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Dukakis Selects Vice President

July 17, 1988

Thank you for publishing William Raspberry's column on Jesse Jackson's vice presidential campaign ("Jackson's VP Race Was His Own Undoing," Op-Ed Page, July 13). He deals correctly with all the basics. Adding to the importance of the column is the fact that Raspberry is a nationally respected black American writer.

Michael Dukakis surely should have told Jackson that he had selected Texas Sen. Lloyd Bentsen as his running mate. But, as Raspberry said, Jackson should have folded his presidential campaign after the primary election out here in California "when the numbers showed him to be out of the race."

But, instead, on primary night, Jackson staged a victory charade with members of his family and campaign team. "Jackson merely stopped running for President and began running for vice president," Raspberry says.

All of Jackson's supporters, should accept and applaud the factuality of Raspberry's closing paragraph:

"Jackson, for a time, embodied the dreams of black America. His mistake, or so it seems to me, was to imagine that his personal aspirations and the interests of black America are one and the same."

I do not believe that the election of a black President or vice president is an impossibility. In fact, I predicted some 25 years ago that Americans would elect a black President by the year 2000, and I still believe it will happen, if not by the year 2000, soon thereafter.

But I also believe that the winner will be a black politician, a publicly elected official who has paid his dues. Perhaps Jackson has helped to pave the way for him or her.


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