January 22nd, 2008
04:40 PM ET
7 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. anon middle america

    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.

    Newt Gingrich former R-GA just last week stated that HE had orchestrated the defeat of the Universal Health Care Plan which Hillary headed in 1993, BUT later they set aside their personal differences and came together to work on a new health care plan and military panel.

    He admitted that he personally respected Senator Clinton for her courage to learn and ability to grow – as well as her political acumen and organization.

    So here's one of her fiercest former nemesis and she was able to "reach across the aisle and put aside past differences to get things done"!! Is that "highly partisan and personal vindication?" (who can know what the motives of the newspapers editors are anymore or did we ever?!)

    And it is always amazing what cnn doesn't choose to cover and which comments get posted...

    January 22, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  2. AVAN

    Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton are both from the south, but Obama seems to be taking charge of South Carolina. Raises questions over Clintons ice cold persona. It might appeal to the homely voters of the south who might view the infidelity and her ice cold personality as unapealing. The democrats have to realize that Obama is the most appealing candidate. His personality is amazing, a real unifier. He lacks foreign affairs expertise and Bill Richardson is the best from both sides on that factor.

    January 22, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  3. Citizen

    I THINK IT'S WRONG OF AMERICAN/AFRICAN'S TO VOTE FOR OBAMA
    STRICKLY BECAUSE HE'S BLACK. REVERSE DISCRIMINATION.
    VOTE YOUR CHOICE, ON THE FACTS. RACE, CREED, HAVE NO PLACE
    IN PICKING OUR CANDIDATES WHATEVER REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRATS ALIKE.

    IF I THOUGHT OBAMA WAS THE BEST PERSON TO LEAD OUR COUNTRY I WOULD VOTE FOR HIM. IF IT WERE SENATORS CLINTON OR MACLAIN, I'D VOTE FOR THEM.
    LOOK AT THEIR VOTING RECORDS, THEIR CAUSES, AND WHAT THEY HAVE SO FAR ACCOMPLISHED.

    January 22, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  4. Helen

    All Obama is rhetoric!!! His debate performance showed another side of Mr. Perfect. How long was Hillary supposed to let BO attack her. His lack of experience really showed. Hillary and Edwards for America

    January 22, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  5. kuganathan

    american unity means obama and unifying style of leadership.

    January 22, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  6. laurie

    I think that, while this dog and pony show certainly is entertaining, voters should not get buried under the name calling, band wagon jumping, pathetic attempts to undermine each other. People need to look at the records of the candidates Who really has your best interests in mind? Who has the best ideas and plans for your country? Who has proved themselves thus far, not by words but by actions? Don't let your vote be swayed by who can argue and trash the other person better. Let the candidates stand on the job they have done, not the job they claim to have done. Don't be fooled into voting for the wrong reasons.

    January 22, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  7. ZH

    My explanation is simple: The Iraq war is casuing us spend 7 trillion a year, which will put the country in a great depression in teh near future. Fed is trying to delay this happening artificially by constantly lowering the interest rate, keeping the value of US$ low, which has a long term effect on the economy. We are going to face the worst depression ever.

    Therefore, those who supported the war, and threw in the mess, should be held accountable. None of them should be given a chance to be a president. Therefore, Hillary is the first one out from my list….

    January 22, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  8. Cheryl

    THIS IS INSANE HOW ON EARTH CAN ANYONE SAY THAT HILLARY WAS TO BLAME FOR LAST NIGHT? BORAK LOOKED CHILDISH AND FOOLISH AND VERY INEXPERIENCED!!!!!!!!!!!!! I THINK THAT THE PEOPLE HAVE IT FIGURED OUT HE IS COUNTING ON THE BLACK VOTE. BUT WHAT HAS HE DONE FOR YOU ? WHAT HAS HILLARY DONE FOR YOU OR BILL CLINTON? REMEMBER THAT ON SATURDAY. TALK IS CHEAP VOTE EXPERIENCE VOTE HILLARY CLINTON THE REAL DEAL 2008

    January 22, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  9. GiveMeABreak from Texas

    Barack Rocks!!!!!!!!!!

    Hang in there guy...American is starting to take notice.

    January 22, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  10. GERALD

    It's hard to beleave anyone could endorse someone who has no experience in
    the government.THIS IS NO TIME FOR SOMEONE TO GET ON THEJOB TRAINING FOR THE HIGHEST JOB IN THIS COUNTRY. We need someone
    with experience .LETS GO HILLARY CLINTON............................

    January 22, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  11. Jay

    CNN why don't you report that Clinton won a big endorsement from Union in CA.
    I think Union endorsement is more important than the paper endorsement.
    CNN is pro Obama and anti Clinton and that is the reason Obama has a free ride so far.We saw in debate last night that when confronted Obama can't give straight answers.He looks so inexperienced , naive and rattled.
    I want to know Mr. Obama " Where is the beef".

    January 22, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  12. Chaunda

    I cannot see how Obama is unifying anything based on these blogs. I have seen some blogs against him mostly questioning his experience and a inabilty to speak to speicfics in what his presidency would bring (please do not send me to his website I have been there and have found more flowery language).

    I also find it interesting that he is "not using his rhetorical skills to demonize his rivals". Since when? Maybe the first week but he has mock the fact that they gave good answers in debates to his chorus of uh's.

    I also find the phrase about "he has the ability to win over independents and Republicans without "neglecting his core values." completely unproven. People have moved from candidate to candidate like bees in a field of flowers. With much of his base coming from independents many of which also favor McCain, how are we to know if he can hold onto them after the primaries when the republicans will pull him apart like a freshly plucked chicken. Believe me the media who have made him their darling will relish turning on him as they have so many and the republicans will close ranks and laugh their way to the White House.

    January 22, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  13. Mom of 3 in GA

    Thank you, CNN, for making us aware of this endorsement. It hold much weight, as The State is read and respected by many - including every race and gender. Obama is a clear Unifier - and with the partisanship that has led Washington for the past 8 years, it will be a breath of fresh air to have a true democracy in this country and no more polarization.
    – A Former Clinton Supporter.

    January 22, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  14. J.R.

    Murry is right. Obama has not used the kind of vicious, slash-and-burn politics of Bush/Rove and now Clintons and Mark Penn. This country needs more unity and positivity. We are fighting for our childrens future, not scoring points. The Clintons have ruined the whole race with their ruthless "do and say anything to win" attitude. Please do America a favor and vote for the other two.

    January 22, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  15. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    Uh , the republicans are the minority of our population that is supporting this genocide called war. Fighting against them is what MLK stood for. Peace remember?

    January 22, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  16. CL

    Murry, I totally agree with everything you said !

    January 22, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  17. Bethany Donovan

    Let's not miss this oppportunity to elect an honest president who will change a government that leaves so many working people out and which caters to the interests of the wealthiest Americans. I'm so grateful that we have the option to vote for a candidate like Sen. Barack Obama. We are so fortunate and I just hope that more and more people are realizing this every day.

    January 22, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  18. Rosemary Garza

    Obama needs to be a real man and quit picking on Hillary, he is a bully, I have no respect for him. He is the one who started it all and he is phoney. Its not Hillary's fault what Bill says you don't see Hillary attacking his wife. Be a real man and quit fighting with Hillary.

    January 22, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  19. bill

    Obama has earned my respect and admiration for his integrity, vision and unifying skill. After reading his first book, Dreams of my Father, I came away with an appreciation oft Obama's strong emotional honesty and integrity. We need a leader of inclusion and substance.

    January 22, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  20. Suzie

    HILLARY IN '08!!!!!

    January 22, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  21. andrew

    hating on obama is not gonig to change racism in the U.S hilary and bill are power thirsty and they will do or say anything to get power. if you really care about this nation obama will be your choice. he can heal the sickness of hate and bring us all together as one nation. vote wise. vote with you head and not with your mind

    January 22, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  22. Greg OH

    Chaunda,

    You can't base anything on blogs. McCain won't go dirty like the Clintons on Obama, they are friends and respect each other. And yes Republicans would vote for Obama, I am a registered Republican and I have been a supporter and believer in him since in 2004 speech and I am not the only Republican that feels this way. If Hillary wins, I will vote for McCain.

    January 22, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  23. redbloodedtruth

    which candidate CANNOT SAY "I HAVE A NON-NEGOTIABLE COMMITMENT TO AFRICA"? NOW, go to votesmart and look up all the candidates "BIOGRAPHY" and then look up the "ORGANIZATIONS" listed!! Finding the answers and the truth can not be easier!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 22, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  24. Eava Riley

    Dear Barack and Michelle:

    Please stay on message. I pray for you daily that you will be able to withstand
    the firery darts that will be thrown at you.

    Eava Riley

    January 22, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  25. Mary Jastron

    People LOVE Barack Obama. THERE IS A SPIRITUAL CONNECTION. People feel that he loves us back, all of us. He only asks for the opportunity to serve our country. You have to be numb not to feel this energy from this young man. Tthat's why young and old are following his message. There's a spiritual connection. Obama projects a vision for us of what this great country can become. He shows us how we can embrace each other, black, brown, tan or creamy, how we can bridge our special talents together. He iinspires us nto believing that we can collectively energize this country into becoming a truly democratic America. This man has strong values. He is intelligent. Read his books. This Barack Obama is a breath of fresh air.. I can't wait to vote for him GO OBAMA!

    January 22, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
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