Obama won and it was decisive. The NY Times is now reporting 55% to 27% for Hillary. Yes, you can take the approach that Bill Clinton did when he minimized the state’s impact by dissing its Black majority in the Democratic primary:
“Jesse Jackson won South Carolina twice, in ’84 and ’88. And he ran a good campaign. Senator Obama has run a good campaign here, he has run a good campaign everywhere.” Bringing up Jesse Jackson in response to a question about Mr. Obama seemed to be another way of pointing out that Mr. Obama is black and at the same time marginalizing his importance, as well as South Carolina’s, since Mr. Jackson did not become the nominee.
But that seems truly unfortunate since any Democratic candidate, including his own wife, will have to do very well among Black voters to win the presidency.
Frankly, I’m amazed that Obama was able to take the body blows Bill and Hillary were trying to land last week and still win so convincingly tonight. When I read in yesterday’s Times that the Clinton camp thought Bill’s pugilism was working against Obama, I both bristled and worried. I bristled because it certainly wasn’t working with me (though I support Obama). In fact, I was fuming so much last night that I thought in anger I might find it hard to vote for her in November should she win the nomination. That’s how much the Bill-pounding was bothering me.
I worried too: “What if the Clintonians are right and Bill will help sink Obama’s candidacy?” Tonight, we have a definitive answer to that question. It didn’t work. At least not in South Carolina. We might hear from the Clintons that they’re rethinking this strategy (or we may not). Even if we do, I wouldn’t be surprised if Bill is wheeled out anytime they think some heavy hitting could inflict damage on Obama.
Though I don’t like the bullying, I have to say that it will toughen up Obama should he be the candidate. The Republicans will pull out all the Atwater-Rove tricks they can muster to kill his candidacy come November. If Kerry thought Swiftboating was bad, imagine what they’ll do (what they’ve already tried to do) with an African-American candidate. It will take one tough sonofabitch to withstand that.
Off topic Richard, but I can finally access your blog from home…. I didn’t change any settings, it happened all by itself.
Professor/Dr. Neil Garland says
In 1984 Jesse Jackson won 5 states, and in 1988 he won 11 states. Reverend Jackson was a much better speaker than Mr. Obama, and all this excitment is over nothing. The Clintons will get the nomination. Obama will try and promote a Reagan whitehouse, as his handlers like Daschle are out of politics, and their only hope of participating again within politics is with Obama, so his handlers are desperate. This is bad for the Democratic Party. John Kerry and Ted Kennedy are has beens also, wioth no new ideas, and no one listens to these old boring folks. What Mario Cuomo will do will be interesting?
Walter Ballin says
Richard, I think that Obama will be ready for any of the garbage that the Republicans pull.
I’m very happy Obama won South Carolina. Mr. Clinton’s implicit race-baiting in trying to downplay the significance of the win is truly sickening. As someone who (I’m ashamed to admit) supported and believed in Bill Clinton back in the 90’s, my now longstanding disillusionment with the Clintons and centre-right DLC Clintonism just continues to get worse and worse. Bill Clinton has made a mockery of himself and his position these past few weeks. He’s reduced himself to a plain old liar and bastard. The snake-oil gutter politics now in full bloom in the Clinton camp is almost worthy of the Rove/Bush Right in its cynicism and full-throttle disingenuousness. The Clintons’ tactics are succeeding in pushing me more and more into Obama’s arms (I just hope a lot more people are having the reaction that I am). Go Obama!
I realize now that, as a registered and proud liberal Democrat my whole voting-age life, I simply won’t be able to vote for Hillary in the general if she’s the nominee. The Clintons have become a disgrace to the Democratic party.
It will be interesting to see how the Edwards delegates will play out in all this. It’s sad to realize that if Hillary was more concerned about the party than her own personal ambitions, she’d drop out considering how much her negatives with both Republicans and Democrats are (and it’s not her gender that I worry about – though with some that is an issue as well). I think the unfortunate fact that some might be hesitant to vote for a black man will be countered by the broad based support that a capable and charismatic candidate will draw to the polls. I at one time might of thought that McCain was enough of a maverick to elect, but anyone who was willing to be such a Bush toady will be just as bad with the evident character weaknesses to boot. However, it’s possible that many will think the man from the “straight talk express” is that mythological “new” type of Rethuglican to gum up the works. Well, that and election fraud.
This is gonna be a knuckle-biter.
Walter Ballin says
“I at one time might of thought that McCain was enough of a maverick to elect, but anyone who was willing to be such a Bush toady will be just as bad with the evident character weaknesses to boot. However, it’s possible that many will think the man from the “straight talk express” is that mythological “new” type of Rethuglican to gum up the works.”
If McCain is the Republican nominee Hillary Clinton may very well lose. This is especially so with the way that she and her husband have been turning off people who voted for Obama. She will need those votes to win the General Election. Meanwhile Obama appeals to more independents and even to some Republicans. A good example is how well he did with rural voters in Nevada and South Carolina. Historically when there is so much dissatisfaction from the public with conditions in the country, the President’s party loses the White House. If Hillary is the Democratic nominee, there might be an exception. It would be a tragic if the Democrats lose this election by default.
Al Sharpton and J Jackson got more honor than Obama.
The Obama contentlessness (phrased by Leon Wieseltier) makes us all dirty.
How can you fight a debate against Obama who fudges every details of his life?
Some have recognized this, but his brainwashed followers believe in his cult.
I think the really honorable man is John Edwards.
He must defend his honor with precise arguments and deflate the Obama bubbles, like in the trials of the medical errors.
The errors are not the problem, but the doctors who lied and forged records.
Warren: I would add that, for eight years, the Clinton Administration maintained a sanctions regime on Iraq that resulted in the pointless deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians – it’s important to not forget this. (I’ve seen commentators on both the left and right convincingly argue that these deaths are what really inspired the 9/11 attacks.)
Richard Silverstein says
Steve: Leon Wieseltier is not a respected commentator by my lights. He writes for The New Republic which has very little credibility when it comes to Israel or U.S. politics. Wieseltier ought to stick to literature & avoid politics.
I respect Edwards but see no reason to run Obama down as you have.