For some time now, we at Casa Diablo have been aware of what is either a heinous conspiracy involving the timing of local news revelations or just another unfair law of nature. It goes like this: when a dramatic, "game-changing" (the phrase of the moment) event occurs, it will undoubtedly occur hours after P&J's deadline. And so it was with last week's political bombshell that Patrick Kennedy would not be running for re-election for the 1st Congressional District seat he has occupied since 1994.
Patches's decision to take a powder (in a good way, of course) was obviously welcome news for dry cleaners throughout the region, as an unprecedented number of prominent Democrats immediately responded by moistening their trousers and skirts in paroxysms of delight when word leaked (sorry, poor choice of verb) that Kennedy was out of the picture.
Mayor David "Little Chi Chi" Cicilline quickly tossed his sombrero into the ring, having learned from his initial successful run for mayor of Providence that time is of the essence. And in order to secure funds from the usual suspects among campaign contributors, anyone considering the Congressional run ought to embrace the adage "he who hesitates is lost." Rhode Island Democratic Party chairman Bill Lynch knows this (though his chances may depend on the success of a state constitutional initiative to count each vote from the city of Pawtucket as two votes . . . all right, no one is actually suggesting this and we apologize for, perhaps, putting ideas into the head of Peter Kilmartin).
But despite the ongoing ripple effect (latest interesting ripple as reported by WRNI's Ian Donnis: Myrth York is considering the Providence mayoral race) and all the political positioning in the wake of Kennedy's decision not to run, P&J's main thought is, "Good for you, Patrick." You don't need to continue to be a punching bag for those right-wing talk radio callers who have, of course, never met Patrick and haven't a clue about the way he thinks or what he feels and can only see things from a narrow cartoon-like lens.
Good for Patrick. We suspect that in 10 years or so, when much of the personally vicious criticism of the congressman has died down, upon reflection, many Vo Dilunduhs will come to the realization that he served his state well.
NOT EVERY CLOUD HAS A SILVER LINING
While Cicilline and Lynch were leaving the footprints of their dance pumps and brogans, respectively, on Patrick Kennedy's chest in their race to run for his First District Congressional seat, two other people were no doubt pressing a cold gun muzzle to their temples amid deep sobs.
P+J refer to the only announced GOP challenger for the seat, John "Mork" Loughlin, and our pal Betsy Dennigan.
Mr. "Nanny Nanny Boo Boo" was hoping for some serious bucks from the national Republican Party coffers due to the fact the was taking on the last member of Camelot in DC, hoping for a repeat of Scott Brown's Senate seat upset win in Massachusetts over the inept and self-satisfied Martha Coakley. Surely his GOP masters would be willing to fund another potential stake in the heart to the despised Kennedy image, but now the race is merely shaping up as a Democratic party battle sans incumbent to fill the seat in the House from the ragingly blue Ocean State.