Against the Tide: How a Compliant Congress Empowered a Reckless PresidentEvent offered by:
Foreign Policy Association
- Thursday, October 30, 2008
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
45 East 53rd Street
New York, NY
- Event type
- Lecture / Panel
Event Transcripts and Video
Lincoln Chafee, former Senator from Rhode Island, discusses the role of Congress during the Bush Presidency.
Rhode Island native Lincoln Chafee was born in Warwick, RI in 1953 and is a graduate of Brown University. He is the son of the late John H. Chafee, long-time U.S. Senator from Rhode Island. After graduation, Chafee spent 7 years in the U.S. and Canada working as a blacksmith. Upon returning to Rhode Island, he entered state politics in 1985. He served as a member of the Warwick city council and was elected mayor of Warwick in 1992. With the passing of his father in 1999, Chafee was appointed by Governor Lincoln Almond to finish his father's term. In 2000, he won his own re-election campaign by a wide margin in a state that is primarily Democratic.
Chafee's record in the U.S. Senate is considered moderate to liberal, as he has stood in strong support of legal abortion, gay equality, and stem-cell research, among other issues. Chafee is a strong supporter of environmental protection and has received various endorsements from environmental organizations, including the Sierra Club, for his work. His independent stance includes opposition to the death penalty in addition to voting against the Bush tax cuts in 2001 and 2003. Notably, Chafee was the only Republican in the Senate to have voted against the authorization of the war in Iraq. In the 2006 mid-term elections, Chafee lost a close race to democratic challenger Sheldon Whitehouse as the Republicans lost their majority in the Congress and the Senate.
Chafee is currently working as a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Brown University. In 2007, Chafee officially changed his affiliation to Independent, and has been mentioned as a possible candidate for Governor of Rhode Island in 2010.