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Barack Obama's Speech Following South Carolina Democratic Primary; Hillary Clinton's Remarks

Aired January 26, 2008 - 21:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: As we watch Obama headquarters waiting for Barack Obama to speak, Bill Bennett, if you were a Republican watching tonight, John King said do you want to run against Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama?
BILL BENNETT, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I think Barack Obama is a tougher candidate than Hillary Clinton for us to run against. Why do I seem so pleased? I think it's a great moment in American history. He has run a dignified campaign. I wish the Clintons would just leave. That's my personal opinion.

I think Barack Obama has elevated discourse in a lot of ways. The fact that he brought, and I will say it again -- and Rowland will get angry again. He brought all sorts of white people to be president of the United States, even though I may disagree with him because I'm a different party, it's a great thing. It happens in America.

COOPER: Donna Brazile, what does it say to the fact that Barack Obama that he appeals to white voters. The age difference is extraordinary.

DONNA BRAZILE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: This is really a campaign about the past versus the future. As much as we talk about race like it's a big conversation we are having on the big issues facing people of color, it's generational. We are seeing that within the Democratic fight. The old institutional players are people who backed Walter Mondale in the 1980s. They want to hold on to what they have.

Barack has come on to the stage and Obama is saying it's time we pull the party forward to grow the party and build the party and look at how we can govern successfully so we bring about health care, etc.

I want to say something about the Clintons. Bill Clinton is still enormously popular within the Democratic Party. There is no such thing as Clinton fatigue. He will be used to build her support and remind people of the 1990s and the great records he accumulated. Bill Clinton will not tire from this fight. He may not talk as much about Barack Obama to be used as vice president, but he will campaign until, god knows, the cows come home, to try to secure this for Hillary.

COOPER: He is talking about Reverend Jesse Jackson.

Rowland, you wanted to weigh in?

ROWLAND MARTIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR. I'm not mad at Bill. You can't compare Reverend Jackson to Obama. He was a Senator and elected statewide, running in '88 and '84, sets up 2008. Stop trying to make the comparison.

Anderson, to your point about young voters, remember, the hip hop generation, you have young, whites who have grown up in and around African-American, who listen to music and who were operating within the culture. To understand that relationship there -- the other piece is Obama is 46 years old. He is the only candidate that is closer to this generation in age. That's one reason why he is appealing to them. And he reminds them inspirationally of a Robert Kennedy and a John F. Kennedy and we cannot overlook that. He is the first candidate of his generation to give that feeling.

COOPER: Let's go to Barack Obama headquarters and look at the scene there. Clearly, the crowd is very excited awaiting the arrival of a man who has routed the opposition in the state. Clearly, this is a massive win for Barack Obama.

There is going to be an editorial in the "New York Times" by Caroline Kennedy. This was an endorsement of Barack Obama by Caroline Kennedy, as we watch Barack Obama enter his headquarters. The title of the op-ed is, "A President, Like My Father. The beginning -- "Over the years, I have been deeply moved by the people who wish they could feel inspired and hopeful about America the way people did when my father was president. The sense is even more profound today. That is why I am supporting a presidential candidate in the Democratic primaries, Barack Obama." She goes on to say, "My reasons are patriotic, political and personal and the three are intertwined. All my life, people told me my father changed their lives, that they got involved in public service or politics because he asked them to. And the generation he inspired passed that spirit on to their children. I meet young people born long after John F. Kennedy was president and they ask me how to live out his ideals."

BENNETT: Hillary Clinton and Caroline's mother, Jackie Kennedy, were close. Of all of the first ladies, Jackie Kennedy admired Hillary Clinton the most and they talked about how to raise children in the White House.

We're watching Obama come up here. And I'm going to throw it back to you.

COOPER: A remarkable evening for Barack Obama and for his wife.

MARTIN: Is it that other candidates are not this year, may not be enough. They need to change this country. That's a strong statement from Caroline Kennedy.

COOPER: Borager (ph), as you watch Barack Obama on the stage, what do you think?

BORAGER (ph): I think he looks like a candidate of change. That's exactly what he is going to continue to talk about. I think Barack Obama is now going to really hone down on the issues for voters so they can see him as a candidate on the issues. I think this is going to be trench warfare, delegate by delegate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

COOPER: Let me point out one thing. Barack Obama now with 93 percent of vote has 271,000 votes. Four years ago, 293,000 voted in the entire Democratic primary. This is an enormous turn out. Democrats are wildly motivated in this election.

BENNETT: I don't disagree at all about the issues, but he is looking out of the country saying, OK, he beat her again. Her, being the once inevitable. He needs to get the Democrats.

COOPER: Let's listen in.

BARACK OBAMA, (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, everybody. Thank you. Thank you, South Carolina. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, South Carolina. Thank you to the rock of my life, Michelle Obama. Thank you to Malia and Sasha Obama, who haven't seen their daddy in a week. Thank you to Pete Skidmore for his outstanding service to our country and being a great supporter of this campaign.

Over two weeks ago, we saw the people of Iowa proclaim that our time for change has come. There were those who doubted this country's desire for something new, who said Iowa was a fluke, not to be repeated again. Tonight, the cynics who believe that what began in the snows of Iowa was just an illusion were told a different story by the good people of South Carolina.

After four great contests in every corner of this country, we have the most votes, the most delegates, and the most diverse coalition of Americans that we have seen in a long, long time. You can see it in the faces here tonight. There young and old, rich and poor. They are black and white, Latino and Asian and Native American. They are Democrats from Des Moines and Independents from Concord and, yes, some Republicans from rural Nevada. We have young people all across this country who have never had a reason to participate until now.

And in nine days, in nine short days, nearly half the nation will have the chance to join us in saying that we are tired of business as usual in Washington. We are hungry for change and ready to believe again.

CROWD: We want change! We want change!

OBAMA: If there is anything, though, that we have been reminded of since Iowa, it's the kind of change we seek will not be easy, partly because we have fine candidates in this field, fierce competitors worthy of our respect and admiration. As contentious as this campaign may get, we have to remember that this is a contest for the Democratic nomination, that all of us share an abiding desire to end the disastrous policies of the current administration.

There are real differences between the candidates. We are looking for more than just a change of party in the White House. We are looking to fundamentally change the status quo in Washington. It's a status quo that extends beyond a particular party. And that status quo is fighting back with everything it's got, with the same old tactics that divide and distract us from solving the problems people face, whether the problems are health care that folks can't afford or a mortgage they cannot pay.

This will not be easy. Make no mistake about what we are up against. We are up against the belief that it's all right for lobbyists to dominate the government and they are part of the system in Washington. We know that the undue influence of lobbyists is part of the problem and this election is our chance to say that we are not going to let them stand in our way anymore.

We are up against the conventional thinking that says your ability to lead comes from longevity in Washington or proximity to the White House. We know that real leadership is about candor and judgment and the ability to rally Americans from all walks of life around a common purpose, a higher purpose.

We are up against decades of bitter partisanship that cause politicians to demonize opponents instead of coming together to make college affordable or energy cleaner. It's the partisanship where you are not allowed to say a Republican had an idea, even if it's one you never agreed with. That's the kind of politics that is bad for our party. It is bad for the country and this is our chance to end this once and for all.

We are up against the idea that it's acceptable to say anything and do anything to win an election. This is exactly what's wrong with our politics. This is why people don't believe what their leaders say anymore. This is why they tune out. This election is our chance to give the American people a reason to believe again.

Let me say this, South Carolina. With what we have seen in the last weeks, we are up against forces that are not the fault of any one campaign. They feed the habits that prevent us from being who we want to be as a nation. It's the politics that uses religion as a wedge and patriotism as a bludgeon. A politics that tells us we have to think, act, and even vote within the confines of a category that supposedly define us -- the assumption that young people are apathetic, the assumption that Republicans won't cross over. The assumption that the wealthy care nothing for the poor and that the poor don't vote. The assumption that African-Americans can't support the white candidates and whites can't support the African-American candidates and blacks and Latinos can't come together.

We are here tonight to say that is not the American we believe in.

CROWD: Yes, we can! Yes, we can!

OBAMA: I did not travel around this state and see a white South Carolina or a black South Carolina. I saw South Carolina. I saw crumbling schools that are stealing the future of black children and white children alike. I saw mills and homes for sale that once belonged to Americans from all walks of life, and men and women of every color and creed who serve together and fight together and bleed together under the same proud flag. I saw what America is and I believe in what this country can be. That is the country I see. That is the country you see.

But now it is up to us to help the entire nation embrace this vision because, in the end, we are not just up against the ingrained and destructive habits of Washington. We are struggling with our own doubts and our own fears and our own cynicism. The change we seek has always required great struggle and great sacrifice. This is a battle in our own hearts and minds about what kind of country we want and how hard we are willing to work for it.

So let me remind you tonight, change will not be easy. Change will take time. There will be setbacks and false starts. Sometimes we will make mistakes. But as hard as it may seem, we cannot lose hope because there people all across this great nation who are counting on us and can't afford another four years without health care. They can't afford another four years without good schools and can't afford no decent wages because the leaders couldn't come together and get it done.

Theirs are the stories and voices we carry on from South Carolina. The mother who can't get Medicaid to cover all the needs of her sick child. She needs us to pass a health care plan that cuts costs and makes health care available and affordable for every American. That's what she is looking for. The teacher who works another shift at Dunkin' Donuts after school to make ends meet. She needs us to reform our education system so she gets better pay and more support and the students get the resources they need to achieve their dreams. The Maytag worker who is competing with his own teenager for a $7 an hour job at the Wal-mart because the factory he gave his life to shut the doors. He needs us to stop giving tax brakes to company who ship over seas and start putting them in the pockets of working Americans who deserve it and put it in the pocket of struggling homeowners who are having a tough time, and looking after senior who is should retire with dignity and respect.

That woman who told me that she hasn't been able to breathe since the day her nephew left for Iraq, and the soldier who doesn't know his child because he is on his third, fourth, or fifth tour of duty, they need to put an end to a war that should have never been authorized and should have never been waged.

So understand this, South Carolina. The choice in this election is not between regions or religions or genders. It's not about rich versus poor, young versus old. And it is not about black versus white. This election is about the past versus the future. It's about whether we settle for the same division and distractions and drama that passes for politics today or whether we reach for politics of common sense, innovation, politics of shared sacrifice and shared prosperity. There those who will tell and continue to tell us we can't do this and can't have what we are looking for. We can't have what we want. We are pedaling false hopes.

Here's what I know. I know that when people say we can't overcome all the big money and influence in Washington, I think of that elderly woman who sent me a contribution the other day, an envelope that had a money order for $3.01 along with a verse of scripture tucked in the envelope. So don't tell us change isn't possible. That woman knows change is possible.

When I hear the cynical talk that blacks and whites and Latinos can't join and work together, I am reminded of the Latino brothers and sisters that I organized with and stood with and fought with side by side for jobs and justice on the streets of Chicago. So don't tell us change can't happen.

When I hear that we will never overcome the racial divide in our politics, I think about that Republican woman who used to work for Strom Thurman, who is devoted to educating inner-city children and who went out into the streets of South Carolina and knocked on doors for this campaign. Don't tell me we can't change. Yes, we can. We can change. Yes, we can.

CROWD: Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can!

OBAMA: Yes, we can heal this nation. Yes, we can seize our future. And as we leave this great state with a new wind at our back and we take this journey across this great country, a country we love with the message we carried from the plains of Iowa to the hills of New Hampshire, from the Nevada desert to the South Carolina coast. The same message we had when we were up and when we were down, that out of many, we are one. While we breathe, we will hope. Where we're met with cynicism and doubt and fear and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of the American people in three simple words -- Yes, we can!

Thank you, South Carolina. I love you.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: Barack Obama the winner of the South Carolina primary speaking to supporters and the nation tonight. Saying yes, yes he can. Yes, we can.

The Democratic presidential candidate with a rousing victory tonight, a very, very impressive victory with 96 percent of the vote now in, 96 percent. He has a majority of 55 percent of the South Carolina Democrats who voted for Barack Obama, 20 percent for Hillary Clinton, 18 percent for John Edwards. And 97 percent of the precincts have reported and a clearly decisive win for Barack Obama.

If you look at the vote he got tonight, he got double with Hillary Clinton and John Edwards. He beat them combined. What an impressive victory for Barack Obama. He delivered a rousing speech to his supporters just now.

Still to come, we are expecting to hear from Hillary Clinton as well as John Edwards. We fully expect they will deliver their own speeches. We will be carrying those speeches live here at the "CNN ELECTION CENTER" as well.

Barack Obama the big winner tonight and he delivered that speech. It reminded me the speech he delivered after the Iowa caucuses, a very well-received speech then and this speech will be well-received as well. He not only took on the Republicans and also had a few swipes at fellow Democrats as well, including the former president of the United States, Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, who made a point of going back to comments that Barack Obama made about Ronald Reagan being a transitional figure in contrast to Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton when they were president.

This is what Barack Obama just said moments ago. "We are up against decades of bitter partisanship that caused politicians to demonize their opponent that caused them to make college affordable or energy cleaner. It's the kind of partisanship where you are not even allowed to say a Republican had an idea, even if it's one you never agreed with clearly." A swipe for comments they made earlier.

And Barack Obama trying his best, at least in a public statements, to go forward now with a more upbeat posture. There is no doubt this speech was looking ahead to Super Tuesday, February 5, when there will be contests in New York and California and some 20 other states around the country.

Suzanne Malveaux is watching all of this. She's there at Obama headquarters in South Carolina.

Give us a little sense of the excitement in the room, Suzanne, where you are.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, if you look at pictures and you look at the audience and the faces, and these are the faces of the south -- South Carolina. And you look at the diversity -- I haven't seen a diverse crowd like this in some time. There's young, old, black, white, Latino. He makes the point that he brought together a diverse coalition.

He mentioned as well a couple of times about the importance of his Latino brothers can and what he has done for them. That is looking ahead to California and that is critical in the state. It is also a lesson learned from Nevada where he was not able to get much support from the Latino community.

We did here a couple of jabs, as you mentioned, directly to Hillary Clinton. One line he brushed by rather quickly, but he said it. He said this is the time to say anything or do anything to win. Clearly, he is trying to project a different message than Hillary Clinton and her campaign.

It's a coalition that they want to build through the southern states. They will be building to Georgia and Alabama tomorrow. We will be following him along the way. Of course, it's a coalition that wants to take on the states for Super Tuesday. One person said this is a fight over the delegates so it's going to last a lot longer than Super Tuesday -- Wolf?

Suzanne Malveaux, we are watching this. Thank you, Suzanne.

We are standing by to hear from Hillary Clinton and John Edwards. Much more coverage from the "CNN ELECTION CENTER." A huge night for Barack Obama.

We'll take a quick break. We'll be right back.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: Polls have been closed now in South Carolina for 2.5 hour. 98 percent of the precincts have reported. Barack Obama, a decisive win with 55 percent, 27 percent for Hillary Clinton and 18 percent for John Edwards. A huge turn out in South Carolina, clearly benefiting Barack Obama. He wins decisively.

We heard from Barack Obama and we will hear from Hillary Clinton and John Edwards. They are getting ready to speak to supporters.

Hillary Clinton is in Nashville, Tennessee. You are looking at live pictures from Nashville. She will be speaking there. Tennessee is a Super Tuesday states on February 5th. Half the country will be voting that day, at least in those 20 to 25 states on the Democratic and Republican side.

John Edwards is in Columbia, South Carolina and getting ready to speak to supporters as well. We want to hear from both of these candidates. We have heard from Barack Obama.

Let's go to Soledad and Bill Schneider. They are taking a look at the exit polls.

How did he do it, Barack Obama? It's fair to say this was a landslide.

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: I think that is fair to say. You heard the music after he wrapped up the speech, signed, sealed, and delivered. So how signed, sealed, delivered was it?

We break down the votes to look at the final numbers. African- American voters first.

Why don't you start with them first, Bill?

BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN NEWS CORRESPONDENT: African-Americans are the base of the Democratic Party. That's why South Carolina was allowed to vote early. The base has spoken. Here's what they said. Almost 80 percent of them, 78 percent solidly behind Barack Obama; Clinton 19 and Edwards barely showing up with 2 percent of the vote.

My guess is, I would say, African-Americans are supporting Barack Obama for the same reason women are supporting Hillary Clinton. This is pride, not prejudice.

O'BRIEN: Let's see if we can take a look. John Edwards will be making remarks to supporters. He's at the podium. Let's break for a moment to listen to what he has to say.

JOHN EDWARDS, (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you all very much. I want to join Senator Clinton and President Clinton in congratulating Senator Obama. Now the three of us move on to February 5th where millions of Americans will cast their vote and help shape the future of this party and help shape the future of America.

Our campaign from the very beginning has been about one central thing. That is to give voice to millions of American who have absolutely no voice in this democratic democracy. To give voice to people like the woman I met in Kansas City a couple of years ago. She told me the story of working full time and not being able to pay both her heating bill and her rent. Having to come home every night in the winter and dress her children in all of their clothes in their coats and put them under blankets and put them in bed together to stay warm. She told me the story of getting them up out of the bed every morning fully clothed with coats on and feeding them and sending them to school and praying, praying that no one would find out what was happening in her home because they would come and take the children away from her. No one should live like that in the United States of America. We are better than that.

We are giving voice to that extraordinary woman in Kansas City, admiring her strength and courage. We are giving voice to all those Americans whose voices are not being heard. And their voices were heard today in South Carolina.

So I say, if you are worried about your health care or don't have health care in America, your voice will be heard in this campaign. If you are worried because you lost your job and you are worried sick about finding a new job, your voice will be heard in this campaign. If you are one of 37 million American who is waking up every single day literally worried about feeding and clothing your children and living in poverty, your voice will be heard in America. And it will be heard in this campaign and we will speak for you and fight for you.

If you are worried about being able to pay for your child to be able to go to college, being able to pay for tuition and books, your voice will be heard in this campaign and heard in America.

If you are one of the forgotten middle class, people who are working and struggling just to pay bills, literally worried about every single day, we will give you voice in this campaign.

And last, if you are one of the extraordinary men and women who have served this country patriotically and worn the uniform of the United States of America and you're not getting the health care you deserve and you need or if you are one of 200,000 veteran who live in this country who every night go to sleep under bridges or in shelters or on grates, as long as we are alive and breathing, your voice will be heard in this campaign and it will be heard in America.

And then finally, if you are one of the millions of American who have yet to cast your vote in this Democratic process, beginning on February 5th and moving beyond, your voice will be heard and we will be there with you every single step of the way. Join us in this movement. Join in this campaign. Let's make America what it's capable of being.

God bless you all and thank you for your support and thank you for being here and thank you for your voice.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN NEWS ANCHOR: We are waiting on Hillary Clinton. She is expected to make comment any minute tonight. We will bring it to you live.

Let's check in Donna Brazile, a CNN political contributor, watching from Washington.

Donna, the road ahead, what does it lock like?

DONNA BRAZILE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: John Edwards will try to look for fertile ground. Go to North Dakota, go to Oklahoma, go to another neighboring state, Tennessee.

Remember, as we turn the corner to February 5, what these candidates will do is go to the districts that may enhance and give them the most delegates. It's not about winning states. It's about getting the most delegates.

COOPER: Bill Bennett?

BILL BENNETT, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I have to comment on the talk. Wolf said accurately that the Republicans took a lost of hits in Obama's talk, but interestingly, to me, he sounded like Ronald Reagan. The lift. There was lift in the talk, reminiscent of Reagan.

The country western song playing after "Signed, Sealed, Delivered," -- I'm you're music guy, Anderson. It was "Sunday Morning in America." It's quite extraordinary. That lift is amazing.

Can I say one statistic? The big one. He beat her by more than two to one. Can anybody say that was going to happen?

COOPER: Bill Bennett, I imagine now a Clinton commercial with your comments comparing Barack Obama to Ronald Reagan, possibly.

BRAZILE: Let me clear that up.

BENNETT: I tried to be kind all evening. I'm sorry I hurt him again.


BENNETT: ... music story, if I can?

BRAZILE: Look, no question. It's not the music that people are hearing when they listen to Obama's speech. They listen to the background noise. That's background noise is one of unity and national reconciliation and really making the Democratic party a party of the people, the party of change as well as a party that can bring the country together.

I think that's the background for the soul man who just made that comment, Bill Bennett.

(LAUGHTER) CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Now that we're on the subject of music, at the height of the Lewinsky ugliness, Stevie Wonder came upstairs to the White House, sat down with Hillary Clinton and a few other women and played two songs that he had written for Hillary Clinton. One was called "Forgiveness" and the other called "No One Walks on Water."

COOPER: There you go.

BERNSTEIN: I don't know what to say after that.

I thought I would pass it on.

ROWLAND MARTIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Any time we discuss this campaign in Chicago -- speaking of songs, we played "Can You Feel It"? That's what it was all about. Every breath you take, he talks about hunger. People getting along and people different colors coming together. Can you feel it? That's what it speaks to.

A lot of the comments, he was talking about black and Latino and Asian, Native American, white, young and old coming together. That will be a significant issue.

Here's another point that will be critical. He talks about change is not easy. I really believe a lost his supporters after Iowa thought this thing will be a cake walk. It reminded me after the big win tonight, February 5th will be huge. You cannot take your eye off the ball.

COOPER: That was critical.

AMY HOLMES, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: On Rowland's point and Bill' point, I agree a lot of his speech was inspiring and the type of rhetoric we love as fellow Americans. But there was also some score settling. He had hard hits on Hillary and when he said this is not a country where the rich don't care about the poor.

COOPER: He was able to do it in a way that did not -- again, we're awaiting Hillary Clinton. We're anticipating this within a minute of two. He was able to take shots without really getting down there.

He has been there and it doesn't work for him and it doesn't work for her. He doesn't want to do that.

GLORIA BORGER, SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: What I was reminded of, Bill Bennett talks about Ronald Reagan, but in the early '90s when a young guy from hope was running. His name was Bill Clinton and he was talking about getting rid of the politics of personal destruction. Obama's line tonight, as Wolf mentioned, was politicians have demonized opponents.

He is hitting -- the irony here is Obama is running a campaign of change, which is not unlike the campaign of change that Bill Clinton ran in 1992.

COOPER: You're now going to be quoted in a John Edwards commercial.

JOHN KING, CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: His challenge was to be big. He won a primary and a lot of people say Iowa does crazy things and a lot of people win Iowa and disappear. Obama won a primary with the majority of the vote. As Bill said, beat her two to one. That's a moment to be big.

Politics is about music and also about math. 60 percent of the Democrats in New Hampshire voted against Hillary Clinton. 70 percent of the Democrats in Iowa have now voted against Hillary Clinton. 73 percent of the Democrats in South Carolina has voted against Hillary Clinton.

She wants to make this about delegates. She has a great deal of institutional strength in the states. That math right there is daunting if you are Hillary Clinton.

HOLMES: You have to figure out where Edwards is in the calculations.

COOPER: Donna Brazile, you want to get in?

BRAZILE: I agree with John. It's about the delegates and pulling people together. For the Clintons, it's to show the party and the country they too can unify to get the result we are talking about.

I have to say something as a native southerner that spent my day in South Carolina. This is moment that we have been waiting for, a proud moment, 25 percent. Those young white kids and supporters of Barack Obama, they went out and wanted to send a message that a new south is about to arrive, to wake up.

COOPER: I saw Bill nodding. The generational difference is extraordinary when you look at those numbers.

BENNETT: That's what I was saying at the beginning about what we are celebrating, what Donna just said. God bless John King, the classical education at Providence College, mathematics and music. The Greeks literally rule again.

One other song for Stevie Wonder and I promise I will desist. He should have played "Shotgun" by Junior Walker.

MARTIN: When listening to the speech and watching the signs, I got a text message about that. I am reminded of Congresswoman Shirley Chism (ph), who ran in 1972. One of her slogans was "I was the unbought unboss. But also it was "Catalyst for change." When you think about what that means -- I hope we ignore the fact that this generation has not seen someone they truly can just believe in. So he wants to ride that energy, I believe, through February 5th.

COOPER: We are looking at Hillary Clinton on the stage in Nashville. She left South Carolina a short time ago, already keeping the eye on Super Tuesday. We anticipate her speaking and she is being introduced and we will, of course, bring you her speech live. I just hate to jump too far ahead, but suppose Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee and John McCain is the Republican nominee. There will be a 26-year age gap between the two major party candidates.

MARTIN: We'll see lots of basketball there.

COOPER: What's that?

MARTIN: We'll see lots of basketball from Obama.

COOPER: That's right.

But that's never happened before in American history, that the two major candidates have been that different in age. We are a long way, but it would be a difference.

KING: We are a long way from that, but they have great support with Independents. It would be a fascinating race. But let's just hit the pause button there because we have Florida next week and then Super Tuesday.

Anderson, just one quick point. See that word "Nashville" up there, having been in Nashville on an election night eight years ago, had it gone a different way, had Al Gore been able to carry his own state Tennessee, we would not have this conversation tonight.

COOPER: If you were Barack Obama, what in the numbers give you hope? Looking at the numbers and the break down of voters, what do you take away and what do you need work on, what do you need to build on?

HOLMES: They were going to say he would fail with whites. He didn't fail. He did fine with white voters.

KING (?): That's not exactly right.

HOLMES: He did better with whites than Hillary Clintons did with black voters. He did.

KING (?): There are a lot more white voters than black voters.

COOPER: 24 percent. Overall, in the state, 24 percent. That's good. That's not great.


COOPER: Generationally, among young, white voters.

HOLMES: One of the things is that people didn't like the attacks.

COOPER: Hillary Clinton is beginning to speak so let's listen.

HILLARY CLINTON, (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I have to thank my friends, State Senator Selma Harper. Isn't she is amazing? I am so grateful that she is one of the leaders of my campaign here in Tennessee along with Jane Eskin (ph), who is here with me. I thank Jane and her husband, Dick. And former Governor Ned Ray McWorter (ph). It's wonderful to have such a broad cross section of people across this state who are fighting with us for a new future for America. I want to thank Dr. Johnson. Thank you so much. Please, doctor, thank you so much for inviting us and being here with us, you and Mrs. Johnson, thank you very much. I want to thank the band. Were they great?

I want to thank all of you for coming out here tonight. This is an amazing crowd. I am thrilled to be here in Tennessee with all of you. And I'm happy my daughter, Chelsea, can be with me tonight.

I want to congratulate Senator Obama and I want to thank the people of South Carolina for welcoming us into their homes and communities. I want to tell you how excited I am that now the eyes of the country turn to Tennessee and the other states that will be voting on February 5th. Of course, to the state of Florida that will be voting on Tuesday. Millions and millions of Americans are going to have the chance to have their voices heard and votes counted. I can't imagine anyplace I would rather be than right here in Nashville as we kickoff the next 10 days.

Of course, when anybody says the word "Nashville," it's connected with singing. I promise you, you will not hear a word out of me. I do not want to in any way sully the reputation of the Music Capital by contributing my less than meager talent, but it is a great treat to be here with all of you and to have a chance to talk with you. And really that's what I want to do tonight.

I know the crowd is a little bigger than we anticipated, but I intended to come here tonight to continue the conversation I started a year ago. To talk with the people of our country about what it is we can do together to make sure that we keep faith with this country we love so much.

I know that it's often said the difference between a politician and a statesman is that the politician looks to the next election. A statesman looks to the next generation. I want this election to be about the next generation, the students here at TSU and all the young people who are here tonight and across Tennessee.

What I have heard traveling around our country is, of course, the optimism and the resilience that is the character of the American people. I have also heard a lot of concerns and worries, people worrying about their jobs, worrying about what's happening to the economy in general, worrying about their health care. Worrying about college affordability and how they will be able to complete their education, worried about our country's standing in the world and how we can restore our reputation and our leadership and moral authority.

There is a lot we can talk about tonight. I want us just to imagine in the size of this crowd, we are just talking. We are just people having a conversation about what we believe and what we want and what we hope. We are looking for solutions to our problems. I think there isn't anything America can't do if we put our mind to it. We are the nation that solves problems and creates new opportunities. We can do that again together. It's so important we do that for our young people.

Many of us, as I look around this crowd, know that we were given blessings and opportunities we inherited, didn't we? Those were the results of the hard work of our parents and grandparents and people we never met. People who defended our freedom and created the businesses that employed us and pushed down the barriers that prevented any of us from fulfilling our God-given potential. Now it's time for us to do the same for the next generation. Make sure that we leave America the same...

BLITZER: Hillary Clinton getting into her speech right now. She came in second in South Carolina. If you want to continue to watch and listen to her speech, you can go to

We will have much more coverage coming up, but we have to take a quick break. We will be back at the "CNN ELECTION CENTER" after this.


BLITZER: 99 percent of the precincts have reported and Barack Obama wins the state of South Carolina, 55 percent to Hillary Clinton's 27 percent and John Edwards 18 percent of the vote.

Let's look to see how Barack Obama did this.

A very, very impressive win, John King.

KING: Wow is the word for it. 99 percent reported. 55 percent for Barack Obama. Let's look at it from this perspective. How many counties did he win? Look at that. That's Barack Obama. One county here not his and in the middle we haven't gotten any results left. Barack Obama winning almost everywhere.

John Edwards up there. His hometown of Seneca, he won that, a small rural county, not many votes there, but a symbolic victory.

Clinton winning only here in Horry County. That is the home of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

But again, the big story is this, Wow! Barack Obama winning everywhere and winning big.

Let's project this forward a little bit. He won on the back of African-American support. Excuse my scribbles. But this is South Carolina. 29 percent of the population is African-American registered voters. Only Georgia and Alabama in terms of the Super Tuesday state get into the 20s, 26 percent in Alabama, 30 percent in Georgia and everywhere else the numbers are much lower, 17 percent in New York, 17 percent in Tennessee and 16 percent in Arkansas and 15 percent in Illinois. Our west, a much smaller percentage of African-Americans in the electorate. His challenge will be to go beyond the African- American base he had right there.

BLITZER: And you can hear in his peach looking ahead to all of those states.

Let's go to Anderson Cooper with thoughts as well -- Anderson?

COOPER: Let's go to Karl Bernstein.

Karl, your thoughts?

BERNSTEIN: One of the worst nights of Hillary Clinton's life. She had a chance at the end to be magnanimous, to say something about where her campaign is going to go, but instead she was shopworn, tired. That's exactly what they don't need. The Clinton campaign will have an uphill fight.

HOLMES: Hillary took a thumping and she headed to Tennessee. She talked about Florida and heading into the future. That's her focus.

MARTIN: Hillary Clinton needs to reassert control of her campaign. She is a candidate and not Bill Clinton. She should be in control and say I'm running, not him.

COOPER: Gloria Borger?

BORGER: I think this is going to be about New York, New Jersey, Super Tuesday. He is going to fight her in California. This might have been a bad night for Hillary Clinton, but it wasn't the worst night. She is going to fight on.

(?): She is leading in all those states so the idea that this is a calamity for all time, that's a ways off for her.

COOPER: In terms of Barack Obama, tomorrow or the next day, where does he go from here?

BORGER: He fights on two levels. He stays high above the plain, talking about in his speech tonight and talking about change. And on another level, he fleshes out where he is as a candidate and where he would be as a president.

COOPER: I just checked in with blogger, Andrew Sullivan. He pointed out that, in terms of numbers, Obama beat McCain and Huckabee combined in terms of turnout. A huge turnout.

(?): Phenomenal. Enormous turnout in South Carolina, as it has been in every state in the Democratic primaries. Something to keep in mind when the Republican turnout has been going down in each state.

COOPER: There's a lot more politics ahead. Our coverage continues on CNN well into the evening.

Let's throw it down to Atlanta where our coverage continues right now.