Jesse Jackson: 'All of my heart leans toward Barack'from Alexander Mooney-->
WASHINGTON (CNN) --
Rev. Jesse Jackson, a leader in the African-American community and two-time presidential candidate, told CNN Thursday he is all but certain to endorse Sen. Barack Obama's, D-Illinois, likely bid for the White House."All of my heart leans toward Barack," Jackson said. "He is a next-door neighbor literally. I think he's an extension of our struggle to make this a more perfect union.""I will talk to all of them, but my inclinations are really toward Barack," he added. Jackson also spoke highly of others seeking or likely to seek the Democratic nomination, and said Obama cannot take the African-American base of the party for granted."It will be a feisty, competitive campaign," he said. "I don't think it will be hostile, or nasty, but it will be a very competitive campaign."
COMMENT: In the process of reading many many articles on the issue of Senator Obama's ability to gain the support of the African American citizens, it has been noted that John Edwards is proclaiming that "these are my people" and many southern Black ministers DO support John Edwards but this I believe is due to the fact that Senator Obama has yet to visit and engage with the leaders of the southern communities and allow them to get to know him and where he stands. It is interesting to note, that many well to do WHITE southern voters are more interested in Senator Obama. This is a key issue that Senator Obama needs to address. There does tend to be a discrimmination factor also in play in that Senator Obama is of "mixed race" and African Americans tend to consider this a "minus" factor. Perhaps this is due to predecessors of Senator Obama of mixed race who fail to point with pride of their African heritage, witness golf pro who tells Oprah he is "claynasian", ie, white, asian descent rather than pointing out his African blood. I am speaking of Tiger Woods who fails to embrace his African heritage alienating the Black community.
Yet I feel certain, as Senator Obama visits these states and speaks about how proud he is of his Kenya roots, his journey there to discover his heritage, and his embracing of his African heritage, he can overcome this disadvantage. Southern black ministers do admit that many of their congregation would be likely to vote for Senator Obama, being proud to vote for an African American for President. It is up to Senator Obama to make his case to the African American community. He has a good headstart in that direction and should embrace and instill in the African American communities his pride of heritage, emphasizing his work in poor neighborhoods and his concerns for the working poor. This will go a long way to increasing his odds over Senator Edwards in the South. The Northern Black communities that know more about Senator Obama are more willing to embrace his campaign. The message also needs to be made clear in the South of Senator Obama's pride in Martin Luther King, Jr. and that he considers him a role model. Many in the south know little about Senator Obama and it is key that he spend time in these communities, allowing them to gain confidence in considering voting for him for President.