January 16th, 2008
12:30 PM ET
14 years ago

Gergen: The political ground shifting underfoot

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/16/art.gergen.cnn.jpg caption= "CNN Senior Political Analyst David Gergen."](CNN) - From about 30,000 feet, here's what the political landscape looks like to me today, just after Michigan and the Democratic debate in Nevada:

- The terrain for the general election is moving even more strongly in the Democrats' favor. With results in from four states, Republicans have at least four - arguably five - candidates bunched together at the top - each one of whom can win the nomination but no one of whom inspires all the party faithful. That's not a promising scenario for a party whose strength on election day has depended heavily upon an army of excited volunteers. Meanwhile, Democrats are choosing between two candidates, each of whom can win and can also rally the party in November.

Read Gergen's complete analysis over at the AC 360 Blog!


Filed under: David Gergen
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. Teacher

    From the looks of his eyes he must have been playing Texas Holdem Poker with Carl Rove again last night.lol

    January 16, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  2. Bill, Manhattan, NYC

    Don't ask, don't tell." For all facts and purposes, it has been repealed. Just ask the many general officers who have directed their subodinates to not make an issue of this.

    Rightly so; because the generation under 40 are much more tolereant of the reality of gay people. As a matter of fact, the extraordinary amount of baby boomers becoming senior citizens is mind boggling.

    After this election the aged will have little or no influence over the political process. Those in my generation will "take over" and watch out what might be done to the Social Security, etc. of the bigoted generation who has gone before us.

    January 16, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  3. Amused, Las Vegas

    from mike January 16, 2008 1:15 pm ET

    "David,
    This has been a devastating campaign from the Clinton's point of view....."

    It keeps getting lost in the shuffle that both the Edwards and the Obama campaigns asked their supporters to come out and vote "uncommitted".

    They did not ignore the state and let the chips fall where they may, the uncommitted votes were specifically solicited. Edwards and Obama intentionally withdrew from the election, then changed their minds.

    55-57% of the voters (depending on which report you read) came out specifically to vote for Clinton. Only about 40% came out to vote specifically to vote for Obama and Edwards combined.

    That pretty much amounts to a landslide.

    January 16, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  4. Freedom Fighter

    Having Gergen as a political pundit shows that your company has no class.

    Ron Paul for the win...

    January 16, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  5. JAM

    David,
    I wish more of the contributors at AC360 would post to The Ticker because the moderators at AC360 only post 4 or 5 comments of the same people multiple times daily. I don’t know about anyone else, but I enjoy reading a variety of opinions, not just the views of the same 4 or 5 people over and over again that is why I have come over to The Ticker and I rarely comment to AC360 anymore because it is a waste of my valuable time.

    I agree that some of the CNN anchors and contributors seem biased in favor of Obama, but you have spoken favorably about Ms. Clinton on many occasions. You always seem fair to all of the candidates.

    I am in complete agreement that although some of the candidates would be fine for “average times” none of them are up to the challenges 2009 will bring and that is frightening. Personally, I am beginning to panic because there is not one candidate out there that I have complete confidence in. I am very worried for this country.

    January 16, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  6. M.K. Kilgore

    If the black community deserts the Clinton's and cast their votes for Obama,They might put themselves in a bad situation if Hillary is elected. No one has addresed the blacks problems more than Bill and Hillary with the possible exception of L.B.J. and his civil rights law. The Republicans will not wholeheartily support the black population for fear of losing the Southern white vote that they gained after Kennedy and Johnson turned their backs on them, and the Democrats might discover they can get elected without them. these are a lot of iffs to consider, however this is a possibility I beieve could transpire. M.K. Georgia

    January 16, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  7. Jen, Cedar Falls, IA

    TO Mary from Michigan, Gergen ALSO worked for Clinton! Get a clue!

    January 16, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  8. Ben Dover

    Mr. Gergen:
    You, sir, are wrong. Our dislike for Hillary is plenty of motivation!

    January 16, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  9. Kay, Las Vegas, NV

    E. J. Neila:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! Well said...just wish people were listening...

    January 16, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  10. Mary, Michigan

    Ah, Jen, I acknowledged that (in a later post). I have a clue. Gergen put aside his personal political affiliation to work in the Clinton administration.

    January 16, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  11. veronica

    Mr. Gergen
    I enjoy your commentary, and find you to be rather fair over the years. I hope that continues!
    Hillary was amazing last night on the debate. She is so knowledgeable, it's really incredible.
    I look forward to voting for this highly intelligent and qualified woman. The other two Democrats are also smart, but she has such strength on all the issues.
    I believe she will be very strong for our country around the world.
    I always enjoy hearing what you have to say, Mr. Gergen.

    January 16, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  12. Tom St. Louis

    Hey Jen in Cedar Falls,

    Mary in Michigan posted a short time later to explain that she hit enter too quickly.

    Try reading all the posts!

    January 16, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  13. Adam, Sacramento

    Poll republicans,

    Ask them how excited they would be to vote against Clinton, Obama and Edwards.

    Republicans don't have to inspire turnout if the opposition does.

    Likewise their guy is going to have to run what for 60 days september and october after their convention. Do we get the religious conservative, Mr. 9/11, Mr. Straight Talk, Mr. Businessman.

    And are they facing Mrs Washington DC or Mr. Inspiration or albeit unlikely Mr. Crusader.

    I'm a dem and honestly after senator clintons evershifting iraq position there is zero chance I'll vote for her. I'ld rather a republican own the next four years and the damage managing our economy in that period will bring to a party. Bush Sr knew he had to raise taxes and did despite it causing him the next election. Does hillary have the courage to do whats right and sacrifice her career? Her evershifting position on iraq makes me believe she doesn't even know what she believes is right. Only Giuliani could make me vote for her and even then I'ld probably go third party.

    January 16, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  14. Teacher

    Bill,Manhattan,NYC..................The only problem with your theory is there wont be anything left for you to take over LMAO

    January 16, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  15. SM, Michigan

    Where is the story about Robert Wexler, who introduced Articles of Impeachment against Cheney last night?? Is this not important?

    January 16, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  16. Paul C, Palmetto Bay, FL

    I can only say that with the mess the Republicans have made over the past 7 years they have virtually handed the presidency to the Democrats.
    If the Democrats blow this chance they deserve to be banished to the furtherest reaches of political hackdom.

    January 16, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  17. Jen Cedar Falls, IA

    Mary from Michigan, I have watched David for years and went to hear him speak. He is an ardent Clintonite and when he speaks as though he's not, he is twisting it to appear as though he's unbiased. He is as I said, a Clinton mouthpiece. Fact!

    January 16, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  18. John

    Dear David (Bones man) Gergen, The Democratic & Republican turn outs are the most sgnificant barometer of the mood. Dem turn out up double plus Republican slightly up in some case down in others do you not find this most significant I do.
    If Barack Obam gets the nomination he will take soft Republican votes Independant votes and a missively increased youthful excited Democratic vote especially among the younger voter. If the demographics remain similar throughout this primary phase Obama will absolutely have the best shot at the Presidency.

    January 16, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  19. john williams san diego, ca.

    Gergen has spent too much time at CNN with Begala and Carville..Obama no cred and Hillary has four tongues (depending on which group she is talking to) who is the most devisive candidate ever in her quest for power...

    January 16, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  20. charlotte

    MADE IN CHINA, everything we wear or play with comes from there. I tried to find anything made in the USA. Mission Impossible. I did find one thing assembled in Mexico, with parts from China. Try to by a United States Savings Bond, I couldn't find where to get one, I know they are still been printed, probably in China. Stop selling this country over seas. We are on pretty shakey ground.

    January 16, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  21. Tom Wittmann

    Lets Gergen answer this question:

    What is more important, to inspire or to achieve ?? Mc Cain is highly regarded and
    voted bt republicans, independents and ...Democrats , afro-americans, liberal and
    conservatives. Who else does so ??!!

    January 16, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  22. james, newport, KY

    Mr. Gergen would be remissed not to point out that if either of the two Democrat frontrunners get nominated, the Republicans will be united towards their defeat regardless of its party nominee.
    All the hairsplitting gets put aside in the general election, and pro-life and pro-choice Repubs will unite with Independents to squash Hillbama.

    But thanks anyway, libs at CNN.

    January 16, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  23. AJ, IL

    Obama is the strongest candidate the Democrats have. Edwards presence in the race dilutes Obama's support for the nomination. He has virtually no chance of winning the democratic nomination let alone the presidency. Edwards's six years as senator is riveted with major issues that he has changed positions on. Edwards has never been to Iraq even though he voted for and supported Iraq War. Edwards has voted for No Child Left Behind, voted for Free Trade with China, voted for Yucca Mountain as nuclear waste dump, and Bankruptcy Reform which hurts low income folks. He has since apologized to the American public for voting yes to those major issues, however that is way too many mistakes to be apologizing for after the fact. The Republicans would paint Edwards as a Kerry-reincarnant "flip-flopper" and he would be done.

    Hillary Clinton is tough and prude, but she brings a lot of souveneirs and a lot of baggage. The main pro for her is that she has Bill Clinton on her side. The main con for her is that she has Bill Clinton on her side. I won't even go into the Clinton baggage of the past 7 yrs let alone the 1990s scandals. There is just too much ammunition. Many Americans think they know all about the Clinton scandals, but they don't. For instance most Americans don't realize that Bill Clinton was advising the middle east country of UAE in their quest to buy seaport operations in America. Once talk radio and the America got ahold of this, there was a very nasty public backlash. This is just of one the bullets the Republicans have against Hillary and Bill. Yes the Republicans know that to take on Hillary they will have to take on Bill.

    January 16, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  24. charlotte

    MADE IN CHINA, everything we wear or play with comes from there. I tried to find anything made in the USA. Mission Impossible. I did find one thing assembled in Mexico, with parts from China. Try to by a United States Savings Bond, I couldn't find where to get one, I know they are still been printed, probably in China. Stop selling this country over seas. We are on pretty shakey ground

    January 17, 2008 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  25. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    The Hillary haters are a hoot!
    If she wins and becomes President she could take the nation back to peace and prosperity. But that wouldnt be enough. Just like the Bill haters never let up long enough to see what good shape the country was in during his presidency, the Hillary haters will do the same.

    January 17, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
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