And then there was one
"I'm proud that I will be here when Carol Moseley Braun becomes the next mayor," Davis said. "I come here tonight...to help prove unity is more than just a concept."Braun said she is emboldened by the endorsements from both Davis and state Sen. James Meeks, the other major African-American candidate who dropped out of the contest last week. Braun called it a "great way to start the new year.""I'm so please to have their support," she said. "Their endorsements...bring us closer to winning this election."
"I'm proud that I will be here when Carol Moseley Braun becomes the next mayor," Davis said. "I come here tonight...to help prove unity is more than just a concept."
Braun said she is emboldened by the endorsements from both Davis and state Sen. James Meeks, the other major African-American candidate who dropped out of the contest last week. Braun called it a "great way to start the new year."
"I'm so please to have their support," she said. "Their endorsements...bring us closer to winning this election."
Davis at first said he wasn't so much dropping out of the contest as "dropping into victory" by endorsing Braun. He later clarified that he is ending his campaign.
"I am totally dropping out of the race. I am supporting Carol Moseley Braun with every ounce of fervor that I have," Davis said. "I am even going to give her some money. I am going to try to get every person who thought that they might support Danny Davis to switch their support to Carol Moseley Braun. In fact, I will start tonight."
The announcement at Davis' West Loop headquarters came after African-American leaders met privately for days with the candidates in an attempt to unify behind a single contender who could improve the odds of an African-American winning the Feb. 22 election.
Davis and Braun both had insisted Thursday that they would keep running for Chicago mayor. Then they met again today, leading to Davis' departure from the contest.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson brokered a roughly four-hour meeting Wednesday night with Davis and Braun at his Rainbow PUSH headquarters that was also attended by several ministers, business leaders and politicians. Among them was U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, who is backing Braun, and state Sen. Rickey Hendon, who is backing Davis.
Where does this leave Rahm Emanuel?
With a unified black political community behind Mosely Braun, her chances of winning just shot up substantially. It is significant that the Rev. Jackson brokered this agreement given the factionalization of the black vote in the past between west side and south side African Americans. For the first time since 1983 when the city's only black mayor - Harold Washington - was elected, the African American community will head into primary day backing a single major candidate.
For Emanuel, this negates any opportunity he had to use Mayor Daley's very successful game plan in winning the primary. With the black vote usually split, Daley successfully courted the growing Hispanic vote while siphoning off just enough black machine votes to add to his astounding margins of victory in working class white neighborhoods. For Rahmbo, the Hispanic vote is expected to split between two major candidates and it is doubtful that Rahmbo will be able to run up the 85-90% margins in Bridgeport and other white communities in the city that Daley was famous for.
Might Rahm's former boss take a hand? Bill Clinton offered to come to Chicago to campaign for Emanuel and had his face slapped by black leaders for even thinking about it. And the African American community, while supporting Obama to the hilt as president, no doubt recalls some of the betrayals the former state senator effected when Obama was part of the regular Democrats prior to his run for the presidency. His tacky deal with Daley to support his mayoral re-election (over a qualified African American candidate) in return for Daley's support in his bid for the White House did not sit well with many in the "reform" community, or among rank and file blacks. Obama's "help" may be no more welcome than Clinton's.
Now Mosely Braun has the opportunity to employ Harold Washington's successful strategy of uniting the black community while exciting the liberals in Hyde Park and along the lakeshore to back her candidacy. Her name recognition will also help immensely. She will have decent funding, an army of dedicated volunteers, and the opportunity to portray Rahm as a carpetbagger.
Emanuel is down, but not out. Obama no doubt still has some pull although how much personal capital he will be willing to expend probably keeps Emanuel up at night. Rahmbo wins or loses now based on how big a hand his friend and former boss Barack Obama takes in seeing his former chief of staff succeed Daley.