Friday, July 30, 2010

Is Obama Telling Rangel to Retire? Sounds Like It

President Obama has offered an opinion on the fate of Representative Charlie Rangel of New York. Recently, the House Ethics Committee charged Rangel with 13 violations.

During an interview with CBS News, President Obama seems to argue that Rangel should hang up his hat:
I think Charlie Rangel served a very long time and served -- his constituents very well. But these -- allegations are very troubling. . . .

And he'll -- he's somebody who's at the end of his career. Eighty years old. I'm sure that -- what he wants is to be able to -- end his career with dignity. And my hope is that -- it happens.
Obama's comments come as some media reports speculate that Rangel will survive the storm. While other commentators have argued that an ethics trial could harm Democrats, it is unclear whether Rangel's situation would actually have national implications. Obama's comments, ironically, will probably bring more attention to the situation and make it an issue that more likely implicates the reputation of the Democratic Party.

Will Rangel heed Obama's "advice"? According to Ben Smith of Politico, Rangel is unfazed by Obama's statement. Quoting an anonymous source, Smith reports that Rangel "doesn’t give a damn about what the president thinks about this."


Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Is Obama overreacting again? Even conservative commentators think this issue was dying: Not sure why he jumped into it at this point.

Hippi Chicki Niki said...

Perhaps he is worried that, if this is still an unresolved issue come November (or if the House Ethics Committee lets it go or just slaps him on the wrist) it will be ammunition in the election for the Republicans. It was a bit similar back in 2006, a lot of frustrated Democratic and Independent Americans that disliked the President's policies and a few corruption scandals erupting in the year of the mid-term elections. He may be trying to signal to the public that he is not behind Rangel because, when he has to endorse all of the other Dems running, he needs his endorsement to mean something.

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