Ron Dellums sells out



Hat Tip: Scott Lindlaw, Associated Press 

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton won the endorsement Monday of Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums, a widely admired black leader who had anguished over whether to back Sen. Barack Obama, her leading Democratic presidential rival.

The endorsement came as Clinton and Dellums toured a vocational classroom at Laney College in Oakland, where Clinton announced that Dellums will head her campaign’s Urban Policy Committee.

The Clinton campaign spent months assiduously courting Dellums, a former U.S. Marine who served 27 years in Congress and once headed the powerful House Armed Services Committee. Dellums told associates he was excited by the energy of Obama’s campaign, but he withheld his endorsement longer than many other black leaders.

But Clinton’s willingness to embrace his recommendations on how to improve urban America, and her credentials on foreign and military affairs, won Dellums over.

“Oakland alone lacks the resources to enact this great vision of Oakland as a model city,” Dellums told hundreds of students. “We needed strong leadership at the federal level, we needed partners at the federal level, we needed a federal urban agenda.”

Clinton “has stepped forward to fashion a coherent, cogent, value-oriented, principled agenda for this country that she calls ‘leave no city behind.’ Isn’t that incredible?” Dellums said.

Clinton promised: “Ron, I want you to know, that come January 2009, you will have a partner in the White House.” She pledged as president to put more police officers on the streets, battle crime and enact sweeping health care reform.

Dellums and Clinton also have long-standing political ties. Dellums took over chairmanship of the House Armed Services Committee when former President Bill Clinton chose Les Aspin to be his Defense secretary. As president, Bill Clinton visited California often and helped deliver government aid for such projects as expansion of the Port of Oakland.

Today, several veterans of Bill Clinton’s White House work for Dellums in the mayor’s office, including chief of staff David Chai.

Mrs. Clinton and Dellums met privately on the sidelines of the U.S. Conference of Mayors gathering in Los Angeles in June, and discussed how to address crime and violence in inner cities, aides to Dellums said.

They also talked about Dellums’ work leading a group that last year examined the impact of U.S. policies on men of black, Hispanic, Asian and American Indian descent.

The Dellums Commission, as it became known, found that flawed government policies and negative stereotyping of minority men have limited their economic opportunities.

The study found the news and entertainment media overrepresent minorities as criminals and whites as victims and law enforcers. And federal laws such as the No Child Left Behind Act have hurt minorities by driving good teachers from high-poverty schools to better-funded ones where whites are more highly represented, the report contended.

Clinton, the Democratic front-runner, drew upon Dellums’ findings as she crafted her own urban policy plan, her campaign said.

As chairman of the Urban Policy Committee, Dellums will advise Clinton “on issues critical to America’s cities,” the campaign said, including crime, high dropout rates, scarce well-paid jobs and lack of health care.

Clinton, Obama and the other candidates in the Democratic presidential field have long dueled for support and dollars among blacks, one of the party’s key voter blocs. Independent polls in California and nationwide suggest the black vote is divided, largely between Clinton and Obama.

I have admired this brotha for years and this really chaps my hide.  Watching his speeches on C-SPAN was one of the highlights of my teenage years because they were always memorable.

10 thoughts on “Ron Dellums sells out

  1. Marc Ramsey

    As a brotha who has been a homeowner in Oakland for more than a decade, I’ve lost all respect for Dellums since he became mayor. I’m not sure what his problem is, but he’s been basically been Mr. Invisible with his Secret Commissions since he got elected. A bunch of people have been murdered this year, including the editor of a local black paper (shot in broad daylight), and Dellums was no where to be found. Clinton shows up, and suddenly we see him in public.

    Sad to say, even with all of the cronyism and general weirdness, Jerry Brown was a better mayor.

  2. Rikyrah, SB:

    I grew up in Oakland. I interned for Ron Dellums when he was in Congress back in the mid 1980s. When I ran into him at CBC weekend back in 2005, I joined that bandwagon in begging him to run for Mayor – even helped get up that “Draft Ron Dellums” petition to run for the job.

    So his deterioration is sad for me, because I, along with many others, thought he would do well, considering his congressional record and all.

    But, before I sling him under the bus, I will say this: Obama’s people screwed this up. He went to SoCal and blew off Northern Cal, especially Oakland and San Francisco; hell, the entire nine-county Bay Area, because he’s basically thinking that he can win California without the Bay Area.

    That’s Bullshyt because Bill Clinton will tell you the only way he got all of California’s 55 electorial votes was to hang out in Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose to get those votes. Obama’s people jacked up big time, ignoring Oakland like a two-bit hooker, and allowing the Borg Queen to swoop in.

    So, I won’t exactly say Dellums sold out. But I will say Obama jacked up, and judging from the other high profile Black elected officials the Borg Queen is pulling down, Obama having Oprah in his back pocket can only do so much. No way Dellums’ endorsement should have gone to the Borg Queen, but if she’s promising to deliver Oakland some pork in exchange for his endorsement; the one thing I remember about Dellums is that if you promised him something and you failed to deliver, that’s your ass, and he will find ways to capitalize on exposing you as a politico who can’t keep his word. He did it many times when he was in Congress.

    Marc, if you get an accountability project going, and he don’t want to discuss all those secret commissions, use that against him when he runs for re-election. But, remember, giving that strong Mayor initiative to Jerry Brown is what set the foundation for said secret commissions, because Mayor Moonbeam had them first.

  3. TPJ,

    If Obama did do that, then his campaign was stupid. When I went to Camp Obama, there was a HUGE contigent from Oakland – I mean, there were about 10 folks, who paid their own money, to come from CA from him.

    I’ve volunteered during other Camp Obamas – same thing – the folks from CA were from San Fran and Oakland.

    So, if his campaign did that, then no better for him.

  4. Rikyrah:

    That’s what I mean. 10 peeps from Oaktown in the house to support him, out of their own pockets, and he or his campaign staff didn’t take note of it to see if there were more like them?

    He could have gotten 200 supporters for Camp Obama from Oakland and Berkeley alone (especially with U. C. Berkeley looking for someone like Obama to support, but because of his and the Borg Queen’s negligence, they’re going for Edwards last I heard).

    Obama’s going to limp into the primaries with all of these faux-pas if his staff don’t tighten up.

  5. thoughtmerchant

    Obama lost it because of his poor debate performance. That simple. Al Shapton was better debater than Obama.

  6. Roderick

    Here we go again – its election time and the white folks come calling for a vote and we will deliviery again. We finally have a decent person running – and we want to support the white women. (We are so stupid)

    Oakland will be the same in 10 years – so it doesn’t matter, until we change our hood it will be the same. trust me no one outside of the hood really cares !!

  7. What’s the big deal! I supported Hillary. She was a smart Choice at that time. She had experience and she had Bill. Barrach did not! She can handle the US of A!

    Divine Order — Barrach Beat her and the majority of us went with Barrach. This is a Democracy? Right?

    Divine Order! Barrack and his family turned out to be the perfect family to be in the White House! I love it!!! Ron Dellums loves it too! Give a brotha a break!

    What works in the City of Oakland is enforcing the laws that we already have!!!!
    * Quiet! When the streets should be quiet.
    * Stopping Neighbors from disturbing other neighbors with there loud, disrespectful, inconsiderate ways.
    * Nipping Retaliation and Threatening (to self, family and other neighbors) Behavior by community members.
    * The list goes on regarding laws that we already have.

    Let’s enforce that laws that we already have.

    These laws must be in-forced with Empathy and not negativity or we create more hostility!!!

    If our Peace (Police) Officers do there their job with empathy, then they will teach the community respect and give them hope.

    Wow! I didn’t know my email was going to end on this note but it is a good note to end on.

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