Monthly Archives: January 2008

Yeah, but what did Thomas Jefferson know?

My old friend Bud Ferillo, an Obama supporter (and coiner of "Corridor of Shame") who was quoted in this Bob Herbert column, has shared with me a note he sent to David Broder, whom he says he has "known pleasantly for years":

Dear David:

    Long time no hear. Hope you are well.
    I read your piece on South Carolina and agree that this is a must win state for Obama who I am supporting enthusiastically. I think the black vote is breaking heavily for him and should provide a double digit win, even though Bill Clinton will be here most of the week. Obama is stumping the state solidly. You’d think he was running for Governor of SC with four appearances a day set through Thursday. Hillary has left until Friday. I expect they’ll spin SC as a race based vote and continue that labeling to discount the results.
     Early voting here in Richland County (seniors over 65 can vote 30 days prior to a primary or election and absentee voting is easily done) is extremely heavy. I stood in a line for 75 minutes to cast my ballot today and was one of  very few whites to do so. Also standing in line for an hour was 85 year old Federal Judge Matthew Perry: we agreed that voting in SC is still an arduous task!
    My reason for writing, other than to say hello, is to address the charge that Obama does not have the experience to be president.
    I sat down today – with the knowledge that he has 8 years of elected office in the Illinois legislature and three years in the US Senate for 11 years in total years in elected office – and Wikipedia’ed (new verb) earlier presidents.
    My report is this and I am somewhat surprised that no one has mentioned this: Obama has more time in elected office than the following individuals before they were elected President: George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln ( only 2 years in the US House), Woodrow Wilson, Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Franklin D.Roosevelt, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. (I quit my research with these but there are probably more US Presidents who meet the experience test than those I have listed.) And … to top it off … more time in elected office than Hillary Clinton and John Edwards.
    Is this not worth some attention? What the hell am I missing?

    Hale to the Redskins!


I think Bud meant "hail to the Redskins" there. And I don’t so much mind him running down Thomas Jefferson like that, but I’m a John Adams man from way back. I think we have to consider the crucial job he did representing our nation in both Paris and London during the Revolution. Sort of counts for more than routine elective service, I’d say.

She’s back, at least for a moment

Apparently, speculation that Hillary Clinton wouldn’t be in the state any more was overblown, as her campaign advises:

Hillary Clinton to Deliver Major Speech TOMORROW in South Carolina Addressing the Serious Economic Challenges Facing America

Thursday, January 24
Greenville, SC

11:00 a.m. EST
Clinton Delivers Major Speech Addressing the Serious Economic Challenges Facing America

Furman University
Younts Conference Center
3300 Pointsett Highway
Greenville, SC 29613
Additional Details TBA

Not that I’m trying to give advice, but every moment she does spend in the state between now and Saturday night reduces the viability of the "I didn’t really try in South Carolina" explanation for a big loss, should things come to that.

Omnipresent video is a brutal thing

Anyone who has been to as many banquets and sat through as many ceremonial speeches as I have over the years has seen a dignitary or two fail to maintain a proper level of consciousness at the head table.

But for most of my career, that made for no more than a moment’s amusement to some in the audience, nudging each other to take note of the valiant, but losing, battle of someone trying to keep his/her dignity.

Now, in the YouTube era, with a higher and higher percentage of the public having video cameras in their very phones, there is no personal dignity. No one is allowed to be quietly human any more, and it’s a shame.

All of that was brought to mind by this video of poor ol’ Bill Clinton, doing his best to be everywhere his wife can’t be, struggling to stay awake (and failing) during an MLK Day event. I may not want his wife to win, but I don’t consider it a major failing on his part that he just couldn’t make it through one… more… speech.

Come on, Fred — put your ol’ friend John over the top

So is it OK now to talk about how it would be the most logical, natural thing in the world for Fred Thompson to just go ahead and endorse John McCain, overtly and openly?

When I suggested he do so a couple of weeks ago, his supporters — apparently still believing that he was actually trying to get elected president — came from across the country and danced on my head, virtually speaking.

Then, when I pointed out that my fellow Memphis State grad was sorta already supporting McCain, by beating up pore ol’ Mike Huckabee in the MB debate, I got a friendlier reception. Note that, sometime afterward, George Will is making note of what I pointed to back when:

    Thompson, having left the race, could continue to support John McCain. In New Hampshire, Thompson attacked McCain’s principal problem there, Mitt Romney. In South Carolina, Thompson’s attack on Huckabee as a “liberal” might have provided McCain’s margin of victory.

Maybe it helped McCain more to continue to be a putative candidate and pound Huck in the debate. But now that, as Mr. Will notes, Mr. Huckabee’s moment is quite likely over, Fred could do John a lot more good by coming out and endorsing him in such a way that folks actually understand what’s going on. That’s on account of the wicked way that Florida runs its primary, which is that they don’t let folks like me vote. There, you have to swear party loyalty, so McCain can’t count on the very independent and crossover support that (in case Republican party types still haven’t figured it out) is the very reason why he is the GOP candidate most likely to actually win the whole thing in November.

Since Fred was portraying himself as the real conservative (as opposed to all those other real conservatives out there, who tend to be much shorter), and he had a modest-sized chunk of folks believing he actually was the (taller) embodiment of Ronald Reagan, his support could help McCain repeat his SC success in Florida.

All this assumes that Fred actually does want to have an impact on election outcomes — a positive impact, that is.

Harpootlian says he’s ‘handcuffed’ in opposing Clintons’ ‘Eddie Haskell’ campaign


"We’re handcuffed," moans Dick Harpootlian about his role in "truth-squadding" Bill Clinton’s whoppers about Obama.

"I’m ready to rip ’em a new one," he says, but the Obama campaign is holding him back. But entirely, though, this being Dick.

"I’ve dubbed the Clinton campaign the ‘Eddie Haskell Campaign,’ for claiming to want to run a clean campaign, then trashing Obama in the next breath. It’s like they’re saying, "Nice dress, Mrs. Cleaver," and as soon as she leaves the room, "Hey, Beav, your Mom looks like s__t." He says the strategy clearly is to turn voters off enough to suppress turnout.

So how, exactly, is Dick being restrained? "No one’s talked about 8 years in the White House," he says. OK, Dick, so what about their 8 years in the White House?

Dick says he can’t say. Apparently, if he does, Mom and Dad will give him the business.

On a personal note, let me add that today is Dick’s birthday, and he’s 59. I guess that’s why he’s expected to act all grown up and stuff now. This has him saying unDicklike things such as, "I really, really, really was shocked at the tactics they’ve employed in recent weeks."

Next thing ya know, he’ll be referring to Lumpy as "Clarence."


Polls point to big Obama lead in SC

When I got an e-mail pointing me to these poll results yesterday…

New South Carolina Poll: Obama expands lead
Barack Obama 44
Hillary Clinton 28
John Edwards 15
Dennis Kucinich 1

… I held off on posting them, because I wanted independent confirmation from a source I know more about. Sure, as the e-mail pointed out, this outfit "correctly predicted John McCain’s victory in last weekend’s Republican primary," but then so did a lot of people.

I will say in Public Policy Polling’s behalf that The Wall Street Journal had no such qualms, reporting its findings today without qualifications:

After lagging far behind Mrs. Clinton in state polls for much of last year, Mr. Obama has jumped ahead. According to an automated poll conducted Monday by Public Policy Polling of Raleigh, N.C., Mr. Obama leads Mrs. Clinton 44% to 28%, with about 12% of respondents undecided. As late as October, Mrs. Clinton had a 20-percentage-point lead in many surveys.

But for the sake of consistency, I tend to wait each day for Zogby’s latest (even though in one dramatic instance this season, he got it dramatically wrong, but who can account for such factors as this?). Anyway, here’s what Zogby had to say today:

Clinton nearly 20 points back; Edwards lags further
UTICA, New York – Buoyed by a tide of African-American support, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama is almost 20 points ahead of New York Sen. Hillary Clinton in the days ahead of the South Carolina Democratic Party primary.
    A Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby telephone poll taken Jan. 20-22 shows Obama holding 43% support from likely Democratic voters, compared to Clinton’s 25% support. Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards trails at 15%. The survey included 811 likely Democratic primary voters and has a margin for error of +/-3.4 percentage points.
    African Americans, a group that made up slightly more than half of the sample, backed Obama by a margin of 65% to Clinton’s 16%. Eighteen percent of black voters said they were undecided. Clinton did better among white voters, getting 33% support to 32% for Edwards. Obama lagged at just 18% among whites.

I should add that, in commentary Zogby offered to paying subscribers, he also said the following:

    Like other states before, this race appears to be fluid. After the first night of polling, Obama led by some 20 points. The second night alone, Clinton was down by just 10. So, is there movement? Yes, back and forth.
    The question here in South Carolina is, if Obama wins South Carolina, will his win be big enough? If his lead is cut to single digits, given where this race has been in recent weeks, it stands to be a big victory for Clinton.

To me, that’s really stretching the expectations game. A win by Barack Obama in South Carolina, after having been well behind Sen. Clinton for most of 2007, is a clear, meaningful win. The Clinton campaign knows what’s coming, which is why she has left the state — to give herself implausible, "I-didn’t-really-try-in-South-Carolina" deniability.

The ‘mystery’ of why the press likes McCain

Drudge today links to yet another clueless attempt to explain "The media’s love affair with McCain." An excerpt:

    One of the curiosities of American politics is the media’s ongoing infatuation with John McCain. A bit of this is based on things such as McCain’s opposition to torture (unfortunately, we can no longer treat opposing torture like opposing child molestation, i.e., something one assumes is standard equipment in a presidential candidate rather than a luxury upgrade). Yet most of the journalistic love affair with the Republican senator from Arizona is based on other factors.
    Consider this typical endorsement from the Orlando Sentinel: While McCain "has stuck to his principles at the risk of sinking his campaign," Mitt Romney "has abandoned positions that would have alienated his party’s conservative base." (Indeed, I checked a computer database and discovered that, in the national media, Romney is at least six times more likely to be described as a flip-flopper than McCain.)…

The author, who is a law professor (thin credentials for expressing the motives of the press), goes on to maintain that nothing could be further from the truth, that McCain’s a big flip-flopper from way back, including such arguments as saying that "McCain has done a 180-degree turn" on abortion, then going on to describe a turn that, even if you accept the characterization provided, certainly doesn’t add up to 180 degrees. (Apparently, law professors are expert in the deepest motivations of journalists, but not too swift on mathematical analogy.)

Anyway, I’ll tell you why news types tend to like McCain (which is not exactly the same as why editorial types like him, but most of us were once news types, too): Access. Ever since 1968, the press has grown used to political campaigns following the Nixon model of limiting access to the candidate, and carefully managing what he says, or at least what the press hears him say.

McCain throws that approach into the rubbish bin where it belongs. He will go to the back of the bus and make himself totally available to the ink-stained wretches who loiter there. And he’ll address anything you want him to, answering questions even to the extent of being available more than we need him to be.

News types love that. And editorial types, most of whom started out as news types, retain a soft spot for that kind of openness. It’s an element in why we like McCain, just as transparency is a factor in why we like Obama. There are other reasons, and we express them. But that straightforward approach is a factor.

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 To read The State‘s endorsement of Barack Obama, click here. For video about the endorsement, click here.)


Celebrity Grudge Match: Dick Harpootlian vs. Bill Clinton

Barack Obama, using a strategy we saw employed by John McCain in the GOP contest, has launched a counterattack operation:

South Carolina Truth Squad Formed to Respond to Counter Clinton Attacks
COLUMBIA – In a conference call with Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, former South Carolina Superintendent of Education Inez Tenenbaum, and South Carolina state Representative Bakari Sellers, the Obama campaign today announced the creation of a South Carolina Truth Squad to respond to misleading negative attacks from the Clinton campaign.
    “We’re creating a South Carolina Truth Squad today to respond to a series of misleading attacks from the Clinton campaign,” Senator Daschle said. “South Carolinians and voters across the country want an honest debate about the issues, and they’re tired of a discussion dominated by misleading half quotes and distortions. We’re here to be vigilant and set the record straight.”
    In addition, Truth Squad member Dick Harpootlian responded to President Bill Clinton’s false accusation that his wife and Senator Obama have the same record on Iraq – even though Obama is the only candidate in the race who showed the courage and judgment to oppose the war before it started.
    “This morning, Bill Clinton continued his Washington, DC-style attacks against Barack Obama when he claimed there’s ‘not a dime’s worth of difference’ between Hillary Clinton and Obama on Iraq,” said Harpootlian.  “As Hillary Clinton herself said last night, the record and the truth matter. The truth is, Senator Clinton cannot divorce her record of voting for the War in Iraq in 2002 from her Iraq policy today.  To say there is not a dime’s worth of difference simply does not square with the record or the truth.”…

I can only think that if Dick Harpootlian is involved, the truth is going to have a decided edge to it. Dick, after all, is the one SC Democrat who can speak truth to Dave Barry, and be heard.

If we can just get Dick and former President Clinton in a room together, I will pay money to watch.

Video about the Obama endorsement

Andy Haworth did another nice job of putting together a short video of me talking about our endorsement of Barack Obama, which will appear in Wednesday’s paper. This was done very much on the run — minutes before the endorsement would appear online — but Andy managed to edit it to make my rambling seem halfway coherent, for which I thank him.

If the image above doesn’t start playing automatically, click here.

The clip was shot in our board room, with me sitting in the chair in which Sen. Obama sat yesterday before heading to the Statehouse for King Day at the Dome.

Later today, I’ll post my column about our discussion of this endorsement. I’ll be talking about it in other venues as well — for instance, I’m supposed to do a live phone interview with C-SPAN at 7:10 a.m. Wednesday.

We endorse Barack Obama

Here’s a link to The State editorial board’s endorsement of Barack Obama, folks. As promised, we put it up on early. Formally, it will appear in the paper on Wednesday’s editorial page.

Please read it, and react. Needless to say, elaboration follows — in column and video form, as we did with the Republicans.

To read my column about how our board’s discussion of the endorsement, click here.

For a video clip of me talking about the endorsement, click here.

The ‘smart money,’ down the drain

Going by the conventional wisdom, the "smart money" in South Carolina — millions of it — was on Mitt Romney. That was, after all, the horse that Warren Tompkins picked. As brother blogger Adam Fogle writes:

    It used to be that presidential campaign bragging rights in South Carolina went to one man: J. Warren Tompkins. Over the years, Tompkins had gained the reputation for being able to “pick a winner” with potential presidential campaigns. The powerhouse consultant appeared to confirm that status when he brokered the upset win of now-president George W. Bush in the 2000 Palmetto State GOP primary.

    But after spending over $5 million in the last 12 months across South Carolina, the Tompkins-directed campaign of Mitt Romney finished a dreadful fourth place in Saturday’s primary. And according to The National Journal, the days of Tompkins’ ability to saddle up with a winner ended in 2000 when that year’s runners-up patiently crafted what would become a successful eight-year campaign to assail the top spot and deliver John McCain the win he had been denied.

Adam’s link is to a magazine article about how McCain fought his way back to victory over the past eight years.

Then, consider that Sen. Jim DeMint — who jumped on the popular side of the immigration bill, putting himself at odds with both his fellow senator from South Carolina and Sen. McCain — backed Romney as well. And even after South Carolina rejected that choice, he’s still on the Romney wagon:

Greenville, SC – Tonight, Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) congratulated the winners of the South Carolina Republican primary.  He also pointed out that in the last five days Mitt Romney has won landslide victories in the Republican primary in the State of Michigan and the Caucuses in the State of Nevada and now has more delegates than any other Republican candidate.
    “Tonight I congratulate Senator McCain and Governor Huckabee for a spirited campaign here in South Carolina.  They worked hard and deserve credit for doing so well here.  South Carolina voters should also be congratulated for braving bad weather conditions and voting in spite of the elements.   
    “Given today’s results, I am more confident than ever that Mitt Romney will be our next President.  After Governor Romney’s lopsided wins in both Michigan and Nevada this week, it is clear he has real momentum heading into Florida and Super Tuesday. …

In other words, he was right, and the S.C. voters Saturday were wrong. Not usually the sort of position he takes.

Hillary, we hardly knew ye, either

Yeah, I know I’m repeating myself (with regard to headlines). But so is the news. Last night’s slap-a-thon in Myrtle Beach was the last we’ll see of Hillary Clinton. As in the GOP contest, an erstwhile front-runner is abandoning us for greener pastures shortly before the vote.

In this case, at least Hillary Clinton is leaving her husband behind, which among South Carolina Democrats may be just as good (if not better). I did get a primary-day phone recording from Mitt’s wife, also, but it just didn’t mean as much.

Personally, I am disappointed that I didn’t check my external e-mail address yesterday. By the time I saw the note from Zac, I had missed this great chance to see Bill:

And I don’t just mean it would be fun to see a real-life enactment of the "Bill at McDonald’s" sketch Phil Hartman did so long ago on SNL. Anyway, the former pres is eating healthy these days. I just thought it would be a chance to watch a master at work — Bill Clinton, out amongst the folks in their everyday lives. He has a gift that his wife, and indeed most politicians, lack. I certainly lack it, which helps me appreciate it more in others.

(Check this (the video) — I thought for a moment that somebody else was monitoring his e-mail better than I was, but apparently this was shot at sometime other than when the ex-pres was there.)

It’s even more disappointing that South Carolinians will not be treated to the same head-to-head, personal competition between the main candidates that we had with Huckabee and McCain in those last days. And after all this build-up.

Anybody getting nasty calls about Hillary?

We were all on alert last week for nasty stuff in the GOP primary, on account of the history of what happened to John McCain in 2000.

Now, I’m getting whiffs of something on the Democratic side, as we shoot through the home stretch to Saturday. Three people — one at work, one a caller to the office, the other a relative — have told me of getting recordings that just unloaded a garbage truck full of stuff on Hillary Clinton. Tales of screaming fits in the White House, a bunch of junk everybody’s heard before about Vince Foster, and on and on. Highly offensive.

Thing about it is, at least one of the people who reported this voted in the Republican primary, so it’s a little strange that they would get these calls this week. If they’ve already voted, what’s the point? If it’s pitched toward the general election, why not wait a while, and see if she’s the nominee?

Or better yet, why not just not stoop to stuff like this at all?

Winner of Democratic debate: John McCain

You know, I was happy that the guy we endorsed in the Republican primary won in SC, but I sort of thought he had several more tough contests to go through before he had the GOP nomination in the bag.

Not according to the Democratic contenders tonight in Myrtle Beach: It’s John McCain this, John McCain that. Edwards says you’d best pick me ’cause I can take John McCain on in rural areas. Hillary says I’m the only one strong enough on defense to go against John McCain.

Has anybody told Huckabee and the rest about this? They might as well surrender at this rate….


New ‘reality show:’ Beat on Obama


Have y’all been watching this debate out of Myrtle Beach? I don’t believe I’ve seen the like of it before, without a certain key supporter of Mike Huckabee being involved. Hillary Clinton and John Edwards have a tag-team thing going on the guy in the middle.

Personally, I don’t think Barack Obama’s health care plan goes far enough — but I don’t think theirs are anything to write home about, either.

As for that snarl-a-thon on the economy, I’m not sure I got anything out of it.

Now they’re competing to see who can sound least responsible on Iraq, but Edwards always wins that contest — it’s hard to top a guy who wouldn’t even leave anybody to keep training Iraqis. The sad thing is that if you get them off the stage, either of the other two can make a certain amount of sense on the issue. But all this I-was-against-the-war-first-oh-no-you-weren’t stuff isn’t exactly moving us closer to a political solution in Baghdad. And I have to wonder, do even the antiwar folks they’re trying to appeal to with that like this nyah-nyah stuff?

Anyway, I’ll keep paying the best attention to this I can under the circumstances. My two-week old twin granddaughters are visiting, and they’re more entertaining, and more in touch with basic, everyday economic issues — they keep competing to be the one to nurse first.

Anyway, I invite y’all to weigh in on this slapfest from the Grand Strand.


My camera actually DOES work


ust to show you, I can take a photo that looks like something with this camera, unlike what you may have surmised from this post and this one. I just need the right lighting, distance, etc. It helps to be right up in the candidate’s face.

You who have followed the blog will recognize this Barack Obama shot as being from our board room (like this and this and this). We met with him early this morning (early for me, anyway), before the rally at the State House.

I’ll post something from that interview tomorrow when I’m back at the office. Right now, I’m going to sign off for a few hours. I’ve got an interview with Air America at 7:30, then I’m going to try to watch the debate. Maybe I’ll post something live; check and see. Maybe I won’t. This is sorta kinda like my day off, you know.

Photos of candidates at King Day (only SLIGHTLY better than video)

Again, I had a lousy angle, at too great a distance, for my camera, but this still photos are slightly (very slightly) better than the video I just posted, in case you’ve like to get some rough idea of what the candidates looked like on this occasion. You can hardly see them at all on the video (although I hope you can hear them OK).

They are in the order in which they spoke. I was farthest away for Sen. Obama, but managed to work a little closer by the time Mr. Edwards and Sen. Clinton spoke. I left in a little of the bright sky behind Edwards when I cropped him, so you can see the backlighting problem I had with the exposure. In the third photo S.C. NAACP Chairman Lonnie Randolph is introducing Sen. Clinton.