The Sharpton Primary
Posted on Apr 18, 2007
Democratic presidential candidates are falling all over themselves to secure the support of Al Sharpton, whose own 2004 campaign and his role in the recent Don Imus controversy have elevated his profile as a national civil rights leader. John Edwards, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton will all attend the reverend’s annual National Action Network convention this week.
Democratic presidential contenders are scrambling for support in what’s being dubbed the Al Sharpton primary. The civil rights leader livened up the 2004 Democratic primary with his pompadour hairdo and sharp, witty oratory. This election, the high-profile Sharpton, fresh from the fight over Don Imus’ derogatory remarks, is attracting all the party’s major candidates this week for his annual National Action Network convention.
The solid attendance—starting with John Edwards on Wednesday and continuing with Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama later this week— reflects Sharpton’s prominence in the party, concern that he might run again and the Democrats’ effort to appeal to the base, particularly black voters.
No wonder the event was being called the Sharpton primary.