Jesse Jackson Runs for President

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NBC Nightly News
Tom Brokaw/Ken Bode
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Video News Report
NBCUniversal Media, LLC.
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NBC's Ken Bode evaluates Jesse Jackson's 1984 run for president.



"Jesse Jackson Runs for President." Ken Bode, correspondent. NBC Nightly News. NBCUniversal Media. 29 June 1984. NBC Learn. Web. 11 January 2020.


Bode, K. (Reporter), & Brokaw, T. (Anchor). (1984, June 29). Jesse Jackson Runs for President. [Television series episode]. NBC Nightly News. Retrieved from


"Jesse Jackson Runs for President" NBC Nightly News, New York, NY: NBC Universal, 06/29/1984. Accessed Sat Jan 11 2020 from NBC Learn:


Jesse Jackson Runs for President

TOM BROKAW, anchor:

The candidacy of Jesse Jackson has been many things to many people. Few will deny that he has made some history this year. And tonight Ken Bode looks at the political path of this man who never fails to confront or confound.

KEN BODE, reporting:

Many establishment black leaders advised him not to run. Some feared he’d do poorly and be embarrassed, some feared he might be killed, and many made the safe bet and endorsed Mondale.

But Jackson ran to give blacks the kind of influence in American politics they’d never had before, and to claim a leadership mantle for himself. He took his campaign everywhere. His first victory came in Syria, a Muslim nation. The Baptist Minister won the release of Lieutenant Robert Goodman with the help of a Muslim minister, Louis Farrakhan.

Jackson did better in the primaries and won more delegates than anyone predicted, and did it with a fraction of the money and organization of the other candidates.

He did it by basing his campaign on a network of black churches. He did it by registering and mobilizing new voters. He did it by winning stature in the debates, where he also moved the voting rights agenda to the front burner of American politics. And he did it by making his unconventional private foreign policy a central part of the Presidential campaign.

There were pitfalls along the way: his reference to Jews as “Hymies,” his resistance to disavowing Farrakhan, his pro-Palestinian Middle East policies, all earned Jackson the enduring mistrust of Jews and others. Throughout the campaign, Jackson has charged that Mondale has been playing with a stacked deck, and the Democrats have agreed to change those rules for 1988. He also charges that Southern runoff primaries are discriminatory, and the Democratic Convention will take up that question in San Francisco.

JACKSON speaking: We’re moving on up!

BODE: Whether Jackson is an asset or a liability in the campaign is subject to debate, but he is clearly the most dynamic and charismatic figure in either party.

JACKSON speaking: Moving on up! Moving … on up! Moving … on up!

BODE: Jesse Jackson’s greatest accomplishment may be that he has fashioned a new roll model for black America. He is the embodiment of the idea that one day a black will become president. Ken Bode, NBC News, Washington.