August 27th, 2008
11:10 PM ET
6 years ago

Clyburn: The country has taken a 'giant step'

Rep. James Clyburn spoke Wednesday night at the Democratic National Convention.
Rep. James Clyburn spoke Wednesday night at the Democratic National Convention.

(CNN)– He gave a well received speech at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday night, but Rep. James Clyburn told CNN he had difficulty talking about the historic meaning behind the official
nomination of Sen. Barack Obama.

"It's a very emotional thing for me," Clyburn told CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. "It's hard to explain what it really means. It means though that this party has taken a step that will help this nation get behind it, one of those things that have impeded our progress for a long
long time.”

Clyburn, the House Majority Whip and the most powerful African-American in Congress said Obama's nomination has brought back memories of his parents and his childhood, growing up during the civil rights movement of the 1950's and 60's.

"I really flashback to sitting in a jail cell," The South Carolina native admitted, adding he wasn't sure the struggles he endured then to bring about equality for African-Americans would ever have a "beneficial impact."

"It came to me this afternoon that we did in fact succeed it in starting a journey that still is not completed...[but] tomorrow night will get us much closer to a more perfect union,” he also said.

Clyburn remained neutral during the Democratic primary and officially endorsed the Illinois senator on June 3.

soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Obama/Biden

    It is ridiculous what the republican had done to this country in eight years. Coming from economics surplus from Bill Clinton to deep debt to China. This republican government is handing their white plate over to China and begging to barrow money from them. This has never been the US. Most of the time it always been the other way around. We are the one that used to lend money to the world.
    These republican think that they have not done enough to the country and try to scare you away from a chance to take our country back. No way, No how, No McCain.

    August 28, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  2. Proud Democrat

    I never thought I would live to see this day. Not only is this the United States of America...this is the United Citizens of America! This was a beautiful day I will remember for the rest of my life!

    August 28, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  3. Dean

    I just read some news reports about campaign volunteers 'hammering away at their laptops' to counter the Democrat message. This seems to jive with my impression that a great number of the respondents on these blogs are simply campaign staffers 'hammering their message'. No wonder a huge percentage of them have replies on *every* blog post!!!

    Think about it people! Don't be led by the nose. Think for yourselves!

    August 28, 2008 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  4. Dmitriy

    All this talk about Clinton's years of prosperities just remind me of nasty attacks by Obamabots like Jim Clyburn calling former President Bill Clinton a racist and telling him to chill.

    August 28, 2008 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  5. kebba keita

    This is wonderful.Everybody is please and proud of USA. But wait till next week when repubs have theirs-hate, division, unsubstantiated accusations and lies

    August 28, 2008 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  6. Peter

    This historic moment happened because Clyburn of South Carolina accused Bill Clinton of making racist remarks, causing Hillary to lose black support before the primary. Clyburn owes Bill Clinton a public apology. I resent the manner in which you treated the Clintons.
    Now every politican knows not to talk about race and what words not to use. However, discussions of race has been driven underground and spoken only in private.

    August 28, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  7. paul in atlanta

    My mother was pregnant pushed down by Sheriff Bull Connor during the 1963 Voter's Registration March at Kelly Ingram Park.

    TODAY SHE CALLED ME AND CRIED!!! It really Happened....and I GET TO SHARE THIS WITH MY CHILDREN AND MY MOTHER!

    I AM PROUD TO SERVE MY COUNTRY IN DESERT STORM!!!

    TODAY I AM PROUD TO BE AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN VETERAN

    THANK YOU AMERICA

    August 28, 2008 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  8. J

    Obama is not qualified or electable. It does not matter if he's black, brown, purple or green, he's just not Presidential material. Period.

    The Dems have nominated the wrong candidate(s). Obama-Biden is a losing ticket. Hillary should be the nominee, she's the strongest, most qualified and most electable candidate. Women and the country have been wronged in 2008 by the DNC corrupt, undemocratic process.

    August 28, 2008 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  9. Phil Newton from Murphy, Oregon

    This is what we see when we have been to the mountain.

    A great night. A great night.

    OBAMA-BIDEN 08

    August 28, 2008 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  10. Desmond Sequeira

    OBAMA will truly be an All American President!

    August 28, 2008 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  11. good morning iraq

    He remained neutral? You've got to be kidding me. Anyone who heard anything he said could tell he backed Obama or they were total idiots. I have nothing against a black nominee for President but not this one. Colin Powell I would vote for in a heart beat. Sorry this Dem will be voting for McCain. Colin Powells silence on his choice has only deepened my respect for him. Washington has to be changed from the inside, Obama hasn't been around long enough to know the inside like Hillary does. She could have gotten more done than he will be able to. What a wasted opportunity for our country.

    August 28, 2008 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  12. neocon, not republican

    I don't care what the word says, McCain and Bush are not republicans... they are neo-conservatives that spend like modern liberals but preach conservative tactics... it's a total failure...

    for about the 100000000000th time, when you are upset at the party, be specific, because it gets the small government, fiscally responsible members upset...

    August 28, 2008 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  13. Mark

    democrats for McCain !! were for McCain all the way now!!!!

    August 28, 2008 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  14. jon

    usa 111111111111111111111 the world sees it

    August 28, 2008 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  15. Art H

    I keep hearing the canard that this fellow Clyburn "remained neutral during the primary". He was one of the most covert supporters of Obama, without actually declaring his support. He was the one who truly pummeled Bill Clinton's reputation among the African American community.

    African American journalists like Suzanne Malveaux of CNN, have been overtly and covertly propping up Obama, right from the onset of the primary campaign while dissing Hillary Clinton at every opportunity she gets. Personally, every time I see Suzanne come to provide some "news" on the campaign, I turn the channel, since I prefer hearing "news" from journalists than fan talk.

    August 28, 2008 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  16. Pru McDonald

    WOW!!! Tonight was so great as to be scary!!! As Nana Pru to my four grandchildren, it's unbelievable to allow myself to be hopeful again about this country!

    August 28, 2008 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  17. Michigan Born & Educated

    Wasn't this guy on the lynching team, trying to paint Bill Clinton as a racist. None of us are fooled by this convention in the Great Lakes. Our entire family is voting for Sen. McCain.

    August 28, 2008 01:50 am at 1:50 am |
  18. Allan

    It was a very emotional day for all Americans of good conscience, open minds, and big hearts. So much of which to be proud.

    August 28, 2008 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  19. Jim

    I've taught college history and also had the moving experience of visiting Ellis Island, where my grandparents came from Poland 100 years ago. I agree Obama's nomination is a huge milestone in our history and a reason for all us to be very proud.

    The Bush/Cheney/McCain policies have ruined our reputation abroad – ask anyone who travels overseas. Still, we are capable of doing amazing things right – where else could a man like Obama become President?

    August 28, 2008 02:00 am at 2:00 am |
  20. Adrienne

    August 28, King delivered his famous I have a dream speech to an audience gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial.
    What do you think those Columns represent? Hmmm?

    August 28, 2008 02:43 am at 2:43 am |
  21. Joe Jakpa

    I am an African. Nothing amazes me more about America than the American Dream. Sen. Barack Obama is a product of the unimaginable power of that Dream. You see it everywhere in America and you feel it around the globe. Americans can reinvent themselves like no other nation on earth. Americans can dare to believe their Dream and live it. And so Sen. Barack Obama is on the verge of becoming the first African American President of the United States of America because he believes in the American Dream. There so many lessons for African leaders in the Obama phenomenon. If they can give their citizens good education and liberalize access to power by making electioneering process transparent, fair and just we can truly transform this potentially rich continent which, unfortunately, continues to be left behind by the rest of the world.

    August 28, 2008 02:46 am at 2:46 am |
  22. braggingrights

    Just to emphasize your point!:
    The president couldn't skip the opening day of the olympics in China otherwise they could have demanded the borrowed monies with immediate effect!
    Obama/Biden August 28th, 2008 12:19 am ET

    It is ridiculous what the republican had done to this country in eight years. Coming from economics surplus from Bill Clinton to deep debt to China. This republican government is handing their white plate over to China and begging to barrow money from them. This has never been the US. Most of the time it always been the other way around. We are the one that used to lend money to the world.
    These republican think that they have not done enough to the country and try to scare you away from a chance to take our country back. No way, No how, No McCain.

    August 28, 2008 02:59 am at 2:59 am |
  23. Hope LV,NV

    Today was a good day. I am so proud to be part of party that pushed fear and racial scare tactics of the past aside in order to ensure a brighter future. Go Dems!!!!!!

    August 28, 2008 03:07 am at 3:07 am |
  24. Mumba, Helsinki

    Watching from Europe how History is unfolding in the US, I can't help it but shade a tear of pride for what Obama has achieved on behalf of every citizen of the world who dares to dream...

    August 28, 2008 03:10 am at 3:10 am |
  25. Donyelle

    This is history....I can't believe this. I am so proud of our party.
    God Bless America
    Go Democrats!!
    Obama/Biden 08

    August 28, 2008 03:35 am at 3:35 am |
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