Can Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell say no to Jesse Jackson? Jackson, who is running for the post of "shadow senator" from the District of Columbia, is already asking for an office on Capitol Hill and access to the Senate floor if he wins. Jackson is one of several candidates for the two unpaid, nonvoting Senate seats created by the city council early this year to lobby for D.C. statehood. "I would be shocked beyond shock if Mitchell rolls over on this," says a key Democratic aide.
Jackson has made D.C. statehood his cause and he's favored to be elected in November. If he's granted floor privileges, Democrats fear he won't limit his lobbying to statehood. They think Mitchell would, in effect, create a bully pulpit for Jackson. Mitchell aides say he hasn't made a decision, but Democratic Party officials don't expect him to cave in to Jackson.