Friday, January 7, 2011



I’ve known for a long time that, as I put it in my 10/27/10 piece, DART STILL HITS THE TARGET, that

Carol (Moseley) Braun’s record is one of slovenliness, neglect of office, and serial failure.”

I also knew that Ms. Braun conducted her personal financial affairs with a degree of ineptitude, or worse, that would rival that of former Governor Rod Blagojevich. Note my 1/1/11 piece entitled FROM RAHM EMANUEL TO DANNY DAVIS AND ????: “THANKS, BUDDY; I OWE YOU ONE.”, in which I said

Ms. Braun, on the other hand, is occupying herself trying to explain to creditors of her organic tea and coffee business (an organic tea and coffee business run by a lifelong politician of limited distinction in anything she has attempted? Who exactly are these creditors? Why did they lend her the money? Does anyone wonder why our financial system nearly collapsed? But I digress.) why they won’t be getting their money back.”

I also knew that Ms. Braun has the annoying habit of infuriating even her most ardent supporters by routinely showing up late, if at all, for scheduled campaign appearances, by taking people’s support for granted, and for general displays of arrogance and entitlement both on the campaign trail and in public office.

Yes, I knew all these things, but I didn’t have any idea how bad things were, or at least how bad things have gotten since Ms. Braun last held public office in 1998.

Regarding her personal finances, how exactly does one lose $120,000 in a public speaking business? How does one become tardy on one’s property taxes five of the last six times one’s bill is due, according to the Chicago Tribune, and then finally pay one’s overdue taxes only when threatened with one’s taxes’ being put up for auction? How does one borrow $2 million against a house that one is “attempting to sell” for $1.8 million and then default on those mortgages? Perhaps a better question is how one gets to stay in one’s house under such circumstances, and those questions go beyond Ms. Braun’s competence to the potential nefariousness of her business dealings.

Regarding her campaign style, I previously gave her credit for being, while a bad candidate, a great campaigner. Note again my 1/1/11 piece, entitled FROM RAHM EMANUEL TO DANNY DAVIS AND ????: “THANKS, BUDDY; I OWE YOU ONE.”:

"On the third (or maybe fourth) hand, if such a thing were possible, one has to be impressed with the way Ms. Braun has gone on the attack against Rahm Emanuel, arguing, with abundant justification, that he has parachuted into town to run for mayor and sarcastically pointing out that if he is going to parachute into town the likes of Bill Clinton, perhaps he should parachute in some of his friends from Freddie Mac and, pointedly, Representative Bart Stupak who, Ms. Braun claims, conspired with Rahm Emanuel to “eliminate choice” from the health care bill. The latter argument adds credence to the gender angle behind Ms. Braun’s candidacy. Ms. Braun may be a poor public servant, but she is a great campaigner, and most voters can’t be bothered to do the thinking and research necessary to see beyond the campaign slogans and tactics."

But I’m not even sure that her campaign skills are not all I thought them to be. Note that, when asked why she would not (initially) release her tax returns until after the election, she replied “Because I don’t want to.” While I have no problems with candidates for public office not releasing their returns, and indeed would applaud any such candidate with the guts to do so (See my 4/21/10 piece, DON’T SHOW ME YOURS AND I WON’T SHOW YOU MINE.), it was Ms. Braun’s snide, and, once again, indicative of her arrogance and sense of entitlement “Because I don’t want to” that gives me pause.

As I said in the aforementioned 1/1/11 piece, Ms. Braun’s being the only remaining serious black candidate seemed at that time to not quite, but almost, assure her a place in the April run-off against Rahm Emanuel. But, given what Ms. Braun has shown us the last week or so, she might be sufficiently inept as to not garner enough of the black vote to get her into the run-off; i.e., she may be such a hapless case that even in a city in which people routinely vote their ethnicity, she might not get the overwhelming majority of the black vote she will need to make the run-off, a run-off that, by the way, she, or any black candidate, would almost certainly lose for reasons I outlined in that 1/1/11 piece.


If Carol Moseley Braun does manage to blow it and not make the run-off, that would mean a Rahm Emanuel/Gery Chico April contest, certainly a more interesting match-up than an Emanuel/Braun contest. Chico would have a chance to beat Emanuel; Braun (or Davis or Meeks) would not. Again, making predictions about this race is perilous at this, or, seemingly, at any stage. Voters remain, er, irrational, inattentive, and blind due to the unwillingness to see. I am just laying out probabilities and scenarios.

And for the conspiracy theorists out there…

If Braun does blow it, the strategy of the behind the scenes guys here (the Daleys? Rahm Emanuel? Barack Obama? All three working in concert?) to serve up Braun, the weakest candidate, to Rahm Emanuel on a silver platter will have failed.

Or could it be that the other side, a consortium of ward bosses sick and tired of playing a subservient role to the Daley family and not about to do so for Rahm Emanuel (or maybe even the Daleys) for another twenty years, hatched its own plot? Perhaps it was they who were behind Danny Davis’s dropping out. Davis’s elimination left the laughably incompetent Carol Braun as the black community’s only hope and would surely help Gery Chico, the champion of the ward bosses, win a place in the run-off. If such a plot were in place, and if Braun does blow it, this strategy will have succeeded and would bode well for Gery Chico, both for obvious reasons and as a display of the craftiness of the forces in his corner. This assumes a lot of things, of course, including that the ward bosses get, or remain, in Chico’s corner rather than allowing themselves to get bought off by Emanuel.

Again, two things. First, what I’ll believe and what I like to think about are often two completely different things. Second, who needs any other entertainment, excepting my books, when one has the Chicago papers during this election season?

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