Jim Clyburn, ‘Kingmaker of South Carolina Politics,’ Endorses Biden Ahead of Primary
House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, widely considered to be the political kingmaker in South Carolina, endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden Wednesday, just three days ahead of the nation’s First in the South primary.
The endorsement was announced minutes after the two men shared the stage at a ministers’ breakfast hosted by the Rev. Al Sharpton and his National Action Network at Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church in North Charleston, S.C.
During the morning event, which also featured speeches by former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttgieg, Billionaire Tom Steyer, and Sens. Amy Klobuchar, of Minnesota, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Biden and Clyburn did little to suggest the endorsement was imminent.
The tip off was that Biden and Clyburn left the event together, shortly after both men had addressed the audience, and immediately after Clyburn, who has represented South Carolina’s 6th Congressional District since 1993, gave a warm welcome to Klobuchar who was just about to speak.
Clyburn’s endorsement is expected to give a boost to Biden’s campaign. In some recent polls Biden has appeared to be losing ground to Sanders, who pulled off a double-digit win in the Nevada caucuses a week ago.
In his endorsement, Clyburn said South Carolinians believe the best way to tell what a person will do is to look at what he or she has done in the past.
“I know Joe Biden. I know his character, his heart, and his record,” Clyburn said. “Joe Biden has stood for the hard-working people of South Carolina. We know Joe. But more importantly, he knows us.”
Clyburn went on to say he believes Biden will build on President Barack Obama’s legacy by protecting and expanding the Affordable Care Act, and “taking on” the National Rifle Association.
“In South Carolina, we choose presidents. When President Clinton came to South Carolina, we launched him to the White House. When President Obama came to South Carolina, we launched him to the White House. Now Joe Biden is in South Carolina, and we are going to launch him to the White House,” he said.
Biden was warmly greeted as an old friend at the event, which was attended by church and secular leaders of South Carolina’s African-American community.
Among the other candidates who appeared, Buttigieg was the most enthusiastically received, his remarks repeatedly inspiring applause from the audience, followed by Klobuchar.
In fact, after Klobuchar finished speaking, Sharpton threw his arm around her and directed her attention to Roland Martin, the black journalist and commentator who was sitting in the audience.
Sharpton suggested the Minnisota senator get to know Martin, whom Ebony Magazine has repeatedly listed as one of the 150 Most Influential African-Americans in the United States.
“You want to be president, we call Roland Martin the president of South Carolina,” the reverend said.
Interestingly Tom Steyer appeared to receive the coolest reception, and was the only candidate asked to cut his remarks short — this despite his strenuous efforts to court the black community.
As for Bernie Sanders, his biggest applause came not when he was talking about his own policies, but when he was bashing President Donald Trump, who will be traveling to North Charleston for a rally on Friday evening.
Elizabeth Warren fared slightly better than Steyer — her remarks weren’t cut short — but she appeared to be trying too hard to court the audience with extended comments about her own religious upbringing. When she left the stage, passing Sanders, she offered her fellow progressive only a perfunctory handshake.
In The News
DETROIT (AP) — A federal judge is considering whether to order financial penalties or other sanctions against some of former... Read More
DETROIT (AP) — A federal judge is considering whether to order financial penalties or other sanctions against some of former President Donald Trump's lawyers who signed onto a lawsuit last year challenging Michigan's election results. The lawsuit alleging widespread fraud was voluntarily dropped after a judge... Read More
WASHINGTON -- A powerful congressional committee is beginning an investigation into reports the Justice Department secretly subpoenaed information about members... Read More
WASHINGTON -- A powerful congressional committee is beginning an investigation into reports the Justice Department secretly subpoenaed information about members of Congress and journalists during the Trump administration. The committee’s chairman said he was concerned the Justice Department “used criminal investigations as a pretext to spy... Read More
ATLANTA (AP) — Amber McReynolds, CEO of The National Vote at Home Institute, helped state and local election officials prepare... Read More
ATLANTA (AP) — Amber McReynolds, CEO of The National Vote at Home Institute, helped state and local election officials prepare for the record number of mailed ballots cast during last year's presidential election. She also was recently confirmed by the Senate to serve on the Board... Read More
ELM GROVE, Wis. (AP) — Standing on the sidelines of her son's soccer practice in this upscale suburb, Laura Hahn... Read More
ELM GROVE, Wis. (AP) — Standing on the sidelines of her son's soccer practice in this upscale suburb, Laura Hahn looked skyward for answers when asked how she would rate President Joe Biden's first 100 days in office. Overall, Biden is doing well, she said after... Read More
Democrat Rita Hart threw in the towel Wednesday afternoon, giving up her bid to represent Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District, and... Read More
Democrat Rita Hart threw in the towel Wednesday afternoon, giving up her bid to represent Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District, and effectively ending the 2020 election cycle. Hart, who had been challenging the outcome of the race before the Committee on House Administration, said in a brief... Read More
Dominion Voting Systems on Friday filed a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News, arguing the cable news company sought... Read More
Dominion Voting Systems on Friday filed a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox News, arguing the cable news company sought to boost faltering ratings by falsely claiming the voting machine company had rigged the 2020 election. The company, which is headquartered in Toronto, Canada and Denver,... Read More