The McClatchy-MSNBC poll just released has Lincoln Chafee one point higher than Democratic challenger Sheldon Whitehouse in the Rhode Island senate race.
I am for the Dems winning everywhere else, practically, in the country other than this seat. As I’ve stated before, if Sheldon Whitehouse does win — I will be supportive and hope that he cuts the groove on judges and U.S. foreign policy that Lincoln Chafee has strongly demonstrated this year.
Chafee blocked John Bolton from being confirmed for US Ambassador to the United Nations and did his part to knock back the brand of “pugnacious nationalism” that has been dominating America’s foreign policy decisions for the last several years.
Chafee has also articulated exactly the kind of Middle East policy that any sensible Democratic or Republican administration would have to start with. Indeed, I think that the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group is going to read like a lot of cobbled together Lincoln Chafee speeches on the subject.
Lastly, Chafee voted against Sam Alito, something many Dems failed to do.
Chafee is a “radical centrist” and deserves credit for his leadership this year.
If the Senate race turns out 50/50, and if Chafee wins, Reid should begin secret negotiations immediately with Chafee to bring him into the Democratic caucus as an Independent. Offer Chaffee whatever he needs to make that happen. If Chafee wins it will be because of independent-leaining Democrats, independent-leaning Republicans, and Independents.
If Chafee loses the race, Biden, Lugar, Hagel, and Dodd should immediately agitate that Lincoln Chafee be made some sort of Senior Envoy for Middle East affairs — in order to establish a new equilibrium of interests in the region.
— Steve Clemons
PS: For those watching and listening Tuesday night, I will be among CNN‘s gaggle of political bloggers commenting on the elections. I will also be on BBC as well as the coverage of Brian Lehrer and WNYC New York Public Radio most of the night.