Saturday, February 27, 2016

Jesse Jackson Endorses Bernie Sanders Without Endorsing Bernie Sanders

Twenty years before anyone had heard the name Barrack Obama, Bernie Sanders endorsed Jesse Jackson for president and was his campaign manager in Vermont.

While not completely returning the favor, in a recent interview with CNN, when asked who he would endorse between Clinton and Sanders, Jesse Jackson said he would withhold an endorsement then went on to say we needed to focus on an economy where 1% of the wealthiest people in the country own more wealth than the bottom 90%,  how too many people still have no access to healthcare,(not exactly a  ringing endorsement of Obamacare) and how many people are still living in poverty in this country.  Sound familiar? Every point Jackson made echoed Bernie Sanders campaign issues.

Not an overt endorsement of Sanders but as close to one as you can get without making it official. And obviously when given the opportunity to jump on the Hillary Clinton Magical Obama Mystery Tour Bandwgon he declined. Or to endorse any of her positions.

When many black politicians have been endorsing Clinton, clearly following marching orders from Obama who made it clear he is endorsing her (as part of his backroom deal with Clinton) Jackson's refusal to go along with Clinton and his endorsement of Sander's policies is enough to say what he thinks.

While Sanders is sure to lose to Clinton in South Carolina, but no doubt by less than his margin of victory over Clinton in New Hampshire, the news media  has been putting an exaggerated emphasis on South Carolina. Gloria Borgia as part of the  Magic 8 Ball political segments on CNN (which is what their opinions are worth) said South Carolina was pivotal for Sanders. Its actually not at all but pivotal for Clinton whose candidacy would be over if she lost South Carolina.

None of these Clinton endorsements by African American politicians in South Carolina is going to mean a thing in Minnesota, Ohio, Massachusetts, Texas or any of the upcoming delegate rich states that will follow. And Sanders has gotten enough endorsements and support from prominent non politician African Americans from Cornell West to Spike Lee, that he will be competitive with the African American vote in those states not dominated by African American politicians.

For Sanders the key is getting his voters out. With Sanders demolishing Clinton with  voters 45 and under nationally, and with women 35 and under, (in New Hampshire it was 84-9)  and in every other ethnic group including hispanics, and who is likely to do at least as well if not better than Clinton with African Americans in states where endorsements by black politicians will not have the same influence, Sanders could emerge from Super Tuesday with a solid delegate lead over Clinton with the promise of expanding it as the primaries move both north and west.

And those pledged delegates won at the polls are still the only delegates that matter, something the Sanders campaign needs to make clear to news organizations that insist on including non-existent and for now invalid super delegate votes that are not in any way in Clinton's column and in all probability never will be.

Right now, Jesse Jacksons non endorsement endorsement means a lot more.

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