Democratic presidential front-runner Michael Dukakis, beginning a drive to capture black votes in November, was meeting with black backers from around the country Monday. But Jesse Jackson reminded his rival that his help will be needed, declaring: "It's going to take both of us to win."
Republican nominee George Bush, at his summer home in Maine, was marching in a Memorial Day parade Monday and continuing a weeklong strategy session with aides and GOP officials.The vice president's advisers are working on ways to shore up his standing against Dukakis, who has been consistently out-polling Bush in public opinion surveys.
The Bush camp indicated over the weekend that the vice president would begin attacking the Massachusetts governor more aggressively and moving away from President Reagan on some issues.
With the Democratic primary season heading into its final week, Dukakis and Jackson both campaigned Sunday in New Jersey, one of four states staging contests on June 7. The New Jersey race, plus primaries in California, New Mexico and Montana, offer a total of 466 delegates.
Dukakis, with more than 1,700 delegates, is within striking distance of the 2,081 needed to nominate, while Jackson trails with less than 1,000 delegates.
The Massachusetts governor expects to clinch the delegates he needs with the final round of primaries and a continuing stream of commitments from "super delegates," who vote at the convention by virtue of their party or elective office.
Jackson is signalling that he knows it's almost the end of the road for his presidential bid.
"When the race is over June 7, life goes on June 8," he said as he campaigned in New Jersey. But his pride was evident as he told a crowd: "We should never forget this campaign."
And Jackson has been making it clear that even if the nomination is out of reach, he expects to play a major part in shaping the Democratic platform. He is also indicating that the massive black support he has garnered in primary contests to date shouldn't be taken for granted by the Democratic nominee.
"It's going to take the both of us to win," said Jackson, referring to himself and Dukakis. "Together, we're gonna win."
Dukakis took a boat cruise with environmentalists, who showed him polluted waters off New Jersey on Sunday. Last summer, New Jersey beaches were closed on several occasions by pollution, including sewage and hospital waste that washed ashore.