Democratic insider, Rangel challenger: ’40 years is enough!’

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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Clyde Williams, a former Democratic National Committee political director, has some unkind words for New York Rep. Charlie Rangel, the incumbent he seeks to replace in Congress.

“The time has come for us to move on as a community. 40 years is enough,” Williams told the Barack Obama Democratic Club of Upper Manhattan Wednesday evening.

The New York blog Capital first reported on the speech, posting the video online.

“People will say to you, well, you would be a junior member of Congress. That’s absolutely true,” Williams said. “But let me say this. Charlie Rangel’s a person who has been there for 40 years and he’s lost his chairmanship. He doesn’t have the ability to even vote on his own committee anymore. So all the resources he’s brought to the table were incredible at that time in order to get things done. He doesn’t have that ability anymore.”

Williams, who served in the Clinton and Obama administrations, portrayed himself as a Washington insider with the contacts to get things done.

“I understand how Washington, D.C. works. I know the people who get things done. I know most of the people who work in the White House,” Williams told the crowd.

The club endorsed another Rangel challenger that evening, state Sen. Adriano Espaillat. Williams had harsh words for Espaillat too, though he did not mention him by name. He said that some of the other candidates “haven’t done their job in Albany. Some of them haven’t even done what they need to do for the community they represent today.”


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