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. suzanne

    I get upset when I feel like I am being subconciously persuaded (dissuaded?) with a description like "reminiscent of a Baptist preacher"? Every politician speaks loudly. Obama IS a new hope for Americans and we need to keep the focus on his words.

    January 27, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  2. united for truth

    Bill Clinton and his 1900's political tactics has failed.....just come up with another lies.

    January 27, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  3. George Wu, A.I.A.

    If Obama ever goes to the White House, it is not imaginable for the lobbyist there would have to start all over again. Maybe that is what Obama meant when he started using the word CHANGE. It is increditable that Israel lost all the work they have done for so many years. They just managed starting a war in Iraq, and now all of a sudden, most American woke up and found themselves involved with a guerilla war, just like the one Israel was fghting ever since they established a country called Israel in 1949. In the past anyone mentioned anything the Jews did not like to hear, he would be intimidated by being called " ANTI-SEMITIC ' Now a very intelligent black man stood up like a man, put up a fight. Those who opposed him would have to have some other desperate measures to get rid of this next president. Or the Jews has to continue support Clinton because people outside of NYC, never heard of Michael Blumberg before. dancewu(dot)net

    January 27, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  4. Deleted User (California)

    That's the whole trouble and problem with Obama – always giving empty oratory, and high-sounding speeches. He has no record of performance to show. As aptly editorialized in the New York Times endorsing Hillary, Obama has actually nothing concrete to offer the American electorate. Charisma? He's like the Pied Piper leading his supporters to the brink of uncertainty and doubt about his ability to serve as President of the USA. It's good that Hillary and Edwards are stepping in his way. And good for Americans and their families in the future.

    January 27, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  5. David S., Chicago, IL

    Yay! Get out the Vote! I was in South Carolina and will never forget it! If you haven't heard his victory speech yet, please do! I am sorry Hillary, this is Barack's time!!!

    OBAMA '08

    January 27, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  6. elly

    George W Bush was said to have charisma and look where it got us. We' ve got to look beyond the speeches and surface and ask some deeper questions. The Clintons may be from the recent past but she is qualified and smart. Besides, just because she got her experience from the past as everyone does, doesn't mean she isn't part of the future as well. I want more proof of Obama being a unifier instead of giving us either/ or choices.

    January 27, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  7. chris new york

    obama is sly and has an air of arrogance about. no man is that perfect, what is putting up is a front and fooling all of you people. i am a black democrat and if obama is there in december, a i am voting republican. the vote in south carolina was all about race. they voted for him just because he was black. they did the same with jessie jackson.

    January 27, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  8. Lorenzo

    Compared to Hillary, Obama is all sound and fury, signifying nothing for America's political future. Go Hillary!

    January 27, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  9. Greg CA

    Yeah, yeah, yeah. . .more generalities and empty, soaring rhetoric. What a guy!

    January 27, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  10. Bill, Covington,LA

    To quote the obama

    "Yes we can change, yes we can".

    yes brother
    praise the lord
    Adn so on.

    January 27, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  11. Ann Jones

    Jesse Jackson won South Carolina, also and he didn't win the Democratic nomination or the Presidency. Obama won't win either because he is not the candidate of change. Obama is just a mouthpiece for the same old Washington establishment, like Ted Kennedy and John Kerry, who helped to get us into this mess. They both recently endorsed Obama and only seem interested in promoting the so-called ivy league graduates such as Obama, at the expense of the American people. Just because Obama graduated from the same so-called ivy league school that Ted Kennedy and John Kerry, doesn't make him a better candidate or person than more qualified individuals! For real progress and change for all Americans, (not just those that graduated from so-called ivy league schools) we should all vote for Mike Huckabee, the FairTax candidate, who will look out for the best interest of all Americans!

    January 27, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  12. mmncolorado

    Hillary is bought and paid for? What are you talking about. The Clinton years were good years because we had a smart president and a supportive spouse who learned a few things while she was there because she didn't bake cookies and wasn't concerned with making a fashion statement. She wanted health care for americans way back then. Decades later the rest of the country is just catching up. She has vision, she has guts, and she can think on her feet. A skill that Senator Obama does not have, as proven time and again during the debates.

    January 27, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  13. Gail

    All I can think that he is a "rock Star". Yes, he reminds me of a Southern Baptist preacher also. No doubt he is a wonderful orator, but what is he really saying. I haven't figured it out yet.

    January 27, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  14. eddie

    It was Obama that capaigned in the early states that it was not a race issue. He stated over and over again that his race should not be a factor. Then he gets to SC and all of a sudden he thinks all blacks should vote for him because he is black too. Who is using racist rhetoric? If you will vote for a republican if Clinton wins then you should switch parties. You are validating the racist rhetoric you admonish. If you will only vote democratic if there is a black candidate you are part of the problem! Get over it and start voting on issues and not race. Go ahead and vote for a republican. That party certainly has black issues on the for front and supports black issues. Yeah, right! What a stupic comment that you would ote republican if Obama doesn't get the nomination. Please, for the sake of the country, just don't even bother to vote!

    January 27, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  15. Joseph DeSousa

    I think the worst thing americans can do it put a junior senator in charge of our country at one of the most difficult times in this nations history.

    If you think we have issues now just wait should someone like Barak Obama become the president.

    January 27, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  16. Andrea

    Thank you, Colorado.

    Truthfully, Senator Clinton has more guts than any candidate. In reality, I doubt Texas will support Mr Obama.

    Best wishes to Senator Clinton

    January 27, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  17. The Observer

    This is demagoguery at its worst – it is all hot air and no real action or policies – and if people are stupid enought to vote for it they will get the President they deserve.

    It is the same sort of nonsense that G W Bush did in 2000!!

    The only thing Obama genuinely believes in is gettign himself elected.

    Nailing him down to real policies and actions is like nailing jello to a wall.

    January 27, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  18. Tim

    How come every Hillary Clinton supporter I see here is just spouting the typical, baseless attacks that have typified the Clinton campaign? It's like they went to the Karl Rove school of tear-down politics. I'm sorry, but we've had nearly 8-years of these 'divide and destroy' tactics and enough is enough.

    January 27, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  19. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    Obama mislead young people with honeyed words, I don't trust him because his speech and action is antinomy.

    January 27, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  20. amir

    open your ears and your heart then maybe you can hear the truth. obama is the truth.

    January 27, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  21. veronica lynne

    I like the last line of this story! Yes, Obama knows how to preach!
    But it is all empty rhetoric about change. It really means nothing.
    Go home Obama, hopefully on Feb. 5th.
    You are not strong enough to lead our great country.

    January 27, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  22. v.ananthan


    January 27, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  23. Leah

    Just seen a post that said:

    Billary sucks – Obama rocks!

    Now ain't that the truth!

    January 27, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  24. carol

    AMIR, i agree. People, stop saying he says he is bringing change and he never talks about change. He has a website Barackobama.com. You can check it out. Oh, it is free, no registration fee. There you will be able to see where he stands.

    January 27, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  25. the country needs grownups

    obama supporters will be surprised when those of us who are "the past" – in our 40s, 50s, 60s, and up – show up to vote for hillary!!! and there are many millions of us. not only are obama supporters acting in a racist and extremely sexist manner (which they would deny to the end, but is true), but also in a highly ageist manner.

    we were young, too, and thought we knew it all. then we grew up and realized we were wrong. ask your parents if they knew it all when they were your age – if you respect your parents more than you apparently do all us "past" people you keep telling to go away and shut up. (of course, just like when we were young, you'll read this and think some stupid old person is talking and ignore it – i do understand that, just had to say it anyway).

    January 27, 2008 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
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