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The Buddy factor

While we await word on Buddy Cianci's future in broadcasting, the ProJo's Dan Barbarisi today takes a look at a question with broader implications: how will the rascal king's return to Rhode Island affect David Cicilline? (I wrote about the same question in July 2006.)

“Buddy’s return will change the public conversation about Providence. It creates another power center,” said Brown University political science Prof. Darrell West. “Buddy’s return empowers those who are unhappy with the current direction of the city.”

Cicilline, of course, is widely anticipated to be a Democratic gubernatorial candidate in 2010. Once Buddy gets on the air, though, he will have a forum to bedevil the man who effectively succeeded him.

If Cicilline is dreaming of higher office, the best thing he can do, [Joseph R.] Paolino said, is to meet Cianci head-on, on the first day of any potential radio show.

“Cicilline probably has advisers telling him, ‘Don’t do it, don’t do it,’ but it would be better if he did.”

“Knowing what I know today, he should want to be his first guest,” Paolino said. “Buddy’s got no reason to be angry with him. There’s no ax to grind. I think David should go on his show.”

CICILLINE laughed when told of Paolino’s advice. “I’ll respond to him the next time I see him,” he said.

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