NEW YORK – Civil rights activist Al Sharpton said Monday he is seriously considering a run for president.
"I don't hear any reason not to," Sharpton, 52, said in an interview during an urban affairs conference sponsored by another civil rights leader, the Rev. Jesse Jackson.
"If we're talking about the urban agenda, can you tell me anybody else in the field who's representing that right now?" Sharpton asked. "We clearly have a reason to run, and whether we do it or not we'll see over the next couple of months."
Sharpton mounted a long-shot bid for the White House in 2004, in which his wit and fiery denunciation of President Bush often enlivened Democratic primary debates. He dropped out of the race after losing several state primaries and endorsed the eventual nominee, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry.
Despite widespread interest in the likely candidacy of another influential black Democrat, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, Sharpton said he's heard little substantive discussion of issues that might influence his decision about running.
"Right now we're hearing a lot of media razzle dazzle," Sharpton said. "I'm not hearing a lot of meat, or a lot of content. I think when the meat hits the fire, we'll find out if it's just fat or if there's some real meat there."
Sharpton said the candidate who impressed him most so far was former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, who has made poverty the central issue of his campaign.
Sharpton ran for the Senate from New York in 1988, 1992 and 1994, and ran for New York City mayor in 1997.