AL SHARPTON IN 2004? There’s a good article by Edward Blum on Al Sharpton on National Review Online. It mentions Sharpton’s 1994 primary challenge to incumbent Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. “Although the popular Moynihan easily won, Sharpton garnered eighty percent of the black vote, resulting in 25 percent of all votes cast. This overwhelming black cohesiveness aligned against an icon of the Democratic-left must have stunned every political consultant in the state.”
If Sharpton bled 80 percent of the black vote away from Moynihan, he could do the same against Tom Daschle, Joe Lieberman, John Kerry or any of the Democrat leading lights. Throw in a handful of Hispanic and white voters and Sharpton could win or be runner-up in most of the critical primary states. Since the Democrats are likely to frontload their primary-election schedule this cycle, it is not inconceivable for Sharpton to actually win New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Michigan, Maryland, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi. If he doesn’t outright win these states, the racial arithmetic earns him a close second.
For anyone who’s watched Sharpton’s rise since the late 1980s, Tawana Brawley, and his appearances on the old Morton Downey Jr. Show (when I first saw him, back when I was in college), his accumulation of raw power has been impressive, and transformation into a required stop on the Democratic road to the White House has been nothing short of astonishing. Blum explains what he could do with it in 2004.