PODCAST: Is Clay Pell the Next Lincoln Chafee?
Monday, January 20, 2014
Both come from well-established Rhode Island families with strong political traditions, and immense personal wealth. Both were educated at elite, out-of-state private boarding schools and Ivy League colleges, and spent their early careers outside of Rhode Island. Chafee and Pell are patricians, with identifiable wives of impressive pedigree (and their own personal wealth) -- and both have aspired for the State's highest office.
Is Clay Pell the Next Lincoln Chafee?
Privileged bloodlines, prestigious prep schools, lofty political ambitions. Is Clay Pell the next Lincoln Chafee?
Below is a look at the similarities -- and differences -- between Governor Lincoln Chafee and likely gubernatorial aspirant Clay Pell.
Family Legacy - Chafee
Lincoln Chafee is the son of John Chafee, the former Governor of Rhode Island, U.S. Senator, and Secretary of the Navy, who was a decorated WWII and Korean War Veteran, and posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Named in his honor include the USS Chafee (DDG-90), the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor and the John H. Chafee National Wildlife Refuge.
Family Legacy - Pell
Grandfather Claiborne Pell was Rhode Island's longest serving Senator, having served six terms from 1961 to 1997, whose legacy includes the Pell Grant, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
A decorated coast guard lieutenant in WWII and foreign service officer, Pell's Rhode Island legacy includes the Newport Bridge being renamed the Claiborne Pell Bridge, as well as the Pell Center of International Relations and Public Policy established at Salve Regina University.
Money - Chafee
Both Chafees and Senator Pell had to disclose as members of the U.S. Senate personal financial information -- and both a considerable net worth.
The U.S. Senate is known as the U.S. Millionaires Club -- in 2005, while Chafee was still in the Senate, Open Secrets pegged Chafee's wealth at between $40 and $63 million dollars.
Money - Pell
The website Celebrity Net Worth puts wife Michelle Kwan's personal wealth at $8 million.
While Pell's first campaign finance report has yet to be made public, records show Pell gave Democratic challenger Gina Raimondo $250 during her bid for General Treasurer in 2010.
Education - Pell
Early Career -- Chafee
He was Warwick's mayor in 1992 until 1999, when he was appointed to the U.S. Senate in 1999 when his father passed away while in office.
Wife - Chafee
Wife - Pell
A decorated Olympic figure skater and world champion, Michelle Kwan went on to pursue a career in public service, serving as an American Public Diplomacy Envoy as well as on the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports -- and was recently inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame.
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