not under this nym ”

    Well, I just pointed out your mistake. If you run under “Gin & Tonic” things would be different.

    As for Chafee, I have not problem with him running. I think the Democrats at least need some good primary debates and state campaigns to get whoever wins (very probably HRC) on their toes for the general election. Some good debates to contrast with the GOP clown car would be good too.

    If HRC is a good candidate, and will be a good prsident, she needs to be able to answer some questions about Iraq, and explain how her views on foreign policy have evolved. She won’t be able to run to the right against the GOP on foreign policy. At this rate Genghis Khan would have to work hard to do that.

  63. 63
    WaterGirl says:

    @askew: Baud may have gone to bed, but I’m sure he’ll chime in if he hasn’t.

    I’m sure you know that I am not a Hillary fan. But I do recall an apology that felt to me like it was years too late, and maybe not the most heartfelt apology ever, but even I would call it an apology. I’m not at all sure it came during the campaign; it may have been after she already lost.

  64. 64
    WaterGirl says:

    @askew: I am more excited about O’Malley.

  65. 65
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym says:

    @efgoldman: I work two different posts. One night a week (tonight in about 90 minutes) I’m at a complete clown show where they want the security guard to also be a receptionist, so there’s no reading a book or anything at the desk despite the fact that for six hours I’m literally the only person in the building. The client there reviews the video of the security desk to make sure that the guards aren’t reading or on their phone, in the middle of the night. This is also the place where the client worries about everyone stopping to use their badge to gain access to the parking ramp despite the fact that the exit gate has been stuck in the up position for at least two years.

    The other place, for three shifts a week, is beautiful. I’m there in case a critical asset alarm goes off. These assets are sufficiently critical, and the Department of Energy issues sufficiently big fines if you screw up an alarm, that it’s worth paying us to be there 24/7 even though there are about three alarms a month. We do a few other things, but my night there generally involves shunting the motion detector at the landfill once a night when the haulers show up and then turn it back on when they leave; granting access to a building in Elk River around 4:30 to the woman that delivers newspapers; and refreshing the critical asset alarm system every half hour to make sure that it’s still running. This client wants us reading or something to make sure that we aren’t so bored that we miss the alarms. They let me use my own laptop, so I get a lot of writing done.

  66. 66
    Kay says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Sanders was on last night and he basically said that he will definitely run IF there is a show of support and enough interest.

    I love him and want him to run but why does he keep saying that? What is “enough interest”? There just isn’t going to be a huge Bernie groundswell.

    As far as I’m concerned Republicans ended the whole “serious candidate” requirement in the 2012 GOP primary. Anyone can run now. Michele Bachmann ran for months. Rick Santorum? Bernie Sanders is IN, I don’t care if he has 17 supporters :)

  67. 67
    Gin & Tonic says:

    I watched a bit of the Weather Channel – I hope our Chicago-area folks stay safe. This weather looks dangerous.

  68. 68
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Peale: for some reason, chrome won’t let me cut’n’paste Hornbeck’s “Something happens to an also ran” lines from Inherit The Wind, about Matthew Brady, the three time almost-president with a head full of inauguration speeches never delivered. First, That One took his presidency, now That One won’t even give him his War-agra.

  69. 69
    mdblanche says:

    @Kropadope: Well, it looks like you were right.

  70. 70
    WaterGirl says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym: So what about the one night a week gig? Do you literally have to sit there with no book, no computer, no phone, no iPad… just sitting there? Can you at least have a pencil and a pad of paper so you can write things down or doodle?

  71. 71
    Peale says:

    @askew: oh for…she was Secretary of State. That’s like one of the real cabinet level positions. I can kind of see holding that against her, but it’s not like her time there doesn’t count just because of her email policy.

    I can kind of see holding the Iraq war vote against her, but I don’t think that makes her more of a hawk than Obama, who is a dove…until he isn’t any longer.

  72. 72
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Peale: Askew has very strong feelings about HRC.

  73. 73
    Mandalay says:

    @jl:

    If HRC is a good candidate, and will be a good prsident, she needs to be able to answer some questions about Iraq, and explain how her views on foreign policy have evolved.

    It’s unlikely that her views will be significantly different to those of her Republican opponent, and she does have SoS credentials that will win some over.

    I think a bigger test for Clinton will be persuading apathetic Democrats to get off their asses and vote for her as president. What will she do about the ever increasing disparity between rich and poor? What plans does she have to help improve the lives of the lowest paid? Can she refute the claim that she is far too cozy with Wall Street? What is her “vision thing” for America?

    These are issues that Chafee can use to bite her ankles, and can serve to make her a better candidate.

  74. 74
    WaterGirl says:

    @Kay: Yeah, I thought it was unfair of AL to essentially call him a clown. I would like Bernie Sanders to run, too. Do I think he will win? No, but I still want him to run.

    I have high hopes for O’Malley, though. I want a CHOICE.

  75. 75
    WaterGirl says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I’m in Champaign, about 2.5 hours from Chicago, and two of the networks have been all scary weather, all the time for hours tonight. Not even interruptions in the shows, about 10 minutes in, the show was off and weather was on for at least 2 hours, maybe it still is. Crazy.

  76. 76
    askew says:

    @WaterGirl:

    It could be. I remember her excuse making during the 2008 campaign, which is why I asked for a quote.

    While the other Dem candidates are still avoiding Iowa voters, O’Malley is having a great day in Iowa. He is speaking to a packed house tonight and is even doing some guitar playing.

  77. 77
    askew says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Not surprised. AL has been dissing anyone who isn’t Hillary for ages now. She clearly wants to all fall in line and attend Hillary’s coronation.

  78. 78
    Mike in NC says:

    Lived in RI from 1986-1989 and would still happily be there except for job changes. Must confess that the first and only time I voted Republican was for a guy named Ron Machtley, who was running against an extremely corrupt old Democratic congressman first elected in the 60s (St Germain).

    Machtley was a lawyer, a Republican, and a graduate of the US Naval Academy, which normally would have been three strikes out of three. I later regretted my vote, but he was voted out after one term.

  79. 79
    Peale says:

    @WaterGirl: I guess I’m just used to not having a choice. I think the last time I lived in a state where the primary was early enough to matter was 1988.

  80. 80
    askew says:

    @Peale:

    Being SoS isn’t an accomplishment, it is a job title. What did she do while in that position? She was in the Senate for 8 years and did just about nothing. Her tenure at State has already been eclipsed by Kerry. He got 3 major deals done in his much shorter tenure.

    Hillary and her supporters seem to think being a seat warmer while in a position is enough. Personally, I want someone who has a record of real accomplishments like O’Malley.

  81. 81
    WaterGirl says:

    @askew: Sorry, I don’t have a quote, but I don’t think Baud was wrong.

    We all know the media likes a horserace, so I’m hoping that at some point they will start giving O’Malley some coverage for their own stupid “horserace” reasons, but I’ll just be happy that he’ll be getting some coverage.

    He seems to be out there getting more and more comfortable with himself, which will serve him well once people start paying more attention.

  82. 82
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @askew: No, not in this post. This post is more about AL’s distaste for the old WASPy ruling class types. The John Lindsay reference is the tell.

  83. 83
    mdblanche says:

    @Kay: That’s because the Republican primaries have become a way for grifters to enrich themselves at everybody else’s expense. The “serious candidate” standards still apply for Democrats.

  84. 84
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Doesn’t Barro too have a famous father?

  85. 85
    askew says:

    @WaterGirl:

    I expect the media to continue to treat any non-Hillary Dem with derision because they have a lot invested in Hillary being the nominee.

    O’Malley is getting a lot of great local Iowa coverage which is more important at this point.

  86. 86
    Mandalay says:

    @Peale:

    oh for…she was Secretary of State. That’s like one of the real cabinet level positions. I can kind of see holding that against her, but it’s not like her time there doesn’t count just because of her email policy

    Having been SoS is certainly a plus, especially if your Republican opponent has little or no real foreign policy experience.

    But whether she was a good SoS is another matter entirely. Her media lackies were forever praising her long hours, and how many miles she had flown, and telling us how exhausted she was, but I’m not sure that they weren’t doing all that to mask her lack of real accomplishments.

    As SoS you are certainly a victim of circumstances more than most, but it’s not hard to make the case that Kerry is doing a better job than Clinton ever did (and I dislike Kerry even more than I dislike Clinton).

  87. 87
    WaterGirl says:

    @askew: I think having been SOS does give her foreign policy credentials, which I thought she sorely lacked in 2008. I think that’s true regardless of whether she has had major accomplishments as SOS.

    I don’t like her foreign policy instincts, though, and I’m surprised when people say they don’t think she’s far apart from President Obama on foreign policy. I am pretty sure we would be in a new war by now if Hillary had been president during all these tumultuous times.

    As I’ve said a hundred times, I don’t like her and I don’t trust her, and I probably give her the negative benefit of the doubt because of it. But I sure as hell will vote for her if she’s the democratic candidate in the general election.

  88. 88
    jl says:

    @Mandalay: I was specifically addressing the HRC and the Iraq issue in my comment. But, yes, if we pull back to look at the whole spectrum of issues, I agree with you. A lot of things that the GOP is huffing over, like “Did Obama ‘lose’ Iraq, or Syria, or Yemen? OF COURSE he did!” are silly and I think most people will realize that.

  89. 89
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Mike in NC: Ron Machtley was a decent guy, and he lasted three terms in the House. It was quite the upset when he beat St Germain, but in his next run, Machtley got something like 70% of the vote, and that in the year Clinton won his first term, and carried RI.

    Ron only lost when Patrick Kennedy decided he wanted the seat, and all the old RI-ers voted for “that nice boy of Teddy’s.” He has gone on to a very well-regarded career as president of Bryant College.

    St Germain was the worst of the worst, incidentally.

  90. 90
    Tenar Darell says:

    @Pogonip: We hates them! Seriously, the malls have them now & it’s worse than music.

  91. 91
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym says:

    @WaterGirl: The account supervisor and I already had the talk about how to hold a book so that the security camera can’t see it and the fact that the resolution on the camera isn’t good enough to see what you’re actually doing on one of the computers. But, yes, the client wants you to just sit there and be ready to greet anyone who comes in, except for the three sets of rounds you walk during the night.

  92. 92
    Tommy says:

    @WaterGirl: My mother has turned to a Democrat. She was over for Easter and knows I am a political wonk and asked me if there might be anybody running not named Clinton. I was like O’Malley. She is like who is that. I gave her the basics because I know the basics on the man, but mom watches CNN for like five hours a day and doesn’t know anything about the man.

  93. 93
    WaterGirl says:

    @Mandalay: Yeah, comments like “works really hard” bring to mind the expression “damned with faint praise”.

  94. 94
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Tenar Darell: Music or Muzak?

  95. 95
    Peale says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: one thing about Lindsay that stands out for me was that he had a brief affair with Florence Henderson, something I can’t imagine Lincoln Chafee doing. I think what you see is what you get.

  96. 96
    MomSense says:

    @efgoldman:

    What’s his name Cutler from Maine.

    Nope. Still not over it. I can’t even stand to see part of his name.

  97. 97
    Kropadope says:

    @Peale:

    oh for…she was Secretary of State. That’s like one of the real cabinet level positions. I can kind of see holding that against her, but it’s not like her time there doesn’t count just because of her email policy.

    Simply holding an office is not in and of itself an accomplishment.

  98. 98
    askew says:

    @WaterGirl:

    For me, I decided to vote for Obama over Hillary due to his great accomplishments while he held office, his temperament, and for his excellent judgment especially on foreign policy. During her time as SoS, her judgement and temperament hasn’t improved and she hasn’t added any accomplishments. For me, the fact that she hasn’t led successfully on any issue in all her years in the Senate or SoS is pretty much a deal breaker for me. She just isn’t leadership material. She’d be fine as a backbencher in the Senate.

  99. 99
    WaterGirl says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym: Well, I guess that they’re paying you to do what they want, so it’s good job security to do what they want, but I think I would go mad if I had to sit there doing nothing.

    You seem to be finding a way to make it work, though, so I’m really impressed.

  100. 100
    Redshift says:

    @Pogonip: Is there anyone who doesn’t hate TVs on public places?

    There was some excuse for them in lines and waiting areas a few years ago just to relieve boredom, but now that a lot of us have the internet in our pockets, it’s far more annoyance than entertainment.

    The worst I’ve encountered was a dentist office that had muzak and a TV tuned to CNN at one end of the room.

    I keep almost buying one of those mute-any-TV devices, but for some reason I never do.

  101. 101
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Peale: He slept with Mrs. Brady?

  102. 102
    NotMax says:

    @Peale

    Everyone gets a brief affair with Ms. Henderson.

    Your turn is next Wednesday.

    :)

  103. 103
    askew says:

    @Mandalay:

    For Hillary, it’s always about her being a “hard worker”. That isn’t exactly presidential material. And now her one “accomplishment” at State, the record # of miles she traveled will be surpassed by Kerry soon. It’s kind of pathetic.

  104. 104
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @NotMax: I met her during a brief stint in retail when she was a spokesperson for our chain of stores. She seemed quite nice.

  105. 105
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @WaterGirl: right now I’m thinking I’ll vote for Hillary, or the proverbial yellow dog, but I can’t see myself giving her money– too many good Senate candidates will need help, and I imagine some House races will come up on my radar (look upon my several hundred dollars in donations and tremble, ye Koch Brothers and Langones). But we’ll see how mad the ‘wingers make me in real time.

  106. 106
    WaterGirl says:

    @askew: You’ll get no argument with any of that from me. But either of my kitties or a plate of eggs over easy would make a better president than any republican, so if she’s the nominee, she gets my vote.

    I’ll work hard, though, to make sure that someone else is the nominee.

  107. 107
    Mandalay says:

    @Kay:

    As far as I’m concerned Republicans ended the whole “serious candidate” requirement in the 2012 GOP primary.

    As far as I’m concerned Ross Perot ended the whole “serious candidate” requirement in the 1992 race, and that con artist got 19% of the vote nationwide.

    In the clown contenders department, Carson, Palin, Trump, Cain et al are all mere amateurs compared to Perot.

  108. 108
    Tommy says:

    @askew: I voted for Obama over Hillary because I felt he ran a better campaign. For me that went to management. And as POTUS you can’t do everything, you have to manage and delegate. I don’t dislike Hillary but I think she can’t manage and bet somebody that can will beat her, again. I do not think for a second she is a shoe in.

  109. 109
  110. 110
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Peale: Golly.

  111. 111
    NotMax says:

    @Omnes Omnibus

    When You’re Good to Mama.

    Helluva outfit. Freakin’ hilarious. (May be NSFW.)

  112. 112
    WaterGirl says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I travelled to 4 states to volunteer for Barack Obama in the early primaries and caucuses, and I sold possessions and even borrowed money so I could give him the maximum allowed. I felt like I had to do everything I possibly could to get him far enough along in the process that others would start to believe in him. Long before Iowa, I believed that if he could just win the nomination that we would win in the general.

    Hillary will get my vote if she’s the nominee, though I’m sure I’ll feel sick about it after being blessed with Barack Obama as president for 8 years. I can say that in spite of the fact that I have been seriously disappointed in a number of his choices during this 8 years.

  113. 113
    Tenar Darell says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Ouch, I meant Muzak. I actually have started wearing headphones while I shop, partly as hearing protection, and to block the TVs.

  114. 114
    askew says:

    @Tommy: ‘

    My worry is that the Dem establishment is coddling her by giving her a coronation and pushing any legitimate primary opponents out and that her poor management skills, lack of political charisma, and her other baggage will lead to her defeat in the general election. Her favorables are already falling and her trustworthy #s are underwater and she hasn’t even started to campaign yet.

  115. 115
    WaterGirl says:

    @Peale: I am oh so sorry that I clicked that link. It’s a good thing I run an ad blocker – I shudder to think of the ads I would be getting otherwise.

    I had an internal debate about whether it was late enough to go with “shutter” but decided against it.

  116. 116
    askew says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Obama was the best president of my lifetime by far. Anyone after him will be a huge letdown.

  117. 117
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @WaterGirl: Obama is a once in a lifetime talent. If we expect another candidate with his combination of brains, charisma, decency, and common sense, we will be disappointed.

  118. 118
    Mandalay says:

    @WaterGirl:

    I travelled to 4 states to volunteer for Barack Obama in the early primaries and caucuses, and I sold possessions and even borrowed money so I could give him the maximum allowed.

    Wow! As Ali G used to say, maximum respect.

  119. 119
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @WaterGirl: Without CS’s presence, “shutter” wouldn’t be quite the same.

  120. 120
    WaterGirl says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: You are oh so right about that.

    edit: I had to add the words “about that” at the end of my sentence. I didn’t want you to get a big head or anything, believing you are always right about everything. :-)

  121. 121
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @NotMax: Um, wow? Hard to know what to say about that.

  122. 122
    p.a. says:

    Met Linc on the Blackstone Bikepath during the 2006 campaign. Told him I couldn’t vote for him because we needed a Dem majority Senate. He had no retort, was gracious and thanked me for my honesty.

    Worked for Repub state chairman John Holmes (not THAT John Holmes) when he ran against St Germain. Think he polled mid-40’s in the election, which was the first sign of weakness of Freddie. Wasn’t St. Germain neck deep in the S&L disaster?

  123. 123
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @WaterGirl:

    I didn’t want you to get a big head or anything, believing you are always right about everything. :-)

    Too late.

  124. 124
    Tommy says:

    @Mandalay: I did a few things to get Obama elected. But nothing like this. Not even close. Doing all that, that is rock star level. Makes me feel small.

  125. 125
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @p.a.: Freddy was not only neck deep, he was almost single-handedly responsible.

  126. 126
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Tommy:

    Makes me feel small.

    Aren’t you only like 5’4″?

  127. 127
    WaterGirl says:

    @Mandalay: Thank you. Going to Iowa before the caucuses was one of the best things I have ever done in my life. It was really a magical time.

  128. 128
    WaterGirl says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I knew it didn’t feel like quite the right crowd, but I couldn’t pinpoint why exactly. CS, of course.

    As I was thinking about why it didn’t feel right, I thought about General Stuck, which is always bittersweet.

    @Omnes Omnibus: Made me laugh!

  129. 129
  130. 130
    WaterGirl says:

    @Mandalay: I miss Al G!

  131. 131
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Made me laugh!

    As was intended.

    @Tommy: Why the third “l’?

  132. 132
    eemom says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Obama is a once in a lifetime talent. If we expect another candidate with his combination of brains, charisma, decency, and common sense, we will be disappointed.

    Yeah. Fuck yeah. Or something.

    That is SO true, it deserves more than a mere This.

    And that’s what makes the prospect of the next 2 years so godawfully depressing.

  133. 133
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: That’s just a variant spelling.

  134. 134
    max says:

    Can we get zombie Harold Stassen to run?

    max
    [‘Although they’re clamoring for zombie Reagan over there.’]

  135. 135
    askew says:

    @WaterGirl:

    I did that for Dean 2003-04 and even wore the stupid orange hat. Came to the conclusion that I suck at GOTV but it was still a great experience.

  136. 136
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @max: Stassen is dead? Are you sure?

  137. 137
    Peale says:

    i guess what the Democrats lack is a David Brooks type mouthpiece who could make Chafee seem exciting, the way they made Pawlenty into a wild campaign berserker last election.

  138. 138
    WaterGirl says:

    Looks like the big storm missed us. Yay for that. Good night, all!

  139. 139
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Peale: Dude, lay off the peyote.

  140. 140
    Mike J says:

    Paging BiP:

    On April 9, 2015, The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (Ukrainian Parliament) approved a government bill No. 2540 opening up access to the archives of repressive bodies of the Soviet Union totalitarian regime of 1917-1991.

    The archives of all repressive organizations such as KGB, All-Russian Extraordinary Commission for Combating Counter-Revolution and Sabotage, the Ukrainian Extraordinary Commission for Combating Counter-Revolution, speculation, sabotage and malfeasance, the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court of Cassation, and the Supreme Cassation Tribunal and other that were Ukraine in 1917-1991 will be transferred to Institute of National Remembrance and declassified: “The State shall guarantee the right of everyone to have access to archival information repressive bodies” – says the document.

  141. 141
    NotMax says:

    @Omnes Omnibus

    He and Elvis run a Dunkin’ Donuts in King of Prussia, PA.

    Pass it on.

  142. 142
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @NotMax: That’s as plausible as the idea that Donald Trump is a viable presidential candidate.

  143. 143
  144. 144
    NotMax says:

    @Omnes Omnibus

    Trump as a viable candidate may be funnier.

  145. 145
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mike J: So did Mr. Rourke.

  146. 146
    NotMax says:

    @Omnes Omnibus

    Curious if you watched the Flo H. video I linked to above.

  147. 147
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @NotMax: Yes, but I thought the less said about it the better.

  148. 148
    Narcissus says:

    Clinton is going to will-she-or-won’t-she for as long as possible, so I wouldn’t be surprised if a few milquetoasts make some actual campaign progress.

  149. 149
    askew says:

    @Narcissus:

    According to leaks she is declaring on Sunday. Curious if she actually gets out and engages with voters or if she is just going to keep to friendly, hand-picked audiences.

  150. 150
    Ruckus says:

    @askew:
    @Omnes Omnibus:
    Both of these comments are spot on. President Obama is by far the best in my lifetime and yes, there are things he has done that I don’t like (Rahm as COS is a big one for me) but he has set the bar pretty damn high and I don’t see anyone on the horizon who can match up. But I’m not going to compare the current president to how someone might possibly be once in office. Because it’s a guessing game, there is no other job/office/position like president, no one gets a trial run and for all the talk by candidates I’d bet that no one that has sat in that office has any real idea what it is like and what they have to do. So I want to vote for someone who comes as close to me as reasonable on those issues important to me and gives me a feeling of being a thinker, a leader and a good person. The person coming closest using these guidelines I’ve ever voted for, for any office is President Obama.

  151. 151
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ruckus:

    The person coming closest using these guidelines I’ve ever voted for, for any office is President Obama.

    … and he will never run again. I have been a pretty strong Obot, but we do need to look to the future and pick the best person to win in 2016. This election matters a lot.*

    *Note the understatement.

  152. 152
    Kropadope says:

    @Narcissus: The will-she-or-won’t-she may be a strategy to keep people on the sidelines.

    For starters, it’s generally believed that she almost certainly is. Someone eager to oppose her may have a hard time making that case, however, if he or she jumps in before Clinton does.

    She also has the major donors and other elites biding their time waiting for her near-certain announcement, which will make it hard for another serious candidate to build a campaign infrastructure.

    No one wants to wind up on her enemies list, which I hear is a thing. I forget where I read about it, so no link, but it sure as hell wouldn’t surprise me if it were true.

  153. 153
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    I must be bad at making a point.

    ETA Or at least getting to it.

  154. 154
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ruckus: No, you weren’t bad at making your point. I wasn’t arguing; I was trying to amplify.

  155. 155
    chris murphy says:

    Another empty suit who no one would ever have heard of but for his priviledged family background. The guy has no accomplishments and no ideas bu thinks he should be President. Clinton, Bush, Paul Chaffee – are we now an hereditary aristocracy?

  156. 156
    dww44 says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Wow, I could have used your support in the still ongoing thread over at Brian Beutler’s post at NR about making the day of Lee’s Surrender at Appomattox a national holiday. The piece must have been linked over in the conservative blogosphere because it has attracted a bunch of screwy and insane Confederate supporters “the war wasn’t fought over slavery and it was fought for freedom from the North, and Obama is a real lame duck with no redeeming qualities at all.” types. And I’m pretty Southern myself. Can’t believe they’ve not shut those comments down. There are over 900 as i write this. Did you know that the Democrat Party was responsible for the Civil War? You know, the
    self-same modern day Democrat Party:

    Gulf Pundit
    Democrats could use the day to finally apologize for the war and it’s aftermath.

    And then there’s this:

    Soviet Johnny Reb
    @weluvmiss85 @halfkidding The problem with that is, The Confederacy never actually surrendered…

    General Lee decided to cease military operations at that point in time, in 1865 because he understood that a battle had been lost, but the war was going to be won after the union’s collapse in today’s time frame, caused by their own arrogance and over-reliance upon cheap, overseas labor.

    And these comments actually make more sense than quite a number of those posted of late.. http://www.newrepublic.com/art.....=293218432

  157. 157
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    Well alrighty then!

  158. 158
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ruckus: An exclamation point after all my understatement? Oh, dear.

  159. 159
    Ruckus says:

    @dww44:
    Haters gonna hate no matter the evidence, history or level of their stupidity/assholery.

  160. 160
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    I hope you aren’t all atwitter over a little punctuation.

  161. 161
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ruckus: Nah, I am seldom on twitter anymore.

  162. 162
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    That was a the predictable response.

  163. 163
    sm*t cl*de says:

    The Confederacy never actually surrendered…

    The only Confederate flag that matters is the white one.

  164. 164
    Zinsky says:

    Chaffee looks a little like Vince Foster! He better watch his ass or he will found stiffer than a board in Fort Marcy Park!

  165. 165
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    Is Cafee the Democrat version of Saniturm. Please, ex GOPer, no way in hell.

  166. 166
    lol says:

    @sm*t cl*de:

    The actual Confederate surrender flag is more of a brown burlap sack material.

  167. 167
    What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us? says:

    @priscianus jr: Yeah that’s my beef. Why should we trust him to not become a Republican in all but name again? At least we know Hillary has always been a Democrat. And Sanders isn’t a Democrat because he’s to the LEFT of the Democratic party.

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