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. Glen

    Congrats Senator Obama, it is unfortuante the campaigns bring the nasty out in people. Keep your head high and your thoughts true. You can do this, many around the world are behind you.

    Rosemary Garzma should be ashamed to write that pittiful blog about how mean it is to say bad things about Hillary. (Why becaue shes a women)

    WAKE UP Rosemary, she is running for President, you seemed to be ashamed of what her hubby Past President Bill is saying, well tell Hillary to marry a real man.

    She is in the race or not. It is not about being a women, a man, an ethnic group, a religious group etc. It is about finally saying we are one and mean that we are one.

    Go Obama go

    January 23, 2008 02:51 am at 2:51 am |
  2. Homobon A. Adaza

    Hillary represents the best in the democratic tradition – Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Woodrow Wilson. Obama is not a Democrat, he is a Republican – inexperienced, flamboyant without substance, peddling hope that contains nothing and obviously belonging to the genius of the below average. He is everything un-American. A vote for Obama is to devastate the Democratic Party of Great American Presidents. The Republicans want him to be the nominee because he certainly will get clobbered by any Republican nominee specially McCain or Romney. So, go Hillary go, for the survival of America and the democratic tradition of excellence.

    January 23, 2008 02:55 am at 2:55 am |
  3. Arthur Holmes

    Advantage Obama,

    The theme of what Obama conveys means more than the rhethoric of experience and claims of knowledge that Hillary often atempts to express. It's understandable that hillary aspires to be the president but we must consider her motivation for wanting the job. Is it because she wants the title as the first female president, or because she want to prove to her spouse that she can do it, or perhaps she's just power hungry. In either case she would be doing it for all the wrong reasons. Personally, I commend Hillary for her ambition however I doubt that she will be able to rouse Americans enough to build cohesion among the races, which America is made of. Furthermore, America needs a good shock in order to revitalize the economy. Citizens have been overlooked and misled by presidents who placed their own agendas ahead of theirs, and those presidents have sold Americans out by shipping jobs overseas and even granting favors to their friends. Hillary will continue along that same path if elected, she has already demonstrated that she is experienced with the failing policies. Never again will the likes of George W be granted such trust. In the nearly eight years that he has held office, we only have memories of his poor leadership. 9/11 was a pivotal moment in American lives and Bush failed, he failed again in Lousiana when Katrina devastated the state. He was the leader of the nation and he shifted the blame to state officials who were caught in the middle of the event themselves. Then of course there is Iraq. what a pathetic display of leadership to Americans and the entire world. America has been handicapped by bad policies, poor leadership, and unimaginative thinking for many decades now. Presidents have come and gone without doing a single thing to push the nation together. The causes of America effects every American and I don't think it 's necessaray for the media to point out that which is obvious. Obama is black, Edwards is white, and Hillary is a white woman, we know this because we see that with our own eyes. The best candidate for America is possibly the best perscription for America's woes. RX. Obama Give it to America for four years or longer. Cahnge is good, embrace it.

    January 23, 2008 02:55 am at 2:55 am |
  4. barry

    the decision is easy.

    Obama can win the general election (probably against McCain), but Hillary cannot. A vote for Hillary is a vote for four more years with a republican president.


    January 23, 2008 03:00 am at 3:00 am |
  5. Paul Williamson

    Obama is no unifier, any more than Hillary. He is an active member of a black separatist church (why doesn't he disavow the Trinity Church;s black separitist, African-centric creed?), he is close friends with a Farakhan loving Pastor, he has taken money from his corrupt Chicago buddies, and he is been on the attack from day 1 in this campaign – he is no unifier, he has half the country despising him, who see through his empty words promising the Americans anything. Look at his record in the illinois legislature and US Senate -he was either absent or abstained from voting ("present") on any controversial bill-"gutless" is not the same a "unifier". Now he is a crybaby "The Clintons are picking on me, Moma"-grow up, Obama, you are in the big leagues now and you can expect far worse from the Republicans if you happen to be nominated.

    January 23, 2008 03:19 am at 3:19 am |
  6. olga, arizona

    Senator Obama is a great communicator, but I do not believe he is a unifier. He has not demonstrated that in any of his actions. He attacks as much as Hillary does. The difference is that people are not accustomed to having a strong woman defend her position or utilize offensive strategies to make her point. So you immediately demonize her. How well we know this game. She is a strong, capable, experienced woman who will speak her mind and if attacked will defend herself. She is presidential material and will stand up for what she believes. We ask this of any candidate, why not her. Regarding endorsements, they did not help Obama in Nevada, because it is each individual American who must decide for themselves. Hillary values each individual and makes sure that they are not invisible to her. VOTE for HILLARY...you will not regret it!

    January 23, 2008 03:23 am at 3:23 am |
  7. Vasco Rodriguez

    Obama could be some day the right man, but not now! His speech is empty! He is a nice man! But that's not enough to be a president of the United States.

    January 23, 2008 05:52 am at 5:52 am |
  8. Grace

    I have supported Obama's candidacy and believe he is the right person for the Presidency. After the last debate, I will not vote for Hilary IF she takes the nomination. There is too much at stake for our country and I would like to see someone who can work across different groups. I am not pleased with her attitude towards Obama. We need all branches of government to work together and she has demonstrated to be divisive. Although she is very accomplished, I do not believe she has demonstrated integrity and when is pressured, her negative attributes will interfere with her ability to take responsibility as a leader and work with both Democrats and Republicans. She is going after Obama and trying to rattle him and it is unfortunate that she continues to go there and push him to respond. It is political game playing and the Clintons are pushing beyond acceptable limits. Party loyalists may not allow Obama to take the nomination, which is sad because so many independents and even Republicans are willing to vote for him. This is so marginalizing for people who do not care about party politics and who are just trying to live their American dream.

    January 23, 2008 06:58 am at 6:58 am |
  9. KM

    It is people like Mr. Proche who say things about 'another Muslim in the White House' that truly concerns me. It's scary that people actually believe such foolishness. Once again – get educated about the facts on Obama!

    January 23, 2008 07:06 am at 7:06 am |
  10. Kathy

    It is to bad that this has been allowed to become a race issue. We cannot elect a presdident based on a small core following. With the critical issues facing us we need a president that is well versed on policy etc. Obama is not that person. He lacks the substance that is greatly needed.

    January 23, 2008 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  11. Greg in OH

    NY City newspaper the NEW YORK OBSERVER has endorsed Obama. I bet Hillary will be annoyed about a paper in her own backyard endorsed him.

    January 23, 2008 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  12. Doc

    Endorsements means absolutely nothing just like how Obama failed to win with his mega union the Culinary Workers.

    January 23, 2008 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  13. Anders

    As an independent, this is shaping up to an Obama v McCain battle. I do want our country to move forward in a positive light. These two appear to be real agents of change and not simply padding their resume.

    January 23, 2008 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  14. Barbara

    I am wondering why there isn't more coverage and discussion of the relationship between Obama and Rezko. It seems important since Rezko is going to trial on charges of fraud, extortion and money laundering and the fact that he has contributed $168,000 to Obama. It seems like a large amount of money to give someone when Obama claims he only did a few hours of work for Rezko. Also what happened with the house deal that Obama got. Apparently he paid $300,000 below the asking price for the house after Rezko's wife purchased the lot next door. So, why isn't the media looking into this?

    January 23, 2008 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  15. Ginny CA

    Yesterday Hillary received an endorsement from the United Farm Workers of Salinas Valley. I haven't seen any news about that. If you have noted that here, I missed it. Your unfair pro-Obama bias is turning millions of people off of CNN and off of Barack Obama.

    January 23, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  16. Chris, South Carolina

    Congratulations Barack! You've got my vote this Saturday in S.C.

    January 23, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  17. Sad to Say

    To all the negative Hillary supporters (because some really do support her and are not just showing their prejudice against Obama more voters have said if she wins they will vote for McCain or not vote at all me being one of them. Explain how she unites us in the end it is not going to happen this time. The status-quo is to get behind whoever the party nominates we don't agree with that anymore. I see why there are a lot of people switching to independent and if Hillary wins no more being a democrat for me I do not enjoy dirty politics for any reason. I don't want to be like the people who voted for President Bush only a few have stuck with him in spite of all his mistakes the rest of them fled like cowards. The same thing will happen to Hillary if she wins you are all for her now but what happens when she gets in and disappoints you, are you still going to support her or jump ship?

    January 23, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  18. jp/michigan

    Endorement are nice but do they really matter. What you know about a candidate is the important issue here. Obama's solutions for the issues facing Americans are carbon copies of the other candidates play book. His voting record in the US Senate is not that great. In 2007 out of 433 votes he was absent for 175. The Illinois people placed him in the Senate to be their voice and he out campaigning more then being there.(source GOVTRACK.ORG ) Hillary Clinton missed 117. in 2007. Hillary miss a total of 143 out 2394 since 2001. Her job approval rate is 60% . The average is 53%. Obamas been in the senate 2yrs. and he has missed 177, out of 1068 ( since Jan 6, 2005.) They done even state his approval rate. I believe Obamas major goal is to be president and everything he has done in the past was done to get him there. I don"t believe he is ready for that role , he has yet to prove he is.

    January 23, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  19. No More Clintons!

    Hillary Clinton is the absolute worst choice to be our president. She has no idea how to build bridges.. Senator Obama at least is making an effort. He understands that great ideas come from many different sides...not just Democratic or Republican. He is smart and articulate. We need a person who can make peace, build bridges and get the job done. He has a a pretty clean record..unlike Hillary..and look who she is married to..the scandal king. I don't want him back in the White House hitting on the help.

    I also think it is pathetic that the Clintons are so desparate to win they will say anything and do anything. The double teaming of Senator Obama is a new low even for them. Bill wants a 3rd term and Hillary is all about the power. If the Democrats don't wake up and see her for what she is..a power hungry morally bankrupt politician..they will get exactly what they deserve in Novemeber...a Republican president.

    January 23, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  20. hp

    Is it a surprise???
    Mr. Obama, you claimed to be a Uniter? Are you? You can not even unite your own party. You divided us as a nation more than ever.
    – We're color blind. Stop telling us your "true" color.
    – We're color blind but we're not deaf. Stop shouting but if you do, we need to hear real issue, real solution.
    – We're color blind but we're not brainless. Stop defend yourself. We need the leader to defend us.
    After all, you're no different than them (the politics). You're ONE of them.
    Blah, blah, blah ....Vote for me.

    January 23, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  21. Randy

    There is no single presidential candidate that can unify this country. We are a stubborn group of people split down the middle on our opinions and views. And not one single person will change that this year. Instead, I look at which candidate can help us globally, as I feel that President Bush has lost a lot of the good will that we have around the globe. I believe that Hillary Clinton is the best candidate because Bill Clinton did a great job at building global relations when he was President. I believe a Clinton white house could once again help our relations globally, which we will need for the future. It is amazing how many people forget how well our country was when the Clinton's were in office. Bill's econcomic policies were great for this country, as was his leadership. I believe Hillary represents the same core values as her husband, which can only be good for this country. So, despite her funny laugh, she will get my vote. At this moment in time, she's the only candidate in the field that has the experience to do something to turn us around in the right direction.

    January 23, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  22. United in Nothing

    For the all the criticisms of Hillary Clinton's divisiveness and partisanship, I would vote for her over Obama any day. I know what she stands for, she's not afraid to play the political game, and she's a REALIST. Obama has a nice track record of no-stance "present" votes in the legislature and does not seem willing to explain them. I can't vote for someone who won't do that. He criticises K Street and vested interests in Washington DC, but does he honestly believe that he can ignore them if he is elected to office. Lobbies, pressure groups, etc. are all a part of modern democracy, and whoever does not believe that is unfortunately naive. Obama has nice rhetoric on the power (audacity) of hope. But hope ain't gonna lead the world or help him survive as president. But a woman who knows how to manoeuvre the snares and tangles of Washington politics can!

    January 23, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  23. Misty

    No More Clintons and Bushes

    January 23, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  24. tom


    January 23, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  25. Mar

    I have been a die hard democrat for 35 years voting the party line 100% of the time. If Bill and Hillary win the nomination, I WILL VOTE REPUBLICAN FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE.

    January 23, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
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