Does a Nod from Obama Put Jesse Jackson Jr. Ahead?

Support from the president may be enough to save Rep. Jesse Jackson's "gnarly political skin," Laura S. Washington writes in her Chicago Sun-Times column.

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Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.

Laura S. Washington writes in her Chicago Sun-Times column that President Barack Obama has told Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) that he will "absolutely" support him for re-election, according to a Fox News report. She says that tidbit may be enough to save Jackson's political career.

On Oct. 16, at the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial dedication in Washington, D.C., Jackson button-holed Obama and asked for his endorsement. Jackson's office made sure to mention that his father and sister, the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson and Santita Jackson, were nearby and heard the exchange. That's vintage Jackson: Leave no wiggle room.

Jackson is rolling out his comeback tour. In a recent speech to the Kankakee County NAACP, he declared, "I will be vindicated" in ongoing investigations connected to the federal Operation Board Games probe.

For three years, Jackson has been ducking and dodging allegations that former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich tried to sell the U.S. Senate seat once held by Obama and that Jackson was the earnest buyer. The federal probe led to a pending U.S. House Ethics Committee investigation. Then along came salacious revelations that Jackson was involved in an extramarital affair.

Jackson has not been charged with any crime. He has issued incessant denials but languished in the political dog house. No dropping tidbits to beltway reporters, no dog-and-pony press conferences.

Read Laura S. Washington's entire column at the Chicago Sun-Times.

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