After Rangel dares the establishment, Clyde Williams flaunts Clinton and Obama connections

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Briefing: Williams. (Azi Paybarah via flickr)
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On Friday, Rep. Charles Rangel campaign circulated a flier featuring a picture of Barack Obama. When asked whether the president actually supported his re-election, Rangel said, "God damn that is a good question," and encouraged reporters to ask the president about it.

It was a real question, but also a bit of a dare: Rangel, the 21-term dean of the New York delegation, likely believes that the establishment won't want to put itself in an awkward position by actually opposing him, but also that if they do, he'll be positioned (as he was in 2010) as the defender of "the village of Harlem" from "outsiders" trying to tell it what to do. 

Today, the Post has two stories looking at Rangel's strength, relative to his challengers'.

The first is by Gerry Shields, noting that only five members of the House of Representatives have donated to Rangel's campaign, totaling a "paltry $3,000." 

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The second is by Carl Campanile, quoting two prominent supporters of decently well-funded challenger Clyde Williams who have connections to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. 

International

Nicolas Sarkozy, ousted by Socialist Francois Hollande, prepares to become a regular French citizen. [Le Monde]

"[The United States] should be pursuing free trade agreements with Japan, Taiwan and India, and allowing American businesses to enter Burma." [Jon Huntsman]

NY-13

Hillary Clinton's former chief of staff, Maggie Williams, and the policy director for Obama's 2008 campaign, Melody Barnes, go on the record supporting Clyde Williams against Charlie Rangel. [Carl Campanile]

Only five House members donated to Rangel's campaign, totaling a "paltry" $3,000. [Gerry Shields]

2013

Christine Quinn rallies to clean up the Chelsea Hotel. [Sally Goldenberg]

Bill Thompson is making inroads into the Orthodox Jewish community. [Sally Goldenberg]

Scott Stringer was joined by Rep. Jerry Nadler, Councilwoman Gale Brewer and Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, criticizing the M.T.A. for making it difficult to renew discount Metrocards for the disabled and seniors. [Jen Chung]

City Hall

Mayor Michael Bloomberg's support for discretionary spending and junket-bonding in Congress is placed in the context of scandals involving Pedro Espada, Carl Kruger, Hiram Monserrate and Councilman Larry Seabrook. "Has Bloomberg missed those scandals — or does he want to encourage more of them?" [New York Post]

Flashback: Bloomberg supports junkets and members items as means of making Congress work better. [Capital]

"Mike wants more pork!" [David Seifman]

City Council

Ydanis Rodriguez is either the Council's "craziest" member or he's out of his league, said an outspoken columnist. [Gerson Borrero]

Albany

Donald Trump isn't afraid of New York casinos taking business from Atlantic City. [Ken Lovett]

"Going national could be a challenge for a politician [like Andrew Cuomo] who places a premium on secrecy and bristles at opposition." [Danny Hakim]

Cuomo and legislative leaders are looking to create more oversight for the New York Racing Association. [Fred Dicker]

Cuomo hopes to publish a book about governing in 2014 and have a co-author identified by the end of the summer, said former top aide Steven Cohen, who "is playing a role similar to that of an agent on the project, negotiating with publishers." [Kate Taylor]

Cuomo's book deal was first announced by his spokesman to Page Six. [Page Six]

Cuomo is "seeking to strengthen the state's chronically weak response to abuse of disabled people". [Danny Hakim]

Legal

Connecticut legalized medical marijuana, something New York has contemplated but has not done yet. [Reuters]

The Bloomberg administration should drop its objection to an Assembly bill banning the police from using condoms as evidence of prostitution, since it deters sex workers from protecting themselves against sexually transmitted diseases. [New York Times]

The probe into the Working Families Party is long overdue. [New York Post]

A law firm founded by former New York governor Thomas Dewey is shuttered, thanks to bad fiscal management. [New York Times]

Media

The "like" button on Facebook is not constitutionally protected free speech. [Associated Press]

Robert Caro doesn't want to think about Lyndon Johnson when he goes home on Sundays. [John Leland]

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