Obama's easy "Sister Souljah moment"

Poor Jesse Jackson once again serves up an opportunity for a Democratic presidential candidate to run against type.

Published July 10, 2008 9:13PM (EDT)

It's now Day Two of Jessegate, one of the sillier "controversies" to have broken out in this presidential election year.

And for the second day in a row, Dan Balz of the Washington Post has the Quote of the Day:

Barack Obama leads a charmed life. He finally had his Sister Souljah moment and didn't even have to show up. Jesse Jackson did it for him solo.

Balz, of course, is alluding to the 1992 incident in which Bill Clinton followed rapper Sister Souljah at a gathering of Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, and scored points for political courage by deploring her alleged encouragement of violence against white people.

Jackson wasn't happy about that incident, but as Balz suggests, he has managed to duplicate it without Barack Obama having to say a word (though Obama's campaign did take the opportunity to republicize some of his comments on responsible fatherhood that Jackson may have been talking about). Worse yet for Jackson, he suffered the indignity of being criticized for the moment by his own son and namesake, a congressman from Illinois, who said: "I thoroughly reject and repudiate his ugly rhetoric."

So convenient is this for Obama that one right-wing gabber today on Fox News (which for reasons beyond my understanding has been running the story as though it were the biggest news of the year), the Rev. George Autry Jr., actually suggested the Obama campaign cooked up the whole thing.


By Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is the managing editor of The Democratic Strategist, a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute, and an online columnist for The New Republic.

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