ABC News Channel 15 (SC) with video
(click on "Watch Today's Weathercast
and Top News Stories"):
Nearly 1,800 people showed up to hear Senator Barack Obama at Coastal Carolina University last week. By all political standards, he's a Democratic rock star.
"I would say here in South Carolina we have by far the best grassroots organization I think people have seen in a very long time," Obama told NewsChannel 15's Jim Heath in an exclusive interview. "We have volunteers coming out of the woodwork. Young people are getting involved. We've got just a terrific operation."
Terrific operation is how some would describe Obama's meteoric rise in politics. Elected to the state senate in Illinois, he served just seven years before winning a landslide victory for a U-S Senate seat in 2004.
Now, after just three years on the national scene, he's taking on Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, and relations between the two haven't been all smiles. From a negative ad on the internet to controversy raised by Obama's wife Michelle when she suggested theirs was the campaign of "family values."
"You know, I found it fascinating that people would think she was talking about anything other than us," Obama explained. "She didn't mention the Clintons in her comments."
Jim Heath asked: "If leading national Democrats came to you tomorrow and said, 'The best thing we can do for the party in 2008 is bring Bill Clinton back out on the stump,' is that a good idea?"
"Well, I think Bill Clinton is extraordinarily talented," Obama answered. "He was a successful president by and large, on a lot of important issues. But I think that what will ultimately determine whether we win is how well we project into the future."
Obama's lack of resume has put every position he takes under a microscope, like a recent call to end travel restrictions to Cuba.
"Look, Cuba's been a hot button political issue for quite some time," said Obama. "I think it is possible as Fidel Castro dies, that we then have an opportunity to start opening up a new dialog with Cuba."
Obama says he plans to be in Myrtle Beach for a presidential debate in January to continue his message of bringing the country together.
"What I believe is that I can unify this country, get out of the red state-blue state divide, get out of the racial divide, let's solve our problems in a common sense kind of way. That's what I think America is hungry for."
Labels: barack obama