Okay, that’s not quite the headline on this New York Times story. But I can’t believe that some folks on Team Obama wouldn’t be smiling at least a bit over the fact that Al Sharpton is expressing skepticism about his candidacy.
One purpose of the visit, two New York advisers and confidants of Mr. Sharpton said, was to send a signal to Senator Barack Obama, Democrat of Illinois and a fellow African-American, that he should not take for granted the political support of Mr. Sharpton, a power broker in New York politics and a presidential candidate in 2004.
Indeed, Mr. Sharpton sounded far from sold on Mr. Obama on Thursday night after their meeting in the senator’s office, where Mr. Obama had them pose for a picture beneath a portrait of Justice Thurgood Marshall of the Supreme Court.
“I left the meeting a little curious, feeling that he was noticing our civil rights agenda, but I didn’t understand what his civil rights agenda is,” Mr. Sharpton said.
Mr. Obama and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, with whom Mr. Sharpton also met, are expected to compete fiercely for black votes.
“I’m not endorsing anyone at this point,” Mr. Sharpton said, “but she has more of a civil rights program laid out. And I always know where I stand with her. She is always accessible and welcoming.”
“Expert analysts said the praise from Sharpton could be the final blow to Clinton’s presidential hopes…”
Okay, again, that’s not what the article says. In fact, the article doesn’t make the slightest reference to the possibility that Sharpton could be, oh, a wee bit controversial. Recall him standing right behind Ned Lamont on primary night in Connecticut last year. Lamont lost for quite a few reasons, but that instant visual association with the oldest of old-school liberalism and racial grievances (to say nothing of Sharpton’s career of stirring up racial anger in New York City) certainly did nothing to help Ned-renaline in the general election.