Jackson, son of black civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson and a member of the U.S. House representing the South Side of Chicago, would be competing with U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., and others for appointment to Obama's seat by Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, the Washington publication Politico reported Monday.
If Obama is in the White House next year, his Senate seat would be filled by a Blagojevich appointee until an election can be held in 2010. The younger Jackson has made no secret he wants the seat, but Schakowsky, who has strong ties to the labor movement, will present a credible alternative, observers say.
"Jesse Jackson doesn't make sense, he's not electable statewide," an unnamed Democratic operative with ties to Illinois told Politico. "He's a very left-of-center politician."
But others told the publication Jackson's case is strengthened by the fact that Obama is the only black member of the Senate as president, Obama would presumably like to see at least one black senator in the chamber.