Obama Wins South Carolina; Plus, Bill’s Jesse Jackson Comparison

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Um, polls have been closed for 1 min and 50 seconds and MSNBC has already called South Carolina for Obama. According to the network itself, 0 percent of precincts have reported. More analysis to come.

By the way, earlier today Bill Clinton was asked in South Carolina what it means that it takes two Clintons to compete with one Obama. He said (and I’m paraphrasing), “Well, listen. Jesse Jackson won this state, too.” Yikes. That answer has nothing to do with the question, but it does do three things. One, it lowers expectations. Two, it attributes Obama’s victory exclusively to his race. It basically means, “Hey, a black candidate is always going to win this state.” And three, it compares Barack Obama to a guy who is considered exclusively an advocate for black America, and whom many white Americans have an uncomfortable relationship with.

And, of course, it injects race into the conversation. Considering the fact that Bill Clinton has been running around South Carolina chastising reporters for focusing on race, it’s a pretty cynical thing to say. Very strategic, and not very pretty.

Update: I’m still irritated by this B. Clinton statement. It’s really dismissive of black voters: it suggests that they will always vote for a black candidate, instead of evaluating candidates on their merits. And it ignores the fact that just a few weeks ago, H. Clinton was crushing Obama in heavily black South Carolina.

Update Update: Video of B. Clinton’s statement after the jump.

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Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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