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Jackson Jr.: Obama Has Taken Up His Father's Torch

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., son of the civil rights leader, is prodding blacks in South Carolina to vote for Sen. Barack Obama in a radio ad launched by the campaign today. The Democratic congressman, who also represents Illinois and is a national campaign chairman for Obama, says the senator is continuing his father's legacy of leadership.

"Two decades ago, my father ran for president, calling on South Carolina and the nation to 'keep hope alive.' Today, Barack Obama has taken up the torch," Jackson Jr. says in the ad, which will air on 36 gospel and R&B radio stations across the state.

But the senior Jackson has recently been critical of Obama. The Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. told a reporter at The State newspaper in South Carolina that the senator was "acting like he's white" because he was slow to address the case in Jena, La., where tens of thousands of people marched last month, protesting what they view as the overly harsh prosecution of six black high school students charged with beating a white classmate unconscious. The Reverend later said he did not recall making the comment.

Jackson Jr.'s radio ad goes a long way to ease any hard feelings.

"A lot of politicians call themselves our friends. But Obama has a heart that beats for our community," he says. "Once, South Carolina voted for my father, and sent a strong message to the nation. Next year, you can send more than a message. You can launch a President."

--Krissah Williams

By Washington Post editors  |  October 23, 2007; 5:21 PM ET
 
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Comments

Go President Obama! Please do'nt let these's nuts out here get in your way to the white house; my son who just made sgt. over in Iraq is voting for you, both my sons(in Atlanta,Ga.) an family are behind you, because we believe in you that much; because your the change America needs today. So all this negative press that these nuts come up with will not change my belief in you. Now unless I see it with my eyes or hear you say it, out of your mouth; I or my family will not be moved for our support for you; Go President Obama! Can't wait too veto!

Posted by: dr-junk | October 24, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I am a woman and i would never ever vote for hillary clinton.

I am glad Barack has found help with jesse Jackson Jr.

Posted by: PaProgressiveDem | October 24, 2007 3:32 PM | Report abuse

As a black 55 year old female and a civil rights worker I never voted for Jesse Jackson. I would vote for Barack. I also believe that Obama has more credibility than Jackson ever had. Not only among whites but a lot of blacks, as well.

Posted by: rlj1 | October 24, 2007 12:40 PM | Report abuse

The Jacksons are endorsing Obama because they know him. Obama and the Jacksons are all Chicago-based.

But it is interesting and a good thing that the Obama campaign is going to match Clinton's gender-based pitch with an appeal to black voters.

Posted by: Malia2 | October 24, 2007 12:15 AM | Report abuse

This is exactly what Obama needs to gain traction in the early primaries.

I am hoping that more big name Democrats will endorse him.

With every major endorsement Obama makes progress toward beating back Clinton's false claim that he lacks experience.

The Obama train is leaving the station...get on board or else you'll be left behind carrying Hillary's baggage on a long trip to nowhere!

Posted by: kolp999 | October 23, 2007 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Here is my question...would Jesse Jackson offer the same endorsement if Obama were white? Assuming he represented all of the same viewpoints, etc, but had white skin, my gut tells me that good old Jesse would be backing Ms. Clinton.

Seems to me that Jesse Jackson is quite a racist if he is willing to support someone simply because of the color of their skin...especially after previously chastising him for "acting white."

Jesse, get out of here.

Posted by: washingtonpost.rharris | October 23, 2007 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Poor Barack. With that endorsement, he just lost ten points in the polls.

Posted by: Bobach | October 23, 2007 6:40 PM | Report abuse

That's the problem I have with the Jacksons, they always talk about themselves first and everything else last.

Jackson Jr. should know better since his father stabbed us black supporters in the back to benefit his family. I should know I voted for him and what did he do at the convention grab for power for himself.

And so Jackson Jr. benefit while the rest of us didn't and now that JJr put that tag on Obama he sure to lose.

Posted by: carbynew | October 23, 2007 6:14 PM | Report abuse

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