Saturday, January 26, 2008

Obama: Redefine This!

By Joe Sims

Blowout. Landslide. A trouncing. These are the words that are being used to describe Barak Obama’s 2 to 1 victory in South Carolina tonight. Obama single handedly won almost as many as the total number of votes cast in South Carolina’s last primary. He won almost every county in the state and amongst almost all age groups, single women, married couples, the youth, and the poor. Obama won big in the Black community but also scored well among white South Carolinians. In the words of commentator Donna Brazile, “young whites Southerners are sending a signal that a new South is rising up." Obama said it best in his victory speech: “We have the most votes, the most delegates and the most diverse coalition.”

The big loser tonight was Bill Clinton: His southern strategy seems in shambles as is his image as senior statesmen of the Democratic Party.

The status quo was also a big loser in South Carolina, sensing that more than just a change in the White House is at stake. In this regard, Obama remarked, “the status quo is fighting back with everything its got.” Part of that fight was the attempt to redefine Obama’s appeal as narrowing to only African Americans.

However as a CNN reporter observed tonight, the sheer scale of the victory has the Clinton campaign “freaking out,” it’s attempt to redefine the Obama campaign now in serious trouble. Earlier today the Wall Street Journal said Obama needed a double digit victory to win back credibility. They never imagined his campaign would better their opponents by more than 20 points.

Voters in South Carolina responded to Clinton’s abrasive politicking and the ruling class attempt to narrowly shrink and marginalize the campaign’s base. How? By reenergizing its movement dimensions, lifting it back on track. Think about it: Obama got more votes than all the ballots cast in the last primary. The dynamic duo have got to be worried. Georgia, Tennessee and others states are soon to follow. The momentum is back again.