Once upon a time, Congressman Danny Davis was vying with ex-Senator Carol Moseley Braun to be named the "consensus black candidate" for mayor by a group of Chicago's African-American leaders.
When Braun won that title, Davis became one of her many prominent supporters. And a recent radio ad shows the astonishing depths of his support.
The spot, which Braun posted on her Facebook page, is a barely-veiled exhortation to the city's black population to vote for Braun. ("Every community has its interests," a female narrator says in introducing Davis.) Recent polls show Rahm Emanuel, the race's apparent front-runner, receiving as much support among African-Americans as Braun. Two other black candidates, Patricia Watkins and Dock Walls, haven't moved the needle much.
But to hear Davis tell it, behind an epic swelling of strings, it would be treachery of Biblical proportions for blacks to leave Braun for Emanuel.
"I remember two principles of liberation and self-determination that my parents taught," Davis says in a booming, explosive baritone. "My mother often told us that it is a poor dog that will not wag its own tail. My father would tell us that the Bible says any man who will not support his own house is worse than any infidel.
"In honor of my parents during Black History Month, I am voting for Carol Moseley Braun for mayor, and ask that you vote for the best candidate. Punch 3 for Carol Moseley Braun."
Ted McClelland at NBC Chicago tracked down the Bible verse to which he refers: 1 Timothy 5:8, which reads, "But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel."
The ad, played on radio stations popular with black audiences over the weekend, apparently aims to turn those "infidels" who might have been leaning Emanuel's way back to the path of righteousness. It was paid for by "United Communities of Chicago," a group funded largely by black real estate mogul and Braun supporter Elzie L. Higginbottom, in the guise of ELH Partners.
Click through to CMB's Facebook page to listen to the ad.