- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 9, 2015

Lincoln Chafee, a former governor and senator from Rhode Island, announced Thursday that he is considering a 2016 presidential run as a Democrat.

Making the announcement in a video on a website for his newly formed presidential exploratory committee, Mr. Chafee focused on “international instability.”

“I’m alarmed about the international instability, especially in the Middle East and North Africa,” he said in the brief video. “I don’t like where this is going. Americans want safety, stability and sustainability.”

He said the country needed “fresh ideas.”

“Campaigns are the time for debates about the vision of our future and for voters to assess the character and experience of those offering ideas,” he said.

Mr. Chafee, who in the course of his political career has switched parties from Republican to independent to Democrat, slammed Republicans under former President George W. Bush for leaving the economy “in a shambles.” He then praised President Obama, saying he “led admirably” and “has revived our economy.”

Mr. Chafee served as Republican senator from 1999 to 2007, but because of some of his liberal policy positions, he was dismissed by some conservatives as a “RINO” (“Republican in Name only”).

He switched to independent and became governor of Rhode Island. Facing a tough re-election contest for governor in 2013, he switched to Democrat but then dropped out of the race.

“Throughout my career, I exercised good judgment on a wide range of high-pressure decisions — decisions that require levelheadedness and careful foresight,” Mr. Chafee said in the video. “Often these decisions came in the face of political adversity. During the next weeks and months I look forward to sharing with you my thoughts about the future of our great country.”

Most polls so far have not included Mr. Chafee.

He joins a handful of long shot Democratic candidates eyeing the race, including Vice President Joseph R. Biden, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont and former Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia.

They would be taking on former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is expected to announce her run within weeks and remains the odds-on favorite to win the Democratic nomination.

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