Jesse Jackson presidential campaign, 1984

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Jesse Jackson, half-length portrait of Jackson seated at a table, July 1, 1983 edit.jpg

In 1984, Jesse Jackson became the second African American (after Shirley Chisholm) to mount a nationwide campaign for President of the United States, running as a Democrat.

In the primaries, Jackson, who had been written off by pundits as a fringe candidate with little chance at winning the nomination, surprised many when he took third place behind Senator Gary Hart and former Vice President Walter Mondale, who eventually won the nomination. Jackson garnered 3,282,431 primary votes, or 18.2 percent of the total, in 1984,[1] and won five primaries and caucuses, including Louisiana, the District of Columbia, South Carolina, Virginia, and one of two separate contests in Mississippi.[2]

As he had gained 21% of the popular vote but only 8% of delegates, he afterwards complained that he had been handicapped by party rules. While Mondale (in the words of his aides) was determined to establish a precedent with his vice presidential candidate by picking a woman or visible minority, Jackson criticized the screening process as a "p.r. parade of personalities". He also mocked Mondale, saying that Hubert Humphrey was the "last significant politician out of the St. Paul–Minneapolis" area.[3]

Campaign platform[edit]

In both races, Jackson ran on what many considered to be a very liberal platform. Declaring that he wanted to create a "Rainbow Coalition" of various minority groups, including African Americans, Hispanics, Arab-Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, family farmers, the poor and working class, and homosexuals, as well as white progressives who fit into none of those categories, Jackson ran on a platform that included:

With the exception of a resolution to implement sanctions against South Africa for its apartheid policies, none of these positions made it into the party's platform in either 1984 or 1988.

He campaigned again in 1988 when he more than doubled his results.

References[edit]

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