January 26th, 2008
10:20 PM ET
4 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. v.ananthan

    OBAMA HAS NO CHANCE AGAINST FRONT REPUBLICAN RUNNERS WHEN IT COMES TO NATIONAL SECURITY AND ECONOMY:

    OBAMA WINNING IS THE FUTURE FOR THE REPUBLICANS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 27, 2008 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  2. Mike in Kentucky

    An old saying, (as well as I can recall it): Be careful that, as you look into the past while you stride into the future, that you not stumble over the present.

    This is our challenge

    Look at the world! We cannot stumble!

    Don't hate... Hillary in '08!

    January 27, 2008 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  3. Richard

    No matter if Obama or Hillary wins we all want to get away from this terrible president we have now and all his failures.

    – The future looks bright with George Bush gone.

    January 27, 2008 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  4. Brian

    Go Obama!

    January 27, 2008 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  5. The Observer

    Bizarre as it may seem but this result shows that Obama will lose on February 5 – not unless he can attract non-black voters – especially latinos – to vote for him.

    January 27, 2008 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  6. Katy Hill Prescott Az.

    Right on Obama, change not race or gender is the answer. I want to see the media start refering to Sec. of State Rice as THAT FIRST BLACK, WOMAN SECRETARY OF STATE

    January 27, 2008 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  7. Angel

    OBAMA 08, We hear you and together, YES WE CAN! ! Awating to cast vote in Georgia.

    January 27, 2008 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  8. bnw

    I will make you Obama voters a bet. I'll bet you that many, many more Clinton voters will support Obama in the General election than Obama voters will support Clinton. I keep reading posts by Obama voters saying they will not vote for Clinton under any circumstances. This doesn't sound like a true Democrat. Is that Obama's View?

    January 27, 2008 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  9. Mark, Wilkes Barre PA

    It baffles me to hear democrates use the race card and use the names of republicans when making reference to racial divide . what political party wre the main players who tried to defeat the equal rights amendment affiliated to of the 60's ????

    January 27, 2008 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  10. PJ, New York

    The 'past' (the 90's) were really good for most people, especially Democrats. A 'future' with Obama leading will be a nightmare.

    Barack Obama's win in South Carolina will ultimately be Hillary Clinton's gain. All South Carolina showed last night was that the blacks overwhelmingly voted for him because he's black.

    January 27, 2008 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  11. iain

    obama.... the manwith the master plan!! his win in iowa was not a fluke and he will become the next american president!!! just becayse he is black doesnt mean he is wack!!!

    January 27, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  12. Dorothy

    all these little nuances that obama keeps slipping into the speech when he is speaking to a largly black crowd like " we shall overcome " he is starting to sound like Al Sharpton, he doesn't seem to speak much on issues as far as facts, plans realistic ideas etc, just runs on being black and "
    change " but wishing for change without any real plans is like believing in peter pan, useless,,, Hillary has the plans and the experience, what we should overcome is voting for politicians just because the y are black, young , veterans etc etc etc,,,

    January 27, 2008 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  13. angela

    I hope we are not being bamboozled like we were when, like sheep we all voted for Bush twice. America are you smarter?? Can you really pick a president? Let's hope, eh? Other wise there's no hope.

    January 27, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  14. Amit

    I'm a positive person and I like positivity in the environment because those are the people that gets things done.

    And hillary he is not all talk talk and nothing to show for it, you are.
    You didn't even have the courage to even stay in the state after you butt wopping defeat.

    I voted for you but I'm glad you got what you deserved.

    January 27, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  15. joe

    READ THIS ARTICLE...."MARGINALIZING OBAMA" DATED 1/26/08

    TWO QUOTES

    "HOWEVER IT WAS OBAMA CAMPAIGN THAT CHOSE TO CHARACTIZE THIS AS A RACE BASE ATTACK"

    "BUT BIGGEST OFFENDER, FAR MORE THAN CLINTON OR OBAMA CAMPAIGNS, HAS BEEN THE MEDIA ITSELF"

    DUH..CNN/OBAMA NETWORK

    January 27, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  16. roger

    The future is higher wages and free universal health care! Just because you don't like school doesn't mean that you shouldn't get to have all things that everyone else does! There is too much seperation between rich and poor. I like Obama's plan on his website that talks about integrating neighborhoods so that all economic groups live together. Maybe if we all lived together and shared our prosperity this country would be much better.

    GOBAMA O8!!!!!!!!!

    January 27, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  17. Patricia

    It is time for all Americans to stand up and tell the Clintons that this isn't about them, but about US.

    Caroline Kennedy has it right! Our country is in need of a drastic change for the future and the politicians of old need to step aside!

    January 27, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  18. Josh

    Logic would dictate that we elevate politics above Dubya's disastrous presidency, and the only candidate that can bring about that change is OBAMA.

    January 27, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  19. Ruthie

    If race doesent matter then why does Obama keep bringing it up in every speach?
    No wonder he has been accused of dealing the "race card".

    January 27, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  20. Chris Orlando FL

    Just as 80% of African-Americans voted for Obama in SC, think about the viability of an African American candidate nationwide where 80% of the electorate is Caucasian.

    Of course it's about race......please nominate Obama so I can get further tax cuts from another Republican President....my four homes could use some upgrades.

    January 27, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  21. Susan

    Senator Obama you have handled yourself with the strength needed to stand up against the slime of the Clintons. You hAve captured the imagination of the country. I beleive one person can make a difference..that's why I'm a teacher AND THAT IS WHY YOU NEED TO OUR PRESIDENT.

    Go OBAMA..MAKE US ALL PROUD.

    January 27, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  22. Susan

    Senator Obama you have handled yourself with the strength needed to stand up against the slime of the Clintons. You have captured the imagination of the country. I believe one person can make a difference..that's why I'm a teacher AND THAT IS WHY YOU NEED TO OUR PRESIDENT.

    Go OBAMA..MAKE US ALL PROUD.

    January 27, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  23. Grady

    This put the black movement back 30 years in South Carolina and maybe in this country.

    January 27, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  24. Mary (CA)

    Yes Devin. If Hillary is the democratic nominee she will lose to the republican nominee. That's logic. None of the republicans want to run against Obama. He win the vote of the Democrats, Independents and Republicans.

    There is so much dirt out there on "Team Clinton" and those republicans are dying to use it.

    Obama 08!!!

    January 27, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  25. Renee

    Wake Up American's – you're about to make one of the biggest voting mistakes again. You screwed up thelast twotimes voting for BUSH now you're really putting the US at risk by voting for this liar and his silent troops.

    January 27, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6