Carol Felsenthal
On politics

Rev. Jesse Jackson: The Davis/Moseley Braun meeting-and on the media covering the mayor’s race

As previously reported, Jesse Jackson, Sr., met Wednesday night at his Rainbow PUSH headquarters with Danny Davis and Carol Moseley Braun, the two leading African American candidates for mayor. The purpose, Jackson told me in a telephone conversation Thursday morning, was to get them talking-to jump start the dialogue about one of them dropping out to give the survivor a chance to turn the momentum that has been building for Rahm Emanuel. Jackson predicted that the two “old friends” will reach an agreement: “There’s nothing hostile or petty about their relationship….They left the meeting on good terms.”…


Jesse Jackson, Sr.

As previously reported, Jesse Jackson, Sr., met Wednesday night at his Rainbow PUSH headquarters with Danny Davis and Carol Moseley Braun, the two leading African American candidates for mayor. The purpose, Jackson told me in a telephone conversation Thursday morning, was to get them talking-to jump start the dialogue about one of them dropping out to give the survivor a chance to turn the momentum that has been building for Rahm Emanuel. Jackson predicted that the two “old friends” will reach an agreement: “There’s nothing hostile or petty about their relationship….They left the meeting on good terms.” Here’s the rest of what Jackson told me.

Q: What happened last night?
A: What’s interesting about Danny and Carol is that they share the same values….They must make a big political decision.

Q: Did you agree on any deadline or benchmark—for example, poll numbers, fundraising totals—that will determine who stays on the ballot and who goes?
A: I’m confident that they are committed enough to change and hope, right and justice, they’ll make that decision. We who support them must give them the time and latitude to make the decision that they must make and configure a shared plan for winning. The burden is on them.

Q: Do you have another meeting planned?
A: In the future the meetings will be private….I’m available to both, but this is their decision to make and I support the outcome.

Q: You mentioned your unhappiness with the media coverage of this campaign. Can you elaborate?
A: When the focus is so much on attacking them, not discussing home foreclosures, not discussing lack of access to public transportation, not discussing the fact that the unemployment rate [in African-American neighborhoods] is three times the national rate, their struggle will be to break through the fourth estate. There’s an attempt for the media to create its own agenda. We must help them fight through that.

Q: What do you make of the flap over [Sun-Times] columnist Neil Steinberg’s column on Carol Moseley Braun?
A: [Jackson chose not to respond to Steinberg specifically.] Political power is a big deal, but [media] power is a bigger deal. At least the politicians are accountable to the voters. Those who write the editorials and those who write the columns, they simply are unaccountable. They’re free to impose their cultural politics in the name of freedom of the press….The good news is for Congressman Davis and Ambassador Moseley Braun, they will not panic in the face of that. That’s the real challenge: getting the message through….You need three things: you need message, machinery, and money. They have the message. You have to have the money to get the machinery. That’s what the people who are pulling for them must put up to enable them to help us achieve our interests.

Q: You’re saying that the press is in Rahm’s corner?
A: The press has a predisposition. The night that Harold [Washington] won, Walter Jacobson said on air [addressing a panel of his colleagues], `We all missed the potential for him to win. The Sun-Times missed it, the Tribune, Channels 2, 5, 7, 9 missed it. How did all of us miss it?’ He looked down the line and there were six white male reporters. The fact is, for them life stops at 35th Street. Half of Chicago lives south of 35th Street and west of the Dan Ryan.

Q: What about the irritated response from both Davis and Moseley Braun to Bill Clinton coming to town to campaign for Rahm Emanuel?
A: Both candidates found it to be strange….Not Democrats vs. Republicans, but here are our friends and political allies, …family members. He chose, it seems, Rahm over Danny and Carol and del Valle and Chico. He chose Emanuel over the two most loyal communities to him from Arkansas to Washington. It’s a bit disappointing, but that, too, will pass.”

Q: Have you spoken to Bill Clinton?
A: No.

Q: The press has made much of the fact that Moseley Braun is from the South Side and that Davis is from the West Side and sometimes seems to attribute different values and goals and even voting turnout to the two. Is this division significant politically?
A: I think at the end of the day the Dan Ryan Highway does not define life. Whether you’re living in Lawndale or Roseland, you’re facing home foreclosures. Whether you’re living in Lawndale or Roseland, you’re facing less access to health care….The unemployment on the West Side and the South Side is around 27 percent. At the end of the day, we’re defined by our predicament, not by the sides of town.

 

Photograph: Chicago Tribune photo by Milbert O. Brown

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4 years ago
Posted by pol&pers

I was so excited when CM Braun won the senate primary last century and worked hard for her election. I didn't vote to re-elect her. She squandered all good will and respect through her BEHAVIOR, which is the basis for Neil's column. I find it a joke she thinks she is capable of being Mayor when she couldn't be a decent Senator. Danny Davis is just too old to take on this kind of job. I voted for Harold Washington twice but I wouldn't vote for either of these candidates for the reasons stated above.

4 years ago
Posted by vino

As much as I dislike JJ Sr., his comments were politically sensible.

But after the experience with Bobby Rush demanding that we have a black senator and ending up with Burris, comments that the black community needs a black mayor don't turn me on. Neither of the black candidates is qualified.

4 years ago
Posted by red30

What is so "strange" about a boss recommending his former longtime employee?

What I find strange is Moseley Braun and Chico calling a former President of the United States an "outsider." Last I heard Chicago was part of the U.S.

Pol&Pers, I am in the same boat. Voted Washington for Mayor and Carol Moseley-Braun for Senate. I greatly admired Harold Washington, and Steinberg's comments about him were totally unnecessary. He was spot on about Moseley-Braun, however. What a colossal disappointment she turned out to be. Funny how J. Jackson makes a point of calling her Ambassador. She was Ambassador to New Zealand a million years ago and hasn't accomplished anything of note since, in Chicago or anywhere else.

4 years ago
Posted by Orion

Race is basically a battle to make the run off between Rahm, Chico, Braun. DeValle has been marginalized and once he drops out, the other three will be courting his support and voters.

Chico is the ABR candidate (Anybody But Rahm). The question is whether he can muster the 375,000 votes he needs to surpass the 360,000 black votes that are automatically going to Carol Braun and to make the run-off.

Carol's hope is to convince that she is a viable ABR candidate and add to her black base.

The southside ward bosses and Daley acolytes would not have a problem with her because she would do as told in order to repay them for their support. If that happens, Carol vs Rahm in the general election and Carol wins and becomes a figurehead mayor with her strings being pulled by Madigan, Daley, and Aldermen Ed Burke.
Black Chicagoans will end up just as disappointed in her as Blacks across the country have been disappointed with Barak Obama. Riding to victory on the backs of their votes but turning their back on their base once in office.

4 years ago
Posted by soccer

The Reverend (exactly what church is he leading) is looking for another Coca Cola distributorship, no?

"With this fund raising being as successful as it, as God is my witness, I will not go hungry again..." 2008 Mosley- Braun channeling Scarlett O"Hara or Courtney Love.

http://www.realchange.org/moseley.htm

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