Obama: Time for Rangel to go

The two Blue Dogs who have called for Charlie Rangel's resignation got a big boost today. A really big boost.

President Barack Obama gave ethics-embattled Harlem Rep. Charles Rangel a forceful shove towards the exit tonight, telling the 80-year-old dean of New York’s congressional delegation that the time has come to end his career “with dignity.” ...

After days of administration officials dodging questions about Rangel, Obama took on the issue with devastating bluntness in a interview with Harry Smith of the CBS “Early Show” – repeatedly referring to Rangel, who backed Hillary Clinton in the 2008 presidential primary, in the past tense.

“I think Charlie Rangel served a very long time and served-- his constituents very well but these-- allegations are very troubling,” th epresidrnt [sic] told Smith, in an interviewed aired Friday night on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.

“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,” he added.

This comes across more as a call for Rangel to make a deal that includes retirement than for him to resign.

Sweet.

Obama: Time for Rangel to go

The two Blue Dogs who have called for Charlie Rangel's resignation got a big boost today. A really big boost.

President Barack Obama gave ethics-embattled Harlem Rep. Charles Rangel a forceful shove towards the exit tonight, telling the 80-year-old dean of New York’s congressional delegation that the time has come to end his career “with dignity.” ...

After days of administration officials dodging questions about Rangel, Obama took on the issue with devastating bluntness in a interview with Harry Smith of the CBS “Early Show” – repeatedly referring to Rangel, who backed Hillary Clinton in the 2008 presidential primary, in the past tense.

“I think Charlie Rangel served a very long time and served-- his constituents very well but these-- allegations are very troubling,” th epresidrnt [sic] told Smith, in an interviewed aired Friday night on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.

“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,” he added.

This comes across more as a call for Rangel to make a deal that includes retirement than for him to resign.

Sweet.

Obama: Time for Rangel to go

The two Blue Dogs who have called for Charlie Rangel's resignation got a big boost today. A really big boost.

President Barack Obama gave ethics-embattled Harlem Rep. Charles Rangel a forceful shove towards the exit tonight, telling the 80-year-old dean of New York’s congressional delegation that the time has come to end his career “with dignity.” ...

After days of administration officials dodging questions about Rangel, Obama took on the issue with devastating bluntness in a interview with Harry Smith of the CBS “Early Show” – repeatedly referring to Rangel, who backed Hillary Clinton in the 2008 presidential primary, in the past tense.

“I think Charlie Rangel served a very long time and served-- his constituents very well but these-- allegations are very troubling,” th epresidrnt [sic] told Smith, in an interviewed aired Friday night on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.

“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,” he added.

This comes across more as a call for Rangel to make a deal that includes retirement than for him to resign.

Sweet.

More Dems Abandon Rangel

Rep. Betty Sutton (D-OH) made headlines as the first Democrat to call for the ethically challenged Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) to resign. And she seems to have opened the floodgates.

Rep. Walt Minnick (D-ID), my congressman, became the second Democrat to demand Rangel's resignation today. "I think it was appropriate for Rep. Rangel to step down from his post as a committee chair pending the investigation, but I always prefer to let voters decide whether or not someone should keep his or her seat. However, now that the investigation is complete, and provided the facts are as alleged, I think it’s clear that he should resign from Congress." Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said that it's Rangel's choice alone to make. As a party leader, Hoyer has to be a good diplomat and really can't call for a Member's resignation without a conviction, so this is about as damning a statement as he could make under the circumstances. And he made it.

It would obviouslly be helpful to the party if Rangel would step aside, and it would help his district too. Seniority usually helps a district, but once a member's lost his gavel and caucus credibility as Rangel has, there are no benefits to seniority left. If Rangel left now, a new member could begin to build up seniority of their own. His refusal to resign or at least retire is proof that he doesn't have the best interests of his constituents at heart.

That said, this is a legal matter, and legally, someone is innocent until proven guilty. Justice is justice and due process is due process, so I'm more inclined to agree with Hoyer than I am Minnick and Sutton. Rangel has the right to a committee trial if he wants it, even though it would yet again prove that he values himself over his party. I certainly want him to resign and I will be apalled if the Ethics Committee cuts him a deal, but I can't in good conscience declare that the process doesn't matter and that he MUST resign.

But here's hoping, and I'm certainly glad to see Minnick and Sutton stepping forward. The last two ethics investigations to get this far both ended with the accused's eviction, and Rangel said moments ago that he expects to get a trial rather than a plea bargain, so whether he resigns or not things do not look good for "the Chairman."

More Dems Abandon Rangel

Rep. Betty Sutton (D-OH) made headlines as the first Democrat to call for the ethically challenged Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) to resign. And she seems to have opened the floodgates.

Rep. Walt Minnick (D-ID), my congressman, became the second Democrat to demand Rangel's resignation today. "I think it was appropriate for Rep. Rangel to step down from his post as a committee chair pending the investigation, but I always prefer to let voters decide whether or not someone should keep his or her seat. However, now that the investigation is complete, and provided the facts are as alleged, I think it’s clear that he should resign from Congress." Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said that it's Rangel's choice alone to make. As a party leader, Hoyer has to be a good diplomat and really can't call for a Member's resignation without a conviction, so this is about as damning a statement as he could make under the circumstances. And he made it.

It would obviouslly be helpful to the party if Rangel would step aside, and it would help his district too. Seniority usually helps a district, but once a member's lost his gavel and caucus credibility as Rangel has, there are no benefits to seniority left. If Rangel left now, a new member could begin to build up seniority of their own. His refusal to resign or at least retire is proof that he doesn't have the best interests of his constituents at heart.

That said, this is a legal matter, and legally, someone is innocent until proven guilty. Justice is justice and due process is due process, so I'm more inclined to agree with Hoyer than I am Minnick and Sutton. Rangel has the right to a committee trial if he wants it, even though it would yet again prove that he values himself over his party. I certainly want him to resign and I will be apalled if the Ethics Committee cuts him a deal, but I can't in good conscience declare that the process doesn't matter and that he MUST resign.

But here's hoping, and I'm certainly glad to see Minnick and Sutton stepping forward. The last two ethics investigations to get this far both ended with the accused's eviction, and Rangel said moments ago that he expects to get a trial rather than a plea bargain, so whether he resigns or not things do not look good for "the Chairman."

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