The Wall Street Journal’s conservative editorial page – and particularly Allysia Finley, one of its writers, who keeps an eye on Rhode Island – hasn’t always been a big fan of Lincoln Chafee. But Finley paid Chafee a compliment, if a somewhat backhanded one, in a new editorial about his decision not to run next year:
Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s announcement Wednesday that he would not seek re-election next year exhibited his hallmark pragmatism: With an approval rating stuck in the mid 20s, he faced a bruising primary against two well-funded, popular Democrats. Yet by hanging up his hat, he also evinced a modicum of humility and self-awareness that’s become all too rare in politics. …
It took some courage for the governor to admit that election politics were impeding his focus and judgement, and likely even more so to admit to himself that he stood little chance of winning. Other governors in similar binds (e.g., Illinois’s Pat Quinn) ought to take note.
• Related: Analysis: Chafee scrambles the 2014 campaign – once again (Sept. 4)