Espaillat runs against Rangel as the young guy; Williams runs against Rangel as the competent guy

Adriano Espaillat, at the Barack Obama Democratic Club. (Reid Pillifant)
Tweet Share on Facebook Share on Tumblr Print

When Rep. Charlie Rangel walked into a crowded room on 125th Street an hour late earlier this week, making his first public appearance in two months, he used a walker.

On display afterward were two strikingly different anti-Rangel strategies from his leading opponents.

Immediately after the event, State Senator Adriano Espaillat released a statement saying he was glad to learn Rangel was "up and about" because the campaign will require "we vigorously debate" the issues.

The digs at the 81-year-old's diminished health were unmistakable.



By contrast, Clyde Williams, a former aide to presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, did not offer a comment. But he, or someone working on his behalf, released the names of some powerful donors they have supporting their campaign.

"Backers include: Office of the Vice President's Tony Blinken and Evan Ryan; White House's Caroline Atkinson; Glover Park Group's Joel Johnson; Discovery Communications' David Leavy; and Goldman Sachs's Jake Siewert," according to Politico.

Whereas Espaillat is trying to make a freshness argument, in other words, Williams is positioning himself as the most Washington-capable of Rangel's challengers. He's already raised $125,000 and, unlike other challengers, conducted a poll in order to better calibrate his campaign's strategy.

Other candidates in the race include Joyce Johnson, who ran in 2010 and won the Times' endorsement, and Craig Schley, a perennial candidate whose slogan this time around is "Evolve 2012." Which is oddly fitting.