AP's Elliott Looks for Post-Delaware Primary 'Expert' Commentary From Lincoln Chafee

September 26th, 2010 7:32 PM
http://i739.photobucket.com/albums/xx40/mmatters/Lincoln ChafeeThis goes back eleven days, but the entertainment value is too good to let it slide by without notice.

On the Thursday after Christine O'Donnell defeated Mike Castle in the GOP primary for Delaware's open U.S. Senate seat, the Associated Press's Philip Elliott apparently felt the need to seek out an one-time Republican (or at least that's what he said) -- one of only a very few Republicans whose positions were or have been to the left of Castle's.

That would of course be former Rhode Island senator Lincoln Chafee (pictured at top right). To pick just one example to demonstrate Chafee's liberalism, during 2006 and 2005, his final two years as a Senator, his grades from the Club for Growth came in at 27% and 26%, respectively. Castle's grades in the House during those same two years were 48% and 43%.

Gosh, Phil, was there any doubt over how Chafee would feel about Castle's defeat and O'Donnell's win? Is this news?

Here are a few paragraphs from Elliott's brief report, including a Chafee prediction that may be disproven in 5-1/2 weeks:

Former Sen. Lincoln Chafee, a one-time Republican, says GOP Rep. Mike Castle should have seen the tea party challenge to his Senate bid coming.

Chafee, running for Rhode Island governor as an independent, said his former party's leaders have been forced to the right and have scared moderates out of the GOP. He pointed to Castle's loss Tuesday as the latest example of a competent lawmaker losing his seat in an unrealistic purity test.

"These primaries, they're destructive beasts," Chafee said in an interview with The Associated Press at his campaign headquarters. "If those people are going to control the Republican Party, good luck. You'll have a tough time getting into the majority. Ever."

It's still early of course, but Real Clear Politics is showing the House races at 206-191 in favor of the GOP, with 38 races undecided. If the "sure" count holds, Republicans would have to win less than a third of the still-undecided races to gain a majority (a shaky one to be sure, but Chafee was talking about any majority -- "Ever").

RCP's take on the Senate is that it is at 50-46 in favor of Democrats, but that counts New York's Kirsten Gillebrand and California's Barbara Boxer as "Leans Dem," which given recent polls is open to some dispute.

It would appear that Chafee's predictive abilities might be about as reliable as his vote for sensible conservative bills and initiatives while he served in the U.S. Senate.

Surely Philip Elliott could have found a more informed interview subject somewhere else. But does anyone believe that his was really his goal?

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.