Don't read too much into the Chafee fundraiser

Rhode Island's all-Democratic Congressinal delegation has attracted a bit of attention for a fundraiser it's hosting in Washington Monday for Governor Lincoln Chafee. National political prognosticator Larry Sabato mentions it today in a post on governors races across the country.

But sources tell me it's best not to read too much into the event. This is a courtesy from a delegation that works regularly with the governor. Members are lending their names, but not much else; at least some of the delegation seems likely to skip the event.

The interest the fundraiser has attracted is, more than anything else, a quirk of having an independent governor atop Smith Hill. A Republican wouldn't think to call the Democratic delegation and ask members to host a fundraiser. And a "time" for a Democratic governor would attract no notice at all.

But if you're a Democratic Congressman and a friendly independent makes the ask, you say yes - and speculation ensues.

Might Chafee become a Democrat? Sure, that's a possibility. But don't look to this fundraiser as a harbinger of what might happen - or whom the delegation might support come 2014. As Congressman David Cicilline's press secretary Rich Luchette told the Providence Journal, "The election for governor is still 21 months away and we don’t even know who the candidates will be.”

Indeed, it is the Democrat - Chafee or otherwise - who will be in line for the real help when 2014 rolls around.


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