Monday, January 28, 2008

Obama sweeps “big time” in South Carolina

By Valencia Mohammed
AFRO Staff Writer

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Illinois Sen. Barack Obama crushed political rivals in the first southern Democratic primary, giving his campaign a huge boost as he and his challengers head into “Super Tuesday” on February 5th, when 22 states hold primaries.

Obama won with 55 percent of the vote, compared to 27 percent for New York Sen. Hillary Clinton and 18 percent for John Edwards, according to exit polls.

"….I did not see a Black or White South Carolina,” he said. “I saw South Carolina.”

Obama won about 80 percent of the Black vote and attracted about one of every four White voters, based on exit polls.

In a rousing victory party before hundreds Saturday night, Obama told supporters that campaign has attracted the most diverse group of voters.

For the full story...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Six days from South Carolina primary: Ministers energizing the vote –but for who, remains uncertain

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The Sunday before South Carolina’s Democratic primary was an unusual chilly day here, but the messages from the pulpits were designed to fire up the audience to cast a vote for the candidate of their choice.

The Rev. Roanell Hough, pastor of Bethel AME Church in Columbia, told his congregation that “God has provided us good people male or female to represent the country.”

Now it was time for his members to meet their responsibility and to go out and vote during Saturday’s primary, Hough said.

“What more sacrifice could we ask of someone who dedicated their lives to social change so that we would become corporate executives, serve in the White House, run for elected office as a man or woman,” he asked. “We have another opportunity to live the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King.

“This country is going to rise on Saturday and change history.”

Obama in South Carolina: Wooing crucial Black women’s vote

By Monroe Anderson
Special to the AFRO

COLUMBIA, S.C.--After a bruising battle in the Nevada caucuses, with New York Sen. Hillary Clinton claiming a most-votes victory, but with Illinois Sen. Barack Obama still holding more delegates that his chief opponent, the two Democratic Party presidential front-runners now have their sights on one particular constituency in South Carolina: Black women.

That constituency was well represented as Obama began to campaign here in earnest Sunday night, just six days before the state’s Saturday primary, with a major rally before thousands at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.

And if Brenda Lowery, Rhodessa Smith and Willie Mae Ferguson are any indication, which candidate will receive the lion’s share of that vote is anybody’s guess.

Lowery, Smith and Ferguson are three friends who are all members in good standing at Antioch Baptist Church here.

For the full story...

Five days before primary - Columbia, S.C.:Michelle Obama stomps for her husband

Valencia Mohammed
AFRO Staff Writer

COLUMBIA, S.C. – On the eve of the celebration of the Rev. Martin Luther King’s birthday, Michelle Obama told hundreds here that her husband, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, would live up to the civil rights leader’s legacy if elected president.

“If you give us your support on Jan. 26, Obama will emerge as a president who will live what Dr. Martin Luther King and other civil rights leaders sacrificed for justice and equality for all,” she told the crowd gathered in the chapel at predominately-Black Benedict College.

“There is no other candidate who can boast of representing King’s sacrifice but my husband. I know, because I live in his dream everyday to make things better for all Americans.”

Barack Obama is the true candidate of change, she said.

“There is no other candidate who can boast of representing King’s sacrifice but my husband."

“We just didn’t start talking about becoming change agents for this campaign,” she told the crowd. “We have been change agents all of our lives. We don’t want our children to inherit the mess we are in now.”

For the full story...

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

For many, New Hampshire still a win

MANCHESTER, N.H.-- It was a miss, but a miss so close that many it doesn’t seem to matter.

Yes, Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama lost to his chief rival, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton by a hair, a mere two percentage points.

But with a win in nearly all-White Iowa and an impressive showing in even Whiter New Hampshire, some see his loss as more of a win than anything else.

Consequently, when the January 26 Democratic primary in South Carolina rolls around, Beverly Rock will be in there doing just what she did in this week New Hampshire primary: supporting Barack Obama's bid to become the Democratic nominee for president.

"I'm already headed south to volunteer," said Rock, a 60-year-old grandmother from Dorchester, Mass., as she literally danced to Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered," while leaving the Obama rally late Tuesday night in the gymnasium at Nashua South High School in Nashua, New Hampshire.

"I'm all fired up."

Rock had just finished listening to speech congratulating challenger Hillary Clinton on her 39 to 37 percent victory in the nation's first primary election. In his speech after the results came in late Tuesday night, the freshman Illinois senator temporarily altered his rally cry from “CHANGE” to "Yes We Can!"

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Early Voting: Obama already a winner in parts of New Hampshire

By Monroe Anderson
AFRO Staff Writer

NASHUA, N.H. -- Barack Obama was the undisputed winner in the earliest results of the New
Hampshire Democratic primary.

In a long-running tradition, two remote mountain tiny towns, Dixville Notch and Hart's Location, in the Granite state's northern region, casts their ballots at midnight. The polls are immediately closed then to tally the results.

Obama received seven votes in Dixville Notch, which has 74 residents. Meanwhile, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton didn’t receive any votes. Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards got two votes and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson one, according to the Associated Press.

In Hart's Location, population 42, Obama received nine votes, Clinton three and Edwards one.
New Hampshire law allows towns of fewer than 100 residents to open polls after midnight so that their residents can cast the first votes of the first primary in the nation. The ballots can only be counted after all registered voters have participated.

For the full story...

A trinket for the girls raises eyebrows

NEW LONDON, N.H. – Barack Obama, the Democratic frontrunner in the New Hampshire primary race, picked up more than just the promise of votes for Tuesday’s primary while campaigning here.

During a scheduled photo opportunity at Jack’s Coffee Shop, the Illinois senator stopped by the store next door, Vessels & Jewels, to buy his daughters, Malia, 9, and Natasha, 6, jeweled bracelets. Their daddy also bought a jeweled key ring, and then paid the $36 tab with a debit card.

As Stacy Smith, the manager of the shop, processed the purchase, the candidate asked if his debit card had gone through.

“It would be embarrassing if it didn’t,” Obama joked.

The charge cleared without incident and the junior senator left to shake hands and chat with the coffee patrons at Jack’s.

“He’s the first candidate to ever walk through our door to show interest in something other than the campaign,” Smith said.

“I’m glad he took the time,” added Kristin Burgess, the craftswoman who made the jewelry.

Burgess considered the idea that if Obama wins the presidency, her jewelry could end up in the White House.

“Now, that would be amazing,” she said.