Sharpton's Odd New Role: Ally of White House
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 2, 2009 8:22 PM CDT
The Rev. Al Sharpton looks on before speaking with reporters outside the White House earlier this month.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – Don't look now, but Al Sharpton is emerging as one of President Obama's go-to guys on race. Given that Obama is the candidate who supposedly transcended racial politics and Sharpton is the character who "perfected" them, it just may be the "oddest political pairing of the year," writes Nia-Malika Henderson in Politico. Sharpton seems to have toned down his incendiary ways, at least by mid-'80s standards, to win his seat at the "insiders' table."

He tells Politico that he previously got caught up in the "drama" as opposed to the "result." It likely helps that his latest cause is education reform, which is one of Obama's priorities. "People want solutions," said Sharpton, who says he has a "good working relationship" with the president. "It isn’t about the old tribal issues anymore. You deal with the person on the field. Everybody loves Jordan, but LeBron James is the one that is playing.”