That was the reaction of Rep. Charlie Rangel, when the Democrat congressman “stumbled upon” a Rick Perry fundraiser in Harlem last night.

The Texas Governor’s team got a surprise guest when Rangel arrived outside of Papasito’s Bar in Harlem. The spot was selected for Perry’s meeting with local business leaders but home turf is home turf and Rangel insisted he was just seeing what was going on.

The National Journal reports:

As to whether Perry’s overture would be effective in a district that Obama won in 2008 with 93 percent of the vote: “Aren’t you here to figure out what the governor is doing here? Aren’t you?” he asked reporters. “I’m here for the same reason.”

Rangel arrived just a few moments before Perry, who was quickly whisked inside after telling reporters only that he was there to “see more supporters here.” The event lasted about 30 minutes. Lenin Lopez, who runs a café on the same block as Papasito’s, said he was one of about 50 people in attendance. Lopez said Perry largely spoke about taxes and employment, as opposed other issues facing the community, such as lack of health care. Lopez added that while it was nice to hear Perry speak, most of his listeners were Democrats.

So what did Rangel think of Perry?

Rangel left the event, where he kept unlikely company with New York’s Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox, and Charles Glazer, a top fundraiser for former President George W. Bush, before it was over. When asked what he thought of meeting Perry for the first time, he laughed, “He’s tall and he’s from Texas, that’s clear.”


While I am not buying Rangel’s “I tripped and stumbled into the frontrunner of the GOP race,” I do respect his political saavy. By showing up, he stole the headlines away from Perry who otherwise might have had a few fluff pieces and one happy public relations team.

What do you think of Rangel turning up at Perry’s event in Harlem? Let’s discuss Clutchettes and gents!

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