CREDITPHOTOGRAPHS OF JIM WEBB AND LINCOLN CHAFEE BY SCOTT OLSON / GETTY
LAS VEGAS (The Borowitz Report)—When the curtain rises on the first Democratic debate of the 2016 campaign, all eyes will be on the bitter rivalry between the former Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee and the former Virginia senator Jim Webb.
While both camps are mum about the vicious hatred that has consumed the two men on the campaign trail, political insiders familiar with the Chafee-Webb blood feud are expecting fireworks in Las Vegas on Tuesday night.
"It's always hard to make predictions about a debate, but one thing is guaranteed," the political scientist Davis Logsdon said. "These two men cannot stand each other."
Sources differ over what caused the white-hot hostility between the two former officeholders, but most agree that Webb's two-per-cent support in some polls deeply rankles Chafee, who has garnered only one per cent.
"Lincoln is a very, very competitive man," a source close to the former Rhode Island governor said. "He thinks he should be the one with two per cent, not Webb, and he's determined to take Webb down."
Logsdon, the political scientist, said that debate watchers can expect Webb to attempt a knockout punch on Chafee in the early minutes of the debate, but warned, "That punch had better land."
"The last thing you want is to turn Lincoln Chafee into a wounded, bloodied animal," Logsdon said. "He will lash out and kill you."
For his part, Chafee hopes to attack Webb so brutally that the former senator is knocked out of the race once and for all. "In a race without Webb, Chafee believes he scoops up Webb's two per cent, and then he's riding high, with three per cent," a source said. "So Tuesday night could get very, very ugly."