Clarence Page is a 1989 Pulitzer Prize winner for Commentary and has been a columnist and a member of the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board since July 1984. His column is syndicated nationally by Tribune Media Services. He has been based in Washington, D.C. since May 1991. Page was also a regular contributor of essays to The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer and a host of documentaries on PBS. He is a regular panelist on Black Entertainment Television’s weekly Lead Story news panel program. Mr. Page was inducted into the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame in 1992.
His homepage is found at chicagotribune.com/columns/clarence-page/
February 18, 2020
A warning from a ’60s activist to today’s progressives
Although I am fully aware of how elections always will surprise us, even I was stunned to hear that Rep. Bobby Rush, a Chicago Democrat, had endorsed Michael Bloomberg’s Democratic presidential campaign to be president.
The news came as a surprise because of its timing. As Bloomberg’s approval numbers have been rapidly rising, thanks to boxcar-loads of money that he has donated to his own campaign, so have his critics.
Rival candidates, among others, have pounced on the controversial stop-and-frisk policing policy that Bloomberg increased on his watch — and for which he apologized after announcing his presidential run.
He also has faced new scrutiny of old charges alleging discrimination against women and sexual harassment at his company. He denies wrongdoing and none has proceeded to trial.
But as the fast-rising candidate who has been letting TV ads do his talking and campaigning until now, he has only begun to face questions over those matters, among others.
Supporters such as Rush, who has iconic status in the party’s progressive wing and among many African American voters, can help Bloomberg, at least by reducing some of the resistance he faces from skeptics among his own supporters.