After an incredibly close New Hampshire primary, garnering the support 37 percent of Democratic participants, Barack Obama takes his campaign south and west, turning his attention to the contests in South Carolina and Las Vegas.
In a stirring speech, with a thunderous crowd chanting "Yes we can!" Obama reinforced his belief that the country can move toward change by realizing that we have more in common than our politics might suggest. “You made it clear in this moment and this election there is something happening in America," Obama said. "We are ready to take this country in a fundamentally new direction.” He praised his competitors, calling them both patriots who have served their country well.
Without a doubt, tonight's victory was a must win for Hillary Clinton, offering valuable life support to a campaign that seemed on its last legs just days ago. After launching a three day mud-slinging assault on Obama, the Clinton camp pulled out a narrow victory. Following her disappointing third place finish in Iowa, another loss in New Hampshire would have put her at an incredible disadvantage heading into the next phase of the primaries. With 88 percent of precincts reporting, Obama was only 2 points behind Clinton, assuring that his momentum and front runner status remains intact.
Both campaigns face the challenge of rallying the African-American vote in South Carolina. With Obama faring so well in two overwhelmingly white states, previously doubtful voters have fresh evidence of the Illinois Senator's viability in the general election.
I want to take this opportunity to thank all of the participants in the New Hampshire primary for their passion and enthusiasm in this truly historic election year.