Wayland Sq. locked down; Politico tackles ShoveitgateOctober 25th, 2010 at 1:09 pm by Ted Nesi under General Talk
John Marion, executive director of Common Cause Rhode Island, tells me that when he drove through Wayland Square at 8:30 a.m. on his way to work this morning, all the parking was already blocked off (presumably by Secret Service) from Waterman Street left onto Wayland and up to the Chace house.
“It looks like they’re getting ready for a blizzard,” he quipped.
Meanwhile Politico, the voice of the inside-the-Beltway political class, has a Jonathan Allen story up taking a look at Shoveitgate in the context of national divisions among Democrats ahead of next week’s expected electoral bloodbath for the party:
There had been behind-the-scenes activity to try to get the president to endorse Caprio — or at least appear with him while in Rhode Island.
But Obama, who won a cross-party endorsement from Chafee in the 2008 presidential campaign, has made clear he doesn’t intend to put his thumb on the scale for Caprio in one of the few states where his endorsement might benefit a Democrat this year.
“This is disappointing. Frank Caprio has spent his career fighting for the values of the Democratic Party, and I think he deserves the full support of our party and its leaders,” said Nathan Daschle, executive director of the Democratic Governors Association. …
Caprio and the DGA asked Obama to move tonight’s Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraiser from the home of a Chafee supporter out of concern that it might be read as a blessing of Chafee. But the White House turned down the request and rebuffed subsequent efforts to get Caprio a joint appearance with the president. …
“If the White House wants to know why Democrats won’t come out for them look no farther than the fact that even the president won’t come out for Democrats,” said a source who is involved in several gubernatorial races. “It’s bad enough that the White House failures have dug a hole so big for the Democratic Party that Chilean miners would be envious, now they’re choosing not to endorse Democrats. Are they living on this planet?”
Two sources familiar with Rhode Island politics told POLITICO that Chafee is benefiting from his 2008 endorsement of Obama’s presidential bid and Caprio’s suffering for having been in Hillary Clinton’s camp in the primary that year. Caprio hasn’t even been invited to join Obama at public events, sources said.
“My understanding is that Obama is not looking to endorse Caprio and by including him in any events would give that indication or force him to actually say where he stands on that issue,” one source told POLITICO. “I have also heard that Caprio is upset that the DCCC did it’s big Rhode Island event at the home of a family who are very vocal and active supporters of Chafee. In many circles in Rhode Island, Chafee is seen as more of a Dem and a progressive than Caprio, who people often joke is a Republican in Democrats’ clothing.”
Interesting to see the shadow of the 2008 presidential primary falling over this race. One reason Bill Clinton came here over the summer to campaign for Caprio is because the Caprios were loyal Hillary supporters in her losing battle with Obama. Clinton’s visit gave the Caprio campaign the video they’ve used for their effective Clinton TV advertisement. But now Chafee is benefiting (or at least preventing Caprio from benefiting) because he picked the right horse in 2008.
For the record, the house in question is the Orchard Avenue home of developer Arnold “Buff” Chace Jr. and his wife, Johnnie. The pair have donated to Chafee, Joe Fernandez, Josh Miller, Gina Raimondo, Elizabeth Roberts and Angel Taveras – among others – this election cycle, according to campaign finance reports.
Update: Although Politico calls Lincoln Chafee’s 2008 support for Barack Obama “a cross-party endorsement,” technically that’s not quite accurate. Chafee left the Republican Party in mid-2007, months before he gave Obama his endorsement in February 2008. That’s just a detail, though – the Obama campaign pointed to Chafee’s support as an example of their man’s ability to win support from across party lines.
And now that I look, I see Chafee actually endorsed Obama on Valentine’s Day. How sweet!
(image credit: Pete Souza/White House)