And THAT is VERY important….
“Why is South Carolina important?” said Jaime Harrison, a former chair of the state Democratic Party. “It’s important because it’s the first state that these candidates will get an opportunity to vet their message with a population that reflects the heart of the Democratic Party, which is African-Americans and specifically African-American women.”
Booker and Sanders are scheduled to be back-to-back speakers at the state capital’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day rally. But Booker has been branded as the main attraction at the event, an indication of his popularity in the state — local Democratic leaders say the grassroots is excited to hear him speak. Both senators will also attend a prayer service and march to the statehouse.
A 60-second promotional radio ad features sound bites of Booker delivering a fiery address. The narrator mentions him by name three times, and the spot says Booker will bring “his message of hope” to Columbia.
Representatives from the South Carolina NAACP said they invited Booker to attend the rally because of his education advocacy. He has a long record of supporting charter schools, which has put him at odds with some in the party — Sanders himself has criticized “privately controlled” charters. The theme of this year’s event is “Education First: Illuminating the Path to Change.”
The nonpartisan group also extended invitations to South Carolina Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott. Graham’s office didn’t respond, according to the state NAACP, and Scott was unable to attend due to a scheduling conflict.
Sanders‘ appearance is a sign of his determination to make his second run different than his first and a recognition of the challenges ahead. When Sanders visited South Carolina in October of last year, some local Democrats said he’d be better off staying home: His progressive brand, they argued, would hurt the party in a general election in a state dominated by Republicans…..