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Monday, December 27, 2010

Steinbery: Carol, I miss you already

A Neil Steinberg column on the only Black woman to have held a seat in the US Senate, Carol Moseley Braun. She is currently running for Mayor of Chicago and this is a bit of a hilarious column:
See, that’s why I revere Carol Moseley Braun, in an ironic but very real sense, and will miss her when she returns to the deep obscurity she popped out of to stage her quixotic quest for mayor. Because she can say things like “I was quite surprised” after state Sen. James Meeks dropped out of the mayoral race last week.

Moseley Braun, the former senator, former ambassador, and current would-be mayor, was caught off guard when the pastor of the Salem Baptist Church took his ball and went home, while even third-rate pundits who live in the suburbs saw this coming a mile away.

From this column exactly 11, count ’em, 11 weeks ago:

“This is Meeks’ way of dropping out of the race,” I wrote, on Oct. 11, after Meeks, in the first of a series of jaw-dropping gaffes, vowed that he would keep his day job running a mega-church after he was elected mayor — a premise that might have pleased the flock “but, to non-parishioners, it seems a preacher-slick way of saying, ‘I quit.’”

Such obviousness whizzed past the brand of savvy that Moseley Braun brings to the table, and is why part of me wishes she had a snowball’s chance in hell of becoming Chicago’s next mayor. Never underestimate a politician’s entertainment value.
Then there's this:
Alas, after February we won’t have Carol Moseley Braun to kick around anymore, and I for one will feel the loss. She represents the egomaniacal muddle that Chicago black leadership has slid into, where calls for imaginary and self-destructive racial solidarity trump minor concerns like reason or history.

Which is why Meeks, in the comment that sealed his fate, could dismiss women and Hispanics as not being worthy of the title “minority.” Politics is the art of drawing people in, not shutting them out, and candidates such as Meeks fail because they don’t grasp that what drives them to their feet, applauding in the pews on Sunday, lands with a thud when delivered to the city in general.

I hope some ambitious University of Chicago sociology graduate student does her masters thesis on the search for a so-called “consensus” candidate among the marginalized black power structure in Chicago; it would make for a fascinating study in magical thinking.
This went from a comment about the "cluelessness" (?) of Carol Moseley Braun to an indictment of Black leadership in Chicago. To advance in politics anywhere, racial or ethnic solidarity isn't going to get an aspiring politico very far.

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