Democrats & Liberals Archives

Requiem for the Moseley-Braun Campaign

When Carole Moseley-Braun came into the presidential race, reportedly with encouragement from Dick Gephardt, it was no secret that her mission was to neutralize Al Sharpton if (scratch that, when) he said anything that embarrassed the Democratic party. Expectations were not high.

Even in this context I was underwhelmed by her early debate performances. After the first debate on September 4th I noted in my blog that she “confuses me.” Particularly puzzling was her claim that everyone in America gets health care. By the time of the late October debate in Detroit, however, she started to impress me.

After that debate I gave her the “Most Candid” award, commenting on my blog that, “Her answers on tough issues like Iraq always acknowledge the facts as they are, not some alternative universe where Bush isn't president.” (Incidentally, Wes Clark was the “Biggest Phony”.) Since that time she has consistently presented a levelheaded analysis of the Iraq problem, even in the pre-capture days when the boys were having fun grinding Bush’s nuts in the Mesopotamian sand.

One of Carol’s favorite tropes is that, “When you’re born Black and a woman…” Here’s another one: When you’re a Black, female Democrat, people assume that you are far Left. In fact, Moseley-Braun’s beliefs put her right in the center of the Democratic party. Yes, she was against the war, but so were the vast majority of Democrats. Yes, she supports taxpayer-financed, universal health care, but so do 62% of adults according to a recent ABC / Washington Post poll. If her policy stances alone disqualify her as a serious candidate, then there is something very wrong with our political system.

Although Moseley-Braun is officially retired as a presidential candidate, she deserves consideration for the role of vice president. Kerry appears to be thinking about it – it seems that at every debate he gives some indication that he is fond of her (platonically speaking). Wesley Clark, in particular, would do well to give her some consideration. After all, when you’re born white and male, and you’re a retired general, and you’ve spent most of your life saying nice things about Republicans, you could do worse than have Carol Moseley-Braun at your side at the Democratic convention.

Posted by Woody Mena at January 17, 2004 10:18 PM