Archive for the ‘South Carolina’ Category

How Old is Too Old? You Make Your Case and You Stay Or Go….

November 15, 2008

College football coach Steve Spurrier said today on the ESPN pre-game show that he would stop coaching before he was in his 70s.  He said he could never be a “figurehead” football coach like Joe Paterno at Penn State or Bobby Bowden at Florida State who both “let their assistant coaches do everything.”

Spurrier in March 2007
Spurrier, head coach of the University of South Carolina football team.

I was taken aback by what, to me, seemed an insult from Spurrier to the older men.  But I am not a rabid football fan any longer and somewhat detached from the sports news.

Apparently Bowden and Paterno have taken a lot of heat and grief for their age, longevity and fading football glory.

Greg Stoda of the Palm Beach Post wrote on September 26, “Bowden should have been escorted out the door a few years ago surrounded by garnet-and-gold pomp and circumstance for all the glory he has brought the Seminoles. Instead, he’s wandering in the wilderness in his 33rd season at Florida State after warm-up acts at Samford and West Virginia.”

Joe Paterno has suffered similar attacks.

I say if the coach is breathing, enjoys his work and can convince a school that he is important to have in their program then that is between the coach and the school.  Oldster John McCain couldn’t convince voters to elect him but apparently Paterno and Bowden have made their cases successfully so far.

It should be all about performace and never about age.

But we do seem to live in an American culture that dismisses older people quickly; and often too quickly.  My Asian relatives and friends respect, hold close and love their elders much better and longer than many Americans and would never think of sending Mom or dad to a nursing home.  My 90 year old Grandmother makes the food, shops, does laundry and has a bunch of household jobs she would never surrender.

An Ethiopian friend said when he gets older he’ll return to Ethiopia where the older men are respected and not rejected…..

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Republican Sparring Starts Amid “Honesty About Eight Years of Failure”

November 11, 2008

By Adam Nagourney
The New York Times 

Above: Newt Gingrich, in New York on Monday, said Republicans should be honest “about the level of failure for the past eight years.” Photo: Todd Heisler/The New York Times
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The competition to fill the vacuum left by Senator John McCain’s defeat — and by the unpopularity of President Bush as he prepares to leave office — will be on full display at a Republican Governors Association meeting beginning Wednesday in Miami.
The session will showcase a roster of governors positioning themselves as leaders or future presidential candidates, including Sarah Palin of Alaska, Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, Charlie Crist of Florida, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Haley Barbour of Mississippi and Mark Sanford of South Carolina.

At the same time, Republicans representing diverse views about the party’s direction are preparing to fight for the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee

, a prominent post when the party is out of the White House. The current chairman, Mike Duncan, has signaled that he wants to stay on after his term expires in January, but he is facing challenges from leaders in Florida, Mississippi and South Carolina, among other states.
 

 

 

Bill Clinton Rejects Criticism Over Race

March 17, 2008

By Beth Fouhy, Associated Press 

NEW YORK (March 17) – Former President Clinton is pushing back on criticism that he fanned racial tension while campaigning for his wife in South Carolina.

Win McNamee, Getty Images

In an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America” broadcast Monday, Clinton said he had gotten a “bum rap” from the news media after he compared Democratic Sen. Barack Obama’s landslide victory in South Carolina’s Jan. 26 primary to Jesse Jackson’s wins in the state in 1984 and 1988. Clinton was widely criticized for appearing to cast Obama as little more than a black candidate popular in a state with a heavily black electorate.

“They made up a race story out of that,” Clinton said of the news media, calling the story “a bizarre spin.”

He made similar comments on CNN’s “American Morning,” calling the notion that he had unfairly criticized Obama in South Carolina as “a total myth and a mugging.”

While campaigning in South Carolina in January, Bill Clinton complained that Obama had put out a “hit job” on him. He didn’t explain what that meant.

At an MTV forum for college journalists Saturday, Clinton said he knew as soon as Obama won Iowa’s caucuses Jan. 3 that he was on his way to wrapping up a large majority of black voters in other primary states.

Read the rest:
http://news.aol.com/elections/story/_a/bill-clinton-rejects-criticism-over-race/20080317140909990002?ncid=NWS00010000000001

Clintons Move to Tamp Down Criticism From Blacks

January 12, 2008
January 12, 2008
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WASHINGTON — The Clinton campaign moved Friday to try to quell a potentially damaging reaction to recent comments by Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton that have drawn criticism from African-Americans just as the presidential primary campaign reached Southern states with significant numbers of black voters.In a call on Friday to Al Sharpton’s nationally syndicated talk radio show, Mr. Clinton said that his “fairy tale” comment on Monday about Senator Barack Obama’s position on the Iraq war was being misconstrued, and that he was talking only about the war, not about Mr. Obama’s overarching message or his drive to be the first black president.

Al Sharpton, captured by Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

“There’s nothing fairy tale about his campaign,” Mr. Clinton said. “It’s real, strong, and he might win.”

Mr. Clinton’s fairy tale line and a comment by Mrs. Clinton that some interpreted as giving President Lyndon B. Johnson more credit than the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for civil rights laws have disturbed African-Americans….

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/12/us/politics/12clinton.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&oref=slogin&adxnnlx=1200160994-jLA3Qhs0vs1tAjImKwLT/Q

Related:
Sharpton, Jackson dilemma

Bill Clinton by
Perry Baker, AP
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Clintons In Hot Water With Blacks

By WAYNE WASHINGTON – wwashington@thestate.com

Sharp criticism of Barack Obama and other comments about Martin Luther King Jr. — all from people associated with Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign — have generated resentment among some black S.C. voters.

The furor comes just two weeks before those voters will have a significant say in who wins the Jan. 26 primary here.

The Clinton-Obama battle has the potential to become a wrenching divide for black voters. Historically those voters have been strong backers of Bill and Hillary Clinton. But many black voters now are drawn to the prospect of a black man winning the presidency.

Those on both sides say watching the battle unfold in the Palmetto State, where black voters could cast half of the votes in the Democratic primary, won’t be pretty.

“To some of us, it is painful,” said state Sen. Darrell Jackson, a Clinton supporter.

U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., had pledged to remain neutral as Democrats competed for votes in the state’s primary.

But the state’s only African-American congressman was quoted in The New York Times Friday saying he is reconsidering that stance in light of comments from Clinton.

She raised eyebrows in New Hampshire when she credited President Lyndon Baines Johnson, not the assassinated John F. Kennedy or King, for passing civil rights legislation.

“It is one thing to run a campaign and be respectful of everyone’s motives and actions, and it is something else to denigrate those,” Clyburn told the Times. “That bothered me a great deal.”

Efforts to reach Clyburn, leading a congressional delegation examining Asian port security, were not successful Friday.

Clyburn’s office issued a statement Friday night that lacked the fire of his Times interview.

“I encourage the candidates to be sensitive about the words they use,” Clyburn said in the statement. “This is an historic race for America to have such strong, diverse candidates vying for the Democratic nomination.”

Clinton expanded on her comments during a Jan. 8 interview on NBC’s “Today” show.

“Sen. Obama used President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to criticize me,” she said. “Basically compared himself to two of our greatest heroes. He basically said that President Kennedy and Dr. King had made great speeches and that speeches were important. Well, no one denies that. But if all there is (is) a speech, then it doesn’t change anything.”

GROWING SPLIT

A generational divide has opened among black S.C. political leaders that matches a key difference between Clinton and Obama.

Older, more experienced black elected officials, including Jackson and state Sen. Robert Ford, D-Charleston, back Clinton. Younger politicians — including Steve Benjamin and Rick Wade, who both made high-profile runs for statewide office, and state Reps. Bakari Sellers and Todd Rutherford — support Obama.

Rutherford bristles at the notion, offered up by some of Clinton’s supporters, that it is foolish to back a relatively young black man for an office that no black ever has held.

“If they are going to call themselves black leaders, and people are running by them to vote for Obama and they are standing there and pointing in the other direction, then maybe they need to be replaced,” Rutherford said.

Obama has gotten under the skin of the Clintons by painting Hillary Clinton as a calculating politician whose election would take the country back to the bitterly partisan years of the 1990s.

The Clinton team mostly ignored Obama’s digs in the early months of the campaign. But, as Obama moved closer to what became a resounding victory in the Iowa caucuses, Clinton and her supporters began to attack Obama.

A prominent Clinton supporter in New Hampshire said Democrats should think twice about nominating Obama because Republicans would revive his past drug use in this fall’s general election campaign.

Clinton quickly disassociated herself from the comments. But they were widely seen as a clumsy attempt by her campaign to remind voters about Obama’s previous drug use.

After Obama won in Iowa and Hillary Clinton’s path to the nomination seemed threatened, Bill Clinton came to his wife’s defense. He argued Obama’s rise had come without an appropriate level of scrutiny from members of the news media.

“This thing is the biggest fairy tale I’ve ever seen,” the former president said.

Bill Clinton kept up the criticism, telling New Hampshire voters not to make the same decision Iowans had in supporting Obama.

“The voters there said, ‘We want something different. We want something that looks good and sounds good. We don’t care about achievement.’”

Obama supporters were outraged by the criticism.

“We expect a lot of Barack Obama,” Benjamin said. “We expect as much from Hillary Clinton. And we probably expect more from Bill Clinton.”

Jackson said it is fair to draw sharp comparisons between Clinton, who was first lady for eight years before becoming a U.S. senator, and Obama, who served in the Illinois state legislature before winning his Senate seat.

He said the Clintons, particularly the former president, have earned the right to be critical of Obama without having to worry about being seen as racists.

“We’re not talking about David Duke saying these things,” Jackson said. “Here’s a guy who was affectionately called the first black president.”

Despite broad popularity among blacks, the Clintons are employing a risky strategy in sharply criticizing Obama, said Marcus Cox, director of the African-American Studies Department at The Citadel.

African-Americans liked what they knew of Obama in the early months of the campaign, Cox said. But they wondered if white voters would support him. Now, after Iowa, some of those doubts are gone, and many black voters have come to see Obama as their best chance to have one of their own capture the White House.

Anyone who tries to get in the way of that, particularly anyone who is not black, will spark some anger, Cox said.

“The racial dynamic is always going to be there,” Cox said. “If you have a white female candidate attacking a black candidate, it might look racial. I think that would hurt (Hillary Clinton).”

Sellers, the 23-year-old legislator who won his seat in the General Assembly by defeating one of its oldest members, said he is angry about Hillary Clinton’s remarks regarding King’s contribution to civil rights legislation.

“I think those comments were insensitive,” Sellers said. “I think they showed a lack of concern about the struggles of African-Americans. I thought those comments were inappropriate.

“But,” Sellers added, “I still love Bill.”

Vietnam veteran McCain back from the dead … again

January 9, 2008

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (AFP) – Vietnam veteran Senator John McCain, who triumphed in Tuesday’s Republican New Hampshire primaries, was a proven survivor long before he entered the cut-throat world of politics. 

Shot down as a naval aviator over North Vietnam in 1967, McCain spent more than five years in a Vietnamese prisoner of war camp, including two years in solitary confinement in the infamous “Hanoi Hilton.”

Polls show that while McCain has never led among the Republican field nationally, voters see him as the Republican presidential candidate most capable of defeating a Democratic rival to win the White House in 2008.

The 71-year-old was leading in the vote for the Republican nomination, on 37 percent, with 91 percent of precincts reporting late Tuesday, with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney second on 32 percent.

“My friends, you know, I’m past the age when I can claim the noun ‘kid,’ no matter what adjective precedes it. But tonight, we sure showed them what a comeback looks like,” McCain told his cheering supporters.

“Tonight we have taken a step, but only the first step toward repairing the broken politics of the past and restoring the trust of the American people in their government,” he said, to chants from the crowd of “The Mac Is Back!”

But McCain knows from bitter experience that the game is not over yet as he chases the Republican nomination to stand in the elections and succeed President George W. Bush.

In 2000, he was poised for victory, having won over Republicans here only to fall at the next hurdle to Bush in South Carolina, crashing out of the race.

This time, McCain has already been forced to strip back his campaign after he was left trailing in the summer in the crucial fund-raising battle.

But he won an important boost in Iowa last week, coming in third even though he had not campaigned heavily in the state, which helped re-energize his campaign and propel him to first place in New Hampshire.

Perhaps the biggest handicap he now faces is his age. If he wins the election, he would become the nation’s oldest ever president, entering the White House in January 2009 at the age of 72.

John Sidney McCain was born August 29, 1936 in the Panama Canal Zone — formerly under US jurisdiction — and was raised moving from one military post to another.

Both his grandfather and father were naval officers, so it was no surprise that at 17 he enrolled in the naval academy.

The brutal treatment he suffered as a prisoner of war — his injuries from being tortured still prevent him from raising his arms high enough to comb his hair — marked him for life.

His wartime experiences forged a man of unshakeable convictions, who remains a maverick at heart, criticized at times for a quick temper and a tendency to make unfortunate, off-the-cuff remarks.

“I didn’t go to Washington … to get along or to play it safe to serve my own interests,” he said in his speech Tuesday evening. “I went there to serve my country.”

“I learned long ago that serving only one’s self is a petty and unsatisfying ambition,” added McCain, who won his first race for the House of Representatives in 1982 and captured a Senate seat in 1986.

Despite his long-term loyalty to Bush, McCain was one of the first Republicans to attack the White House policy on Iraq, saying not enough troops had been committed to the 2003 invasion.

And despite the wave of anger at the war here, he was one of the first to call for more troops to be deployed there.

He is also one of the rare Republicans to favor reforming the immigration system, and for years has campaigned for fiscal reform and spoken out on global warming.

He is fiercely opposed to any use of torture by the United States in its “war on terror.” But in many other areas, he remains a dyed-in-the-wool conservative, opposing abortion, gay marriage and stricter gun control laws.

In his 1999 autobiography “Faith of My Fathers,” McCain listed what he considers the three greatest mistakes in his life: a forced confession under torture when he was a prisoner, his role in a banking scandal and his infidelity in his marriage to his first wife.

She was disabled in a car accident and McCain admits that his “wandering” led to their divorce. He re-married in 1980 and now has seven sons.

Related:
McCain Resurects Vietnam POW Experience With Video