Saturday, July 12, 2008
Jesse Jackson's Gaff
The key to Barak Obama's campaign is making people believe he represents all Americans, not just black Americans.
As evidenced by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright controversy, the greatest threat to Obama's support among white people may be any perceived association with sixties and seventies era "blame white people" civil rights activists.
The most famous example of that kind of public figure has to be Jesse Jackson. Even though his son is Obama's campaign co-chair, you rarely see Obama and Jackson linked in any way.
Recently, Jackson was caught on video criticizing Obama when he thought his microphone was off. Jackson immediately apologized and the Obama camp, including Jackson's son, immediately distanced themselves from Jackson.
My question is: was this real or was it staged?
Certainly, people are sometimes caught saying things they wish they hadn't when they thought the microphone was off, but the timing of Jackson's gaff makes me suspicious.
By now, Jesse Jackson has been attached to a microphone in a television news studio a few hundred times. He knows how it works and it's unlikely that he, all of a sudden, forgot that his lapel microphone picks up everything he says, even whispers.
I have to think that Barak Obama's campaign represents something really significant in Jessie Jackson's life's work. Does that mean he would make himself look bad to benefit Obama? We will probably never know for sure, but if I were Jesse Jackson I'd do it, and do it again if need be.