Yes We Can: You Spoke for the Hopes We Hold in Common

Yes We Can: You Spoke for the Hopes We Hold in Common

The Illinois senator gave yet another stirring speech, his knack for which is far superior to the rest of the field on either side.  “A few weeks ago, no one imagined that we’d have accomplished what we did here tonight,” Senator Obama claimed, right after congratulating winner Sen. Clinton.   “For most of this campaign, we were far behind, and we always knew our climb would be steep.  But in record numbers, you came out and spoke up for change.  And with your voices and your votes, you made it clear that at this moment, in this election, there is something happening in America.

Obama reiterated this election season’s common theme of “Change,” but he did it with an inspired finesse and a commanding cadence that recalled Dr. Martin Luther King’s gifted oratory: “There is something happening when people vote not just for the party they belong to but the hopes they hold in common, that whether we are rich or poor; Black or White; Latino or Asian; whether we hail from Iowa or New Hampshire, Nevada or South Carolina, we are ready to take this country in a fundamentally new direction.”

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Barack Obama Edged by Clinton in New Hampshire

On Thursday, Barack Obama swept to a stunning victory in the Iowa Democratic caucuses. Initially, Senator Obama (Ill.) had jumped to a double-digit lead in the polls over Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire two days ago, suggesting that there had been a large boost in support for Obama since he won the Iowa caucuses. However, in a dramatic turnaround on Tuesday night, Clinton narrowly defeated Obama in the New Hampshire primary by a margin of 39% to 36%.

Nevertheless, Obama pronounced himself “still fired up and ready to go” after the second-place finish in New Hampshire. “You know, a few weeks ago no one imagined that we’d have accomplished what we did here tonight in New Hampshire,” he told his supporters. “For most of this campaign, we were far behind. We always knew our climb would be steep. But, in record numbers, you came out and you spoke up for change. And with your voices and your votes you made it clear that at this moment in this election there is something happening in America.” He congratulated Clinton on a hard-fought victory and asked the crowd to give her a round of applause. “All the candidates in this race have good ideas and all are patriots who serve this country honorably,” Obama said.

Four years ago, when the ballots were cast in New Hampshire’s presidential primary, hardly anyone in the United States knew the name Barack Obama. This time, bidding to become the first African-American president, he was in the thick of a fight with the most famous name in Democratic politics. Obama had hoped that his victory in Iowa would create a bandwagon that would take him through to the nomination. But Tuesday night’s results caught his campaign off guard. That was hard to tell from the cheers that went up when he and his wife, Michelle, walked into the room to loud chants of “Obama, Obama.”

They approached the platform holding hands. Both applauded and waved to the crowd, then hugged and kissed briefly. “We know the battle ahead may be long. But always remember that no matter what obstacles stand in our way, nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change,” Obama said.

Now, on to South Carolina, where Obama is leading Clinton in the polls, 42% to 30%.

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Obama’s Concession Speech: Yes, We Can!

Barack Obama: One Voice

Senator Barack Obama: One Voice

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Oprah Winfrey Joins Obama on the Presidential Campaign Trail

 

Oprah Winfrey, one of the most popular women in the country, will be campaigning with her friend, White House presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), in three early primary states. These details of Oprah’s participation in Obama’s campaign have been released so far: Winfrey and Obama will be in Iowa on December 8th for events in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, making additional campaign appearances in Columbia, South Carolina and Manchester, New Hampshire on December 9th.

 

Winfrey, from Chicago, of course, endorsed Obama very early on, although she has hosted on her show and been very gracious to Hillary Clinton and the Edwardses. Winfrey has generally abstained from using her enormous influence and audience to influence American politics, but her friendship with Barack and Michelle Obama extends deep enough, and, perhaps, the teachable moment is just too tempting enough for her to bear.

 

The Clinton campaign has been worried about the prospect of Winfrey campaigning. She is not only, of course, the richest African American woman in the world, she is probably the most popular woman in the United States, and, like Obama, her appeal transcends every barrier that is put up in her way. The Clinton campaign needs women, married women, single women, upscale and downscale, to not have second thoughts about Hillary, especially in the early states. Winfrey’s highest audience, incidentally, is among working class women, precisely the sub-demographic group that Clinton absolutely needs to win.

 

Judging by the online real estate devoted to her appearances, the Obama campaign wants these crowds to be utterly, transcendently huge.

Oprah Winfrey Campaigning with Obama

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