Say Goodbye to Lincoln Chafee

He was an inarticulate has-been running a ridiculous vanity campaign, but he still managed to be better than the frontrunners on a few issues.


Lincoln Chafee (file photo)

Lincoln Chafee's presidential campaign was always a ludicrous vanity project, and the only surprise about his withdrawal from the race today is that he had the self-awareness to see that he was going nowhere. But as he leaves, let's pause to note that he did offer some substantial differences from both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, and I don't just mean his odd fondness for the Metric system. Chafee denounced the drone war, said he'd pardon Edward Snowden, and otherwise took stands on "security" issues that you haven't been hearing from Clinton (because she believes the exact opposite) or from Sanders (because he is at best a lukewarm critic of the national security state).

Chafee was a terrible spokesman for these ideas, but sometimes that's all you've got. It was good to see someone try to remind voters about Clinton's support for the Iraq war, even if the chief effect was to demonstrate that most Democrats no longer care.

So of the three "extra" candidates on the debate stage last week, two—Chafee and Jim Webb—had significant differences with Clinton and Sanders. This week, both exited the Democratic race. And who's sticking around? Martin O'Malley, the man who wavers between presenting himself as Clinton Lite and Sanders Lite. Naturally.