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. Real Story

    Rosemary Garza
    What are you talking about? when ever I read the papers or watch the television its Hillary who is on the offensive and attacking Obama. If anything Obama fights back against both her, her campaign and even her husband. Its not hard to see that Bill has been doing the slandering for the woman. America has the chance to elect someone who has some social decency, it really is about time.

    January 22, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  2. R.J.

    Who is stirring up this "rancor" between Hillary and Barack? Why the Republicans of course and the right wing conservative talk-show hosts!! They are scared to death that Hillary is going to win the election and want as many votes for Obama as they can get. They see Obama as easily beatable in the general election. If the Democrats nominate Obama, the Republicans think they can rest a little easier and that the election will result in a Republican President. A political debate between political rivals of the same party can tend to get personal because candidates of the same party generally stand for many of the same Democratics beliefs. The "personal" tone of the debates is a way to differentiate between someone who can think fast on their feet, knows their stuff, and someone who can merely utter uh...uh..uh. If you check out the websites of the three leading candidates, you will see who has done their homework and has realistic plans for change in addressing the most important concerns of the American people. You can see who will be ready to lead on Day One.

    January 22, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  3. Obama 08

    ..and Obama got the endorsement of Bennie Thompson chairman of the House Hoemelnad Security Committee and a representative of another red state...

    January 22, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  4. Kinkan

    Althogh I am a Republican I watch both side for our country. These days I feel very uncomfortable to see the debate(or argument) between the Clintons and Obama. My question is "Can't you stand on your own feet, Ms. Clinton without your famous, I mean just famous, husband?" I praise Obama.

    January 22, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  5. Fred, Virginia

    Rosemary and Bimmer,

    You obviously missed the fact that Mr. Obama never personally attacked his opponents until the New Hampshire primary, when Bill Clinton started his game of distortion and mockery. No pair have been more divisive than the Clintons, and the need of Obama to defend against false attacks does not make him a bully. Hillary is a vicious partisan, and will not help our country move forward.

    January 22, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  6. JLUK

    I though that Obama is trying to fight a different campiagn but after what happened in the debate in which clear shows that he is not. He is just like any other politician. I hardly heard the words of hope and change coming out from his month. Obama, your real self has revealed its own self.

    January 22, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  7. Martin

    I was a definate vote to the Clintons when this thing started but everyone has gotten away from what really important. The Clintons are affraid of this man. They are reaching and everytime they question his Charecter you have to wonder what is going through the mind of Bill Clinton. Don't forget he himself went through some charecter issues while in the Whitehouse. He should be the last one to question that. They also seem to make a big point that Obama voted for the Iraq spending bill after he voted againts the war. I am in fact retired military myself and it makes sense to vote for the spending bill after the war has already started. what is he to do? Leave the soldiers with no funding, no amunition, and funding to leave safely.

    January 22, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  8. Amy

    Now I totally disagree that Obama is picking on Hillary. Are you serious?? She has criticized him many times and brought up issues that are simply irrelevant to this campaign. Now is he supposed to just take it and not defend himself. Needless to say at some point he had to start giving it back to her and Im proud of him for doing so. Now dont get me wrong, I strongly believe we need a democrat in the white house but it shouldn't be at the expense of using those teh same old political games by saying things that are not true about your opponent. Obama seems a geniune, stand up guy and when he does critize Hillary he is simply fighting back.

    January 22, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  9. Wyatt

    I would love to see all three candidates just speak the issues and stop the crying, fussing, talking about each others spouses and all that. I am sick and tired of Bill's tantrums and his wife trying to out talk everyone. Just let people make up their own minds for whatever reasons they may have. It's our right, our choice.

    January 22, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  10. raghu

    If a person is qualified to be President of USA just by writing couple of hope books and giving very inspirational speech's what the world is coming to ? An end ?:) Talking about issues faced by this country and giving hope talks is very easy to do. If you are to elect just because he slate is very clean think about it twice. Remember even when Bush was elected his slate was pretty clean. BTW, a president can't vote "present" on IRAQ, IRAN, NORTH KOREA , health care, immigration and economy.

    January 22, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  11. Penny

    If Obama or Edwards is not the democratic candidate...hello to the next republican president because lots of democrats will abandon her. Too much of Clinton/Bush...we need some one new, refreshing, honest and not politically corrupt (we can dream) I say Obama because Edwards will not make it much further

    January 22, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  12. Steve

    I keep reading how everyone love the clintons so much. I would ask them to explain what have they done for the poor people living in the inner city? I did not see them in NYC when 911 happen. What happen to the unsavory land deals that he family were involved in back in they home state? Why did they move to NY instead of going back to they home state? I think that they had the plan for her to run to be president, but they did not expect to see a black man run for the same office. I would like to know why she always say that it is her turn to be president? Hilary Clinton do not care about uniting this country, she only think about her family back in the white house. I woul dare ask all the folks to think this for a moment, Do you really think that Hilary or her husband really care about anyone but themselves? I know for sure that I will vote for anyone other that the Clintons if they get the nomination. I think the folks in NY should think about what they're getting, instead of being obligate to vote for because of Bill & his wife.

    January 22, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  13. karryh

    Obama's attacks on Hillary Clinton during the debate were both vicious and unfounded. He has lost his civility and and continually whines about how Bill is attacking him. Welcome to politics!

    I am voting for Hillary, she is obviously tougher than Obama and we need a tough leader in the White House.


    January 22, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  14. ji_john

    For a state that was the first to secede from the Union, the first to fire the beginning salvo in the Civil War, and had the most slaves of any other state; for that state's largest newspaper to endorse Barack Obama for the Democratic Nomination is the best news that this nation could ever receive. Does the paper believe that his trying to unify the nation would be easy? NO. But they are happy to see at the very least Obama would try. Keep twisting Obama's message! Keep stealing his campaign slogans and then low-rating him as having a message without substance. You're preparing Obama for the Republican Spin Machine. It's going to be Great, seeing Obama win in `08.

    January 22, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  15. GW

    I've watched the last two Democratic debates. In the first one it was dubbed by the media as almost too calm. I saw Hillary take a few jabs at Obama and Edwards and yet was praised for being tough. The second debate is being dubbed as a cat fight...all out brawl. I feel like Obama finally tried to stand up for himself and address some of the untruths being told by the Clinton campaign. And he's being beat up about it. We all must agree...if attacked continuosly...at some point you will try to defend yourself.

    I have loved the Clintons. But I feel they are old politics and her smear campaign and telling of half-truths just perpetuate that. Why must a canidate attack the other to get their point across. If you truly believe you and your ideas are better for America, then talk about that. Talk about the issues.

    I honestly believe if Hillary and Bill would stop all the negative attacks,we could actually get to the real issues.

    And for those who strongly dislike Obama....I can't figure out why. He has done nothing but try to take the high ground with his campaign and inspire the American people. All people, not just black people. You rarely hear him talk about race. He stands for everyone. Let's not forget he was raised by his caucasion mother. One more point.... I don't see his wife or even Edwards wife attacking Hillary.

    Ok...just needed to vent a little. Good luck out there to everyone. It's going to be tough for all of us to weed through what the media is saying, what the surogates are saying....even what the canidates are saying. I wish you all peace, love and happiness. And whoever you believe in.....just go out and vote:)

    January 22, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  16. Beth, Seattle WA

    To say it's not Hillary's fault what her husband says, that's crap. Ever since their campaign in New Hampshire Bill's job has been to attack, keeping Hillary clean of the dirty politics.

    I think the article gushed about Obama, but Hillary would definitely be more divisive, and has LESS EXPERIENCE in elected office (first lady does not count, no one picks a president to vote for because of his wife).

    January 22, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  17. Lynn Ensley

    Got a good line this guy, Obama, but you need more than a smooth mouth to sail this ship. We need a real captain, a real woman, we got her, Hillary sweet. Lord give us the strength to live past poor ole George and his button pushers. The Hallyburton Hacks. Set em down hard Lord. Amen

    January 22, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  18. Bimmer

    I hope Obama wins because he will mend the party. Hillary will not work across party lines. If Hillary would act professional Obama would not have to defend himself.

    OBAMA 08

    January 22, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  19. Cissy

    Obama has put fear in a lot of people's heart because I never see anybody attacking John Edwards, is it because his numbers are not high enough to be a threat to Hillary/Bill?

    Americans can pretend like they are blind and don't know how all this bickering started if they want to. It's the same old thing with anything that the clintons do. Instead of being concerned about the economy, schools, or healthcare people are running around repeating the man's middle name like it's making a point.

    January 22, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  20. Joojo

    I think Obama should know that ENDORSMENTS = BIG TIME LOSS.

    Hillary all the way !!!

    January 22, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  21. Jack, Greenville, SC

    If anyone claims that Bill and Hillary don't know everything that the other one is doing, they are not paying enough attention. These are two very calculating politicians who are using any means necessary to get her into the White House.

    January 22, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  22. Vienna

    Stop picking on each others. Give me real solutions how we can fix the mess Bush has created for all of us!

    January 22, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  23. Hillarylover in Texas

    Only in South Carolina. Everyone was talking about how Obama bombed on the debate. He looked like the lost kid in the block. True fact. My friend has been begging me to vote for Obama if by some remote chance he'd win the nomination. I have said no and continue to say no. I cannot support someone I know isn't ready. I won't jeopardize our country. Well guess what the same friend saw the debate last night and said I have had a change of heart I cannot support Obama. He isn't ready. She continued to say if he did by some very slim chance win she would vote for McCain before Obama. She said no way no how. Clinton 08

    January 22, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  24. Don Corn

    Senator Obama has one mark against his campaign style that bugs me to no end. He can't answer a simple yes-no question. He preaches on and on and on.

    I'm firmly convinced that if you ask him the time of day he would proceed and explain to you how to make a solar powered short wave radio.

    In my opinion, this does not help his efforts to grab the golden ring.

    January 22, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  25. keith

    Obama should continue setting the facts straight. It's truly disgusting that the Clintons feel they have to resort to distortions. Obama is right regarding Ronald Reagan. As Democrats we need to be thinking of ways to reach out to Republicans and bring them over to our side. We've got to take the opportunity in this election year to re-align American politics and get the big changes required in place. Hillary is far too divisive. She wouldn't have a chance to put the changes in place we need. This debate helped me settle on my candidate.

    January 22, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
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