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RUSH: From the New York Post today: ‘Reverend Jesse Jackson is already backing a presidential candidate, Barack Obama – but the Rev. Al Sharpton denies persistent rumors he’s throwing his support to Hillary Clinton. ‘I am unequivocally not endorsing Hillary or anyone else,’ Sharpton told Page Six. As to a tip we got that he and Bill Clinton recently enjoyed cigars together in Clinton’s Harlem office, Sharpton – in Las Vegas yesterday to address the Trial Lawyers Association – said, ‘I don’t think he even smokes cigars anymore since his bypass.’ Insiders confirmed that Al and Bill met at the latter’s smoke-free office about two weeks ago. Sharpton will certainly not make any official announcement until Sen. Clinton, Sen. Obama, John Edwards, Chris Dodd, Bill Richardson, Joe Biden and even Dennis Kucinich address his National Action Network Convention at the Sheraton New York April 18-21. ‘I want to hear all of them,’ Sharpton said. Or, as one politico told us, ‘All the candidates have to come and kiss his a – -.’ … One political observer said, ‘Al is furious that Jesse Jackson got on the Obama train before he could.” Well, we feel for Reverend Sharpton. He’s losing out every way possible on this Barack Obama phenomena. In the first place, it’s Barack that Al wants to be. Al wants to be thought as the first clean and articulate — as Joe Biden said — black guy to come along in a presidential campaign. Al’s already been on a presidential campaign, and he takes showers every day, and he can talk. Yet they’re not saying these praisy things about him. Then Obama is out there getting all this credit, he’s the new guy, new arrival, fresh face, my gosh. All the things Al Sharpton wants Obama is getting. Then the Reverend Jackson, Al Sharpton’s number one competitor in the civil rights business, has now joined up with Obama. That freezes Sharpton out from sidling up to Obama. Now Obama’s gotta wait ’til his National Action conviction and wait there for all these others candidates to show up — convention, convention, sorry — wait for that to happen. So Al’s left out in the cold. He’s left smoking cigars with a guy that doesn’t smoking cigars anymore. I’m sure he still does other things with them; that’s Bill Clinton that we’re talking about. So it’s not happy days for the Reverend Sharpton. Paul Shanklin portrays vocally here. (Playing of ‘Barack the ‘Magic Negro” parody song.) RUSH: Oh, that’s just too much. The chorus keeps singing, Al Sharpton drops the lyrics and starts protesting. (Laughing.) That’s Paul Shanklin as Sharpton and ‘Barack the Magic Negro.’

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