Presidential hopeful Obama campaigns in South Carolina

By: Diane Cho Email
By: Diane Cho Email

February 17, 2007

ORANGEBURG, S.C.---His announcement came only one week ago, but Sen. Barack Obama has hit the campaign trail running. Today he made a stop in Orangeburg, South Carolina, and plenty of people came out to support the presidential hopeful.

Senator and presidential hopeful Barack Obama spoke to a packed house to rally support in the upcoming election. Thousands showed their support, some even choosing to wait in a long, cold line to hear him speak.

"I don't think we've seen a guy like this since Kennedy," said Mike Hendley of Charleston. "I just think it's what America needs."

"I want to see a person that will lead our country right, and I don't want to go to war the next seven years," said another supporter.

In front of a crowd of over two thousand people, Sen. Barack Obama quickly electrified the packed room, bringing everyone to their feet as they raised signs reading "Obama 2008".

But the charismatic first-term senator dubbed by the media as "the rock star candidate" quickly took command of the crowd: "We got business to do!" he said.

He told the crowd in Orangeburg that his visit had to be cut short due to an important vote on Iraq set for that afternoon. He then began his speech talking about health care reform, and ended it with his plans to bring US troops home from Iraq by 2008.

"Instead of investing here at home, we've spent now $400 billion and lost over three thousand lives in a war that should never have been authorized," he said.

In the hour the senator had to speak, he took the time to poke a little fun at himself when a fan mispronounced his name.

"She called me 'Baramaba'," he said. "That's not the only thing that happens. They'll call me 'Alabama'. They call me 'Yo Mama'."

After taking four questions from the crowd, he closed his speech with a powerful message in response to his critics, who challenge his ability to win the bid for the White House.

"At every juncture in our history, there's been someone who said 'we can't'. There's been somebody says you can't overcome slavery. There's been someone who said you can't overcome Jim Crow. There's been somebody who said we can't go to the moon. There's been somebody who said we can't do this, we can't do that, so we shouldn't even try. If I have your support, if I have your energy and involvement and commitment and ideas, then I am here to tell you: yes we can!"

Senator Obama spoke in Columbia yesterday (February 16).

Another frontrunner in the race for the Democratic nomination will be making her way to South Carolina. New York Senator Hillary Clinton will speak in Columbia on Monday (February 19).

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