Clinton, McCain disclose presidential promises

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Amie Billings knew Monday would be a good day.

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State Sen. Darrell Jackson (left) stands with Democratic presidential hopeful U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, after she spoke at Allen University in Columbia.  Associated Press
Associated Press
State Sen. Darrell Jackson (left) stands with Democratic presidential hopeful U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, after she spoke at Allen University in Columbia.

Either she'd give birth to one daughter, or she'd bring the other, 7-year-old Skylar, to witness Sen. Hillary Clinton's first trip to South Carolina as a presidential candidate.

Labor pains held off for another day.

"When I was growing up, the best you could hope for (as a woman) was to maybe get elected to the Senate one day or to maybe get chosen as a vice presidential candidate," Ms. Billings said, "and so people like Hillary Clinton are just blazing a trail for young girls like her."

The Florence woman didn't have far to travel.

At the request of Mayor Frank Willis, Mrs. Clinton made the town one of three stops in South Carolina on Monday, sandwiching a visit there in between a town-hall style rally with more than 3,000 people in Columbia and a brief appearance at a tribute to Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., in Charleston on Monday night.

Republican hopeful Sen. John McCain of Arizona, meanwhile, was in Sun City, near Hilton Head Island, campaigning on the need for fiscal responsibility in Washington and a winning strategy in Iraq that includes more troops.

"I promise you, if we leave Iraq, (the enemy) will follow us home," Mr. McCain said.

Mr. Willis said that Mrs. Clinton, D-N.Y., called him on Super Bowl Sunday to get his advice on campaigning in the state.

"And I said, 'Ms. Hillary Clinton, you can come to Greenville, or to Columbia, or to Charleston, and you can go to the $1,000-a-plate dinners, but if you want to win in South Carolina, you better come to rural South Carolina,'" he said, drawing applause.

Speaking to about 250 people, Mrs. Clinton focused on fulfilling the "promise of America" in part by establishing a system of universal health care, an energy policy that swaps dependence on foreign oil for a greater reliance on homegrown renewable resources, and an educational system that invests in early childhood education, encourages family involvement in a child's education and makes a college education more affordable and attainable.

"And most of what has to be done is not done by government, but if the government is not on your side, trying to help clear a path, it can get very difficult to get where you want," she said.

Mrs. Clinton comes to South Carolina as the front-runner in the battle for the Democratic nomination for the 2008 presidential race.

According to a USA Today/Gallup poll released Jan. 13, she leads her nearest Democratic opponent, Barack Obama, 40 percent to 21 percent.

Along with former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Mr. McCain is considered a Republican front-runner and is doing particularly well in South Carolina, where he lost the Republican primary to George W. Bush in 2000.

Mr. McCain has won a good amount of the state's Republican political and financial support, including the backing of Attorney General Henry McMaster, a majority of House Republicans and U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham.

On Monday, he blasted Washington politicians for wasteful spending of taxpayers' money, reiterated his support for more troops in Iraq and fielded a number of questions on issues including the flat tax and his support for embryonic stem cell research.

Reach Kirsten Singleton at (803) 414-6611 or

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work for a living
work for a living 02/20/07 - 09:35 am
Mrs. Clinton wants to come to

Mrs. Clinton wants to come to South Carolina and tell us to take our flag on the state grounds down. We don't want to take our flag down as we gave our blood and lives for that flag and we have just as much right to have our heritage as anyone else does. You talk about equality, what about our equal rights. You Mrs. Hilliary are the biggest joke. You go over to Iraq to see our troups and then condem the job they are doing as soon as you get home, stating it a loss. They are over there giving their blood and lives for our country, trying to protect innocent people who have no choice or rather had no choice in freedom. Mrs. Clinton those people over there have just as much right to a free life as we do and you will have to justify your actions to God one day just as everyone else will including your husband. Those people we are defending are God's children as well. How would you like to be an innocent child born to a country that noone was willing to help or fight for. If it weren't for people fighting for us we could have very much been like those helpless people. Do you even believe in God?

OpenMinded 02/20/07 - 11:30 am
I didn't see anything there

I didn't see anything there about taking a flag down. And I also didn't see anybody condeming the job our troops are doing. What I have heard is that their commander in chief shouldn't have assigned the job in the first place and that their efforts are better spent in places like Afghanistan, where we entered a JUSTIFIED war than in places like Baghdad, where we're just handing some people their democracy on a silver platter on the back of an UNJUSTIFIED war. And those people we are over there defending are not God's children. John 1:12 tells us that those who have received Jesus Christ have the power to become sons of God. And last I checked the bulk of Iraqis haven't received Jesus Christ. Praise Jesus for dying for people who don't deserve it, but I don't want our American sons and daughters doing the same. And neither does Hillary. Those people over there have the same right to freedom that our founding fathers did when they stood up and fought for it themselves without waiting on anybody to hand it to them on a silver platter. Those people DON'T have the right to an American handout. And Hillary understands that.

PFLY775 02/21/07 - 03:45 am
You speak as though you were

You speak as though you were there. You weren't there. That was almost 100 years ago. Why are you still harping on something that you probadly know nothing about. It was a waste of innocent lives, as are all wars. Why can't you move to the present. That Flag doesn't represent the state of S.C., it represents a small minority of people who want to live in the past. Get over it. Open your eyes, the world is changing. This is the year 2007. The Iraqi war is a disgrace to this country. We are over there dying for people who can care less about us. All for the greed of certain people who saw this war as a way to milk this their own government out of billions of dollars. Open your eyes, and your mind. This whole conflict didn't start with Iraq.
Our Leader mislead us into believing that, so he could create huge gov't contracts for the very same corporations that helped pave(pay) the way for him to become our leader. Do you read the news? It's as plain as the nose on your face. Forget about the past, that is GONE. If my child must die defending his country, let it be for that and not for the liberty of a people who refused to fight for themselves and still do.

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