In a move that should come as a surprise to no one, Jesse Jackson has endorsed Barrack Obama as his choice for the 2008 presidential election. When asked about Obama, Jackson said in an AP phone interview, “He has my vote.” However, it would be foolish to assume that Jackson is backing Obama solely based on anything racial. Because of Obama’s bi-racial background, as a younger man he was not exactly embraced by civil rights groups that Jackson became famous for being a part of. A part of the reason why Jackson’s support is not a big surprise is because many of Obama’s attitudes harken back to the community activism that Jackson worked in during the civil rights movement. His speeches frequently mention both activism and religious faith.

Although Rev. Jackson is close to the Clintons, he may see a bit of himself in the young Obama. I would bet that Obama is no saint, but he is likely a far cry from the ethically stunted Clintons. Say whatever you please about Jackson, who in my eyes has become less of an activist and more of a television camera chaser, he still holds a lot of power among older African American voters.

He can certainly be a persuasive voice on the campaign trail for the Illinois senator, but I do wonder if having an old school liberal like Jackson endorse him, will help or hurt his campaign in the long run. If Obama tries to run to the middle, will Jackson make it too easy for Obama’s opponents to paint him as a far left liberal? I don’t know, but what I do know is that this is one less endorsement for Hillary Clinton. The Clintons seemed to be counting on getting the African American vote and now it appears that they are going to have to battle Obama for every single one. For those of us who are skeptical about Hillary, this is good news.  

Jason Easley is the editor of the politics zone at 411mania.com.  His news column The Political Universe appears on Tuesdays and Fridays at www.411mania.com/politics

Jason can also be heard every Sunday afternoon at 1:30 pm (ET) as the host of The Political Universe Radio Show at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thepoliticaluniverse
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