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Changing Of The (black) Guard?

Today's WaPo has a good story about African-American politicians who endorsed Hillary Clinton instead of Obama and are now facing primary challenges from younger black pols as a result. One of those incumbents, Georgia Congressman and Civil Rights hero John Lewis, complains thusly of his opponent:

"The young man, he just copies everything Obama does," Lewis said. "The civil rights movement was over by the time he was born."

If you want to read about one of these challengers in his own words, you should check out this New York Post op-ed by Kevin Powell--he of MTV's Real World fame who's now running against Ed Towns for his Brooklyn Congressional seat:

I certainly acknowledge and appreciate what the Civil Righters have done, but we younger African Americans are saying now, loudly, the jig is up and it is time for you to go, especially if you have not created hope and plans of action for our communities.

The days of marching and protesting are over. The days of voting for someone just because they are black are over. Indeed, the multicultural legion of young Americans who've flocked to Obama's campaign suggest that we want leadership that builds bridges, not that is stuck in the rhetoric and realities of the past.

My guess is few if any of these challengers are going to win this cycle--incumbency has too many advantages, and it looks as if Obama isn't going to piss off any of those incumbents by intervening on behalf of their challengers. But it's an interesting development nonetheless.

P.S. By the way, how does Charlie Rangel--who endorsed Hillary and who is now under fire for having four three rent-stabilized apartments--not have a serious primary challenger?

P.P.S. Noam, who actually predicted these problems for Hillary's African-American endorsers back in February, emails me to point out that Rangel's district is only 37 percent African-American; and Sacha points to some problems with Kevin Powell's candidacy.

--Jason Zengerle