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The USA Today front photo few noticed. President Obama hugs Jesse Jackson Jr.’s kids Wednesday
Today’s front page of USA Today shows a photo of President Obama hugging someone in front of a new Rosa Parks statue, while a young boy to the right of the photo looks on.
The children aren’t identified in the photo’s front page caption, but it turns out those are Jesse Jackson Jr.’s kids — featured on a national daily front page paper.
Obama is hugging Jackson Jr.’s daughter, Jessica, 12, and Jackson’s son, Jesse III, who is 9, is pictured to the right. Obama made his way over to the kids, who by then were with Rev. Jesse Jackson — their grandfather — after the ceremony and shook hands. President Obama then took a separate photo with both of Jackson Jr.’s kids afterward.
In the backdrop is a statue of Rosa Parks, the Civil Rights-era activist. The statue now appears in National Statuary Hall, an area inside the U.S.Capitol devoted to sculptures of prominent Americans.
The Wednesday dedication of the statue was to be a big moment for Jackson Jr. before he resigned from congress last November, amid a federal investigation. Earlier this month, Jackson and his wife, Sandi, pleaded guilty to looting his campaign fund of $750,000 to pay for personal luxuries.
Neither parent attended the ceremony as originally planned. The Rev. Jackson’s wife brought the children to the event.
“It was touching to see President Obama reach out to Jesse’s children at the ceremony,”
said Ken Jakubowski, a family friend.
Jackson had initiated legislation that paved the way for the statue and worked to sign on Sen. John Kerry to carry the legislation in the U.S. Senate.
“Yesterday’s unveiling of the Rosa Parks statue in Statuary Hall represents a real triumph for Congressman Jackson. He may be gone from Congress, but Congressman Jackson’s legacy of standing up for “a more perfect Union” will be stamped in the Capitol forever.”
Jesse Jr. was to give a speech at the dedication, which he penned before June 10, when he left Congress. The dedication was to happen last year but it was delayed during Jackson’s leave of absence. It went on when it became clear he would not attend.
Jackson Jr. resigned from Congress in November.