Politico | Obama’s "go-to man on race" is … Al Sharpton

Written on:August 28, 2014
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Politico | Obama’s “go-to man on race” is … Al Sharpton


Sharpton—once such a pariah that Clinton administration officials rushed through their ribbon-cuttings in Harlem for fear he’d show up and force them to, gasp, shake his hand—arrived on the scene 72 hours after the shooting at the request of Brown’s grandfather, who had admired his advocacy on behalf of the family of slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin.

But if the old Al Sharpton would have parachuted into Ferguson to rile up the masses, the Obama-era Al Sharpton trod a more gingerly path to justice. Over the years, the 59-year-old former Brooklyn protest leader turned MSNBC talk-show host has embraced a new identity, one that reflects his evolution from agitator to insider with all that implies. In Ferguson, Sharpton established himself as a de facto contact and conduit for a jittery White House seeking to negotiate a middle ground between meddling and disengagement. “There’s a trust factor with The Rev from the Oval Office on down,” a White House official familiar with their dealings told me. “He gets it, and he’s got credibility in the community that nobody else has got. There’s really no one else out there who does what he does.”

And the White House, as the crisis following Brown’s death seemed to flare out of control, worked extensively behind the scenes to maximize The Rev’s doing what he does, using him as both a source of information and a go-between. After huddling with Brown’s family and local community leaders, Sharpton connected directly with White House adviser and First Friend Valerie Jarrett, vacationing in her condo in the exclusive Oak Bluffs section of Martha’s Vineyard, not far from where President Obama and his family were staying. Obama was “horrified” by the images he was seeing on TV, Jarrett told Sharpton, and proceeded to pepper him with questions as she collected information for the president: How bad was the violence? Was it being fueled by outside groupsand could Sharpton do anything to talk them down? What did the Brown family want the White House to do?

It was a heady consultation for Sharpton, who spent years on the outside dreaming of a place in the pantheon of the civil rights leaders he revered as a teenage street preacher in Brooklyn, and it’s an irony lost on no one that his rise to White House adviser has come thanks to Barack Obama, whose restrained personal style couldn’t be any more different from Sharpton’s. If anything, the Ferguson crisis has underscored Sharpton’s role as the national black leader Obama leans on most, a remarkable personal and political transformation for a man once regarded with suspicion and disdain by many in his own party. It’s a status made all the more surprising given that Obama, America’s first black president, ran on a platform of moving beyond the country’s painful racial divisions while Sharpton is the man who once defined those divisions for many Americans.

Article source: http://conservatives4palin.com/2014/08/politico-obamas-go-man-race-al-sharton.html

Seth Mandel | Will IRS’s Strategy of Destroying Evidence Pay Off?

Written on:August 28, 2014
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Written on:August 28, 2014
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Written on:August 27, 2014
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Written on:August 27, 2014
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Written on:August 27, 2014
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Written on:August 27, 2014
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Written on:August 26, 2014
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