Harvard Law Professor Randall Kennedy’s piece today in The New Republic details the rise and rebranding of Al Sharpton during the age of Obama. In it, Kennedy recounts Sharpton’s shady past as a civil rights activist. National Review’s Jay Nordlinger chronicled much of this territory in a famous March 2000 essay.
The Rev. has remained an “unequivocal cheerleader” for the administration during the last three years. He has criticized other prominent blacks- notably Cornel West, Tavis Smiley, and Maxine Waters-who’ve complained that Mr. Obama’s policies have not addressed sky-high black unemployment.
The president rewarded Sharpton’s loyalty. Here’s Kennedy’s account:
The President’s patronage has played a key role in the renaissance of Sharpton’s public image. The reflected glory of the White House’s prestige undoubtedly assisted in giving him an edge over competitors for his MSNBC gig.
It sure pays to be a friend of the president’s.