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. Matt

    I'll paraphrase a question that was asked during the debate for my comment to this issue: Do Americans want to "win" the war that's been going on between Democrats and Republicans for the last 15-20 years, or do they want to END it

    My perspective: if you want to continue to pursue "victory" (which, just like the Iraq war, will continue to sap American blood and treasure) in the hope that you can "defeat" the Republicans, then I guess the Clintons are your co-candidate.

    If, however, you want to END this war and actually get things accomplished in DC, it's clear that Obama is the choice. I certainly don't expect him to change the Washington culture overnight- that'd be the real "fairy tale". But I do see him as a "light at the end of the tunnel" candidate who would say, "This war between Democrats and Republicans has been destroying our culture and weakening our country, and I refuse to engage in it any more,", and that is what our country TRULY needs. Democrats- PLEASE don't throw away your best candidate since JFK, just for the sake of continuing the Clinton dynasty!

    January 21, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  2. frank

    Barack Obama is a leader. He knows how and will unite this country and I am looking forward to his Presidency – He trusts and believes in the American People. Go Obama, 2008.

    January 21, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  3. Sharon Murphy

    That was George Bush's line, wasn't it?

    January 21, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  4. Sprite

    I want to see him build a bridge with Clinton first (or vice versa). They really need to stop bickering. Then we'll see about the nation.

    January 21, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  5. Alexander J

    Honestly, I think at a certain point hyper-partisanship leads to one being able to treat members of the opposing party like enemies of the country. I believe that's how so many republicans were able to justify wire-tapping, and rigging elections.

    People are beginning to realize that parties do nothing more than serve to divided our country, and it would be better to have a candidate that, ideally, did not have a party affiliation, or at least was willing to reach across the aisle. And any democrat who can't get behind that is as bad as any extremist republican.

    January 21, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  6. echo

    This is the type of message that we need to get thru to America. We are divided on so many issues besides race and gender. We need to come together as republicans and democrats to make our nation great for Everyone, not just on are individual biases

    January 21, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  7. Alec

    The Democratic base is already rallied. Its just a question of who's best to run this country.

    The Clintons have become bullies, they are control freaks and are using their status to get her way. She looks with a glare every time she is caught and cringes at the thought of a Clinton lose.
    Obama has to put the ideas out to unite the country back to a time before Bush.

    January 21, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  8. Elix Babedi

    Of course he can. In fact, he is just doing that. Look at the synergy he has brought to the campaign trail. Why is he being attacked by the most powerful couple of the American politics. Where I come from we say "you only throw stones on a tree that has fruits".

    By the way what is that Democratic base? Who are they? The women? The blacks? The Anti-war groups? If those bases were so important why did Al Gore lose? Why Did Kerry lose?

    So my gut tells me, Obama will make it. He is still unknown but this is not the reason why he should change the democratic party. Remember Gorbatchev. He was unknown but look what he has done. Putin same. His heir same. So is Petraeus in Iraq. Unknown people sometimes are the one that make the difference.

    January 21, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  9. Free

    Unbelievable! Finally, Obama came out swinging, this is the Obama i've been wanting to see. He's got my vote!

    January 21, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |

    CNN has allowed Obama a disprotionate amount of the air time of this so called debate. This was the worst possible format that not only lead to squabbling, but seemed to solicit it from the participants. Is was not only disapointing, it was disgusting. I hope that somone will report on the amount of time that was alloted to each canidate. Wolf did a very bad job of managing the flow of the discussion and staying on topic.

    January 21, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  11. From Illinois

    Obama has vision, Edwards compasion, Hillary leadership skills. Republicans will chew Obama up and spit him out. He appeared weak and inexperienced. Hillary will rally the base and take on the republicans. She can and will win.

    January 21, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  12. Kevin

    I don't know how it plays with Republicans but isn't it time to move past partisan politics in Washington? Is that not the true meaning of change in this election?

    January 21, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  13. Federico Valadez Jr.

    The only candidate to win a a Red State was Senator John Edwards. Senator Clinton and Senator Obama won in Blue States. If Senator Edwards can carry North & South Carolina, the Democrats can win the White House. The other two candidates may not be able to carry sufficient Red States for the Democrats to regain the White House. Senator Edwards is the ONLY candidate who can carry a majority of the South, to win the White House. Clinton and Obama have already divided the Democratic Party with their fighting. The only candidate that can unite the party and win Red States is Edwards which is only way to WIN the White House.


    January 21, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  14. Tara

    I do not understand how so many people can say Obama gives eloquent speeches. His hems and haws and ums and stuttering is very off-putting and irritating. And he NEVER answers the question that is asked! He talks around it.

    January 21, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  15. Arturo Jabra'il Sancho

    Barack Obama in his closing statement with regards to whether MLK would endorse, underlines his voting impotence.

    Obama is still preaching a doctrine of no stance!

    All three are not talking about the greatest discrimiation underway in the U.S. Age discrimination, and that is why this former IBEW member is voting for John McCain.

    January 21, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  16. Joe Foster

    I believe it can and should rally the Democratic party. As a Republican in Summerville, SC it has rallied me. For the first time in my life I did not vote in a Republican primary simply so I may have the opportunity to further Barack's campaign.

    I cannot say for sure if I'll vote for John McCain or Barack Obama, assuming they are their party's candidates, but I'd like to see our Presidential contest elevated by both their higher minded activities.

    Thoughtful candidates are few and far between, but these two men will actually speak their minds and allow for a thoughtful and honest debate. I only wish I could believe that any of the other candidates could give this level of honesty and forth rightfulness.

    January 21, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  17. c

    I think that his appeal to the majority of Americans would be the stimulus that the Democrats need. Avoiding the partisian politics would energize segments of the population that may lean to the democratic side, but have avoided politics secondary to not feeling that the political system addresses their issues, but is more interested in making the other party look bad.

    January 21, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  18. Leslie T Person

    This is a must! Any candidate must be able to reach across the aisle. There is no way any democratic candidate can win, even with the current disappointment in the Bush administration; without convincing republicans and independent candidates to come to their side. Screaming and pointing fingers will not do it in the general election.

    January 21, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  19. Not W

    Edwards has proven that he is a legitimate candidate. Obama fell into the Clinton trap of defending their attacks and not pushing his agenda and Hillary further proved that both her & her husband are snakes in the grass and untrustworthy.

    January 21, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  20. J D Stewart

    Not too worry, the Democratic base will rally behind any of the three.

    January 21, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  21. Karen

    It's good, political-speak, but unfortunately, Obama doesn't have the depth of experience or knowledge to rally the Democratic base as well as Sen Clinton. Although so many of us wish for consensus & bridge building, I believe that many of us who are 40+ are somewhat jaded, and we are looking for a candidate that can clean up & manage the mess we will inherit. Edwards & Clinton also have great visions – but their depth of experience runs deeper.

    January 21, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  22. kelmal

    Really getting turned off over being sold 'inspirational'/building bridges...sounds too much like a player to me.

    Imagine this discussion even taking place in corporate setting. (You build a 'bridge' with another company...and security escorts you off site!)


    January 21, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  23. Bill in Sonora

    Just watch what is about to happen. The Clinton machine is out to destroy Obama and they will succeed. They will destroy him, his family, his friends, his supporters and anyone else who gets in the way. They're already playing the race card, but the worse is yet to come. Just wait and see. It's coming, and it's going to be brutal! They will do anything at any cost to get what they want. That's the way they have led their lives, and nothing will ever change. Don't believe me? Just sit back and watch.

    January 21, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  24. todd

    If the Democratic base wants to win a greater majority in the Congress in addition to the presidency, his message ought to rally them. Hillary is simply too divisive. I know a great many within the "base" who just don't want to vote for her and the legacy of bush/clinton/bush/clinton.

    January 21, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  25. A Gregory

    Barak Obama's positions on bringing Americans together are the most fresh and realistic position in the campaign. Additionally, I believe that he has been successful in doing so and I believe that he can have an even greater impact on our nation by employing the same principal throughout the world.

    January 21, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
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