The Loughlin Message Game

Republican John J. Loughlin II's Congressional campaign formally trotted out the endorsement of House Minority Leader Brian Newberry today. No great surprise. Newberry has been on record supporting Loughlin, a former colleague in the General Assembly, for some time now.

But the statement Newberry offered up was telling. It reads, in part:

John was the only candidate who was willing to take on Patrick Kennedy for the same seat previous to Kennedy's announcement not [to] seek re-election in 2010. John ran a hard fought campaign against David Cicilline where he was the first to point out many of the economic issues that plagued Providence in the wake of Cicilline's poor fiscal management of the city. Had the truth been revealed then, there would have been a very different outcome.

The "only candidate who was willing to take on Patrick Kennedy" line is designed to emphasize Loughlin's GOP bona fides and, implicitly, to highlight the fact that his rival for the Republican nomination - Brendan Doherty - has not been a party activist until now.  

The rest of the statement speaks to another central piece of Loughlin's GOP primary strategy: an "I told you so" campaign that will point out Loughlin challenged Cicilline on his fiscal management before news of Providence's fiscal crisis struck and suggest he deserves another shot.

This Loughlin-as-seer argument will also be deployed in a general election match-up - if the candidate can get that far.

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