Two days before Oprah Winfrey helps Barack Obama pack Columbia's Williams-Brice Stadium, some of John Edwards' supporters wanted to make one thing clear: Not every black South Carolinian will be in the seats.
"We don't need politicians to do publicity stunts or get notoriety because of a star, we need somebody to come and say what you’re going to do about our educational systems and our seniors," Spartanburg City Council member Linda Dogan said today.
Dogan made the comments during a conference call the Edwards' campaign set up with reporters and a half-dozen black supporters.
A campaign spokeswoman said the timing was unrelated to the Obama-Oprah event, or to Democrat Hillary Clinton's endorsement last week by representatives of 50 black church groups in Spartanburg.
"We hope people are going to vote for John Edwards' policies over Barack Obama's celebrity friends," said spokewoman Teresa Wells.
But California labor leader Tyrone Freeman, who was also on the campaign's call, had a different take.
"Let's be very honest," he told reporters. "You all are the reason for the timing because you've given unjust coverage of what's happening. All of us here would do this call every week if we could get your attention and time. It's only now we could get your attention because of the Oprah phenomenon."