Watch Conan in ’96: ‘As Rhode Island goes, so goes the nation’

March 30th, 2012 at 6:00 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Despite all evidence to the contrary, I am holding out hope that the final outcome of the hard-fought Republican presidential primary will be decided when Rhode Island votes on April 24. It would be political-reporter nirvana. Maybe Gingrich would do “Newsmakers” and we could call it “Newtmakers.”

… Alas, with less than a month left before the primary it looks as if Rhode Island may not play the crucial role this year I’d hoped it would. But if that’s so, I wouldn’t be the first person to overestimate Rhode Island’s importance in the GOP primary process. Jay Leno sent Conan O’Brien here for the same reason back in 1996:

Thanks to reader Nate Lavigne for sending in this long-lost classic.

Your Twitter meme of the day – #PensionValentines

February 10th, 2012 at 5:49 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

You’ve read about #HealthPolicyValentines. You’ve boned up on #FedValentines. But this is Rhode Island. Shouldn’t we be writing pension – er, #PensionValentines? Here are a few that have popped up so far.

  • “Hey girl, you made a defined contribution to my heart and now I’ve got a hybrid plan: you + me = us.” – @tednesi
  • a reply to mine: “You will not get friends with defined benefits from that.” – @DonBotts
  • “My love for you is growing like an early ’90s Providence COLA. Compounded.” – @white_tim
  • “Roses are red / violets are blue / I’d give up my COLA / to spend a lifetime with you.” – @AndrewGobeil

Leave your #PensionValentine in comments. Tim suggested that if you’re really ambitious, you should come up with an #OPEBValentine.

Brown U. prof discusses ‘Romneymania’ craze sweeping US

February 4th, 2012 at 5:38 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Of course, she did so in The Onion:

From coast to coast, town to town, and in nearly every public meeting place and private residence across America, millions have been captivated, inspired, and in some cases moved to tears by presidential candidate Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who now finds himself campaigning before a nation in the throes of full-scale Romneymania. …

“Simply put, when Mitt Romney speaks, he inspires people to be better,” said political scientist Deborah Klein of Brown University, adding that given his effusive charisma, people are likely to follow the Republican candidate anywhere. “Anytime he meets factory workers on the campaign trail or stands at the podium in a debate, his reputation as a highly relatable man of the people is indisputable.”

“It’s easy to see why Americans can’t get enough Mitt,” Klein added.

Take that, Wendy Schiller!

Photo: Fox gets Chafee and Paiva Weed to kiss and make up

February 3rd, 2012 at 12:54 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

By far my favorite moment at Tuesday night’s State of the State address was a humorous bit of shtick before the speech that may not have been visible to those of you watching at home (on Channel 12, of course).

You may recall the Projo’s report that Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed was so ticked off at the governor about municipal pensions by the time the big pension bill was introduced last fall that she refused to shake his hand when he and Treasurer Raimondo came to introduce it to the General Assembly.

Time heals all wounds, especially when it comes to politicians. When Chafee took the stage to speak Tuesday, he shook hands first with Fox and then with Paiva Weed – at which point the speaker shot a “See that?” look to the press corps.

The two of them laughed, and then Fox made sure to get them to do it again – for the cameras:

Watch Projo columnist Froma Harrop on ‘The Daily Show’

January 13th, 2012 at 11:17 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Veteran Providence Journal columnist Froma Harrop, in her capacity as president of the National Conference of Editorial Writers, got the “Daily Show” treatment last night from John Oliver – who apparently was right here in Providence at some point recently:

(I didn’t realize how fancy the Projo staff’s offices are.)

This is the third time The Journal and Rhode Island have provided fodder for Jon Stewart’s show lately, following the holiday tree debate and Stewart’s subsequent PolitiFact’ing.

(h/t: Felice Freyer)