1/28/08 Update - Jesse Jackson gave interview to AfroSpear member Gina McCauley on the South Carolina results.
South Carolina is giving a landslide victory to Barack Obama in the Democratic primary tonight. Not just Black voters ... but, young voters, women voters, rural voters and everyone else that could reach the ballot box voted in favor of Barack Obama. The racially divisive politics that Bill & Hillary Clinton brought to the campaign in South Carolina failed. There is no other way to look at it ... Barack Obama regained his footing as the transformative candidate for the 21st century.
Exit polls show that Barack Obama won a majority of white voters under 30, white men, and white college-educated voters. Hillary Clinton had many endorsements from Black preachers and congressmen in South Carolina. However, Hillary only received 17% of the Black vote in South Carolina. I bet those Black preachers and congressmen are feeling pretty lonely out there tonight.
The question now is whether Team Clinton will learn a lesson ... or does Team Clinton feel that race-baiting will help them with white and Hispanic voters on Super Tuesday. When asked about the Obama victory in South Carolina, Bill Clinton reminded the reporter that "...Jesse Jackson won here in 1984 and 1988.". That sounds like racial code words for white voters around the country that they should discount the South Carolina vote. After all, what comparision is there between Obama and Jesse other than the fact both candidates are Black. Bill Clinton could have noted that he won the SC primary in 1992 or that John Edwards won the SC primary in 2004 ... but, he went directly to the white boogeyman (Jesse Jackson). Is Team Clinton truly that cynical about the Democratic electorate?
Time will tell. My view is simple. Team Clinton feels entitled to the presidency as if they are royalty. In my view Team Clinton is 1990s .... yesterday ... fights and tactics that worked well last century. This year we have an opportunity to elect a leader for the 21st century ... a leader that can transform America and bring us together in ways that Hillary Clinton can never do.
The policy differences between the two (or three if you count Bill) aren't that different. Therefore, the message of change and the image of Obama as a unifying person should make the difference.
What are your thoughts on the South Carolina results?