In 1988, Rev. Jesse Jackson ran for the Democratic presidential nomination, but Governor Michael Dukakis ultimately won the spot.
Jackson mesmerized and galvanized many voters during the ’88 campaign, just as Sen. Bernie Sanders has done in 2016. Rev. Jackson understood that in order to increase his leverage and have an impact on the Democratic Party going forward, how he operated coming out of his historic campaign was critical.
At the ’88 Democratic National Convention, Jackson called for the party to unite and used his leverage to influence change.
Today, Rev. Jackson has reached out to Sanders to discuss his campaign and how to best position himself as it relates to the Democratic Party going forward. During Thursday’s edition of NewsOne Now, Roland Martin talked with Jackson about his advice for the Senator from Vermont.
Jackson told Martin, “The winner has to win with grace — the loser has to maintain his dignity.”
“I think that in this case, there is a big burden upon Mr. Sanders to expand the party, not split it. It seems to be his intent to expand it and not split it, and that’s good news.”
Rev. Jackson, founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, explained if there is a split in the Democratic Party as a result of Sanders and Hillary Clinton not coming together, “Trump would ease through the crack.”
“Bernie does not want that to happen,” Jackson said, and suggested Sanders find a “graceful way to ease into the next phase” of the campaign.
Rev. Jackson also recommended if Sanders decides to continue to campaign, he should “do it in a way that is not attacking Hillary,” and refrain from giving Trump material to use against the presumptive Democratic nominee.
“He can stay in until his name is called on the roll, but he must do it in a way that enhances” Clinton and does not adversely impact her campaign going forward.
Watch Roland Martin and Rev. Jesse Jackson discuss the 1988 presidential campaign, how Bernie Sanders should gracefully bow out of the 2016 race and use his leverage to influence the Democratic Party in the video clip above.
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