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Jesse Jackson, with No Role

By Kevin Merida
DENVER -- The Rev. Jesse Jackson arrived at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday, not as a speaker but as a watcher. He sat in a sky suite at the Pepsi Center, credentialed by the Democratic National Committee, and took in the evening's proceedings.

He had no official duties, none at all.

On a day when Barack Obama officially became the first African American to be nominated as a presidential candidate by a major political party, the nation's first serious black presidential contender had nothing much he was asked to do.

"This is Barack's moment," Jackson said. "I wanted to reserve my focus for his candidacy and the ticket."

Jesse Louis Jackson has been a major figure in Democratic politics for the past 25 years, and is arguably the most well-known black leader in the country. But his string of six straight political conventions in which he was given a coveted speaking slot has come to an end.

Jackson was never destined to have a role at an Obama convention. The campaign's carefully calibrated message of change seemed to leave little room for him. Then, an open mic caught Jackson on a Fox News set chastising Obama for "talking down to black people" and telling a guest that he wanted to castrate the candidate (and not in that safe language). The resulting embarrassment hurt Jackson's image.

"That's behind us," Jackson said in an interview. "His problem is not a friend who makes a mistake. I'm his ally. The problem is not the accidental embarrassment, but the intentional attempts to destroy him."

Asked about his current relationship with the nominee, Jackson said: "Barack, he's not petty. He's not a petty guy. I'm quick to support and defend him and his family."

Jackson said that while he would have no formal role in the fall campaign, he planned to concentrate his efforts on voter registration -- he is heading to southern Ohio on Saturday and then going on to Athens, Ga. "We have some heavy lifting this fall," he said.

Jackson plans to be at Invesco Field to hear Obama's acceptance speech on the 45th anniversary of the March on Washington. Jackson said many commentators have missed the significance of the occasion. Too many people talk about Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream Speech," he said, and connect it to a dream fulfilled in 2008. But the occasion was not a happy one.

"The speech was about broken promises," Jackson said. "When you talk about the dream, you miss the violence of that day. It was a very violent period." He went on: "Kennedy didn't want the march to take place. D.C. was on a military lockdown that day."

Obama is certainly a product of the civil rights struggle, Jackson said, and "Dr. King would celebrate this political victory." But Jackson added that the country has "overdosed on Dr. King's speech," when there is still so much inequality that needs addressing.

By Web Politics Editor  |  August 27, 2008; 11:15 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , Barack Obama , Cast of Characters , Democratic Party  
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Comments

On The Jesse Jackson Sr.

Jesse has a lot of people trying to "make sense" of the nuts thing. I'm an average, citizen with a technical orientation. Stop trying to make sense of it and understand that there's no sense in it. He needs to be stopped. Think about any illogical, mental screw up, that anybody else might pronounce - then try to make sense of it, - headaches huh??

Jesse feeds and thrives on giving complicated explanations for things that WE supposedly don't understand. He's a "fake reverend" with a good cause (civil rights). He complains and gripes perpetually, nothing satisfies him, and while doing this he uses "Black Collar Extortion" to procure huge sums of money (threatening boycotts and who knows what else) from large corporations. Then he starts over, complaining, griping, etc, over and over and over. He will repeat this endless cycle again and again and again until WE stop him.

He doesn't have a church or a congregation.
He never had a church or a congregation.

learn more:
http://wakeupblackamerica.blogspot.com/2006/06/jesse-jackson-tries-to-shakedown-bp.html.

S. Daniels
WV

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Posted by: state industries hot water heaters | September 1, 2008 1:23 AM | Report abuse

This article calls Jackson a "black leader". That has been their biggest problem for a long time in following some counterfeit, greasy-palmed huckster and thinking he is an actual "leader".

If Jesse Jackson were to run for the city limits, I am certain he would have the whole town behind him.

Posted by: Buckaroo | August 28, 2008 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Black have fully supported Barack Obama - what will they want? The government has already usurped fatherhood from black men. The government is already the biggest employer of blacks. And where has that gotten them? Forever dependent and forever at the bottom of academic statistics.

Posted by: David | August 28, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Americans are not too fond of history, they forgot how this country was built. when ignore what happened when the so called pligrims came, they want us to forget about slavery by all means, they forgot what it took and who sacrificed for Obama to be where he is today.. They are an instant gratification nation, and the Obama movement is supplying their opiates for the time, all they care about is to be on the moving ship without even questioning where that ship is taking them.. I will be voting for Obama, but please people enough with the Obama worshiping! You guys are setting up yourselves for a whole lot of disappointments., Obama is NOT GOING TO SAVE AMERICA AND THE WORLD> HE WILL NOT STATUS WILL CHANGE HIM! By the way did any body take note of this congressman Wassle or Weasle from Florida's presentation? This is what it is going to be about ISRAEL. They control things when it comes to America's foreign policy... It will be no different with Obama. And OBama will have to engage in endless wars which he said he is already willing to do, to satisfy Israel.. He has already put a big red blot on his foreign policy not pad in the Middle East by his biased position on the Palestinian/Israeli issue.

Posted by: SHIRLEY | August 28, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

This is a reply to Lesley. With all due respect Lesley, what role should Jesse Jackson have? The open mike incident suggests Rev. Jackson has a problem with Senator Obama being where no man of his skin color has been. Many could not believe the statements made from that microphone. A man of God knows what comes from the mouth is hurtful. Likewise, many felt if anyone understood Senator Obama’s situation Jesse Jackson would; this of course is in line with Rev. Jackson’s history involving civil rights activities and stances. Rev. Jackson appears almost bitter with the comments uttered during that occasion. Others just knew Rev. Jackson would be ecstatic about the circumstances that came to pass due to efforts on his behalf. On the contrary, Rev. Jackson suggests Senator Obama looks down on people of color. For some reason Rev. Jackson forgets Senator Obama has fought and continues to fight a battle from opponents on all sides. Again, Rev Jackson, in his past, fought battles quite like the one at hand. Senator Obama needs all the help possible to make the dream and his vision of America come true. The dream of course begins with Martin Luther King and Senator Obama picked up on that dream. Rev. Jackson’s son told his father peace-be-still; Jesse Jackson III appears to understand. No one said the journey would be easy. Support your Presidential candidate. Do not give Senator McCain a free pass to the White House.

Posted by: jbb333 | August 28, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

This is a reply to Lesley. With all due respect Lesley, what role should Jesse Jackson have? The open mike incident suggests Rev. Jackson has a problem with Senator Obama being where no man of his skin color has been. Many could not believe the statements made from that microphone. A man of God knows what comes from the mouth is hurtful. Likewise, many felt if anyone understood Senator Obama’s situation Jesse Jackson would; this of course is in line with Rev. Jackson’s history involving civil rights activities and stances. Rev. Jackson appears almost bitter with the comments uttered during that occasion. Others just knew Rev. Jackson would be ecstatic about the circumstances that came to pass due to efforts on his behalf. On the contrary, Rev. Jackson suggests Senator Obama looks down on people of color. For some reason Rev. Jackson forgets Senator Obama has fought and continues to fight a battle from opponents on all sides. Again, Rev Jackson, in his past, fought battles quite like the one at hand. Senator Obama needs all the help possible to make the dream and his vision of America come true. The dream of course begins with Martin Luther King and Senator Obama picked up on that dream. Rev. Jackson’s son told his father peace-be-still; Jesse Jackson III appears to understand. No one said the journey would be easy. Support your Presidential candidate. Do not give Senator McCain a free pass to the White House.

Posted by: jbb333 | August 28, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Dear Jesse Sr.,

Words like "equality" give you plenty of room to perpetually gripe and complain but especially to "professionally fundraise" or bum money. Arguing with you might prevent some of it, but who wants to argue with you?

If we were all equal to you it would mean we should all sit down and be quiet. There will always be inequality. (I don't care whether you sit down or not).

thank you,

It's Unanamouth

Posted by: colored citizen | August 28, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

I hope that Hispanic voters realize that if Baracky Hussein Obama becomes President, they will be at the bottom of the barrel - Baracky Hussein Obama will have to pacify the Black voters after gaining 99 % of their vote.

Democrats for John McCain in 2008

Posted by: gary | August 28, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Mike at 1:21, your attempt at humor is offensive.

Posted by: against the DLC | August 28, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Jr. had strong words for his father and JJ has cooled it since. I am sure he is staying out of the way so not to be a distraction.

---------
Jackson's son (Jesse Jackson Jr.) a Chicago congressman and strong supporter of Obama gave a speech at the convention which was well written and well delivered and well received.

Posted by: ejgallagher1 | August 28, 2008 10:26 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | August 28, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Obama has made a conceted effort to stay away from the people who made it possible for him to be where he is today, his logic he does not want to appear as a black candidate.. Maybe Martin Luther King would have no role in his acceptance speech if he was alive.. As Al Sharpton cautioned Black people there wiii still be more marches to come for equal rights, the fight is far from being over, and Obama will not be matrching with you! He will be on the inside if he gets elected.. Don't make the mistake of discarding Jesse and Al for Obama..

Posted by: Shirley | August 28, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Jackson's son (Jesse Jackson Jr.) a Chicago congressman and strong supporter of Obama gave a speech at the convention which was well written and well delivered and well received.

Posted by: ejgallagher1 | August 28, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

I think all failed presidential candidates should spend the next few months going about the country encouraging people to come out and vote. Since this election is so important for the sake of America's future, everyone should be part of this decision making process. www.brewermorris.com

Posted by: Tax Jobs | August 28, 2008 7:18 AM | Report abuse

Nice of Jesse to to keep a low profile. The again, it's not hard to do when nobody wants you around.

Posted by: John D | August 28, 2008 3:45 AM | Report abuse

I guess he should not have called Obama a "NAME"

VJ Machiavelli
http://www.vjmachiavelli.blogspot.com
ps.While the “APPEASEMENT CONVENTION” was
singing “ALL WE ARE SAYING IS GIVE PEACE A CHANCE”
The Terrorists are singing "ALL WE ARE SAYING IS GIVE BOMBS A CHANCE, and the Russian are singing "WE ARE BACK"

Posted by: VJ Machiavelli | August 28, 2008 1:56 AM | Report abuse

Jesse Jackson should polish Barack Obama's shoes.

Posted by: Mike | August 28, 2008 1:21 AM | Report abuse

That's just a crying shame. Jesse Jackson isn't getting the respect from Obama that he so richly deserves as a precursor who made Obama's nomination possible. And that's just a fact.

I am very sorry this is happening to you Rev. Jackson b/c while I don't always agree with all of your positions, I deeply admire your long-time courage as an American patriot, a civil rights leader, a Democratic Party stalwart, an international statesman.

Obama's behavior continues to be offensive to many of us.

But, of course, that's no surprise with Obama. Jesse Jackson is just the latest to get shoved under the bus. He's got good company, along with Hillary, Obama's grandmother, his first agent, the Rev. Wright, and 18 million of us.

We've come to expect this behavior from Obama primarily b/c the media has allowed him to get away with it. Just as the media allowed him to get away with the racist smears against the Clintons.

The problem is that Obama now thinks he can do no wrong. And that's pretty scary.

Who will finally call him to task?

Only the voters now can.
And we will.

I am voting for McCain.

Posted by: Lesley | August 28, 2008 12:23 AM | Report abuse

JJ is a fraud. He had his time in the light now its time to step off...b

Posted by: jaythrowback | August 28, 2008 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Obama is tight with Jesse Jackson JUNIOR.

The torch has been passed to a younger generation, folks. The elders, most of all, know that it is the way of life.

Posted by: For The Record | August 27, 2008 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Jackson should retire.

Posted by: Deep Blue | August 27, 2008 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Hillary is not the Nominee, Yeah Im kinda bummed too
BUT GET YOUR OBAMA BIDEN BUMPER STICKERS FREE http://www.mccanes.com

Posted by: Pete Eaten | August 27, 2008 11:33 PM | Report abuse

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