As a longtime congressman, Jesse Jackson Jr. was a regular guest on Chicago Tonight. Below, are a few clips of Jackson Jr. that illustrate the kind of political gravitas he had before this scandal erupted last year.
On February 26, 2001, Jackson Jr. appeared on Chicago Tonight to lay out his impassioned argument for a new airport in Peotone, Illinois. The airport, Jackson argued, would provide thousands of jobs to economically disenfranchised residents on Chicago’s South Side and the south suburbs. The Peotone airport remained one of Jackson’s signature issues throughout his 17 years in Congress. Despite years of behind-the-scenes wrangling and public lobbying, the airport has yet to come to fruition. Watch the clip below.
On January 24, 2005, Jackson Jr. appeared on Chicago Tonight with a sharp critique of Mayor Richard M. Daley. In particular, he targets a city program designed to promote minority-owned businesses for city contracts. Arguing the program is deeply corrupt, Jackson Jr. says minority businesses are getting short shrift under the mayor’s watch. Jackson also uses the opportunity to admonish Mayor Daley for, he says, blocking the south suburban airport proposal and reaffirms his commitment to the idea. “Nothing,” Jackson Jr. says. “I do mean nothing, Phil, is going to stand in the way.” Watch the clip below.