Monday, February 25, 2008

Congressman Rangel Contracted Clinton-itis

There must be a bug going around the Clinton camp in between New York and Washington. Harlem's Congressman Rangel became extremely sick with the new ailment, especially with all the ridiculousness in the air these days. In case you haven't heard of the conditions, Clinton-itis may form excuses for harsh attack from Democrat to Democrat, denial of political realities and even a tendency to side with Republicans before Barack Obama. The sick and suffering must be pitied, but try and stay far away from it, for it can cause stinging in the ears if you are around someone with the illness for too long. NPR's Norman Siegel was brave enough to catch up with the Congressman at event this morning and documented all of his symptoms.

From The Daily Politics:

The Congressman wasn't nearly so happy after the event when, during an interview in an elevator, I asked him whether he thought Hillary Clinton should drop out of the race if she loses the Texas and Ohio contests on March 4.

"I don't think you really want to ask that question," Rangel said, insisting that he had never before heard such a thing, even though those contests have been characterized as must-wins for Clinton by none other than her former president husband.

When I assured him that I did, in fact, mean to ask that question and noted that just yesterday another Clinton supporter, New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, said the "time to move on is probably at hand" if Clinton isn't successful in Texas and Ohio, he replied:

"We're not conceding that that's possible. I haven't heard that question posed by anyone at all, not even in an irresponsible way."

Prior to our brief elevator encounter, Rangel, a Clinton superdelegate who recently said he believes "the people," not the superdelegates, should determine the nominee, discussed the Democratic presidential race at length. He side-stepped a question about what Clinton has made in her campaign to date, saying:

"I can't see where she has done anything wrong. When you are back-peddling because of the outstanding impression that your competitor has given, you are inclined to fight back sometimes with statements that sound mean-spirited and vindictive.

And therefore to the extent that this campaign of Sen. Obama has a life and a spirit of its own, I would say that there is a problem there.

But I don't think that anyone that's listened to the senator over the years would believe that the campaign didn't start off strong, or that she has made any mistakes. I think that the Clinton campaign had found the Obama campaign unexpected...and I really don't find that as a negative for the senator at all.

As a matter of fact I can't begin to tell you how proud I am as a Democrat that we are bringing this type of challenge to the Republicans."

Later Rangel went even further, saying he thanks God there is a Republican who can "stand up like McCain," adding: "Because I was embarrassed as a politician with what the Republicans were bringing up."

Sorry to copy the entire article, but that interview must be told in its entirety. The decent man from Harlem has been a true friend to the progressive cause over the years but he has genuinely been sick since deciding to support the Senator from New York. My sympathies are extended to his family, especially his wife, who thankfully remains unaffected.