Jesse Jackson's Hot Mic

First reaction is fairly conventional: Obama should send him a fruit basket for drawing attention to precisely the worldview that Obama wants centrist voters to know that he holds. That's reflected in the Obama campaign's statement, which, just in case you hadn't heard it, makes the point explicitly:

“As someone who grew up without a father in the home, Senator Obama has spoken and written for many years about the issue of parental responsibility, including the importance of fathers participating in their children’s lives. He also discusses our responsibility as a society to provide jobs, justice, and opportunity for all. He will continue to speak out about our responsibilities to ourselves and each other, and he of course accepts Reverend Jackson’s apology,” said Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton.

Reader A.S. points out:

Jesse Jackson is all over CNN, in full-on damage control mode over comments he made about Obama that haven’t even become public yet (but obviously will). Such a media-savvy guy; is he trying to do damage-control, or is he trying to hype the comments? A public fight with Jackson would certainly help Obama a la a Bill Clinton and Sistah Souljah.

My guess is that it’s damage-control, and Jackson has the connections and political savvy to understand the ramifications of what he said and to begin to try to limit the damage. Whatever he said, it must be pretty bad. Still, the speed with which Jackson is moving to apologize before the scandal becomes public is impressive – he must’ve learned a lot from being on the other side of the pursuit of scandal.
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Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

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