August 25th, 2008
10:00 PM ET
14 years ago

Gergen: Kennedy changes story line

Teddy Kennedy has finally brought this convention to life - and sent the first powerful message to the country.

This is conventioneering at its best - a moving tribute by the daughter of John Kennedy, an excellent film, and a courageous, inspiring speech by Senator Kennedy.

Finally, the Democrats have started to frame the message they want out of the convention - that America faces a huge choice this fall. The Republicans will have their own version of that choice, of course, but now the Democrats have a chance to put it in their own terms, and that is what Kennedy accomplished.

Moreover, he started to change the story line of this convention - that it is all about Obama versus the Clintons. Teddy reminded viewers that Democrats represent a much bigger family. At the very least, it is a party not only of the Clintons and Obama but also a party of the Kennedys. In that sense, he can be a much-needed healing force for the Democrats, bringing them out more unified.

The Republicans will vigorously contest much of what Kennedy said, as they should ... but for now, a lot of Democrats can come out of tonight with a battle cry, "Let's Win This One for Teddy!"

soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. Farrell, Houston, Tx


    August 25, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  2. Ed

    This posting is the Clinton News Network going off the deep end!

    August 25, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  3. AsBee

    Vote for McCain

    August 25, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  4. Oldschool23

    A new ad from the Republican National Committee claims Barack Obama proposes "no new solutions" for the energy and climate crises. In fact, the Illinois senator has proposed $150 billion in spending over 10 years for biofuels, plug-in hybrids, low-emission coal plants and the rapid commercialization of other new, clean energy technologies. The ad also recycles the misleading claim that Obama has said "no" to nuclear. Obama said he is open to nuclear if it is clean and safe.

    And while the ad correctly says that Obama is against lifting the gas tax and against more production "here at home" (read: lifting the federal ban on more offshore oil drilling), neither of those steps is likely to be a "solution" for the problems at hand.

    Leadership you can trust. Just ask the Ruplicans. They'll tell you what you need to know 🙂

    August 25, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  5. Marge Hibbing Mn

    I used to love Kennedy but after he was one of the first to come out for obama after all NOW did for him, he dropped to the bottom of my list. In fact he's off it.

    August 25, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  6. Debby

    Yes the speech was great and it really energized this convention.

    August 25, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  7. Cynthia

    Yes David. Senator Kennedy pitch hit it and Michelle Obama will bring it on home tonight.

    August 25, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  8. AsBee

    Some people cant stay away from the spotlight !! Ted, go home. Take Obambi with you.

    August 25, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  9. Alex, Omaha NE

    David, you are SO right. I really dislike throwing a bunch of people up there just to have better have very strong speakers. They should have had Kennedy 3rd from last speaking, cut out all the fluff, and get people fired up!

    August 25, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  10. Former Democrat

    What? Ted brought life to this convention? am I the only one awake watching all the flaws in this convention? By the way Ted isn't past your bed time?..

    August 25, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  11. sue

    As always Mr. Geren thank you for your objective & insightful opinions.
    The democrats needed Sen. Kennedy to remind them of what is important-It should also be a message to the Clintons too-I understand that Pres. Clinton may have been "hurt" that he wasn't treated the way he thought he should have been treated.
    Sen. Kennedy, I hope, reminded Pres. Clinton (and Sen. Clinton), that they really aren't the leaders of the democratic party-The Kennedy's have been & will always be the ultamite in democrats!
    Thank you Uncle Teddy, for reminding the children who's boss!

    August 25, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  12. barbara harris

    national health care is greatly needed

    August 25, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  13. Dandelion.

    CNN is turning into Fox news. It's quite sad.

    August 25, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  14. Sherry, Atlanta


    August 25, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  15. Former Democrat

    This convention is boring... CNN put more commercials or McCain adds, i really enjoy them more.

    August 25, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  16. Betty

    I've heard a lot of positive messages for this country. They just keep getting drowned out by the pundits with their obsession for the clintons.

    OBAMA is an inspiration to young and old – just like the Kennedy's.

    Do some real reporting CNN, instead of trying so hard to turn this for Clinton or McCain !!!!!!!!

    August 25, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  17. lil

    Cnn you are being really mean tonight.
    It seem as if you have it in for Obama. I like his speech it didnt seem
    to bother anybody but CNN and Gergan.
    You are driving your viewer away.

    August 25, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  18. tedious898

    Go home GOPers and PUMAs- there are adults in the room now.

    Children should be in bed now

    August 25, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  19. KD

    David is better that Hillary didn't win!

    August 25, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  20. brainsurgeTed

    I'm a clairvoyant and I know the conclusion.
    The Republican man will rule.

    You can stop throwing insults at each other now.

    August 25, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  21. J

    Let's win this for Teddy!

    August 25, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  22. Mikey

    It doesn't matter what the democrats say. This fall, This registered democrat is not going to vote for a democrat. Not after see how they are operating things. Since nancy pelosi and all them got elected. Gas has gone over board in price and so has groceries. Which tells me they didn't do their job. We need to drill for oil for the time being unitl we can start using bio-fuels. Make enough manufactures for america to rely on things like ethanol is going to take 12-15 years. The refining capacity is just not there yet. So no to democrats.

    If Obama or Ted Kennedy would say, If they are elected they would give me one free year of gas. My answer would be still no. You don't deserve it from the terrible job you did in the senate seat.

    I have to say Bush did better then the democrats.

    August 25, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  23. Long Live to Ted Kennedy

    Long Live to Ted Kennedy, Caroline and all Kennedy Family..

    August 25, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  24. Iznibz

    If you want an honest analysis, listen to NPR.

    CNN, FOX, they're all the same.

    August 25, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  25. MV in GA

    CNN, your coverage and commentary stink. Your democratic commentators are awful and I'm a democrat. Castellanos and Sanchez are even more HORRIBLE. You should not allow that woman to offer her opinions on your network. Your reporting is shameful and cheap. I'm stuck with you this week, as the hotel I'm in leaves me no option. As soon as I get home, I'm done with you.

    August 25, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
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