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Jesse Jackson explains those Tuesday-night tears

November 6, 2008 |  1:44 am

Jesse Jackson, who had some of his own unsuccessful presidential campaigns some 20 years ago, was caught on TV last night in the huge crowd in Chicago's Grant Park, listening to President-elect Barack Obama.

And weeping.

We wrote about the tearful image of Jackson here in The Ticket right then, as we wrote previously about some crude comments Jackson made on an open microphone in July about what he'd like to do to a part of Obama's private anatomy. (See photo by clicking on the Read more line below.)

Jesse Jackson reacts during the victory speech in Chicago by president-elect Barack Obama

In his monolgue Wednesday night Jay Leno suggested that perhaps Jackson was crying because he makes more than $250,000 a year.

But Jackson had already gone on National Public Radio to explain those Grant Park tears.

He said: "Well, on the one hand, I saw President Barack Obama standing there looking so majestic.

"And I knew that people in the villages of Kenya and Haiti, and mansions and palaces in Europe and China, were all watching this young African-American male assume the leadership to take our nation out of a pit to a higher place.

"And then, I thought of who was not there,'' Jackson said. "Medgar Evers, the husband of Sister Myrlie. ...So the martyrs and murdered whose blood made last night possible. I could not help think that this was their night.

"And if I had one wish: If Medgar, or if Dr. King could have just been there for a second in time, would have made my heart rejoice. And so it was kind of duo-fold -- his ascension into leadership and the price that was paid to get him there."

Jackson also had some comments to make on his own role in the civil rights movement, and our Swamp colleague Mark Silva has those over here.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo credit: Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Jesse Jackson makes a crude comment about fellow Democrat Barack Obama on an open microphone in July

Screen grab from Fox News

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