August 25th, 2008
08:59 PM ET
14 years ago

Schneider: We’re witnessing the passing of the torch

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Jesse Jackson Jr. spoke opening night of the Denver convention."]
DENVER (CNN) - The theme for this evening is One Nation. The first theme. That’s very important because that is the signature image of the Obama campaign, and the basis, really, of his appeal.

When Bush in November 1999 declared himself a candidate for president, he said he intended to be a uniter, not a divider. That was a promise that I think the American people feel he failed to fulfill. Obama first became noticed on the national stage with his 2004 convention speech - the theme of which was unity: black and white, rich and poor, gay and straight, Republican and Democrat. Remember his refrain: There’s no red America, there’s no blue America, there’s the United States of America.

And I think that, even more than the theme of change, is the theme that underlies his political success. Because Americans are looking for someone to deliver what George Bush tried and failed to do.

It’s interesting — this is Jesse Jackson Jr., who famously split with his father over Obama. Jesse Jackson Jr., like Obama, represents a new generation of African-American politicians. In many ways, this is his national debut. We are witnessing the passage of leadership to a new generation of American-Americans. This is a turning point in black politics.

He is stressing the theme of unity. This new generation — represented by Obama and Jesse Jackson Jr. — they don’t speak the language of racial grievances like Jesse Jackson Sr. and Al Sharpton. They speak a language of unity.

soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Robert

    He sounded half preacher/half robot. I really didnt like how he came across.

    August 25, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  2. aware

    Unity! 🙁

    Looks angry and divisive inside and outside! 🙁

    Vote for McCain 08 if you want unity! 🙂

    August 25, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  3. aware

    Unity must be in the eye of the beholder?

    Looks angry and divisive inside and outside to me! 🙁

    Vote for McCain 08 if you want unity! 🙂

    August 25, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  4. Mr.shine

    Democrat was in office 8 years surplus of funds, gas was less than a dollar. republican in office 8 yrs gas $4 plus dollars a senseless war 10 million dollar a day war and peolple losing their homes. hmm VOTE rePUBLICAN????

    August 25, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  5. To All Republicans

    Hey all you do is preach hatred and lies. Thats all I am reading from these ads and posts. Quit hating your fellow Americans, quit speaking out against your fellow citizens, quit choosing party over unity and hope, sit down and take the time to think about how silly it is to care about the ex-commi Georgia and Iran and Iraq when regualr people from Idaho and Florida are losing their homes, the dollar is way down, and companies like Exxon and Lockheed are getting rich. Finally, quit faking it like you are Dems and complain and whine about the convention. I stand with Ted Kennedy while you can stand with the preacher who cries about abortion and guns.

    August 25, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  6. Sean

    This is not a "changing of the guard." I'm sick of this nonsense; can we show just a little restraint. If Obama loses – and at this point it's still probably 50/50, then he will go back to being a first-term senator (albeit a much richer one) who couldn't win in a can't lose election.

    August 25, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  7. Livonia, MI

    Backing Bush is not unity, that's just plain stupid!

    August 25, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  8. Farrell, Houston, Tx


    August 25, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  9. flavoter

    These men represent a new generation of American politicians. Yes voted for by american voters......

    This country is divided enough the media doesn't want unity . What would they do with themselves on Dr. Kings birthday that John McCain voted against? McCain is pre and post mental....CNN where's the footage of some of McCains outbursts and out of controll temper tantrums?

    August 25, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  10. Sherry, Atlanta


    OBAMA/BIDEN '08-'12

    August 25, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  11. It is hard to change Racists.... sad

    It is clear that all you PUMAS and those of you that will not vote for Obama are basically conform RACISTS. There is nothing we can do about you. You will have to live with yourself. If you all cannot see that Obama is a good, honorable man. He is intelligent, of good character and his more than capable of Leading this country from day 1. I challenge all you good hearted people with no hatred in your hearts for people who are different to go out there and vote for Barack. it s time for change. The World is looking to you America to make this happen... bless you all...

    August 25, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  12. DougFinn

    Jesse Jackson Jr?

    How many more political dynasties do we need?

    August 25, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  13. Joe

    Did Obama say he was in St. Louis, then, said he was in Kansas City? They are on opposite sides of the state.

    August 25, 2008 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  14. john williams san diego, ca.

    never give up-PUMA–stop the socialist.

    August 25, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  15. David

    It's not the color of Obama's skin that bothers me. I just don't trust him. His background is too shady. He's got a lot of explaining to do. I think his "Change" is not the change we want or need.

    August 25, 2008 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  16. michael

    would the presidential candidates and supporters answer questions in a debate hooked to a lie detector different than they do now

    August 26, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
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