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. Joslyn

    It makes me so sad to see so called "Black" leaders tearing down a man such as Barack Obama. Here we have the first serious candidate for president and black people rip him apart. The comment that Andrew Young made about Obama made me ashamed to be Black. How can you stand before the public and say, "Bill Clinton is MORE black than Obama?" What a disgrace! Wake up Black people! Let's give our vote and support to a man who will lead this country for ALL! I SUPPORT BARACK OBAMA.

    January 20, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  2. Richard

    who is usher? does he seat people at movie theatres?

    January 20, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  3. BK

    I'm not a white, a Latino or black.
    This is my first primary. I came from Asia in late 1980's and this will be my first primary since I became a US Citizen in 2002.
    Both my wife and I are highly educated.
    We discussed about Obama vs Hillary last 2 weeks.
    I'm at the moment inclined towards Obama and so do my wife.
    I see Obama as a good challenger to vet or "flush" out Hillary even if he don't win eventually. I want to give him a good fighting chance to test the waters as far as the American voters would allow him. Why let the game end early by voting for Hillary?. Basically, i see Obama as running against odds. And if he can get a good chunk of the votes, it will open doors for non-white candidates in the future generations to come. Why not?. Don't we as American pride ourselves as being objective, fair and democratic over the rest of the world?.
    This is a good chance to show rest of the world that a good candidate like Obama, despite of his race can stand an excellent chance to lead this country.
    From my perspective, Obama is smart and certainly have a commanding presence( read: good for US diplomacy and respectability worldwide).

    I think both candidates will face uphill battles about fixing the current ailing economy and healthcare and likely to depend more on their advisers.
    I think Obama have an edge, maybe to project and earn more respectability from
    around the world as the first non-white US President.

    January 20, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  4. mike

    to marianne pepitone: Obama Graduated Harvard law sunma cun laude and was in the top 1% of his class. Are you smarter then he is? In fact he might be one of the smartest people in the senate. So go on with your Stupidity and racial slurs... You foooooool...

    January 20, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  5. James Brown ( Independent )

    I agree that Clinton can't win in the General , theres just no way ! To many people see her for what she really is ( Bush on Steroids ).

    If the Democrats want to take back the White House ..........Obama is really the only hope.

    January 20, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  6. Lanae

    People with EYES, I have a question? Don't you see something serious wrong with how Clinton has been behaving for the past 2 weeks? Something is a SICK about how desperate he wants to return to the white house. Hillary isn't running HE IS!!!! This Man is a DISGRACE and I am embarrassed as a democrat that I supported him during his presidency. He is becoming PATHETIC!! Its about time Obama called Clinton on his lies. The clintons are both POLARIZING not only to the democratic party and the african american community but in Washington PERIOD!! Half of the democrats don't like them, All of the independents can't stand either and ALL of the Republicans despise themr, and if this trends contiunes you are almost guranteed a repulican back in office. They were discussing this on my radio station how, she will lose if she is the nominee against McCain. The more they attack obama, the more the democratic party weakens. Anybody with an ounce of sense would not want them back int the white house for another 4-8 years of paritisan politics with nothing getting done. Since 1981 we have had a Bush/Clinton Dynasty. Bush Sr for vice president for 8 years, Bush Sr President for 4 years, Clinton for 8 years, Bush for 8 years now you all want another Clinton for the next 4-8 years? Then you turn around and JEB BUSH wants to run against her..ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!. It is time for someone fresh, and new to lead this country because I am tired of the same old nasty politics that is polarizing our nation. Hillary Clinton will not bring this country together to get things done, as we can see how nasty she is with the all out attacks on Obama. Even the top Democrats have called them on their lies about Obama including Ted Kennedy. He had seen enough and called them on the phone PERSONALLY and told them to CUT THE CRAP OUT with attacking Obama. Its time to rally around either Obama or Edwards. People want change but keeping putting the same people back in the White House o

    January 20, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  7. Tapera

    Vincent, Tamaqua

    Presidents do not run governments unless if they are dictators.
    Also , haven't you thought that maybe Usher and the likes started getting into politics because they saw someone in Obama.

    You people tend to forget that there have been other black people who have run for presidency before. I wonder whether you tend to forget or you just ignored them because they are not important to you

    January 20, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  8. PJ, New York

    Oh my, well there you go... If Usher is supporting Obama he must be the rght candidate. LOL What a joke!!

    Go Hillary!

    January 20, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  9. idahosa

    lets address the issue at hand, which is how many young people are really sticking out for hillary?

    least we forget, the destiny of a nation lies in the hands of its youths. its high time the youths of america come out in their numbers and take their destiny in their hands by nominating the one person they resonate with.

    that person i strongly feel is Obama. like bill clinton, not many thought he would make a good president cos he was young and looked naive. however, he was given a chance to prove himself and his critics were "almost" (cos he keeps forgetting to keep his zippers up) silenced...

    nominating Obama will send a strong signal to many young americans that no one and i mean no one can tell them what the can or can't do.

    its time young people of amercia to rise up and shape america the way YOU want. don't let those with so called experience use that same experience to conn you into believing that they have your best interest at heart.

    vote for change, unity, progress... vote for Obama!!!

    January 20, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  10. Illinois Indie

    Wow and this is the damage that was caused by both Clinton and Obama camps? By just looking in both this blog and across the media, this hatred for both Clinton and Obama has really started to make things worse for the Democrats in the GE. I fault both camps for doing this because it was Clinton who is expressing that she would be the "First Woman President" if she is elected, and Obama who is expressing his racial makeup as technically the "First Bi Racial President." What makes me sick is to find out that there are people still in this country that have prejudices against those of color and gender, but hey not everyone is enlightened to know that in order to succeed in life you must work together or fall alone. This nominating contest for the Democrats has gotten so vulgar that even some elected Democrats are trying to pour water on the flames of hatred that is coming out of this. I even heard that the Bill Clinton would sacrifice his reputation in order to get him and his wife back into power, and that took me back for a second because I didn't see him as being so power hungry. I was wondering whether or not if his extreme determination to her (and him) back in the White House is coming from him wanting to make-up his cheating ways towards her? I am sure everyone on here would agree that if you look beneath the surface of things, Bill must have a guilty conscience and is trying to make it up to Hillary by getting them back into the White House by any means necessary. I am going to make a prediction. There will be three Democrats going into the convention in Denver (Clinton-Obama-Edwards). The top two will be Clinton & Obama, with Edwards being the regal maker of the two. In the end whomever wins the nomination must choose the other as his/her running mate i.e. JFK and LBJ. If the one doesn't chooses the other as his/her running mate, you will kiss the election GOODBYE for the Dems for the third straight election cycle because like it or not BOTH SIDES must come TOGETHER and BOTH SIDES must GIVE UP GROUND into to be effective in the fall against the Republicans. If John McCain is the nominee and Clinton becomes the nominee for the Dems, kiss the independents and moderate dems goodbye because like Mike said it is not about party, gender, or race it is about principle, leadership, and being able to bring together people who may disagree with you – and John McCain has a better chance at that than the Clintons because Clintons have more baggage than anyone else. I voted for the dems in 2006, and at the rate of things going on in this dem contest I may rethink about voting again only because the country doesn't need more division, and I believe a Democratic Party Civil War is going come about if people on this blog and in elsewhere within the party continue to create more hatred towards one another.

    January 20, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  11. Hillary Clinton Supporter from Florida

    Has anyone ever really thought of why the Republicans are pushing for Barack Obama?? Think About It!!

    January 20, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  12. Quinn

    I am a 38 year old African American male. Last year, I was undecided on who I was going to support for the democratic nomination. Since I've always liked Bill Clinton, I thought maybe Hillary could get us back to the better times we experienced in the 90's. So she wasn't a bad choice for me.

    As far Obama, I knew he was brilliant, charasmatic, and destined to do something special one day. I just didn't think America was ready for a president of color. There are too many grizzly old racists still living. Once they all die, America's youth will lead us to being a nation that is truly color blind. In the meantime, I thought Obama didn't have a chance in 2008. Then Iowa changed everything. I was never so happy to be wrong. God bless the fair, open-minded people of Iowa for being such visionary thinkers.

    Since the Iowa caucus, I have been appalled by the Clinton's actions. When Hillary got choked up in New Hampshire, I thought her tears were genuine but her reason for crying was disturbing. It seemed as if she was saying "Hey listen, If I am not elected, the nation will go backwards. I am the best choice for president because I have been preparing for this my whole life. Obama is just a baby riding a wave of popularity. It's just not fair." I thought she had a sense of entitlement to the presidency that made her seem like a spolied elitist.

    Bill Clinton, who I used to admire, decided that his wife's plans of winning the white house back for them was being threatened in New Hampshire. So he goes on the attack in a way I never expected. Yes he is Hillary's husband, but he is also a former president. Not only is it classless for him to get so involved, but it shows that she is incapable of handling her own business. As much as I don't like Bush, I do not recall his dad firing potshots at Al Gore in 2000.

    With all of Hillary's supporters attacking Obama at will, plus her husband playing the role of enforcer, I feel that Obama is up against the entire Clinton machine. In short, the Clinton's fight dirty and I do not support them anymore. An honest win for Obama in Iowa caused the Clinton's to show their true colors. And speaking of color, the Clinton's have successfully painted him as nothing more than a "black candidate." Hillary is happy to trade the black supporters she once had for more white supporters.

    I am so disgusted with the Clinton's that I have already decided to vote for John McCain in November if he is the Republican nominee running against her if she wins. If any of the other Republicans win the nomination, then I will have to write in someone's name...maybe my dog Macy. I advise every democrat to take a real hard look at Hillary and the establishment she is fighting to preserve, before you vote for her. As an African-American, I feel that my unconditional vote for democrats over the years was a mistake. For so many years, African-Americans have uplifted the democratic party faithfully. Now when an African-American running for president needs the support of democrats, the Clinton's sell him down the river by making whites afraid of him. Thank God for the smart people in Iowa! You are America's future!

    January 20, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  13. Larry, NJ

    Jeff, ID,

    I agree totally. The Democrats will loose this race that is being handed to them if they have Hillary as their Candidate. I am a long time Democrats that NEVER even considered to vote for a Republican. But If Hillary is the Dem. I will not vote at all. She does not deserve to be the President. She is unqualified, bad judgment, conniving, polarizing and she will unit the Republicans to defeat her and loose Dem Congressional seats. The democrats will be worst off then they are now. What could possibly be in the Dems Kool-Aid to have them even considering Hillary is beyond me.

    January 20, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  14. LA

    So pulling the race card is what we need in this country. Maybe, we need someone with a real record in congress. Has anyone checked the record to see what Obama has done so far? I read the information at the Library of Congress and his record is weak and his interests are not with the nation or it's people.

    January 20, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  15. Andrew

    Its amazing thing everyone forgets that HRC was supposed to be trouncing Obama and Edwards( according to earlyiPolls)From where i stand its to close to call even now.
    Obama was supposed to be consigned to the past by now.
    People are to quick to forget he won in Iowa, that she won in NH and NV(but he still is in good shape coz he has 1 more delegate) and that he is likely to win in South Carolina and that she may finish a dissapointing 3rd in Edwards home state.
    Hello these are facts. She isnt unbwoggable, on the contrary all this talk of the race card makes her look so unelectable.SHE WAS AT ONE TIME AHEAD BY 20% by the polls,dont tell me that the people who voted for Obama in Iowa and New Hampshire were all black !!! and dont try and spin our hard fought win in SC which will be won by galvanising the youth ,as as well as convincing the African American voters(which dont simply vote for colour)
    Obama is way too inspirational and slick and is beating the slick Clinton apparatus.Talk about David vs Goliath,

    January 20, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  16. Bethany, St. Louis MO

    Funny how the only people saying this endorsement is about race are the Hillary supporters.

    Anyone who actually supports Hillary after all the lies, deception, and pitiful way she conducts herself should be ashamed.

    If she gets the nomination, she WILL lose in November.

    January 20, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  17. JAZ

    Go Usha. Now get Will Smith, Kanye, and Sharpton on the stage with you BO.

    January 20, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  18. Go home Obummer

    Maybe Obummer needs to "find his voice" like Hillary did, instead of trying to use MLK's voice, or Rev Jesse Jackson's voice...every time I have to listen to him speak (didn't get the channel changed fast enough) I feel like I'm in a church sermon!


    January 20, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  19. kz

    Wake up people!!! Bill Clinton is not running for President – It is Hillary Clinton if you have not noticed. Who would have thought it would come to this: A Black Man giving the Clintons a run for their money.

    Stop the Bush/Clinton/Bush/Clinton dynasty. This is America People!!!! WAKE UP!!!

    GO OBAMA!!!!!

    January 20, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  20. Truethis

    LATINOS let me break it down for you. You might have given Hillary the popular vote or you plan on giving majority of your votes to Hillary but let me break it down to you: If Hillary becomes the Democratic nominee the Republicans, the Independents , the conservative Democratics and majority of the African American she has pissed off will UNITE.

    You might think that Obama really dont want CHANGE and UNITY. Just wait. Your vote doesn't mean a thing compared to all the Whites that dislike Hillary so much. Which means the Republican takes some of the Democratic seats in Congress and they become the majority which means closed BORDERS, you have to speak English and.......you have to pay a fee and get behind the line if you're an illegal aliens.......so go ahead keep giving your votes to Hillary if you think she can really bring you TRUE CHANGE and UNITY. Reality Hurts.

    January 20, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  21. The Record

    Obama for President- in 2016, after being Hillary's Vice President for 8 years. Thinking black people don't vote for people because they are black because we remember what has happened when we supported Clarence Thomas- because he was black. Thinking black people vote because of track record and experience, and Clinton has that.

    Clinton/Obama 2008

    January 20, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  22. Dwayne, Pa

    Are people ever going to wake up? All of these people that think Hillary is going to CHANGE things in Washington, think she is going to lift all of the poor people, latino people, uninsured people, out of rough times, are going to get a very hard reality check if she takes office! She has had 35 years to work on these issues, and look at all of the people that are having the same hard times that they have had for years.
    And the Democratic faithful are sticking with Hillary Clinton and doing everything they can to help her get the nomination.
    Yet, they say they want a Democrat back in the White House.
    Meanwhile, Republicans are praying that Hillary gets the nomination because they know they can certainly beat her.
    The Clintons are very unpopular among Republicans.
    On the other hand, the Democrats would be almost a lock for the presidential nomination with Obama as their nominee. There are a tremendous amount of Republicans and Independents that would side with Barak Obama.
    You will not have that kind of cross support with Hillary Clinton as the Dem. nominee!
    Let's see how many Democrats figure that out.

    January 20, 2008 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  23. Peggy

    Bill Clinton went out the other day and distorted Barack's interview on Ronald Reagan. No where did Barack praise Reagan and his ideas he just said it that particular time and place in history Reagan's ideas fit what the country was looking for at that time, the same could be said of Hitler but that doesn't mean by saying it that you are praising the man. If Bill is getting so testy about Barack's popularity and that now his wife has to work for the nomination and it is not falling into her lap, what is he going to say and do if he is the first "Man" of this country and some Senator and another country's President critizes Hillary, is he going to go in front of the cameras, pointing his finger and getting pissed off? How can Hillary keep in tow Bill with his love of talking and debating?? Can we stand 4 years of Bill telling the country about what a great President he was all the time??Maybe if Hillary would have dumped Bill I could think of voting for her but she has baggage that I don't want to see in the White House again and I voted for him both times. I know many of my fellow democrat friends that what nothing to do with Hillary. So if you want the Republicans to win just keep voting for Hillary.

    January 20, 2008 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  24. Juanito, Washington, DC

    Such stupidity should be illegal. So Usher is supporting Obama because he's black? How stupid are you people? Somehow any black person who supports Obama gets accused of being racist?
    Let me guess...it's ok when blacks support white politicians...THAT's ok, right?


    January 20, 2008 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  25. Marlene

    Diane, thank you.

    Check out Diane's comments: January 20, 2008 4:45 pm ET

    Very eloquent, great points.

    Personally, I just can't imagine anyone truly believing that Bill & Hillary back in the White House (which was their goal a very long time before they even left) will be good for our country. They are ruthless and will stop at nothing to get back in those doors. Bill's behavior has been ridiculous. After so many years, we need real people running our country again.

    I have no idea why Barack Obama has chosen to devote himself to try and make a difference, but I'm grateful for it. I just pray that Americans wake up before it's too late and realize what an opportunity we have. If you haven't already, look up Senator Patrick Leahy's endorsement of Obama and his comments. And bear in mind, he knows all the senators – quite intimately. If Hillary were so great, why on earth would he endorse Obama instead? Hmm....

    January 20, 2008 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
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