An Ultimate Political Chameleon Changes Color Yet Again

An Ultimate Political Chameleon Changes Color Yet Again


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Janet Ybarra
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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In some respects, Lincoln Chafee should have had a long and storied political career.

The son of the one of the most respected senators in all American history, the late John Chafee (R-RI), Lincoln Chafee should have had doors just open before him.

And, for a brief time, they did.

The younger Chafee took his father’s seat in the Senate when the elder Chafee passed away.

He became the only Republican in the Senate to vote against authorization of use of force in Iraq in the run-up to the 2003 invasion.

However, by that time already, New England liberal Republicans had become a dying breed, and Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse defeated Chafee for re-election.

So Chafee came back as an independent, and got elected as governor of Rhode Island.

It was during his term as governor that Chafee morphed once again. He not only registered as a Democrat, he ultimately announced that he was running for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.

Of course, in that race, he was was steamrolled by both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.

That was five years ago, and I think that we all reasonably assumed that we had seen the last of Lincoln Chafee on the public stage.

Today, the 67-year-old Chafee is proving us wrong.

He’s apparently trying to run for president again–this time as a Libertarian.

For crying out loud, the man needs to figure out who the hell he is.

A Libertarian?

I’m mean, why not, he’s been everything else.

But seriously, what is this man’s core political principles???

As the Republican Party marched rightward over the last quarter century, Chafee had a reasonable narrative for voters to switch to independent and even register Democratic, as most of New England was at point.

But the Libertarian Party has almost nothing in common with the Democratic Party.

Watch how Chafee is received in his latest adoptive party.

Could it end up as one political transformation too many?

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