Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have both been irrelevant for a generation. Neither has much standing or influence in the black community.
Obama chose Sharpton and dumped Jackson leading to a viral hot mic moment in which the civil rights leader threatened to castrate the first half-black president. But, somehow, Jesse Jackson is still around. He doesn’t have people. But he’s got 2020 Dem candidates flocking to him.
At a news conference here over the weekend with Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, she held up the microphone for him when he spoke. Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition event on Saturday at the 4,000-capacity Apostolic Faith Church drew only a few hundred people.
“The ’84 campaign broke the sound barrier,” he said in an interview after the Rainbow PUSH event, which featured Warren, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii. “Part of the whole idea was to sow seeds that would germinate.”
That’s why, even though Jackson may not command a podium or draw crowds as he once did, at least six presidential candidates are joining him during the annual Rainbow PUSH International Convention, which ends Tuesday. It’s also why candidates emphasize their ties to his presidential campaigns.
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont talks about his endorsement of Jackson in 1988 while he was mayor of Burlington; Vanity Fair noted in its cover story of former Rep. Beto O’Rourke that he displays at home the picture of him meeting Jackson as a kid when his dad served as Texas co-chairman of Jackson’s campaigns; and Klobuchar mentioned in a speech on Saturday that her political mentor, the late Sen. Paul Wellstone, managed the Minnesota primary for Jackson.
Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York is set to appear with Jackson on Monday. Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., is scheduled to address Rainbow PUSH
The real story may not be that Jackson is relevant, but that the 2020 nominees are out of touch.
If Jesse Jackson can’t get enough people to fill a hall, the only reason to do campaign events with him is laziness and incompetence.
Also a complete disregard for Jackson’s anti-Semitic history.
But that’s normal for today’s Dems.