January 26th, 2008
10:20 PM ET
7 years ago

Obama: Campaign is about "the future versus the past"

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - At his South Carolina victory event Saturday night, Barack Obama described the 2008 campaign as a simple fight: "the past versus the future."

"We’re looking to fundamentally change the status quo in Washington – a status quo that extends beyond any particular party," he said. "And right now, that status quo is fighting back with everything it’s got."

Obama said his blowout win should persuade the cynics who thought his victory in Iowa "was just an illusion" that they were wrong.

The Illinois senator's other message: race is not a factor. He told the excited crowd of about 2,000 that after the four early nominating contests, he has "the most diverse coalition of Americans we've seen in a long time."

"They are young and old; rich and poor," Obama said. "They are black and white; Latino and Asian."

He cited a woman who once worked for longtime South Carolina politician Strom Thurmond, a Republican who continued to support segregationist views until his death in 2003.

"[She] knocked on doors for this campaign," Obama said. "Don’t tell me we can’t change."

Speaking in stentorian tones lightened by a singsongy lilt reminiscent of a Baptist preacher, he said, "Yes we can change! Yes we can!"

–CNN's Chris Welch
soundoff (130 Responses)
  1. Jermaine


    Si se Puedo YES WE CAN



    January 26, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  2. Paul Thompson

    Yeah...well good ol' McCain...he'll get rid of those pork barrels....
    those Republicans...brillant....huh?

    January 26, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  3. T. Hale

    I'm not gonna lie, the clinton years were pretty good.
    But those days are gone.
    Real change means we need a new start.
    I believe Obama can restore the United States standing
    in the world.
    Hillary has been bought and paid for. It's time for new
    blood. Not another political dynasty.
    And Barack is the man for the job.
    The man has charisma for days.
    Now let's forget about the Bushes and Clintons
    and get on with it.

    January 26, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  4. ABC-anyone but clinton


    OBAMA 2008

    January 26, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  5. Devin

    For me this, and every campaign after George Bush, is about logic versus emotion.

    January 26, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  6. Allyson

    Mrs. Barack Obama has a new hair style. She is now sporting the "Condi Flip". I actually preferred her previous style.

    January 26, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  7. Khwaty

    Congratulations to Senator Obama, campaigners and supporters. Good job guys.

    One thing though, don't be too excited for his win in SC. Although I'm a democrat and voted for Edwards thru absentee ballot, if Obama is the nominee for the democratic party, I'm voting for any republican nominee for General Election.

    I want a President to tackle the problems we have, eloquence doesn't make a President. I want experience, track record, someone who stand up instead of voting present.

    Any of the Republican candidates especially McCain is much better than Obama.

    January 26, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  8. shaun

    Spoken from the mouth of a president....

    go obama

    January 26, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  9. Yolanda Diaz

    No way he will not change anything without congress

    January 26, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  10. Caroline

    The story of that woman is really inspiring. GO OBAMA!

    January 26, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  11. "obama girl"

    OMG that was an amazing speech!
    he connected so well with the audience,
    i was so pyhsced about it!

    January 26, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  12. chrls enoch

    it's time for a change my peoples..i do not want to go backwards

    January 26, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  13. Kevin in Oklahoma

    Yes, Obama, we can change. You are so good at saying that, but, you haven't provided one bit of information on how you plan to make that change. As usual, you continue to talk the talk, but, can't even begin to walk the walk. Move over, and make way for the candidate who has the answers, who knows how to not only inspire change, but, bring change about. Hillary Clinton is the candidate of real change, and she will be our next president! Hillary Clinton '08!

    January 26, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  14. Micahel Guinn, Ventura, CA

    YES WE CAN!!!!!!! Obama 08!

    January 26, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  15. Jon Schenkemann New York, NY

    Barak Hussein Obama has nothing but empty rhetoric. How can a guy who couldn't even do his job at Senator ( "just vote present ") perform the job of the President of the United States ?

    January 26, 2008 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  16. Katherine

    I just looked at the CNN poll numbers. Obamba captured majorities of the black vote and the young vote, which he has been doing all through this campaign. He did not capture much of the non-black vote and did poorly among older voters.

    This is a diverse coalition how exactly? I don't see where he is expanding beyond the base of those who have already been supporting him.

    January 26, 2008 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  17. Nicholas Duckworth

    Yes we can, yes we can. Obama can bring the country together to make the changes that we need to move ahead for the future, we believe. He will empower every American to step up and become involved in this country again, to be a part of a greater good, to end this alienation that we have suffered from a government that didn't listen to polls, or pundits, or the people, only the loyal Bushies, it's time for a president that works for and with all Americans.

    I do believe, that yes we can.

    Obama 08

    January 26, 2008 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  18. s.positive

    With China and India growing fast, we need to leave the past and folks with old ideas of the past for the future which is going to be very different from what we are used to...

    January 26, 2008 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  19. Tom, Ca

    Wow! "Race is not a factor"? Really. How does Obama think he enjoyed such a big win tonight? When he says the fight is about the "past vs. the future" and "changes in the status quo" he is simply stating what all the democratic candidates believe. Only difference is, both Edwards and Clinton can tell voters exactly what that means and exactly how they'll move forward into the future and change the status quo. (I can't believe he's using that old-time Baptist preacher dialect again.)

    January 26, 2008 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  20. sairefgm


    January 26, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  21. Former Cynic

    As a Republican who feels betrayed by Bush, I never thought I could actually be inspired in this election – especially by a Democrat! Obama is the only candidate in either party that I actually WANT to win, not just would prefer over some other greater evil.

    On Super Tuesday, I'm going to do something I've never done before. I'm going to cast my vote for a Democrat.

    Change we can believe in!

    January 26, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  22. voter Arizona

    I guess Mr. Obama forgot he works in Washington where supposedly nothing has been done in last 20 years. Doesn't that make him part Washington problem.

    January 26, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  23. Ray

    Jesse Jackson won SC right? Enough said!

    January 26, 2008 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  24. Mimi

    Easy to say, when you've got no past.

    January 26, 2008 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  25. reader-of-many-sources

    If Barack gets the democratic nomination, then I am certain he will be the next President of the United States! Cheers . . . to the future!

    January 26, 2008 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
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