Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Some Perspectives from the Northeast

A conversation with a well-connected attendee at the NCSL meeting from the northeast yielded the following interesting perspectives:

1. While George Romney would make a good presidential candidate, he could not carry Massachusetts in a national election.

2. While Massachusetts is in no danger of becoming a conservative state, influence in that direction is being exerted from an unexpected sector of the population: legal immigrants from places like the Caribbean, eastern Europe, and parts of Africa. I asked if this conservatism was more economic or social was told that it was a little bit of both: they feel like they have played by the rules in their own lives, and they expect others to do the same. People from these groups have been among the most outspoken in favor of laws emphasizing the use of English.

3. Lincoln Chafee stands a reasonable chance of holding on to his U.S. Senate seat. The election is becoming more localized, and Rhode Islanders are expressing admiration for Chafee's willingness to buck national leaders and follow his own path.

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