Carol Moseley Braun is taking one more step toward the most important office downtown in City Hall. The former female U.S. Senator from Illinois is checking out the political climate before she dons her campaign clothes and hits the road in search of supporters.
Speaking at the Hyatt Regency Hotel yesterday, Sept. 20, Moseley Braun unfolded her plans for a potential run as mayor to fill Daley’s seat. The former Senator who has not held a public office in twelve years is proceeding slowly, still undecided about mounting a campaign run.
Already Moseley Braun, 63, has put together her campaign team, along with a nice, catchy slogan: Carol for Chicago. Soon they will find out just how much political steam Carol for Chicago can muster. Billie Paige, her long-time friend and campaign manager has begun the arduous task of collecting 12,500 names needed for the nominating petitions; in reality, they will more than likely obtain an excess of 40,000 to 50,000 signed names in order to submit by Nov. 22 without challenges.
Rep. Rich Williamson lost to Moseley Braun, as she rode her unique political machine in the general election all the way to victory and the Senate seat in Springfield. That was back in 1992. She is the first and only African-American female ever elected to the U.S.Senate.
Before Moseley Braun’s election, I was in Chicago and had a wonderful opportunity to attend one of her campaign rallies. Her hair may be grayer now, but she has not lost her eloquence accentuated with articulation that always impresses the listener, drawing them in. I remember thinking to myself that history was being made; even if she didn’t win. To be able to witness an African-American woman running for an office that was elusive to females, in general, was a landmark. Becoming a member of what I consider “the boys club” was and still is, no easy task for lady politicians.
As an African-American, I felt tremendous pride. Deep down inside I really began to wonder if Moseley Braun could win it. Looking at her gracing the pages of Ebony magazine gave me quite a bit of insight. Once I saw her, I knew she had it in the bag, in spite of racial obstacles, female challenges, and anything else. Even down to raising the money. It takes a lot of friends and supporters to “give up the dough” to pay for a campaign run.
As a woman, I experienced a sense of accomplishment right along with Moseley Braun, as she became only one of 38 females to serve in the U.S. Senate. She grabbed that post, breaking down barriers of ethnicity, race, and gender. She joined the ranks of other women such as Barbara Mikulski (MD), Jocelyn Burdick (ND), Dianne Feinstein (CA), Barbara Boxer (CA), Nancy Kassebaum (KS), Patty Murray (WA), and Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX), to name a few.
She effected me and every woman in America, bar none, showing all of us, including our daughters and granddaughters, you can buy a ticket to ride “The Senate Express.” All can board. Women are welcome.
Make no mistake, Moseley Braun is a seasoned political pro. In 2004, she attempted a presidential bid. The Chicago mayoral race in 2007 almost caused her to toss her hat into the ring to join the other candidates. She was off to New Zealand in 1999 to serve as U.S. Ambassador. A successful entrepreneur of her own food company, Ambassador Organics, she’s a business woman who knows how to crunch the numbers; exactly what Chicago’s mayor will have to do once in office facing a record deficit.
Like back in 1992 when I watched Moseley Braun walk into the annuls of history, I have decided I want to take that walk with her as a mayoral candidate. That is, if she decides to run. She can count on me to be a part of her team to campaign for her election as mayor of America’s third largest city. Moseley Braun will have her work cut out for her; it will be a pretty heavy-duty responsibility.
Besides, the men had their chance, now it’s time for a woman’s touch. Moseley Braun has the drive, the know-how, and the experience. Maybe when election time rolls around in February, the Illinois stand-out can add Mayor of Chicago to her resume.
See Moseley Braun on Fox News Chicago here.
Carol Moseley Braun in an interview here.
suntimes.com, cbs2chicago.com, wgntv.com, youtube.com