Skip to comments.Sharpton Blasts ‘Favorite Son’ Plan
Posted on 12/13/2002 6:53:23 AM PST by nypokerface
Says Democrats Are Afraid of Him
- The Rev. Al Sharpton, moving ever closer to a run for president, yesterday blasted a leading Democrats plan to steer black voters away from him in 2004.
Al Gores former campaign manager, Donna Brazile, says she may push popular black officials to run for president in their home states as favorite sons. That strategy, she says, would increase black voters impact, while pulling the rug out from under Mr. Sharpton in key southern states.
Ms. Braziles plan and Mr. Sharptons response mark the beginning of a back-and-forth some Democratic insiders fear will poison the partys 2004 primaries and undermine their chances of unseating President Bush.
Mr. Sharpton was at the center of the rancor that enveloped the last days of Mark Greens run for mayor, and he is touring the country exploring a run for president on a platform of economic populism and racial justice. Above all, Ms. Braziles early discussion of the unusual strategy reveals just how worried Democrats are about the Brooklyn-born cleric.
Im sure there will be all kinds of schemes to dilute my impact, none of which will work, Mr. Sharpton told The New York Sun. The fact that its even being floated by Gores former campaign manager shows that theyre a lot more concerned about me than theyre saying.
Ms. Brazile outlined her plan in Newsweek magazine this week. She estimated that a coalition of local African-American candidates like Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, and former New Orleans mayor Marc Morial could pick up enough delegates to have a say in the party platform and, potentially, a role as kingmakers.
She told the Washington Posts George Will that without the competition from favorite sons, Mr. Sharpton could win states like South Carolina, Delaware, and Maryland, where black voters play a leading role in Democratic primaries.
Were looking at the rules and the legal details right now, she said.
Rep. Clyburn of South Carolina told the Sun the notion of running local presidential candidates emerged soon after the November 5 election.
I would consider doing it myself in South Carolina only if considerable numbers of South Carolinians, black and white, saw it as a valuable option, he said.
Mr. Clyburn denied the plan would be a direct assault on Mr. Sharpton, who he called a fringe candidate. Ms. Brazile also called Mr. Sharpton recently to say this is not an anti-Sharpton strategy, Mr. Sharpton said. Ms. Brazile did not return a call seeking comment.
Democratic insiders say the Sharpton campaign is a rising source of worry in Washington. And Mr. Sharpton seems set on moving forward.
He has become a lower-profile player in New York as be takes on national issues like Senator Lotts apparent praise for a segregationist presidential campaign and tours the country.
Last week, Mr. Sharpton said, he was in Salt Lake City and St. Louis; and in the next days he plans to travel to San Bernadino, Washington, Chicago, and Boston.
The fear among the Democratic party leadership is not that Sharpton is going to win primaries or win delegates, but that hell turn the Democratic Party primary into a circus, said a Democratic consultant, Richard Schrader.
A Democratic strategist in Washington, Kenneth Baer, said Mr. Sharpton would likely change the calculus in the Democratic primary.
If youre going south, its not a matter of winning the white conservative Democrat vote now. Its a matter of winning the black vote. If Al Sharpton takes all that off the table, he could really, really, really disrupt some peoples campaigns.
But an attempt to siphon black votes away from Mr. Sharpton could backfire.
This inside nonsense from Washington is not going to stop Al Sharpton, said another Democratic consultant, Henry Sheinkopf. Whatll stop Sharpton is a Democratic party that talks about things that make sense.
Ms. Braziles plan is still in its infancy. Two of the candidates whose names she floated Mr. Clyburn and Denver mayor Wellington Webb, say they have not even spoken to her. Mr. Kilpatrick told the Sun he was flattered to have been mentioned, and that he agrees with Ms. Brazile that we need to concentrate on building a base again.
But even as Ms. Brazile looks for another way, theres a growing sense that Democrats have no way around Mr. Sharpton.
The Democrats are looking for a savior, but theres no savior from Al Sharpton, Mr. Sheinkopf said.
Why? Is Al packing a tent?
Should be fun watching the Democrats explain away their attempts to cut the legs from under a black presidential aspirant. Doesn't the Rev'rund know his seat is at the back of the Dem's bus?
That's right folks. Al Sharpton has been caught telling the truth for once.
Now that you've said that, I believe that Sharpton will need a lot of ground troops to staff his organization.
Are you Freepers thinking what I think you're thinking?
Be Seeing You,
yep -- to me too -- maybe Sharpton has had enough of being "window dressing"
Interesting how the Dems are afraid of a viable black candidate (in their primary, at least), but Republicans welcome folks of all colors to participate. How many here supported Alan Keyes (I was a white Keyes primary voter)...how many hope that Condi Rice will run for political office (count me in on that, too)...how many support Colin Powell (I'm not that much of an ideological sympathizer, although I greatly value his service).
In the Republican party, ideas count. Skin color is not an issue.
Open primaries. W is a lock. Cross-over votes for Al. Do a McCain thingy in the primaries like the Rats did. Hehehehe....
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