January 20th, 2008
02:10 PM ET
7 years ago

Pop star Usher to appear at Obama rally

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - Few people can say they've graced more magazine covers than Barack Obama - but Usher is certainly one of them. Now they'll share the same photo-op.

CNN has learned that the R&B superstar and heart-throb will appear on the same stage with Obama at a rally in Orangeburg on Tuesday evening.

An Obama spokesman said Usher won't perform at the event, but will speak about why he is supporting the Illinois senator.

It's not the first time the singer has stumped for Obama. Usher first appeared at a rally for the senator in Atlanta back in September of last year.

"I stand here representing our youth," he said at the time, reading from index cards. "If you want change you have to get involved."

In light of the Obama campaign's efforts to court young African-American voters here, the event's location at South Carolina State University is not insignificant: it's the state's largest and oldest historically black university.

Actress Kerry Washington, who starred in films like "Ray" and "The Last King of Scotland," will also be at the event.

– CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby

soundoff (318 Responses)
  1. TJS

    INdepent voter here. I will vote dem if McCain is on the ticket. Unless, Obama is on the ticket. It is just not his time yet. A little more experience and then try again in the next election. I will never vote for either of these 2 candidates. And I can understand why the Hispanics are so against the blacks. Do we have a special Hispanic Caucus. Do they scream "racist"? Not that I ever heard. I lived in Texas most of my life and have very good friends that are legal immigrants and knew of the many, many illegals working there. And they were not doing jobs americans would not do, they were doing jobs cheaper than Americans would do them for. There is quite a difference. The banks on Fridays were packed with these people, mainly men cashing their checks and getting money orders to mail their earnings(nothing withheld) straight back to their families in Mexico. The legal immigrants told me time and again. They do not have a problem with what they went through to gain citizenship to our country. but they do have a problem with it becoming easier for these that continue to break our laws. They feel they will continue to break our laws and continue to send everything back to "their" country.

    January 21, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  2. jp/michigan

    OBAMA'S TEAM DOESN'T PLAY THE RACE CARD . LET SEE OPRA, WILL SMITH NOW USHER. THAT SHOULD GET OUT THE YOUNG AFERICAN-AMERICAN VOTER. AFTER ALL THE SEE OBAMA AS A ROCK STAR.

    January 21, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  3. Sensibly Thinking

    If people in the US are going to base their vote for president on what celebrities such as Usher or Oprah think then they are better off voting for American Idol.

    People need to think for themselves and not do what celebrities do.

    If you are that obsessed with the behavior and actions of Hollywood stars on TV then you need to take you butt out the door and star gaze from outside because you don't have the capability to choose who runs this country.

    Lets not choose another republican and send this country into a third recession caused by a group of people who don't have any interest of making this country better. Republicans are all about big business and they will stop at nothing to make their pockets heavier even if they have to "step on babies" to do it.

    January 21, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  4. SPQR753

    To "Mike from Australia":

    You have the right to criticize any American politician, however until a few weeks ago Australia was run by a Prime Minister by the name of John Howard.

    Compared to him, any , repeat any, Democratic candidate, including those that have retired from the Presidential race, is intellectually and politically "head and shoulders" above your John Howard.

    No offence, intended.....

    January 21, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  5. Bill

    You bought the Bush rhetoric, made him president, bought the "Iraq is a terrorist state", which created Iraq being a hot bed of terrorism, you bought into Bush a second time. Sooner or later, you might learn how to RESEARCH instead of taking ques from your parents prejudices, sound bites, your local minister, and what the TV show you. Look up the candidates. SEE what their experience is. What they have done. What bills they have supported, passed, and voted for. Hillary tells all she has a heath care plan based on experience. Experience of blackboarding ideas and presenting them to no one. Barack Obama has helped EVERY CHILD in Illinois get health insurance. Don't believe it because I say it, LOOK IT UP, Do the research. Take responsibility in which candidate you support, Take some ownership of your country, while you still can.

    January 21, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  6. Doug

    As a conservative leaning independent, I think I can make a case for this election being the best opportunity for an African American Democrat to get elected. In the future the most electable minority Democrats will probably be Hispanics. As the percentage of African Americans in the population continues to decline, the chances for one of them to get elected declines as well. If you are African American and you are considering a vote for Ms. Clinton, you are quite likely guaranteeing that an African American will never be president.

    January 21, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  7. DNUNEZ

    THE TRUTH ALWAYS PREVAILS...ALWAYS...OBAMA IS AMERICA'S FUTURE. IF CLINTON WINS NOW, SHE WILL NEVER BE ELECTED PRESIDENT...NEVER...SO MANY DEMOCRATS I KNOW WILL NEVER VOTE FOR HER IF SHE IS THE NOMINEE. HER AND HER HUSBAND (A MODERN DAY BONNIE AND CLYDE), ARE RUTHLESS LIARS (PROVEN WHEN BILL WAS IN OFFICE) WHO CARE ONLY FOR THEMSELVES AND CERTAINLY NOT ANY LATINO, AFRICAN AMERICAN OR MIDDLE CLASS AMERICAN. AMERICA, DO NOT BELIEVE THEIR LIES. THEY WILL DO AND SAY ANYTHING TO GET ELECTED. HILL AND BILL (BONNIE AND CLYDE) ARE REALLY MODERN DAY CRIMINALS....IN A COUPLE OF YEARS THERE WILL BE A SPECIAL ON THEM, ON A CHANNEL LIKE A&E, ON HOW EVIL THEY ARE UNDER THE HEADLINE "THE FALL OF AMERICA"... I PROMISE YOU- ITS ALREADY IN THE WORKS AS THEY CONTINUE DAILY, TO ADD GREAT FOOTAGE TO A HISTORICAL PART OF HISTORY THAT WILL BE SAD FOR US ALL. VOTE FOR REAL CHANGE...VOTE OBAMA 08'

    January 21, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  8. sandia

    I am a young woman from Jamaica i know you all might think that i have no wrigth to comment but as a black person i think i do pleople around the world is watching why cant black people just unite for once and do what is right, how can you call Bill Clinton black, are you blind i would call Bush black over Clinton he has done more to support black's in the white House and the higest office ever held in the us by a black person is under Bush, grant you i dont lick Bush but you have to honest. I wonder who is running for president Mr. or Mrs Clinton i support Obama and i have hope when he speek and i am sure others do, look at the man can't you see Dr. King living through him just take a good look.

    January 21, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  9. blair

    Please explain why African Americans would be insulted that a white man would let himself be portrayed as the first black president?
    Was it not at the Congressinal Black Caucus Annual Awards Dinner in 2001 that the chair of the caucus, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, told the crowd that Clinton "took so many initiatives he made us think for a while we had elected the first black president." ?
    Did not Rep. John Lewis say Clinton "has the rare capacity of connecting with African- Americans. He understands the hopes and dreams and the frustration of African- Americans. We identify with him and he can identify with us." ?

    January 21, 2008 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  10. sandia

    I am a young woman from Jamaica i know you all might think that i have no wrigth to comment but as a black person i think i do pleople around the world is watching why can't black people just unite for once and do what is right, how can you call Bill Clinton black, are you blind i would call Bush black over Clinton he has done more to support black's in the white House and the higest office ever held in the us by a black person is under Bush, grant you i dont like Bush but you have to honest. I wonder who is running for president Mr. or Mrs Clinton i support Obama and i have hope when he speak and i am sure others do, look at the man can't you see Dr. King living through him just take a good look.

    January 21, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  11. Chris

    OBAMA????

    Isn't he on Judicial watch's top 10 most corrupt politicians??

    I gauruntee you half of the people endorsing him don't know half of his positions.

    THese people are gonna vote for a guy that voted FOR THE PATRIOT ACT that allows the government to read all emails and listen to all phone conversations.

    THis guy is like the ANtiChrist to black people. He comes talking about all this change; yet he will hurt more Blacks than he will help.

    Has obama said anything about the RACIST DRUG WAR????

    NO

    Yet the only person who would PARDON ALL NON VIOLENT DRUG CRIMINALS BECAUSE THE DRUG LAWS ARE RACIST is RON PAUL.

    Obama wants to give universal healthcare...

    Yet anyone who actually researched HOW HE WOULD DO IT would know that he will get rid of the BUSH TAX CUTS...Thats $140 BILLION DOLLARS

    So our economy sucks and we're going to RAISE TAXES...Yeah theres REAL CHANGE FOR YA

    So let me make sure I have this right....

    Our Economy is horrible; The Dollar is collapsing, the cost of living is Skyrocketing, our Empire is spread too thin, And we won't have the money to maintain Social Security and Medicare in the next 5 to 10 years, SO we should vote for the guy that CAN'T COMMIT TO BEING OUT OF IRAQ BY 2013, The guy that voted for the surge, the guy that will RAISE taxes, the guy that doesn't want to secure the border, all because he "SOUNDS LIKE A GREAT GUY AND HE TALKS ABOUT CHANGE"

    WAKE UP PEOPLE

    WASHINGTON NEEDS AN ENEMA AND FOR THAT YOU CALL A DOCTOR

    WE NEED RON PAUL

    Lower taxes
    No more endless war
    No more Govt spying on its own people
    No more wasteful drug war imprisoning mostly minorities
    No More PATRIOT ACT
    No more NAU

    January 21, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  12. Josh

    When you look past the superficial appearances and rhetoric, i.e. Obama's "change" and McCain's "straight-talk", they are both big-government socialists who pander and do whatever it takes to be popular and electable.

    They both support the funding of the war and the Patriot Act. Obama "might" end the way by 2014. He is a coward like the rest of the democrats who won't take a stand against the war.
    Funny how many people in NH voted for McCain because they thought he was anti-war. LOL!!!

    There's no change with either McCain or Obama or Shillary or Romney, just the illusion of change that fools the naive.

    January 21, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  13. Tracey

    sweet! OBAMA 08! Yes we can – all fired up and ready to go. I got hope!!!

    January 21, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  14. Larry Buchas, New Britain, CT

    Let's make one thing perfectly clear. Most of us are not Hillary haters. She is nery knowledgeable and can lend to improving many areas. But we can sense a worse scenario if she wins the Democratic nomination.

    1. Her electability is questionable given her negative ratings.

    2. If Hillary gets the nomination; a third party candidate (probably Bloomberg) will enter the presidential race and siphon votes.

    3. If Hillary gets the nomination; two important developments regarding Democratic voters are Afro-Americans and younger voters will become disenchanted and not show up election day.

    4. If Hillary gets the nomination; Republicans and Independents will vote for either the Republican or a third party candidate.

    5. If Hillary gets the nomination; Republicans will flock to the polls to not only vote against her but also vote for Republicans for the House and Senate.

    Hillary will only empower anti-Democratic voting blocs. We can't afford that.
    Obama's message is to unite. Hillary cannot match his appeal in that regard.

    January 21, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  15. Jon, Pittsburgh, PA

    Does anyone think it of interest that Barrack is not getting the same level of scrutiny that Hillary gets? Could it be that the new media is largely owned by rich, conservative Republicans? That would like to face off against Barrack? I think so.

    January 21, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  16. Cathy

    I have fond memories of SCSU; I was the token white girl one year at a summer program at Claflin College, which is the private college that adjoins SC State. Too bad Orangeburg is too far away for me to drive.

    January 21, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  17. Joslyn

    I hope that this comment will be seen. I'm truly ashamed of the negative comments aired in public by so "Black Leaders" like Andrew Young. In this great land we can now vote for whom ever we wish. it's ok to vote for Hillary or which ever candidate you wish, BUT, don't speak ill of a Black man making history. This is what Dr. king lived and died for. How can Andrew Young make a statement that Bill Clinton is MORE black than Obama? This is why we as a black race can't get anywhere in this world not because of what others are doing to us, BUT, what we are doing to ourselves. Let's support Obama, not tear him down. Vote your choice, but don't tear down this black man so many of us are so PROUD of.

    Joslyn in Texas

    January 21, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  18. Sad to Say

    For all of you counting the black people who are supporting Obama based on race. Shame on you because you are only trying to influence other white voters into not supporting him. The fact is black people have always voted for the white man and it was all good. For the first time in history the black man has had an opportunity to compete in what has always been the white man's world. Keep spinning your prejudice comments and the democratic party will be just like the republican party racist.

    January 21, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  19. RuthieM

    Senator Obama is a brilliant man, and this is another great backer supporting him. Now the rest of the nation needs to wake up, especially those warped black leaders attacking Obama in their zeal for Cintons! And the media needs to get their microphones out of the black faces and stop interviewing them about Obama's 'blackness' and will they vote for him, and put those microphones instead in the faces of the Mormons and ask them why they are supporting Romney, asks them if they will support another candidate. It makes me sick to my stomach that the media and the Clintons treat blacks like monkeys, scrutinizing, interrogating blacks about Obama, pulling Obama apart over whether he's black, whether he will get the black vote, whether blacks will go for Clinton or Obama. Why doesn't the media do this same thing with the Mormons on Romney, with the Italians on Guiliani, with the Christians on Huckabee, stick the mics in their faces and harrass them, but leave the blacks alone and stop treating them with disrespect. And as far as Obama is concerned, he has always been his unique self, he's always talked about One United States of America, no red states no blue states. Now media wants him to define his blackness, talk about his blackness. Well, he also comes from a white mother. Why doesn't media interview whites about him. Why doesn't the media talk about Clinton's whiteness, Edwards whiteness? I think Obama needs to go for the white vote too against Hillary, after all he is white too, no matter how much Clinton and the media want the rest of the nation to turn against him for being black. But above it all, he is a person, and that's the real deal. Go get 'em, Obama! OBAMA '08!!!!

    January 21, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  20. Kevin

    I think Obama said it best.

    "There is a ridiculous assumption that somehow the black community is so unsophisticated that the minute you put an African American face on the screen, they say that's our guy"

    Blacks in America see more to Obama than the "black guy" running for president. End of story.

    January 21, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  21. Dara

    What the Republican's know but have not brought up YET

    This is DIRECTLY from Obama’s book:

    “Although I was raised by my mother, I identified more closely with the race of my father” (who left the family when Obama was 2)
    “‘I ceased to advertise my mother’s race at the age of 12 or 13, when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites,” Obama’s DIRECT statement
    “Although I spent various portions of my youth living with my white maternal grandfather and Indonesian stepfather, I vowed that I would ‘never emulate white men and brown men whose fates didn’t speak to my own. It was into my father’s image, the black man, son of Africa, that I’d packed all the attributes I sought in myself, the attributes of Martin and Malcolm, DuBois and Mandela.’
    Obama wrote that in high school, he and a black friend would sometimes speak disparagingly ‘about white folks this or white folks that, and I would suddenly remember my mother’s smile, and the words that I spoke would seem awkward and false.’
    “As a result, he concluded that ‘certain whites could be excluded from the general category of our distrust.’”

    Excellent — I wonder which whites in American politics, or even in America at large, are today excluded? Also, family-values Americans won’t be too thrilled that he identified with a father who left when Obama was 2, had multiple wives at once, sired eight children with several different women, and was an abusive drunk that was brutally abusive to the mothers of his children.

    This is not a personal attack on Obama. With this kind of family history, it’s understandable he would have troubles dealing with everything. Sociological research has revealed that mixed-race Americans often end up identifying with one race or another. But Americans need a president without such issues. At the very least, he’ll have to convince America he’s past it by explicitly contradicting HIS published work….

    What do you think will happen when Obama's OWN published words are brought out by the Republicans???

    January 21, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  22. Joseph

    I am Joseph, I like Obama not because he is black like me, but for his honesty. I believe he is the only candidate who can bring the kind of change that I want to see in America.

    January 21, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  23. Jennifer

    As a black woman it disappoints me to hear about blacks who are supporting Obama and have no valid reason other than supporting a black man. Let's hear Usher's reasons first before saying why he's doing it. We also need to hear why women support Hillary first before assuming it's because she's a woman. Give everyone a chance to voice their reasons before making comment.

    Chris–
    Well said. When I hear about people strongly supporting Obama I wonder if they've done their homework on his voting record or lack of one. Then on the issues he has voted on, what did they mean for the country?

    January 21, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  24. checkthisout

    Perhaps OBAMA should spend sometime in Hollywood before he tries to enter the White House, Just like Ronald Reagan did.

    January 21, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  25. Obama 2008

    We dont want third team of clinton please reject that my fellow American `s becuase they want to beed for white house forever Obama 2008

    January 21, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
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