Race Update: RI
Stealing a page from Jacques Chirac's playbook, Rep. Patrick Kennedy preemptively surrendered to RINO Lincoln Chafee today. The Kennedy name and, more importantly, money, would probably have brought the empty suit into the Senate had he decided to run for the seat. While he left open the possibility of running at a later time, boy Kennedy may not get another shot for some time. Rhode Island Senate seats seldom open up.
Chafee is perhaps the most vulnerable Republican incumbent, and would probably face a tight election against a teletubby. Now that the only teletubby who could've gotten in has bailed out, however, he will enter the general election as an underdog if he survives a possible primary challenge from Cranston Mayor Steve Laffey. The biggest winner in this announcement is Rep. James Langevin, whom Kennedy pledged to support when he made his announcement.
If this ends up a Chafee-Langevin match-up, conservatives will have a tough choice between someone who agrees on life, with the exception of stem-cell research, but disagrees on everything else, and someone who votes with his Party only enough to ensure himself of their support in his next election. The latter would also surprise no one if he announced in his victory speech that he was changing parties. The silver lining in all this is that there definitely won't be more than one member of the Kennedy clan in the Senate after the next election.