He was a junior at Yale when Pearl Harbor was attacked. He joined the Marines, and fought from Guadalcanal to Okinawa. Based on his later service in Korea, author James Brady said of him, “He was the only truly great man I’ve yet met in my life.” When he got back from Korea he fathered a son, who he named Lincoln. The Chafees come from a long and distinguished line of Rhode Island politicians, and both father and son served as Governor. Now Lincoln has declared his candidacy for President as a Democrat. He represents the only serious opposition Hillary will have for the nomination.
He’s smart. He’s basing his opposition to her on her vote for the Iraq war. That’s how Obama beat her, and it’s her greatest vulnerability among Democrats. That vote could conceivably cost her the nomination again. She voted for war because she thought it was the right thing to do, for her, politically. She voted to send young Americans overseas to fight and die in a pointless war, because, for her, she figured it was smart politics. Lincoln Chafee, and a lot of other Democrats, are well aware of this, and they will not sit idly by while this vile woman lies her way back to the White House.
I don’t know much about Lincoln Chafee, or Rhode Island, for that matter. This postage stamp of a state was founded by Roger Williams, who fled the religious tyranny of Massachusetts because of his commitment to religious freedom. It was the first colony to declare its independence, and the last to ratify the Constitution. It was the only state which did not send a delegation to Philadelphia. It joined the Union only after the Bill of Rights had been adopted.
I think Lincoln Chafee is another Howard Dean, with a little more discipline. Despite his overbearing personality, Dean, the antiwar candidate, had a real shot at the Democratic nomination in 2004. I think Chafee should be taken seriously. The Clinton war room is hard at work, trying to dig up dirt on him, thinking of ways he can be attacked. Chafee knows this, and doesn’t care. He is his father’s son, a patriot. I don’t discuss politics with my wife’s circle of friends, for obvious reasons. But I’m going to tell them about Chafee. He’s a liberal, like they are, but an honest, good man. He’s a Jack Kennedy Democrat.
It’s because of people like Lincoln Chafee that I enjoy politics. People I admire. As long as this country produces people like the Chafees, we’ll be alright.