Jan 262008

It’s been a big night for Barack Obama. Not only did he walk away with a rather impressive victory in South Carolina (see previous post), he also gained the endorsements of The San Francisco Chronicle and Caroline Kennedy.

First, the Chronicle:

Reprieve and renewal

The American political system needs a period of reprieve and renewal.

It needs a reprieve from a White House that draws power from fear, sneers at any science that gets in the way of corporate or theocratic missions and stubbornly adheres to policies that leave the nation sinking in debt and mired in war. It craves a reprieve from the politics of bloodsport that prize clever calculation over courage, winning over principle, party label over national interest.

The renewal must come from a president who can lead by inspiration, who can set partisanship aside to define and achieve common goals, who can persuade a new generation of Americans that there is something noble and something important about public service.

There is no doubt about the Democrat with the vision and skills to bring that period of reprieve and renewal. It is Sen. Barack Obama.

Mrs. Schlossberg (Caroline Kennedy):

A President Like My Father

Over the years, I’ve been deeply moved by the people who’ve told me they wished they could feel inspired and hopeful about America the way people did when my father was president. This sense is even more profound today. That is why I am supporting a presidential candidate in the Democratic primaries, Barack Obama.

My reasons are patriotic, political and personal, and the three are intertwined. All my life, people have told me that my father changed their lives, that they got involved in public service or politics because he asked them to. And the generation he inspired has passed that spirit on to its children. I meet young people who were born long after John F. Kennedy was president, yet who ask me how to live out his ideals.

Sometimes it takes a while to recognize that someone has a special ability to get us to believe in ourselves, to tie that belief to our highest ideals and imagine that together we can do great things. In those rare moments, when such a person comes along, we need to put aside our plans and reach for what we know is possible.

We have that kind of opportunity with Senator Obama. It isn’t that the other candidates are not experienced or knowledgeable. But this year, that may not be enough. We need a change in the leadership of this country — just as we did in 1960.

All in all, a good evening for the Senator from Illinois.

Barack and Michelle Obama
Barack and Michelle Obama

Jan 262008

Obama claims big win in South Carolina

Barack Obama
Barack Obama

(CNN) — Sen. Barack Obama claimed a significant victory in South Carolina on Saturday, telling supporters “we are hungry for change.”

The Illinois senator earned more than twice the vote that rival Sen. Hillary Clinton did, 55 percent to 27 percent, unofficial returns showed.

Former Sen. John Edwards was expected to come in third in the state’s Democratic primary, according to CNN projections.

“Tonight, the cynics who believed that what began in the snows of Iowa was just an illusion were told a different story by the good people of South Carolina,” Obama said to supporters Saturday.

A win in South Carolina was considered crucial for Obama, who won Iowa but finished second to Clinton in New Hampshire and Nevada.[..]

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Obama had 55 percent of the vote. Clinton was second with 27 percent, followed by Edwards, with 18 percent.

Obama’s likely victory capped a heated contest in South Carolina, the first Democratic primary in the South and the first with a largely African-American electorate.

Obama, who is hoping to become the United States’ first African-American president, did well with black voters, who made up about half of Saturday’s electorate, according to exit polls.

Black voters supported the Illinois senator by a margin of more than 4-to-1 over his nearest rival, exit polls indicate.

Among white voters, Obama took about a quarter of the vote, with Clinton and Edwards roughly splitting the remainder, those polls indicated.

That one was not too difficult to call. They probably had most of this article written a month ago.

Update: MSNBC’s David Shuster reports:

More than 500,000 [530,322] votes were cast today in this Democratic primary…

That is higher than the 450,000 [442,918] who voted last Saturday in the GOP South Carolina primary. And the turnout today is up by 75% compared to the Democratic primary turnout in 2004… That primary turnout was 290,000.

I added the actual counts in the brackets. John McCain, the winner of last week’s Republican primary, received 147,283 votes. Barack Obama today received 295,091 votes. This, in a supposedly “red” state.

Watch the victory speech (somehow I think there will be many more to come):

Compare and contrast: