WYNN HOTEL AND CASINO, LAS VEGAS — Not since Thomas Dewey – “the little man on the wedding cake” – has a presidential candidate gotten on stage wearing his hair parted in or near the middle, but it happened yesterday evening here in the gambling capital of the world.
The first candidate to be introduced at the first Democratic presidential debate was Lincoln Chafee, who began his political career as a member of the City Council of Warwick, Rhode Island. Chafee, who has spent a great deal of time in New Hampshire touting his credentials as a fellow New Englander, hoped to break out of the pack by taking a jab at Hillary by telling the audience of 1300 raucous Democrats that he has never experienced a scandal. But most of the public has no idea who Lincoln Chafee is.
Chafee was a Republican until 2007, when he left the Republican Party to become an Independent. He was elected governor of Rhode Island in 2010. He joined the Democratic Party in 2013.
A solitary reporter and his associate solitary reporter, Lewis Thompson, presented their journalistic credentials to attend the five-person debate, but were denied entrance by DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. So the dynamic duo asked Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (a likely contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2020) to use his good offices to get them into the debate, which he did. Sandoval told Thompson that he was doing so because the American public desperately needs to receive a satirical slant on the news.
Second to be introduced by CNN’s Anderson Cooper was former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, who looked constipated most of the time. During the CNN recap after the debate, one of the commentators, quite possibly Paul Begala, remarked that Webb would make a good Republican presidential candidate.
In his closing statement, Chafee announced that he is leaving the presidential race, and that he is endorsing Harvard Law School Professor Larry Lessig for president. Wasserman Schultz refused to allow Lessig to participate in the presidential debate.
Lessig has centered his campaign on his fight to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, and he has vowed that, immediately after being inaugurated as president, he would promptly resign in favor of his running mate.
As he watched the debate while tweeting his thousands of followers, Lessig announced to 1300 Harvard Law school students that he will immediately begin vetting each of them to be his running mate.