Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Obama wins massive victory in South Carolina

With nearly 100% of the votes counted, Barack Obama has bested Hillary Clinton in the South Carolina Democratic primary by a nearly 2 to 1 margin, drawing support from every corner of the state and defying the expectations of many pundits.

Obama has just finished giving an unbelievably powerful victory speech at his South Carolina headquarters, It's perhaps one of the strongest and most eloquent he's ever delivered. I watched and was greatly impressed by his tone and choice of words. It's hard not to feel cheerful and and hopeful - hard not to believe a bright horizon is possible - when you hear Barack speak. He is a gifted communicator and a wise leader. I am convinced he would serve our nation very ably as President.

Senator Clinton's campaign released this concession statement an hour ago:
I have called Senator Obama to congratulate him and wish him well.

Thank you to the people of South Carolina who voted today and welcomed me into their homes over the last year. Your stories will stay with me well beyond this campaign and I am grateful for the support so many of you gave to me.

We now turn our attention to the millions of Americans who will make their voices heard in Florida and the twenty-two states as well as American Samoa who will vote on February 5th.

In the days ahead, I'll work to give voice to those who are working harder than ever to be heard. For those who have lost their job or their home or their health care, I will focus on the solutions needed to move this country forward. That's what this election is about. It's about our country, our hopes and dreams. Our families and our future.
We expect to receive the text of Senator Obama's speech directly from his campaign shortly, and we will post it here immediately when we do.

Obama also picked up the endorsement of Caroline Kennedy this weekend in a beautiful Sunday New York Times guest column:
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.
Kennedy's column certainly echoes what Obama has said on the stump: that transformative change is needed: not just Democratic control of the White House or the repudiation of the right wing agenda, but the advancement of a unifying progressive politics that heals America and opens the door to a better future.


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