What Jackson Problem? Waning Clout Signals Shift

Obama, younger generation seem little concerned with fallout
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2008 7:48 AM CDT
Rev. Jesse Jackson comments on Thursday's Supreme Court Ruling on handgun ownership Friday, June 27, 2008 in Chicago.    (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
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(Newser) – Once, Democrats worried about “the Jesse Jackson problem,” the fear that rebuke from Jackson would cost them black voters. But now, some Democrats are saying that Jackson’s latest criticisms of Barack Obama may actually help the Illinois senator, the New York Times reports, both with white voters still worried that Obama’s too extreme, and black voters who think Jackson’s an outmoded figure.

Jackson’s 1988 presidential run now seems like a distant memory, and the idea that he could sour an excited black community on Obama seems absurd to many. “This moment only reinforces that we have to let the younger guys take the lead in politics, that they know the issues of today, that we live in a far different world than 20 years ago,” said Michael Dukakis.