‘It Ain’t Over, Man,’ Biden Says in South Carolina

February 12, 2020by Jenny Jarvie, Los Angeles Times (TNS)
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden addresses the crowd during a South Carolina campaign launch party on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020 in Columbia, S.C. Biden skipped a primary night event in New Hampshire after the count there showed a distant finish to front runner Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). (Sean Rayford/Getty Images/TNS)

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Former Vice President Joe Biden fled an election defeat in New Hampshire on Tuesday, returning to South Carolina hours before polls closed with a message for the experts and cable TV pundits who said his struggling campaign is finished.

“It ain’t over, man,” Biden said at his “launch party” near downtown Columbia as poll results showed him coming in fifth in the Granite State after Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. With less than 10% of the vote, Biden was not on pace to win any delegates.

As primary results flooded in, Biden stood in front of South Carolina’s flag in a room decorated with signs saying “Fired Up Ready 4 Joe” and “Battle for the Soul of the Nation.”

“Tonight, I’ve just heard from the first two states, not all the nation,” he said. “Not half the nation, not a quarter of the nation. Not 10%. All right, that’s the opening bell. Not the closing bell. … Up till now, we haven’t heard from the most committed constituency in the Democratic Party — the African American community.”

For months now, Biden’s campaign has argued that the first two states in the party’s nomination process, both of which have overwhelmingly white populations, do not reflect the diversity of the country.

After his lackluster performances in Iowa and New Hampshire, Biden is counting on a victory with a decisive margin Feb. 29 in South Carolina, which his campaign has long dubbed its “firewall” due to his support from African American voters who make up about two-thirds of the state’s Democratic primary electorate.

As poll results started to come in from New Hampshire, the men and women of the Bethlehem Baptist Church Mass Choir opened Biden’s campaign event with a rousing gospel rendition of “All in His Hands.”

“I put it all in his hands

“Whatever the problem, I put it all in his hands

“I know that he can solve them

“I put it all in his hands.”

Biden, who has deep ties to South Carolina, is still the front-runner here. But competition has become more intense as his two main rivals in the state, Sanders and California hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer, have invested in a rapid-fire bombardment of TV and radio advertisements and set up strong networks of local grass-roots volunteers.

After securing 46% of the vote in a Post and Courier poll in May, Biden’s support dropped to 25% last month, with Sanders and Steyer not far behind, with 20% and 18%. No polls have come out of the state this month, but a national Quinnipiac poll released this week shows support for Biden among black voters dropping from 52% to 27% since the Iowa caucuses.

In an attempt to shift focus, a throng of more than 150 Biden supporters, including a crew of South Carolina state legislators, filed into an event space Tuesday night to send a message that the Biden campaign was not over.

Many crammed into the small hall said it was too early to write Biden off.

“His chances are just as good as day one,” said Kenneth Glover, chairman of the Orangeburg County Democratic Party, who has not made any endorsement but came to offer support. “We need someone to restore the integrity of the office.”

As the New Hampshire results began to come in, Glover said his expectations were not high.

“I would like to see him make third,” he said. “As long as he doesn’t finish in fifth.” (Biden appeared to be headed for fifth in incomplete returns.)

Asked why he thought Biden was performing poorly in the early states, Glover shook his head.

“I’m trying to figure it out myself,” he said. “I don’t have an answer.”

One of his companions said she liked Biden, but was undecided on whether he would get her vote.

Candice Caldwell, a community organizer for the Orangeburg County Democratic Party, said she was torn between Sanders and Biden, preferring Sanders’ policies on student loans and “Medicare for all,” but figuring Biden could have a better chance of beating President Trump. Still, she thought, Biden would do well in South Carolina.

“This is just the beginning,” she said.

———

©2020 Los Angeles Times

Visit the Los Angeles Times at www.latimes.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

2020 Elections

House Overwhelmingly Passes Legislation Making Lynching a Federal Hate Crime
Congress
House Overwhelmingly Passes Legislation Making Lynching a Federal Hate Crime
February 26, 2020
by Dan McCue

The House, in an overwhelmingly bipartisan fashion, passed legislation that would classify lynching as a federal hate crime. The Emmett Till Antilynching Act, introduced by Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., passed on a vote of 410-4. The Act is named for Emmett Till, who was lynched in... Read More

Trump Facing Growing Coronavirus Crisis Amid Market Jitters and Administration Chaos
Political News
Trump Facing Growing Coronavirus Crisis Amid Market Jitters and Administration Chaos

President Donald Trump vowed to take on coronavirus Wednesday even as a plunging stock market and chaos within his own administration laid bare a potential major global crisis that could threaten his reelection battle. Returning from a trip to India, Trump scheduled a news conference for... Read More

New Jersey Declared White Supremacists a Major Threat. Here’s Why That’s Groundbreaking
State News
New Jersey Declared White Supremacists a Major Threat. Here’s Why That’s Groundbreaking

PHILADELPHIA — New Jersey says white supremacist extremism is one of the state’s greatest terrorism threats — higher than al-Qaida and the Islamic State — and in doing so has positioned itself as a national leader in countering domestic terrorism inspired by racism, experts say. Last... Read More

Former Georgia Lawmaker Stacey Abrams is Laying the Groundwork for the White House
Political News
Former Georgia Lawmaker Stacey Abrams is Laying the Groundwork for the White House

WASHINGTON — Stacey Abrams has her sights set on the White House, and the former minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives is already laying the groundwork for a future campaign. Promotion of her Fair Fight organization, which has a goal of eliminating voter suppression,... Read More

Coronavirus Spread in US is Inevitable, CDC Warns; It’s ‘a Question of When’
Health
Coronavirus Spread in US is Inevitable, CDC Warns; It’s ‘a Question of When’

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised communities to take precautions in the event that the coronavirus spreads — something officials believe to be inevitable. “Ultimately, we expect we will see coronavirus spread in this country,” CDC Director Nancy Messonnier said. “It’s not... Read More

Rivals Hammer Bernie Sanders at Crucial South Carolina Debate
2020 Elections
Rivals Hammer Bernie Sanders at Crucial South Carolina Debate

Evan Halper, Janet Hook and Arit John CHARLESTON, S.C. — Rival Democratic candidates moved urgently to blunt Bernie Sanders’ momentum Tuesday, charging in a crucial debate here that he is misleading voters about the cost of his ambitious agenda and warning that his nomination would cost... Read More

Straight From The Well
scroll top