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Countdown to Rahmageddon: The Final Push

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jan 3, 2011 3:45PM

Now that Carol Moseley Braun is standing tall as the so-called "consensus Black candidate" for mayor, the field for the mayoral campaign's final weeks is starting to take shape. One question we still have after Danny Davis's late Friday announcement that he was dropping out and backing Braun is - "Carol Moseley Braun? Really?"

We've written a couple of times already that this whole quest to have one African-American candidate speak for an entire voting bloc seems so... self-serving. All the steps taken to get to Davis and Rev. James Meeks finally backing Braun just seemed sort of pulled from an old playbook that, as Barack Obama's election proved, is antiquated. Obama received wide-ranging support from many demographics, and Rahm Emanuel currently is doing the same, even polling well among African Americans. And we don't see Gery Chico and MIguel del Valle sniping at each other to become a consensus Hispanic candidate.

We aren't saying that race isn't a factor in the campaign — race will always be a factor in all facets of American life so long as we deem it to be. Consider this: one of the reasons Davis and Meeks dropped out to back Braun, besides unity, was Braun's list of black business leaders pledged to support her. Business leaders, regardless of color, tend to be looking out for their own interests. Davis said Friday night that "in unity there is strength. In strength, there is power." Of the three, however, Braun was probably the weakest. If the goal of finding a consensus candidate was to marginalize, these leaders may have succeeded.

Braun's remaining in the campaign can be a big boosts to the campaigns of Chico and del Valle. She may be the consensus choice among a select group of African American business leaders, politicians and community activists, but her Senate resume can be a huge detriment to undecided voters, as will her over-the-top attempts to paint Emanuel as a carpetbagger. Chico can boast the support of a fair amount of business leaders himself, while del Valle is probably running the most grass roots campaign of the major contenders. If either of those two start gaining support in future polls, it might be enough to make Emanuel (who was vacationing in Thailand at the time of Davis's announcement) to actually do a little bit of campaigning.

We may just yet get some political fireworks in the upcoming weeks..