Chicago Sun-Times
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Sweet scoop: Jesse Jackson family divided over Obama, Clinton.


NEW YORK — As Barack Obama stumped in Harlem on Thursday, Jacqueline Jackson endorsed Hillary Clinton, with the family of the Rev. Jesse Jackson divided over the two Democratic front-runners.

“Hillary is ready to lead on her first day in the White House and immediately begin delivering the change this country needs,” Jacqueline Jackson told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Clinton and Obama are in an increasing crucial battle over female and African-American voters, with neither rival conceding any racial, gender or geographical turf.

On Thursday, Obama picked up the Rev. Al Sharpton at his Harlem headquarters — just a few blocks from former President Bill Clinton’s office — and stopped for a photo op with him at a famous soul food restaurant, Sylvia’s.

Obama topped off a heavy day of high-end fund-raising in Manhattan with a low-dollar fund-raiser at the famed Apollo Theater, where he was introduced by comedian Chris Rock. Rock, not using Clinton's name, said the audience would be "real embarrassed if he won and we wasn't down. "I had that white lady. What was I thinking?"

The Rev. Jesse Jackson is supporting Obama, though the former two-time presidential candidate has no public role in the campaign. Last fall, Jackson said Obama was “acting like he was white” because he did not do more in the wake of the “Jena 6” case.

Jackson Sr. wrote in his latest column he was disappointed in all the Democratic candidates — except John Edwards — for ignoring “the plight of African Americans in this country.”

One of his sons, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.( D-Ill.), is on the Obama campaign leadership team. Another son who lives in Chicago, Yusef, is a major Clinton fund-raiser who has bundled together at least $100,000 in contributions.

Now his mother is also siding with Clinton and may go on the road to stump for her. If she goes to South Carolina — where Jackson Sr. was born and where he won the 1988 presidential primary — she will find herself having to dilute the impact of radio ads her son Jesse Jr. has made for Obama.

Jacqueline Jackson is an activist in her own right; in June 2001, she was jailed for 10 days in Puerto Rico protesting the U.S. Navy’s using the island of Vieques for a bombing range.

Sharpton has been wooed by Clinton and Obama all year. “I’ve not made a decision. I will very shortly,” Sharpton said, noting that racial tensions have increased recently over the Jena 6 incident, Don Imus comments and other hate crimes.

He said he has been telling candidates, “we need to address the problems of hate crime… and he [Obama] is the first candidate to say, 'Yeah, we need to talk about it,' so he came to my “headquarters and picked me up and said, 'Let’s go to dinner and talk,' and so he and I went to dinner and talked.”


It's a shame that these Black leaders haven't figured out whom they want to endorse this late in the race; Why then should they expect the ordinary Americans to be decided? Are there souls for sale awaiting the highest bidder? Are they watching the polls so that they can go with the flow rather than help steer the cause?

I would like to see them make a decision sooner than later like the ads in this website suggest: try the new fun electronic voting system.

Obama can take the community to a new level. The old generation had their chance. Jackson says they've ignored the plight of the black community - well while Jackson has focused on the plight and everything wrong with the black community, Obama and the new generation is trying to lift it up and focus on what's good about it. People don't want to focus on everything that's going against them like the message of Sharpton and Jackson sends - they want to make a better life for themselves. They want a good community, a good education for their children, and a secure life for themselves. Michelle and Barack really do represent hope.

Who made these people leaders in the African American Community? The last time I checked there was no election for African American leaders. As far as I am concerned as an African American they do not represent me. So their endorsement does not mean a thing. It is just a waste of time. How come we do not have White Community leaders. These people are just there to make money. They do not care about us. Please the main stream media should just limit their exposure. Without the media they a just regular folks.

There are a lot of people who were part of the Bill Clinton days and want to re-start their own little power base. If Hillary wins, they win. It's about their own selfish needs. If Barack Obama wins...old alliances remain dead. Black people are like any body else...some are in it for their own personal gain and are not looking forward to the betterment of America as a whole, united, country. Division works for them. Hillary Clinton is a candidate of division and deception. I wouldn't vote for her if she carried me to the polls on her back.

The Mother is always right!!Glad to hear Mrs Jackson has cut thru the phoniness of the Obama's.Michelle is rude and very self centered,she is not a positive role model at all.What she wants to portray it seems,is how much smarter she is than her husband.That is not what this country needs at this difficult time,a negative,mean spirited spouse.
Mr. Obama is too young,Idealistic to a fault.In time he will mature,he is not qualified to be Leader of the free world.
The Chicago spirit is a wonderful thing, but you need to put it behind the only real WINNER here and it is your hometown girl,Senator Hillary Clinton.

Just recently Michelle Obama said that eventually blacks will come to their senses and support her husband. Maybe that kind of "just because he is black" attitude will backfire among those thinking voters like Jacqueline Jackson and so many others.

I think all of the so called black leaders are full of it. When will it be time for us to move forward? Plus the Black community is not one united entity like the Mainstream media would like for everyone to think. Contrary to popular belief and and I HAVE said it numerous times, Jesse and Al Sharpton do not speak for all of us. Those people in the community who tend to follow them, that is their problem. Those of us who read and comprehend issues for ourselves tend to be intelligent thinkers on our own. We do not need the Mainstream media to tell us what our problems are and that the 2 of them have the complete unabrided answer. It is insulting. We try to go out and solve the problems confronting our community without all the face time you want to give those with the biggest mouths, and frankly try to embarass the Black Community to the world at large. There are those African Americans who sometimes vote against their own interest too, because they don't read and comprehend the issues for themselves. The main reason is that some don't read and understand the issues and what's at stake for them. As far as the Jackson household being divided should not be news. Just as I mentioned earlier we are not one head moving in the same direction.

The comment about Michelle Obama is disgraceful. The commenter totally missed the point she was making. It is the typical thing some African Americans do to pull one of their own down usually to the press. So they are not the type of people that should be uplifting to the community. They are moved to be distructive and are not part of the solution.

Voters of the U.S.A. don't be fooled by the Jacksons. This is the old school trick and this means they are playing both sides. Just like the Pritzker family (J.B. and Cindy).

So whoever wins the nomination or presidency, the Jacksons win, because Jesse Sr and Jesse Jr. supported Obama and will get big favors and forget about their community and the wife will be taken care of by Hillary.

I am pretty certain that both Obama and Clinton know that they are playing both sides of the aisle. The insiders know it, but not the VOTERS. So voters, please be careful of this sneaky endorsements and which don't mean a thing, just like Oprah walking in Iowa for Obama.

Remember voters, Oprah has not voted in almost 20 years. Where is Oprah registered to vote at? California or Illiois?

Obama is half white, he is not a complete brother 100 percent and was a Illinois State Senator just 3 years ago. So look at your own State Senator, do you think he or she can be president?

Have a nice weekend.

Rosemary, you must be a school teacher with all of the right answers. No thank you, I have my own interpretation of the Michelle Obama remarks!

Jesse Jackson is neither engine nor anchor to Barack Obama becoming the next POTUS. When he wins Iowa and is a close second in New Hampshire South Carolina will look destiny square in the face and vote Obama; have no fear, its coming!

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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 November 30, 2007 12:21 AM.

Sweet extra: Obama meeting with Al Sharpton in Harlem. was the previous entry in this blog.

Sweet extra: Obama to meet with Bloomberg Friday morning: Ambinder. is the next entry in this blog.

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