A crowd of more than 100 Democratic Party failthful met at the Trident Technical College on Tuesday in a rally featuring state political power players like Inez Tenenbaum and Jim Clyburn, as well as Democratic Congressional candidate Linda Ketner and 80s TV personality Phylicia Rashad (formerly of the Cosby Show).
Before the line of speakers started, Charleston native and Obama state campaign head Clay Middleton scurried down the center aisle, hollering out "Fired Up." The crowd responded, "Ready To Go." It was alomst as if had been yesterday, not 10 months ago, that we were all hearing that call and response in South Carolina.
Tenenbaum spoke of Obama's efforts to help her in South Carolina back during her Congressional race in 2004. "On people's faces was the look of hope," she said of his early visits to the state.
Ketner asked the crowd to not only vote for her, but to campaign for her.
"You're my frontline," she said. "Tell them, 'Send Linda with him!'"
Clyburn joked that he needed to come back and campaign in South Carolina to make sure that he doesn't get Obama to the White House, only to be sent back to his own house. But it was obvious that Clyburn is confident of his chances, and is instead campaigning for other candidates in South Carolina.
"John Spratt and I are getting lonely," he said.
Clyburn and others also incouraged people to vote absentee if they can. The party is hoping that absentee voters can focus their time on volunteer work (phone banking, poll place assistance, etc.) Clyburn argued that the race can be won or lost depending on the absentee votes, and he pointed to the famous case of Tom Bradley, a black candidate to be California's governor in 1982 who lost even though polls had suggested he would win.Clyburn noted it wasn't until absentee ballots were counted that Bradley lost.
"The Bradley effect isn't about what happened on election day," Clyburn said. "It's about what happened between now and election day."