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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Marion Barry, Obama Delegate



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From the midweek edition of the Morning Jolt:

Obama Delegate Marion Barry: Brought to You by Those Tolerant Democrats

Washington-based Democratic consultant Chuck Thies points out the unpleasant truth for his party:

Last week, while delivering a speech after winning the Democratic Primary for Ward 8 on the D.C. Council, Barry said, “We got to do something about these Asians coming in and opening up businesses and dirty shops. They ought to go. I’m going to say that right now. But we need African-American businesspeople to be able to take their places, too.”

Leaders from the District and around the region decried the remarks.

And that is the extent of the consequences Barry is likely to face. Just another few days in the spotlight for the mayor-for-life.

But there should be consequences.

And there can be.

District and national Democratic leaders should call for Barry to forfeit his seat as a Convention delegate.

Party leaders might be reluctant to cause a stir today — messing with Barry is like kicking a beehive — but they should not ignore the old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

In the Dish, I cautioned: “In the summer of 2008 much of the nation and most of the press corps were going gaga over Barack Obama. The news that came out Denver was all about Obama. This year, reporters may be looking for a sideshow [. . . D]o not send Barry to the convention.”

In other words, Democrats can deal with the somewhat awkward situation of having to push Barry aside now, or risk a colossal embarrassment on the national stage just two months before Election Day.

If they don’t, I know I’ll be asking the leaders of the Asians for Obama Committee what they think.


Tags: Barack Obama , Democratic Convention , Marion Barry


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