Much like the beloved groundhog, Lincoln Chafee, former Rhode Island governor and Democratic primary candidate, has recently wiggled up from his warm underground nest to sniff around for a brief spate of media attention. Unlike the groundhog, this gentle, pink-faced gentleman thinks we should soften relations with Russia and give Donald Trump a chance.
In an interview with Russia’s state-sponsored media outlet RT (yes!), Chafee, when asked about a potential thaw between Russia and the U.S., replied: “I have many differences with President Trump but on this one, I applaud what he is trying to do,” arguing that the U.S. is powerful enough to take the risk. In another interview with former Providence, R.I. mayor Joe Paolino, Chafee compared Trump’s outsider status to that of noted peanut farm seller Jimmy Carter and for some reason reminded us that he wrote in George H.W. Bush’s name onto his 2004 ballot, which was a weird thing to do (he was a registered Republican at the time). In yet another interview with WPRO’s Tara Granahan, Chafee noted that he disagreed with “probably 99.99% of Trump’s proposals” but attacked the “mainstream media” for a “full onslaught against” Trump.
“I think it’s kind of tiresome—he won,” Chafee said to Granahan. “I didn’t vote for him, but he won. Let’s let him get his feet under him, and try to build an administration, and move on.”
Chafee claimed that the media had it in for him, too, noting that they “immediately went to trivial things like metric, and during the debate, they gave me eight minutes out of two hours” (Chafee’s platform included, inexplicably, switching the U.S. to the metric system). When Grahanan asked Chafee why he was talking to RT, he blamed the mainstream media again:
Well, they followed me around when I was running for president, and as I said, the mainstream media didn’t want to hear anything about the Iraq war, I’ve never been invited on one of those Sunday morning shows, it’s always an echo chamber, the same war hawks over and over again, every time you turn on—now it’s against Russia, North Korea... I just accepted an invitation to voice a different point of view than what you hear in the echo chamber.
What... is.... happening... here? Linc? Buddy? Hello? Здравствуйте?
After an absolutely nonstop investigative effort to locate Lincoln Chafee, with the goal of offering him some kind of homemade toffee and a soft pat on the hand—an effort that continued in my heart long after I technically forgot about it and didn’t think about him for months—this information feels both shocking and incredibly in-character, forcing some of us to wonder why he even came back from Brazil if he was just going to cause everyone stress and confusion. And he’s not just back from Brazil—Chafee also teased a 2020 election bid, telling Granahan: “You know, I’ve done crazy things before.”
Everybody watch the heck out, because Lincoln Chafee is here to stay.