Ex-Republican Lincoln Chafee Wants To Be Your Next Democratic President. Wait, Who?

So now this guy Lincoln Chafee (who?) from the state of Rhode Island (where?) wants to be president because who doesn't these days? What's he got that the other bajillion wannabe dudes and lady-dudes in the race don't got? Well, he used to be a Republican, before he became an Independent, and then a Democrat, so that's different! But he wasn't that kind of Republican. As a senator, he was pro-choice, pro-taxes, pro-gay marriage, against drill-baby-drilling, and against the Iraq War -- before we started shock-n-awing them. Really, we are not making that up!

All his Republican "friends" called him RINO, and finally, in 2007, he was like, "Yeah, what the hell am I doing, hanging out with you losers?" so he got some conversion therapy and became an ex-Republican. In 2010, he decided to be the "Independent" governor of his state of Rhode Something, and that went OK, until he declared War on Xmas, by calling the Jesus tree a holiday tree, a war he ended up conceding. Then nobody in his state, of any party, liked him very much, so he decided he wouldn't even bother running for re-election in 2014, because of how he wouldn't get any money or votes, probably.

The obvious next move for Mr. Chafee? Run for president in 2016 as a Democrat! And he is absolutely ready to do that, just as soon as someone figures out what his Facebook password is:

In a public Facebook post on May 28, Chafee's wife, Stephanie, asked, “Does anybody from my Husband's staff remember his FB page access?”

A spokeswoman for Lincoln Chafee, Debbie Rich, confirmed on Wednesday the post was authentic. (The post become publicly unavailable later Wednesday.) Chafee's campaign has lost track of the log-in credentials to the Facebook page that staffers started and managed for him as governor, Rich said, and that page seems to be attracting more attention than the page he has set up for 2016, so now they'd like to merge the two.

If you're not still asking yourself, "Wait, who is that?" you may be asking yourself what Chafee brings to the race, besides some sympathetic head-shaking from olds who don't even have to Google him. According to Chafee, Chafee's unique appeal is his 2002 vote against the Iraq War:

"Considering the premise for invading Iraq was based on falsehoods and considering the ramifications we live with now from that mistake, I would argue that anybody who voted for the Iraq War should not be president and certainly should not be leading the Democratic Party," he said in an interview after he announced he was exploring a presidential run in April.

Chafee's strategy on the Iraq War is simple: Damage Clinton on an issue on which he was diametrically opposed. Chafee has said he doesn't worry about staking his campaign on a backward looking issue, and is proving that by repeatedly returning to the Iraq War vote in interviews.

Hey, that might have been a pretty good strategy once upon a time. And we are -- no jokes, no snark -- appreciative of Chafee's courage in casting the only Republican vote against a war even many Democrats supported at the time. However, since Republicans didn't much like him even when he was one of them, we don't think that's going to win their hearts and minds. Will it work with Democrats?

So far, however, the issue has failed to move the needle for Chafee. In a May CNN/ORC poll, the former governor failed to get even 1% support from self-identified Democrats and independents. In the same April poll, the former senator received 1%.

Not yet! Besides, if Democrats are looking for a to-the-left-of-lefty candidate who opposed the Iraq War before the invasion, there is this guy we know, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and he is a proud socialist who is also running for the Democratic nomination (order your Bernie T-shirts today!) -- and, unlike Chafee, Sanders never wrote in "George H.W. Bush" for president in 2004. (Yeah, Chafee did that. He was still bicuriously partisan back then.)

Given his unpopularity in his own teeny tiny state best known for how teeny tiny it is, we can't imagine why Chafee thinks this is his moment, but on Wednesday, he declared that he is running for president, as a Democrat, to fight for the middle class (like everyone else) and the environment (like the other Democrats) and the metric system. Huh?

Good luck with that, pal, because whatever party you are today, tomorrow, or in 2016, you're gonna need it.

[POLITICO / Bloomberg / CNN]


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