Ted Nesi

With two weeks until election day, Democrats Clay Pell,  Angel Taveras and Gina Raimondo stuck to familiar campaign themes and solidifying support in a spirited televised debate this evening that was long on rhetorical flourishes but short on major policy differences.

In December, 1991 Bill Clinton swooped into Providence for a University Club fund-raiser for his nascent presidential campaign. He arrived at Green Airport in a small  private plane and was met by former Providence Mayor Joseph Paolino, Suzanne Magaziner and her young son.

As Clinton got off the plane, he reached out and patted the young boy on the head. ``Hey Seth, how areyah?, said the Arkansas governor in the drawl that would become known around the world after his 1992 election as president.

Providence – It was Mr. Inside, Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, against Mr. Outside, Barrington businessman Ken Block,  as the two Republican candidates for governor clashed in the first televised debate of a campaign in which neither candidate has been shy about criticizing each other  in the early going.

The 2014 Rhode Island campaign for governor began in earnest tonight as Democratic primary aspirants Angel Taveras, Clay Pell and Gina Raimondo met in a live televised debate on WPRI-TV that was far more remarkable for policy agreements than disagreements or the sharp, thrust-and-parry exchanges emblematic of Democratic primaries of yore.