Linked by race, but there's a big difference between Jesse's run and Barack's





Nearly 25 years of social change, political realignment and demographic shifts separate the presidential candidacies of the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Senator Barack Obama. Even so, there are echoes of 1984 as the battle for the Democratic nomination once again roars across the South, focused squarely on African-Americans.

The differences can be summed up, in many ways, by two slogans.

“Our time has come” was Mr. Jackson’s rallying cry, a call to political empowerment for Southern blacks who still vividly remembered the struggle for the right to vote, capped by the bloody Selma marches and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Mr. Jackson cast his presidential campaign in 1983-84 as another great step in that movement, an effort to shake up the Democratic Party and ensure that, as he put it, “Hands that once picked cotton will now pick a president.”...

In contrast, one of Mr. Obama’s most memorable rallying cries, delivered in his victory speech after the Iowa caucuses, was, “We are one people, and our time for change has come.” It was the appeal of a mainstream politician, aimed at voters across the board, delivered to a largely white constituency he had just won.

[HNN Editor: The article notes that Jackson won 3/4ths of the black vote in the primaries in 1988.]


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