Election '08

Obama Takes South Carolina

Presidential candidate Barack Obama knocked out the competition in South Carolina Saturday. The Democratic Senator from Illinois became the number one stunner with a whopping 55% of the total vote. Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator John Edwards received 27% and 18% of the vote, respectively, which means – well, Obama beat the pants off his main competitors. In fact, Obama received more votes than Clinton and Edwards combined.

Many analysts attribute Obama’s victory to a high black turnout, which, yes, definitely helped give Obama an electoral boost. According to the AP, four out of five black voters leaned toward Obama. Only 25% of white folk gave him their blessing.

More importantly than race, however, is the fact that Obama has been preparing for South Carolina far longer than his party peers:

Democratic activists here in South Carolina said that the Obama campaign had perhaps the most extensive field operation ever seen in this state.

The reach of the Obama field operation extended even to such often forgotten places as Allendale County, which has the second smallest population of any of the state’s 46 counties.

To cite another locale, Obama had had about 20 supporters working out of his Greenville, S.C. office since mid-summer; Clinton had only five or six starting in the fall, according to one Greenville Democratic activist.

Regardless of one’s political leanings, South Carolina illuminates the unprecedented level of excitement within the States’ Democratic circles. The last election only brought out 293,000 democrats. MSNBC points out that Obama alone received more than that amount of primary votes.

The campaigns certainly turned out the vote, but let’s not forget the gay rights activists who worked tirelessly to break South Carolina’s records. The National Stonewall Democrats focussed their energies on South Carolina because of the state’s high concentration of black homos and homettes. Said Jon Headly, executive director of the National Stonewall Democrats:

Of all the early presidential states, it is the only one with a significant LGBT African American population. We decided to use that as an opportunity to deepen our organizing within the LGBT community, and especially LGBT communities of color.

The Wallers’ eschewed traditional events, like fancy-schmancy fundraisers, and instead focused on drawing candidates and their campaigns to a common ground with their potential supporters. For example, the National Stonewall Democrats worked to – and succeeded – draw the candidates to Black Pride events. South Carolina’s Stonewall leader, the uber-titled Rev. Dr. Keith L. Riddle explains:

I think presidential candidates expect to encounter our community at black-tie events on the Upper West Side, but not necessarily on historically Black college campuses in Orangeburg, South Carolina. Our presence this season has demonstrated that our community is everywhere and that Democratic politicians should be prepared to address hard questions and issues that impact our families no matter where they find themselves.

We think that’s just swell. For too long the national LGBT debate has been framed within insider institutions. It’s nice to know that non-profits – and the candidates themselves – are looking elsewhere for perspectives on homo matters. Let’s hope that the Democratic candidates remember the little people if elected to office.

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #politics #barackobama #election'08 stories and more


  • faghag

    bring back the old format.

  • mozzer13

    What is this “only 25% of white folks gave him their blessing” crap? Is Bill Clinton writing this? The fact is he got a quarter of the white vote in a three-way race, which isn’t too shabby. Additionally, he beat Clinton among white male voters and young white female voters. She was only able to beat him in older female white voters, and women made up 61% of the primary voters. Yes, black votes carried him to the massive landslide, but let’s not downplay this as a race thing, because he trounced Clinton is most every way possible.

  • yalesing

    in my memory,the conservtive politician always keep an eye on the gay’future,thanks for every gay proponent,i and my gay partner meet on gaysinglehunt. com live a happy life .

  • afrolito

    If it were’nt for the black vote Obama would have been TROUNCED. 25% of the white vote is NOT SIGNIFICANT, when the majority of that came from whites under 30. I hope his cult/supporters enjoyed themselves, because he’ll be getting a rude awakening next tuesday.

  • mozzer13

    25% of the white vote is significant when you consider that it was split between three candidates. You make it sound like white people won’t vote for him, when we have seen all through this race that this is not the case. Bill Clinton’s remarks regarding Obama’s win were out of line and are liable to suppress turnout in November.

  • afrolito

    White people will not vote for him in a general election. Voting in a primary or caucus means nothing. If he manages to get the nomination, they can just give the presidency to the republican candidate.

    If you seriously think 25% of the white vote (under 30) is significant, then you’re dealing in fuzzy math, when 75% went to the other white candidates.

    Bill Clinton has said absolutely nothing racist against Obama, but the Clinton hating media will pounce on any criticism of Obama by him or Hillary as destructive, mean, and divisive. It’s sickening to watch pundits not even trying to hide their hatred. It’s the 90’s all over again.

  • Michael Bedwell

    Helloooooh! Earth to Queerty! Have you already forgotten what MSM has been acknowledging all that time; and that the “New York Times” said yesterday that “MORE than half of the Democratic voters were African-American”? Have you already forgotten black lesbian minister Irene Monroe, the first to call out Obama on his strange bond with religionists who are very different than most of the members of his own progay, progay marriage even, United Church of Christ denomination, when she wrote that Obama’s aligning himself with homohater Donnie McClurking is “revealing how Obama is not only a vote-whore, but a race-card user as well”?

    How many listened to his victory speech Saturday night? He spent most of his considerable time in identifying roughly TWENTY-ONE subgroups as making up his “most diverse coalition”:

    The young—by rough count, three times
    The wealthy—twice
    The poor
    Blacks—multiple times
    Whites—multiple times
    Latinos—at least four times
    Native Americans
    Women [actually just as “Gender” but you take what you can get I guess]
    Black children
    White children
    Crossover Republican voters—three times
    Different religions—twice
    Maytag workers
    Wal-Mart workers
    Mothers of several kinds
    The old and seniors
    Both veterans and active duty soldiers.

    Just about everybody but Lithuanian hot dog vendors with freckles. Yet, the candidate who claims, along with his ever-bedazzled gay supporters, that he “always talks about gay rights wherever he goes,” who’s running campaign commercials bragging about telling people what they need to hear not what they want to hear, apparently thought the “good people of South Carolina” didn’t need to hear about LGBT Americans, even those who voted for him Saturday. Even after everyone who wouldn’t like hearing about “the gays” had already voted. Could it be that he was worried about the Gay-word being picked up in nationally broadcast sound bites?

    He said, “The choice in this election is not between regions or religions or genders. It’s not about rich versus poor; young versus old; and it is not about black versus white.” Why didn’t he add, “and it is not about straight versus gay” ?

    Some might respond, I trust him, he doesn’t have to mention us every time. In other words, “the back of the bus”—or under it—is ok sometimes? We’re good enough to help him win but not good enough to share in his victory moment?

    Or is South Carolina the Iran of America where there are no gays. And there are apparently none in Iowa or Nevada either, states he also mentioned and described unique “diverse” supporters.

    Apparently across the state and nation that Obama talked about seeing so vividly and wisely, Saturday night he saw no LGBT blacks, whites, Latinos, Asians, veterans, soldiers, mothers, teachers, workers, senior, rich, poor, or of any religion or creed. He saw no gay man kicked out of the home he shared for decades by his late lover’s family. He saw no gay kid too petrified to go to school today for fear he’ll once again be thrown to the ground and urinated on. He saw no lesbian mother trying to feed her children with food stamps because their father is still punishing her after learning she’s gay by refusing to pay child support. He saw no black gay man with AIDS trying to survive on the streets since his family disowned him.

    Months before Obama staffers started falsely accusing the Clintons of playing the race card, black lesbian minister Irene Monroe accused Obama of just that with McClurkingate in South Carolina where the Senator knew that the last landslide there was less than a year before when 78% of voters forever banned marriage equality from the state constitution. Gotta hand it to him—it worked.

    Look at the picture link below and notice the sea of bright red signs, like big red poppies, waving behind him reading: “STAND for change.” I suppose it’s only a coincidence that they echo the title of McClurkin’s Grammy-winning gospel hit, “Stand.”


    Yep, the new “Big O” is certainly the man of change; who’s going to sweep away all of those old tactics of pitting one group against another. He’s not just Cheney’s distant cousin, he’s Bush sunnyside up: a “Compassionate Liberal.”

    It’s sort of ironic actually. George Bush pere used the racist “Willie Horton Factor” to beat Democratic President candidate Michael Dukakis exactly twenty years ago. Now historians can add the “Donnie McClurkin Factor” to the lexicon. I hope Senator Obama has sent Donnie an appropriate thank you gift. Maybe an invitation to sing at his inaugural?

    “Poppies. Poppies will make them sleep.” And Obama’s poppy fields are growing despite growing evidence that there’s nothing behind the curtain.

    “With the thoughts I been thinkin
    He could be another Lincoln”

    “If you only had a brain.”

  • mozzer13

    Afrolito, if you have that dim of a view of America that white people won’t vote for a black man, then I don’t want to live in your America.

  • afrolito

    I actually live in America, so I know how racist it is. I have no idea what planet you’re living on.

  • seitan-on-a-stick

    As a Hillary supporter, I want to state that this is a “GOOD WEEK FOR BARACK” with the as-expected South Carolina primary win (Most whites are Republican there) and the rest were split between the three candidates (Yes, John Edwards is still running) The Kennedy clan endorsement is a double-edged sword as it will turn off Moderate swing-voters and the Clintons have become the modern-day Dynasty (of two) against a fading memory of Camelot. The voters choose the delegates, but I wanted the frothy-mouthed Obama-ites on these Blogs to know that Hillary herself was very gracious toward Obama’s big win garnering a clear majority of the African-American vote (from the Clintons) BREAKING NEWS! Just heard on Air America that Bloomberg might become McCain’s running mate which means we are ALL toast with Bloombucks’ unlimited funds. A Hillary-Obama ticket can only be trumped by someone with more money than GOD. Meanwhile, bask in the victory because Super Tuesday is still a two-person race on either side. This week was a “GOOD WEAK FOR OBAMA.”

  • emb

    I agree with those sound arithemticians here who’ve pointed out that 25-37-38 looks a lot more like a pretty equitable 3-way split (we ARE talking SC here–hardly a bastion of racial progressiveness) than an “only” percent. And I disagree with Afrolito that America won’t elect a black man. We’re not talking ALL America here, but the ones who vote. And while no one will do more to unify and turn out republican voters than Hillary, an Obama candidacy is less likely to motivate an “anti” landslide for a “moderate” republican like mccain. With dems motivated and repubs not so much, Obama wins.

    I used to think that a clinton-obama (or obama-clinton) ticket would be golden, but now I’m starting to think it could be deadly: it would still motivate the kneejerk antihillary republican base, and at the same time give shy racists a reason to vote against the ticket.

    As for bloomberg, (a) AirAmerica is amusing and all, but not necessarily a source of hard news; (b) bloomberg’s ego would be unlikely to settle for VP to anybody; (c) bloomberg’s already said his presidential explorations hinge on divisive major-party candidates: hardly the profile of dishwater-dull mccain or “unifier” obama. If HC is the nom, though, look for bloomberg and his dollars.

  • mozzer13

    Afrolito, I’m well aware that racism is alive and well in America, as I’ve said on this blog many times. I guess the difference between us is that you’ve given up and accepted it as a permanent fact. I think that America is getting better and that Obama can transcend some of the hatred. Sorry, I just don’t think the sad fact that there are still a lot of racists in America is a good enough reason to not vote for him. The same could be said of misogynists.

  • afrolito

    I never said racism was a good reason not to vote for him, but racism is the reason he will not win. That’s the sad truth of America.

  • seitan-on-a-stick

    Re: Bloomberg on McCain’s ticket.

    Bloomberg is an opportunist and self-promoter (hello, you have a city to run!) His ego would accept the Vice Presidency of the GOP (God Offal Party) the same as he deserted the Boston Redsox for the NY Yankees, deserted the Democratic Party for Mayor-for-Sale-To-Highest-Bidder win only to switch to Independent to wake up his own party and threaten to be a spoiler (like Nader) until the Republicans offer him whatever will help THEM win. McCain is so fucking old, we might as well start the “Lying in Wake” of his Cryogenically frozen yellow-toothed octogenarian body who will die in office and Bloomberg will be the coronated King and richer than the Rockefellers if they won Powerball in every state. In his own company, Bllomy told pregnant employees to “Kill It! Kill It! Kill It!” so beneath that media-soaked bubble bath is a very callous man who will stop at nothing to get his way. One thing we can predict, this race is unpredictable. 2008 could very well be stolen as evidenced by BBC journalist Greg Palast for those not liberal enough to swallow the Air America perspective. Senator Hillary Clinton polls higher than Barack Obama among likely Democratic voters as people flock to the familiar. The swing voters (really Independent voters who play golf with our electorate) will cower back to their man, Old Man McCain and young people will just forget to vote. “Oh, like totally was that like today already. OMG. I hope Obama wins. Like, totally.” BTW – Bedwell, that was very funny and why gays are uneasy about replacing a White Theocracy with a Black Theocracy. It’s the Theocracy, stupid!!

  • seitan-on-a-stick

    PS – Is the Big “O” Oprah?

  • seitan-on-a-stick

    Why were “Jewish people” left out of Obama’s thankyous? That’s just rude!

  • Bill Perdue

    Obama and HilnBil share the same politics. They both oppose socialized medicine, repeal of NAFTA and other union busting law and immediate withdrawal. In fact they both agree that the troops will have to stay until at least 2013. Their differences on the war are tactical – Obama wants to attack Pakistan and Clinton agrees with Bush that the attack should be directed against Iran.

    It’s true that Obama is a pigheaded opponent of samesex marriage equality but the Clintons are worse. They worked closely with their Republican bedmates to ram through bigot bills like DOMA and DADT and their campaign director Barney scuttled the hate crimes bill and ENDA sop they wouldn’t be an issue in the elections.

    Obama does indeed pander to bigots but self loathing Rev. Donnie McClurkin and Mary Mary are chump change bigots compared to the ones who love Hillary Clinton. They include bible study bedmates like former Senators Santorum and Brownback, loonies like Pat Robertson and menacing figures Rupert Murdoch, fuehrer of the Faux News empire.

    The problem that Democrats face is that their candidates support the deregulation and union busting that ruining our standard of living, they both pander to bigots and their differences with the Republicans are cosmetic at best. Obama’s politics are not particularly different from the Clintons; they’ve just been at it longer and are more heartily detested for it.

  • John

    I don’t think racism should discourage Obama supporters from voting for him in the primary. However, if he wins the nomination, I don’t doubt that racism will cause some trouble for him in November.

    Even in liberal San Francisco and Manhattan, you don’t need to travel far to find white men – gay and straight alike – will not vote for a black presidential candidate under any circumstances.

    It’s possible Obama will outcome these challenges, but the Clintons are correct in suggesting that he’s a high-risk candidate. Of course, they have their own selfish reasons for doing so. They represent the Democratic establishment, after all. But the gist of their argument is true.

    Obama is going to have to endure enormous pressure regardless. If he loses by a considerable margin, no major party will nominate a black candidate for the next 50 years. It’ll probably also inflame racial tensions in this country. If he wins, he’ll change the course of American politics forever. And for the first time, a white-majority nation will have a president or prime minister of (half) African ancestry.

  • seitan-on-a-stick

    So, you are saying that if we want Change, it takes a Clinton to Clean Up After a Bush!

Comments are closed.