Congressman Charles Rangel (D-Harlem)

*(Via Politico) The New York Amsterdam News, the creaky weekly newspaper that is the voice of Harlem’s political establishment, is making the best of a bad week.

“Paterson Demands Facts, Not Fiction” reads the headline over a defiant picture of New York’s sinking governor. Below that, “Rangel Requests Leave of Absence From Chairmanship.”

The active verbs did little to conceal what a difficult winter made clear: The sun is setting on Harlem as the seat of New York’s black political elite and the symbolic national center of black politics. Rangel could end up being the last black congressman from Harlem.

Gov. David Paterson, the son of Basil Paterson of the legendary “Gang of Four” who have dominated Harlem for a half-century, has come to embody their central shortcoming: the failure to cultivate a strong second generation.

The gang itself is down to three, Rangel, the elder Paterson and former Mayor David Dinkins, who were among the mourners at the December funeral of the fourth, politician-turned-tycoon Percy Sutton.

Read MORE of this Politico story by Ben Smith HERE.