The risk of admitting a major mistake is too much for most pols to chance, so when you see a public apology, you know the blunder had to be a whopper. And Washington — and the citizens of Rhode Island — just saw one from freshman Democratic Rep. David Cicilline, who recently swallowed hard and apologized for making a highly misleading statement about the finances of the city of Providence on his way to Congress.
The job, said Chafee, gave him many skills, the direct ones he sometimes uses when his daughter’s horse needs a change of shoes. He is 59 now, and though not as quick with the rasp and hammer, he still feels he has a good touch with the tools and the clients.
“I could always get along with the horse, that’s key,” he said. “I could get under there and not have them go nuts on me.”
As for the fast and potted track of politics, his work long ago with hammer and hoof often helps there, too. Since putting his tools in storage, Chafee has been mayor of Warwick, R.I., a US Senator and, since January 2011, the governor.
“What’s similar is that it’s hard work,” he said. “If a trainer wanted me on Saturday or Sunday to shoe a horse because of a race, you had to do it, to keep your business. If you want to stay in politics, and they say there is a wake you should go to – and maybe you have other plans – you should really go to the wake. It’s what you do.”
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