This past week, Congress finally passed the CHIPS (Creating Helpful Incentives for the Production of Semiconductors) and Science Act, legislation that will provide $280 billion in federal funding to ensure that the making of semiconductors, which are crucial to every aspect of our everyday life, will be manufactured here in America.
It is estimated that only 12 percent of the computer chips that are essential to the products that are sold in America, including our defense industry, actually are made in America.
Ominously, the largest maker of computer chips in the world is the Taiwan Semiconductor Company, which has its largest manufacturing plant in its home country of Taiwan — a nation that could be overrun by mainland China in a matter of days.
The CHIPS Act overcame opposition from both progressives and conservatives in the House and Senate thanks largely to the tireless efforts of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, the former governor of Rhode Island. Raimondo was forceful, eloquent, and politically savvy in her pitch to legislators on all sides of the political spectrum to garner support for the legislation.
Her efforts almost single-handedly saved the bill from defeat.
Raimondo graduated from Harvard and then went to Yale Law School. She also was a Rhodes Scholar and ran her own venture capital firm before running for State Treasurer and then Governor of Rhode Island.
Yet despite her Ivy League education, Raimondo grew up in a working class family in Rhode Island. She never had anything handed to her and worked hard for her success in life.
Gina Raimondo often is described as a centrist Democrat. When (hopefully) Joe Biden announces that he will not be running for re-election, there is no one on the Democratic side who would be better suited to running for President than Gina Raimondo.
Gina Raimondo is smart, articulate, and can speak the language of ordinary Americans. In short, she is a star among a bunch of also-rans.