Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Rangel Slaps Obama: 'For the Next Two Years, I Will Be More Likely to Protect His Dignity'

Don't you just love the smell of Democrat infighting? How's this for a good chuckle? Just envision an embattled Barack Obama going hat in hand next year begging Charles Rangel for a favor and Rangel whipping out Obama's recent statements and lording it over him. It's not that far-fetched considering Rangel all but concedes he'll be in the minority if he indeed is re-elected this year, an increasingly tenuous proposition.
It was a gentle but unmistakable nudge President Obama gave Representative Charles B. Rangel recently, suggesting in an interview three weeks ago that Mr. Rangel, 80, should retire to “end his career with dignity.”

At a tense and sometimes fiery candidates’ forum Monday night, Mr. Rangel shot back that it was not his dignity the president should be worried about.

“Frankly, he has not been around long enough to determine what my dignity is,” Mr. Rangel said of the 49-year-old Mr. Obama. “For the next two years, I will be more likely to protect his dignity.”

The unexpected eruption seemed to reflect the increasingly bitter relations between the embattled 20-term Democrat from Harlem and a president who is trying to protect his party’s prospects in a difficult midterm election season.

And it came during an uncomfortable evening for Mr. Rangel, who made a rare appearance with his five challengers and found himself facing harsh public attacks in front of his constituents at a Baptist church in the heart of his Harlem district.

Long accustomed to being showered with praise and accolades, and surrounded by friendly crowds who treated him like a folk hero, Mr. Rangel could not escape the controversy that has shaped his re-election bid: the 13 charges of ethical violations issued against him by a House panel last month, including hoarding below-market apartments and improper fund-raising.

The best known of his Democratic challengers, Adam Clayton Powell IV, accused Mr. Rangel of “years and years of corruption.”

“Four rent-controlled apartments. Four!” he yelled.
Funny, but Obama keeps yelling "Four!" these days.

Oh wait, that's Fore!

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