First, yes, it's something he throws out there all the time, but he WAS the only GOP senator voting against the Iraq War. Clinton, as a senator herself then, of course voted for it, and has been totally down with the War on Terra since, as senator, presidential candidate and Secretary of State.
Second, along with Sanders, he wants Edward Snowden to come home. He's less clear than Sanders on whether that should be without any criminal consequences, but the "allowed" certainly indicates he's closer to Sanders than to Clinton. Dan Froomkin, writing at Glenn Greenwald's outpost, seems to agree.
Third, he wants to end drone strikes, primarily in the Muslim world, of course.
Fourth, he at least wants to do something to get big money out of politics by banning political donors from becoming US ambassadors.
Fifth, he explicitly used the word torture for what the Bush Administration did, and the Obama Administration did nothing about, and says that we must stop doing.
These are all positions to the left of Hillary Clinton, per her documented political stances.
"We have to have a way to wage peace," as he said in his announcement, alone illustrates that. That's Dennis Kucinich land!
Does he have any more chance than Sanders? I don't know.
Will this split the left-of-Clinton Democratic vote? Maybe. Maybe it will get more of it to turn out in primaries.
Will he get as much media dissing as Sanders? Possibly.
Per my header, is it true? I say yes, overall.
Yes, Chafee once supported, and maybe still supports, privatizing Social Security. That said, Clinton has opposed hiking the portion of income subject to FICA, claiming it would be a "middle class" tax hike, when it would actually affect 6 percent of Americans or less. This, in turn, plays to her middle class pandering.
Yes, Chafee voted for the Patriot Act. So did Clinton. Yes, he supports free trade. So does Clinton.
The point is not that Chafee is THAT liberal.
The point is that Clinton is not even THAT liberal.
I would in no way vote for a Democratic nominee named Lincoln Chafee over a Green candidate. But, if Bernie Sanders were out of the race, I'd vote for Lincoln Chafee over Hillary Clinton.
More on Chafee here.