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Obama will Win SC – Bet a Dinner On It

November 3, 2008

Obama will Win SC – Bet a Dinner On It

by Phil Noble

Barack Obama is going to win nationally with over 55% of the vote. He will also carry South Carolina. Bet a lunch on it.

In June, I wrote an editorial that appeared in several papers across the state predicting that Obama would carry our state. It was met with the usual derision by many Republicans, and a few Democrats, and resulted in a highly publicized bet of a bar-b-que dinner with Katon Dawson, Chairman of the SC Republican Party.

Today, I am even more convinced that Obama is going to win and I’d encourage everyone, Obama and McCain supporters, to find someone who thinks differently and bet a bar-b-que dinner on the election – it will be good for the country. More on the dinner bet later but first why Obama will win.

First and foremost, Obama represents real and fundamental change in our country, in how we do our politics and govern ourselves. We all know we need real change in financial regulation, health care and many other areas. McCain essentially offered nothing but four more years of George Bush. Americans and South Carolinians believe that Obama is best to make the fundamental changes we need,

Second, Obama has changed the political map and math. Nationwide millions of new voters, mostly young and African Americans, have been added to the roles. In our state, over 304,000 people have been added since January and over 75% of these new votes are expected to vote for Obama. Bush’s margin in ’04 was only 276,000 votes. These new voters, along with a historic turn out of Democrats, a lot of independents – and more than a few Republicans – will give Obama a big win nationally and a narrow win in South Carolina.

And, most of these new voters are here to stay. Having once seen what their voice and involvement could do to change politics, they are not likely to retreat into civic apathy. More likely, we have seen the creation of a whole new generation of people who will re-define politics and will continue to do so for years to come.

Most of all, I’m truly excited about the new opportunity we as Democrats in South Carolina will have to change politics as usual. We need this change both within our party and change from the narrowness of the Republican’s one party rule that has stifled our state for the last generation. We now have a unique and historic opportunity to elect a new type of Democrat that can win again in South Carolina and change the direction of our state.

Third, this time traditional divisive Republican tactics did not work. McCain is an honorable man but after he won the nomination he allowed his campaign to be taken over by the traditional cadre of Republican operatives / lobbyists / insiders that have run every Republican presidential campaign for a generation. Since the days of Lee Atwater, they have practiced and perfected tactics of the dark arts of character assassination, emotional wedge issues, racist appeals and the politics of fear. This time, it did not work.

Lord knows they tried again and again with their old tactics. They use the ‘kitchen sink’ strategy and threw every sleazy tactic and charge they could think of at Obama and his wife. They tried guilt by association with Rev. Wright and Bill Ayers; appeals to religious bigotry in calling Obama a Muslim; racist appeals with well known code words and symbols; and attacks on their patriotism by charging that both Michelle and Obama were somehow ‘un-American’.

I’d like to think it didn’t work because we as a people have learned and will not fall for this type of gutter politics again. Or, perhaps our national concerns about an economic collapse simply overwhelmed the tactics of sleazy politics. I hope we will never go back to the old politics of race and fear – especially here in South Carolina.

Fourth, Obama unleashed the new power of the Internet in politics. The digital revolution has radically changed virtually every segment of our society – music and entertainment, commerce and business, news and information. And now, Obama has done it in politics. He uses technology to empower literally millions of people to give money online, contact and persuade their friends, organize events, register and reach new voters – and on and on it goes.

Obama will be the JFK of the Internet and his online revolution is just beginning. Just as Kennedy used the new medium of television, Obama will use the new digital technology to change how leaders communicate and connect with the people. He will foster new models of e-government, online citizen participation and interaction between citizens and their elected officials.

And, it is not only here in the US but the impact will be global as well. In essence, Obama will be the first new type of truly wired global leaders of the 21st century.

But, back to the Palmetto state and that bar-b-que dinner. Tough elections about big issues are part of what makes us special as South Carolinians and Americans. So, no matter who you support today, find someone that supports the other guy and bet them a bar-b-que dinner on the race.  And, when it’s all over and the winner is clear, enjoy your dinner, settle your bet, and then talk to your friend about the future and how we can make it better.

Selecting a new president, Obama or McCain, is a chance for a new beginning – a chance to begin anew with new ideas and to begin to work together and focus on the things that unite us and not what divides us.

We are a great and good state and country but we have some very big problems in front of us. We need to all work together, in the renewed spirit of our common heritage and destiny, to overcome these challenges for ourselves and our children.


Phil Noble, a Charleston businessman, is a member of Sen. Obama’s Statewide Steering Committee and President of S.C. New Democrats, an independent reform group founded by former Gov. Richard Riley. or

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Roger Finch permalink
    November 4, 2008 3:13 PM

    Let’s finish the change and throw out the Repubs. in 2010. The majority of South Carolinians are registered and getting registered for the next election. I always said if the majority of SC citizens voted we would never have a Republican left in the State House!
    Now, I will get my ass out there and work to deliver the votes for Democrats. Thank you God!

  2. SJF permalink
    November 4, 2008 10:40 PM

    Yo burrito is betting a meal on it. Offering their “Obama” burrito specials, plus a keg, plus margarita specials. Bring it on!

  3. Jasto permalink
    November 5, 2008 5:31 PM

    Phil, I knew JFK.

    And Obama is no JFK.

    But I’m willing to give him a chance.

    But I’ll be watching Pelosi closely. She freaked me out with that Gollum-like “My Precious” look in her eyes the first time she got her hands on that gavel.

    Truly one of the scariest things I have seen in all my life.

  4. Earl permalink
    April 24, 2009 6:49 PM

    … interesting article from a person fairly adroit at “sleeze” politics himself.

    “I hope we will never go back to the old politics of race and fear – especially here in South Carolina.”

    Gee, do you ever listen to yourself!!

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