In spite of the House ethics investigation into a long list of "mistakes," Rep. Charles Rangel announced he is running for another term in Congress yesterday. And even though his apparent vices include a love of junkets, not paying taxes, using House letterhead to solicit donations to a graduate school named in his honor and renting too many rent-stabilized apartments, his Harlem constituents seem willing for him to serve another term if he wants.
A Parks Department employee and union local leader told the NY Times, "When it’s time for him to go, he will make that decision. He’ll leave gracefully... That time is not now." And Assemblyman Keith Wright says, "He can’t go out like this."
Rangel, 79, tells the Times he understands why athletes like Muhammed Ali wanted to go out on top, "This is not the time to be hanging up the gloves." (In an interview with the Daily News published yesterday, Rangel threw a punch at Obama, comparing him to Dick Cheney!) And Governor Paterson—who leaped to the stage— and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn apparently agree, as they appeared at his event. But one of his many potential challengers, Vince Morgan, wondered, "Why should we give him an ego stroke when the needs of the district are bigger than the needs of this man’s ego?"