In the last speech he’ll likely ever deliver as a political candidate, Barack Obama concluded by re-telling an old story from his 2008 presidential campaign about Edith Childs, the South Carolina woman who devised (and surprised him with) the “Fired up, ready to go” chant that became an anthem of his campaign. He noted that his 2012 campaign wanted her along for the last hurrah in Iowa last night. That’s where the story took a turn:
The crowd applauded, but it wasn’t the end of the story “No, no, listen to this. We said, why don’t you come on up; we’ll fly you up from South Carolina and you can do this chant one more time, just for old good-time sake. It’s like getting the band back together again.”
“And you know what Edith said? She said, I’d love to see you, but I think we can still win North Carolina, so I’m taking a crew into North Carolina to knock on doors on Election Day – I don’t have time just to be talking about it. I’ve got to knock on some doors. I’ve got to turn out the vote. I’m still fired up, but I’ve got work to do,” the President said taking great delight in the story.
With NBC News declaring a Mitt Romney victory in North Carolina late Tuesday night, it seems that Ms. Childs’ efforts came up a bit short. While the President did well in the Tarheel State in the counties housing its three urban centers – Charlotte, Winston-Salem, and the state capital of Raleigh – he didn’t do quite as well as he did in 2008.
Per this Washington Post map, in Raleigh’s Wake County – which President Obama won by 15 points four years ago – he only scored a 10-point win tonight. He did a couple points worse this year in Mecklenburg County, home to Charlotte. Winston-Salem’s Forsyth County went for the president by 11 points in 2008; this year, only seven.
He does better there, and he likely takes the state again to pad his eventual overall victory. When North Carolina is contested again in the next election, the president’s 2008 win will have been the only time Democrats captured the state in 40 years.