January 22nd, 2008
04:40 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama gets big endorsement in South Carolina

WASHINGTON (CNN) - South Carolina's largest newspaper endorsed Democrat Barack Obama Tuesday, hailing the Illinois senator's "unifying style of leadership."

In an editorial posted on its Web site Tuesday afternoon, The State's editorial board praised Obama for not using his rhetorical skills to demonize his rivals, and said he has the ability to win over independents and Republicans without "neglecting his core values."

"He defends his progressive vision with vigorous integrity," the editorial board wrote. "But for him, American unity – transcending party – is a core value in itself."

While they praised Hillary Clinton as a policy wonk with a "deep understanding of many issues," the editorial board wrote her administration was bound to be highly partisan, and said the Clintons often seem motivated by personal vindication.

They also discounted John Edwards, saying he is no longer "the optimist who won South Carolina in 2004."

Meanwhile, Clinton picked up a key South Carolina endorsement Tuesday in State Rep. Fletcher Smith, a longtime African American legislator from Greenville County.

Clinton will be the third presidential candidate to be endorsed by Smith, who began the race supporting Bill Richardson, but defected to Sen. Joe Biden last fall. Smith has been uncommitted since Biden dropped out of the race after a poor showing in the Iowa caucuses.

Smith's blessing may come in handy for Clinton in the population center of Greenville, where Obama has already enlisted the support of former state party chair Joe Erwin.

- CNN's Alexander Mooney and Peter Hamby

soundoff (134 Responses)
  1. Phil

    Good for him. Anything matters at this time no matter who does it!

    January 22, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  2. James Brown ( Independent )

    Smart move on this News Papers part. They see what most of America are seeing.

    Clinton divides this country even worse then Bush , before she even gets a chance to put her partisan politics into practice in the Oval office. She is not good for this country "period".

    January 22, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  3. Gail Meriweather

    If by some odd chance Clinton wins the democratic nomination, I as an African American mom of a freshman at Harvard will not be voting for her in the general election, I will be voting for the Republican nominee. Clinton and her husband has shown me just how nasty they really are and to think I supported her by giving $1,000 to her senatorial campaign–such a bad investment. My child's dreams and aspirations are not a fairy tale!

    January 22, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  4. Murry

    Thank you to The State. Thank you for recognizing that Barack Obama is a man of integrity and he takes the moral high road.
    The solution is not to keep fighting the Repulicans, as Hillary says she does very well. Do not ask first why others cannot change. Ask first what you can change about yourself. MLK was only 39 when he died. Though young, he was wise beyond years. He was a man of peace. He reached out. He had a dream. Let's do him honor by following his example.

    January 22, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  5. Mike R

    At last, someone has it right, Obama is the only candidate that can re-unify this country.

    January 22, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  6. joe, lowell,ma

    While I understand the radical stance of the church in historic term, this does pose some further questions about his core values.

    'Change' in and of itself is not good. Just look at Britain. It has changed in the last twenty years beyond recognition and it's a mess. I think he will struggle now simply because further scrutiny of his church and it political ties will undermine him.

    And I believe the process has shown that America is not racist, simply that they are not willing to jeopardise their country and the world at large.

    Had the issues been of race and not national securtiy I think they would have been brushed aside, as they should by any decent human being.

    January 22, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  7. jem, london, uk

    it is ridiculous that the term moslem is used as an insult -ridiculous and unconstitutional. the sad thing is that, to most people, anyone with strong religious convictions seems like a nut. the rest of the world doesn't want america run by fundamentalist christians either. at least hillary only worships money and power, eh?

    January 22, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  8. Bob

    Here are three foreign policy issues that Bill and Hillary Clinton are having problems with:

    1) She did vote to give the President permission to invade Iraq and take focus off of Pakistan/Afghanistan. No matter what she says....she voted to give him permission to invade knowing it would divert from finding Osama.

    2) The Clintons were in the White House for 8 years prior to the 9/11 attacks and could have gotten Osama Bin Laden but failed to do so. Bush took office and one year later you see what happened.

    3) Bill has foreign policy experience...duh....but Hillary does not. She was the first lady. This would be the same as saying Laura Bush has foriegn policy experience because she visited/vacationed in these countries and had tea with their leaders.

    I don't think Obama will be able to hold off Hillary given the HUGE amount of SUPER-delegates that get to choose without the voters. Then in the general election, she will likely lose to the galvinized Republican base and indepedents who are tired of the Bush/Clinton aristocracy.

    January 22, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  9. proundobamafan

    This Smith guy is.not serious how can u endorse 3 candidates, one after the other lol,

    What a joke, Billary should refuse his endorsement
    Rock on Obama

    set the trend Americans will follow

    January 22, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  10. Nando, Florida

    Thank you South Carolina for your leadership in what is a most favorable endorsement for the Next President of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

    BARAK OBAMA 08,12

    January 22, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  11. C

    whatever... he won several "large" endorsements by unions in Nevada, and it didn't matter. At the end of the day, no one cares whether Oprah or some newspaper endorsed the candidate. The Clinton campaign doesn't need to highlight such endorsements. She's a natural winner.

    January 22, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  12. charlotte

    I for one will be glad when the election is over. Barack gets endorsement ,Hillary gets endorsement. Who cares, like that is going to make me vote for someone. Show me where you stand on the issues and how you plan to get it done and paid for.

    January 22, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  13. GaryO Virginia Beach

    Obama and his supporters claim for him a "unifying style of leadership," but what do they base that on? What or whom has he unified?

    Personally, I think his supporters' unthinking adoration of him is creepy. Barack Obama has more in common with David Karesh then MLK.

    January 22, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  14. Jack ny, ny

    That is not surprising. He is going to SOuth Carolina. Not sure about rest of the estate.

    January 22, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |

    Obama did not seem to "unifying" in any of the debates! He talks a great game... IN PREPARED SPEECHES!

    January 22, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  16. Ryan, Los Angeles CA

    Core values are one thing... the ability to do anything is quite another. Barack doesn't have what it takes.

    January 22, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  17. Kwaku D, California

    "While they praised Hillary Clinton as a policy wonk with a "deep understanding of many issues," the editorial board wrote her administration was bound to be highly partisan, and said the Clintons often seem motivated by personal vindication."

    The editorial board couldn't have said it any better. America needs new leadership that transcends political parties and restores America's credibility and moral leadership around the world. Obama gives us that hope!

    January 22, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  18. John Manley

    ask the candidates what they would do if; one of our ships was sunk by a foreign country? if; one of our aircraft carriers was hit by a supersonic Russian missile provided to Iran and fired by Iran? if; Iran or Lebanon or Syria takes our military hostage. if; we suffered another Katrina? if; an American Airliner is taken hostage? if; the Arab countries got together and blocked oil to the US? if; the Sears Tower and the Towers in LA were taken down in the same day by the terorists?
    There's many questions that need answering. I'd like to see an Obama/ McCain ticket..

    January 22, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  19. David

    I had always liked Hillary and hope she would run for presidency but now that she is out running as Billary I have realised it was all wishful thinking. Glad I have woken from a 7 years bad dream. If she picks the dem ticket, you should expect another term for the repub.

    January 22, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  20. Jim in Orlando, FL

    I am a Republican, and have voted Republican in 100% of the Presidential elections I ever cast in (8 so far), and 90% of all other opportunities, twice voting Dem for Senate seats. In speaking with my Republican friends in the workplace, etc, the overwhelming consensus amongst us is that Obama would be much harder to beat than Hillary in the general election. It ain't even close. He earned that respect.

    January 22, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  21. Chris from Houston

    CNN reported that the researched evidence regarding Clinton's comments were of course unfounded and that Obama's remarks were indeed true. I believe it was another attempt of a Clinton "spinning" public opinion. It reminded me of the Famous "sexual relations" definition debate. The Clintons are masterful at verbatum deceit of the American people. We need a new type of politics and I now see that Obama is that leader.

    January 22, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  22. Tom Spartanburg, SC

    I had been considering voting for Hillary Clinton until I saw last night's debate. She looked so petty and untruthful when she was responding to Barack Obama. Barack Obama might not have the "35 years of experience " that Hillary does, but he sure does tell the truth and spread this message of unity and hope that we need so badly. I will be casting my ballot for either Barack Obama or John Edwards.

    January 22, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  23. Faye

    This guy who endorsed Clintons is a looser. He endosed Bill richardson and is already out!

    January 22, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  24. Bill

    Big deal Obama will win in South Carolina. So getting an endorsement seems kind of anti-climatic. We have known for quite some time that Obama is going to win South Carolina. Even before his poll numbers went up. When African-Americans have a chance at electing one of their own to the White House it's almost a given most will vote for Obama regardless. I am from Louisiana and there are parts where unless you are an African-American candidate you might as well not run because you are not going to win. The biggest problem for Obama is this is the wrong state race at the wrong time for him. South Carolina in the general election is a hardened Republican state. He would have been better off having to compete for a close race in a state with a different demographic that is also a pivotal state. Here the news will be nothing nobody will be surprised by. Also there will be no bump in the polls from this either. Obama's campaign should have never agreed to moving the South Carolina primary.

    January 22, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  25. Padma marchant

    Politics is a very dirty business. Candidates even step beyond their moral conscious to win the race by "hook or crook" method.. This approach is very unethical to practice as all candidates are holding family values along with their great experience in politics. Hope younger generation don't repeat this kind of dirty and cheap tricks to get elected to rule the great nation.

    January 22, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
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