History being made in front of my eyes. - UPDATED

Today I spent my afternoon together with 30,000 other people in a football stadium in Columbia, SC. It felt like being part of history.

48 days before the Democratic primary in South Carolina, Oprah Winfrey joined Barack Obama on stage and made a passionate and convincing plea to explain why Obama is the candidate for President of the USA.
It was the biggest political rally for any non-incumbent candidate in the past few decades. The NY Times calls it a "staggering sight" and could come up with only one bigger number: JFK drew about 35,000 for a Labor Day rally in 1960.

After Arrested Development got the crowd to their feet by singing their hits, we allbroke a world record. When entering the stadium, everyone had received a little flier that had a phone script on one side and the name and phone number of 4 SC Democrats on the other side. After a signal from the stage everyone was asked to call all 4 people on their list and ask them to vote for Barack Obama. In doing so the crowd set a world record for "biggest phone bank". A representative of the Guinness World Record organization actually got on stage and handed over a world record certificate.

Then it was time to listen to the 2 people everyone had come for.

Oprah entered the stage under a thunderous applause and gave a 15 minute introduction to Obama.

Winfrey praised Obama for his wisdom and concern for ordinary people.
Invoking American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, she said:

"We don't have to just dream the dream anymore. We get to vote that dream into reality."

She addressed some of the reasons the opposition always mentions when they say you shouldn't vote for Obama.
"There are those who say it's not his time, that he should wait his turn. Think about where you'd be in your life if you'd waited when people told you to," she said.
Winfrey urged voters to consider Obama's life experience instead of focusing on the amount of time he has spent "in the hallways of government."
"I'm sick of politics as usual," Winfrey said. "We need Barack Obama."

After Oprah announced that it was "Obama Time", Barack Obama got on stage and gave a 45 minute long speech.
He received a minute long standing ovation when he said that "Next year the name George W. Bush will not be on the ballot." He said voters will need to cast ballots in favor of a candidate, not against an incumbent who is leaving office.

Obama had several remarks that where obviously addressed at his main opponent, Hillary Clinton, but never mentioned her name.
He said if he's the party nominee, an opponent won't be able to say he supported going to war in Iraq, supported a resolution which might lead to war with Iran or doesn't want to talk to leaders we don't like, all things Clinton did and said.

"I'm tired of Democrats thinking the only way to look tough on national security is to act like George Bush," he said. "We need a bold Democratic Party that's going to stand for something, not just posture and pose."

"It's not good enough to tell the people what you think they want to hear, instead of what they need to hear. That just won't do. Not this time," he said. "We can't spend all our time triangulating and poll-testing our positions because we're worried about what Mitt or Rudy or Fred or the other Republican nominees are going to say about us."

He said he was "riled up" that some believe that as a black man, it would be hard for him to win the race.

"I remember some folks saying, 'Oh no, a black man can't win," Obama said. "I remember that. When folks tell me I can't do something, that's when I want to do it."

He closed off with the, by now familiar, "fired up, ready to go" chant. It was impressive to hear 30,000 voices yell it out.

Today's rally coincides with a new McClatchy-MSNBC poll that puts Mr. Obama and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, his chief rival, in a statistical tie in South Carolina. meanwhile, the republican candidate that seems to be surging ahead in the polls, Mike Huckabee, also had a "rally" in Columbia this weekend and had 400 people show up.

Obama can win this and after today 30,000 more people will make sure he will.

You can view the complete speech of both Oprah and Obama on video on Obama's website.

Cross posted from left on 49.


No video yet.

Sorry folks, i ran into some problems editing the video I made. I promise to have it up tomorrow, but I really need some sleep now.

Left on 49

Thanks Thierry

This is a beautiful report. I can't wait to see the video.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Thanks for the report! I was

Thanks for the report!

I was very impressed by Andrew Sullivan's reasons for supporting Obama in the recent Atlantic magazine.

I'm still supporting Edwards because of his clearer and less equivocal positions on healthcare (and my hero Paul Krugman has very important criticisms of Obama's healthcare and Social Security positions - I hope that Obama listens to Krugman).

But Obama is sure crowding Edwards in my mind because of the way he inspires people - and our country could sure use some of that.

-- ge

Besta é tu se você não viver nesse mundo

Besta é tu se você não viver nesse mundo

This kind of event fuels the Democratic Party Awakening

We Democrats and other lovers of liberty should be buoyed by such great events.

It is these kinds of things which lift our spirits and demonstrates the real power of Democratic ideals. Such a gathering of Democrats strikes fear into the hearts of those who would repress and deny liberty and freedom, i.e., The Republican Party.

Although I support John Edwards for President, I am buoyed and delighted to see the great gatherings of Democrats for whatever reason they gather.

If you want to go quickly,...Go alone.........If you want to go far...Go together.

Marshall Adame
2014 U.S. Congress Candidate NC-03

I'm excited

I'm excited about Obama, too. I had been an Edwards supporter for a long time, but the more I see Obama in action, the more I think he has what it takes.

Get angry. Get involved.

Welcome, angry grrl

Glad to see you here!

I am still an Edwards supporter - because I have had the chance to hear him speak in person and believe he will not betray the positions he has set forth. I have not had the chance to hear Obama speak in person; so I can't evaluate him in the same way.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Great report, looks like it was unbelievable!

Full disclosure: Im an Edwards supporter

Great report, looks like it was unbelievable! My good friend works for Obama and he said, after I asked how many people were estimating that he wasn't sure, but it was "amazing, regardless."

I did get a chance to listen on to Oprah speak for Obama from Iowa on Friday though, and one thing just kept hitting me like a ton of bricks. As Oprah kept praising Obama for his fighting for whats right and exuding hope for the American people, neither of them ever got around to talking about the issues. Oprah did mention Obama's opposition to the war, but not as a main point, but in a larger context of Obama as a good person.

I guess, just like we say that Republicans prey on Americans' emotions by being reactionary and fear-mongering, it seems that today some Democrats prey on Americans' emotions by speaking in platitudes and being superficially optimistic (in any case, I'd prefer optimism, even if just superficial). Oprah is famous for her inspirational speeches, but not her politics. And many politicians are known for their politics but not their ability to inspire. And its even less often that you find someone who can speak to both.

In reference to Obama, I don't know any American, Dem or Repub that doesn't always maintain some degree of hope, but he makes it seem like it's a rare thing. One could assume he's talking about hope in the context of the current administration, but he never says what he means specifically. Not to keep taking jabs at Obama, and I'm sure I'm not the only one thinking this, but when he trots out Oprah, who many see not as pioneering, but as opportunistic, it doesn't just seem like an endorsement as much as a way for him to further insert his message of hope, optimism, and generally all things good into the political sphere at a time when we need, more than hope and optimism, concrete policy and a bulletproof ability to talk about policy in front of GOP opponents who will eat you alive for being soft if you don't (even if they don't).

You obviously haven't seen the video...

If you'd seen the video of Obama's speech yesterday, you wouldn't be saying that he didnt talk about the issues. He spoke about the war, health care, education and so much more...
I urge to watch what he said before making judgments.
Furthermore, I have no doubt in my mind that Obama has the "bulletproof" abilty you talk about to stand up to any GOP'er. In fact, I strongly believe he has a much better ability to stand up to this than any other candidate.

Left on 49

by the way....

You won't hear me saying that Edwards is a bad candidate, I don't think Obama and Edwards are miles apart when it comes to their political views. But it seems clear to me that Obama has the people with him. He's the only candidate that consistently draws huge crowds, with or without Oprah. Obama seems to me to be the only candidate that can get a big majority of the american population behind him, something we desperately need if we want to clean up the mess of the past dozen years...

Left on 49

What huge crowds and big endorsements gets you....

Don't get too cocky.

: )

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.


And maybe a little Joementum.

Does anyone have that video?? I can't find it anywhere.

Touché Robert....

Happy Birthday..

Marshall Adame
2014 U.S. Congress Candidate NC-03

I haven't heard...

...Obama scream yet :-)
And you know what happened to the guy that did get the nomination last time.
Left on 49

Unfair Comparison

I'm not sure that's a legitimate comparison, given the dynamics of this race. If those pictures are from the same event, they're from Manhattan, not any early primary or caucus states. I don't recall ever seeing Howard Dean with a crowd that large in Iowa or South Carolina.

Moreover, when Gore endorsed Dean, his numbers had plateaued, if not on their way down (thanks to relentless attacks by Dick Gephardt), and John Kerry was on the rising. Polls in Iowa aren't giving us a clear picture of who's winning yet, but Obama seems to be making the most progress. And, of course, the timeline is more abbreviated this year, as opposed to 2004.

But yeah...I understand everyone's got favorites, but let's be real about this...

There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracts. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of the comfortable past which, in fact, never existed. - Robert F. Kennedy

There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of the comfortable past which, in fact, never existed. - Robert F. Kennedy


Dean's numbers took a huge bump post Gore. His largest lead was after the endorsement. They didnt start going down until after that.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

I think...

...you should watch the South Carolina event.

As I said in an earlier comment, I think the speeches in Iowa were abbreviated on account of the weather. The conditions in Des Moines were abysmal and I think the campaign made a strategic decision to cut the event short to ensure that people could get back home safely...that's why the event started on-time (gasp!), Oprah was the main attraction and Obama's speech was cut short. If you watch the South Carolina event (buttressed by 70° weather), you get full understanding of Obama's perspective on the issues and the whole event has a different aura.

Not to keep taking jabs at Obama, and I'm sure I'm not the only one thinking this, but when he trots out Oprah, who many see not as pioneering, but as opportunistic

That's absurd. I don't know anyone...and I haven't read about anyone...who sees the situation this way.

There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracts. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of the comfortable past which, in fact, never existed. - Robert F. Kennedy

There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of the comfortable past which, in fact, never existed. - Robert F. Kennedy

Video is now up!

I tried to give an impression of what it was like to be in the audience.
Like I said before, you can watch the complete videos of both Oprah's and Obama's speeches on Barack Obama's website.
If you watch my video and the speeches it will feel like you were there.

Left on 49

Thank you. How wonderful

I'm fired up and ready to go . . .

I know a lot of you don't like Senator Clinton and perhaps most of you don't particularly support Senator Obama.

But how can you not get chills up and down your spine at the concept of voting for the first Black president or the first female president? How can you not just be so proud to be a Democrat that we are finally to this point.

I like Richardson and BIden and Dodd and Kucinich and I adore Gravel. I'm going to New Hampshire after Christmas to freeze my ass off for Edwards . . . but I cannot stop thinking of what a thrill it would be to vote for the first black or first female president.

I cried throughout the introductions when I attended the first WNBA game in Charlotte. I think I'll pee my pants on election day if Hillary or Obama are on the ticket.
News of the 10th district: See Pat Go Bye Bye,

Yup, DQ

You're right.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

To the rest

You too can freeze in New Hampshire. Its a fun place, full of dozens of campaigns, with joy and happiness, snow and phone calls, door knocking and glossy full color handouts. Give me a call or send me a PM if you dont have my number.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"