Don Roach: Wake Me When the CD-1 Race Begins
Wednesday, August 08, 2012
I loathe David Cicilline.
Not really, but the man is not an idiot. Yes, he massaged the truth about Providence’s fiscal health so that he could get elected in 2010. Yes, his office often twists the truth to spin it in a direction that helps him. And yes, Democrats have not left the former mayor in droves like anyone with common sense would.
Cicilline hopes voters forget Providence
Cicilline’s team has come up with the only strategy that may save him which is ignore his tenure in Providence, focus on what he has done or tried to do in Congress, and after the primary try to scare the mess out of seniors and women when he faces Brendan Doherty.
Still, with little over a month to go in the campaign, I’m wondering where the fireworks are? If you have been watching the Olympics, you may have seen the Cicilline campaign ad which touts Cicilline’s help to Rhode Islanders since taking office. It’s pure political smarminess but look it works, especially in Rhode Island.
In the meantime, Cicilline’s primary opponent is fending off self-inflicted attacks coming from not releasing tax information and allegedly inflating his Facebook/Twitter statistics. If I was David Cicilline, watching tv as an anchorman or woman talked about Gemma inflating his social media statistics all the while Rhode Island continues to have the 2nd worst unemployment rates in the country, I’d be high-fiving anyone within 20 feet of the tv.
Gemma missteps aiding Cicilline
In other words, Gemma may be the perfect opponent that allows Cicilline to focus on his high points while ignoring the 5,000 pound elephant in the room. With Gemma’s recent foibles, one has to wonder if he has the ability to be an effectual congressman much less campaigner. It’s a valid question that Gemma has yet to be able to answer and time is running out on him.
The most recent WPRI poll had Gemma within 4 points back in May, but since then he has not attacked Cicilline where it counts effectively nor consistently. If I was running against Cicilline, I’d run ads featuring a number of people who were disillusioned by the former mayor and his actions in Providence ending with, “If we can’t trust Cicilline with Providence, how can we trust him with our future?” And you better believe the spot would feature women, seniors, and young professionals Cicilline’s base of support.
When will Gemma attack?
But we’re still waiting for Gemma to go on the offensive. With 5-6 weeks left, I don’t think it’s too late but Gemma’s campaign has had to deal with many other issues that don’t really help get Gemma’s message out nor do they demonstrate his readiness for Congress.
If recent months are any indication, it doesn’t appear that Gemma is willing to take the fight to Cicilline and hammer him on his weak points. If so, Cicilline will be facing Doherty come November and Gemma will lose his second straight primary against one of the least popular members of Congress.
Memo to the Doherty campaign, don’t follow in the footsteps of Gemma. Knowing some members of Doherty’s team, I’m sure they will attack Cicilline, but it makes no sense to do so now because Gemma still has a chance. Why waste valuable ad dollars on someone who is going to lose?
Gemma shows Doherty team what NOT to do
I’m sure the Doherty team will remind voters in CD1 that Cicilline told us that Providence was in excellent fiscal health all the while it was about to collapse. I’d love to see a montage of that statement juxtaposed against Mayor Taveras’ fiscal “hurricane” comments a few short months later. Just run it and repeat, run it and repeat with some narration about how if the city collapses there goes your disability, Medicaid, etc.
Yes, I think the Doherty campaign has plenty of fodder…err…historical data to attack Cicilline. They’ll need to because he’s a savvy politician and he and his team will focus on his strengths hoping to cast a spell over voters.
As of today, it appears to be working in his primary campaign against Gemma. But I have no doubt that the real Cicilline will be exposed to voters by the time we reach November.
And it’s up to you voters of CD1 to tell Cicilline that we expect more from our leaders than slick talk and spin; we expect them to look out for our interests and be more concerned about citizens than their own political lives.
Don Roach is a member of the Rhode Island Young Republicans. Don can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Don Roach: 5 Reasons Conservatives Don’t Trust Romney
- Don Roach: 5 Reasons Taxing the Rich is Stupid
- Don Roach: Allan Fung Needs to be RI’s Next Governor
- Don Roach: An Equitable Solution to Illegal Immigration
- Don Roach: Angel Taveras is Losing His Shine
- Don Roach: Black People are Getting Lost in the American Shuffle
- Don Roach: Brendan Doherty Needs to Up His Game
- Don Roach: Carcieri Makes Chafee Look Like a Genius
- Don Roach: Governornment Loans are Bad Business
- Don Roach: If Progressives Win, We Lose
- Don Roach: Jockeying for Position in the 2014 Governor’s Race
- Don Roach: Just Say No to In-State Tuition for Illegal Immigrants
- Don Roach: Mike Riley can Beat Jim Langevin
- Don Roach: Obama Campaign Takes Cue from Karl Rove
- Don Roach: President Obama has Failed to Turn Around the Economy
- Don Roach: Providence City Council Unanimously Votes Republican
- Don Roach: Religious Freedom isn’t Important to Obama
- Don Roach: Rhode Island Needs a Sales Tax Holiday
- Don Roach: Super Tuesday, The Day of Reckoning?
- Don Roach: The Buffett Rule is Really the Buffet Rule
- Don Roach: Wake Me When the CD-1 Race Begins
- Don Roach: Will Gemma Knock Off Cicilline?
- Don Roach: With Santorum Out, Nothing Left to Stop Romney
- Don Roach: You Bet Cicilline is Sorry