Thoughts on Carol Moseley Braun

I see in the paper today that Danny Davis has bowed out of the mayoral race, leaving CMB as the sole African American candidate. I’m going to do a little surfing, but I wondered what thoughts any of you might have as to her candidacy.

As I recall, she was pretty much of a nonentity as a US senator - which I consider generous in not calling her an embarrassment. And I can’t recall hearing her name since then. Just can’t imagine why folk would consider her a good candidate for mayor, or who she appeals to.

Any thoughts?

Well Chicago is often about identity politics. She is a mostly non-objectionable (not threatening to White ethnics much) Black Female with name recognition that is not all negative. One third of the city is Black and half is female. That is enough to make her a reasonable candidate.

Didn’t she seek the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004? I seem to remember that being regarded as something of a quixotic run.

She was one of a handful of public figures who went in front of the press to state with impunity that she believed Bill Clinton after he proclaimed that he “did not have sex with that woman”.

Interestingly, my father (who died midway through CMB’s Senate term) called her, “the biggest disappointment” he’d ever seen. Considering my father was a Lake County Republican who normally had little use for Cook County Democrats, I believe he (secretly) voted for her and was actually hopeful that she would have some impact in the Senate.

As DSeid noted, she’ll likely get the vast majority of the black vote, which frequently seems to go for black candidates regardless of other qualifications (see: Todd Stroger). She’ll also likely get a fair number of votes from non-black women.

From my recollection, she indeed had very little impact during her time in the Senate. On the positive side, she’s never been indicted or investigated for corruption, which, in Illinois politics, is no small feat. :slight_smile:

Trib this a.m. said Rahm was expected to get the maj of black vote. Also called her senate term “disastrous”!

Tho born and raised in Chicago, I have now lived as long in the burbs. At a dinner last night, a friend said he long ago learned that the sole purpose of Chicago politics was to provide a source of amusement for suburbians. Makes about as much sense as anything…

We’re fairly amusing by it in the city as well. Until we’re outraged, but we’re still amused by our own outrage. (Really, you vote weasels into office and then act surprised when they act like weasels? I find that amusing.)

When I heard her name for the nom, I have to admit my first thought was, “She’s still alive?” She dropped off my mental radar decades ago, and I guess I’d just sort of assumed she wasn’t in Illinois any more.

Question: where did she live when she was working for the Senate? She’s pulling this “outsider” charge against Rahm right now, and I’m wondering if she’s being a hypocrite or if she still shopped at Jewel while commuting to DC.

I don’t live in Chicago, but most of my relatives do. Virtually all of them are ardent Democrats.

Halfway through Braun’s Senate term, my sister and my aunt both absolutely refused to consider voting for her again. When my mom tried to tell them it hadn’t really been all THAT bad, they essentially told her to shut up.

I think that’s the only statewide candidate they’ve had that type of reaction to.

WhyNot – I think she shopped at the Hyde Park Coop, even while she was a senator, and had everything airlifted to Ghana, I mean DC. But she evidently bought her hot dogs elsewhere, as she apparently served them with ketchup (!).

I stand corrected on this point. As I was reminded by an article in today’s Tribune, she was investigated for campaign finance irregularities, and also created controversy when she made a private trip to Nigeria, meeting with that country’s dictator (it also came out that her fiance was a lobbyist for the Nigerian government).

A minor correction - I did not and do not claim that. Merely that Chicago’s history of identity politics makes such a thought reasonable enough to consider her a potentially viable candidate. In truth I don’t think it will play out that way.

Rahm may not have an obvious identity politics bloc - Jewish in Chicago? But he hits the identity that most Chicagoans, what ever their ethnic or gender group, want in their mayor - tough bastard. Chicagoans care about having someone who has ability to get things done. Braun comes off as nice and ineffectual … weak, and Chicagoans tend to want a strong personality who tells it like it is in blunt language. That’s who they believe has what it takes to make sure the streets are plowed and the garbage picked up. They don’t mind weasels as long as they get the jobs done. I think that will be the identity politics that will actually matter … to all the identity blocs.

This is what I mostly remember from her Senate term: being investigated for corruption, and earning the nickname, “Carol Mostly-Fraud.”

Mosley-Braun was the person who made me realize I shouldn’t vote for a woman just because she’s a woman.

My apologies for the misinterpretation.

Yup, same here.

Thirded, and the example I use to argue with my mom when she insists that I should vote for the female candidate, regardless of other qualifications. IMNSHO feminism is about making gender irrelevant to electoral choice.

Amen. If only Danny Davis and James Meeks had a similar opinion about racism.

Just heard on the radio that her tax returns show that she earned something like $15K in 09, and lost a couple hundred $K in 08. (Years and numbers are undoubtedly wrong, but in the ballpark). Apparenty related to some unsuccessful business venture. I know running a city is different than running a business, but…

Yes, well, keep in mind she was running a small business, and a LOT of those have lost money over the past few years. Said business being a company that sold what are essentially a luxury items: tea, coffee, and spices. What’s the first thing people in a bad economy cut back on? Luxuries. I’d say it would be better to judge how she was doing business-wise before the recession.

I think she didn’t want to show her tax information because she was embarrassed at losing money/low net income. If she’d been smarter she would have said “sure, I’ll release it - and you’ll see that like many small businesses these past few years I have truly struggled. I can understand how so many Chicagoans feel who have been laid off or lost their jobs or suffered financial hardships because I’m there myself” but nooooooo… now her rivals can use her hesitancy to disclose against her, and slam her as a failed businessperson person on top of it.

Not that I’m a CMB fan, but really, given the circumstances, I don’t think you can slam her on low business income alone here, as the economy really has taken down a lot of companies simply because people stopped buying stuff. I’d have to know more about how she ran her business before I could make that call.

No, with CMB I don’t think one needs to rely on ANY single factor to question her competence! :stuck_out_tongue:

Last night on the radio I heard some talk about years-old unpaid campaign debts - haven’t researched it further. But when she was on the inside, she was investigated for financial irregularities (and I was shocked that she got off.) Maybe I’m not giving her a fair break, but I suspect this is a case in which the leopard hasn’t changed her shorts.