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Side of the Rhode: Who’s Hot and Who’s Not in RI Politics?

Friday, August 31, 2012


Who’s Hot

Brendan Doherty -> The Republican Congressional candidate continues to be the biggest beneficiary of the circus taking place on the other side of aisle. Now that it appears Congressman Cicilline will win the primary handily, the latest WPRI poll suggests more than 50 percent of Anthony Gemma’s supporters will side with Doherty, which could give him enough votes to offset the increased turnout for President Obama in November.

David Cicilline -> The Congressman wasn’t totally on point during Tuesday night’s debate (he still struggles with Providence questions), but he came off as a more stable candidate than Anthony Gemma and only solidified his spot as the favorite in the race. If he ends up losing to Doherty, the Democratic establishment will be rightfully criticized for not putting up a less damaged candidate, but right now it’s easy to see why he has so much institutional support.

Lincoln Chafee -> Governor Chafee will be on the national stage Tuesday when he delivers a primetime speech at the Democratic Na    tional Convention, which will almost certainly set off more questions about whether he’ll finally make the switch to the Democratic Party. There are some who say Chafee needs a three-or-four-way race to win re-election, but having the entire Party behind him in two years probably sounds pretty appealing as well.

Barry Hinckley -> Bringing Steve Forbes to town is a pretty big deal for the Republican Senate candidate, who also released his first television commercial. Barry Hinckley is going to be interesting to watch over the next several months. Rhode Islanders know exactly what David Cicilline has done wrong, but the same can’t be said for guys like Sheldon Whitehouse or James Langevin. That’s why it’s going to be even more important for Hinckley and Mike Riley to be all over television heading into November.

John Lombardi -> With all eyes on the 1st Congressional District, there hasn’t been too much coverage of the General Assembly races lately. But with that State Rep. race on Federal Hill probably still too close to call, John Lombardi’s endorsement from the Providence Teachers Union is a win for the former Mayor and Council President. It seems the incumbent (Mike Tarro) is a nonfactor in the three-way primary (Libby Kimzey is the other candidate) and that may actually go a long way to helping Lombardi on Sept. 11.

Paul Ryan -> No one’s star is rising in the Republican Party more than the Vice Presidential nominee, who delivered the best speech of the convention this week. Ryan is too conservative for Rhode Islanders, but he’s charismatic and he’s going to be a major problem for Joe Biden in their debate.

Who’s Not

Anthony Gemma -> The Democratic Congressional candidate had a prime opportunity to take David Cicilline to task this week for his handling of Providence’s finances, but he let Cicilline off the hook. It seems Gemma spent so much time focusing on opposition research that he skipped debate prep. His credibility took another hit Thursday when we learned his woman in the attic was also a paid volunteer.

Don Carcieri -> The former Governor sort of came out of hiding this week, but he didn’t want to talk about 38 Studios (you know, because reporters really care about what Don Carcieri thinks about Mitt Romney, right?). The crazy thing here is that no one believes Carcieri is solely to blame for bringing Curt Schilling’s video game company to the state. He might as well offer a little bit of context.

National Education Association -> There is no question that the NEA is going to have a major impact on local races year, but the powerful teachers union is making a mistake with its endorsement of Rep. Leo Medina. The embattled lawmaker may have voted against pension reform, but wouldn’t it have been easier to seek out another candidate to run in that race rather than supporting a guy with his track record?

Charles Odimgbe -> The head of RIPTA may have not been involved in the security breach scandal, but he hasn’t exactly earned high scores for his handling of the agency. It was the right call to place him on administrative leave and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him gone for good.

State GOP -> You have to feel for Rhode Island’s Republican Party. They try to get away liberal Rhode Island for a couple of days and they end up stuck on a bus for two hours on their way to the convention. Talk about a bad omen.

Clint Eastwood -> Paul Ryan may have been the star of the week, but everyone is talking about Clint Eastwood’s wacky speech Thursday night. People were excited about having Eastwood as the mystery guest, but his off-the-cuff words hijacked the evening from Governor Romney and forced an otherwise successful convention to end in bizarre fashion.

Dan McGowan can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @danmcgowan.


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in 10 years, all they will remember is "Dirty Hharry's" weird & vulgar speech !!

Comment #1 by robert phellps on 2012 08 31


is HOT!!!

Comment #2 by Guido Fawkes on 2012 08 31

Clint you made my day.

Comment #3 by The Investigator on 2012 08 31

Chafee is a RINO. He is also an idiot. Therefore, He's already a Dem.

Comment #4 by Mike Govern on 2012 08 31

The State GOP makes the "Who's Not" list due to some of its delegates being stuck on a bus in Tampa for 2 hours? Well given that RI has been stuck in LAST place for business for the last 2 years due to the Democrats, they should make the "Who's Not" list every week. Lets also toss in the fact that we have been one of the top 3 states for unemployment,get a D- in transparency, rank as one of the worst state's to retire in, and score high on the misery index just for good measure.

The Democrats control 92% of our General Assembly, and all 4 seats in Washington. Let's give them full credit!

Had enough yet?

Comment #5 by Rhode Island Republican Strike Force on 2012 08 31

Great Article Dan. John J Lombardi has worked hard and will continue to do so as a State Representative. We need a Representative that understands the issues, will fight to move Rhode Island forward and most importantly a true leader that knows our state. Thank you John for always looking out for the best interest of our community.

Comment #6 by Hamlet Lopez on 2012 08 31

Chafee your Father is rolling in his grave, with disgust over what his son has become! You're an embarassment to the state of RI. Shame on those who voted for him.

Comment #7 by Blais Hazelwood on 2012 08 31

Chafee-hot?Just until that cretin opens his piehole and starts wildly gesticulating while spouting nonsense.Actually his style of babble might really go over at the DNC.
Clint Eastwood sounded disappointed in Obama-and angry with him.
His material was certainly no worse than the verbal feces that leaks out of Bill Maher and David Letterman.Or Ellen Barkin hoping for the death of Republican delegates.

Comment #8 by Joseph Bernstein on 2012 09 01

Say it ain't so. The NEA rather endorse a crook than a man with integrity. Why so that he can steal from their pension? So he didn't vote for pension reform, what did he vote for?

That is insane. Is anyone reading this?

Leo Medina has been stealing from his community for years. Law enforcement has produced this. If you look at his FaceBook page he claims to be a veteran from the Navy. I always thought the Navy produced honorable men, so either Medina did not serve his country or if he did he left under less than honorable conditions. Can someone ask him to produce his DD250 please.

The media should be all over this and I know they have a little bit, but to the extent that this guy can actually make all these claims.

He is funny too, here is his other claim. I give out turkeys. Guess what, the city gives out turkeys too. Go to Duddley Street around Thanksgiving and see George. He gives out hundreds of Turkeys that are donated. Go to Salvation Army, they give out turkeys. Go to Brother's Pizza, he gives out plenty of free pizza during Thanksgiving. None of these people label their foreheads with "I give out turkeys." And who does he give these turkeys to? Yeah, I thought so. What a phony.

Tell me that you started a perpetual college scholarship. Tell me that you fixed the deficit. Tell me that you managed to solve one little problem in your district but please leave the turkeys out of it.

Comment #9 by Miguel P. on 2012 09 01

I think David is going to win in a landslide. Gemma has now Field program.

Comment #10 by Jayme Phelps on 2012 09 01

David will beat Gemma.I don't think he'll beat Doherty.

Comment #11 by Joseph Bernstein on 2012 09 01

Alphabet G heart tag bracelet - $35.99 : TITLE, SITE_TAGLINE

Comment #13 by aieserpasscott andeson on 2012 09 24

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