What If Nobody Noticed the Governor’s Absence?

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John DePetro points something out that one would think would be more widely mentioned:

Governor Raimondo made a loud statement by becoming the first Rhode Island Governor to blow off the Bristol July 4, Parade. Sources say the state congressional delegation were shocked Raimondo chose to skip the country’s longest running parade …

Parade organizers usually have to police the number of politicians that want to be part of the parade, and were upset Raimondo skipped it. Raimondo marched last year along with her son while gearing up for her November reelection. One parade source mentioned that even Gov. Linc Chafee always marched in Bristol despite his low poll numbers.

I’m not sure how John verified that no governor has ever missed the parade, but nonetheless, it seems notable that this one did.  It also seems notable how little remarked the absence was.  Even the state’s leading weekend political wrap-ups don’t take note.

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Ordinarily, Ted Nesi’s “Nesi’s Notes” and Ian Donnis’s “TGIF” columns pick up small details of political relevance that might not have fit or been justified for full columns, and neither mentions this.  I’ve searched the local sites and, while I may have missed something, I don’t see the missing governor story anywhere.  Perhaps the Providence Journal’s “Political Scene” will cover it on Monday.

During the election, last year, the governor released a slick campaign video promoting her presence.

It’s fascinating what gets covered and what doesn’t.  While I wouldn’t go so far as to assert bias — Who knows what goes into any particular writer’s coverage decisions on a holiday weekend? — the topic is a good reminder of the leverage of the news media to shape people’s understanding of what’s going on and what’s important.



  • D. S. Crockett

    Since our Progressive governor lost her bid to expand taxes, fees and college tuition at taxpayer’s expense, why not consider resigning? What on earth does she expect to accomplish the rest of her term? Attracting jobs and the population that follows is not part of her agenda for sure. Does she plan to challenge Reed or does she already know that Reed’s seat will be open when his term expires? Oh goody, Raimondo replaces Reed. How to you say zero equals zero?

  • Joe Smith

    Justin – this is entirely predictable. The Governor and others are playing the 2022 musical chair game in RI, the biggest factors being whether Jack Reed is playing or not, if a Dem wins the Presidency, and whether RI loses a congressional seat.

    Everyone seems to be betting on the last one so you have

    (1) David C trying to keep his seat by ensuring his Providence base can take care of the more moderate south/west and counting on the inept GOP not fielding a candidate of any reasonable stature/competence.

    (2) Elorza, Gorbea, McKee, and maybe Magaziner all trying to stake out positions for the Governor’s spot.

    (3) Regunberg posturing for the LtGov job

    (4) Langevin probably being persuaded to return to Warwick as the Mayor to avoid a Dem primary for the sole congressional seat or given a nice job if a Dem President is elected in 2020.

    That leaves our Gov really hoping that either (1) or (2) occurs so she can do what she really has wanted and get to DC, especially since her kids will be pretty much college age by then I think. I’m suspecting Jack Reed isn’t in any hurry to retire, but a Dem President for Gina could mean either Sen Reed finally takes the SecDef job (and Gina appoints herself to his seat despite the howls of letting McKee being the incumbent going into 2022) or she has postured herself sufficiently (VP is a long shot) for a Cabinet post (Commerce, Treasury).

    For the last one, she needs to ensure her progressive bona fides are in tact (hence the abortion, and anything “free” when it comes to education) but she has sufficient appeal (thanks marketing team Raimondo) as not a kooky progressive.

    Hence, retail RI politics are unnecessary (even more an indication Reed is probably running again) but attending the Sun Valley elites conference is.

    Maybe it doesn’t get picked up because it’s hardly “news” – I mean, the Gov is really checked out except to damage control any bad news and keep her marketing team engaged – although she better cut a deal with whoever hates her enough and has clout with the WSJ since the coverage against her with that paper has been more frequent and I suspect that’s not a coincidence.

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