Local Obama backers join national rally

Barack Obama

Supporters of Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama gathered at Burke High School on Saturday trying to boost numbers for the national "A Million Voices" effort.

Obama backers in all 50 states gathered at noon, and within a half-hour of the starting time more than 200 people of all ages were inside the Burke auditorium listening to speeches from local figures and watching video clips of the candidate in action.

Former Charleston County Democratic Party Chairman Waring Howe Jr. said it is just a matter of time before Obama's nomination rival, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, is pushed aside, starting with Tuesday's Pennsylvania primary.

"A body blow to the HRC campaign will be inflicted," he said.

Obama enjoyed a good start of the weekend. Friday in Philadelphia he was greeted by the largest crowd of his campaign when 35,000 people jammed into Independence Park.

The numbers eclipsed the 30,000 who gathered at the University of South Carolina's football stadium back in December.

At Burke, photo clips of celebrities backing Obama were shown, all of them women. Among them were Caroline Kennedy, Oprah Winfrey and Halle Berry.

"Nothing can stop the Obama train now," added former Charleston County School Board member Diane Aghapour.

Obama dominated the January South Carolina Democratic primary, collecting 55 percent of the turnout to Clinton's 27 percent.

Local Clinton organizer Jovene Milligan said Saturday's effort was designed to boost unity for the candidate and to register supporters.

Some South Carolina Obama volunteers are in other states, working toward the final days, she said.