Barack Obama | Bill clinton | Democratic Party | Election 2008 | Hillary Clinton | John Edwards | News | South Carolina | Ted Kennedy

Obama Wins South Carolina Primary, Gets Kennedy Endorsement

As you probably know by now, Barack Obama handily won the South Carolina primary on Saturday, beating Senator Hillary Clinton with 55% of the vote to Clinton's 27%. John Edwards received 18% of the vote.

Above, Obama's acceptance speech, which has winning plenty of praise over the weekend.

Obama got a symbolic Democratic endorsement over the weekend from Caroline Kennedy, in an op-ed piece in the
New York Times
, to be followed today in a one-two punch to Clinton by an endorsement from Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy.

CarolineSaid Caroline: "My reasons are patriotic, political and personal, and the three are intertwined. All my life, people have told me that my father changed their lives, that they got involved in public service or politics because he asked them to. And the generation he inspired has passed that spirit on to its children. I meet young people who were born long after John F. Kennedy was president, yet who ask me how to live out his ideals. Sometimes it takes a while to recognize that someone has a special ability to get us to believe in ourselves, to tie that belief to our highest ideals and imagine that together we can do great things. In those rare moments, when such a person comes along, we need to put aside our plans and reach for what we know is possible. We have that kind of opportunity with Senator Obama."

TedkennedyAn associate of Ted Kennedy told the Boston Globe the reasoning behind the Senator's move to Obama: "Kennedy believes Obama can 'transcend race' and bring unity to the country, a Kennedy associate told the Globe. Kennedy was also impressed by Obama's deep involvement last year in the bipartisan effort to craft legislation on immigration reform, a politically touchy subject the other presidential candidates avoided, [Kennedy's] associate said. The coveted endorsement is a huge blow to New York Senator Hillary Clinton, who is both a senatorial colleague and a friend of the Kennedy family. In a campaign where Clinton has trumpeted her experience over Obama's call for hope and change, the endorsement by one of the most experienced and respected Democrats in the Senate is a particularly dramatic coup for Obama."

Senator Kennedy will reportedly make his endorsement at a rally today. Kennedy's endorsement comes despite "a last-ditch effort over the last few days" from the Clinton campaign, according to Politico.

Meanwhile, Bill Clinton, who campaigned heavily for his wife in South Carolina, seemed to ignore calls to leave race out of the contest on Saturday when he declared "Jesse Jackson won South Carolina in '84 and '88. Jackson ran a good campaign. And Obama ran a good campaign here." (clip below)

The Clinton campaign was said on Sunday to be "reeling in" the former President: "Campaign officials, without acknowledging any faults on Mr. Clinton's part, have said they will change tactics and try to shift Mr. Clinton back into the role he played before her loss in the Iowa caucuses, emphasizing her record and experience and steering clear of criticizing Mr. Obama."

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  1. Even after this past weekends results, I still think Hillary will get the nomination in the long run.

    Posted by: Mike | Jan 28, 2008 8:23:36 AM

  2. I think that you are correct, Mike. The machine will work for HRC in getting the nomination for her, but she remains highly likely to lose the national election. Her negatives remain stubbornly fixed at 40% and the re-emergence of Bubba Bill cements these feelings of ill will toward any restoration of the Clintons.

    Bill C is only reaffirming the worst qualities that those who disliked him before hated in them; moreover, he is opening the eyes of many Democrats to the politics of division that the Clintons have long-practiced and would employ once again if re-elected.

    Americans do not like dynasties--we won the Revolutionary War after all--and the past eight years have only confirmed our collective dislike for the family-based ruling powers that had plagued Europe and continue to bedevil Pakistan and Iraq. Our country (the majority) appear not to want a trailer park version of the War of the Roses.

    Posted by: rudy | Jan 28, 2008 8:52:01 AM

  3. Rudy, I'm not going to deny that Hillary has negatives. But...Obama does too (not as bad as Hillary). The idea that she will not win the GE is a myth. The Republican side just doesn't have a strong enough candidate. I have many female Republican friends who have told me that if she gets the nomination they will vote for her. The democrats will most certainly fall in line behind whomever is selected. And although the issue has taken a backseat she'll get almost all the anti-war vote because she is willing to get us out of there. No...whoever has the dem nod will win the election.

    Posted by: Mike | Jan 28, 2008 8:57:53 AM

  4. Wow, an endorsement from Teddy, he might as well drop out now.

    Posted by: Tighe | Jan 28, 2008 9:04:30 AM

  5. Rudy - I'm not sure if I agree with you that America does not like dynasties. I think what they do like about them is the comfort of name recognition. Incumbents tend to win over and over.

    With the limited research that most people put into buying a television or cell phone, they tend to buy a name they already know. And, sadly, I think it can be safely assumed that most Americans do even less research when selecting a politician.

    I do hope that you are right about Americans waking up to the dangers of this phenomenon, but I have my doubts.

    Posted by: gay as life | Jan 28, 2008 9:04:38 AM

  6. Mike - it's nice that you're focusing on the positives on the Dem side. But don't forget how negative the Repugs always play it.

    You may have female friends willing to vote for Hillary, but based on the Repugs that I know (sadly, many in my own family) there is tremendous animosity towards Hillary. I don't think a Hillary backlash is a myth.

    And unfortunately, we still don't hear enough about electronic voter fraud, which I personally think is the scariest thing about the '08 election. I'm not a conspiracy theory fan, but I do know computers and how easy it is to hack them - especially the unsecured voting systems we currently employ. It only take a couple of people, not a vast conspiracy, to change election results untraceably.

    OK, end of my loony rant.

    Posted by: gay as life | Jan 28, 2008 9:13:56 AM

  7. What (limited) pronouncements I've seen by Obama leave me underwhelmed. The mantra of "change" is quite worrying when American seems to be headed into recession. I would have thought a more nuanced view of the world would be more helpful.

    Ted Kennedy? Yes, powerful Democrat, but he is the one who challenged President Carter in 1980 and the Democrat split/ weaknesses opened the way for Reagan. Does he want the Republicans to win in 08?

    Posted by: SeanR | Jan 28, 2008 9:48:22 AM

  8. Tighe

    Teddy Kenedy is HUGE amongst the generational demographic that Hillary is strongest with.

    The dreams of camelot past inspired a generation. A generation amongst democrats that is Hillary's base.

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Jan 28, 2008 10:04:15 AM

  9. If Obama wants change, why is it so important to have the endorsement of Teddy Kennedy. He IS the establishment. Obama now has the endorsement of both Massachusetts Senators, both of which were defeated when running for president. Having the endorsement of a Kennedy and all of their Camelot embarrasments and nightmares, (Chappaquiddick, drug overdoses, rapes, alcoholism and adultery) is sure to help out his nomination.

    Posted by: Tighe | Jan 28, 2008 10:21:48 AM

  10. maybe now they will stick to real issues, the clinton's and their race baiting trash blew up in their faces as it should have. voters are sick and tired of race and gay bashing to get into office, when there are bigger issues out there, like the economy stupid.

    its just a shame that edwards can't get heard above this silly cat fight they both have, since all the trash talk the clintons have used in s.c. will come back to haunt them in the general election. she is already one of the most divisive politicians in the country, and, now that her true colors are out for all to see, she will lose by one of the largest margins ever, even with a population fed up with the gop and its horrible polices of gloom and doom.

    Posted by: oliver | Jan 28, 2008 10:25:12 AM

  11. TIGHE then ask why the Clinton's were campaigning hard to get it?

    You can't have it both ways.

    Either Kenedy's endorsment is crap or it is gold.

    Hillary proved it was gold by trying for a long time to get it.

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | Jan 28, 2008 10:30:58 AM

  12. This past weekend, we got a preview of a Billary presidency. Yikes. I'm not a fan of Teddy but agree with him that Obama represents the "change" our U.S.needs.

    Posted by: Jack Scribe | Jan 28, 2008 11:10:05 AM

  13. How many listened to the speech? For those who didn't/couldn't, he spent most of his considerable time in identifying roughly TWENTY-ONE subgroups as making up his "most diverse coalition":

    The young—by rough count, three times
    The wealthy—twice
    The poor
    Blacks—multiple times
    Whites—multiple times
    Latinos—at least four times
    Native Americans
    Women [actually just as “Gender” but you take what you can get I guess]
    Black children
    White children
    Crossover Republican voters—three times
    Different religions—twice
    Maytag workers
    Wal-Mart workers
    Mothers of several kinds
    The old and seniors
    Both veterans and active duty soldiers.

    Just about everybody but Lithuanian hot dog vendors with freckles. Yet, the candidate who claims, along with his ever-bedazzled gay supporters, that he "always talks about gay rights wherever he goes," who's running campaign commercials bragging about telling people what they need to hear not what they want to hear, apparently thought the "good people of South Carolina" didn’t need to hear about LGBT Americans, even those who voted for him Saturday. Even after everyone who wouldn't like hearing about "the gays" had already voted. Could it be that he was worried about the Gay-word being picked up in nationally broadcast sound bites?

    He said, "The choice in this election is not between regions or religions or genders. It's not about rich versus poor; young versus old; and it is not about black versus white.” Why didn’t he add, “and it is not about straight versus gay” ?

    Some might respond, I trust him, he doesn’t have to mention us every time. In other words, “the back of the bus”—or under it—is ok sometimes? We’re good enough to help him win but not good enough to share in his victory moment?

    Or is South Carolina the Iran of America where there are no gays. And there are apparently none in Iowa or Nevada either, states he also mentioned and described unique "diverse" supporters.

    Apparently across the state and nation that Obama talked about seeing so vividly and wisely, Saturday night he saw no LGBT blacks, whites, Latinos, Asians, veterans, soldiers, mothers, teachers, workers, senior, rich, poor, or of any religion or creed. He saw no gay man kicked out of the home he shared for decades by his late lover’s family. He saw no gay kid too petrified to go to school today for fear he’ll once again be thrown to the ground and urinated on. He saw no lesbian mother trying to feed her children with food stamps because their father is still punishing her after learning she’s gay by refusing to pay child support. He saw no black gay man with AIDS trying to survive on the streets since his family disowned him.

    Months before Obama staffers started falsely accusing the Clintons of playing the race card, black lesbian minister Irene Monroe accused Obama of just that with McClurkingate in South Carolina where the Senator knew that the last landslide there was less than a year before when 78% of voters forever banned marriage equality from the state constitution. Gotta hand it to him—it worked.

    Play just a few second of the speech and notice the sea of bright red signs, like big red poppies, waving behind him reading: “STAND for change.” I suppose it's only a coincidence that they echo the title of McClurkin’s Grammy-winning gospel hit, “Stand."

    Yep, the new "Big O" is certainly the man of change; who's going to sweep away all of those old tactics of pitting one group against another. He’s not just Cheney's distant cousin, he's Bush sunnyside up: a "Compassionate Liberal."

    It’s sort of ironic actually. George Bush pere used the racist “Willie Horton Factor” to beat Democratic President candidate Michael Dukakis exactly twenty years ago. Now historians can add the “Donnie McClurkin Factor” to the lexicon. I hope Senator Obama has sent Donnie an appropriate thank you gift. Maybe an invitation to sing at his inaugural?

    “Poppies. Poppies will make them sleep.” And Obama’s poppy fields are growing despite growing evidence that there’s nothing behind the curtain.

    “With the thoughts I been thinkin
    He could be another Lincoln”

    “If you only had a brain.”

    And, PLEASE, stop insulting our intelligene by repeating over and over the Big Lies: first the "dynasty" crap. The majority of Americans don't really care. If they like the person, they'd reelect them again and again. For all the shit the Obamamaniacs and media pinheads have been throwing at him, there are more who agree HE could be reelected.

    As for Sen. Clinton's exaggerated negatives, O may get a "bump" from SC but virtually every national poll, from "The Wall Street Journal/NBC" on has been showing her beating every GOP candidate or, within "statistical error," tied.

    If Obama is so great, surely you could find more substance to back that up and less spin about him and his opponents.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Jan 28, 2008 11:10:23 AM

  14. "... there are more who agree HE could be reelected" refers to Bill, of course.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Jan 28, 2008 11:15:22 AM

  15. Here is an intresting take on the benfits of a Teddy kenedy endorsment as reported in THE POLITICO

    "The Kennedy endorsement is likely to give Obama a lift among Hispanic voters because of Kennedy's passionate advocacy of immigration legislation. The Obama campaign, which lags far behind Clinton among Hispanic voters in national polls, is likely to prominently display the endorsements by both Kennedys in Latino communities."

    Hillary's firewall was hispanic voters.

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | Jan 28, 2008 12:20:39 PM

  16. Bedwell, your posts all reek of desperation.
    Keep beieving all of Obama's gay supporters are brainwashed or stupid. If that delusion gives you some small comfort, I wouldn't deny it to you.

    Posted by: 24play | Jan 28, 2008 12:49:34 PM

  17. Thank you 24PLAY!

    Posted by: soulbrotha | Jan 28, 2008 1:24:38 PM

  18. Thank you 24PLAY!

    Posted by: soulbrotha | Jan 28, 2008 1:26:15 PM

  19. I have always been a Clinton supporter but their recent tactics to try to marginalize Obama (as just a black candidate like Jessie Jackson) are across the line for me. I like the idea of a strong woman as our president; but, despite her good intentions for America, I don't like a candidate who believes the ends justify the means and will say anything to win.

    If she is the nominee, I will vote for Billary, but I doubt she will beat McCain.

    Obama represents a new generation of leaders, who are not interested in the old battles of the past. The Clintons resent him because they have used fear and divisiveness to govern for so long.

    This is only my truth; I respect others who disagree with me.

    Posted by: Joe in SF | Jan 28, 2008 2:05:44 PM

  20. My posts "reek" of facts that you can't dispute; opinions you don't like.

    That smell? Your willfully blind obsession with Obama has given you mental halitosis.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Jan 28, 2008 2:07:32 PM

  21. "...mental halitosis."

    I think I recognize you too, Michael. Don't we both have a passion for Eartha Kitt?

    Well, anyway, we're all Democrats, right? THat means that either Barack or Hillary (without her unscrupulous, big mouth husband)will be the leader of our party after the July convention. I can get over the disgusting behavior of Bill Clinton in South Carolina. If Hillary is the nominee, I have to. I can vote for either of 'em...I have to.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jan 28, 2008 2:34:18 PM

  22. Joe, ever hear of "reverse racism"? Ever hear of just stating a fact and someone else twisting it into something its not for their own political gain.

    Fact: "MORE than 50% of the voters who gave Obama the South Carolina primary were black." Are all the media who are saying that "racist"? If they aren't, why is Bill Clinton's observation ipso facto "racist"? Obama staffers' shit throwing claiming that Hillary had dissed Martin Luther King or that Bill describing impressions of Obama's record as a "fairy tale" was "racist" is laughable—unless you believe all "fairies" are black.

    Fact: The primaries that Jackson won in 1984 and 1988 had high percentages of black voters.

    You can't change those simple facts and it is INSANE to say that no one can EVER make a statement about ANYTHING in which race is a factor.

    But when it is, it is. Many have forgiven Obama since but no one I've seen has disputed the facts as described in October by black lesbian minister Irene Monroe's when she wrote of McClurkingate that it was "revealing how Obama is not only a vote-whore, but a race-card user as well”?

    As much as I have become disillusioned with Obama after pulling back the curtain on his undeserved reputation as Savior for the Gays, I give him credit for calling while in Nevada on his supporters and staff to stop the race-baiting. Several here need to listen to their candidate.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Jan 28, 2008 2:36:01 PM

  23. I'm not entirely sure how Bill Clinton's original criticism that Obama had largely gotten a free ride in the press came to be associated with race. The "fairytale" comment had nothing to do with race, it had to do a complete lack of media scrutiny of Obama...scrutiny the Republicans are unlikely to by-pass come the home stretch to November.

    You can find some here and there if you look. An article about Obama's Chief of Staff--a long time Washington Insider--appeared in the Washington Post last August. The long and short of it is, in 2005, Obama was going to vote to confirm Roberts as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. His COS said, you'll cripple any presidential bid if you vote that way. Obama switched his vote.

    First of all, he was going to vote for Roberts? Obama's position was that he wouldn't want a limit test for his nominees if he were president. What about the advise and consent role of Congress? Most agreed that Roberts wasn't qualified for the Supreme Court much less the Chief Justice position. Second, he switched his vote for purely political reasons. So he really is no better than Hillary in that not doubt for a second that he's not just as Machiavellian as any other politician...and I would hope that Obama supporters would at least acknowledge this if nothing else. He once tore his secretary a new one when he was in the Illinois congress because she was late 5 minutes back from her lunch. It wasn't "presidential".

    As the article points out, although Obama touts his "goldilocks" level of experience (it's not too little, it's not too much, it's just right), he relies on the judgment of someone who is an incredibly experienced Washington insider. And despite his rhetoric of Change, Obama will have to play the game if he were to become president just as he had to play the game when he became a senator. He doesn't have the power to change that. And I think he is a bit delusional on this point.

    Although I'm disappointed by some of the tactics of the Clinton campaign, I'm going to vote for Hillary. I'll pass on the koolaid.

    Posted by: Stever | Jan 28, 2008 3:21:52 PM

  24. Actually, Stever, John Roberts was very qualified to be on the Supreme Court. He just happens to be a qualified right-wing, facist, white supremacist who doesn't believe in a "living" Constitution. A "living" Constitution can be interpreted in ways to benefit Americans living in times and situations the founding fathers (or founding slave-holders, depending on how you look at 'em) never could've imagined. I mean, the founding fathers couldn't have imagined a pill that end a woman's pregnancy--if she chooses. But you have states that want to take that choice away from her. Only a "living" Constitution can deal with such questions. Judges like Roberts, Thomas, Alito and the sub-human Antonin Scalia believe the Constitution is written in stone, it can't be interpreted to issues not present 200 years ago. For Conservatives, the Constitution is not a living document. It is dead just like their Bible and their God.
    THat is why I want either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton to decide the next 3 appointments to the Supreme Court to interpret that Constitution.

    Lord, I didn't want to make any attempt at seriousness today.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jan 28, 2008 3:49:48 PM

  25. "Most agreed that Roberts wasn't qualified for the Supreme Court much less the Chief Justice position."

    Sorry Steve, but that's dead wrong. Most agreed that Roberts was unusually well-qualified to sit on the Court. Opposition to his nomination was generally based on ideology, particularly fear that he would be too deferential to a power-grabbing executive.

    Posted by: 24play | Jan 28, 2008 3:50:13 PM

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