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slides: National Media Reacts to Buddy Cianci Running for Mayor

Wednesday, July 02, 2014


Native Rhode Islander Meredith Vieira weighed in -- see who else did.

It's official -- Buddy Cianci is running for Mayor of Providence, and local, national, and international news outlets are paying close attention to the ex-con and "most interesting man in Rhode Island," at least according to Jamie Fuller at the Washington Post. 

Below is a look at a snapshot of coverage to date of the Buddy brand -- how is Cianci viewed outside the state? 

With four months to go until Election Day on November 4, expect more coverage to come. 


Related Slideshow: Buddy Cianci in the National Media

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The Economist

The Economist took a shot at Cianci and the city of Providence, referencing Cianci as a "gangster" and referring to Providence as "New England's armpit."

“Even Mr Cianci’s critics concede that he loves Providence and wants it to do well,” the article states. “But his reputation could deter businesses from moving to the city, which was once known as the ‘beehive of industry.’ Not all comebacks are welcome.”

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The Boston Globe

"He’s been the anticorruption candidate and the convict, his city’s savior and its sad laughingstock—sometimes simultaneously," quipped Boston Globe staff writer Nestor Ramos.

The Globe's piece on Cianci "auditioning one more time for a role he’s twice given up in disgrace" recapped each of the former mayor's first 2 stints in office, as well as noting his ability to stay relevant without holding public office.

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The Daily Beast

"Can America's Favorite Ex-Con Mayor Win Again?" the Daily Beast's David Freelander asks.

"In the Museum of American Political Scandals, if it ever gets built, there will be exhibits on Bill Clinton and Eliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner and Larry “Wide Stance” Craig and Marion Barry. And there should be an entire wing dedicated to The Buddy Cianci Story," Freelander writes.

The piece, linked again here, chronicles the ups and downs of Cianci's stints as mayor with playful references back to Freelander's hypothetical museum wing.

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Washington Post

"The most interesting man in Rhode Island is running for office. Again," states Jamie Fuller of the Washington Post.

Dubbing him "The P.T. Barnum of Providence," the Post details dozens of notable events from Cianci's tenures as mayor, from zoo breakouts to political scnadals to his stay in prison.

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The Wall Street Journal

"In Providence, Mr. Cianci, an Independent, is widely viewed as having an almost supernatural gift for retail politics, wrote Jennifer Levitz of the Wall Street Journal. "The long-standing joke was that at least one cliché was written for him: Buddy Cianci would attend the opening of an envelope."

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New York Times

The New York Times identified Cianci as "the garrulous and polarizing former mayor of Providence, R.I., whose two stints in office collapsed in felony convictions."

The NYT's Jess Bidgood wrote Cianci startled "those who assumed that his protracted public weighing of a mayoral bid could not possibly be serious. They are now left to contemplate the fact that a victory by Mr. Cianci, in a crowded field and with a devoted following, is not entirely out of the question."

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Business Insider

Business Insider called Cianci "The Poster Boy of U.S. Political Scandals" in their mostly AP-driven short on the former mayor's decision to run again.

Business Insider's Colin Campbell noted "there's no shortage of political baggage that could impede his comeback."

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Associated Press

"Under his watch, the city transformed from a down-at-the-heels urban center with a dwindling downtown to an arts and culture hub. He often boasts that he literally moved rivers to improve the downtown," wrote AP reporter Michelle Smith.  "He was the city's biggest cheerleader, and joked that as mayor he would attend the opening of an envelope. Stories abound in the city of times when Cianci would show up unannounced and uninvited to the smallest event, including neighborhood cookouts."

The AP story on Cianci's candidacy was picked up by many top political blogs and news outlets.

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Meredith Vieira

East Providence native and former Today and View star Meredith Vieira spoke with the Boston Herald about Cianci's return

“I think it’s fabulous,” Vieira said of Cianci’s decision to run. “He’s just part of Providence. He’s part of the fabric of Rhode Island history.”

Viera told the Herald her late mother "would be first in line" to vote for Cianci, recalling conversations they'd had in the past about the mayor.

“I’d say, ‘Mom, he’s kind of a crook isn’t he?’ She’d say, ‘I don’t care. The city is run beautifully,’” Vieira recalled. “And he did so much to turn that city around. I give that guy a lot of credit. Now, he does know where every body’s buried, clearly, but ...”


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