Skip to comments.Jackson, fans reflect on legacy of '84, '88 bids
Posted on 06/27/2004 12:53:21 PM PDT by Land_of_Lincoln_John
Butch Wing recalled the moment 20 years ago when Rev. Jesse Jackson showed up in Portsmouth Square in San Francisco's Chinatown.
"I remember seeing 60-, 70- and 80-year-old Chinese men and women who speak very little English saying, `Run, Jesse, run. Win, Jesse, win,'" said Wing, a Chinese-American peace activist from Berkeley, Calif., who first met Jackson in 1983, when Jackson launched his first presidential bid.
Jackson's "ability and desire to reach out to us" and other once-marginalized activist groups changed politics in America, Wing said Saturday at a reunion of members of Jackson's election team.
That get-together came on the first day of the 33rd annual conference of Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, which runs through Thursday.
For Jackson, today a little grayer and heftier, the failed presidential bids are watershed moments in a longer timeline, among them the Brown vs. Board of Education ruling in 1954 and the Civil Rights Act 10 years later.
"We've seen an evolution of our struggle," said Jackson, 62, rattling off other dates in African-American history.
The idea for this year's convention is to "water the roots" and review what Jackson's campaigns generated besides reams of publicity.
Asked last week if he ever thought he'd win, Jackson answered: "I was running to register people, running to enlighten people and running to learn."
At that he succeeded, he said.
The 1984 campaign alone registered 1 million new voters, according to Rainbow/PUSH. In 1988, the campaign registered 2 million new voters. Though some dispute the numbers, few doubt Jackson's clout among black voters. Certainly not the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Sen. John Kerry, who is scheduled to speak Tuesday at the conference.
Others expected to take part in the conference are former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, entertainer Bill Cosby and former President Bill Clinton.
As for enlightening people, Jackson said, his bid stretched voters' notion of the electable.
"When I ran in '84, it was like an absurd idea. It was just crazy. Scholars were writing articles," he said. Jackson won 3.5 million votes in 1984 and did better in 1988, emerging from the Democratic primaries and caucuses with 7 million votes.
(Excerpt) Read more at chicagotribune.com ...
It does seem that Jesse Jackoff is now a has-been.
His legacy is the millions in shakedown money he's been able to scam from corporate America.
My, what an eloquent speaker. (Bill Cosby was right!)
On a related note, the Tribune Co. (Chicago Tribune--source of this article--LA Times among other) suffered a defeat, it's owned and operated Chicago Cubs lost the weekend series to the Chicago White Sox. Yes!!!
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