Harlem Representative Charlie Rangel said yesterday that he plans to seek a 21st term in office later this year, scandal be damned. The announcement comes despite calls for his resignation for accepting trips to the Caribbean from a corporation in violation of House ethics rules. But the representative remains defiant, accepting little responsibility for any wrongdoing and, in some instances, passing blame on to his staff.
Rangel’s response to the admonishment from the House is causing him to quickly lose friends on the Capitol. Robert Gibbs signaled on Friday that President Obama is backing away from Rangel, whom White House officials once called “untouchable.” And Democrats are now lining up to call for his resignation from the House Ways and Means Committee.
It seems the only friend Rangel has left is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who said she would not remove him from his position on the powerful committee. She also admitted that Rangel broke House rules but downplayed the significance of it, saying what he did was not “something that jeopardized our country in any way.”