Charlie Rangel: Hey, sorry for acting like a total jackass with Luke Russert

Two clips for you, the first of yesterday’s jackassery and the second of his apology at today’s presser, in which he did indeed seem pretty darned excited to be facing a fantastically embarrassing ethics trial in September. How about you, Democrats? Can you feel the excitement?

“A disaster,” said one New York Democratic operative when asked about the prospect of a trial detailing the charges against Rangel in the midst of the fall election campaign.

Another New York strategist described the ethical cloud surrounding Rangel as a “two-year albatross that we all wish would go away.”

One House Democrat granted anonymity to speak candidly about a colleague called the potential trial timing “terrible,” adding: “If it comes to a vote, Charlie will not win.”

One Democratic consultant described a Rangel trial as a “no-win situation” for House Democrats running in competitive races. Explained the source: “Criticize him, and risk the wrath of the congressional black caucus and leadership. Don’t criticize, and you’re weak on ethics.”

He’s being primaried by the son of the man he beat to win his House seat in 1970, and the primary happens to coincide with the trial in mid-September. Hmmmm. As for the Russert clip, it’s humiliating enough to have earned kudos this morning from both Limbaugh and Beck for the cub reporter who wouldn’t leave Rangel alone. Eighty years old, 40 years in office, and every inch of his calcified Beltway hauteur is showing here. We’re going to miss you, Charlie. Well … no, we aren’t. Exit question: Given the boldfaced part in the blockquote and the electoral pressure to make an example of him, it’s a fait accompli that he’ll settle the ethics case before the trial, right? (“This source said Rangel was willing to publicly acknowledge wrongdoing in some instances, yet was not prepared to admit guilt on all the areas demanded…”)