Liberals usually get upset when politicians suggest someone is on a mission from God when they have a political program to push – at least when it’s a conservative program. During Saturday’s live MSNBC coverage of the March on Washington anniversary (organized by Al Shaprton), Ed Schultz proclaimed that 9-year-old Asean Johnson, speaking out (well, reading a sheet of paper) on behalf of a teacher’s union, was “a gift from God” in fighting against “under-resourced” public schools.
God favors teacher unions? On The Ed Show hours later, Schultz fawned over the youngest speaker at the rally and his mother during an interview alongside his sponsor, Randi Weingarten of the American Federation of Teachers. Schultz repeated the “gift from God” reference. Schultz barely mentioned that Johnson’s nemesis was Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel:
SCHULTZ: He's a very intelligent young man. We brought him down to the Essence Festival in New Orleans. He is so impressive and he is driven. And his main message is every child must have the chance and the resources. He sees at a young age there are some schools being resourced and other schools that are not.
I asked him when we were traveling down to New Orleans, ‘Do you understand now you're in the eye of the storm?’ He said, ‘I want to be right there because I’ve got something to say.’ This kid is a gift from God. This kid is a gift to America's democracy and a young voice that I think we're going to hear for years to come.
A little later, Schultz tossed in that "Confidence just pours off this young man. He was very pointed about Rahm Emanuel. He was asking the Mayor of Chicago 'Why are you doing this to our schools?'"
On The Ed Show, here’s where Schultz returned to the heavenward praise: "I called him a gift from God today when I was on the air earlier. He really is the remedy to what education needs right now."
Randi Weingarten suggested Asean may be the next president (although he’ll be in middle school in 2016): “This is why we do public education. This is why we want to make sure that kids have the opportunities to reach for the stars. To not only speak in front of a mall and this kind of confidence, but to then take that back and do something with that. And so Asean's probably going to be the next President of the United States. [Cheers from crowd] Asean can do anything. And I'm going to run your campaign, if you let me.”
Johnson certainly ran with the praise for his remarks: “I felt pretty proud of myself, just to know that I have changed the world and I have made a big difference in my life.”