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Raimondo’s on a roll

September 24, 2010

Democratic treasurer candidate Gina Raimondo, as we know, is a fundraising powerhouse. And she solidified her status as the ace rookie of this campaign season by making the best candidate speech during Monday’s AFL-CIO endorsement meeting at the RI Convention Center. (I missed her Drinking Liberally appearance Wednesday night, but she got high marks there, too.)

Raimondo’s speech to the AFL-CIO stood out because she fused FDR-style Democratic idealism with a sober analysis of Rhode Island’s economic woes and clear to-the-point messaging.

First, she played to her audience by describing by her family’s union credentials. Her father’s father helped start the local chapter of what became UCFW.

Raimondo talked up how “government can play a vital role in getting people back to work.” She said Rhode Island’s pension woes need to be fixed, so that the pension system and other government programs will be sustainable.

With the sour economy causing a “pit in your stomach” feeling for too many, she said, Rhode Island needs change and effective leadership. “That’s why I’ve chosen to step up,” Raimondo said. She added: “I’m proud to say I believe in government . . . but I believe in good government, effective government.”

As is her wont, Raimondo talked about the importance for her own family of the GI bill, public transit, public libraries, and the like. Such services need to be strengthened, she said, because “right now, there’s a little kid like me.” When it comes to things like quality healthcare and education, “she needs it to be there.”

Raimondo told her union audience she won’t take part in anti-state worker rhetoric, but she also indicated that she won’t mollycoddle public employees. Due to the need to straighten out state finances, she told me subsequently, “You can’t be a progressive and be opposed to pension reform.” As far as what that reform should consist of, Raimondo says, wide options need to be considered, including a hybrid plan.

When Raimondo finished her speech on Monday, AFL-CIO president George Nee noted that she played rugby at Harvard. Oxford, too, as it turns out.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. joe vileno permalink
    September 25, 2010 5:44 pm

    hey Scotty,

    you found an Italo pol you like in Gina and she’s a woman ! She is indeed a smart professional in money management and a family-type lady. She will be a good General Treasurer and who knows maybe someday our first woman governor ? And, being an “East Side Italian” certainly doesn’t hurt alongside her father’s union background. She has it all, with Harvard and Oxford thrown in for good measure. And she is an Italian-American, imagine that !

    Can you handle it my brother ?

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  1. Raimondo won’t rule out changing parties; says she’s not thinking about it « On Politics

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