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Kilpatrick Poses Quandary for Obama in Mich.

By David S. Broder
DENVER -- The Michigan delegation, which had to endure months of legal and political challenges just to be seated at the Democratic National Convention, is headed home Friday with a new worry.

On Wednesday, Gov. Jennifer Granholm will open hearings that could lead to the removal of her fellow Democrat, Kwame M. Kilpatrick, as mayor of Detroit. The mayor, who was targeted in a sex scandal with his former executive secretary, now faces ten felony indictments in two separate cases. The Detroit City Council has called for his resignation and when he balked, it urged the governor to use her authority to remove him.

Members of the Michigan delegation, speaking anonymously because of the sensitivity of the situation, said today that Granholm is likely to find that "the preponderance of evidence" supports Kilpatrick's ouster. But she is reportedly uncomfortable at the prospective reaction if she, a white politician, removes the black mayor of her state's largest city.

She is reportedly encouraging private negotiations that might lead to Kilpatrick's resignation.
Meantime, delegates report that the mayor's fight to stay on has obliterated all other political news at home and could, unless resolved, jeopardize the Democrats' chances of holding Michigan and its 17 electoral votes in their column in November.

One knowledgeable state official said that anti-Kilpatrick emotions have inflamed voters in Detroit's largely white suburbs of Macomb and Oakland counties, the principal battleground for national candidates. Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg reported this week that his latest survey of Macomb County gave John McCain a 7-point lead over Barack Obama. More worrisome, the delegation sources said, are signs that Oakland County, with a substantial Jewish population, is so angry with Kilpatrick that Obama could be in trouble there, as well.

Democratic officials expect Obama to pull an exceptionally large vote in Detroit, no matter who is mayor, but they worry that he could be demolished in the suburban counties unless the Kilpatrick quandary is solved.

By Web Politics Editor  |  August 28, 2008; 7:40 PM ET
Categories:  Battlegrounds , Conventions , Democratic Party  
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Comments

Michigan is one of the most beautiful states in the country but, it like IL, is being driven into a near depression through the Govener Granholm's incompetent tax policy. Don't look to the Dems to balance any thing soon. She deserves her own spot at http://www.bop-o-rama.com. Obama can keep his hands out of my pocket. He may be selling me a tax cut, but it is smoke and mirrors as far as I can tell.

Posted by: Unhappy in Michigan! | August 29, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

"Michigan's inept hack governor Granholm and her incompetent party are responsible for Michigan's economic woes."

Dear Ed D, The failure of Michigan economically can be attributed in large part to our three term REPUBLICAN Governor John Engler. Granholm isn't perfect but neither was the State's financial health when she inherited the office from ol' tubby.

Posted by: colonial313 | August 29, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

to robo1936,
Crazy? can you say O J Simpson, Marion Barry, Michael Vick, etc...I hope Obama brings about accountability within the black culture when he is elected, it would be refreshing.

Posted by: mark | August 29, 2008 6:00 AM | Report abuse

As the author describes, Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has his problems. Jennifer Granholm is not that popular of a governor either. But I think these optimistic reports offering hope for Republicans in Michigan, and Pennsylvania for that matter, are siren songs for John McCain even with Mitt Romney on the ticket. If it is close, Democrats will be able to produce enough votes in Detroit to win the state. The same situation exists in Pennsyvania with Philadelphia.

Posted by: danielhancock | August 29, 2008 1:23 AM | Report abuse

What sad places some parts of the USA are as regards running things. Many white people believe that certain politicians are voted in bacause of their colour and stay voted in for the same reason. Thats absolutely crazy because then you get people like Kilpatrick in power. Kilpatrick has to go because hes useless and the Governor should do what a Governor should do. As regarsd Obama he never had the guts to do what he should have done when sitting in Church and listening to Jeremiah Wright and I very much doubt whether he will with Kilpatrick. Its funny how Obama has never said much about Zimbabwe or Kilpatrick or good governance.

Posted by: robo1936 | August 29, 2008 1:21 AM | Report abuse

Kilpatrick knows that the ignorance of political correctness will allow him to fight and even remain mayor will in jail. Think about it in jail he will still be in close proximity to many of Detroit's residents. They would back him even more since it would be proof he is more like them.

Posted by: MoneytonRes | August 28, 2008 11:27 PM | Report abuse

kilpatrick is a disaster and everyday he remains in office is just a days worth of ammo for every republican in the country.

Posted by: mike n | August 28, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

"Isn't it ironic that McCain has a chance in Michigan, after all the lost jobs and high oil prices that Republicans have caused."

You're obviously NOT from Michigan, are you Frank?
Michigan's inept hack governor Granholm and her incompetent party are responsible for Michigan's economic woes.

Posted by: Ed D | August 28, 2008 11:15 PM | Report abuse

This article brings up a great point about the whole "let's not do anything to offend the blacks" PC argument. The Governor who is a woman is afraid to ouster the "mayor" because she is white and he is black. Our laws now have two different meanings depending on what color you are...total garbage!! Anyone want to guess why whites have a problem with the black culture? ( notice I did not say race...big difference)

Posted by: Mark | August 28, 2008 10:59 PM | Report abuse

"This hostage-taking race game that black politicians play (actually, government-backed, black privilege) is a disgrace to ethics and public trust."

This is racist drivel! Kilpatrick is no more emblematic of black politicians than Ted Stevens of Alaska is of white politicians. Kilpatrick needs to go but he is not a cross that black elected officials need to bear.

Posted by: Darryl Cox | August 28, 2008 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Please explain why Kilpatrick's problems present a dilemma for Obama and Biden. Obama didn't father Kilpatrick, raise him, appoint him to a seat in the state legislature or work to get him elected as mayor. This article is absurd.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it ironic that McCain has a chance in Michigan, after all the lost jobs and high oil prices that Republicans have caused.
I think that if Michigan votes for McCain, then the auto industry should go bankrupt and most homes there should be repossessed. They need MASSIVE unemployment. They NEED to lose everything. It would serve them right!

Posted by: Frank | August 28, 2008 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Everyone should grow up. Kilpatrick is jerk and should be removed from office regardless. Good goverment is what everyone wants and while he is in office that is impossible.

Posted by: Will | August 28, 2008 9:34 PM | Report abuse

I think the governor's fear is nothing but rascism. She announced that she was afraid of a black backlash, I think that shows exactly what this woman thinks about black people. Not that she's right or wrong, but she fears them because they are black and she is white.

Posted by: John | August 28, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

The governor should do her duty - pandering to party or race means she puts these 2 attributes before the people - and if she does, then she should be removed from office. Apparently she does not understand the phrase "government for the people"?

Posted by: jr | August 28, 2008 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Obama-Junkie:

That's what I said.

Fred:

I'm 76 years old -- I was also in southern California for the Watts Riots and after the Rodney King verdict too -- now, how old are you?

Posted by: JakeD | August 28, 2008 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Why is Obama responsible for what happens in Michigan city politics?

Many of the charges against Kilpatrick are the same ones that were against Bill Clinton during the Lewinski scandal.

Let the Detroit voters decide as to whether Kilpatrick should stay in office. Frankly, I don't care for him one way or the other. Just because he is black does not make him Obama's responsibility.

Posted by: Obama-Junkie | August 28, 2008 9:06 PM | Report abuse

am concerned about race riots when McCain wins.

Posted by: JakeD | August 28, 2008 8:13 PM

So ... I guess if Obama were to be elected ... and then for some reason impeached ... people would be afraid to do it because of the black-backlash? ... I guess it could be a cause for concern.

Posted by: Francisco Cardenas | August 28, 2008 8:02 PM

Grow up...

Posted by: Fred | August 28, 2008 9:03 PM | Report abuse

This hostage-taking race game that black politicians play (actually, government-backed, black privilege) is a disgrace to ethics and public trust.

The governor should be FORCED to remove this idiot, then be impeached for obstruction of justice.

Posted by: JRDevo | August 28, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

Chad:

The latest poll (EPIC-Seizer 8/23) showed McCain within 5 points in Michigan.

http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2008/Pres/Graphs/michigan.html

Posted by: JakeD | August 28, 2008 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Chad: Stranger things have happened. Look at how Cleveland helped tip the state of Ohio for W in '04, despite how many jobs they lost in the automotive industry at that time?

Posted by: Lee | August 28, 2008 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Proof again that politics has little to do with "doing the right thing", and more to do with "what will people think of me if I do this?".

Politics is a great way to pass time in a crowded office space, but a terrible way to run government.

Posted by: Lee | August 28, 2008 8:36 PM | Report abuse

What? McCain win Michigan??? Are we talking about the same state that lost most of its jobs, many to overseas?

McCain doesn't stand a chance to win Michigan. I don't think Michigan's adopted redheaded stepchild Mitt will have any effect on that.

Posted by: Chad | August 28, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse

I am concerned about race riots when McCain wins.

Posted by: JakeD | August 28, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

So ... I guess if Obama were to be elected ... and then for some reason impeached ... people would be afraid to do it because of the black-backlash? ... I guess it could be a cause for concern.

Posted by: Francisco Cardenas | August 28, 2008 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Why is this Obama's problem?! Besides, once Michigan's native son, Mitt Romney, gets announced as McCain's VP selection, there's no chance Obama will win the State.

Posted by: JakeD | August 28, 2008 7:44 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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