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Heat Building for Braun to Apologize for "Crack Addict" Comment

By Chuck Sudo in News on Feb 1, 2011 4:40PM

Media criticism of Carol Moseley Braun over her "crack addict" statement at mayoral opponent Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins is growing as the video of from Sunday's forum at Trinity United Church of Christ is now starting to go viral (video below). Let's take a look, shall we?

Mary Mitchell, Sun-Times: "Unfortunately, her harsh comments about Watkins may have done her campaign some real harm in the ’hood."
Richard Roeper: "Whether Carol Moseley Braun is demanding the head of a Sun-Times columnist for writing something she later admitted she hadn’t even read, calling out an alleged bully by name a half century after the fact or saying one of her opponents was “strung out on crack,” the former United States senator and ambassador to New Zealand just keeps bringing the class in her campaign to become Chicago’s next mayor."
Eric Zorn: "Much has been made of Rahm Emanuel's temperament, but Braun, here, revealed she doesn't have the temperament to be mayor."

"The only columnist who even suggested that Watkins goaded Braun into the comment was the Sun-Times' Mark Brown.

"This was a provocative statement, to be sure, and had the feel of something rehearsed in advance. It was the first time Watkins had engaged Braun directly in this manner during many joint appearances.

"I would also argue that, except for exaggerating the time frame, Watkins’ remarks rang true. It’s a point, in fact, that I had expected some of the other African-American candidates to make early on during the stare-down over who would be the “consensus” candidate.

"Where indeed was Braun’s voice in the public affairs of Chicago during, let’s say, the last decade, as I certainly believe she is entitled to credit for her service prior to that in the Senate and even as ambassador to New Zealand?

"In responding to Watkins, Braun could have recognized she was being baited by a weaker opponent and supplied a substantive answer that would have blunted the issue by perhaps citing specific community issues in which she was involved, if there were any, or she might have sidestepped diplomatically with her standard shtick about how hard she was working at starting her organic food business.

"Instead, Braun opened up with both barrels."

Brown's point is solid here. Watkins has been looking for publicity for her campaign for months now. With Braun's gauche retort, she got it and then some. Brown and Zorn also note that, for all of the press and bytes written about Rahm Emanuel's temperament, it's been Braun who's gone to the gutter numerous times in this campaign. From her comments about Bill Clinton being "an outsider supporting an outsider" to saying she didn't want to release her tax returns "because I don't want to;" to saying to emanuel at the Tribune Editorial Board forum, "Let's talk about tampons," Braun has showed the impulse that does not make for a good mayor.