South Carolina just became more important — to everybody

Tonight’s surprise-twist ending in New Hampshire tonight just upped the odds at stake in South Carolina. No more talk about Hillary skipping South Carolina; she’s going to be going for a knockout punch; Obama will be if anything even more determined to win here.

Over on the Republican side, after a split decision between Iowa and N.H., South Carolina is looking more make-or-break for everybody.

I left the office tonight intending to drop by the McCain and Obama results-watching parties, having received e-mail notices of both. On the way, I stopped by the Romney HQ on Gervais when I saw the lights on. My timing wasn’t the greatest. The first place I had stopped leaving work was my daughter’s house, to visit the babies, and I didn’t realize what was happening in N.H. until I got to Romney’s place — just as Mr. Romney was on the tube giving his concession speech (rather gracefully, the part I heard). After asking Will Holley again to try to nail down a time for an endorsement interview ASAP, I bowed out.

The McCain gathering was a real party, the only one I saw tonight. Henry McMaster, and pretty much everybody I talked to, said there was now no question about it — McCain was going to win S.C. Of course, Romney and Huckabee (who was leading polls here last time I looked) will do their best to have something to say about that.

On the way to Obama HQ, I tried getting Zac Wright on the phone to see if there was a Clinton celebration somewhere, but no luck. The mood at Obama’s place was subdued, but not the end of the world. They, too, say they’re going to win here.

In any case, everybody on all sides are going to be busting their buns to do that, even harder that we thought when today began.

15 thoughts on “South Carolina just became more important — to everybody

  1. Calhoun St. Coffee

    You didn’t mention Fred Thompson, but his candidacy will likely play a significant role in this primary. He’s a Southerner with more conservative bona fides than McCain or Huckabee.
    Thompson might not win, but he’ll certainly be siphoning votes from his opponents.

  2. Mike Rosier

    Indeed, South Carolina just became a battle that will be hotly contested on both sides of the aisle. I will be interested to stand by and watch the African-Americans in this state as they decide (for the record) just where their loyalties lie – with a family that they have loved dearly or for a new, exciting black voice, and most importantly, a viable and wholly electable black presidential candidate. Sen. Barack Obama, for all the ballyhoo surrounding Sen. Hillary Clinton’s narrow win (there’s a bit of realism for Ms. Clinton) in New Hampshire, still performed extremely well. The question that will be posed to this state’s (and the nation’s) black voters is this – if Barack Obama is not good enough to be their candidate then who will be? Barack Obama has proven that he is a real candidate in the eyes of white voters. But will he be for members of his own race? Only time will tell. My vote will be with Sen. Obama on January 26. Regardless of what is placed in print concerning his experience level, I am more concerned with what he plans to do in the future (across party lines). His voice and message resonates with me (and I would normally consider myself of the Republican ilk). He is a man of passion and intelligence, but also one of hope and optimism in these often dark times. Would Sen. Obama and I disagree on several mainstream issues? Most definitely. But I have grown disenchanted with the Republican panderings towards lobbyists and big business. An ill-conceived war has overdrawn our global reach and left us vulnerable to those who would question our motives abroad. The question facing South Carolina voters is one of direction. Do we reach to our past for the hope that it will somehow morph (when in need of votes) into what we need for the future, or do we look forward with a new vision for a new day. Barack Obama is not a person who need cry for the camera to prove his humanity to the world. He is who he says he is, and who he has always been since he entered public life – a new voice with a clear and untainted view of exactly how great this nation could be again if only her citizens will come together and challenge the framers of the fractured Republic we have become, one wallowing in our capitalist and materialistic greed. In my eyes the choice for true change is clear, and it does not call New York home.

  3. Don Stewart

    I feel I must comment on the post made by Mike Rosier concerning the Obama campaign and African American voters. The Obama campaign is historic on many levels, as Brad and so many others have mentioned. The fact that Obama can attract not only white voters in substantial numbers but also those who are of the “Republican ilk” speaks volumes about his appeal as a candidate. I plan to vote for Obama as well for many of the same reasons that Mr. Rosier mentioned in his post. I think part of Obama’s appeal is that he presents himself not so much as a “black candidate” but more as a candidate who happens to be black. Obama’s campaign somehow seems to transcend the issue of race, and this very fact is what makes him so electable to voters of many (I did not say all) stripes. On the issue of black voters, I think it is a good thing to see black voters showing support for candidates other than Obama (whether we are talking about Clinton or even Edwards or any other candidates). The real test at this point, as Mr. Rosier mentioned, will be the South Carolina primary, as we will get to see some real numbers on how many black voters will actually vote go for Clinton or for Obama. I guess my point here is that I would love to dispel the myth that all black voters vote as a monolith and the idea that one person could be “their candidate.” Maybe this was the case in the past, but that seems to be such a 20th century thing. I like the idea of thinking that now in the 21st century the idea of blacks having “their candidate” would become something of the past (if it ever existed, even though I guess Jesse Jackson in his runs for president during the 1980s is maybe the best example of that).
    As a point of personal disclosure, I will say that I have voted both for Republicans and Democrats in the past, but I feel certain I will vote for a Democrat this coming year as long as it is not Hillary. I am not sure where my vote would go if Hillary won the nomination. For all her “experience” I am convinced she would bring more of the deadlock that we have seen in government over the years. At the very least, I think Hillary as president would inspire even more of the bitter partisanship we have seen on both sides, and I think I prefer more practical results to any given ideology. Whether or not Obama (or any other candidate) could be effective is also unknown, but there is no doubt that he is inspiring people and giving hope to a country that is facing so many big, complex problems.

  4. Leo

    SC looms big in the nomination picture. Sen. McCain was soundly rejected by the State in 2000 on the way to electing Pres. Bush, twice. After eight (8) years, is he any better of a choice now? How will he play in November against either Sen. Clinton or Sen. Obama?

  5. MK

    The sentiment appears to be (not like it ever changed) that all Black people must support Barack Obama, regardless if his political positions differ with that Black voter. Any who deviate are fair game from the traditional attacks.But it would appear, not all Blacks are toeing the line. It’ll be interesting to see if the effort is made to denigrate the “blackness” of those not so accessible?Among blacks, Obama’s favorables are high (60 percent), but Clinton’s are higher (85 percent). Plus, Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, have deep roots in the black community always supporting black community, they have allot of excellent history for helping minorities. Black leaders are not interested as much in Obama as one might think either, how does that necessarily affect what the general Black American population thinks of him? We learned in NH not to trust media coverage any longer. Truth is and some of you may have noticed Barack is not getting the automatic support from African Americans that many assumed he would get since throwing his hat into the ring for the Democratic nomination for the presidency and (Louis Chude-Sokei, L.A Times article) makes an effort to inform us as to why this might be true. Unfortunately, while it has a few good points it misses the mark in too many ways. The main point, Obama isn’t “black enough” to get the support of the standing Black American leadership because of his White/Hawaiian/African (meaning NOT African American, but real African) heritage. all this goes to explain why Black leaders don’t seem to be warming to Obama as far as this University professor is concerned. Obamas public line of thinking, all things black in the US threatens the lock on the dem nominamtion, turning away non-black and educated black voters who won the iowa caucus for him. The tides have changed Obama will need to use more than ½ of his race to get educated black voters to support him. He now needs to begin showing substance and back away from the preaching. NH is a perfect example of whats to come.

  6. Obama hugh mistake for U.S.

    Obama he has managed to avoid media bias that’s been against Clinton. “Obama, through an unprecedented convergence of luck has never before faced serious attack yet, Media refuses to show he is a phony, someone whose lofty rhetoric isn’t born out in his own public record. WELL UNTIL SENATOR CLINTON BEAT HIM IN NH…Now his lack of foreign policy experience and showing he isn’t ready to lead in a dangerous world. His votes in the Senate to fund the Iraq war even as he tried to position himself as the strongest anti-war candidate. facts show he always supports the war, voted twice in 2006 against bringing America’s troops back home, votes for war appropriations giving our money to Halliburton and Blackwater, voted with Bush on posturing S 433 which allows the Bush to suspend any troop withdrawal! Record also shows Obama faced with tough choices always gave in to pressure from Bush admin and corporate lobbyists. Obama voted for Bush’s energy bill, sending more than $13 billion in subsidies and tax breaks to oil, coal, and nuclear companies, voted with Repub to allow credit card companies to raise interest rates over 30 percent, increasing hardship for families. “He talks about change but has no real record of making change. Lastly his use of the race card will not play well nationally, We are absolutely sick of obama saying hes not running on race, but thats all he offering and all we are talking about!!!!, he is a self proclaimed Black Racist. Again media attacks Romneys Mormon faith but refuses to discuss obama church. Go to website to know what he believes. I think the media needs to be held accountable! ALL the candidates should have been given the same treatment. All these OLD men who own these media outlets are afraid of an educated strong woman like Senator Clinton. Is why they attack her on clothes, wrinkles etc…And refuse to show her in any positive light. They have completely lost CREDIBILITY FOXs Kristol, CNN, MSNBC etc…Are just the “Enquire on TV.

  7. Obama truths coming out

    By Greg Sargent and Eric Kleefeld | bio
    Since the comparison of the Iraq positions over the years of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama is one of the hottest issues of the campaign, we thought it would be useful to post a comprehensive comparison of all of their votes on everything relating to the Iraq war.
    So here it is: A massive compilation of Iraq-related bills — and the votes by Hillary and Obama on them, side by side — beginning in early 2005, when Obama first joined the Senate.
    Of the total of 69 votes we compiled — some significant, some not — it turns out that the two differed on only one. You’ll see that one in bold on our chart. But let us be clear: We are not posting this to suggest that their earlier difference at the start of the war — their most important difference — should in any way be overshadowed by these similarities. For many, that difference will remain paramount — for good reason. We just wanted to add factual grist to what is but one component of the debate.
    As you can see, Clinton and Obama have voted the opposite way on only one vote on our list: The confirmation of General George Casey to be Chief of Staff for the Army, held just this past February. Hillary voted against confirmation, while Obama voted to confirm.
    Additionally, please don’t hold it against us if we missed any important votes. No agenda here, readers. If we did, let us know, and we’ll add it immediately. Herewith, our full chart of Iraq votes after the jump.

  8. Edwards 2008

    ASSOCIATED PRESS-Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has lot of explaining to do. He voted against requiring medical care for aborted fetuses who survive. He supported allowing retired police officers to carry concealed weapons, but opposed allowing people to use banned handguns to defend against intruders in their homes. And the list of sensitive topics goes on. With only a slim, two-year record in the U.S. Senate, Obama doesn’t have many controversial congressional votes which political opponents can frame into attack ads. But his eight years as an Illinois state senator are sprinkled with potentially explosive land mines, such as his abortion and gun control votes. recent land purchase from a political supporter who is facing charges in an unrelated kickback scheme involving investment firms seeking state business. Abortion opponents see Obama’s vote on medical care for aborted fetuses as a refusal to protect the helpless. Some have even accused him of supporting infanticide.

  9. Media Biased coverage exposed

    At this point, all of the geniuses in the mainstream media, mainly in television news, need to summon the courage to tell their audiences that there are a few important issues to be discussed and a few important facts to be collected before permitting a public coronation of any candidate based on dynasty, momentum, charisma or, God save us all, likeability.Cable news pundits may have successfully predicted John McCain’s victory in New Hampshire, but they sure had a lot of explaining to do around 10:30 p.m., once The Associated Press and MSNBC projected victory for Hillary Rodham Clinton. “The polls were so wrong. So off,” MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann said. Perhaps exaggerating slightly, Olbermann added, “Two cable news networks actually predicted this outcome after Sen. Obama conceded.” Chris Matthews, co-anchoring the evening broadcast on MSNBC, told Clinton adviser Howard Wolfson an hour later, “I will never underestimate Hillary Clinton again.”
    It was that kind of night for the punditocracy. So how do the media come back after being so far off? “I think the people are going to make some judgments about us,” Brokaw said. It is quite possible that voters, who were barraged in the past days with reports about how Obama was cruising to a double-digit victory, already have.
    pundits were irresponsible in predicting Obama would win by 15 points or more just two days ago. There should be an investigation into that. Did these pundits have some hidden agendas? FOX NEWS and MSNBC
    pundants and media should stop trying to control what our society thinks and how we vote and stick to reporting facts. It’s sickening to hear all the endless chatter about polls and projections.
    A major result of this election season so far is to demonstrate how damaging an unfiltered, unbroken media stream can be. Faced with filling endless space, journalists write endless nonsense… it is deeply harmful to efforts to elect the best possible leaders.”
    What arrested obama’s surge is the fact that a lot of people can see whose side the press is on. The favoritism is sickening. No one wants a candidate shoved down their throa

  10. JoseyJ

    Prior to Iowa, the media thought Obama’s “hope” was just great. Edwards supporters didn’t and realized it was a ruse.
    Now that Obama has lost NH – the media thinks he should get some substance. ha!
    The reality is – the media is smart enough to know “hope” is not a sufficient platform – but they hyped it to diminish Edwards – the best candidate for president.
    Obama and Hillary copied Edwards SUBSTANCE in their speeches last night.
    Obama won’t win the nomination and his campaign helps Hillary.
    Go Edwards!

  11. Richard L. Wolfe

    Wouldn’t it be funny if the candidates had have a ” truth shocker” that operated like a taiser that made them dance around like the puppets they are everytime they told a lie. I would pay to watch Hillary’s wide hide bounce across the stage.

  12. Jim Gonzales

    Fred Thompson is the real conservative in the race.
    In Arkansas the republican party endorsed Fred Thompson and not Huckabee.
    Huckabee is soft on immigration. He raised taxes more then Bill Clinton. Gave more pardons then the last 3 governors including Bill Clinton.
    Come on wake up South Carolina. Its your chance to save the republican party from itself.
    I’ve always thought of South Carolina as a place filled with real conservatives. Don’t let us down.

  13. Lee Muller

    South Carolina became LESS important because this childish stunt of moving the primary cost us half our delegates.


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