See you at the Crow Diner on Lenox Avenue. After Rep. Charlie Rangel won over Adriano Espaillat in 2012 after a long recount it was assumed by many that Espaillat would catch Rangel in 2014. It was Espaillat’s race to lose, Rangel will be 84 years old, he’s done. Wrong. Many political organizations, politicos and activists positioned themselves on the side of Espaillat. Turns out that was a political miscalculation as Team Rangel had other ideas — 23 terms it is.
1. Adriano Espiallat — Espiallat had two swings at Rangel and failed. What’s worse is that Espaillat lost by a larger margin than before. Running a race on a theme of “he’s old and I’m new” with no reference to what you plan to do in office is a loser.
2. The New York Post — As another political arm masquerading as a journalistic enterprise, the New York Post did all it could to get Rangel out of office — perhaps their readers don’t vote in Harlem.
3. United Federation of Teachers — UFT went from endorsing Rangel in 2012 to dropping him for Espaillat in 2014. Good move.
4. Al Sharpton — No kingmaker here. When Rangel asked during a debate what Espaillat’s qualifications were by saying, “what the heck has he done besides saying he’s a Dominican?” Sharpton was critical of Rangel and accused the longtime Congressman of race-baiting. But clearly voters in Harlem could care less about Sharpton’s opinion. If Sharpton and Espaillat couldn’t catch Rangel after he rose from his deathbed in 2012 at 82 and couldn’t catch him at 84 after two years of planning they never will. Think Sharpton was “neutral” in the race? Read this piece by Azi Paybarah.
5. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, President Obama, Mayor DeBlasio and anyone else who actually believes endorsements matter — Endorsements matter only when it’s a surprise shocker (maybe). Did anyone really care that President Obama didn’t endorse Rangel? Did the non-endorsement alter voting decisions one way or the other?
6. Michael Walrond — Go ahead, try and figure out why Walrond was running. Was it to spit the vote and give Espaillat the victory? Some say Walrond may have taken votes away from Espaillat. Just like Espaillat, Walrond made the mistake of failing to tell voters what his plan was in office. Instead, he went with the “he’s old, I’m new” theme.
7. Bill Thompson — “This is the right change” Thompson said of Espaillat. Why? He never gets to that part.
8. The Bronx Democratic Party — In April they endorsed Espaillat en masse. When it comes to the substance of why Espaillat would be better for NY-13 than Rangel answers were hard to find.