Tuesday, January 08, 2008
The winds of change




David Gergen
Senior Political Analyst

As we await the verdict of the voters in New Hampshire, we appear to be at a hinge point in American politics -- one of those rare moments when the course of history begins to shift in a different direction. Is this the fall of the House of Clinton that we are watching? The final splintering of the Reagan coalition? The emergence of a new politics whose contours and ideas are still being defined? It appears that all these things are happening and with unbelievable speed.

I am in the Bay Area of California for a series of lectures. Last night in Marin County, it was clear that the audience of 2,000 was swept up in the excitement, especially Obama's candidacy. If Hillary Clinton loses New Hampshire, I sensed she could slip quickly in California, too.

But they also offered some tempering cautions. They definitely want to know more about who Obama is, what he believes and if he comes into office, who will be coming with him. They were concerned about his security -- a concern that seems justified. They don't want Iowa and New Hampshire to make their decisions for them; they want to make independent judgments.

It's too early to start a coronation, they think, so let the race continue. Still, they sense that the winds of change are blowing -- and they welcome the possibility of a new politics.

We are at a rare moment.
Posted By CNN: 10:21 AM ET
  10 Comments
I think it's great to want winds of change, however, I think we are rushing into a frenzy, media or otherwise. I remember not so long ago, that the Democrats were after President Bush for always putting people in positions who had little or no experience. Remember the outcry over Browny? That's just one example.
Now we are willing to say that in a middle of two wars, turmoil in the world, our own economy and problems, that experience is just sooo overrated? Obama, may be a great President, but I need to hear much more than I have. I'm listening, we'll see.

Lorie Ann
Buellton, Calif.
Posted By Anonymous Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif. : 11:04 AM ET
I think you are quite right, which is why I stay tuned to all the political coverage all the time. We are witnessing an evolution of political thought and inquiry not seen in quite a while.

I also believe you are right with Obama. People like him. This has been established, now, what are you going to do. There comes a point when you have to lay out your agenda. People are not going to be bamboozeled with ideas that are not consistent with running this country better than it has been run up to this point.

I think Obama's fervent call for change and hope leds us to this crucible. WHAT DOES OBAMA STAND FOR? Further scrutiny from the press and the competing campaigns hopefully will shed light on this. I hope that his views on change will further push him into the confidence of American voters. We do need to know and we need to know soon.

I thouroughly enjoy your commentary and knowledge on political affairs. I have learned a lot from you.
Posted By Anonymous Madeliene; Atlanta, Georgia : 12:44 PM ET
I think the Clinton dynasty will end tonight in theory, tho Hillary will sojourn on until Feb 5.
Posted By Anonymous Cary - Lowell, IN. : 1:12 PM ET
Remember the "Young Guns" Clinton and Gore in 1992? Our handsome, young, charming new President was only 46 years old - the unknown Governor from Arkansas. Now, he and Hillary are making a big deal of 35 years worth of experience. It isn't a revelation... 60 is better than 46, it's "I just HAVE to win, no matter what!"
Let's not forget, Bill didn't like his wife very much back then. He spent most of his marriage under a veil of secrecy with other women. Senator Barack Obama is 47. He is married to the "Love of his Life". I believe him. Oh...and those tears... sincere, yes. But they came from the realization that she may not win. They were ready to pop as soon as Obama's ratings soared. 'Hillary tears' are for Hillary. Nobody else. Nothing else.
A woman with emotion would not stay with a man who cheated on her continuously for years and years unless she was financially dependent on him. Why did she stay? This race is not about our country. It's all about Hillary.
Posted By Blogger C. Anne Gannon : 1:20 PM ET
I feel it! The breeze at the back pointing us in THAT direction. It swirls around and shoots us in, yet, another direction. Back and forth. Up and down. Our hair and shirts ripple in the breeze. Our values, our morals, our happiness, our "rights" and "wrongs" come and go. It's all so volatile. So up in the air. Great! And very nervewracking.

Lewis
Portland, Oregon
www.spiritofsaintlewis.blogspot.com
Posted By Blogger Lewis : 1:26 PM ET
A candidate who speaks of change but doesn't give details to the American people of what he's CHANGING is dangerous, like voting for an unknown factor. At least with Hillary we knew what we'd get, a left-wing agenda of higher taxes and even more Congressional spending. At least she laid her cards on the table; Obama is too vague about what exactly he's proposing for our country.
Posted By Anonymous sharon, milwaukee, wi. : 2:25 PM ET
David, alway like to hear your input on the election. I am still
undecided about who I want to see
running. I do admire Hilary, I
think she is capable of leading this country. I also like John Edwards. Obams can really speak well, he really knows how to play the crowd. If we had had a reasonable decent leader for the past 8 years and we were not in the mess we are in, I could see taking a chance on Obama simply because he is new, fresh, and confident in his ability to lead.
Voters need to be careful, experience is not a bad thing, if you were hiring for a multi-million dollar corp the appliciant with experience would probably be your best bet for sucess.
Posted By Anonymous Barb-Dalton ga : 3:22 PM ET
I am heartsick tonight. This country does not need another Republican in the White House, and Hillary Clinton is not the one to win the presidential race. And as a woman, I am deeply offended that she resorted to tears. It's cheap.

This country needs a leader who will speak truth to distortion, and one who can demonstrate courage in the face of great peril. The world is not a safe and happy place. As Dylan wrote long ago, "get out of the road if you can't lend a hand, for the times, they are a-changing."
Posted By Anonymous Ingrid Maria : 11:46 PM ET
It is important that we recognize the moving parts in Hillary's machine. They are hard, cold and manipulative.
In a matter of minutes, she adopted Obama's theme of change and made it her own. Hillary spent election day greeting the young generation. Jeez... I wonder why? She replaced Albright in the photo shoot with random kids from the crowd. There is nothing natural about Hillary. Those tears came out of her 'sincere' fear of an early demise - not for her country. Does anyone actually believe that they were? There are plenty of other careers a smart woman like herself could have chosen that would have allowed her to truly make a difference in people's lives. But her #1 desire is to be in the spotlight. She needs to win more than she cares about the plight of others.
Hillary won today because she is a seasoned Chameleon, a copy-cat and a flawless fraud.
Posted By Blogger C. Anne Gannon : 1:47 AM ET
When I think about change its alot more than changing the last 7 years. Its changing the last 27 years. Ever since Regan when the US began sliding more and more to the right and the economy became more and more skewed. Even under Clinton there was a steady increase in the disparity of wealth. And while he was president did we get health care? did we get higher fuel efficiency? did we get a fair increase in the minimum wage? none of these. Why? If Hillary was such an agent of change why was there none? Under Bush there was big change for the worse. He brought no one to the table and acted unilaterally on everything. If Hillary becomes president and somehow ends up with a Democratic legislature she might create change the same way. However, thats not what I want. That will only serve to divide us more as a people and will ultimately lead to a future republican worse than Bush. To make the change this country needs takes a leader that brings all parties to the table. Obama will deliver.
Posted By Blogger Swingle : 4:00 AM ET
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