♪ ♪ (heart beating) KLEPPER: South Carolina
is the first place black Democratic voters will really be heard
in this primary. So I hitched a ride to the
historic city of Charleston. Here I noticed something. No, it wasn’t
the antebellum cosplay, It was the ads
that candidates were running. They all seemed to feature
a familiar face. OBAMA:
This is an extraordinary man with an extraordinary career. Elizabeth understands
what I strongly believe. Mr. Michael Bloomberg is here. So it seems like a lot
of white folks think standing next to a cool black
person gives them legitimacy. But is it effective? Let’s ask my good friend
Roy Wood Jr. I know why you brought me here. We’re in your hometown,
South Carolina. I’m from Alabama. We’ll fact-check that. So Roy and I happily went
to Charleston to see if voters noticed the
Democrats’ brilliant strategy. Have you seen the ads? Yeah, I’ve seen the ads. It looks
like Obama’s running again. All of them have
these commercials now with-with, uh, them and
Obama saying stuff about ’em. It’s just the candidate with,
like, African Americans. Your stance cannot be what Obama
did eight years ago. We-we want someone
that’s gonna be, I-I feel, -in that sense, authentic.
-Every day, when you wake up, -you want a candidate, above
all things, -Exactly. Right. -who cares about you.
-You. Yes. And if you… And has, like, a good picture
with Barack Obama. -Right. But– No.
-No. He think that black people
like the white people that got a picture with Obama. -I never said that. (stammers)
-That’s what you said. -The term I used is
“African American.” -Listen, you can’t ride
on Obama’s coattail. We not– That’s not how we vote. Which candidate has
the best OPV? Break that down. Obama… proximity… value. The closer you are to Obama,
the more black people like you. That’s a funny question, because I personally never
even considered that. Who’s got the best OPV? Black people don’t care about
white people in ads with Obama. I don’t know, ’cause everybody
running an ad with Obama in it -right now. I’m just saying.
-That’s what I’m saying. On behalf of black people, this is what black people want
to see. They want to see how close… How do you know
what black people… I spend a lot of time
around black people. -WOOD: You hang with me.
-Well, he’s at a table with three black people
right now. You got to give -a brother credit.
-Thank you very much. But even Roy recognizes
the power of proximity. This is a picture of me
with Barack Obama. If you look closely, that’s Obama, and that’s me
all the way over there. -Is that technically even
the same room? -Yes! -It’s the same–
That’s-that’s Trevor. -Wow. And there’s a bunch of white
people and then there’s me. Are these, like, interns?
These are Daily Show interns -in between you and Obama.
-Those are producers and writers. Those are
respected people on the show. That’s an– that’s an intern. He-he worked on The Daily Show
for a month, max. It just looks like you
was just thrown in as a prop. It does look like that.
She is 100% right. -You look like a prop. No. -I’m
not a prop. I’m an employee. -I understand that. But…
-This is everybody that works -at The Dai… -Well,
I’m just saying how you look. You look like they, you know,
tokenizing you in that picture. All right. South Carolina
voters are not easily duped by the slick political
advertising strategy of “my one black friend.” But who was breaking through? WOMAN:
I do particularly like Biden. We need health care, and Elizabeth is gonna
get that done. Well, for me, um,
definitely Tom Steyer. I’m talking about equality.
We talk… Wait. What you said?
What you said his name was? Tom? -What’s his name?
-Steyer. -Tom Steyer?
-Yeah. Tom Steyer has a message that resonates
and connects, uh, with people. Do I follow my heart and vote for somebody like…
even Tom Steyer? -I like… I like Tom Steyer.
-I mean, Tom Steyer. Who is Tom Steyer?! -I-I… -Tom Steyer is saying
some good shit! Who the (bleep) is he?!
I’ve-I’ve never heard of him! I don’t know. The words you’re
saying makes no sense to me. KLEPPER: Turns out this
mythical beast spent more money on ads in South Carolina
than anyone else. And Steyer’s commercial doesn’t even have Obama
endorsing Steyer. It has Obama endorsing a woman. I heard this voice behind me. Her name is Edith Childs. KLEPPER:
Who then endorses Steyer. CHILDS:
Tom’s fired up, and Trump got to go. I’m Tom Steyer, and I approve this message. KLEPPER:
To find out more about Steyer, we went to South Carolina
Congressman James Clyburn who recently endorsed
the candidate with the highest O.P.V.–
Joe Biden. Well, you know, Steyer came in. He’s-he’s made it dicey. He’s made it dicey.
In what way? Well, he’s spending millions. Mm-hmm. Money will make things dicey. He’s running second
or third in South Carolina now. It’s what… -John Steyer is running third?
-It’s Tom. -Tom.
-Tom? -Tom Steyer.
-Tom Steyer? -Yeah.
-I think. It’s Tom, right? Tom. KLEPPER:
So Roy and I decided it was time
to go see the candidates, like Biden and Warren and… Tom… Steyer? Tom? -Tom. -Thank you.
-That’s his name? All right. Appreciate that.
You get the check. KLEPPER: It was inspiring
to see candidates engaged with the voters
of South Carolina. And finally, in a little church
outside of Charleston, we got to see the Tom Steyer,
and while Steyer is just a blip
nationally, he does have
some intriguing ideas. I think I’m the only person running for president who’s
for reparations for slavery. (murmuring, applause) And why is that true? ‘Cause I want to tell the truth. -Tom Steyer! -(laughing)
-Tom Steyer. -You’re Tom Steyer. -Tom Steyer.
-You guys are so excited. -You’re Tom Steyer.
-That’s Tom Steyer. -What’s up, you guys?
-Tom… We know this election could go
a lot of different ways, and in case it doesn’t go
the way you want it to go… -(laughs) -…can I get
an advance on my reparations? (Steyer laughs loudly) I’m not…
I’m not laughing. -Let me put it to you
this way. -I’m for real. KLEPPER: These Democratic
candidates are fired up, ready to go. We are sure that was Tom Steyer? Wait. That wasn’t Tom Steyer? KLEPPER:
I’m pretty sure. 70%. (cheers and applause)