You're seeing the Palmetto Politics daily newsletter. Receive the latest political news and in-depth analysis from The Post and Courier to your inbox Monday-Friday here.
Who is feeling the Bern? In North Charleston, it was a mostly-white crowd
The doors for the Bernie Sanders rally in North Charleston opened at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, but 19-year-old John Koslosky was waiting outside at 4 p.m.
He wasn't old enough to vote in the 2016 presidential election, but there he was: Standing in the very front row, just feet away from the podium where Sanders would be speaking, and wearing a blue Bernie 2016 T-shirt.
"He's my guy," Koslosky said, leaning on the railing and sharing that he'd driven nearly two hours from Bluffton to see Sanders speak. "Just listening to everything he was saying, I just knew in some way that it resonated with me."
All told, Koslosky was one of about 1,600 people who showed up to hear the senator from Vermont share his vision for the country in his second presidential bid. Koslosky is also white.
Though the event was held in North Charleston, a city where the U.S. Census Bureau estimates African Americans account for roughly 47 percent of the population, the crowd who turned out to "feel the Bern" was overwhelmingly white.
In a city that’s nearly half black in the most diverse of the early primary states, this isn’t what I’d expect the crowd to look like https://t.co/FfFfeRRWcJ— Errin Haines Whack (@emarvelous) March 15, 2019
Want to receive this newsletter in your inbox Monday through Friday? Sign up for free.
The clashing optics: The rally held in the gymnasium of a black church began with four gospel songs, a prayer, and near-prophetic praise for Sanders, who was characterized as a "visionary" and a "man with grace in his heart."
The quote: “Our political revolution is the 21st-century version of the Rainbow Coalition," said former Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner, referencing the Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow PUSH Coalition, a Chicago-based social change group.
Why it matters: The last time Sanders ran for president here in 2016, Sanders not only struggled in South Carolina, he was pummeled. He failed to win over African American voters against Hillary Clinton during the first-in-the-South primary. Clinton won 73 percent of the approximately 370,000 votes cast, winning every county in South Carolina.
Why it still matters: Black voters are a pivotal voting bloc in the South Carolina presidential Democratic primary, accounting for more than 60 percent of voters.
No confidence? Charleston City Council members back colleague for mayor over Tecklenburg
The Charleston mayoral race took a dramatic turn on Wednesday.
Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg is up for re-election this year but he already has three challengers and even more detractors on City Council.
The Post and Courier's Robert Behre notes that Councilman Gary White has become the most recent candidate to join the race. And when he announced his bid on Thursday, he was flanked by six current and former council members.
In other news:
- We now know a little bit more about the $1.5B Mega Millions jackpot winner, but we still don't know her name. Here's what she's planning to do with some of her winnings.
- South Carolina's historic Penn Center was just designated as part of a national park. Now, hopes are higher than ever that Penn will gain recognition nationally as a uniquely important historical site. Read more about the site.
Follow Palmetto Politics on Twitter
AND ONE MORE THING:
Come hang out with us online. The Post and Courier has launched a Facebook group exclusively for our paying subscribers – or what we like to call our Insiders.
In the group, you'll be able to connect directly with journalists like me, ask questions about stories, get customer service help, find out about upcoming events, and more.
For example, right now we've got a neat conversation going about what kind of role social media should play in political discourse. Come tell me your thoughts, and let's connect. And, don't forget: You can always send me tips, questions, and feedback by replying to any Palmetto Politics newsletter. If you're not a paying subscriber yet, click here for our current specials.
Did your smart, politically engaged friend forward you this email? Subscribe here.
Craving more? Check out the rest of the Post and Courier newsletters.