Obama Watch: Sharpton withholds endorsement for the man who could be the second black president

Only question is, is this something that Obama should be upset over – or happy about? Via CBS New York:

(CBS) NEW YORK With the race for the Democratic presidential nomination already in high gear, the Reverend Al Sharpton jumped into the fray today with some tough criticism for Senator Barak Obama. The outspoken reverend offered the harsh comments to Obama just as he looked to build support for his candidacy in the black community.


Sharpton also questioned why Obama supports “tort reform, which hurts police brutality victims.”

What set Sharpton off was a published report that he is trying to hurt Obama’s campaign because he’s jealous. Sharpton says that claim is untrue, charging the story came from the Obama camp to pressure him into an early endorsement.

“I’m not going to be cajoled or intimidated by any candidate not for my support,” Sharpton said.

Political pundits say Obama is anxious for Sharpton’s support because it could hurt Hillary Clinton and help Obama raise money. “At this stage of the game, it’s all about the money and I think you’re going to see the candidates with the biggest fund raising making it through the end of the year,” Political Consultant Joseph Mercurio said.

Does Sharpton’s endorsement matter? CBS 2 polled some New Yorkers and the results were mixed, but the majority appeared to lean toward the side that believes Sharpton’s endorsement will make a difference.

With black support already turning to him, I’d doubt seriously if he’s worried at this point about whether or not he’s going to get the endorsement of a race hustler like Al Sharpton. In fact, he may be hoping that he doesn’t get it.

I found this comment from the Reverend rather amusing:

“Why shouldn’t the black community ask questions? Are we now being told, ‘You all just shut up?'” Sharpton said Monday.

Just the opposite. In fact, I think the black community in the past hasn’t asked enough questions, because if they had, maybe 90% of them wouldn’t routinely vote for Democrats. The questions are starting to be asked more and more, though, if trends over the last ten years are any indication, because less and less black voters are identifying themselves as Democrats. They may not be flocking to the Republican party, but the fact that they’re slowly but surely walking away from the pandercrats which make up the Democratic party is a good thing.

Back to Obama, he was in Iowa this past weekend talking to a group of Democrats and he responded to a question about the Israel/Palestinian conflict:

“Nobody is suffering more than the Palestinian people,” Obama said while on the final leg of his weekend trip to eastern Iowa. [ed. – What about Darfur?]

“If we could get some movement among Palestinian leadership, what I’d like to see is a loosening up of some of the restrictions on providing aid directly to the Palestinian people,” he added.


Israel’s survival as a powerful democratic ally in the Middle East must remain a top priority, Obama said.

“There is also no doubt that we have a huge strategic stake in bringing about a peaceful resolution to the conflict,” he said. But the United States cannot broker that resolution until the Palestinian government recognizes the nation of Israel.

The Palestinian Authority is controlled by Hamas, a political party that does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty and is listed by several countries – including the United States – as a terrorist organization. The United States and other nations imposed restrictions on aid when Hamas gained power last year.

In the meantime, the suffering of the Palestinians could be eased if their government renounces terrorism, Obama said. “I think you can get a sympathetic perspective” from the United States and its allies.

I’d like to know just how he’d go about brokering any peace deal between Israel and Hamas, considering Hamas’ visceral hatred for Israel.

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