The Power Of Incumbency: Reed To Bring Obama Administration Officials To R.I.

Aug 15, 2014

For some indication of what Sen. Jack Reed’s reelection campaign will look like: Today’s  announcement of top Obama Administration officials who will be visiting Rhode Island in the coming weeks.

On Monday, August 18, Jane Chu, chairwoman of the National Endowment for the Arts will touch down in Pawtucket, Providence and East Providence to meet with non-profit and community leaders and local artists.

Later this month, Reed is bringing in Julian Castro, secretary of Housing and Urban Development and a rising figure in Latino political circles, for a tour of neighborhoods around the Ocean State. Castro, former mayor of San Antonio, will also meet with Rhode Island Latino community leaders.

On September 3, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, a former U.S. Senator from Nebraska, will tour Rhode Island defense installations and speak to local defense industry officials. This will help Reed underscore his Senate leadership on defense issues. Hagel is slated to speak to a confab of defense industry executives in Newport.

The signal from all this is that Reed will focus on using his incumbency as a campaign theme, allowing him to take credit for federal programs and defense contracts that provide jobs in the Ocean State. Even though Reed has arguably the safest Democratic seat in the country (Patrick  Leahy of Vermont may be Reed's lone rival in this department), Reed will put on his usual vigorous reelection effort.