Former U.S. Senator and Rhode Island Governor Linc Chafee has announced the formation of a presidential exploratory committee.

When Rhode Island reader and blogger Tony emailed me about it, I thought it was a joke. Chafee has a reputation of a buffoonish political character who switches political sides on a whim. On second thought, that may make him perfect as a presidential candidate.

Apparenty it’s true. Here is his announcement:

The Providence Journal reports:

Former U.S. Senator and Governor Lincoln Chafee, who slipped quietly out of the State House in January, made a big splash Thursday in local politics by announcing he may run for president in 2016.
Chafee made his announcement on his website Chafee2016.com and in a news release in which he said he was announcing the formation of an exploratory committee to consider a run as the Democratic Party nominee.

Chafee, a former Republican turned Independent turned Democrat, said he will spend the next few months in New Hampshire, Iowa and other key battleground states, asking voters whether his “independent thinking and fresh ideas for the future” are what is needed in the 2016 presidential campaign.

GoLocalProv has more details on his background:

Chafee was elected Mayor of Warwick as a Republican in 1992, and held that position until he was appointed to the United States Senate in 1999 to fill the remainder of the term of his father, John Chafee, who died in office.

Chafee won reelection in 2000, and was a vocai critic of President and fellow Republican George W. Bush, and was the only Republican in the Senate to have voted against authorization of the use of force in Iraq.

He was defeated in the 2006 race for Senate by Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse.

In 2010, Chafee announced his intentions to run for Governor of Rhode Island as an independent, and won a 3 way race with 36% of the vote.

In 2013, Chafee became a member of the Democratic party, and did not seek reelection to the office of Governor in 2014.

You know what I say? He may be the missing Linc the Democratic Party has been seeking for a contested primary.

I also think Linc may be able to harness support, based on the bio on his website:

Chafee is a 1975 graduate of Brown University, earning a degree in the Classics. A four-year varsity wrestler, Chafee received the Francis M. Driscoll Award for leadership, scholarship and athletics. Upon graduation, Chafee attended Montana State University’s Horseshoeing School and for the next seven years he worked as a blacksmith at harness racetracks throughout the United States and Canada.

Had I known this would happen, I never would have left Rhode Island.

The talk radio is going to be gold, pure gold.