January 21st, 2008
09:51 PM ET
10 years ago

Schneider: Obama's post-partisan message

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/21/art.obama2.gi.jpg caption="Will Obama's post partisan approach be enough to win over his party's base?"]

MYRTLE BEACH, South Carolina (CNN) -
Barack Obama is running as a post-partisan - he speaks of building bridges, forging consensus, and moving past red and blue states. It's a very appealing message to many Americans, but can it rally the Democratic base, seething to take on Republicans?

- CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider

Filed under: Bill Schneider
soundoff (371 Responses)
  1. SAM

    Obama can rally the democrates because he is a uniter. Obama did very well and clearly won his debate, Hillary knows by now that whe can no continuously try and explain what an orator has said, only the orator can explain himself. Obama is ready to lead and has the experience to prove it:

    – Was a grassroots community organizer in Chicago beginning in l985, where he became a community organizer with a church-based group seeking to improve living conditions in poor neighborhoods plagued with crime and high unemployment.

    – Attended Harvard and was president of the Harvard Law Review.

    – Project VOTE organizer in 1992, where 120,000 new voters were registered.

    – Worked as a Civil Rights Attorney, fighting for the rights of everyone.

    – Lectured on Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago (for ten Years).

    – Elected to the Illinois State Senate in 1994 (served eight years).

    – Elected to the US Senate in 2004.

    – Was one of few elected officials (Illinois State Senator) who publicly and courageously spoke out (before the Iraq war began); in opposition to the presidential preemptive war powers and the plan to attack Iraq.

    The Clinton campaign is built to divide and detour and conquer, with personal attacks, innuendos and untruths, rather than debating the issues and differences and advantages that may exist. What really bothers me is that the Clintons don't seem to care that their tactics are divisive and detrimental to race relations, well so much for the Clinton’s love of America, race relations and unity, they have proven themselves to be dividers, and the debris of this lands this month during the celebration of Martin Luther Kings celebration month and amidst the pictures on TV of white supremacist walking around in Jena Louisiana with lynches in their hands, yes this day in over 40 years from the Civil Right movement, January 21, 2008.

    Hillary has voted wrong on the war and several different bills, Bill Clinton brought us NAFTA which has caused Americans hundreds of thousands of jobs and is threatening to destroy the middle class. Obama is ready, he has the foresight and knows how to make the right choices for America, Obama is a uniter and can successfully negotiate across the aisles, boarders and oceans of the world, Obama is the one.

    January 21, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  2. Andrew

    He is absolutely right
    He would definitely win McCain
    Everyone forgets hes the David against the Goliath of the Clinton dynasty chasing macnine

    January 21, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  3. David R

    In order to affect positive change, we must engage the entire country, across party lines, across socio-economic lines, across race lines, across gender lines.

    We cannot continue to believe that it is ok to have an "Us vs. Them" mentality and STILL get things done!

    January 21, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  4. Anti Clintons

    Well said tina, I think Obama has something better to offer than the Clinton freak show. I hope he does win the nomination.

    January 21, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  5. Makeba

    I think that it is a grand mistake for any democratic candidate to believe that they can effetely make the change that our country is so desperately seeking by maintaining this "us against them" mentality. I think it is absolutely forward thinking and brilliant that Obama has taken a smart approach to appealing to all sides. This is the only way to establish policies without sacrificing the most important and core elements of issues that must be resolved. As a NYC real estate broker, I completely understand the importance of appealing to both sides (buyer and seller) to come to a "meeting of the minds".

    It is one thing to say that you are going to "do everything you can to continue to fight for the rights and issues of Americans", as Senator Clinton did, and another to actually have a real viable strategic plan for getting things done or coming to a "meeting of the minds" from all parties involved. These are the times we are living in today. We are not just electing a president of the United States but we are electing an individual to represent us in the global market place. This takes a very high level of ingenuity, intelligence, innovation and sometimes compromise. These attributes are innate and not necessarily indicative of someone's experience in the "board room".

    These skills come from wisdom, a high moral and intellectual character, patience and an ability to not allow personal emotions to arise during times of pressure or immediacy. What we don't need is someone who "reacts" to issues, but rather is proactive.

    If Senator Clinton felt the need to react (as she said) to every piece of misinformation or quote printed involving Senator Obama, what can we expect from her in the White House? We as Americans need to ask ourselves if this is what we want for our country.

    I get the sense that over the last decade and a half, the majority of the Senate has taken a sort of "follow suite and status quo" approach to voting on issues-possibly because they did not take the time to review and research thoroughly what they were voting on and the options deduced from their research or perhaps due to the political advantages or disadvantages of doing so.

    I found it very interesting and profound that Senator Obama was able express his ability to be thorough and honest when it comes to voting on issues that will effect us. If voting "present" is better than voting "yes or no" on something that is not clearly and/or effectively presented, then SO BE IT.

    Finally, I think it's unfortunate that the tone of these debates continues to be on the defensive. It is unfair and inappropriate that any candidate feel the need to have to continue to defend their records or positions. If the facts are readily available, then each should already know where the other stands. If incorrect information about candidates is being circulated by any campaigner that individual, in my opinion, should be asked to step down from the race.

    Thank you,


    January 21, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  6. Maria, Houston

    Exactly right, Diamond,

    the only "unity" Clintons will generate is the desire to vote against them. Hillary Clinton shows every day more and more that she cannot make it on her own and her husband is a narcissistic megalomaniac obsessed with himself. His remarks are undignified and desperate attempts to smear opponents at any cost....Clinton slime is unbearable. All that Bill Clinton can inspire is a pity . I voted for his second term holding my nose, I will never make that mistake again. I'll vote for Obama. If he is not nominated, I'll vote AGAINST Clintons.

    January 21, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  7. Vanessa

    Obama is trying to get to point where democrats and republicans can really come together on issues that are affecting us as a whole. Obama embodies a strategy of "Parties working together, Not, an us against them." I

    January 21, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  8. Chaunda

    My first presidential election was in '92 with Ross Perot running as an independent. I was very open to an independent candidate and though I eventually voted for Bill Clinton it was not without considering the whole field. Many independents are interested in Obama but many are not committed to him. The fact is that the democrats can win just fine without independents or republicans if we vote as a party. The problem is we never do. This is the year that that must change.

    People please commit your self to our democratic nominee who ever he or she may be. It is our only chance in the general election.

    January 21, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  9. Truth for America

    Hillary Clinton has admitted that she would continue to accept money from corporate lobbyists. Now is a time for change, vote Barack Obama.

    January 21, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  10. Jim Smith

    Democrats can "take on" the Republicans by fighting their ideas and advancing ours, and we can "take on" Republicans, as in "Welcome aboard! I see that 'enough is enough' sign on your forehead!" My point, obviously, is that there are plenty of Republicans who are sick of Bush and who can't find a worthy candidate from their team. That's why Obama took the extraordinary risk of pointing out (appropriately in Nevada, which has an open caucus system) that Reagan changed the politics of his day by reaching out with new ideas (mostly bad ones: supply side economics, brutal proxy wars against Latin Americans, union busting, environmental degradation, deregulation, and a dangerous nuclear arms race); Obama doesn't want to relive the '80s, he wants to move forward with progressive Democratic ideas and values. I think he's for real, and that he has the smarts and the political skill to do it.

    January 21, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  11. Corey, Maryland

    Obama and Edwards, are the two democratic candidates that can actually win in November. I like Obama more because of the perspective and the ways in which confronts issues. I would like to think that after George Bush, there is no way a republican candidate can win in November, but then I realized that by nominating Hillary is the one way the republicans can win. Please stop supporting a candidate that is just going to give the election to another republican.

    Obama 08!!!

    January 21, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  12. Henry

    I believe that it is ridiculous for us to want candidates to present specific plans with numbers, deadlines, quotas, etc. on any issue, and present it as if it is going to solve all of our nations problems. We all know that so much more goes into crafting legislation. As a life long Democrat, I believe that we require an individual who will be able to sit with all parties at the table, to craft legislation, and problem solve. Perhaps, at worse, in the end all will simply agree to disagree, but that is better than the hate and division that another Clinton administration would bring. Look at who is endorsing Obama, for the most part fairly rational individuals. He is not as left-leaning as I would prefer, but Obama is the only candidate who will be able to create coalitions, and also get us out of Iraq.

    January 21, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  13. Paula Mulhearn

    Asking Barack Obama if Bill Clinton was the first Black president was hurtful. If he is elected, Senator Obama will be the first Black president. He will fulfill the dreams of Dr. King because he will overcome the racial divide in this country. He shows tremendous courage and civility..

    January 21, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  14. Eric in Massachusetts

    Obama has absolutely no chance of winning in November. True Republicans (not politicians, but real Republicans) will never elect a man who is a liberal as Obama. No Republican will elect a man who wants to hand out vouchers for Health Care. Hillary's plan makes much more sense and is palattable to Republicans.

    January 21, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  15. Z from NY

    I live in Ny and know Republicans that have supported Hillary and are supporting Hillary. I am sure there are Republicans in Illinois supporting Obama. Assume they can both beat the Republican and then vote. I thought long and hard about that. Obama has an appealing message and he does the I am an ordinary American speech. Then I thought do I want an ordinary yet intelligent person running the White House, no I want an intelligent experienced person. THIS IS NOT A GAME and both Hillary and Barack take this race seriously. I am voting for Hillary because she is strong and she is for real change and she has proven that as Senator and First Lady.

    Quoting Churchill and thinking about Hillary,
    “You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

    Also ask ten people who don't like Obama why not and ask ten people who don't like Hillary why not. I have done it. The answers Obama isn't ready and his change doesn't get into the nuts and bolts and nitty gritty of how he will respond to unexpected issues as President. As President you don't have the time to always get consensus from the American people on how you should lead as a leader you have to do it not just vote present.

    As for Hillary half the comments are related to Bill and the other half lead to her being a strong woman. That is exactly why some women don't support her because she is a strong woman. It doesn't make sense to me but go and ask see what you find out and please let me know

    January 21, 2008 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  16. Linda

    Right on Makeba!!! We don't have time to listen to all the mud slinging. We want to get down to the "I will"; "by these means"; so we can decide who we believe can "clean up" American politics. The "have nots" of America are increasing in numbers every day, while the rich grow richer and we "have nots" are earnestly trying to make an extremely important choice!!!

    Senator Obama and John Edwards are the most sincere in my opinion and Senator Obama is my #1 choice. He, I feel, has what it will take to pull in the Independents and cross-over Republicans. He can make history!!!

    January 21, 2008 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  17. Dan Tebes

    The Democratic base needs a presidential candidate who unifies all of America — Democrats, Independents, and Republicans alike. Instead of tearing the Democratic party apart by making false allegations toward each others' senatorial records, the candidates and especially former presidents need to stick to the current issues facing America. If not, come election time, the Democratic party will actively implode, losing the trust and respect of millions of voters, resulting in a Republican presidency. Barack Obama is the candidate who will unify America, for he is the most genuine and honest candidate America has seen since Abraham Lincoln. Barack is humble, gracious, and introspective — three characteristics that defined a president who took on one of our nation's greatest conflicts, the Civil War. Barack Obama is the original voice of change. He has my vote, and I hope yours too.

    January 21, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  18. Melissa

    Obama is our best chance for change. He is exciting and motivational, and Democrats will turn out for him in greater numbers than for any other candidate in the general election.

    In addition, he has an extraordinary ability to bring moderates into the Democratic party. His inclusive language and tone make it possible for us to forsee a new way of American politics. A new way for us to unite for change in this country.

    January 21, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  19. Surge

    One of the false claims of Obama and his supporters is that he has crossover appeal. The fallacy of this claim was exposed by the transparent and cynical attempt to look like he had crossover appeal by evoking Reagan and in his inexperience he flubbed it all up and sent a red flag to the blacks who actually KNOW what Reagan and his party meant to them in the 80's and a red flag to all those republicans who saw through his attempt to exploit them.

    Obama is not leadership material.

    January 21, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  20. rw

    You are correct mate, Obama has such cross-over appeal that I will cross over and vote Rep. before voting for him. Because, in reality, what would the difference be? After all, he admires Reagan for being transformational.

    Just keep repeating the mantra about the Reagan years: creditor nation to debtor nation, creditor nation to debtor nation. And here we are today, where sovereign funds are buying into our largest financial institutions.

    January 21, 2008 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  21. Chaunda


    I am a very rational person. I support Hillary Clinton. I am sorry but Obama's "supporters" from outside the democratic party like to say things "I might vote for him" or "I like what his message of change" but never "I will vote for Obama over any republican or independent candidate". I cannot hang my vote on a "hope".

    January 21, 2008 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  22. Marianne

    This country has been brought so far over to right and the current adminstraion has given the corporations so much power that I don't see how can someone proposing a "middle of the road" approach can restore balance of power to our government and restore democracy to our country by just negotiating with not much left to offer. That just doesn't make any sense to me. (FYI Barack Obama has taken corporate money too so I don't see how he can get around those "favors" he wil have to repay).

    January 21, 2008 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  23. Jimmy, Oklahoma Feb. 5th

    Again Obama can not answer the question's, and CNN does not help him in this manner, but any how I think Edwards came off real well, he stood for his beliefs. I fully understand Senator Clinton on her stance. She has been clear on issue's. Senator Obama on the other hand, was frazzled, Tongue tied on occasion, and avoided the question's at hand. He interrupted the other candidates more when they would say something he did not like. I seen real weakness in Senator Obama, tonight more then any other. Senator Clinton was firm on her issues, I will be very proud to give her my vote on February 5th and again in November.

    Senator Clinton for President 2008. "She's, THE REAL THING"

    January 21, 2008 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  24. Canadian


    You say, "I cannot hang my vote on a "hope". Mind you that there are millions of people watching intensely the outcome of US Presidential primaries and yearn for a leader that will heal the world and bring America back where it belongs – that is center of the world. These millions would love to vote for the "hope", which Obama represent. Good luck with your support to Hillary and her surrogate husband.

    January 21, 2008 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  25. Mohamed

    I think Obama can deliver what he is preaching about. The man is serious to unite this nation. This period of time, we need a president who is honest and trustworthy. We need a president who is a uniter not a divider and a president who can solve our own problems here at home and abroad.

    January 21, 2008 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
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