Lincoln Chafee: 'Let's Be Bold...And Go Metric'

By Susan Jones | June 4, 2015 | 8:27 AM EDT

Lincoln Chafee, the former Rhode Island governor, formally announced his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination on Wednesday, June 3, 2015. (AP File Photo)

( - He "put shoes on horses" and worked at a racetrack for seven years, before following in his father's footsteps as a U.S. senator, then governor of Rhode Island.

And now, Lincoln Chafee -- a liberal Republican-turned-Independent is running as a Democrat for president of the United States.

He announced his intentions on Wednesday, promising to "wage peace" -- and to embrace the metric system. It was an awkward moment:

"Earlier I said, 'Let's be bold.' Here's a bold embrace of internationalism. Let's join the rest of the world and go metric. I happened to live in Canada, and they've completed the process. Believe me, it's easy. It doesn't take long before 34 degrees is hot. Only Myanmar, Liberia and the United States aren't metric. And it will help our economy," Chafee said at the very end of his "I'm running" speech.

Chafee also pledged to "deliberately and carefully extricate ourselves from expensive wars"; bring health insurance to more of the uninsured; address climate change; "repair" the MIddle East and North Africa; "reinvigorate the United Nations"; ban the "sale' of ambassadorships to big political donors;  and make America "an inspiration for civilized behavior."

He spent much of his speech bashing President George W. Bush and the "neocons" for their decision to go to war in Iraq.

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