January 20th, 2008
02:10 PM ET
15 years ago

Pop star Usher to appear at Obama rally

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - Few people can say they've graced more magazine covers than Barack Obama - but Usher is certainly one of them. Now they'll share the same photo-op.

CNN has learned that the R&B superstar and heart-throb will appear on the same stage with Obama at a rally in Orangeburg on Tuesday evening.

An Obama spokesman said Usher won't perform at the event, but will speak about why he is supporting the Illinois senator.

It's not the first time the singer has stumped for Obama. Usher first appeared at a rally for the senator in Atlanta back in September of last year.

"I stand here representing our youth," he said at the time, reading from index cards. "If you want change you have to get involved."

In light of the Obama campaign's efforts to court young African-American voters here, the event's location at South Carolina State University is not insignificant: it's the state's largest and oldest historically black university.

Actress Kerry Washington, who starred in films like "Ray" and "The Last King of Scotland," will also be at the event.

- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby

soundoff (318 Responses)
  1. Craig in Madison

    The more Obama tries to gain people's respect by associating himself with famous people, the more respect I LOSE for Obama. A man has to stand on his own even simply to be a real MAN, all the moreso to be a real President. I would vote for MLK if he was running for President, but he's not.....Obama is. And because I can't vote for MLK, and I wouldn't vote for Oprah, Usher, or any other celebrities no matter how white they shined or black they glistened, then I'm not voting for Obama until (ironically) I see him standing on his own.

    January 20, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  2. Gabe

    LOL Anyone that thinks HIllary is for Poor People and then says that in a comment is absolutely ridiculous. You have been fooled. That being said

    Jeff Rathdum, I tend to agree with you . To Be honest, I have considered becoming an Independent in light of recent tactics uses by the Clinton Campaign. As someone who supports any Democrat still in the race for President, they have begun to alienate me among others with their tactics usually seen from the other side. This does not send a good message to the party faithful and may backfired amongst a divided party after this nomination process...Me included. We shall se

    January 20, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  3. Jimmy O

    I am an independent, i.e., I don't vote for the party, I vote for the candidate. I am amazed that the Clintons after all they did in 90s would still be leading the Presidential race of any party. My Republican friends tell me that can only happen in the Democratic Party. Are we all suffering from amnesia? Are we all stupid, unintelligent that we have to continue to be ruled by 2 families?

    Do we have a monarchy system of government? Isn't it time to end the Bush-Clinton era? So who next after Hillary? Jeb Bush? Are we so narrow minded, that we can only elect a Bush or a Clinton to the highest office in the Land. This is the greatest country on the surface of the earth, I am sure Americans will reject any Bush or Clinton on the ballot this November. I am suffering from a Clinton-Bush fatigue, It is time to END the Bush-Clinton era!

    January 20, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  4. Think Obama

    As an immigrant (legal) it's incredible for me to think that in what all candidates keep calling "The greatest nation on the face of Earth", a land with a history filled with countless luminaries in all fields of knowledge, as far as politics, you would spend a possible 3 decades between 2 last names, I guess now we are copying rome or egypt. That in the country of google, yahoo, apple, microsoft, youtube, and on and on and on, nobody else is ready from the day one. What exactly is this experience that Mrs. Clinton talks about? As far as I know she voted for the war (like or not the worst mistake of this generation) without reading the documents for herself, votes for measures that she doesn't want to see passed, starts babbling about right wing conspiracies days before her husband puts the highest office to shame, one day wants folks in new york with licenses and the next not anymore. Her biggest weakness is self agrandizing herself, Cries for votes, takes and incredible amount of money from the companies that prevent the change that she wants so badly. And believe me, i have lived in the midwest (Red Land) and I have not seen yet a figure that motivates republicans to get up and vote (Even for Barney ) like her. And still I wonder, 8 years of being the wife of the president, how exactly that counts. The truth is that americans roll the dice no matter for whom the vote, might as well roll the dice for hope and above all for change. Please democrats think about it, if you can not even win the next one might as well call it a game. Please consider Barack Obama!

    January 20, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  5. veronica

    Another black celebrity has come out for Obama? What a surprise!
    Everyone I know is really getting tired of the race card Obama plays with all his black celebrities endorsing him.
    I think Obama knows he can't get it, so wants to destroy the Democratic party out of spite.
    If he's the nominee, I will vote for McCain. And I have never voted for a Republican ever before.

    January 20, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  6. Basquale

    Hillary will heal the world? Give me a brake!South Carolina stand up and make your voices heard all over America and the rest of the World. Obama!

    January 20, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  7. Mar

    To: Jeff, Rathdrum ID January 20, 2008 2:38 pm ET,
    I absolutely agree! The stand a HUGE chance of winning and almost guaranteed defeat. Even Edwards can pull out a win with enough support. But, Hillary, it's simply not going to happen.

    To: S, WI January 20, 2008 2:45 pm ET,

    Are you aware Excuse me, Lation/Hispanic voters are what percentage? Yeah, right, keep dreaming. And if the Dems that don't like her vote with us, what do you think her chances are winning are? Like I said, keep dreaming.

    January 20, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  8. Gail Evans

    Last year , I was not sure which candidate–Clinton or Obama that I would vote for. Now I am very sure that I will vote for Obama. The more negative tactics of the Clintons make me feel certain that Obama is the only one who can truly unite the country. The Clintons tactic is "divide and conquer" whereas Obama's tactic is "unite and conquer." A divided house will not stand and a divided Democratic Party will not win.

    Hillary Clinton says that she is the best person to lead because she has 35 years of experience making a difference in people lives. She may have 35 years of experience but she gained it by being the wife of the Arkansas Atty General, the wife of the Arkansas Governor, and the wife of the President of the United States. A lot of what Hillary has accomplished has come on the coattails of her husband. Do you think that she (as an Arkansas resident) could go into New York and win as Senator without ever having lived in New York? Of course not. She won because of the overwhelming benefit of her husband's influence as the sitting President of the United States? Anybody can have 35 years of experience if someone else is always paving the way. My question is this: Who is Hillary without Bill? She says that she will be ready Day 1. Well I guess so! She will have Bill leading her every step of the way!

    That is one of the reasons why I support Obama. He has not had the benefit of his daddy as President or his spouse as President to pave the way for him. Everything that he has achieved has come based on his own hard work by foregoing the big bucks as a Wall Street lawyer and working as a communty organizer. He has built his candidacy from scratch and he has organized a phenomenal campaign. Hillary, on the other hand, has inherited everything including her campaign infrastructure and ground organization from Bill. I would rather vote for someone who knows how to organize and build a coalition from scratch in record time rather than one who inherits it based on family ties.

    Again I ask, "Who is Hillary without Bill?"

    January 20, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  9. Ann

    Here is what I do not understand. Back in the 80's, Jesse Jackson sought nomination. Why? Was he or wasn't he ready? For the 2000 presidential election, Al Sharpton did the same. Why? Was it just for fun or he really believed he could do it?
    Why then is all this back and forth with Obama?
    Why can't African-american believe in themselves? Compared to Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton, Obama has better chances to make it to the White House. Though not American, I feel that African-american are missing a huge opportunity here. This is your time. Just believe. Believe. Believe.

    January 20, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  10. Gabe

    Follow Up.

    So Yesterday as a testament to what some of the independents are saying here... I was a precinct captain and ran our caucus here. I kid you not the hour prior to while I was setting up, every Republican that was caucusing before the Democrats came out and were giving the Obama supporters high fives, saying "hope you win today", "anyone but her...God" was actually said once. LOL.

    It was amazing, my fiance was helping me an commented on how much these people who were just at each others throats in their own caucuses, were coming out united to make it know their angst with Senator Clinton. I also noted that Senator Obama dominated the new registrants of formerly independents who were playing dem for a day.

    This seems to solidify what independents have been saying. I seem to have a lot of independent friends who refuse to even engage in conversation about Hillary, but are receptive to Edwards and Obama....Interesting.

    On a final note, Clinton Supporters, as a die hard democrat at least for now. Can e please stop spewing about 35 years of Experience, and how Senator Obama does not? I mean really... Senator Clintons 5 years elected to Obamas 11 years elected....

    Oh and Abraham Lincoln pretty much destroyed the notion that an Attorney from Illinios with only 2 years of National Elected Office wouldnt make a good president. Do your homework, your making Democrats look bad, there is plenty of differences between Senator Clinton and Senator Obama to discuss, this isnt one of them

    January 20, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  11. carlo

    Why do some keep saying that "blacks support 'their own'?" I was of voting age when both Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton ran for president, and I didn't vote for either one of them, and I'm black! What is it with some people? I'm voting for Barack Obama because he's the BEST person for the job, not because he's black. Are white women supporting Hillary just because she's female? No one is saying that, but I have seen the signs behind her at her rallies suggesting as much. I haven't heard Barack Obama referring to himself as "the first black president." He has all of the haters to pull that one out of their behinds.

    January 20, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  12. Kim

    There are many willing to vote Republican if their candidate does not make the Democratic ticket and I say it is a free country. You can't start a nasty campain and it was not just Hillary, Obama is just as responsible and expect people to turn a blind eye any more. We have had one gender and one race in the White House all of my life. The one time we have a REAL shot at changing the face of it all it turns into BS. Well we deserve to loose because obviously our own personal agenda is not as important as that of all of the poor and middle class people suffering and they are not just woman and not just black! We seem to feel so entitled, what a joke.

    January 20, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  13. Democracy of America

    Dear Readers:

    Please Help Spread Democracy in America.

    Join the Movement:

    Americans against Dynasty – Americans for Democracy.

    January 20, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  14. Kevin R. Williams

    I think it is a great thing to have people that share your passions campaign with you...I think it works to have young people come out and vote, why only have the rich and privileged be the future, we need more Barack Obamas, more Hillary Clintons...we obviously dont need anymore George Bushs...Bring the youth out, they need to want to work through the process...

    January 20, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  15. tobi

    Obama needs to campaign with the fervor he showed in Iowa. Oprah potentially will deliver the African American and Female votes as she did in Iowa and Obama should get a big bump from African Americans in South Carolina who do not want to be the state that affectively ends the run of the first realistic African American presidential candidate - just as women in Mass did not want to kill Hillary's campaign.

    There are a lot of reasons Obama SHOULD win in South Carolina, but the facts are if he loses in SC, Hillary carries all of the momentum into Super Tuesday instead of most of the momentum. Aditionally, Obama pulls heavily from peop[e who don't normally vote. If they can't turn those people out - like they haven't been able to in the last 3 states, they will have a hard time winning. In otherwords it is again do or die time for the Obama camp.

    January 20, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  16. katie

    OK! I have nothing against Clinton. She is a superb woman. But, this is the Obama time. He is the leader that can unit this country and bring the credibility and respect to the name USA in the world stage once again! Guys, if Hillary gets the Democratic nomination, SHE WILL NOT GET ELECTED IN NOVEMBER, and eight years from now, we will still be fighting in Iraq! Wake up America!

    January 20, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  17. Danny

    So if a Black person comes out for Obama it is about race? What if a White person comes out for Hillary, is it still about race? Is she playing the race card? Are they only backing her because she is White just like them? Get real. What if they dispatch Chelsea to some all girls colleges to give some speeches(and remember chelsea doesn't do speeches!) is that not the gender care?

    No wonder you all support her, you lack critical thinking skills......But, hey, listen I'm a Republican and I won't be voting Hillary anytime soon. I'm just sick of the DOUBLE STANDARD of the press and of her supporters.

    What is good for Hillary is good for Obama. I thought Dem. believed in things being fair and equal? Give it a rest and grow up Hillary fans,.Your rants about Obama are baseless, which in turn makes you appear as desperate and as pathetic as your candidate.

    January 20, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  18. John Edwarss

    Kay, republicans are not all racists, but people with the name of "Kay" are aren't they??? Hitlery is and she is starting to crack under pressure, she is fat too.

    Go Obama!

    January 20, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  19. She is no feminist, she is a sexist

    1971guy stop playing the race card. Play the sex card and go put a pad on.

    January 20, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  20. mary prince

    For 219 years the United States has had a man for president. This means that all the problems we have, has been caused by a man. Now I think it is time we had a woman for president so that she can straighten out all the mess they have made. My vote goes for Hillary.

    January 20, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  21. Robert - Portland, OR

    To the "ME, I WANT IT RIGHT NOW!!! Generation, Obama supporters. You'll learn that life is not always as it appears.

    Obama may win the primaries but he is not electable and that is what Carl Rove and the GOP is counting on. And yes it is about race. They know the history of the black and Independent voter. Most Independent are either Democrats or Republicans who don't want the label and the black voter is a small percentage of the population. Whites will come out of the woodwork and register to vote just to keep an African-American from winning the General Election.

    So leave your world of utopia and look at the facts. Washington is intrenched and the "good ole boys club" on both side of the isle (Mr. Leahy), are doing everything they can to insure neither Clinton or Obama have a chance.

    They all know Hillary can beat anyone on the Republican Ticket, most importantly Bush Jr, John McCain. They all know Obama cannot.

    Like that saying your parents say that you hate, BEEN THERE, SEEN OR DONE THAT. Many of us have fought for the same change in the past (Perot), we do know what we are talking about and that is through experience.

    January 20, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  22. John Edwarss

    Dance and sing your way through these elections, but don't vote for the dubbled chinned Hitlery!

    Go Obama!

    January 20, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  23. Mary

    You people supporting Obama because he is black is the reason America is becoming so hateful. This is coming from a black women!

    January 20, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  24. Barbara, Jamaica, NY

    Could someone please tell me who is running for President Bill or Hillary. It appears that he wants it more than she does. Doesn't he understand that his day in Washington has COME and GONE? What exaclty will be his role as a Presidential spouse? Will he be hosting White House Teas, picking out new China patterns, overseeing the Rose Garden? Please wake up people!!!!!
    Are voting for Hillary because she is a woman or are you trying to relive history and voting for Hillary because of Bill? Bill Clinton needs to stay in the background more and be seen but not heard. With the way things are going in this race, when all is said and done I may not be voting at all after Feb. 5th.

    January 20, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  25. Mike R

    I'm a Democrat and there is no way I would vote for Hillary in any election. Half of Democratid men are with me, 60% of independents and most republicans. Add it up, she can't win the general election. If she wins the nomination I agree with most thinking folks that she will not be able to unite the democrats, independents and those republicans that are for Obama. She is a lightning rod and will remain so. It will be another waste of a nomination and the republicans will win, again.

    Unless, if Obama or another runs as an independent, there is a chance that republicans will not win. No matter how you look at, if Obama does not win the nomination, and it looks like the stupidity of the old-line democrats will see to that, then we are all doomed to another repressive, regressive and war filled four years. The tax cuts will favor the upper incomes, the illegal immigration problem will get side-lined by the republican minority, the war will continue and the deficit to fund it will grow and grow. One day, I hope this country will wake up and see that we need a uniter. Clinton is not that, she will never be. Clinton is in it to win it, for her.

    I hope you Clinton supporters get what you deserve. By the way, if by some miracle she does win the general election, while it will be snowing in hell, nothing will get accomplished in this country, again. What a great accomplishment that will be for our party. Thanks a lot.

    January 20, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
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