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slides: If Sen. Reed Becomes Sec. of Defense or CIA Director - See the Domino Effect

Monday, November 12, 2012


Are the Rhode Island political dominos about to go crashing down?

U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) is getting mentioned on the short list for two positions in the Obama Administration. The newly re-elected President is expected to revamp his second-term administration. The appontment of Reed would set off a series of events affecing Rhode Island's political landscape for years.

Reed, the father of a young daughter might be motivated to take on a new challange and create a post-governmental career that draws major board appointment and a top level salary. Former Secretaries of Defense are in high demand and their salaries are robust.

A vacant Reed seat would be filled by a special election.

Watch how the political dominos would fall.

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Angel Taveras

Taveras may try to learn from his predecessors’ mistake – don’t stay for a second term as Mayor of Providence.

Will run for Governor if he has to, but would probably rather avoid running against his friend Linc Chafee.

The key question is whether he could raise enough money to run for the office.

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Gina Raimondo

The General Treasurer is a darling of business leaders and pension reformers, but wears a big target on her back from the unions who believe she unfairly targeted them for her own political gain.

The 800-pound Gorilla in the room is Jack Reed. And, while he might leave for a slot in the Obama Administration at Defense or the CIA, he would have in put into his successor and his choice would likely to be Raimondo.

He has known her since she was a kid. He is likely to push hard for the former Rhodes Scholar.

Raimondo becoming Senator driven by a Reed endorsement restructures the 2014 Governor’s race.

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David Cicilline

Wouldn’t it be the ultimate irony if the guy that a few months ago scored a 15% approval rating not only wins a primary, a tough re-election, he becomes a U.S. Senator?

Congressman Cicilline to the Senate seat might cause Jon Loughlin, Anthony Gemma and Brendan Doherty all to have their heads simultaneously explode.

A Cicilline election then creates an open House seat, which would certainly leave plenty of candidates: Loughlin? Dan McKee? Angel Taveras? Doherty?

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Allan Fung

Reed goes to Washington. Raimondo or Taveras fills in for Reed. The three-way race for Governor is on in 2014. Chafee running for re-election, the remaining Democrat and the popular Cranston Mayor looks like a very viable candidate for Governor.

Fung is liked, respected, but needs to prove he can raise the money needed to be a highly viable candidate for Governor.

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Patrick Kennedy

Patrick Kennedy spent some time in Rhode Island in October and November campaigning for Democrats.

His Uncle Jack Kennedy served in the United States Senate before he was President. His uncle Bobby Kennedy was a U.S. Senator from New York. His Dad was a U.S. Senator was in office for almost forty years.

Would he be interested in following suit?

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Linc Chafee

Lincoln Chafee might benefit if Angel Taveras or Gina Raimondo ran for the office.

He certainly would like to see them run in a primary against one another.

Of course, things might be even more complex if Chafee and his sub-20% relect polling numbers, grabs a position in the Obama Administration.

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Brendan Doherty

Doherty came out of his loss for the 1st Congressional District saying he would not run for Congress again, but did not rule out a run for Governor.

A shakeup within the Delegation might cement Doherty's decision to go for the Governor's spot.

Another domino could fall. Watch out Alan Fung.

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Jim Langevin

Wouldn't Jim Langevin have the strongest claim for the Senate seat? Afterall, he has the most tenure in the RI Congressional Delegation after Reed.

If if here to run, a new series of scenarios of folks running for 2nd Congressional seat would arise.

Mike Riley? Taveras? Fung? Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian?

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Gordon Fox

A Reed vacancy makes House Speaker Gordon Fox the king maker. He has a lot of options and may try to parlay the opportunity into a career building opportunity. 

Fox might like a new job too.


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