Rep. Jesse Jackson Endorsing Republican Mark Kirk?

The final answer is, “no,” Chicago-based Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr. is not endorsing a Republican to take Barack Obama’s old Illinois U.S. Senate seat. But Jackson is making news by seeming to be toying with the idea of abandoning the troubled Democrat candidate, Alexi Giannoulias.

And, in the end, that’s all this is. It’s Jesse Jackson, Jr. employing the ages old Chicago Democrat game of fishing for payoffs.

The game goes like this: Long-time Democrat strong-man wants a pay off of one kind or another so he pretends he might support someone surprising, someone that isn’t the expected pick. Party bigwigs rush to payoff said strong-man so that he will support the usual suspect. Strong-man gets big rewards and ends up supporting the usual suspect anyway.

But news outlets like Politico have fallen for the “gosh, I might not support…” game.

Politico did flirt with the truth of the matter by reporting that not one of Chicago’s big three African American Representatives supported party primary winner Alexi “the Mob Banker” Giannoulias.

Neither Jackson, who remained neutral, nor Danny Davis and Bobby Rush, both of whom supported another primary candidate, are too pleased with a Giannoulias candidacy. And here is why Jackson is pretending to lend moral support to Republican Mark Kirk is meaningless for Kirk, at least meaningless as per an outright endorsement. Jackson is merely expressing to Illinois Democrats that he and his fellow black party members are unhappy that Giannoulias won the primary and angling to get the state to look to serve the black Democrat political establishment in the future. It’s a warning as well as a bid to be paid off to support Giannoulias.

Politico is correct, though, that if these African American congressmen keep their voices out of the upcoming Senate race, it will not help Giannoulias and will tend to benefit Mark Kirk.

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