For any member of the media trying to get an interview out of the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. Wednesday night, it was not going to be a piece of cake unless you let Jackson be in charge. As in, he’s The Decider.
At the FNC pre-party, he chatted up partygoers, swiftly and smoothly working the room of journos, lawyers, lawmakers and administration officials. He drank cranberry juice sans alcohol. When it came time to question him about, well, anything, he was game for one topic only: health care.
Asked about President Obama’s relationship with FNC, Jackson said, “I don’t want to talk about that.” Ask to comment on FNC generally, “I’m not talking about that.” (No matter that there was a gargantuan Fox News banner above his head.)
So what would Sr. discuss?
Health care. Health care. And, oh, health care.
“I hope it passes,” Sr. said. “It advances us from where we are, doesn’t quite get us where we’re going.” Jackson, who believes in the public option, said “more coverage for people is the right thing. So more poor people will be covered.”
Sr. ended on a philosophical note: “The thrust of this bill is morally right and necessary. Often these long journeys are incremental stops.”
In this photograph, Jackson Sr. stands with Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.).