Tuesday, January 29, 2008
On this day:

Obama in Birmingham

Fresh off his complete shellacking of the Clintons in the South Carolina Democratic primary Saturday, Barack Obama visited Birmingham on Sunday, speaking to a packed house of 11,000 at UAB's Bartow Arena. The Birmingham News has more here and here.

The magnitude of Obama's victory in South Carolina will give him tremendous momentum going into Super Tuesday - especially in the South. He didn't just win South Carolina - that was expected - but he won decisively, walking away with a stunning 55% majority of the vote. In a three-candidate race, that sort of landslide is almost unheard of.

The Clintons are spinning Saturday's embarrassment by attributing Obama's victory to the fact that he won a huge percentage of the black vote in a state where most Democratic voters are black. In my view, that's part wishful thinking and part willful deception. Exit polls showed that while Obama did lag behind Clinton and Edwards among white Democrats, he still showed considerable strength - getting about 1/4 of the white vote. In a three-man race, that's not bad, especially considering that John Edwards had the favorite son factor going for him. The idea that Obama can somehow be painted into a corner as a "black candidate" who has little appeal to white Democrats is just not supported by what we've seen so far in this race.

As for me, I can say without a doubt that I won't be supporting Barack Obama for President, but I could easily support him as President. I'm not sure that I could say the same for the Clintons.

Bill Clinton played down Obama's win in South Carolina by reminding everyone that even Jesse Jackson won there twice, in '84 and '88. As the Clintons are finding out, though, Barack Obama is no Jesse Jackson. More importantly - for Democrats and for the nation - he is no Billary Clinton.