Is Jesse for Sale?

Jackson-Watchers Claim Wall Street Contributors Arranged His Phone Call to Bush

Jackson says protests against "the chaos and the debacle in Florida" will be held on January 15, the legal holiday celebrating the birthday of Martin Luther King. Sharpton plans to rain on George W. Bush's coronation with a "shadow inauguration" on January 20.

Critics claim that Jackson really wants to attend the inauguration, adding that he chose King Day to cover his tracks because he does not want to appear to be disruptive. "On January 20, it's gonna look like he is not with the people," a Sharpton aide speculates. "He is definitely not trying to heed his own advice to 'stay out the Bushes.' " Reverend William Jones, former national chair of Operation Breadbasket, an economic-pressure arm of Dr. King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference during the '60s—who knows Jackson better than many of his detractors—was once quoted as saying: "In many ways Jesse reminds me of a pilot in search of a landing field who is unable to locate one." But an activist who is familiar with Reverend Jones's quote put this spin on it: "Jesse Jackson is like an airplane with no airport to land in. No one will give him clearance, and he is low on fuel."


Additional reporting by Amanda Ward

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