Saturday, September 13, 2008

Thank You, Rhode Island

I grew up in Southern California; the Los Angeles suburb of Pasadena, to be specific. I now live in San Francisco and am writing today from Honolulu, Hawaii, where my mother currently lives.

However, for a few years I was a New Englander. Well, not really. I attended Brown University, which I LOVED, and after graduation, I stayed in Providence, Rhode Island, for about four and a half more years, working in both Providence and Boston. I very much did not love living in Providence as a college graduate. In fact, I hated it. I worked with some rather unfortunate people, and while I had plenty of friends (most of whom also had attended Brown), I never felt connected to New England culture. By late 1996, I could not get back to California fast enough and high-tailed it to San Francisco in November of that year.

I pretty much have never looked back, save several trips back east to visit my friends. While I find New England to be beautiful, and I love to visit the area, there is no love lost between myself and The Colonies. I would never want to live there again, and I generally am not shy about saying so. However, this week, former Republican Senator (and fellow Brown graduate) Lincoln Chafee may well have redeemed the state of Rhode Island, and perhaps all of New England, in my mind. He showed insight, intelligence and frankly, common sense this week, and I, for one, and happy that he did not keep that common sense to himself. I usually keep politics off this space, but.... From the Associated Press via the CBS News website:

Former Rhode Island Senator Lincoln Chafee, who left the GOP after being defeated for re-election in 2006, called Sarah Palin a “cocky wacko,” but admitted to a Washington audience Tuesday that she has revived a “lackluster McCain candidacy,” the AP reports.

Speaking to the New American Foundation, Chafee was asked about Palin by an audience member and he responded by saying that her candidacy has “thrown this firestorm, this tornado, into the whole presidential election.” Chafee, who is supporting Barack Obama, said that her speech to the GOP convention also energized Democrats. “People were coming into my office, phone calls were flooding in, e-mails were coming in, ‘I just sent money to Obama, I couldn’t sleep last night’ – from the left. To see this cocky wacko up there.”

In an interview with the AP Thursday, Chafee said that he “found much of Palin’s convention speech objectionable, particularly her ‘mocking’ assertion that Obama was overly concerned with al-Qaeda terrorists getting” their rights read to them. That “got to the core of everything wrong with the last eight years,” said Chafee. “I consider that wacky, and certainly her tone was very, very cocky,” he added.

Cocky or not, that woman is a wackjob who scares the living daylights out of me. So thanks, Linc, and thank you, Rhode Island. I now am feeling like I didn't appreciate you enough while I was there.

Okay, all of that said, I only have 24 more hours left in Hawaii. So I'm off to the beach.

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