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quid pro quo October 10, 2007

Posted by KG in 2008 Elections, econ, news, politics.
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from huffpost:

It was a pretty straightforward political deal. The aspiring presidential candidate promised the former congressman that, if elected, she would appoint him as head of a key national policy committee. And in return, the former congressman, now the mayor of a major Democratic city, endorsed the candidate. No surprise, either, that the candidate in question was Hillary Clinton.

What was surprising, and deeply disappointing to many of his supporters and admirers, is that the congressman-turned-mayor was none other than legendary anti-war stalwart Ron Dellums.

“First of all, the aging lion has been given the Clinton Campaign’s Urban Policy Committee–translation–more federal tax dollars for Oakland should Clinton take the White House. Specifically, Clinton pledged to Dellums that she would expand mentoring and internship programs, programs that reintegrate convicts into society and alternative energy jobs programs. That’s a lot of programs–does that mean a lot of earmarks? And in the language of the day, all programs will be “public-private partnerships,” of course. More importantly for Dellums, whose popularity as Oakland’s mayor has been declining, is the opportunity to burnish his waning political career by hitching it to a rising star.”

i suppose one could accuse dellums of wavering on principle, but this also could be defended as reasonable political strategy. it’s unlikely that in “the kind of place where Greens frequently outpoll Republicans” (oak-town) that dellums’ endorsement will sway many people to vote for hillary or even affect the california democratic primary much at all, and most certainly will not have much affect nationally. but in return, dellums gets to helm this urban policy committee where he’ll be in a position to help his constituents. of course we can’t read dellums’ mind – just because the hillary endorsement is out of character doesn’t mean it’s disingenuous. we can speculate though. i’d like to think that i would never forego my principles and publicly endorse someone if i really didn’t support them if i was ever in that position – but let’s say dellums really doesn’t support hillary – do the ends ($$ for oakland) justify the means? what would you do?

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