CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 29: Former U.S. senator and current Chicago mayoral candidate Carol Moseley Braun speaks during a press conference at her campaign headquarters December 29, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. Braun used the press conference to unveil her public safety plan for the city which included replacing the city�s current superintendent of police Jody Weis.
Carol Moseley Braun’s campaign is undergoing a major restructuring, Ward Room has learned. Late Tuesday night, over a plate of cheese fries at Jimmy’s Woodlawn Tap, the famed Hyde Park hangout, this blogger held a deep background meeting with a senior Moseley Braun aide who revealed the details of the shocking shakeup.
The Carol Moseley Braun campaign is firing its own candidate, Carol Moseley Braun.
When news of a shakeout first leaked, most media outlets believed campaign manager Victor Reyes would get the ax.
“We looked at firing Victor,” the aide said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “But that wouldn’t have been fair. Victor was doing a great job. The more we looked at it, the more we realized that every time we had a problem on this campaign, we traced it back to Carol.”
The aide cited Moseley Braun’s declaration that she wouldn’t release her taxes because “I don’t feel like it,” as well as her public feud with Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg, whom she called a “wife abusing drunk.”
Moseley Braun also looked uninformed when she told the Sun-Times editorial board she believed Chicago would be getting a share of the state’s tax increase. The candidate also caused a scene at the Chicago Tribune editorial board meeting by taunting Rahm Emanuel with the word “tampon.”
“Our own spokeswoman said she got nervous when Carol started talking,” the aide said, once again speaking on condition of anonymity. “But then she said, ‘She has to be herself.’ Well, we decided that’s not going to work anymore. If we want to win this campaign, Carol can’t be herself. She has got to be someone else.”
To replace Moseley Braun, the campaign is hiring mayoral candidate Patricia Watkins, who has “all of Carol’s assets and none of her liabilities,” the aide said, still speaking on condition of anonymity. Like Moseley Braun, Watkins is an African-American woman from a working-class Chicago family, and she’s on the February ballot. But unlike Moseley Braun, Watkins did not serve in the United States Senate from 1993 to 1999. Also, she has never visited Nigeria, according to campaign sources who have examined her passport.
Watkins could legally change her name to Carol Moseley Braun next week.
“This will be a win-win for everybody,” the anonymous source said. “If voters choose Carol Moseley Braun on Feb. 22, they’ll still be making history by electing Chicago’s first black female mayor. And we’ll no longer have to hold our breath every time Carol opens her mouth.”
The source then excused the source’s self to get another beer, and disappeared from the tavern.
Buy this book! Ward Room blogger Edward McClelland's book, Young Mr. Obama: Chicago and the Making of a Black President , is available Amazon. Young Mr. Obama includes reporting on President Obama's earliest days in the Windy City, covering how a presumptuous young man transformed himself into presidential material. Buy it now!