Lincoln Chafee, former governor of Rhode Island, announced his intent to seek the White House Wednesday at George Mason University in Virginia. When addressing a small group of law students, Chafee called for an end to all wars, ending the death penalty, an “open-minded approach” to drug trafficking and improving relations with Venezuela.
Chafee, a long-time Republican, became an Independent in 2007 and announced he was a Democrat in 2013 while governor of Rhode Island. In his announcement for the Oval Office, the lone Republican in the U.S. Senate to vote against the Iraq war in 2003, proclaimed: “Let’s wage peace in this new American century.”
This announcement is unlikely to cause any disruption among Democrats in the race for the White House.
Cursory look at this campaign would make it clear Chafee stands little chance of winning a primary and the stultified jargon in his announcement will not earn him blind faith. Former Chafee aides have revealed the former governor has done little to create a nation-wide fundraising apparatus; a man appearing to be idling in such times cannot be a considered a serious contender.
For good measure he highlighted his opposition to the war in Iraq and proudly boasted of his vote against authorizing the invasion of Iraq, but offered little more of substance. Despite sparing his audience the class-hate rhetoric his democratic challengers are fond of, Chafee’s declaration should be the object of a scientific inquiry: He inexplicably chose Venezuela as a country in need of mending fences with and used shorthand, “open-minded approach to drugs,” for legalization or decriminalization of controlled substances.
Despite the brief moment of elation in Virginia, Chafee’s bid for the White House sets a new equilibrium for boring and his positions resemble George McGovern, who President Nixon buried in the election of 1972.
As governor of Rhode Island, Chafee found himself embroiled in a controversy which caused his staff to go haywire: Chafee publicly advocated for Christmas trees to be re-named “holiday trees.”
We deal with probabilities not certainties, but Chafee’s candidacy probably won’t last.[ap.org]