Like most of America, I found Lincoln Chafee’s debate performance almost unbearable to watch. First he was shot down by Hillary Clinton. When asked if she wanted to respond to an attack by Chafee, who questioned her credibility due to the email scandal, she responded simply, “No.”
Then things got worse when Chafee was asked about his vote to repeal the Glass Steagall Act in 1999. He could have simply said, “I regret that vote.” People close to him say that he is incapable of lying and after watching him explain that “I has just gotten to the Senate. My father died in office…”, well, I believe those people. Lincoln Chafee has had a decent career. He has been a mayor, senator and governor. He has also been a Republican, Independent and Democrat (that’s his current party affiliation). He makes me think a little of Goldilocks, “This party is too far to the right, this isn’t a party, this party is just right!”
The other person he reminds me of is Charlie Crist, and we can all agree that switching parties has not helped his political career. So, again, like everyone else watching this campaign, I know Chafee and my cat have the same chance of becoming the next president. Wolf Blitzer raked him over the coals:
Watching that exchange reminded me of something. Campaigns are not only about who wins and loses. It may seem odd but winning really isn’t everything. I have worked for candidates when I knew they were not going to win. That is okay if you use the campaign to do something else. Chafee told Blitzer that the reason he isn’t doing well is that, “The establishment doesn’t want to hear an anti-war voice.” For the most part, he is right. When Blitzer said, “Bernie Sanders is anti-war.” Chafee correctly pointed out that Sanders may be anti-war, but he doesn’t bring foreign policy up much on the trail. I have heard him answer some foreign policy questions in a way that made me wonder if he had any idea what he was talking about.
So Chafee may have a role to play in this process that is pivotal. If you look at the GOP side of things, Lindsey Graham is doing almost the same thing from the other side. He is both a Republican and a hawk. I am not sure Graham has met a war he didn’t like, but he has said he is in the race to move his party in his direction. Maybe both men know their campaigns are not going to be winning ones but they care enough about one issue to run and try to draw attention to it. While I am no pacifist, my positions fall closer to Chafee than Graham, I can respect both for doing this.