You know the drill. Winners and losers from South Carolina's Democrat primary.
- Barack Obama. In a word, OUCH! Obama ran away with the primary, getting 55% of the vote. Hillary? She managed to get 27%, but we'll talk about that later. The media chalked up Obama's victory to the large African-American turnout (which I will admit impacted the outcome), but there's more to it. Obama appeared to be above the fray while his opponents looked inept. In short, Obama looked Presidential.
- African-Americans. Democrats should be quick to note the turnout in South Carolina before they completely write off African-Americans as a voting bloc. Having watched the Clinton campaign in Nevada, I get the feeling they're willing to either take the black vote for granted or disregard it altogether in favor of the Hispanic vote. Bad move in either case if that's what they're doing. The turnout shows the politically astute that African-Americans are still viable and able to swing an election for one candidate or another.
- The Republicans. Yep, you read that right. The Republicans came out smelling like a rose because of the Democratic primaries. The Democrats found themselves embroiled in a discussion about race that they really didn't want or need at this point in their run for the White House, which gives Republicans a chance to set the record straight on their racial record. Also, Bill and Hillary Clinton's attacks on Barack Obama have backfired, which will give the GOP ammunition to use against Hillary should she become the nominee or a chance to appear to be race-neutral if Obama is the nominee and if the Republicans dont' even mention his race. And the nastiness of the Democratic race is making them look like children, which will only help the Republicans.
- Hillary Clinton. I know you guys wrote off South Carolina later in the campaign, but you should know better than to play the race card against Obama...in South Carolina...where there are a lot of African-American voters. And the African-American voters are not lining up behind you like you may have assumed they did. The race issue isn't going away, mostly because you're continuing to use it, and it will continue to burn you like it did in South Carolina.
- John Edwards. Remember when I said earlier that the Democrats looked like children in the South Carolina primary? You, Johnny Boy, looked the most childish of all. The debate where you whined about not getting to field as many questions as Obama and Clinton made you look immature and completely non-Presidential. The fact you didn't get to field the questions should be a sign for you to drop out. Plus, now you know how Dennis Kucinich felt.
- The Democrats. Like I said earlier, Democrats didn't want to have this discussion on race right now, and with good reason. When you look at the past 40-50 years with an honest and objective point of view, you'll see Democrats have co-opted the history of the civil rights movement and adopted it as part of its own history. But African-Americans are starting to see what Democrats have done (and not done) for them and are looking at their options. That should make Democrats very scared. And having the race issue brought up for the past month or so doesn't help the Democrats at all.
Coming soon, Florida and Super Tuesday!