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NEW YORK –Civil rights activist Al Sharpton, whose profile soared in his recent push for dismissal of radio personality Don Imus, is attracting all the major Democratic presidential candidates for his annual convention this week.
John Edwards was scheduled to address the National Action Network convention on Wednesday, the first of the White House hopefuls. The other candidates, as well as Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean, will address the group the remainder of the week.
Top candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama are scheduled to appear Friday and Saturday.
The Network is a New York-based political, social and activist organization and Sharpton is its president.
The 2004 Democratic presidential candidate has emerged as an influential player in the party’s nominating process. He has openly questioned whether Obama, who hopes to become the first black president, has the necessary credentials for the job. He also made a well-publicized trip to Washington earlier this year to interview Obama and other candidates to gauge their commitment to civil rights issues.
Last week, Sharpton grabbed the spotlight during the controversy surrounding Imus derogatory comments about the Rutgers women’s basketball team. Sharpton interview Imus about the matter on his own radio show while leading the campaign to have him taken off the air. Imus was fired Thursday.
Just to recap, here’s what Hillary Clinton said about the Imus controversy:
Sen. Hillary Clinton (N.Y.), however, said Imus’ cracks just confirmed her opinion.
“I’ve never wanted to go on his show and I certainly don’t ever intend to go on his show, and I felt that way before his latest outrageous, hateful, hurtful comments,” she said.
Senator Obama wanted Imus fired:
April 11, 2007— In an interview with ABC News Wednesday afternoon, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., called for the firing of talk radio host Don Imus. Obama said he would never again appear on Imus’ show, which is broadcast on CBS Radio and MSNBC television.
“I understand MSNBC has suspended Mr. Imus,” Obama told ABC News, “but I would also say that there’s nobody on my staff who would still be working for me if they made a comment like that about anybody of any ethnic group. And I would hope that NBC ends up having that same attitude.”
Obama said he appeared once on Imus’ show two years ago, and “I have no intention of returning.”
John Edwards went the “forgiveness” route with Imus:
I believe in redemption, I believe in forgiveness,”
“What he said is wrong because it’s wrong. It has to be condemned, we have to speak out when people use this kind of language,” Edwards said. “This is a very serious matter, it should be taken very seriously.”
So a radio talk show host’s racial comments about black women are condemnation-worthy. But attending the annual convention one of America’s most notorious racist black Democrats? Must-do. And trust me, there won’t be any calls for “forgiveness” of Sharpton, nor calls for him to “step down”, nor any declarations that they’ll never appear at another Sharpton event again.
Democrats: Never let consistency get in the way of pandering for votes.
Hat tip: Michelle Malkin