President Barack Obama previously drew criticism for his embrace of the controversial Al Sharpton in his re-election effort despite Sharpton’s history of race-baiting and alleged corruption. As if to make clear that his prior appearances with Sharpton were not fleeting mistakes, Obama invited Sharpton to a high-profile meeting on immigration reform and White House officials have pushed him to the forefront of supporters for the President. Putting aside the lack of responsibility shown in embracing a character like Sharpton, I am mystified (again) by the lack of political judgment by Obama and his aides. The President is already facing record low polls which so him as an increasing polarizing figure in American politics. The solution? The White House found one of the most polarizing figures in politics to stand by his side.
The Rev. Al Sharpton called the session with the President “a very healthy beginning” and said that the President wants to “give a central message: Immigration reform is something America needs and something that America must do together.”
Also attending the meeting were Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. They, however, did not speak after the meeting. It was left to Sharpton to be the voice of the President’s efforts in this area.
The White House seems to think that political popularity works as a closed circle where if you are having trouble increasing your popularity, you can just rush in the opposite direction and emerge on the other side of unpopularity with Sharpton. As noted earlier, Sharpton has a long history of criminal investigations, civil lawsuits, and allegations of corruption and evasion. The use of Sharpton appears a continuation of the cynical brand of politics practiced by this Administration where the sole criteria is reelection rather than principle.
Source: NY Daily News