Jackson & Young

Barack Obama isn’t the first candidate to have a Jesse Jackson problem
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Jesse Jackson
Photograph by Tim Hughes

Jackson and Coleman Young are all smiles in this photo, taken at the Book-Cadillac Hotel the night Young was first elected Detroit’s mayor in 1973. But inside, the mayor-elect was seething. He had wanted Jackson, then a youthful 32, to come to Detroit to lead a voter-registration drive. But the younger man demanded $50,000, to which an indignant Coleman spat, “I didn’t have $50,000 for Jesse Jackson.” Later, when Jackson ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1988, Young got even by endorsing a rival, and at one point proclaimed, “Jesse never ran nothing but his mouth.” In a classic understatement, Mayor Young noted in his autobiography that, “It was well known that Jesse and I were not bosom buddies.”

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