It’s history now, the South Carolina primary, that is. Barack Obama trounced “Mrs. Inevitable” Clinton and “Home State Johnny” Edwards in that southern state on Saturday, reigniting his campaign and making his chance at winning the Democratic nomination even better than before. And while the Obama campaign celebrated their victory, the Clinton campaign could only wonder what went wrong.

I’ve got an idea though, and it’s something that I’ve said before. There is a fundamental difference between the campaign of Clinton and Obama, but you have to listen carefully to really hear it. It’s not so much in their policy ideas- both want to help average Americans with health care and the economy; they both talk about developing energy independence and protecting the environment; they both talk about schools and jobs and retirement concerns. And with some minor detail differences, it’s tough to distinguish one message from the other. But there is an overriding difference, and that difference could make all the difference in the world.

The difference is simple- in speech after speech, Clinton’s main focus is what she will do for you. Take a look at her pre-State of the Union remarks today and you will find a whole lot of “I believe this” and “I will do that.” Clinton is so ensconced in the politics of one doing it all for the many that she is missing the driving force behind the Obama candidacy, and the force that is energizing voters in ways not seen in decades. That force is the simple inclusion of us all.

Obama, after his win in South Carollina took some time to thank supporters and stump for the next big contest. Take a peek– notice the almost near absense of the word “I”? Instead, Obama talks about what WE can do, things WE can fix, change WE can make. Obama knows that America is tired of the special interests that tie politicians to corporations, leaving out the American people. We are tired of politics that make the politician and their sinuous ties to corporate money the most important piece of the puzzle. We are finished with the pay to play mentality that all of DC is immersed in. We are ready for a real change, and Obama alone is talking the talk that puts average Americans at the front of that change.

Look, I’m no fool. I know that the kind of change Obama presents won’t magically occur when Obama take the oath of office. That would be but the start. Once elected, he would still face the same intransigent system he is railing against. But is he used his office effectively, and the bully pulpit as well, he could ask the American people to continue the change they began and turn out all the politicians who won’t evolve. He could energize the voters to put new people in place who would feel the need to change the corruption so endemic to our national politics. And to do that, he needs all of us- the “we” he speaks of so much.

Change will not come to American politics unless American voters fight for it and toss the bums out who insist on keeping things as they are. Hillary Clinton’s campaign focus on herself and her abilities is just more of the same- big brother politics that say Americans can’t handle the tasks of government without the “pro’s” running the show. Well Hillary- we’ve seen how badly the “pro’s” have screwed things up. It’s time for a change. And Obama is the only one offering the kind of change we really want and need. The difference between old politics and new politics is easy to spot when you know what to look for. See if you can tell the difference yourself…

From Hillary:

“If you will stand with me, if you here in Connecticut will support me on
February 5th, I promise you that I will get up every single day and wage a
winning campaign against whomever the Republicans nominate.I’ve been up against
Republicans for a very long time now. I was thinking the other day, wouldn’t it
be nice if they just announced that they were embarrassed about what happened to
the country and they weren’t going to run for the White House again? Somehow I
don’t think that is going to happen. I think we will have to wage a vigorous and
winning campaign. Since I have been on the receiving end of their incoming fire
for all of these years and much to their dismay, I am still standing here, I
think I know how to take us to victory in November.”

From Obama:

“Yes, we can heal this nation. Yes, we can seize our future. And as we leave
this great state with a new wind at our backs, and we take this journey across
this great country, a country we love, with the message we’ve carried from the
plains of Iowa to the hills of New Hampshire, from the Nevada desert to the
South Carolina coast, the same message we had when we were up and when we were
down, that out of many we are one, that while we breathe we will hope, and where
we are met with cynicism and doubt and fear and those who tell us that we can’t,
we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of the American
people in three simple words: Yes, we can. “

Now ask yourself this question: Do you want a government that views you as a partner or one that views you as a dependent. Because that is the real difference between these two candidates. And that is what you need to think about.

(cross posted at Bring It On!)