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Jesse Jackson: Clinton "must run, as Barack, with one eye on competition and one eye on reconciliation."

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CHICAGO--As a drumbeat grows for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to concede the Democratic presidential nomination to Sen. Barack Obama, the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson has a politically pragmatic reason for urging Democrats to back off and start reconciling: They will need Clinton in the fall.

"We must work very diligently to keep both of them protected by love and care," said Jackson, an Obama supporter whose son Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is a national co-chair of Obama's campaign.


Jackson, a civil rights leader and two-time presidential candidate, also declined to criticize Clinton for a remark last week to USA Today -- that Obama's support among "hard-working Americans, white Americans is weakening again" and how non-college-educated whites were supporting her. While demographic trends in exit polls are analyzed by race, Clinton's comment was jarring and just set the wrong tone.

"I would like to think that she was being descriptive, using the last appeal she had to justify her nomination," Jackson said when we chatted Sunday.

"I know her as a woman who is decent, worked with a lot of people across the years. I wouldn't want to suggest anything that would damage her reputation because I think she is so necessary for our future. She is very necessary for our future. She is very necessary for Barack's campaign."

While calling Clinton "a woman of immense dignity and pride," Jackson said she should not risk her legacy in the closing weeks of the long campaign. "She has a future beyond this. Hillary Clinton has a future beyond losing this runoff."

"...The irony of this thing is, the reason why this is a sensitive time for her is that the loser in Denver will determine the winner in November," Jackson said, a reference to the Democratic convention and how Obama will need Clinton to rally her voters for him.

How this long Democratic primary season ends is a matter of concern to Democrats. On CBS' "Face the Nation," former candidate John Edwards said Sunday that Clinton "has to be really careful that she's not damaging our prospects" by staying in the contest.

The Obama forces are concerned about how Clinton plays her endgame. "What we don't want is at the end of the process to get into a situation where we impair our chances in the fall," said top Obama strategist David Axelrod on "Fox News Sunday."

Obama, now running as if he already won the nomination, said last week he wants to find a way to "make her feel good about the process and have her on the team moving forward."

Feeling good is a high bar. Don't discount the pain involved in quitting. So what should Clinton do?

"I don't want to be presumptuous," Jackson said. "I'd just say that the math says she should stop. But her mission says she shouldn't. ... I don't know whether she is driving on because of some mystery, you know, hoping against hope that something other than popular votes and delegates will derail Barack."

She is expected to win Tuesday's West Virginia primary, but won't gain enough delegates to prevail over Obama.

"The math says stop," said Jackson. "But people driven by mission sometimes choose not to stop. I just hope that the result of all of this continuous campaigning sustains more interest, more registration, more participation."

Jackson is not calling on Clinton to drop out.

"The choice is hers. But she must run, as Barack, with one eye on competition and one eye on reconciliation."

20 Comments

NO DISRESPECT TO REV. JACKSON BUT PLEASE SIT THIS ONE OUT!
NO BROKERING AT THE CONVENTION! HILLARY HAS CAUSED WHATEVER
HAPPENS TO HER, TO HAPPEN, THE CLINTON'S AREN'T THE GRAND PUBAS
OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY!

And at the TOP of the heap of the Chicago Combine scandal--is the REZKO jury deliberations--which begin today.
Jackson is a respected figure--deservedly so. But that beer franchise in downtown Chicago kinda indicates that he's part of the "Chicago Way" problem, too.
So--for him to say ANYTHING to Hillary at this point--is really beyond the pale.
We don't KNOW what happened in Gary--or do we?
Just as we don't know whether to trust Barack's 'votes' to the top o the ticket just yet.
And we certainly don't know that Barack can actually WIN the votes he 'received' thus far in the Fall.

For me there is no reconciliation.

Hillary has played the "race card" desparately and presunptously.

She has shown the African Americam political leadership is impotent and ambivilent.

As an early Clinton supporter and life long Democrat, I am insulted and damn mad. At this point I would write in Hitler or Davis Duke before I would even consider casting a vote for Hillary.

Furthermore, if the big wigs in the Democratic party decide tom steal the nomination from Barack or create some kind of controversy to end his candidacy I will be a staunch advoceate for a Black revolt from the Dem party

For me there is no reconciliation.

Hillary has played the "race card" desparately and presunptously.

She has shown the African Americam political leadership is impotent and ambivilent.

As an early Clinton supporter and life long Democrat, I am insulted and damn mad. At this point I would write-in Hitler or Davis Dukeon a ballot before I would even consider casting a vote for Hillary "whitewater" Clinton. Moreover if she slivers her name on the Ballot I will vote republican in protest. Just so so will everother African American I have discussed this with. She should know that she is now abohred in the Black community.

Furthermore, if the big wigs in the Democratic party decide to steal the nomination from Barack or create some kind of controversy to end his candidacy, there will be a revolt at the convention and a mass exodus from the Democratic party. We have voted Democratic faithfully for over 80 years, and the main argument that Republicans have for us is that we are taken for granted. Thanks to Hillary we are seeing that to be true.

Camp Obama bloggers are downright annoying---and this is the stuff that will keep us from winning in the Fall.
There was nothing PROSECUTABLE about Whitewater--or it would have happened.
Ignorant comments equating Hillary with Hitler and David Duke---well, what's there to say about such ignorance.

While I would vote for either, I prefer Obama over Clinton. Why? Because he his campaign has been the most level-headed, without pandering to specific groups, or about specific topics, than Clinton has. She has parroted McCain about the gas tax repeal! That just really pissed me off, because she is smart enough to know that is was a stupid idea. But she thought it would play well, and it didn't.

She has played a part in race and religion bating... Specifically... that Obama "is not a Muslim, as far as I know!" Now what kind of crap is that to say? She knew exactly what she was saying, and how it would be interpreted by those looking for a Muslim talking point to use against Obama.

And the fact that "some states matter and some don't" ... that she can get the big states, but the little one's Obama won were not of importance? And now we have West Virginia.. which of course is a key state in her opinion. Really... would it's importance lie in that fact that it is full of high school educated whites that support her?

I will vote for Hillary if she gets the nod, as a good Democrat should... but Obama gets my full support.

No reconciliation is right - Obama (including JJ Jr) have played the race card and race baited with the Katrina comments, the 4-page memo in SC on how to paint the Clintons as racist, the bullying and threatening of AA superdelgates with their jobs unless they supported Obama, etc. They have the media on their side - Saint Obama has never been questioned for his inconsistencies and lies. And yet, despite the media being against her and Obama's Karl Rove-like campaign, she's still around.

Obama can't win. The most qualified person this election will not be elected because she won't be allowed in the race. President McCain will take over in January 2009.

I am so disturbed by Obama's lack of contribution to most endeavors he has been a part of - unless it directly benefited him - that I find it almost impossible to consider voting for him.

to Mwright: You are not going anywhere. You will be an automatic 'democrat' vote like always. Neither Hillary's code book (race card), Robert Byrd's casual and often use of the N-word, Al Franken oweing 7 states back taxes and NY money for not paying his employees worker's comp., Jesse Jackson getting two of his sons a Budweiser Distributorship, Bill Moyers not giving his employees health insurance, Nancy Pelosi and her husband not letting their workers at the two wineries, hotel, and restaurant, they own unionize, or all the money and kickbacks the mainline Cook County machine takes-in will change that. You WILL vote for whoever the 'democratic' candidate is.

And, by the way, somebody tell columnist Mary Mitchell that the NW Indiana Mayors are NOT automatically 'racists' because they endorsed Hillary. Buy her a civics book. This is America, you can vote for whoever you want. And not be called 'names' for doing so. Evidently, Ms. Mitchell doesn't realize that. And by the way, tell her the reason gasoline is cheaper in NW Indiana then Cook County is because the people there don't have to pay all the Stroger's relatives their 6-figure salaries. Thank you.

to JB: I'd like to know one thing. Why has Obama NEVER been criticized for endorsing that Black racist woman, former alderwoman Dorothey Tillman, AFTER Tillman has gotten up on the Chicago City Council and spewed, "The Voting Rights Act belongs ONLY to African-Americans, not any of those Mexicans"?

I can't believe that we here in America can't come together after a very competitive primary. Look, this is bigger than Obama and Clinton, it's about getting our country back on track, bring our men and women in uniform home to their families, and if you can't understand that you have missed the boat. I am a disabled veteran and I know what my family went through when I was serving in Iraq, I know how the seperations was wearing on my entire unit, so if you truly love America and what it stands for, you will put these petty bickering aside and come together, not only as a party but as a country because, so many young men and women, myself included have sacrificed so much so that you my fellow Americans can come on here and express yourself. I know all my brothers and sisters who put the uniform on and serve this country, love this country, we come from all backgrounds, white, black, hispanic, asian and in the heat of battle we operate as ONE, sure we disagree at times, but we never let that divide us, it's my hope that who ever the nominee is that we will come together and support that nominee because, we can't endure a McCain presidency. Let's make sure the 4,000+ lives lost and the tens of thousands like myself coming home injuried didn't pay theses prices in vain. Don't look back on this in 4 years and say I had a chance to end this but my ego and stubborness prevented me from doing whats right.

God Bless all of you

For me reconciliation with Hillary would come from her returning to the senate and fighting for things she says she believes in, in the senate that she has not fought for up until now.

I have watched the senate since Cspan started airing it and I have never seen HIllary do anything substantial in the senate. That's just the truth. I know many of the senators because I do pay attention and she really, honestly never did much of anything... pretty quiet... not a 'fighter' as she presents herself in this campaign.

That would be a path to reconciliation for me... let her actually build some integrity, walk her talk, keep her word accepting that the tainted primaries in Florida and Michigan cannot be counted.
But the delegates could be seated apart from those primaries 50/50 for the sake of party unity. She says she's not running for herself but I can't for one second believe her... can't trust her, can't believe her.. she will have to do some work to earn trust and believability.

She cannot be VP!

OBAMA/EDWARDS '08

OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT, BEFORE WE RELIVE 1929!

WEST VIRGINIA MAKE YOUR VOTE COUNT, DON'T LET RUSH LIMBAUGH VOTE
FOR YOU!

Long time Democrat voting for McCain, once Obama gets the nomination. I will not vote for Obama no matter what they pay Hillary to say. That is all they are going to do they will make her a deal to pay off her debt and then she will say all the right things. I'm not buying what the dems are selling. Mcain gets my vote and my money!

I urge the many that accuse Hillary of being a racist to take a look at her life's work ever since she graduated from high school. She has been dedicated to civil rights and equality, so I urge you not to be so quick to judge someone as a racist.

I can understand Hillary's strong desire to be president, probably because Bill promised to buy it for her if she backed him in his exit from the white house. But, the American people have no such understanding or agreement of allowing Hillary to destroy Senator Obama's chance of becoming president to fufill her contract with Bill. Not only is she dishonest, she is a racist. Let her try winning 100% of the African American vote, some of them are blue collar workers too. So she more than just misspoke when she said white people will not vote for Obama, I know many. Thatremark cooked her goose.

Jessie Jackson is an irrelevant person who gravitates toward self-aggrandisement. Quoting him and the other irrelevant, self-absorb reverends, serves to diminishes the ideas you're trying to convey. Also, just a favorable mention of cuckoos like Limbaugh, Hannity, Weiner (the Savage Weiner), O'Reilly, and Beck, consigns an article to the garbage pile.

I typically refute any and everything that comes out of Rev. Jackson's mouth -- considering he's a compulsive attention-hoarder in my opinion. Having said that, I appreciate his above-mentioned comments and agree with them wholeheartedly.

WEST VIRGINIA SEND HILLARY HOME IN STYLE, VOTE FOR BARACK OBAMA
TODAY, VOTE WITH YOUR MIND AND NOT YOUR HEART, OBAMA WILL BE THE
DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE, SHOW HIM WEST VIRGINIA THAT YOU WILL SUPPORT
HIM IN NOVEMBER, SO VOTE FOR HIM TODAY!

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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 May 12, 2008 6:13 AM.

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