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Friends Rally Round Rangel


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Shrugging the weight of his troubles off his shoulders for a few hours, Rep. Charles Rangel basked in the glow of praise from a host of Democratic officials, longtime backers and New York players at a lush 80th birthday bash/fundraiser at The Plaza Hotel that was closely monitored for mood and attendance in the wake of the House ethics case against him.

There was a palpable sense of frustration among some Rangel supporters with some of the pressure on him. Even the normally reserved former mayor of New York City, David Dinkins, flipped the bird to a loud heckler who was shouting "crook" to almost every African-American man who entered the hotel.

But inside, it was a happier mood - even though some guests privately acknowledged that it might be the last pre-campaign birthday fundraiser that Rangel holds. Starting Thursday morning, he'll be pivoting toward his re-election campaign and the Sept. 14 Democratic primary.

The Harlem Democrat was clearly moved — and said as much – by the outpouring. But he was also buoyant as he stood on stage for more than two hours, with wife Alma beside him for much of the event, in the storied hotel's chandelier-appointed and gilded Grand Ballroom.

"I've been to a lot of funerals but this damn sure ain't no funeral!" quipped the embattled congressman into a microphone. He ended the night dancing solo on stage to raucous applause from the remaining guests.

No, it's more like an early wake. :rolleyes:

And here's Charlie dancing. You've been warned!

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I have to tell you, watching some of the footage of the people partying was chilling. Even if Charlie wasn't under indictment it would have been a FLOTUS type let them eat cake spectacle. You add the lack of seriousness about the wrong doing and it was sickening.

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