The Grand Old Party will collapse in the near future, veteran Congressman Charlie Rangel prognosticates.
“There are a lot of Republicans that I know are not proud of this period that they’re going through,” the Harlem Democratic told ABC’s Rick Klein. “I predict the end of the Republican Party, maybe not in my lifetime, but soon.”
As President Barack Obama’s opponents pile on in the aftermath of multiple recent controversies–notably his reaction to the Benghazi attacks, revelations that the Internal Revenue Service focused on conservative-aligned nonprofits and the Justice Department’s unprecedented snooping on press communications–one local congressman wants it to be known that he is also not pleased.
To wit, Republican Rep. Michael Grimm, who represents Staten Island and southern Brooklyn, released a lengthy statement this afternoon blasting Mr. Obama for “bringing Chicago-style politics to the White House.” This style of underhanded rule, Mr. Grimm said, has resulted in a presidency that is “the most secretive, deceptive, and divisive we’ve seen in modern times.”
As the four biggest Democratic mayoral campaigns push against one another for every voter in the five boroughs, their focus has often turned to the Bronx, home to constituencies that none of them can lay natural claim to.
And, earlier today, former Comptroller Bill Thompson was the latest to announce Bronx officials’ endorsements in the form of Congressman José Serrano and his son, State Senator José Serrano. The duo labeled Mr. Thompson a “coalition builder” who can reach out to their heavily Hispanic communities.
President Barack Obama may have been reluctant to use the term “terrorism” to describe yesterday’s deadly explosions at the Boston Marathon, but Long Island Rep. Pete King, who up until recently was Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, thinks there’s no doubt.
“Clearly, this was a terrorist attack,” Mr. King said on Morning Joe today. “You had the multiple explosions. You had someone who was able to penetrate security. Amateurs don’t do that, so this was well-planned and coordinated. It was a terrorist attack. It’s a question of who did it, … it’s too early to say. Obviously we have to consider whether it was Islamic jihad. It could also be white supremacist, it could be anti-government people.”
Anthony Weiner’s possible entry into the mayoral race is being thoroughly mocked by the New York Post and late-night comedians, but for the candidates already in the field, it’s not necessarily a light-hearted affair. Mr. Weiner, once the leading mayoral contender, tumbled out of the spotlight in 2011 thanks to a digital sex scandal and the ensuing cover-up. But as the former congressman still has a full campaign war chest and strong name recognition–and the fact that electoral politics is a zero-sum game–the question rises: which of his hypothetical rivals would be most impacted by his decision?
Speaking to various operatives involved in the race–usually off-the-record or on-background–three central arguments emerged: Mr. Weiner would hurt Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Council Speaker Chris Quinn or, possibly, no candidate at all.
fun with puns
After former Congressman Anthony Weiner revealed his possible return to electoral politics yesterday, one could not help but wonder what pun-filled direction the New York Post would take. After all, during Mr. Weiner’s 2011 scandal, the tabloid simply wallowed in its own innuendos.
Today’s paper didn’t disappoint.
The Post‘s full coverage of Mr. Weiner’s potential mayoral candidacy starts with the cover, which blares “WEINER’S SECOND COMING!” and “Anthony: Erect me Mr. Mayor,” along with one of the sexual pictures that helped force his resignation.
New York City’s political world is abuzz with today’s news that former Congressman Anthony Weiner is indeed exploring a long-rumored campaign for mayor, revealed in a lengthy New York Times Magazine profile. In addition to various politicos speculating endlessly on the subject, Mr. Weiner’s possible rivals have started to give their own thoughts.
Comptroller John Liu, for example, told reporters that he was fine with Mr. Weiner running, but jokingly urged the potential candidate to stay away from Twitter–lest he run into a scandal similar to the one that infamously ended his congressional career in 2011.
“If Anthony wants to be mayor, I guess I would suggest getting rid of his phone and closing down his tweeting account,” Mr. Liu said after an unrelated policy speech in Manhattan. “This is a democracy. Anthony has got a lot of resources, he’s a hustler. Just stop tweeting.”
Manhattan Congressman Jerry Nadler’s constituent, Edie Windsor, is the plaintiff in the Defense of Marriage Act’s U.S. Supreme Court case, and Mr. Nadler says he couldn’t be pumped for the ultimate outcome.
“I am thrilled to be able to take part in this historic day,” Mr. Nadler said in a statement announcing his intention to attend U.S. v. Windsor‘s opening arguments tomorrow. “Our constitutional commitment to equal protection of the law requires more; that we treat all married couples with the same regard and respect. DOMA fails this simple test, and I am hopeful that the Court will strike down this shameful law and send it into the dustbin of history where it belongs.”
At the end of last week, Queens Congressman Gregory Meeks announced he would officially represent the United States at former Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez’s funeral, a country he’s dealt with in the past as a senior member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Politicker caught up with Mr. Meeks to ask how the Latin America trip went before a Monday morning press conference announcing new flood insurance legislation in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
“I thought that the trip was very good,” Mr. Meeks replied. “I was welcomed there by both members of the opposition as well as people close to President Chávez. As you know, I got to know President Chávez quite well. I think that though controversial–there were many things that I disagreed with–that he did have his heart on the poor. When you look at the thousands upon thousands of people that were in the streets mourning his death, Venezuela is clearly a country that is in mourning.”
Yesterday evening, socially conservative Democratic mayoral candidate Rev. Erick Salgado’s campaign sent out a press release announcing a breakfast in East Harlem this morning featuring “community leaders rallying support for Erick Salgado,” including Congressman Charlie Rangel. The event seemed an odd choice for the staunchly liberal veteran congressman and when we called his office to see whether he would indeed be attending they insisted he hadn’t heard of Mr. Salgado and that the breakfast wasn’t on his schedule. In spite of this, Mr. Salgado’s campaign insisted Mr. Rangel would actually be at their breakfast. The congressman called Politicker this morning to set the record straight and, according to him, it seems both his office and the Salgado campaign were partially correct.
“Edwin [Marcial], who happens to be–I understand now–the campaign manager of this Salgado, is an old El Barrio friend of mine. He came to see me a couple weeks ago and he wanted to have coffee with me and I don’t know how to say ‘no’ to an old-timer and I said, ‘I’d be glad to,’” Mr. Rangel explained. “I was surprised to see that there was a flier talking about this fellow Salgado and that Reverend Senator Díaz and I was going to be there and it went on talking about him. I called Marcial, I told him that I wasn’t thinking about meeting any candidate. I’ve never heard Erick Salgado and I would not be able to attend any breakfast in support of him.”