Jesse Jackson may not speak at Dem's party

Aug. 13, 2008 at 5:50 PM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- The Rev. Jesse Jackson's streak of speaking at every Democratic convention since 1984 is in jeopardy when Democrats gather in Denver this month.

Jackson's widely publicized comments about likely Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama speaking down to blacks may block him from the speaker's podium, The Hill reported Wednesday.

Ronald Walters, a former Jackson aide and director of the African American Leadership Center at the University of Maryland, said he does not think Jackson will be asked to speak at the convention.

"I think he should speak, but he won't," Walters said of Jackson, the civil rights activist who ran for president in 1984 and 1988.

Jackson has apologized to Obama for the off-camera-but-on-mike remark, which the Illinois senator accepted.

Walters said he doesn't think the Rev. Al Sharpton, another controversial civil rights activist, will address the convention, either.

Walters told The Hill he thinks other black politicians will be asked to address the convention, including Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty and House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C.

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