August 26th, 2008
10:24 PM ET
10 years ago

Gergen: The past vs. the future

Mark Warner delivers the keynote address during the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

Mark Warner delivers the keynote address during the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

A moment ago, I had an opportunity to offer some views on air about Mark Warner's keynote address - always a privilege to be here on CNN. While no barn burner - so it probably didn't play well in the hall - and offering almost no red meat, I thought it was actually very effective because it introduced some fresh thinking about the future, offering hope that we can work our way out of this economic mess. Politics has too often dismissed the importance of technology, science and education.

Just after, Alex Castellanos turned to the rest of us here on the NY panel to say that if this becomes a race about the past vs. the future, the Democrats might have a much better chance of winning. I think he is right on target. We so much need as a people to move beyond the arguments of the past in finding the best path to the future.

I have been a critic of the convention choreography for a lot of the past two nights. But I join others in saluting a party that helps us to face the future and tries to draw upon the talents of all Americans, not just a favored some.

soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. what.

    I can't believe Bill Clinton had the audacity to come in the room mid speech, start talking to everyone and hugging everyone, even Duval Patrick looked annoyed. That guy really has some nerve.

    I wonder how much he paid that black guy to sit next to him.

    August 26, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  2. Sandy

    Watch on PBS or CSPAN and blog on the ticker. Avoid all the CNN SPIN/Tabloid like stuff.

    August 26, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  3. brian

    Warner was fantastic. This is how politics should be, and this is how Obama won the nomination. Spot on, Gergen.

    August 26, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  4. John in Binghamton NY

    WOW shocking!

    If you look at the GOP PAST they would lose???????

    Gee, you think people would understand how bad these 8 years have been and get it through their thick heads McCain is GOP and McCain and the GOP made this mess.

    August 26, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  5. Matt B

    I think it is simpler than that.

    If you are happy with course the nation has taken the past eight years, then vote for McCain.

    If you see the past eight years as a negative (skyrocketing fuel and grocery prices, shrinking jobs and wages, etc.) then consider Obama.

    August 26, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  6. Tori, Oregon

    I can't handle any more negative or else I will need anti depressents. WE NEED POSITIVE!!!!!

    August 26, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  7. Sandi from Ada, MI

    Thank you!

    I couldn't agree more.

    Americans would be better off if we had much less "red meat"...Barack Obama's convention is appealing to our hearts and our minds...well done!

    August 26, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  8. Mike O'Brien

    To: David Gergen.., first night of the DNC was boring ! Is it time to go channel surfing ? If Senator Hillary Clinton does "not" get things going with her speech.., I will be going channel surfing. Question: What's with the story (or headlines) that President Bill Clinton will "not" be at the Senator Barack Obama's acceptance speech on Thursday ? What's with this ? What kind of a message does this send to the DNC and the american people ?

    August 26, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  9. sacto joe

    The Dems have it right on energy: As was just said, "the best barrel of oil is THE ONE YOU DON'T USE!

    It's called conservation, folks. It's the heart of Senator Obama's approach, and it's as intelligent as Senator McCain's approach is downright dumb.

    August 26, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  10. Monica

    The Montana Governor isn't doing it for me. I'm hitting mute alot. Do Dems want to inspire or annoy?

    August 26, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  11. Sandy

    If we want red meat, Gergen, we'll humble ourselves and ask our rich republican neighbors to give us some hamburger.

    Shut up.

    August 26, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  12. Jane T

    Mark Warner is wonderful! I live in VA where he was governor and he was incredible. Got the state out of a big jam that the former governor left for him. I'm glad he took the high road and did not trash McCain – because McCain is a much better candidate for President than Obama will ever be.

    August 26, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  13. Michael


    You are by far the voice of reason on CNN. I am really impressed with your professionalism and integrity. Please rub off on your colleagues who are drama queens at times.

    Agreed that Warner's speech was excellent.

    August 26, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  14. Wisconsin

    Bill Clinton is alive and well at the DNC convention. CNN was to excited to be drama queens and not reporters.

    August 26, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  15. wanbligi

    Oh my, Dave Gergen, CNN Analyst, I am very much taken aback by your good yet anti-negative fashion this day about the Dem convention. Either you had a good night rest, or someone offered you a huge tip under the table.

    They say we learn something new everyday in life and I can be a big fan of that by saying that David Gergen did not this article act like Don Rickles and steal the spotlight of the convention with his usual negativeness against Democrats.

    I quit on that note, but thanks Gergen for a positive.

    August 26, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  16. Tom in VA

    Although I never thought I would particularly care what a governor from Montana said, I was completely taken by what Brian Schweitzer just did out there. This guy was absolutely fantastic.

    August 26, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  17. Raymond Duke

    Gergen give it a break. If socialism is the future I will take the past. But that is not what I wanted to comment on. That democrat from montanna who is speaking now right before Hillary is to make her speech was criticing McCain's plan for drilling. Montanna is booming because of drilling . It is doing better economically than ever and he acts like he does not want no drilling in Montanna. I say that when John McCain wins he should give that governor his wish and shut down the drilling in montanna and watch montanna's economy go to heck. He will not be voted in for the next term.

    August 26, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  18. Jenni

    This election has always been about the Past vs. the Future. It's about time someone on TV realized that...

    ...and would someone please tell the commentators that everyone under 35 is not foolish and unreliable, that being over 50 does not automatically make one "wise"? My vote is just as powerful as that of my elders, and my vote will be for Obama/Biden!

    August 26, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  19. Michelle

    Here is one important point about the past:

    Ted Kennedy, 1000 delegates behind Carter, was permitted a full and proper roll call vote after making his case to be nominated.

    August 26, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  20. Michael

    My god, the CNN coverage of the convention is pathetic. Such a disappointment. 5 and half hours of pundits talking about the same thing over and over and over again. Making issues out of nothing in order to fill dead-air.

    I can't wait to see if the same thing happens at the Republican convention.

    August 26, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  21. thoughts on McCain

    Not a maverick but a SIDE KICK!


    August 26, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  22. Mike

    A night or two of joy for the dummycrats? Let them enjoy it! They have already lost this election.

    August 26, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  23. Trasa, Texas

    I agree, it is about the past vs future. Although we draw our experiences and strength on the past, but we do as a nation need to move forward and be better than ourselves and be a better country and provide the best to the American people. Obama and others are trying to look ahead which I find most don't think about. They only live in the here and now, which is good, but you don't have to think about what you leave behind. Change will be difficult for some, so they won't be on aboard, they don't like risk, they want certainty, but the truth is there are none in life.

    August 26, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  24. KenB, MI

    you gotta love Hillary...I know I'm off topic here...but you just gotta.

    August 26, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |

    I believe both parties need to stop all the name calling,and mud slinging because at the end of this election either Mcain or Obama is going to be President of the US Faults and all. We will never never find a president in this world with out faults ,because we are all humans and none of us are perfect and never will be, and thats a proven fact.


    August 26, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
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