Obama courts black voters


Associated Press Writer

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is reaching out to fellow blacks in his first advertising effort in South Carolina, a minute-long spot scheduled to begin airing Wednesday on 36 radio stations with predominantly black listenership.

The Illinois senator has been careful not to be defined strictly as a black candidate and risk alienating white voters, but he and rival Hillary Rodham Clinton are in a close fight for the black voters who traditionally make up half of the Democratic primary turnout in South Carolina. The radio ad allows Obama to target his appeal to black audiences.

Presidential hopeful, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., waves at supporters after speaking at the National Council of La Raza conference in Miami Beach, Fla., on Sunday, July 22, 2007. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

Clinton enjoys strong support in the black community and is married to former President Clinton, who is wildly popular among black voters. Obama’s advisers say their biggest challenge is introducing him to voters who certainly know who Clinton is, but may not know much about Obama or even that he is black.

The ad makes it clear with excerpts from Obama’s speech to the NAACP. He ticks off problems facing the community — more black men in prison than in college, serious illnesses disproportionately affecting blacks and the argument that it takes a hurricane to show the rest of the country about problems of race and poverty.

“I know what you know,” Obama says. “Despite all the progress that’s been made we have more work to do.”

Soft jazz plays in the background as a deep-voiced announcer describes Obama as a Christian family man, a former civil rights lawyer and state legislator. “It’s time for Barack Obama,” the announcer says repeatedly.

Obama is running two ads on television in Iowa, but the radio spot is his first in South Carolina.

A poll of South Carolina adults by CNN/Opinion Research Corp. conducted last week found Clinton leading with 39 percent, followed by Obama with 25 percent. A poll last month by a different pollster, Mason Dixon, had Obama narrowly ahead.


13 thoughts on “Obama courts black voters

  1. rikyrah

    Well, he’s got the dough. Gotta start spending some of it. Some on MyDD were making hey that he described himself as a ” Christian Family Man”.

    I’m like, um, it’s South Carolina, and it’s Black folk…did they actually think he’d leave THAT OUT?

    Come on.

  2. rikyrah

    Let me predict his first TV Commercials in South Carolina: emphasis on him being a Christian Family Man with plenty of Michelle, Malia and Sasha.

  3. Girl, who you tellin’. They’re damn lucky the campaign didn’t send em’ some “holy water” and a prayer cloth with his name embroidered in it.
    by skepticalbrotha July 25th, 2007 at 7:02 pm


    Not to bring down the mood. But I keep hearing people, especially folks older than myself, question his electability. The whole “a black man cant be elected” thing. And thought it may be true today, the fact remains that if I, or somebody doesnt beleive its possible it will never happen, just like every other advancement we have made in this country. Somebody had to have hope, somebody had to beleive. And if that makes me naive then prop me back on the turnip truck.

  4. Thurgood Marshall was a civil rights lawyer. For the best part of two decades he crisscrossed the nation, especially the south, from Oklahoma to Florida defending blacks on death row, sometimes winning and often not.

    Barack was a community organizer, and a damn good one by all accounts. But has he ever tried a civil rights case, let alone a capital case? When did the standards for being a “civil rights lawyer” drop so damn low?

  5. without sounding like this is a shameless plug i have a post coming on monday about obama and the black community. i would love your take. i look forward to hearing from you!!!

  6. metricpenny

    by Alex July 26th, 2007 at 5:28 am

    Alex, I concur. In the early 1960s, my grandparents ridiculed my parents for working with civil rights groups in Birmingham. My grandparents did not believe things could change, so they poo-pooed the efforts of those that did. They told them to just let things be and don’t try anything different, especially if it meant bucking the Jim Crow system. I thank God everyday that my parents, and others like them, believed in “the movement” and hoped it would help change things for the better.

    Skeptical Brother, with respect to civil rights attorney credentials, how about a detailed post contrasting Senator Obama’s civil rights legal work with those you mentioned? I’m with Alex again on your blog being good stuff!

    And Alex. Leave room for me on the turnip truck.

  7. And Alex. Leave room for me on the turnip truck.
    by metricpenny July 26th, 2007 at 3:18 pm

    From hence forth we shall be the Turnip Possie.

  8. rikyrah

    Elaine Jones and Ted Shaw have been heads of the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund.

    Turnip Posse…LOL

  9. Charles Hamilton Houston was mentor to Thurgood Marshall and many other REAL civil rights lawyers. Like Barack he was a Harvard Law grad, and editor of the Harvard Law Review. We did a piece comparing them back in February you can find here..

    We did a comparison of him and Barack ear

  10. Anonymous


    I’d be careful of anything with Nedra Pickler’s byline on it. She is notoriously negative to Dem candidates and conspicuously positive to mediocre Repubs.

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