Jesse Jackson’s Gaffe Helped Obama? I Don’t Get It…

Can anyone seriously explain to me why Jesse Jackson’s accidentally overheard remarks about Obama will help Obama in the polls, as nearly every media outlet seems to be claiming as if it were an obvious outcome?

Here’s two different supposed political experts on the matter:

“It reinforces Obama’s effort to present himself as an advocate of responsible personal behavior, a position that Republican candidates like to secure as uniquely their own,” Rozell said.

“Obama should give Jackson and O’Reilly an award for helping his campaign with white voters,” Schultz said.

I don’t get it. How is this supposed to work?

Imagine yourself the stereotypical “white voter” these guys seem to be imagining. What does this incident suggest to you other than that African American voters and leaders are politically divided, beneath the surface? Is that supposed to make you feel good, or something? Why is the fact that someone talked about cutting off Obama’s nuts, and Obama, obviously, doesn’t like the idea very much, supposed to change anyone’s opinion about anything or anyone?

Heck, it doesn’t even change my opinion about Jesse Jackson: the fact that people use crude, hyperbolic and aggressive language when talking in private about factional politics should surprise and outrage absolutely nobody. Except, of course, me being outraged that everyone from Obama’s campaign to FoxNews is pretending it’s a big deal.

Finally I would think that the very fact that the media is insisting that this gives Obama a chance to “look better” in front of voters should itself dampen, or even negate, that very effect. “Sistah Soljah” moments work only insofar as they seem immediate and authentic, and after the first, real Soljah moment, none really do anymore. Especially if the media telegraphs the whole thing in advance.

In my opinion, the only person who’s benefited from this incident is, amazingly and improbably, Al Sharpton, who had a uncharacteristically reasonable comment:

But the Rev. Al Sharpton admonished Jackson and cautioned against dividing black voters.

Obama “is running for president of all Americans, not just African-Americans,” he said. We “must be careful not to segregate Senator Obama and impose some litmus test that is unfair and unproductive.”

5 Responses to Jesse Jackson’s Gaffe Helped Obama? I Don’t Get It…

  1. fuzzysoul says:

    I have to disagree. To many semi-conservative whites, Jesse Jackson is the embodiment of the 1960s protester they love to fear. To have Jackson rip on Obama like an upstaged grandpa is likely to make whites take a second look at who Obama is and what he stands for, rather than lumping him with their pre-set image of black America.

  2. Bad says:

    Well, I guess I should have put it like this: maybe the media is right. Maybe it will help Obama. I just don’t see why it should. I don’t like Jesse Jackson all that much. But the fact that Jackson doesn’t like some of Obama’s methods and message, or is just jealous because he wants to be more in charge, doesn’t really determine whether I like Obama’s methods. There are a lot more ways to be wrong than there are to be right. And a heck of a lot of people in politics, good and bad, want more power.

  3. Grendel The Martyr says:

    “Can anyone seriously explain to me why Jesse Jackson’s accidentally overheard remarks about Obama will help Obama in the polls, as nearly every media outlet seems to be claiming as if it were an obvious outcome?”

    No, because it doesn’t. It does suggest a possible division among black voters. I’d imagine more black voters are of Jackson’s age than Obama’s (age of popularity and influence, not chrono age).

    What the media sense it helps Obama is called is SPIN.

  4. […] “Bad” wonders why recent angry comments Jesse Jackson uttered about Barack Obama would help Obama. I believe I can explain […]

  5. Dean Esmay says:

    It will help him in the polls because white working class voters loathe black politicians like Jesse Jackson. More at my trackback link above.

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