Hillary Clinton’s victory in New Hampshire came on the backs of a fabulous field organization (a Manchester component made up of Mayor Menino’s political foot-soldiers) who had something to work with. The wave of sympathy for Clinton as an embattled woman.
Going into South Carolina where African-Americans comprise 50% of the Democratic vote, it’s possible that Clinton’s comments about the relative contributions of Martin Luther King and Lyndon Johnson to the civil rights movement could do the same thing among Black voters. Until now, many in the African-American community, particularly older folks, have had questions about Obama, the son of a white Kansan and a Kenyan father.
A reverend and New York Assemblyman, who has endorsed Obama, Karim Camara, told me yesterday he was deluged with calls from constituents and other elected officials stunned by her comments. Camara will go down to South Carolina later this month for Obama and expects to be talking about Clinton with the religious leaders he meets with. “I believe churches are very sensitive to the language we use,” Mr. Camara said. “This can have a tremendous impact in increasing their level of churches in going out and supporting Senator Obama.”