Obama inspires board, offers hope


A remarkable thing happened this week to The State’s editorial board — again. For us, it was the equivalent of lightning striking the same place, twice in the same month.
    After difficult, agonizing discussions over presidential primary endorsements in both 2000 and 2004, we arrived at a quick consensus on endorsing Sen. Barack Obama for the S.C. Democratic Primary on Saturday.
    We met with Sen. Obama Monday morning, before he and the other candidates spoke at the State House. (Neither Hillary Clinton nor John Edwards ever met with us, despite long-standing invitations — repeated invitations, in Sen. Clinton’s case.)
    Our decision was made easier by the departure of Sen. Joe Biden. We might have been torn between his experience and foreign policy vision, and fresh hope for the future offered by Sen. Obama.
    As it was, Sen. Obama clearly stood out as the best remaining candidate — and he had always been the most exciting and inspiring in the field.
    It’s not just that he might be the first black president — Sen. Clinton would make history, too. It’s that he offers a fresh start for American politics. It is his ambition to be a president for all of us — black and white, male and female, Democrat and Republican. The nomination of Sen. Clinton would by contrast kick off another bitter round of the pointless partisanship that has plagued the nation under presidents named “Bush” and “Clinton.”
    As he did before the Republican primary, Associate Editor Mike Fitts framed the discussion of our Democratic endorsement, and did a sufficiently thorough job that the rest of us merely elaborated on his observations.
    First, he mentioned the support John Edwards had enjoyed among members of our board in 2004, although he did not get our endorsement then (in a grueling three-hour talkathon, I successfully pressed the board to choose Joe Lieberman instead). This time, he was “a substantially different guy” — an unappealing embodiment of class resentment.
    Also, his extreme position on Iraq — wanting to pull all troops out, even those who are training Iraqis — made him a nonstarter.
    About Hillary Clinton, Mike said the same thing he said about Mitt Romney 10 days earlier — “Boy, I wish she’d come in to see us, because I have so many questions.” Mike cited her obvious intelligence, and the fact that she “knows where the levers of power are” — especially within the Democratic Party. She’s worked the corridors of Washington since well before her time as first lady.
    But she could never have built the kind of coalitions that could break the partisan gridlock inside the Beltway — even if she wanted to, and we’ve seen little indication that she would want to.
    And her policy prowess is that of the insider. We saw her failed effort to reform our health care system as emblematic of her style — get a bunch of wonks in a room, close the door, and come up with something too complex and nuanced to sell.
    Barack Obama, by contrast, would be oriented toward — and more successful at — bringing the American public into the debate, and persuading us to agree to a solution. He has that leadership ability that she lacks.
    Sen. Obama has political gifts that are more reminiscent of former President Clinton. Of Sen. Clinton, Mike said, “She’s sort of caught between Obama and her husband, as two of the most evocative leaders we’ve had in a while.”
    While Sen. Obama is completely true to the highest traditions of the Democratic Party, he would have the potential to lead others as well. Sen. Clinton’s main interest in Republicans seems to be beating them, prevailing over them, having things go her way rather than theirs.
    “I would really like us to be talking about Joe Biden or Bill Richardson,” said Associate Editor Cindi Scoppe. That leaves her with what she sees as “an emotional decision,” which initially makes her uncomfortable. Cindi usually prefers the wonkiest option, but in the end she’s quite OK with “going for the exciting person who gives us hope.”
    “Hillary is very smart,” Associate Editor Warren Bolton agrees. But “I think she thinks she is the only one who has the answers.” Publisher Henry Haitz said the same thing, in almost the same words, a moment later.
    In the end, we came to a second quick consensus for much the same reason as the first time: We thought among the Republicans, John McCain had the best chance of uniting the country and leading in a positive direction. On the Democratic side, the one person who offers that same hope is Barack Obama.

(Both photos from the board’s meeting are by Chip Oglesby of thestate.com. To read The State‘s endorsement of Barack Obama, click here. For video about the endorsement, click here.)


69 thoughts on “Obama inspires board, offers hope

  1. Karen McLeod

    Sen. Obama has shown, as a state senator that he was willing to listen to everyone, then work with whomever he could for positive results. This is the first time I have heard a politician talk about working with others, talk about really listening to others, and talk about reaching a consensus for progress, who had a history of actually doing it. At the same time, Senator Obama has shown he’s most interested in helping those who need it. He could have had any job he wanted, but he went to Chicago and began working on helping the unemployed. He talks about, ‘got hope?’ I think he embodies it as well. I applaud your endorsement.

  2. Susan

    Good decision. John Edwards is a fine man; Hilary a passionate, unrelenting woman.
    Obama is the balance.

  3. Randy Ewart

    I’m happy Brad was beardless so as to not distract Obama.
    Hillary is a catalyst for division, rancor and partisanship.
    On NPR they had someone from Fact Check level the house of cards that is Billary’s distortions about Obama. Sadly, I think Bill’s negative attacks have done permanent damage.

  4. Stephanie

    I’m not looking for hope, I’m looking for someone who is going to fight for the people of this country. John Edwards is that person. You say he embodies class resentment. Well, as someone who is solidly middle class, you better believe I’m resentful as hell about what is going on in this country. I want someone to represent me who is just as angry and resentful, and someone who is going to try and make it right.
    Obama knows how to talk a good game, but he’s not so different from Hillary. I think we all witnessed that in last night’s debate. Perhaps you should have held off on your endorsement until today (you would have had time to rethink it), since your candidate came off looking like a 5 year old fighting over a toy, while my candidate came off looking like a most Presidential adult with a real plan to change America.

  5. Kathy

    I am most disappointed in The State’s endorsement of Senator Obama. For starters, I was dumbfounded by your assessment as to how the senator’s living overseas enables him to have “world knowledge.” Did you not do your research? The man lived in Indonesia only until the age of 10! Secondly, I fail to understand how you can cite your reasons for endorsing John McCain(experience, strength, ability to lead this country); yet endorse a Demoncrat who has none of these qualities. It is clear, as Stephanie states above, that Obama has some maturing to do. He seems totally frustrated over the political attacks thus far and seems reluctant to admit faults. If the man cannot handle attacks during a presidential campaign, how in the world could he lead our country? The “political games” are child’s play compared to what he’ll be up against if he were to win the election. Editors, you know and I know why you REALLY endorsed this candidate!

  6. Truth

    Barack Hussein, Reverend Wright and Louis Farrakhan have two things in common, they are all radical racists and they are all best friends.
    In fact, the so called church and the Nation of Islam call on their followers to be radical.
    How sick is this?

  7. Deborah Phelan

    I want to extend my congratulations and pride in The State for their decision to endorse Sen. Barack Obama in this Saturday’s Democratic Primary. Not only does your endorsement refocus on the point that Sen. Obama has been since the onset about unifying our country, it also recognizes his innate qualities of leadership and integrity. America needs a radical transformation and Obama is calling on and depending on all Americans to stand up and work with him. As someone who has observed his campaign closely from the onset, he has already succeeded in inspiring an astonishing groundswell of members of the ‘meling pot’ of our country to join together in this battle to reclaim our citizenship and engage in the work of repairing our country.

  8. Truth

    It’s absolutely disgusting how a racist radical with racist radical friends could even be taken seriously and not exposed for the racists they are and the hidden agenda they are licking their lips over as they see it coming closer and closer to fruition.
    If anyone told me to my face that 9-11 was deserved, I don’t quite know what I would do.
    Obama’s Reverend, mentor and best friend says it was deserved and this guy lives to fight another day in the political arena?
    It’s the true measuring stick to how low this country has sunk.
    Obama should be ashamed of himself for his love of this lune and the Obama supporters should be equally ashamed for standing by while radicals are taking over the country on your vote.
    You should really feel stupid. You are kissing this country goodbye with a smile on your face.

  9. Steven Guess

    Barack Obama is a transformational figure. It will not change America to go Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton.
    But it would drastically change America to go from Bush-Clinton-Bush-OBAMA. It sounds simple, but we need this fresh start for our own sanity.
    To the editors of The State: Thank you. I believe you’ve made an excellent endorsement.

  10. Wilk

    Congratulations to senator Obama for the paper’s endorsement. The State made a wise decision considering what lies ahead for this country’s future. I also want to add, that i am truly appalled at Sen.Clinton for conceding South Carolina and looking to feb5, she is not giving this state a chance, personally, i find her actions to be disrespectful to the voters of South Carolina. And recently, i learned that sen.Clinton has aligned herself with a bigot reverend by the name of Calvin Butts in New York City. Rev.Butts has been accused of calling white people, “devils.” Shame on sen.Clinton-she is a racist herself.

  11. Truth

    This is just the kind of tranformational figure we need to bring us our sanity. His best friend says 9-11 was deserved and we welcome him with a smile. You people really have your heads on straight don’t you?
    On the Sunday after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Mr. Wright said the attacks were a consequence of violent American policies. Four years later he wrote that the attacks had proved that “people of color had not gone away, faded into the woodwork or just ‘disappeared’ as the Great White West went on its merry way of ignoring Black concerns.”
    While Mr. Obama stated his opposition to the Iraq war in conventional terms, Mr. Wright issued a “War on Iraq I.Q. Test,” with questions like, “Which country do you think poses the greatest threat to global peace: Iraq or the U.S.?”

  12. Angelica

    I agree with The State that Barack Obama is the best candidate to bring us together and lead our nation to achieve some of the lofty goals set out by his agenda–expanding healthcare, responsibly ending the war in Iraq, and reforming politics as usual. He is the right candidate at this critical moment in time.

  13. weldon VII

    “It is his ambition to be a president for all of us — black and white, male and female, Democrat and Republican.”
    That’s what he said, Brad, I’m sure. But how do you know it’s true? Just because he was the only Democrat to pay his dues by meeting with your editorial board?
    Journalism 101 should have taught you better. Don’t pay tribute, attribute. Unless you can prove you can read minds.
    I’m tempted to offer you some milque to go with your toast. But I think a stiff drink would do your better.

  14. Truth

    Barrack Hussein was never for the war like every American was because he is on their side just as is Reverend Wright and Louis Farrakhan.
    Let’s see… I can have a POW who suggested the troop surge and served this country his whole life or I can have a radical closet muslim who attends a radical racist church that praises the Nation of Islam and says the 9-11 attacks were our own fault?
    Tough choice. I think I’ll go with McCain now and Osama Hussein Barack.. NEVER IN A BILLION YEARS.
    And, Reverend Wright and Louis Farrakhan don’t stop there. As far as they are concerned, every conflict we have had in the past 30 years has been us picking on the little guy. Guys like Sadaam and Qudaffi.
    They also suggest that the only peaceful nation in the middle east is NOT our allie and the guys who were responsible for 9-11 ARE.
    You Obama suporters are sick, twisted and totally brain washed. The feeling of lost sanity has nothing to do with the current president and everything to do with your own psychosis. Put down your voter card and go see a professional. Please!!! Do us all a favor.

  15. Robyn

    Eureka!! Thank you for endorsing Sen. Obama. Finally, people are understanding that what American needs RIGHT NOW is Obama as president. We need to unite, work together, put aside our differences to address the issues that face all of us everyday! We will NOT survive as a divided nation. Obama brings us together better than all the candidates!
    Push forward!!
    America needs a new direction! We need to leave Bush-Clinton in the past!!
    OBAMA AS PRESIDENT 2008- the future of America!

  16. Gordon Hirsch

    Kudos to The State. Obama may never become President, but for The State to endorse an electable minority candidate is leadership of the most important kind. This endorsement tells our nation that we are a tolerant and progressive people who prefer a candidate of vision, who happens to be a man of color. That alone sets apart from the redneck stereotypes we have suffered for too long. … Or, to put it another way, Who’d of thunk it?

  17. Truth

    On the Sunday after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Mr. Wright said the attacks were a consequence of violent American policies. Four years later he wrote that the attacks had proved that ?people of color had not gone away, faded into the woodwork or just ?disappeared? as the Great White West went on its merry way of ignoring Black concerns.? While Mr. Obama stated his opposition to the Iraq war in conventional terms, Mr. Wright issued a ?War on Iraq I.Q. Test,? with questions like, ?Which country do you think poses the greatest threat to global peace: Iraq or the U.S.?? http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/30/us/politics/30obama.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all&oref=slogin

  18. Brad Warthen

    weldon, we believe him when he says that because, when running for the nomination of one of these two political parties, there is a political cost to saying such things. You don’t say that unless you mean it.
    Stephanie expressed the political cost above, saying “I’m not looking for hope, I’m looking for someone who is going to fight…”
    Well, that’s why we’re endorsing Obama. The other two candidates have made it clear, in their respective ways, that they are about fighting — to be precise, fighting with other Americans.

  19. The 7-10: Anthony Palmer

    I think you made the right decision to endorse Obama. He’s the least worst candidate remaining among the Democrats and isn’t about cobbling together a nominal 51-49 majority (like Clinton) or running a class-based campaign that will pit one group of Americans against another (like Edwards). The Democrats had some really good choices in Iowa and New Hampshire, but the most qualified, most electible, and least polarizing candidates were all winnowed out.
    Obama’s a fine candidate, but it seems to me like there’s a lot of room for an experienced independent to enter the race.

  20. Karen McLeod

    Truth, you keep emoting the names Farrakhan and Wright like a mantra. I have read as many of Sen. Obama’s speeches as I can. I have fact checked repeatedly various allegations, including yours. Does he know these guys? Yes. Does he respect their positions? In the sense of respecting human beings, yes. Does he agree with their extremist viewpoints? Absolutely not. Truth, you are not. Twisted, sick, yes; Truth, no.

  21. James D McCallister

    Truth: 9/11 was about chickens coming home to roost, whether it went down like they claim, or else it was some iteration of inside-job, ie, monstrous, ruinous treason on the part of the Bush crime family and its agents.
    Truth indeed. Feh. A pox on your ignorance and radical, warmongering nationalism. We don’t need (social) nationalism and endless nation-building and war–we need humanism and vision.
    Having said all that, I don’t trust Obama either. ;^) Kucinich best represents my worldview, UFOs and all.

  22. zeke

    Regardless of Obama’s race or vague message of “what you call hope” that he projects, he has no experience, no history of work to judge and like all democrats, plays on the emotions of those who think they have been wronged by those in our society that have worked, risked money and therefore become successful! Same for Clinton and Edwards!This is not the American way! How can you support any of these democrats that spout an agenda of class warfare, populism, socialism and even communism as a means of gaining power?? Their heroes are Lenin, Castro, Mao and even Chavez! THIS IS NOT WHAT AMERICA, THE USA NEEDS! We did not become the greatest, most just country in the history of the world, the envy of every other country, every other people except the radical terrorists, by immulating Russia, China or Cuba. The US is a light to the rest of the world! Everyone is trying to come here, no one except depraved radicals or the “hollywood elite” is trying to get out! There is no democrat candidate worthy of the office, much less as a senator or congressman!!!
    If you think their message is of hope, or a more socially acceptable society, compare the message with a slight, A SLIGHT, change to that of pre 1917 Russia, post WWI Germany, 1950’s Cuba, 1930’s China or currently in Venezuela! THAT SHOULD SCARE YOU TO MAKE A CHANGE IN JUDGEMENT!!
    Socialism fails everywhere it is tried. Russia, Cuba, China and even in the Euro socialist countries! Why do democrats think they can make it work here?? Stupidity I guess!
    Best possible solution to the needed changes in our country is to get the government back to it’s constitutionally mandated obligations. Defense, dealings between the states are the only ones! All this added welfare, education, transportation, federal lands and the constant interference in our lives and businesses is not the duty of the federal government! Get them off the backs of businesses and successful individuals and the country and society will flourish beyond belief. Eliminate income taxes, social security taxes and all the other imbedded taxes in our products, eliminate accomodations, prepared foods, mass transportation subsidies, car rental taxes and all other fluff taxes and implement the FAIR TAX as proposed by Neil Boortz and Rep. John Linder with careful monitoring and adjustments for those at the poverty level, do away with all corporate and business taxes so that our businesse have no reason to seek to move offshore for better places to do business and see how fast we grow as a society! Health care costs will come down! Costs of all products will come down! All will be better off than now!

  23. bud

    You have love people like Zeke. He rants on and on, using mostly worn-out Rush Limbaugh cliches, yet offers nothing in the way of facts. Typical right wing scare mongering. The facts are pretty straight-forward when comparing the results of the two-parties whenever they’ve been in charge of the White House. For 8 years under the Clinton adminstration, working with both Democratic and Republican controlled legislatures, the economy grew for the entire 8 years, we were at peace, crime rates dropped and the entire world respected us. Then we had two terms of Bush in the White House and we end up with terrorist attacks, a rolling 7 year recession, thousands of Americans killed in a war based on lies and an entire world who despises us. Compared to the so-called socialist Europeans we suffer much higher crime rates and a far lower life expectancy. Europeans learned in the last century that wars don’t solve problems so they’ve generally avoided them for over 60 years. The results are quite impressive.
    So despite all the rantings of folks like Zeke it is clear who gets the better results, and that’s the Democrats. To borrow a phrase: Republicanism has failed whenever it is tried.

  24. William

    I just ordered a subscription to The State because of their support of Senator Obama. The Clintons have gotten really low on their current campaign even for them.
    Hilliary keeps talking about her experience. What experience?
    Does she mean her time at the crooked law firm where she worked (Rose law firm and Whitewater)? Or all of the experience she gained as First Lady of Arkansas? Her failed universal healthcare plan? What has she done to make New York better in her seven years there?

  25. Mike Cakora

    Obama’s an interesting candidate. In the much-criticized speech wherein he acknowledged Reagan as transformational, he did not make the pitch that he too was transformational, missing an opportunity to broaden and deepen his support.
    I think the consensus is that he’s got to get more detailed to complete the sale. This of course assumes that he can survive the thrashing his tag-team opponents are administering.

  26. Cassandra

    Being American citizens we have the right to voice our opinions about our candidates and our country. I may not agree or believe in the teachings of KKK, NAACP, Nazism, White supremacy or the Nation of Islam, but I would fight for them to have the right to voice their opinions. I respect their members as being humans, although I may disagree with their views. I know people in these organizations or religions. Just because I believe in their rights to have an opinion, doesn’t make me one of them. It’s call freedom of speech and choice. Please stop degrading all candidates. It doesn’t matter what political party they belong too. If you don’t like their views, just respect the fact they have some and agree to disagree. When the election rolls around, just vote your conscious. Isn’t that what we do? We belong to a free nation where freedom isn’t actually free. A lot of blood was spilled for us to have this land we call the United States of America. Around the world there are a lot of places where speaking out would get you killed. Wake up America! We are americans and our differences make us the best place in the world to live.

  27. Mike Cakora

    Today’s Wall Street Journal has a good article on Obama’s non-traditional approach to organizing here in the Palmetto State. Obama doesn’t have the funding that Clinton does, so doesn’t have the “walking-around” money that’s the mainstay of Dem politics here.
    Nor has he been able to afford purchasing support locally; the Clinton campaign has apparently been paying state Senator Darrell Jackson $22.5K per month for his organization’s support. That’s up from the $15K monthly stipend Jackson got from Edwards in 2004.
    Initially many residents didn’t realize that Obama was black, so his campaign started producing materials to emphasize that as well as getting his darker-skinned wife before the public.
    His team in this state is inexperienced but enthusiastic. It will be interesting to see how well he does.

  28. Peter Anderson

    Be advised that Truth is a virulent spammer who has appeared on other newspaper sites in states holding primaries and caucuses.
    Whether he is working with anyone one or is a lone wolf is unknown.

  29. Brad Warthen

    Yes, I have my eye on "Truth." I’ve worked long and hard to foster civil discussions on this blog, and have  been pleased at readers’ response to that effort, by and large.

    I haven’t had to ban anyone from the blog in the last couple of weeks, and have been mostly very pleased with the sorts of discussions we’ve been having.

    But if "Truth" keeps it up — continues to post here with no regard to furthering a constructive exchange, I will have to act. For now, I leave his/her comments up to this point in place, just as part of the destructive background noise that is an unfortunate but real part of our political environment.

  30. Jeff W

    I’ve supported Obama since he announced his candidacy in 2007. I always said that I would support Hillary if she won the nomination, but the past few weeks have definitely changed my mind.
    After the significant Obama victory in Iowa, Hillary felt it necessary to make her husband a more prominent figure in her campaign. He has been utilized as something of an “attack dog” against Obama, and with his help, she pulled off narrow “wins” in New Hampshire and Nevada.
    This bodes a significant question: Is Hillary Clinton capable of providing real leadership (let alone winning the nomination) without the help of her husband? Is she capable of fighting her own battles, or will she always need to turn to Bubba when the going gets rough?
    If Hillary Clinton ends up the nominee, she will have lost my vote, because I have no confidence in her ability to lead without the aid of her husband.

  31. Mike Cakora

    Uh oh, looks like Jeff W is on to something:

    “My fellow Americans, I am sick and tired of not being president,” said Clinton, introducing his wife at a “Hillary ’08” rally. “For seven agonizing years, I have sat idly by as others experienced the joys of campaigning, debating, and interacting with the people of this great nation, and I simply cannot take it anymore. I have to be president again. I have to.”
    He continued, “It is with a great sense of relief that I say to all of you today, ‘Screw it. I’m in.'”

    It’s satire from The Onion, but like great satire, it ‘s funny because it contains several grains of truth.

  32. Michele

    Excellent question, Jeff W. Can Hillary provide real leadership without Bill’s help? If she’s the candidate, then she, not her husband, needs to run in all states. Notice that she cares so much about South Carolinians that she’s not even bothering to campaign here this week. That decision in and of itself is very telling.

  33. bud

    Yup, the Onion is certainly a great source for the truth. I like the Onion but come on Mike, citing it for anything but the satire that it is doesn’t really add anything to the discussion.
    And besides, when Clinton left office the federal government was running surpluses. Thanks to our current leader it appears that budget deficits are likely to continue well into the future:
    U.S. deficit estimated at $250B
    WASHINGTON (AP) — The deficit for the current budget year will jump to about $250 billion, the Congressional Budget Office estimated Wednesday, citing the weakening economy. And that figure does not reflect at least $100 billion in additional red ink from an upcoming deficit-financed economic stimulus measure.

  34. Tom Crenshaw

    While there is no doubt Mr. Obama is a man of character and vision the fact of the matter is he simply hasn’t provided adequate details regarding many of his proposed programs.
    Mr. Obama hasn’t proposed true universal health care for all Americans and he cannot stand up against a McCain Presidential candidacy after choosing to accept huge sums of special interest money during his campaign.
    South Carolinian John Edwards should have garnered your endorsement. John Edwards has spent his lifetime fighting and defeating corporate greed and proposing and enacting detailed agendas to end poverty.
    John Edwards is a unifier and represents the grown- up faction of the Democratic party.
    Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton are presently engaged in the worst kind of vitriolic back and forth between themselves which is childish and isn’t helping anyone (and may well prove a bitter result come November when we need to be united, standing as one behind our candidate.)
    John Edwards is a man of unparalleled character; character that was shaped from being born and raised right here in South Carolina. No one knows our hopes and dreams better than our native son and no one will fight harder for us and for all Americans, including the 37 million forgotten poor living in abstract poverty and the 47 million lacking health insurance- many of both right here in South Carolina.
    The State Newspaper had the opportunity to be a voice of reason and hope through endorsing one of its own- not by right of birth alone, but by the right of John’s proven leadership and dedication where and when it counted and by right of John’s standing up and answering the hard questions, taking the high road and being the unwavering voice of hope and justice for so many.
    You should be ashamed.

  35. Opinion

    I agree about Hillary losing votes by attacking Obama. I started out last year saying I would support any democrat who ran. However, in light of Hillary’s actions lately, I can’t say that I would even vote for my own party come November.
    I am an Obama supporter, and watching him in action has shown me that there is an alternative to divisive politics. I will vote for any candidate who works to unite this country, and Hillary is currently dead last on that list.

  36. weldon VII

    I have no quarrel with The State’s endorsement, Brad. Obama seems the best bet among the Democrats.
    The worship factor gets me, though. I hate to see a newspaper guy fawning over someone.

  37. David

    A Vote for Obama is a Vote for Women
    Yesterday — January 22, 2008 — marked the 35th anniversary of the historic Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision that guarantees a woman’s right to choose an abortion. It was on this day that I felt particularly compelled to speak out about my experiences with Senator Barack Obama — a man who should be honored, not condemned, for his consistent and unwavering support for reproductive freedom, women’s health, gender equity and — more broadly — social justice.

  38. Kathy M.

    Brad, your threats to cut off responses from
    “Truth” are a true display of your paper’s
    agenda to censor anyone who may have a point
    of view that you believe is “out there”. You may be surprised how many people actually agree with him. So much for freedom of speech – you know, one
    of the guarantees of our constitution!

  39. Brad Warthen

    If you can’t tell the difference between those anonymous, repetitive little eruptions and clearly expressed differences of opinion, I don’t know how to help you with that. How can you even tell what that guy’s position is, beyond hostility to Obama based on something some other guy said? Seems less than articulate to me. Also, if you’ll go back and read the policy I adopted long ago, you’ll see that the more anonymous the commenter, the less consideration I give him. Your signing yourself "Kathy M." earns more respect — assuming, of course, that you are Kathy M. It’s the reason that Lee Muller gets away with his unconstructive fulminations. When he was just "Lee," I banned him.

    Oh, and sorry, Tom, but I feel no "shame." I don’t consider Mr. Edwards to be one of my "own" because of an accident of birth. You might as well say I should support him because he’s the white guy, or (a less malignant comparison) because he and I are the same age. I’m not into granfalloons.

    Finally, none of the candidates is offering "true universal health care for all Americans" except Dennis Kucinich, which I have acknowledged here. I see the positions of Obama, Clinton and Edwards as inadequate in this regard.

  40. bud

    I see the positions of Obama, Clinton and Edwards as inadequate in this regard.
    Of course they are. But clearly they are far superior to anything on the GOP side. If they discuss this at all it’s mostly about computerizing the records. Besides, look where Kucinich’s support for universal health care got him.
    If there is one area where Hillary is clearly superior to the other candidates it’s on this issue. She fought the battle in 1993 and lost. Now she has a better understanding of what will and will not work.

  41. Interesting

    Hillary Clinton voted against the “Cheney Energy Bill”. She said: “I have an energy plan and it does not include nuclear.” Obama voted for the recently passed legislation (the Cheney Energy Bill) that
    makes it possible for the nuclear industry (GE & Westinghouse) to continue with their plans to build 29 nuclear power plants. As the nuclear industry says – the Banks/Finance Industry would not loan them
    money to build nukes because such building projects are – too risky. The Energy Bill provides for the American Taxpayers to INSURE the Loans against ANY Loss; so that now, even though those loans are SUB-PRIME/NOT Creditworthy – those Loans will be made anyway. Obama said he is in favor of building nuclear power plants. One of his largest campaign contributors is EXCELON Corp. based in Illinois, home of the state with the most nuclear power plants, and operator of Con-Ed’s nukes.
    Given that America has, Literally, Billions of Tons and Billions Gallons of nuclear waste, including plutonium, at leaking waste dumps at Hanford in Washington state, Barnwell in
    South Carolina, Rocky Flats in Colorado and hundreds of other sites – we don’t need anymore
    nuclear waste. Unless and until the Federal Government cleans up the nuclear
    waste dumps we already have; finds a way to isolate that waste away from
    humanity/makes it inert & harmless to life; and makes it competitively priced -absent- billions of dollars per year in Federal Subsidies – building more nuclear power plants is something only a lunatic would even consider. It is not a viable way to provide -clean- or low cost electricity. Its too expensive and too dirty.
    Plutonium, with a half-life of 24,000 years, is radioactive, highly flammable, and carcinogenic. It is one of the most toxic substances produced by humans.
    One-millionth of a gram inhaled and lodged in the lungs is sufficient to cause cancer and death in only one week. There are 170 Tons of Plutonium at just the Rocky Flats site near Denver.
    GE owns NBC/MSNBC. Westinghouse owns CBS. The “campaign coverage” & “News” on their TV Stations are highly INFECTED with Pro-Obama/Anti-Hillary PROPAGANDA.

  42. No to obamas

    Obama’s spiritual adviser, J Wright gave Trumpeter Award to a man it said “truly epitomized greatness. Louis Farrakhan. maybe for Wright and some others, Farrakhan “epitomized greatness.” For Americans, Farrakhan epitomizes racism, particularly in the form of anti-Semitism. Over the years, he has compiled an awesome record of offensive statements, even denigrating the Holocaust by falsely attributing it to Jewish cooperation with Hitler “They helped him get the Third Reich on the road.” His history is a rancid stew of lies. Any praise of Farrakhan heightens the prestige of the leader of the Nation of Islam. His anti-Semitism and particularly his false insistence that Jews have played an inordinate role in victimizing African Americans.
    Farrakhan’s dream has vilified whites and singled out Jews to blame for crimes large and small, either committed by others as well or not at all. (A dominant role in the slave trade, for instance.) He has talked of Jewish conspiracies to set a media line for the whole nation. He has reviled Jews in a manner that brings Hitler to mind. And yet Wright heaped praise on Farrakhan. According to Trumpet, he applauded his “depth of analysis when it comes to the racial ills of this nation.” He praised “his integrity and honesty.” He called him “an unforgettable force, a catalyst for change and a religious leader who is sincere about his faith and his purpose.” These are the words of a man who prayed with Obama just before the Illinois senator announced his run for the presidency. Will he pray with him just before his inaugural?
    The New York Times recently reported on Obama’s penchant while serving in the Illinois legislature for merely voting “present” when faced with some tough issues. Farrakhan, in a strictly political sense, may be a tough issue for him. This time, though, “present” will not do.

  43. Brad Warthen

    Here’s a fun fact to know and tell, folks: It appears that “No to obamas,” “Interesting,” “Sheri,” “Blacks against obamas,” “Sam,” “Jaclie,” “Media Biased coverage exposed,” “Edwards 2008,” “Obama truths coming out,” “Obama hugh [sic] mistake for U.S.,” “MK,” “Black voters favor Clinton,” “media Failed Americans,” “Hillary Clinton Makes History,” and “Lakiesha Jones” are all the same person.
    If you’ve got something to say, have the guts to step up and say it, and sign your real name. Or, at the very least, be consistent in the handle you hide behind.

  44. zzazzeefrazzee

    Given that Obama has clearly repudiated Farrakhan’s remarks, and has earned kudos from Jews at the ADL for doing so:
    “Guilt by Association” is an all too common logical fallacy, albeit a favored one here in SC. It’s pretty clear that Obama does not consort with Farrakhan. Given that back in 2000, many voters were persuaded by mysterious phone calls informing them John McCain’s adopted child from Bangladesh was his own illegitimate black baby, it’s little wonder that many fall for smear tactics.
    At least some people are wise to the fact that these insidious allegation bear no merit:

  45. zzazzeefrazzee

    Thanks Brad,
    Many of the same posts can be read over the the State Newspaper Discussion Boards as well, thought I’ve yet to see the “Barack Hussein Obama s a closet Muslim” smear posted here.
    They always manage to leave “Jr.” off the end of his name anyways, as it’s well known that his father, whom he barely knew, was non-practicing. The same zealots would never be able to distinguish a moderate Muslim American from a full-throttle Islamist Jihadist. That includes casting aspersions on Muslim Americans currently serving in our military. Apparently it’s OK by some to disrespect American soldiers in uniform if they’re Muslim.
    So much for preaching “moral values” when airing your sectarian bigotry is also de rigueur.

  46. Bob

    The crowd that I saw turn out at The State House on MLK day was the “gimme” crowd. In short they are ALWAYS asking what the Democratic candidates are going to take from others to give to them in return for their support. Let me put it another way, if a current Democratic candidate used JFK’s line “ask not what your country can do for you but rather what you can do for your country” I dare say that they would be thrown off of the podium.
    The only thing that this government should give able-bodied people other than in times of emergency is an equal opportunity to do things for THEMSELVES. However, as anyone could soon figure out, if politicians help make people self-reliant then they would not need them or their pork-laden tax guzzling programs and thus their power and control over them and their lives would vanish. Far too many are still on the government plantation and the liberal politicians WANT it to stay that way!

  47. Richard L. Wolfe

    Well one out of two isn’t bad. McCain wrong endorsement, Obama right endorsement. When I sensed the republican establishment was going to put McCain over the top I decided to not vote in the republican primary. Now I am free to vote for young Obama Satuarday and I will.
    None of these candidates will be able to deliver on the promises they are making and we will be back in four years for a repeat performace.
    So why will I vote for Obama? He’s young, Positive, starry eyed idealistic and positive. Since nothing is going to fundamentaly change why not have a nice guy who tries hard in office. Also, it would end one of the oldest sterotypes in history. A black man cannot be elected president. Why not? This is from a man that Brad calls Bubba.

  48. zzazzeefrazzee

    “Far too many are still on the government plantation and the liberal politicians WANT it to stay that way!”
    It’s not just the “liberal” politicians, Bob. have you looked at Huckabee’s record?
    Unless of course, Huck’s a “liberal-social conservative”.
    Some have even questioned McCain’s anti-pork stance (although I would concede he has done more ot expose it than many)

  49. Mark

    Why is it that Obama is getting the a majority of the black vote? I thought black people were voting using their minds and not their skin color. That is the bottom line here. They are voting on skin color. I am a black male and I am upset that members of my race would be swayed by skin color. Sure we have always wanted a black president, but just not any. Hillary is much more experienced and ready to work on day 1. I hope my brothers and sisters can open their eyes to the false hopes Obama is giving them. Wake up South Carolina!! Obama is using his race to attract our vote. Why else would he be flaunting so many black celebrities in our face? This is a wake up call!!!

  50. sue

    I can’t believe that the state news paper would even think of endorsing this man!Now I know why i only read the paper on the Internet. IT’S FREE!!!!

  51. JT

    I thought news in general was supposed to report unbiased news and to remain objective. Why would a news source endorse any candidate for any party? Is The State affiliated with a particular party or candidate? I was just curious why this endorsement came about, because it seems unethical.

  52. Jay

    It looks like the Clinton national slur machine is working your comments here.
    I would just like to suggest to South Carolina that you consider the opportunity you have to send a clear message to the rest of America that you reject the kind of cheating, lying and foul play that has been the norm of both Bush and Clinton politics. These same kind of manipulative politics led the American people into the war with Iraq – leading to the loss of life of sons and daughters and the damaged economy faced to today.
    The Clinton’s have been setting things up to imply that the only reason Obama will win this state is because of racial reasons. For those who do not want to support Obama, may I suggest you vote for Edwards instead of Clinton and send a clear message that the people in South Carolina are sick of hatchet politics and do not accept the lack of morality that has – up to this time – been accepted as the status quo.

  53. Jay

    Best wishes for a future of hope, reconciliation and positive developments for South Carolina and America.
    With care, from New Zealand 🙂

  54. David Higuera

    I want to say as someone who cares deeply about the future of our country, and frankly, as someone who is terribly concerned about our future based on the slash and burn politics of the past 16 years, we must all take this opportunity to finally turn the page. If we want a future that is about truly addressing the very real challenges we face, we MUST elect Barack Obama.
    He is the only candidate who can rally the American people to fundamentally change our politics, and the only candidate who can successfully enlist all of us in the cause of bringing about the change we desperately need.
    Whether you’re voting this Saturday in SC, or you are one of the millions who will go to the polls on Feb 5th, as I will, please take this once-in-a-generation opportunity to vote for the candidate who will lead us out of the partisan gridlock.
    No more 51-49. No more slash and burn. No more obstructionism impeding progress and being called “victory.”
    Vote for the candidate who will usher in a new era of real solutions to real problems, progressive solutions arrived at in a bi-partisan and transparent manner, with the support of an overwhelming majority of the American people. Obama is the ONLY candidate who can accomplish this.
    I applaud The State on your endorsement.

  55. Carolyn Blase

    I am happy your paper endorsed Barack Obama. The Clinton campaign has done it’s best to discredit Obama, and to claim he doesn’t have the experience to be president, but this claim is just another one of their lies. Barack Obama is a brilliant man, graduating in the top 1% of his class at Harvard Law School and being elected President of the Havard Law Review. He worked in Chicago’s poor neighborhoods as a political organizer, helping the unemployed and under-represented to better themselves and gain more political visability. He also worked for years as a Civil Rights Lawyer. His major at Harvard was Constitutional Law, and he taught this subject for years at the University of Chicago. In addition, Obama served as State Senator of Illinois for 8 years, and has been U.S. Senator for the last 3 years (he’s actually held elected public office for 6 years LONGER than Hillary has). Finally, Obama is a self made man. His accomplishments are his, not his spouse’s!!!

  56. Tom Fotre

    I can’t believe some people are still writing posts about Obama being a Muslim. This has been discredited so many times by so many writers, researchers and people who have known Obama over the years !! It’s hard for me to believe that anyone takes this seriously, and it makes me wonder whether some “Clinton operatives” are deliberately posting this lie just to perpetuate it. (A Clinton campaign worker was caught forwarding the “Obama is a Muslim” email to people over the internet. She was fired and, of course, Hillary claimed to “know nothing” about this).

  57. Tom Fotre

    Dear “Bud”… I notice you have fallen victim to the unmitigaged gaul of the Clinton campaign to convince voters that Hillary’s complete failure to revamp healthcare in 1993 is reason to support her. Supposedly her failure has made her “learn”, so she can do it better when she’s president. HA HA HA !!! Only Hillary would have the nerve to present a flying failure as an asset. Would you want a plummer who let your house flood to come back again to fix your pipes? Or, better yet, would you want the wife of the president of General Motors to run GM ?? (get my analogy??)

  58. Grace

    You are, of course, free to endorse whomever you choose. And far be it from me to suggest you endorse “an unappealing embodiment of class resentment” who also holds an “extreme position on Iraq — wanting to pull all troops out, even those who are training Iraqis.”
    I guess I don’t really know what “class resentment” is. Or are you talking about the middle class being resentful that their jobs have been shipped off-shore by corporations who feed at the public trough of corporate welfare? Or maybe the working class who see their standard of living eroded as they lose health insurance and benefits, work longer hours for less pay, pay higher prices for gasoline and food while they worry their children may be harmed by playing with their imported toys and their family pets may be poisoned by tainted pet food? Is that class resentment?
    I can understand how talking about that might be unappealing.
    As far as Iraq- I’m glad you were able to figure out Sen. Obama’s position in your interview. I’ve read his speeches, interviews he’s given over the years, transcripts of debates he’s participated in, and I’m still not sure what his specific plan is or how often he plans to change his position depending on which way the political wind blows.
    I was able to find Edward’s plan on his campaign website, and noted his plan states: “There is no military solution to the chaos in Iraq. Instead, the Iraqi people must solve the problem politically by taking responsibility for their country. By leaving Iraq, America will prompt the Iraqi people, regional powers, and the entire international community to find the political solution that will end the sectarian violence and create a stable Iraq. We must show the Iraqis that we are serious about leaving by actually starting to leave, with an immediate withdrawal of 40,000-50,000 troops and a complete withdrawal within nine to ten months. We should leave behind in Iraq only a brigade of 3,500 to 5,000 troops to protect the embassy and possibly a few hundred troops to guard humanitarian workers.
    Edwards believes we should completely withdraw all combat troops from Iraq within nine to ten months and prohibit permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq. After withdrawal, we should retain sufficient forces in Quick Reaction Forces located outside Iraq, in friendly countries like Kuwait, to prevent an Al Qaeda safe haven, a genocide, or regional spillover of a civil war.
    Edwards believes we should intensify U.S. efforts to train the Iraqi security forces. He would also step up U.S. diplomatic efforts by engaging in direct talks with all the nations in the region, including Iran and Syria, to bring a political solution to the sectarian violence inside Iraq, including through a peace conference.”
    But as you stated, you didn’t endorse Edwards in 2004, either. But he won the primary anyway. So I guess it doesn’t really matter which candidate you endorse. The voters will have the last word- at least the ones who look at the issues themselves and don’t take the pundits’ word for everything.

  59. zzazzeefrazzee

    About Obama’s name: some who are trying to discredit him are careful to insert his middle name “Hussein’, but then leave of the “Jr.” at the end. Apparently, according to these folks, it must be some kind of criminal act to be named for your father. In contrast, “Keith Ellison” doesn’t sound particularly Islamic, but he’s a Muslim (one who has yet to impose Sharia’ law on his constituents, like many claimed he would, but hey, who bothers to notice?).
    I wonder if these people inclined to sectarian bias think it’s un-American to disrespect those serving in our nation’s military? Muslim Americans serve alongside those of all faiths. Our current President has a demonstrated capability of respecting those serving our nation. I frankly wonder if those throwing stones would ever deign to do so?
    Sectarian bigotry is one of our nation’s ugliest traditions, and it always smells, no matter the target.

  60. Rosemary Storaska

    An Obama victory will inevitably cause the greatest loss of opportunity for the Democratic Party in its history? I do believe that outside of South Carolina most people are looking at all candidates both Democratic and Republican as a package. Many are unsatisfied with the Republican contestants. Voting in a primary means one must follow the party. What happens when a national election allows open voting?–Hillary Clinton’s national lead increases in considerable fashion. Many, many women of all colors will be switching toward Hillary when given the chance. This factor has not yet been tested. Mark these words. Obama will have his turn but it is most certainly not now. Many, many questions about this man have been left unanswered. A national race is a whole different bag of beans so to speak. Remember, every wave dissipates when hitting the shoreline.

  61. zzazzeefrazzee

    Americans should demand substance over slogans from both major political parties, much less each of the candidates campaigns. We Should all demand that both parties return to the REAL debate format instituted by the League of Women Voters, but that would mean abandoning the precious “Commission on Presidential Debates” sweetheart deal between the two parties that effectively treats American taxpayers like a bunch of morons.

  62. Rastatter PA

    Truth only posted facts that came out of people’s mouths. Facts that are crucial when deciding the next president of the free world.
    For someone to threaten his right to speak is threatening freedom of speech itself.
    Surely this newspaper isn’t suggesting for a second that only people who support their views are the only one’s who are aloud to speak are they?

  63. Nylor

    Finally, The State got it right. Thank you State Newspaper for listening to Barack’s vision and his ideas and giving him your endorsement. I’m excited about Obama for his inspirational messages and his reaching across party lines, color lines, gender lines, economic lines, etc. Hopefully, he can stay on message. When we discuss experience, I often wonder how much experience did Bill Gates have? the founders of Google? the founders of YouTube? the 30ish young old man who contributed to designing the Chysler 300? The Late Great John H. Johnson? Bakari Sellers, one of our State Reps? the new Governor of Louisana, Bobby Jindal? They all seem to be doing a great job. The less baggage we bring into the White House, the better. I have been in the voting process through several presidential elections and this is my very first time that I have a choice among some very good candidates. How prosperous were we really in the ’90s? I’m really glad to know that many of us Americans are looking forward to someone with a fresh vision and fresh ideas. Let’s not limit ourselves to what we had in the ’90s. This is 2008, the 21st Century. Now one word of caution to Obama: Please don’t get drawn into talking about detailed policy stuff. It’s a bunch of rhetoric, not only by you, but also by all of the candidates. We really don’t won’t to hear what you will do once you become President. (You all can do it now. You don’t have to wait.) Too much detail for us. Or just do it after you become elected. For the moment and in the future, stay on message about “The Audacity of Hope.” Stay on message to inspire us. We’ll figure out the policy stuff later. Do you remember your speech night after the Iowa caucases? And thanks for carrying your Dad’s name proudly. It’s a badge of honor.
    Now back to you, State Newspaper. Thanks for your endorsement. Your endorsement is really beyond words. Thank You.

  64. Ruth Calabria

    The Skinny on Hillary:
    Dear brothers in arms,
    We put a piece of truth about the Clintons on http://www.matrix-evolutions.com that would make a difference in the race if people could hear it. It begins:
    We are scientists who derive our politics from an evolutionary perspective, not from conservative ideology. Our analysis concludes that our so-called war on terror is slowly but surely taking us to World War III. Note Putin’s 2/8/08 call for a renewed arms race to counter America’s efforts to conquer the world. For that reason we support Barack Obama as the only real anti-war candidate, the only one who can keep such a nuclear tipped train wreck from happening.
    As to Hillary Clinton, recall during their populist administration that President Bill and missus, while promising health care they never delivered, did deliver more police and prisons, and took our jail population to the highest per-capita level in the world. This statistic, ahem, is historically associated with hardened police states like Stalinist Russia and apartheid South Africa. We all know that spitting on the street nowadays will get you six months in jail. But of course we’re not a police state, because if we were, you’d have heard about it on the evening news.
    The Clintons as president also made their upper class handlers happy by ending LBJs war on poverty, which brought about the vast population of homeless beggars we see on the streets of America today. Pearls for the wealthy, evictions for the rest of us. Don’t laugh. It could happen to you. Wait until the recession, caused primarily by our trillion dollar War in Iraq, gets into high gear. Goodbye nest egg when the market totally collapses. Goodbye home thanks to the Shylock mortgage brokers in bed with the conservatives. Hello suffering on the street with your kids in a foster home.
    Actually Hillary does have a few things she can be very proud of. She is a most talented actress, a profoundly adept social climber and a top paid shill of the upper class. She is our American Evita and almost everybody loves her style. But whatever her talents and personal accomplishments, she is not going to go against the wishes of the ruling clique who created her and Bill and stop their war.
    Some think that Hillary would never lie to us. But Bill also insisted he would never lie to us and is so amazingly good an actor, almost as good as his wife, that we yet believe him even after the tape recording caught him with the cigar between Monica’s legs. What character is there in a first family when the head of the most powerful nation on earth is sticking a penile object, not even his own, up some college kid’s vagina? Does anybody think Hillary felt personally bad about the Monica thing other than not having her usual go with one of Bill’s girls? Watch the conservatives bring forth one of Hillary’s lovers soon to clarify her tastes in this area. Indeed, one would not be surprised if the less than confident, slightly retarded, persona Chelsea Clinton was condemned to live her life with derives from her pervert parents abusing her when she was four years old. Certainly there is as much truth in this conjecture as in the equally outrageous conjecture that the Clintons are not good people even though they go to church every Sunday. If evil is badness that comes from an unexpected source, the Clintons are evil enough to have shit stuffed in their mouths and be set on fire. That’s an opinion of their character, not a threat on their lives, for all you hate speech monitors out there.
    Unfortunately, though, short of a revolution, we may be stuck with another Clinton figurehead presidency, for our evolutionary analysis shows clearly that while biological evolution is not of intelligent design, our presidential elections are. They are intelligently designed by the conservative ruling clique that has hold of our media and our courts, including our Supreme Court, which designed the last election outcome. Which all of you meekly accepted because the majority of Americans are basically passive cowards who lack the courage it takes to stand up to tyranny. The upper classes would never allow Obama to become president and stop the war. They would assassinate him first, literally have him shot like Martin Luther King, if the media they control can’t derail his candidacy in a more subtle way. We reach these outrageous conclusions, not from bipolar disease, but from a firm scientific analysis whose details follow after we have introduced ourselves.
    Yours in the struggle,
    Dr. and Mrs. Peter V. Calabria

  65. CJ

    This may seem silly, but it’s an important question for me… In all the AP articles, it sounded like The State newspaper had endorsed Obama. But now that I’ve happened upon your page and read everything, it sounds like it’s the editorial board. Do you make a distinction there? It seems like a crucial ethical difference to me. Like, if The State says something, then how can they then provide the balanced coverage we expect? But if one group has an opinion, and they all agree, it seems like that’s fine … just wondering …

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