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Sweet column: Obama "godfather" pitches black Dems for "our son." Sharpton on Obama backing Mayor Daley over black rivals.

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Jones' Obama pitch to black Democrats stirs controversy


WASHINGTON -- Seeking to solidify African-American backing for Barack Obama's presidential bid, Illinois Senate President Emil Jones Jr. told black Democrats meeting here last week they don't "owe" anyone, alluding to, but not mentioning by name, Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Obama, said Jones, "is our son."

In a Monday telephone interview, Jones, Obama's political godfather, told me, "How long do we have to owe before we have an opportunity to support our son?

"And I know that Barack Obama is our son and he deserves our support."

He made a similar race-based appeal to a group of black Democratic activists Friday at a closed Democratic National Committee winter meeting.

"Nobody in that room had any doubt that he was speaking about the Clintons," said Jamal Simmons, a Democratic consultant who was there.

President Clinton enjoyed tremendous support from black voters; it will not be automatically transferred to Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Obama, who would be the first African-American nominee, will have to work for some black endorsements. Jones' pitch for Obama, Simmons added, "exposed internal conflicts" within the African-American political community.

Jones said his comments, first reported in Monday's the Politico, were not that different than when he stumped for black votes during Obama's contested 2004 Illinois Senate Democratic primary.

Jones said he was moved to try to recruit Obama backers when he realized senior Clinton adviser Minyon Moore -- who is a Chicago native -- was at the meeting.

The controversy triggered by Jones was picked up by CNN Monday, and the Rev. Al Sharpton told CNN that Jones "could offend people by saying you got to unite just because someone is your race."

Sharpton noted that Obama endorsed Mayor Daley for re-election over two black candidates, so it would not follow to ask blacks "to do something for Obama that he himself is not doing at home."

11 Comments

not only has obama endorsed daley. if daley is indicted for theft and corruption of public fund,wouldn't it taint obama?

hmmmm......wasnt Obama the same guy who in Maryland this year told a crowd of african americans,"We dont vote on the color of our skin!" , What a disgusting hypocrite, racist loser! He is a lying communist. GO HILLARY!

Barack supported a white guy for sheriff over 2 black candidates, and he's done the same in the mayoral race. Unfortunately most blacks are dumb enough to support him based on race even when he didn't support them based on race. I mean look at John and Todd Stroger, the same thing. They voted Todd in and now he's giving them the shaft.

Todd isn't saying he is the great uniter , the NEXT ABRAHAM LINCOLN! This hypocrite named Barry Obama is, THATS WHY! He is a phony! He is worse than Bush! GO HILLARY! STOMP THIS COWARD! WHAWW DONT PICK ON MY EARS LADY!!!

Elections should be blind to Race or gender. I am a woman, does that mean I must vote for Hilary! No WAY! Remember her health care proposal. Times aren't much different then they were back then, she's proposing the same thing and it won't work!!!
As for comments about Obama backing Mayor Daley, Obama made a good point, even with all the corruption that has fallen under the Daley administration, Mayor Daley has done a great job cleaning up this city and making it more appealing to tourists. This makes the city's revenue go up and prevents outrageous tax hikes. I don't like Daley, but unfortunately he has done a good job outside the corruption.
Also, Obama supporting a white candidate should not be a race issue either. He should support who he thinks will do the best job, and I'm sure that's what he has done.
Let's not make this a racial issue, it should be an issue of issues. Who stands for what you believe in?

When people are trying to rally votes they look for commonality. Don't Irish people who back Irish candidates go to the Irish community and say "he's one of us?" Italians, Latinos, Catholics, Jews, everyone does this if there is an opportunity. That does not mean the candidate will ignore other groups, it is a message for a specific group. But the key point is that Obama has not said it. As much as people want to play these political games and put Obama in a box, it does not work. He is somebody new, somebody with fresh ideas and more importantly he has enthusiasm it takes to unite a country. When was the last time we had someone who wanted the job and not just the position?

WHY DON'T BARACK RUN FOR THE MAYOR OF CHICAGO??I KNOW HE WILL HANDS DOWN, BUT DALEY IS TRICKING HIMTO RUN FOR PRESIDENT TO KEEP HIM AWAY FROM TAKING HIS JOB.LISTEN IF 75% OF THE PRISON POPULATION IS BLACK MALES WHAT MAKE YOU THINK BARACK CAN MAKE IT TO THE WHITE HOUSE?? HE HAVE A LOT OF SUPPORT THAT CAN'T EVEN VOTE FOR HIM HE WILL NEVER MAKE IT JUST BECAUSE HE IS THINKING LIKE A FISH OUT OF WATER HE WILL NEVER MAKE IT.......

too late barry made it racial in maryland last year, milks spilled.

I will vote for Obama over Hillary. It's good to see a native with an opinion regarding Obama and his relationships to people like Daley. Criminalizing Obama will be a tactic, but if Daley has been running things, cleaned things up in Chicago, and the revenues and economy is doing good locally to Chicago, then I say hooray for Daley and Obama for backing him.

Hooray for Daley backing Obama and turning a blind eye to John Burge scandal. Hooray for Obama not endorsing Dorothy Brown over Daley even though Daley has had one of the most corrupt regimes in city history. Hooray Daleys buddies are all making money off our tax dollars,but the city looks good, the Duffs got 100 million in minority set asides, but Hooray for Barry Big Ears Obama for being such a coward. He is NO HAROLD WASHINGTON, let alone ABRAHAM LINCOLN!

Shame on all of you are selectively being color blind, in order to shy away from the more accurate characterization, often attributed to many, which is the "crabs in a bucket" analogy. I feel like I am at the end of Spike Lee's School Days and needing to yell, WAKE UP!!!. Barak is not running like Jessie and Al, as the "black president of the United States" he is running to be "THE president of the united states. The key, is that he is trying to unite blacks to america, just as he is trying to unite whites, democrats, republicans, gays, straight, and etc...I am tired of the same old same old, Good for us, we now have Barak. I'd rather him than a man in wearing a process any day of the week, Mr. Sharpton. Many of you naysayers sound like the preachers of the sixties who cautioned against the message of Martin Luther King.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on February 6, 2007 4:33 AM.

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