But Rangel, as evidenced by his propaganda-laced performance recently on Meet the Press, can be an effective tool for his overlords at the DNC and in House leadership. That is why House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, under pressure from her liberal colleagues, is sending Rangel around the country to gun the engine on fear and insecurity among seniors over the Bush Administration’s prescription drug plan.
“The DNC loved what Rangel did on TV, and they want him out there more often,” says a House Democratic leadership staffer. “We don’t know what he’s going to say, but even if it fudges the facts, it always sounds great to our base.”
Pelosi is under increasing pressure from the party chieftains to mobilize her House minions on the campaign trail, but has been surprisingly hesitant to do so. Some tossed it up to her waiting for the Democratic presidential race to close out. But word came from the DNC that time was a’wastin’.
Rangel is known for basically saying anything and everything that pops into his head. On national television earlier this month, he insisted the President Bush had been AWOL from the National Guard, that there was no evidence he had ever served, and that the White House had never explained itself. When his House Democratic colleagues accused the President of possibly having advanced knowledge of the September 11 attacks, Rangel never disavowed them.
Another reason Rangel is being up front is his perceived strong relationship with former President Bill Clinton. Clinton’s Harlem offices are in Rangel’s congressional district, and Rangel was the most visible congressional backer of the short candidacy of Clinton stalking horse, Wesley Clark.p> KERRY TURNS ZOMBIE br> Campaign staff of Democratic presidential frontrunner Sen. John Kerry
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