Al Sharpton for President?

Sharpton Blasts ‘Favorite Son’ Plan

It would seem to me that the main impact of a Sharpton candidacy would be to harm the more liberal candidates, who would otherwise be the beneficiaries of the votes that he would siphon off. OTOH, Jesse Jackson did not seem to have this impact in 1984, when Mondale was nominated anyway. In any event, it could be tricky for any Democratic candidate - they will have to dance around Sharpton in order not to alianate his supporters.

I should note that the source cited here is a Black NY paper, and may be more symphathetic to Sharpton and inclined to exaggerate the “growing sense that Democrats have” etc. Still, it is a likely scenario, IMHO.

Yeah, I would think Sharpton could make some serious headaches for Democrats. I can see two ways this might affect the vote overall:

1.) Democrats are forced to pander to the black vote even more than they already do - in essence, become more liberal. This will alienate white moderate voters, driving them to the republican or third parties. Good news for the GOP.

2.) Democrats are forced to pander to the black vote even more than they already do. They put out a message of “A vote for us is a vote for racial equality!” White moderate voters, who do not like thinking of themselves as racists, will vote Democrat to assert that they like racial equality as much as the next guy. Good news for the Dems.

I’m going to guess that scenario 1 is the more likely. Scenario 2 depends on the perception of the GOP as the racist party, a perception that has been on the wane for some time now. With the emergence of so many prominent black conservative figures, and the active effort on the part of the GOP of late to recruit black voters, I don’t think that white moderates are as likely to associate a vote for dems as a vote against racism as they were in times past. Of course, with the recent Lott fiasco, the GOP could be set back in its efforts to the point where this is still a viable strategy for the Dems, but I’m skeptical.

I figure the Democrats and Republicans should probably make up a few million posters and billboards picturing Sharpton and Pat Buchanan together with the question “Do you really feel these are viable choices?”, then simply ignore both of them throughout the next election.

Well Tom, it looks like you are a subscriber to the NY Times’ unwritten rule propounded by my worthy colleague december. :smiley:

Still, there is a difference, as a practical matter, between Sharpton and Buchanan. The latter had a small moment of glory as the protest candidate against Bush Sr. but did not have much of a serious chance even there. In most recent go-round, he did nothing at all (save for the memorable butterfly ballot mix-up). By contrast, Sharpton has done quite well in his runs at Senator and Mayor, and - significantly here - won hefty majorities of the black vote.

What the dem’s have going for them is that Iowa and New Hampshire have very few black voters. By the time the race gets to the south where black voters are more numerous there maybe a clear front runner amoung the white candidates. If this happens Sharpton can be ignored relatively safely. However, if Gephardt runs and wins Iowa and then if Dean wins New Hampshire they go down south with no clear cut alternative aned he becomes very difficult to ignore. I think this could help Kerry and hurt Edwards. If Kerry can beat Dean if New Hampshire he becomes the front runner and could get a big boost from the stop-Sharpton vote in the South.

I think a Sharpton candidacy will help the Democrats. It will increase voter interest in the election and interest in the Democratic candidates. It will encourage greater black turnout in the fall election.

Why? The man’s a liar (Brawley) and a cheap showman (I was stabbed!) He’s a divisive hatemonger on the scale of Jesse Jackson’s later years (Give me money and you won’t get picketed).

He’ll increase the stupid turnout.

You answered your own question, E-Sabbath.

Yes, I know, it was a clever trap of mine you fell into, December.

I couldn’t let you stand there with an apparently reasonable statement that was so misleading. I apologize for the false hysterics, but really. Someone could have been confused into thinking the greasy, greasy man was a legitimate candidate instead of a half-trick pony.

I have no use for Al Sharpton, but I give the guy a little credit: he’s not an idiot, and he knows he has zero chance of winning the Democratic nomination or of being on the ticket.

But he DOES have a very good chance of being a kingmaker (he’s already guaranteed to be a major power broker) in 2004. The black vote alone is not nearly enough to give any candidate the Democratic nomination, but assuming there are half a dozen strong contenders, the black vote WILL be enough to put one of them in the driver’s seat.

So, if Al Sharpton does run, it won’t be with the intention of winning. It will be with the intention of making one of the other contenders come to him on bended knee, appoint some of Al’s lieutenants to key positions, and to adopt Al’s positions as his own.

The net effect, obviously, would be to push the Democratic party to the left. And while I’d LIKE to think that plays into the hands of the GOP, it’s far from obvious. A lot can happen in two years (the economy could continue to tank; war with Iraq could go very badly), and G.W. Bush could be VERY vulnerable by then. It’s not obvious to me that a left-leaning candidate would get trounced, if Bush IS that vulnerable.

Man, you dopers are a funny bunch.


The danger is that Sharpton’s candidacy might excite black voters during the primary season only to have them sour to the whole process once he fails to get the Democratic nomination.

Uh, he was stabbed, wasn’t he? Or did I just fall for some propaganda?

Yes, he was, but it looks remarkably like he hired someone to stab himself, and was not, in fact, stabbed by a eeevile racist.

If you want, I’ll try to dig up a cite, but all the news reports are flushed from cache by now.

Well, don’t bother if it’s too much trouble, but I am interested. I’ve never heard that story before.

Al Sharpton for President? A nightmare straight out of Insect Fear.

Heres whats in Elucidator’s crystal ball: Al Gore, the pressure of running for President gone, speaks his mind and lets it hang out. He becomes so immensly popular, there is a groundswell and…Al is drafted. As a candidate, that is.

Alternative: Sharpton vs. Bush: first Green landslide.

Me thinks Elucidator’s crystal ball is cracked.

I’m with astorian on this one. I have never liked the man because of how he handled the Brawley situation. But I’ve listened to him on talk shows recently and the man is no fool.

Hmmm. How about Al Sharpton vs. Condi Rice in 2008?

Best I have is

which simply mentions it. The memories I have are of NBC downplaying it, and I’m afraid I can’t get anything hard. There was never an arrest made, and he doesn’t mention it much nowadays.

Hm. 1991. NY Times has nothing. Sorry, folks, predates the effective Web.

Hm. Well. Yes, clearly wrong there. Al was stabbed in Bensonhurst by a drunken Italian man. It was not, in fact, as far as I can tell, a hired man, but I do strongly remember the rumor being floated around that it was so.

Said rumor is vaugely supported by the fact that I can not find the name of the drunken italian man. At all. But, well, it’s only a rumor.

Still, it seems that was the time when the Reverend Al switched from confrontation to preaching peace… such as it was. He’s still done damnfool things, like claiming bigotry when a man was caught stealing, and claiming racism when a black man was arrested… by black security guards. And let’s not even get into the grocery in the bronx issue. That one wound up with people killed. But he was not there, they were merely overeager followers.