WSJ publishes love letter to Raimondo in Saturday newspaper

It seems safe to say the financial press has a bit of a crush on Treasurer Gina Raimondo.

Fresh off her CNBC appearance Friday morning, Raimondo is the subject of The Wall Street Journal’s Weekend Interview feature on Saturday. The headline (stop me if you’ve heard this one): “The Democrat Who Took on the Unions.”

WSJ assistant opinion editor Allysia Finley, who wrote about Central Falls last year, wrote the 1,600-word profile, which pours on the Raimondomania pretty thick. “So this is Gina Raimondo?” Finley asks at the start. “The state treasurer who single-handedly overhauled Rhode Island’s pension system and has unions screaming bloody murder? I had imagined her a bit, well, bigger.”

The only discordant note is sounded by Paul Valletta of the Cranston firefighters union, who gets two sentences to dismiss last year’s pension overhaul as “just a steppingstone for her to run for higher office.”

“Ms. Raimondo poses a greater threat to the labor movement than any Republican, because she undercuts its narrative that pension reform is merely a cause célèbre for conservatives who want to stick it to unions” – which, of course, is part of why she’s now the subject of a 1,600-word profile on the WSJ’s editorial page.

One glaring omission in the story is the municipal pension crisis, which is as bad as ever. Raimondo maintains that the situation with the 36 locally run plans is too messy to have been addressed in last November’s law, but it’s fair to say Governor Chafee, Mayor Taveras and others think that was a huge missed opportunity.

• Related: Raimondo opposes Chafee move to cut pension-fund deposits (March 21)

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