2008 Vote: Candidates honor King in SC

Obama, Clinton and Edwards warmly welcomed
January 21, 2008 3:15:07 PM PST
Polls show Illinois senator Barack Obama leading the field in South Carolina, a state he needs to win to remain a co-frontrunner with Clinton after losing contests in Nevada and New Hampshire.The Democratic presidential contenders spoke warmly of Martin Luther King Jr. - and sometimes of each other - on Monday's national holiday honoring the slain civil rights leader.

In a ceremony on the steps of the state Capitol, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards addressed an annual King Day rally sponsored by the NAACP. Five days before South Carolina's primary, the first this year in which black voters will play a significant role, thousands of people stood shivering in the cold to hear the speeches. Many held signs in support of one or another of the candidates.

Obama won the loudest and most enthusiastic reception, but Clinton and Edwards were also warmly welcomed. Polls show the Illinois senator leading the field in South Carolina, a state he needs to win to remain a co-frontrunner with Clinton after losing contests in Nevada and New Hampshire.

Clinton recalled hearing King speak in Chicago when she was a teenager, and implored voters to realize his vision of racial and economic equality by voting in Saturday's primary.

"The dream is nowhere fulfilled," she said. "Now we are called to rise up, speak up and finally get it done."

Clinton and Edwards both also praised Obama's pioneering candidacy. "To be able to be on the stage in my native state with an extraordinary and talented young man who's running for the presidency of the United States and is African-American makes me so proud of my state," Edwards said.


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