Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

Sweet: Picture gallery. South Carolina Primary. Clinton, Obama, Edwards at rally celebrating life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


columbiascmlkrallyjan212008 015
COLUMBIA, S.C.--The South Carolina Democratic primary is Saturday. John Edwards, Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke at a NAACP rally at the steps of the South Carolina statehouse on a frigid Monday, hours before a debate in Myrtle Beach. (photos by Lynn Sweet)

columbiascmlkrallyjan212008 004
Obama and Edwards at the rally on the steps of the statehouse.

columbiascmlkrallyjan212008 007
Clinton at the rally on the steps of the statehouse

columbiascmlkrallyjan212008 006
Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett (center, with purse) at the rally. (photos by Lynn Sweet)

columbiascmlkrallyjan212008 003
The crowd at the NAACP rally was Obama friendly.

columbiascmlkrallyjan212008 001
Obama and Jarrett at march from Zion Baptist Church to statehouse rally.

columbiascmlkrallyjan212008 002
Obama at march from Zion Baptist Church to statehouse rally.

columbiascmlkrallyjan212008 010
When Edwards came to the podium, he introduced himself as a South Carolina native.

columbiascmlkrallyjan212008 014

The Confederate flag is still flown from the South Carolina statehouse grounds.
Demonstrators across the street from the NAACP rally
(photos by Lynn Sweet)


With blacks supporting Obama, and whites and latinos supporting Hillary this past saturday in Nevada, this democratic primary is starting to shake out just as I had hoped. Democrats battling each other according to race is a perfect scenario for the republicans come November. I guess the time tested strategy of "divide and conquer" is as effective as it ever was. And the irony is that republicans haven't even had to use that strategy, democrats are using it on each other.

Wow. Check this out:

I have been hoping Jesse Jackson would follow his own lead and come forward in support of John Edwards since the day he wrote an editorial in the Chicago Sun Times calling Hillary and Obama to task for ignoring the issue of poverty.

Now Martin Luther King III has beaten Jesse to it.

MLK III says his father would be proud of John's campaign. He says John is carrying on his father's legacy with his commitment to social and economic justice. Can one imagine a more momentous endorsement on this, the day we honor his father, Martin Luther King Jr.?

While the press calls on John to quit, MLK III tells John to "keep going. Keep fighting. My father would be proud."

Will the press marginalize Martin Luther King Jr.'s son the way it has endeavored to marginalize John Edwards?

They must prove there's something behind their lofty claims of reverence for Martin Luther King Jr. by covering this widely.

Raoul O'Connell
Los Angeles

MLK III's letter:
January 20, 2008

The Honorable John E. Edwards
410 Market Stree
Suite 400
Chapel Hill, NC 27516

Dear Senator Edwards:

It was good meeting with you yesterday and discussing my father’s legacy. On the day when the nation will honor my father, I wanted to follow up with a personal note.

There has been, and will continue to be, a lot of back and forth in the political arena over my father’s legacy. It is a commentary on the breadth and depth of his impact that so many people want to claim his legacy. I am concerned that we do not blur the lines and obscure the truth about what he stood for: speaking up for justice for those who have no voice.

I appreciate that on the major issues of health care, the environment, and the economy, you have framed the issues for what they are - a struggle for justice. And, you have almost single-handedly made poverty an issue in this election.

You know as well as anyone that the 37 million people living in poverty have no voice in our system. They don’t have lobbyists in Washington and they don’t get to go to lunch with members of Congress. Speaking up for them is not politically convenient. But, it is the right thing to do.

I am disturbed by how little attention the topic of economic justice has received during this campaign. I want to challenge all candidates to follow your lead, and speak up loudly and forcefully on the issue of economic justice in America.

From our conversation yesterday, I know this is personal for you. I know you know what it means to come from nothing. I know you know what it means to get the opportunities you need to build a better life. And, I know you know that injustice is alive and well in America, because millions of people will never get the same opportunities you had.

I believe that now, more than ever, we need a leader who wakes up every morning with the knowledge of that injustice in the forefront of their minds, and who knows that when we commit ourselves to a cause as a nation, we can make major strides in our own lifetimes. My father was not driven by an illusory vision of a perfect society. He was driven by the certain knowledge that when people of good faith and strong principles commit to making things better, we can change hearts, we can change minds, and we can change lives.

So, I urge you: keep going. Ignore the pundits, who think this is a horserace, not a fight for justice. My dad was a fighter. As a friend and a believer in my father’s words that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, I say to you: keep going. Keep fighting. My father would be proud.

Martin L. King, III

What would you like for Obama to say are do on proverty.

Leave a comment

Get the Sweet widget

More widgets


Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

Stay in touch

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on January 21, 2008 12:26 PM.

Sweet column: Obama tackles Bill Clinton on negative hit man role. was the previous entry in this blog.

Sweet scoop: Clinton minimizing time in South Carolina to fund-raise and stump in Feb. 5 states. is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.