A who's who of the Democratic party has been at the Reverend Al Sharpton's National Action Network conference in Midtown this past week. Opening day saw hopeful John Edwards and Democratic party chair Howard Dean, yesterday included former president Bill Clinton, Senator Joe Biden, Senator Christopher Dodd, and Governor Bill Richardson, today has Senator Hillary Clinton and tomorrow Senator Barack Obama and Representative Dennis Kucinich are appearing - which is why it's called the "Sharpton primary" by many. With his profile very high after the Don Imus-Rutgers women's basketball incident, the Sun notes that Sharpton is a political force.
Former president Clintontold attendees:
"You can help on health care by fighting diabetes and making our children healthier. You can help on the economy by making sure low income people are part of a normal banking system, not part of a system that's going to keep them bankrupt and in debt for the rest of their lives. And you can help by helping to create new jobs in a clean energy economy by fixing every building in the city where you live no matter where that is. If we do that you're going to see rising incomes, fewer people unemployed and healthier children."
Bubba didn't mention his wife's presidential campaign, though. The Politicker reminds us that the last time Hillary Clinton spoke at a Sharpton event, she called the 2006 GOP-run House of Representatives a "plantation."
Other attendees made a stir, too. Former mayor Ed Koch told Shaprton, "If you would have apologized for the Tawana Brawley hoax, you'd be a crossover leader." And controversial political activist Lenora Fulani said to NY1's Dominic Carter, "What you and your network do now, and have done to me as a black woman, is to relate to me as a nappy-headed ho."
Photograph of Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards with the Reverend Al Sharpton by Frank Franklin II/AP