By Hazel Trice Edney
(TriceEdneyWire.com) – Former Vice President Joe Biden, perceived as an underdog after trailing badly in the Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire and Nevada primaries, made a major comeback Saturday, sweeping South Carolina winning nearly 50 percent of the votes; including a lion’s share of the Black vote.
The South Carolina win blistered every other candidate in the race and set Biden up for numerous new endorsements and a possible rise to the top on Super Tuesday.
“If Democrats want a nominee who’s a Democrat, a lifelong Democrat, a proud Democrat, an Obama-Biden Democrat, join us,” an excited Biden boomed into the microphone in South Carolina. “We have the option of winning big or losing big. That’s the choice.”
He continued, “Talk is cheap. False promises are deceptive, and talk about revolution ain’t changing anyone’s life,” he said in obvious reference to self-described Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders, known for his progressive ideas. “We need real changes, right now. Something I’ve done my whole career, and I’ll do as President. Well, this isn’t an election to spend all our time in a battle for the soul of the Democratic Party. This is a battle for the soul of the United States of America!
The popular Sen. Bernie Sanders who had won New Hampshire and appeared tied with former Mayor Pete Buttigieg in Iowa Caucuses, received only 20 percent of the vote in South Carolina, a piddly number that apparently sent his campaign a stern rejection from the Black community – at least in South Carolina. California billionaire Tom Steyer was third with Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Elizabeth Warren trailing.
Standing beside Biden at the podium was House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), the highest ranking African-American in Congress, who had endorsed Biden days earlier, a move that Biden credited with bringing “me back”. Clyburn encouraged South Carolina voters to vote for Biden, but he was also critical of the lumbering campaign, saying it needed to be retooled. Clyburn also called for other candidates to unite and get behind Biden, who is the only candidate that credible polls have repeatedly said could beat President Donald Trump.
Biden received yet another boost going into Super Tuesday, the day that 14 states hold primaries. Both Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar suspended their campaigns and endorsed Biden. Also former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, once a 2020 contender, threw his support behind Biden. Billionaire Tom Steyer also dropped out of the race, but did not immediately make an endorsement.
The wild card in the race still appears to be Mike Bloomberg, a billionaire who has shown to be weak in debates but strong in purchasing advertising messages that could cut into Biden’s supporters. Bloomberg, having spent $3.5 million with Black newspapers, appear to be aiming for Black voters.
Nevertheless, the exuberant Biden was emboldened by the new wave of support, pointing to 340 other “major endorsements” across the Super Tuesday states. Those states include Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia.
March is a major month for Democratic primaries and caucuses. Following Super Tuesday is Tuesday, March 10 when primaries and/or caucuses will be held in Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, and Washington State. And on Tuesday, March 17 voting will take place in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, and Ohio.
Final primaries take place before the Democratic National Convention is held July 13-16 in Milwaukee.
Each state has a certain number of delegates that goes to the winner.
Clyburn had intentionally aimed to “create a surge” for Biden with hopes that he will be the one to defeat Trump in November.
“We’re trying to create a surge here. There’s going to be 14 states voting on next Tuesday, and we would like to see him go into those 14 states with a big vote out of South Carolina,” Clyburn told CNN. “It would signal to the people down in Texas that Joe Biden is, in fact, surging,” he continued. “I want to see a surge here. I’m not trying to stop anybody. I’m trying to create a surge on behalf of Joe Biden.”
After the South Carolina win, Congressman Bobby Scott of Virginia, also endorsed Biden and former Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond has vowed to step up his advice and strategizing as Biden’s campaign co-chair.
Meanwhile, Biden appears to be running more against Trump than his Democratic contenders.
“I won an incredibly perilous moment as all of you know. Winning means uniting America not sewing more division and anger. It means not only fighting but healing the country. We have to beat Donald Trump and the Republican Party, but here’s the deal. We can’t become like them,” he said in his victory speech. “It’s time for America to get back up. The country is so ready, so ready. Once again, fight for the proposition that we hold these truths to be self-evident. That all men and women are created equal, endowed by the creator with certain inalienable rights. We say it all the time, but we’ve never fully lived up to it. But we’ve never before until this president walked away from it. And it’s the reason why Jim and I and all of us are in this, I believe with every fiber of my being, that all men and women are created equal.”