The Scene in Columbia, S.C.


In breathtaking cold at 10 a.m., a few thousand people marched to (not on) the state capitol building. The majority are African American and many are crying–from the cold. Barack Obama was at the front of the march. A helicopter circles; police are everywhere; sticks to hold up signs are forbidden. More than a few hold Hillary signs.

The "I have a dream" speech played at the Capitol as the crowd arrived; a quartet sang, then a choir. It was warmer in the crowd, though we stood deep in the shade of the Capitol.

Neal Jones of the Unitarian Universalist church delivered an invocation against the war, torture and the "illusion of security."

"Our government has been sold to the highest bidder," he said. Then there was an "amen." "That was a prayer?" asked some women in the audience.

Barack Obama hit the stage, to screams. John Edwards was with him. It’s the young girls who are screaming for him. "Ooh he’s handsome," said one.

The president of the NAACP spoke; Obama sat and chewed gum. "Oh I think Edwards is handsome, he could be a model," said one of the young girls. The president of the NAACP pointed out the statues around the area: "These grounds are a shrine to bigotry," he said.

Cornel West is in the back of the crowd on the stage, in sunglasses.

A little after 11, Edwards and Obama left the stage; Hillary Clinton arrived, with Chelsea.

The Scene in Columbia, S.C.