Asked about vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin's effect on the race for the White House, Lincoln Chaffee, former Republican Senator from Rhode Island said the "cocky wacko" may have energized the left as much as the right.
Addressing an audience at the New America Foundation in Washington, Chaffee described the reaction he encountered the day after Palin accepted the nomination for vice president at the Republican National Convention.
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"People were coming into my office, phone calls were flooding in, e-mails were coming in, 'I just sent money to Obama, I couldn't sleep last night' — from the left. To see this cocky wacko up there," he said.
Chaffee represented Rhode Island in the Senate from 199 to 2007. He has since shed his party affiliation and is now an Independent. He endorsed Barack Obama's candidacy in the weeks before Rhode Island's Democratic primary in February.