August 26th, 2008
10:24 PM ET
14 years ago

Gergen: The past vs. the future

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Mark Warner delivers the keynote address during the Democratic National Convention in Denver."]
A moment ago, I had an opportunity to offer some views on air about Mark Warner's keynote address - always a privilege to be here on CNN. While no barn burner - so it probably didn't play well in the hall - and offering almost no red meat, I thought it was actually very effective because it introduced some fresh thinking about the future, offering hope that we can work our way out of this economic mess. Politics has too often dismissed the importance of technology, science and education.

Just after, Alex Castellanos turned to the rest of us here on the NY panel to say that if this becomes a race about the past vs. the future, the Democrats might have a much better chance of winning. I think he is right on target. We so much need as a people to move beyond the arguments of the past in finding the best path to the future.

I have been a critic of the convention choreography for a lot of the past two nights. But I join others in saluting a party that helps us to face the future and tries to draw upon the talents of all Americans, not just a favored some.

soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Becky, Midwest

    This isn't about the past or the future. It's about now. John McCain is quite capable of thinking for himself without George W Bush. He has been around before Bush was appointed President. And Obama just hasn't accomplished anything while in Congress. McCain has that experience.

    And I love Bill and Hillary Clinton. The economy was great under his leadership. He's a former President, and she the former First Lady. I do not understand all the snide remarks. He can say whatever the hell he wants! He's earned it. This is Obama's to win or lose. The Clinton's aren't going to own that one; it's all on Obama, and it always has been.

    August 26, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  2. Larry

    David Gergen – Senior Democratic Cheerleader, oh, I mean Senior Political Analyst, why did CNN close comments about Barkley so soon? Didn't like what you heard?
    Barkley accused of whites of being racist, while apparently seeing no prejudice in 90-95% of black voters voting for Obama. Look around Charles and David and CNN – your best days are long gone.

    Oh, and about "the past versus the future" – the democrats are the reason we are in the energy mess and their plan would only make things worse. That is more of the same – bad politics and bad economics and bad energy policy.

    August 26, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  3. Sandy

    If Obama wins, she'll definitely have a big role in the future of this country (without Bill and his Cigars – he he he he).

    If McWarmonger wins, she'll be the republican joke of the century for all the free ads.

    We each get only one precious vote. Don't waste it.

    Obama/Biden '08/'12

    August 26, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  4. Susan

    We need to care about our grandchildren, not all the garbage of same old, same old. Dear America, please look ahead. I beg you??? and then I beg you again?? A loving Canadian

    August 26, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  5. Sandy

    Analyze THAT Gergen !!!!!!

    August 26, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  6. patrick

    i bet mccain will announce his vp on baracks night i guarantee it. he is trying to divide and conquer the democrats. he does not want to try to piss off the clinton voters he is trying to use by deceit or trickery to get their vote. and then cast them aside like rags because his mission would be accomplished. by the way, real barack supporters love hillary. what we must realize as adults, that young people are getting into this election and sometimes stray off message and are emotional people. people make the worst deceisions when emotions are involved. so before you think about jumoing that proverbial ship do not focus on yourselves but the children we will leave behind. Mccain has not earned the money he is trying to keep, it is cindy'sdad money. yes he were a pow and i respect that but most if not all his accomplishments were handed to him and not on his own merit. Mccain and his campaign is a joke. what will you do for america john mccain. i bet he cannot say what he will do for america without mentioning obama. barack has hope for a better america. mccain offers cynicism and division. that is not what america was built on rise above the hate and vote in barack obama as the next president.

    August 26, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  7. Ignoring the past imperils the future

    No future without knowing your past

    Dont Rush……. to forget….

    Evil lives where Justice is Perverted, Deferred, or Denied…..

    Victory, Peace and Progress…..begin with Justice here at home

    Investigate prosecute and sentence

    The existing Administration……

    Also "off the table" Complicit Democrats, Party Pawns

    Executive , Legislative and Judiciary Branches need to been cleaned out

    Corporate Criminals

    Investigate, Prosecute and Sentence

    Without Justice…..There is no hope…….no change……. no Real Future…….just illusions and distractions.

    We are a land Governed not by men, but by law.

    Victory, Peace and Progress begin with Justice….Justice here at home.

    "The Truth Shall Set You Free"……..Still

    August 26, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  8. Benito

    Blah blah blah. Why is it that CNN has not reported that McCain is ahead in the Gallup polls... fair and balanced? I think not..

    Wake up guys.. Obama will not win..

    August 26, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  9. PBS

    Yes, PBS is COVERING the convention, you should turn it on there. CNN just loves to hear itself talk.

    August 26, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  10. Ohio.

    Let's take back the White House!!

    Barack 08!!

    August 26, 2008 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |

    Something for us all to appreciate!

    August 26, 2008 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  12. John Smith

    I would like to hear any "intelligent" democrat say,

    "I worked hard for Hillary, and thank her for her effort, but my loyalty lies with the Democratic party."

    Wait, and please wait!

    Is the Democratic party about the Clintons (i.e., Hillary) or the Democratic Party?

    Why did the Clintons not dominate the Gore and Kerry nomination processes? Gore was Bill's VP for 8 years…

    America has, and continues to take advantage of the Black Man!! Americans may be blind to this fact, but the WORLD that is watching America is NOT blind! A Black Man fought hard and won, plain and simple!!!!

    August 26, 2008 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  13. Susan

    Mr. Gergen,
    I like to hear your opinion. Here, however I will differ on a couple of points. The new way..we need to watch China and how much they own of our national debt. Joe Biden as VP? Putin has invaded Georgia, which has oil pipelines. Didn't anyone in the current Congress see this coming? And this is not the first time Putin has pulled a move.

    If you look at the map, it is also in a direct line to Isreal. Obama had chance after chance to make votes in Congress, and I consider him to also be responsible for part of the mess we are in. I think we are not quite as aware as some of the world is on how our actions in the United States have a big impact no matter what we are doing.

    Please review the Republican debates where Mitt Romney compared politics now to chess. Every move a country make has a three dimensional effect on all the other countries. I may not be quoting correctly, however his point was clear. He talked about the international situation back in the first three months of the year.

    I have not been impressed by living in Michigan, and having Obama remove his name from the ballot, and then put it back on in Florida. Also, his VP pick could have been a lot better. If these choices indicate how the new leadership way is working, at 43, I'll opt for writing in a candidate, or the old way.

    August 26, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  14. EqualBranchesofGovernment

    The past was Dubya "swift-boating" McCain in the 2000 SC Republican primary then McCain endorcing Bush in the 2004 election....The future if McCain becomes President the same as the last 8 years.

    August 26, 2008 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  15. jeanette

    We are the UNITED Democrats of America!

    Lets go kick some Republican Arse!!!!!

    August 26, 2008 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  16. Obama For President/Biden For Vice President

    Warner was GREAT. Obama is the future we need, the change we deserve.

    NO WAY

    NO HOW

    NO SIDEKICK MCCAIN HEE HAW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    August 26, 2008 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  17. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Warner too was right on target, it's about the future and we cannot afford to lose our final call to John McCain aka Bush.

    August 26, 2008 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  18. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    McCain is out of his league with these democrats, his time has past and gone.

    August 27, 2008 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  19. Jon Cruz

    Come on. I'm a partisan Democrat, but this was the most insufferably boring, rambling, and disjointed speech I've seen in some time.

    August 27, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  20. John

    Shame you people just can't wake up and see that McCain the best!! Thank-God for McCain , were all behind you!!!

    August 27, 2008 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  21. Soldier for OBAMA

    OBAMA is very smart, he is challenging "white americans" to do the right thing, we will see if their fear is better than their childrens future. Or like this lady called in on C-SPAN from ALABAMA she said Hillary was awesoem, I am a Republican but I won't vote for OBAMA because of his Preacher, yeah...sure lady, you won't vote for OBAMA because he is black, we know and we count you out. OBAMA will win because the Asians, Latino's, Blacks, Jews, Gentiles, Gays, Lesbians, Youth and your own kids will pull that lever and mark the spot with an X for a future of HOPE and not racial hate or bigotry.
    He is too black, he is a muslim, I support Hillary but will vote McCain all means you will never had vote for OBAMA or any other man of color, we know, get over it!
    "A NATION DIVIDED, CANNOT STAND" It is time for a New Revolution"

    August 27, 2008 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  22. Dave

    David Gergen
    You are only and have ever been a "favored some". Come on. Obama can't handle the McCain heat, and you think he can take on Putin and China???? Give me a break. What is your motive my man? Oh, fees for making it look good. Get some courage. I actually like the hope that Obama represents although it won't happen. But you have proven to be without foundation with your comments. Unfortunately you are just like "Him". All sales, all favored some.

    August 27, 2008 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  23. Ted van Tol

    To all those Barack Obama critics.

    There comes a day that all Americans believe
    that Barack Obama deserve a place at Mt.Rushmore
    after his presidency. Mark my words!
    My biggest fear is a attack on his life because there
    are so many people and organizations in the USA
    unwilling to change for the better. (big Oil, miliary industry, KKK etc.)

    God bless this world, bless America an bless Barack Obama.

    August 27, 2008 02:26 am at 2:26 am |
  24. Esma

    I don't think McCain has ever said that about Obama supporters.Even thuogh they are constantly frothing at the mouth trying to demonize the man.If he has provide a source or link for the quote. Win or lose I think that McCain will exhibit dignity and grace just like he always has.References :

    April 27, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
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