Sunday, January 27, 2008

Obama Wins Big in South Carolina

Senator Barack Obama capped a tough two weeks of political warfare as he took on blistering character assaults from Democratic rival Senator Hillary Clinton, former president Bill Clinton and even cheap shots from well-known African-American pundits of media and intelligentsia to take the South Carolina primary in commanding fashion and a comfortable share of the delegates.

Preliminary counts showing he beat Clinton 55% to 27% are reflections of a couple things. It shows he did better among women than he did in New Hampshire and also that a large number of black voters got behind him not just as 'the black candidate' but as the person best equipped to represent the Democratic party in the 2008 elections.

It also shows a high percentage of voter turnout across the state and also possible blow-back from Bill Clinton's persistent attacks and Hillary Clinton's disastrous, rambling public assertions that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. couldn't have had the impact on civil rights in America in the 1960's without Lyndon Johnson and Congress as a means to try and contrast her experience and Obama's central themes of change and hope.

Personally I think many voters or all races felt Hillary made a clumsy attempt to pull out race and use it to shore up the political momentum she gained in New Hampshire following the beating she took back in Iowa. I also suspect Hillary put too much confidence in Bill Clinton's appeal among black voters; I mean what the hell does an endorsement from former New York Mayor David Dinkins do for Clinton?

It comes off as a desperate attempt to try and reach out to black South Carolina voters than it does an honest assessment of what voters of color around the nation really think about Hillary Clinton .

I certainly admire Dinkins but what he thinks about the candidates is totally irrelevant to me and many other African-American voters as fas as this race is concerned; Bush has destroyed this country's credibility abroad, allowed the fabric of our national identity to whither and divided the people over his determination to wage a war for a resource is likely going to run out by 2050.

Dinkins soft-tossed Hillary the endorsement out of loyalty because he owed Bill Clinton, not because she's the best candidate.

The numbers also reflect many voters fears that Hillary carries too much political baggage and that Bill Clinton back in the White House will hamstring Democratic efforts to retake the White House in 2008 rather than help.

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