With Hillary Clinton expected to announce her 2016 presidential campaign any day now, a governor from Rhode Island has stepped forward and might possibly challenge the former secretary of state. In an interview with Rhode Island Public Radio, Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee said Hillary Clinton's nomination isn't guaranteed and has launched an exploratory committee to possibly consider a presidential bid. Chafee acknowledged he wasn't "naive about the task ahead," but the lesser known governor has become one of the few to step forward in possibly taking on the all-but-certain Democratic presidential nominee for 2016.
Chafee announced his possible run in a video released online. But whether his interest will materialize into a real bid depends on how much support he can raise in the next weeks and months. The 62-year-old governor, who was also a former U.S. senator, told RIPR that he would spend a few months in Iowa, the first caucus state, and New Hampshire, where the first set of primaries get underway. In his official video, Chafee said:
The 2016 election is an important one for the Democratic Party and for America. Campaigns are the time for debates about the vision for our future and for voters to assess the character and experience of those offering ideas.
Chafee's comments allude to Democrats' concerns over the lack of competitive candidates for the upcoming presidential elections. Few Democrats have publicly expressed interest in running against the former secretary of state, most likely due to the fact that experts say Clinton's nomination is all but assured now that she has launched a campaign. But that doesn't mean some Democrats haven't actively spoken against her run.
Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley challenged Clinton last month, saying the country needed a new perspective and leadership for the upcoming election. He argued that should Clinton secure the party nomination and win the presidency, then the lead seat in the United States government would have remained within two political party families for more than two of the last three decades. He told ABC News:
The presidency of the United States is not some crown to be passed between two families.
Despite large support for Clinton within the party, Democrats have acknowledged the need for more candidates in the primaries. Competition allows candidates, including Clinton, to test out their platforms and ideas early in their campaigns. Chafee, however unlikely his nomination, could be what the Democrats — and Clinton — needs in this election.