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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

US Presidential campaign: South Carolina « Previous | |Next »
January 27, 2008

It is the Democrats’ turn to pick a presidential nominee in South Carolina, a state with a large black population-- about half the electorate was black. The contest that has been marked by racial polarization and bitter personality clashes between Obama and Clinton in the past week, and Obama is expected to win.

It's really a two-person race between Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, except that the Clinton camp is really a double team, as Hillary has Bill doing the bad cop routine as well as doing the town-hall-style events with their mini lectures on public affairs. If Obama is about the 'new politics'--transcendence, reconciliation and unity---then Hillary is in danger of falling back into Bill's shadow.

ThompsonM.Obamajpg.jpg
Mike Thompson

Will the Clintons succeed in painting Obama as "the black candidate"? The Clinton camp has tried to create low performance expectations for Hillary while simultaneously framing an expected Obama win as a referendum on his race. Is the US ready for a black president?

John Edwards is still unable to shake off his distant third status. Will Edwards be able to hang in long enough to play a kingmaker role, if neither Obama nor Clinton wins more than 50% of the Democratic delegates? He cannot get airtime before Super Tuesday.

Recent state polls Edwards, the often forgotten Democratic candidate in the race, within four or five percentage points of Clinton for second place. A third-place finish could look bad for Clinton. That is not realistic possibility. However, the Clintons as retro--1992---is.

Update
I'm trying the Brave New Films Network's attempt at a live feed the primary by the Young Turks.

The sound has just gone at my end. Dunno what's happening there. Still you have the link for the live feed if you want to log in.

I notice that the Christain campaign from the Obama camp signifies to South Carolina's many Christian voters that Obama is one of them and therefore should have their vote for President. He's been called by God to bring change. Oh my.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:16 AM | | Comments (3)
Comments

Comments

Gary,
Jonathan Freedland writes in The Guardian that:

Hillary's greatest asset has been her husband. Few doubt that he is steering campaign strategy and there is no one better. In South Carolina he has been happy to play attack dog for his wife, leaving her to make high-minded speeches that ignore her Democratic opponent and focus, loftily, on the case against George W Bush. They are "double-teaming" against Obama...
So fate has played a cruel trick against Barack Obama. It has made him the most exciting newcomer in US politics for a very long time - then pitted him against the man who held that title first.

Results have yet to come in. The exit polls indicate that Barack Obama will win overwhelmingly in the South Carolina primary tonight leaving Hillary Clinton and John Edwards to fight it out for second place. Voter at the exit polls Voters said they cared more about the economy than anything else, including the war in Iraq. They also cared a lot more about a candidate’s ability to bring about change than whether the candidate cares about people like them, has the right experience, or is able to beat the Republican nominee in November.

Television network projections, based on early returns, have Barack Obama scoring an overwhelming victory over Sen. Hillary Clinton.

Nan,
I'm watching the results on Washington Post as they are updated. At this stage only 1% of the precincts have been counted---Obama is 63%, Clinton is 24% and Edwards is 12%. 3% reporting. 53% Obama, 32% Clinton 15% Edwards

I'm also listening to the chat amongst the Young Yorks on Brave New Films Network:
7% reporting. 51% obama 30% clinton 19% edwards
55% reporting 55% obama 27% clinton 18% edwards
71% reporting 54% obama 27% clinton 19% edwards
Obama wins big. That sets up a full-scale clash between Clinton and Obama on Super Tuesday, Feb 5th. Obama is taking the under 30 vote by 3-1 over Clinton. He even took the majority of white youth. Race may be the hot button demarcation, but age is just as big.

Gary,
Everything I know about how this works I learned from the West Wing. I gather this split 2 each for Clinton and Obama means one of three things - either Edwards stays on and tries to split support from the other two, Edwards bows out and directs his support to one or the other, or Edwards bows out and his supporters go for their second favourite. Yes? No?

How much pressure would there be on Edwards in any of these directions, considering he's so close behind Clinton?