January 25th, 2008
04:15 PM ET
14 years ago

Bill Clinton: Obama vision is 'articulate, compelling'

CLINTON, South Carolina (CNN) - A day after slogging through several low-key, wonkish events without mentioning his wife's top Democratic rival, a more-energized Bill Clinton once again brought up identity politics on Friday.

Despite the media furor surrounding some of his recent comments, the former president avoided any of the race-based South Carolina expectations-lowering for which he has been criticized. The state's Democratic voters head to the polls tomorrow.

"While I think it would be good based on my personal life experience to have the first woman president," Clinton said in this town that shares his name, "I also understand why a lot of African-American voters think it would symbolically powerful and important to elect a brilliant, articulate, compelling vision embodied in Sen. Obama as the first African-American president."

Clinton made the remarks, unprompted, at the beginning of his speech here, also adding that Hispanics had also been excited about the prospect of Gov. Bill Richardson's candidacy.

He said voters "are entitled to have their choices respected" but concluded that Americans should choose a president based on qualifications and experience.

In Spartanburg earlier Friday, Clinton decried racial divisions in politics and said that Americans are "literally aching to live in a post-racial future."

He said Obama and his wife had called "a truce" over their recent sniping, although he did not specify which statements he was referencing.

"I was glad to see Sen. Obama and Hillary sort of call a truce the other day," he said. "They said 'Okay, we've got some differences but we can't let it become so harsh that it undermines our longing to bring this country together.' I think that's important. The country is literally almost in physical agony begging for this."

The two campaigns had tried, but failed, to come to a similar agreement last week.

- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby</p

soundoff (405 Responses)
  1. Ruth Samuels, Charlottesville,VA

    I love both

    January 26, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  2. Jose Card - Independent

    Bill spoke his mind and his intelligent mind really upset the voters.

    January 26, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  3. streetsmart

    Dude, you are a bigot...get off the blog you idiot

    January 26, 2008 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  4. Lisa M.Mabry

    Mr.President , Please, for the love of our great god in heaven, throw that wide,ugly tie in the trash and never ever wear it again . I hope your having a great time.....sorry and God bless you......

    January 27, 2008 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  5. ej

    well said votehillary2008.
    please do not take this question out of context. Obama supporters, can you please tell me who Obama ran against to win his seats for both state and federal?
    thank you.

    January 29, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
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