Sen. Lincoln Chaffee To Join Democratic Race For President

Lincoln Chaffee

Former Rhode Island Governor and Republican U.S. Senator Lincoln Chaffee will announce his intention to run for the 2016 Democratic nomination for president today.

From the Washington Post:

Chafee’s decision to run makes him the fourth Democratic hopeful to officially enter the race. But he’s already been the first to directly and consistently attack front-runner Hillary Clinton — particularly over the Iraq War vote that helped sink her first presidential bid.

“I don’t think anybody should be president of the United States that made that mistake” of voting for the Iraq War, Chafee told The Post in April. “It’s a huge mistake, and we live with broad, broad ramifications today — of instability not only in the Middle East but far beyond and the loss of American credibility. There were no weapons of mass destruction.”

Chafee, the son of Rhode Island Sen. John Chafee (R), was appointed to the U.S. Senate after his father died in 1999, leaving the seat vacant. As a liberal Republican, Chafee was reelected to a full term in 2000, before losing in 2006. He officially left the Republican Party the following year. He was elected governor as an independent in 2010 and joined the Democratic Party in 2013. His announcement Wednesday comes less than two years after he decided not to seek a second term as governor amid low approval ratings and the prospect of a bruising primary.

Central to Chafee’s presidential campaign: his 2002 Senate vote against authorizing the use of military force in Iraq in 2002, when he was the only Republican senator to oppose the measure.

Chaffee joins already announced former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley in the race.

I can tell you now, the Dems are not going to nominate a former Republican to be their nominee.

Especially one who only won a single term in the Senate, and then knew he couldn’t win a second term as governor.

Not. Gonna. Happen.

Former Governor/US Senator Lincoln Chafee Announces 2016 Exploratory Committee

It looks like Hillary Clinton will have some company on the 2016 campaign trails.

Sixty-two old former U.S. Senator and former Governor of Rhode Island has announced he wants to give Democratic voters a choice for president. “The Republicans have lots of choices, I feel that Democratic voters deserve choices too.”

“Throughout my career, I exercised good judgment on a wide range of high-pressure decisions, decisions that require level-headedness and careful foresight,” said Chafee.

“Often these decisions came in the face of political adversity. During the next weeks and months I look forward to sharing with you my thoughts about the future of our great country.”

Chafee plans to share his ideas and vision through announcements on his website, Chafee2016.com.

Rhode Island: Governor Chafee pens op-ed in advance of signing marriage equality into law

In an op-ed in The New York Times titled “Why I Am Signing Marriage Equality Into Law,” Chafee goes beyond the usual “I believe in equality” argument to say that it’s an economic imperative to support marriage:

“Rhode Island was badly battered by the recession of 2008, but we are moving in the right direction,” Chafee argues. “Jobs are the only way forward — we need to keep the ones we have, and we need to create new ones.

“There are good signs — our unemployment rate has just undergone the largest yearly drop since 1985 — but one needless obstacle to our recovery remains. Rhode Island is part of a highly regional economy, with the other New England states and New York in constant competition with us for innovative companies, and particularly for the young, open-minded individuals who are close to the heartbeat of the new digital economy.

“In our small cluster of states, it is relatively easy for a company or a person to cross a border seeking a more favorable climate. And in recent years Rhode Island has been an outlier among our surrounding states: we are the only one prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying.”

Read the entire op-ed at NYTimes.com

Governor of Rhode Island issues executive order recognizing same-sex marriages performed out-of-state

Gov. Lincoln Chafee signed an executive order today that allows Rhode
Island to recognize same-sex marriages performed out of state.

Reports the AP:

The executive order is expected to have many real-world
implications. Same-sex spouses of state employees and anyone covered by
an insurance company regulated in Rhode Island will be entitled to
health and life insurance benefits, gay rights advocates say.

Both partners in a same-sex couple will be able to list their names
as parents on a child’s birth certificate, and same-sex couples will be
entitled to sales tax exemptions on the transfer of property including
vehicles.

Rhode Island has been the one state in New England to drag it’s feet to actually legalizing same-sex marriage.