12:27 pm Mar. 7, 2012
Clyde Williams, the former aide to Barack Obama and Bill Clinton who is considering a race against Rep. Charlie Rangel, sent a three-minute video to supporters this morning.
It's mostly biographical, and doesn't go anywhere near the topic of the incumbent himself.
Rangel's record will inevitably be a larger part of the dialogue once the campaign gets going in earnest, in light of his sanctioning before the 2010 election for violating House ethics rules. That's despite the fact that Rangel managed to turn the negative attention into a rallying cry in the last election among his supporters, who felt he was unfairly abused by critics from outside the district who failed to appreciate his legislative contributions and constituent services. Rangel won easily.
But the video demonstrates what associates of WIlliams say are his key attributes, and perhaps illustrates the sort of campaign he would like to run, ideally, talking about solving problems and steering clear of anything that can be turned into a personality contest by the much-better-known and still well-liked Rangel.
The video is also being circulated one day after a federal magistrate proposed a reshaping of the district for this year's election, signaling that Williams, who hasn't officially declared his candidacy, is moving ahead with his campaign.
Other Democratic candidates looking to replace Rangel (whether or not he runs) include onetime Rangel aide and local banker Vince Morgan, and businesswoman Joyce Johnson, whom the Times endorsed in 2010. Johnson said she is also bearing the brunt of Rangel's strong-arm political tactics.
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