Less than two weeks before the year's final primaries, Democratic presidential aspirant Jesse Jackson appeared Wednesday night to be edging close to conceding the party's nomination to Michael Dukakis.
Not only was Jackson conciliatory toward the Massachusetts governor through most of their hourlong television debate here, but at one point in a post-debate press conference he appeared to cede a presidential prerogative to Dukakis.Discussing his often-stated aim of having white-minority-ruled South Africa officially declared a terrorist state, Jackson said, "I appeal to the governor to designate South Africa that way."
Only a sitting president has the prerogative of declaring any nation terrorist.
Even before his apparent implied concession, Jackson was clearly sounding conciliatory.
He led off the press conference _ staged after a 40-minute private Dukakis-Jackson meeting _ by saying he and Dukakis "are keenly aware of our joint responsibility to keep building our party, to expand our coalition. The more we talk, the more we develop understanding."
Dukakis, meanwhile, used a question on his foreign policy inexperience to bash likely Republican nominee George Bush.
"The candidate with the longest foreign policy resume of all of us is the vice president," Dukakis said. "He's the person who sat there and did nothing when we traded arms for hostages, he went to the Philippines and praised (former president Ferdinand) Marcos. It's your values and the quality of the people you pick which make you a good president."