As I've noted here before, largely unnoticed by the national media, the Reverend Jesse Jackson has built a mini-machine on Chicago's South Side. His son, Jesse Jr., is a congressman. Junior's wife is a Chicago alderman and ward committeeman, and the Reverend James Meeks, a former Barack Obama spiritual advisor, is a state Senator who, at the encouragement of the Jacksons, ousted William Shaw from that seat 2002.
Shaw died of cancer in his south suburban Dolton home on Wednesday.
The Jacksons had run Shaw, and his identical twin brother Robert, out of politics, with the exception of the mayor's office in Dolton--William was mayor until his death.
Interesting side note: Like Bill Clinton and Mike Huckabee, the Shaws were born in Hope, Arkansas.
The elder Jacskon's political strength is a qustion mark now. His hot-mike comment about wishing to castrate Obama might weaken his mini-machine. We'll know soon. Cook County Commissioner William Beavers is the last South Side pol in office who openly opposes Jackson, he is up for reelection in 2010. The Democratic primary will be in February.
Momentous special election: 1995 Illinois' 2nd Congressional race
Obama's other spiritual mentors: Pfleger and Meeks
Jesse Jackson family castrates "hog with big nuts"
Technorati tags: Illinois Democrats Chicago Jesse Jackson Jesse Jackson Jr. politics Cook County Illinois Politics Obama Barack Obama Arkansas