Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Jackson: The best candidate for African Americans? John Edwards

In today's Chicago Sun Times, civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson, a formidable presidential candidate in 1984 and '88 wrote an op-ed about the failure of Democrats to speak to the plight of Black America.

Jackson points out that blacks provided the margin of victory for Bill Clinton and George W. Bush in key battle ground states. He asks: Can Democrats get the votes they need by simply not being Republicans?

In a campaign with two minorities at the top of national polls, including perhaps the most "viable" African American candidate ever, Jackson singles out a white man as speaking the best to the tough issues facing Black America.

Yet the Democratic candidates -- with the exception of John Edwards, who opened his campaign in New Orleans' Ninth Ward and has made addressing poverty central to his campaign -- have virtually ignored the plight of African Americans in this country.

Wow. Think that caught the attention of Barack Obama's campaign? Hillary Clinton, the wife of "America's first Black president," is stung by the assessment, too, but her campaign probably likes it because it makes Obama look worse, especially with Oprah getting ready to hit his campaign trail.

All in all, though, it's hard to argue with Jackson's points. It's not an unique sentiment. Obama's numbers among African American voters have been less than spectacular, prompting his wife to assure that Black America will "wake up and get it" when it comes to supporting her husband.

Well, it looks like Jackson is sleeping through Obama's campaign thus far. And that, in his view, Democratic candidates are sleeping through a tremendous opportunity with Black voters. Well, almost all of them anyway.

1 comment:

Goose said...

will sammag endorse for the primaries? We're almost there. Just wondering.