Prospective Democratic presidential nominee Bill Clinton, after feuding for a week with the Rev. Jesse Jackson in the Sister Souljah flap, won praise yesterday from another black politician named Jackson -- this time Mayor Maynard Jackson of Atlanta. What drew Mayor Jackson's commendation was a new Clinton economic strategy paper proposing a $200 billion plan to "Rebuild America" over the next four years, much of it to go to troubled cities with large black populations.
"Dynamic, aggressive and progressive" were Mayor Jackson's adjectives. They stood in vivid contrast to Reverend Jackson's increasing complaints that Governor Clinton had launched a "sneak attack" to embarrass him by decrying rap singer Souljah's reverse racism during a meeting of the Jackson-launched Rainbow Coalition.
We suspect that Mayor Jackson's honey was as welcome as Reverend Jackson's bile to the Clinton campaign. Well behind both independent Ross Perot and Republican George Bush, Mr. Clinton is going all out to get the public's attention before the Democratic National Convention. Thus, he is signaling he will not cater to Jesse Jackson, as Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis did in 1984 and 1988, nor will he hesitate to push centrist policy lines even at the risk of alienating the leftist fringes of his party.