In 1988, in a dreadful speech which lasted for so long that some delegates began booing to get him to finish, Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton placed Jesse Jackson's name in nomination at the Democratic Party Convention on this day in Atlanta, Georgia.
Sitting on Someone's ShouldersTexas State Treasurer Ann Richards made a more lasting impression by comparing the origins of Jackson, "a nobody who had no daddy" with his likely adversary in November, Vice President Bush who "was born with a silver foot in his mouth". For surely his "testament to the struggles of those who have gone before" was truly an American story every bit as epic as George Washington's victory at Trenton.
And yet Jackson really seized the moment for the Rainbow Coalition by boldly welcoming "the sons and daughters of slavemasters and the sons and daughters of slaves, sitting together around a common table , to decide the direction of our party and our country". The nomination was dedicated to the mother of the civil rights movement Rosa Parks, and former President Jimmy Carter for his unwavering commitment to peace in the world.
These words would find refresh resonance some two years later, when President Jackson would find a peaceful resolution to the Persian Gulf Crisis through dialogue with Saddam Hussein. That remarkable achievement would open the way to negotiations between Israel and Palestine to discuss the status of Jerusalem, "a small village that became the birthplace for three great religions -- Judaism, Christianity, and Islam". By then, George Bush was in the grandfather business, and Ann Richards the Governor of Texas, having consigned Bush's playboy son to a crushing defeat in the gubernatorial election.