Monday, June 18, 2012

MMM Endorses Clyde Williams for June 26th Primary

MMM noted with interest last November that Clyde Williams, who has worked for Bill Clinton and for the DNC during the Obama presidency, was going to take on Charlie Rangel for the 13th District US congressional seat.

Flash forward 7 months and not only did Clyde jump in the race, he just got endorsed by the New York Times.

Nobody is writing the political obituary of Rep. Charlie Rangel yet (okay, they're definitely writing it, but no bets are being placed) and State Senator Adriano Espaillat has some momentum in this now hispanic majority district.  But Espaillat seemingly is counting on his appeal in the hispanic community - and in particular, the Dominican community - to take the election.

Rangel is digging his heels in, hoping that the old base that's always supported him in the past will continue to be enough.

But Clyde has the political experience and crossover appeal - to new Harlem residents, old Harlem residents, hispanic voters (though Dominicans seem to be supporting Espaillat, Puerto Ricans and others seem to remain open to Clyde), whites, asians, etc.

But that's why people are going to come out on the June 26th Primary Day for Clyde - precisely because he DOES appeal (and is consciously trying to appeal) to a broad coalition of 13th District voters.  After all, we're a large and diverse district.  The US Rep. from this district will end up representing all of us in Washington, D.C. - we should demand that the ultimate winner seek support from people of all backgrounds and situations.

Clyde strikes one as a practical problem solver - despite him holding some purely political positions at the DNC and think-tank American Progress - as he has led the Harlem Small Business Initiative has been a board member of STRIVE, an East Harlem non-profit whose mission is job training.  He does not strike one as a dig-your-heels-in idealogue, and that would serve his Harlem and Bronx base well in Washington.  We need pragmatic problem solvers representing our interests instead of grandstanding dinosaurs who care more about getting their own name on a building than truly serving the dynamic needs of their district.  We need someone in Washington who will advocate our interests, while making sure that our federal government is doing its job.

Though we don't always agree with the NYT, they got this one right.  MMM supports Clyde Williams for the June 26th Democratic primary.