Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee has notified senior Democratic Party officials that he intends to switch his party registration and join the Democratic Party, multiple sources familiar with Chafee’s decision told POLITICO.
Chafee, a former GOP senator elected as an independent in 2010, has struggled with low approval ratings. He also faces a difficult reelection fight in 2014.
But the ex-Republican campaigned for President Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 and earned praise from Obama during his third-party bid for governor in 2010.
He ultimately won a three-way race with 36 percent of the vote.
Chafee “absolutely intends to switch his party registration” ahead of 2014, one national Democrat said.
Senator John Chafee (R-RI), Lincoln’s father, died in October 1999. In a rather Murkowskiesque turn of events, “Linc” (as his fans call him) was subsequently appointed to fill out his father’s term before winning a full term in 2000. Chafee quickly distinguished himself as the most liberal Republican in the Senate before he was defeated in the 2006 Democrat sweep. If there was ever a more left-wing politician who bothered to call himself a Republican, I don’t know who it is. Snarlin Arlen may have been the closest. Today’s announcement shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. It simply confirms what we’ve always known: Chafee is a spineless liberal who’ll do or say anything if he thinks it will help him remain on the taxpayer dole.