August 28th, 2008
03:00 PM ET

Race, history and tears in the Obama nomination

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/28/art.vert.dnc.barackobama.jpg caption="Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama makes a surprise appearance at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Wednesday." width=292 height=320]Candy Crowley | Bio
AC360° Contributor
CNN Senior Political Correspondent

Editor's Note: Candy spoke with Wolf Blitzer last night after Barack Obama was declared the Democratic Party's Presidential Candidate. Here's what she had to say:

One quick story: We were down in Mississippi at one point at Jackson State University, I think, and we were doing our live shots and there were guards all around and local police. And there was one local policeman stationed right where we were and so I was talking to him and he was from Jackson. And I said, you know, have you ever heard (Barack Obama) speak before?

And he said no. And I said well this will be exciting. And he said oh, well I have to - I'm working, you know. But I've seen him on TV. And about halfway through Obama's speech, I looked over at this guard and saw tears just streaming down his face.

So you saw that a lot... and you knew what a sense of history and how important this really was, in particular, to African-Americans.

But I will also tell you that Obama tends to draw very diverse crowds. And I would say - ask white people in the crowd, what do you like about him? And they generally said well, he's against the war or I like this or that plan. But the second thing they almost always said to me invariably was, I think it would say so much about our country if we nominated a half-black, half-white man. I think it would say how much we've progressed over the years.

So you always got that sense of history when you were traveling with Obama, from the very first day that I was with him in Springfield, Illinois, when he announced. You would ask people, what are you doing here? Because it was freezing. And there were just blocks and blocks and blocks of people.

You'd say, why are you here?

And they said, because you know what, this could be history.

So there was always that sense that this already was history, that he was running and really seemed to have a chance. And today, you know, you sort of saw it come to a fulfillment for so many people...

soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. Al from NJ

    Obama never won the primary. He will not win Hillary voters.
    Obama stole it from Hillary.

    The world watched the DNC hand the nomination to Obama by silencing voters.

    The media can say what they want about Obama winning the primary but voters know the truth.

    Obama ignored voters. Florida and Michigan will never forget it.
    Obama and Michelle were given a second chance to put Hillary on his ticket, but instead chose to hog the glory and embarrass the Democratic Party.

    Obama could have won these women over.

    Now McCain is winning the women with his VP pick.

    Obama is risky, radical and not a patriot in many American's eyes because of Rezko, (the criminal), Reverend Wright (the anti Semitic racist) and William Ayers ( Obama's coworker = domestic terrorist)

    Obama and Michelle have destroyed the Democratic Party because of their own self centered narcissist personalities and unwillingness to unite.

    August 29, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  2. Teri, Arkansas

    I'm sorry, I have to say that I am so tired of Republicans saying that the Democrats are treating Obama like a Rockstar.....If the Republicans would listen to the rest of the world and their opinons they would realize that Democrats do get excited, they do play music at their gatherings, they are so pumped up and ready to get back into the White House and make the United States of America, THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AGAIN. Republicans think everything is ok, IT'S NOT. Democrats are just excited that we have a chance to make a difference where it matters.

    August 29, 2008 at 1:43 pm |
  3. Teri, Arkansas

    I couldn't hold my tears back during his speech. His speeches are so inspiring, I'm in awe everytime I hear him speek. I really think that is what this country needs right now and will need in the coming years. Someone who will inspire us to be better Americans, help one another, no matter the race, age, sex or political stand.

    August 29, 2008 at 1:36 pm |
  4. Zia

    On the day of Martin Luther King's historic speech, I also have a dream. I dream that my daughter would be the president of the United States of America. I don't know if the first or not, but Obama showed me the audacity to dream. Being a 1st generation 3rd world nation immigrant, I am so energized about Obama's candicacy, that I took a vow that I will do everything in my power(and Allmigty willing) to convince her to go for public service. In these days of glitter and prosperity, it is difficult for an Asian immigrants to convince their sons and daughters to go to politics, but the strength of my dream is so powerful, that I almost believe that this will happen. The historic significance cannot be fathomed by private jet hopping people, but us the down-trodden. He showed us everything is possible, you have to work very hard for it. Have Faith and patience, and God will guide you to your desired goal.

    August 29, 2008 at 1:27 pm |
  5. Rebecca Cyhert

    I have a question concerning "race" in the presidential nomination of Obama. How can Obama state and the new casters of CNN state that this will be the first nomination on the ticket with an African American when Obama states his mother is white and his father was black. Does this mean anyone with any African American heritage or any other minority group mean that they are then African Americans or American Indians, Asian etc? Just because I have Irish relatives does this mean that I am Irish? I think not.

    August 29, 2008 at 12:21 pm |
  6. jim

    Barack Husseing Obama's speech was nothing but a dog and pony show. He did not give specifics just generalities. I am waiting to hear what his position is on the illegal alien issue. He has never made his position known on this issue nor has any Democratic Candidate. I guess only the Republicans have to answer that question. He has no viable plan to address the energy crisis. It will tsake 20-40 years to phase out vehicles that run on gasoline. If he is president, gas prices will be higher than they are now probably $10 in his first year in office. I am sure that will help the poor and middle class. HIs comment about the bad economy is a joke. When Jimmy Carter was President the unemployment rate was 18,5% Mortgage rates were 24%. At this time, mortgage rates are about 6% even less than when Clinton left office which was 7.9%. My "BUDDY" Jack Cafferty, I am better off now than I was in President Clinton's presidency.

    August 29, 2008 at 12:04 pm |
  7. Dani, Seattle

    Shame on you Janice from Florida, the name Martin Luther King Jr. should not even cross you lips, because you didn't get it. Not everybody is a low information voter. What a knock out last night. There is absolutely nothing anyone can say to me. McCain, Bush, Cheney, whoever McCain picks for VP- it doesn't matter. Sen. Obama chewed them up to the last morsel and spit them out.

    August 29, 2008 at 11:43 am |
  8. WA

    If tonight's performance has thrown anyone over to the Republican side they deserve McSame and another four years of corruption! Why not be truthful – you weren't on the Demoncratic side to start with and have no intentions of voting for an African American – isn't that more to the point? No one was cramming Civil Rights down anyone's throat! It was the Anniversary of a Man who brought freedom and equal rights to a race that America villified, bestowed unspeakable violence upon and treated with less compassion that their pets! And I'm of White Descent! How could anyone see this as so negatively and say they are not racist! It's time to bring an end to Division and Racism in American. In fact, way past time!

    But your loss is our gain! The only people who saw this night in the light of a Rock Star performance are those who know nothing about values, sincerity, compassion and love for our Nation and it's people. Obama is a Leader who will be there for all Americans not just the chosen few, elitists, the Big Corporations, and friends. He feels for people. McSame and Bush can only feel when it involves dollars that will add to their bank accounts! GO OBAMA BIDEN for a Brighter Future!

    August 29, 2008 at 11:39 am |
  9. Donna Anderson

    America the land of the free! American a home for my family! a family that is made up of many culture and race. Freedom, love, hope, growth, new ideas, land of opportunity that is what I was taught to belive. We the people, is not about one man running the governement but the people made up of the govening bodies of our great nation. That is what Obama;s message was all about. I am 44 year old African American women and I grew up on the quote" it takes a village to raise a child'. Obama dreams is the dream of every man, women , child, culture, and race; that dream is that it takes "We the people" to help in the decison making process in the governing of our great country. The United States of American does not belong to one man, it belongs to the people.

    August 29, 2008 at 10:37 am |
  10. Francine Driess

    I have been watching and trying to learn about Obama. After last night, the FINAL DNC evening, I have learned all I need to know.
    He has a dream, and he's dreaming bigtime.
    Exactly where does this man expect to get the money to do all the things he's assured us he will do??
    I've been a democrat my entire life. I am now not planning to bother voting for either man.
    I wish I could write in a name, I would put in BILL CLINTON!!!
    I am sickened by the shape our country is in, after BUSH and CHANEY ran our country.
    I saw the race for the presidency go from democrat V republican, to BLACK VS WHITE. Left a bad taste in my mouth.
    If MCCAIN and OBAMA are my choices, I shall vote for neither man.
    Was it always a racially motivated race? Very sad.
    He's a nice boy, but a foolish one. An entire night on black this and black that. He lost my vote, and many others. He's unrealistic, and not ready for the job.
    Francine from Chicago, Illinois

    August 29, 2008 at 8:10 am |
  11. Ken

    I recall the days when partisan reporting was taboo in the media. Gone are the days when candidates are held accountable for what they say in speeches.

    August 29, 2008 at 5:07 am |
  12. Brandi

    For a man who claims he's not a celebrity- that show he put on last night is right up there with Madonna!
    I am an independant and a couple of other things that made me turn off of the Obamas:
    When the Clintons gave their respective speeches Michelle was usually scowling and didn't give a rip until her hero was mentioned. Sportsman like conduct can prove useful- I look at the whole not the parts.
    I will give 0bama points for being a good orator but just because you can satisfy 90K people one time with celebutant style does not a president make.

    August 29, 2008 at 2:43 am |
  13. A.J.

    Obama is apart of history and there is no denying it. To deny that this evening was history is to deny the reality of the Civil Rights movement. Tonight will be written about in history books and will be remembered in all of us who watched from our homes and those who were lucky enough to make it into the stadium.

    On a separate note, written to rebut all right-winged cynic comments. It is extremely disappointing to see such cynics write so negatively about someone who is working for the betterment of the cynic as well as the nation. The ungrateful cynic is to be respected for being human but disappointing in their desire to belittle the magnitude of this night at any level.

    To those cynics who say tonight was "too much:" Was the whole event not paid for by the Obama campaign as well as the Democratic National Party? Was the Obama campaign not funded by the many American who subscribe to the Obama message? It is a campaign and a movement to respect. To deny it's worthiness for praise both on a logistical and political feat is disrespectful on many levels.

    Thank you CNN for your contributions to making this weeks events accessible to us Americans unable to travel to Denver. The confetti that covered the CNN SkyCam at Invesco Field was great!

    Thank you for your efforts and coverage.

    August 29, 2008 at 2:15 am |
  14. ritgar

    Oh, boo hoo to you cranky old GOP wanks. He is not a rock star, but he is charismatic & he is a natural leader. I used to occasionally see him on the Monday 8 AM flight from Chicago to Washington & it was amazing to watch. By the time the flight left, so many people had gravitated to him, it was amazing to see. "No red states, no blue states, just the united States". i want my country back & this is how it will happen.
    I do agree with those commenting on CNN not shutting up – I ended up switching to public television so I could hear what was going on.

    August 29, 2008 at 1:55 am |
  15. rpl

    Interesting Speech......the epitomy political one upsmanship... pre-emtive defense-let's not base this campaign on my lack of expirience in Washington but rather the over experience my opponent. Lets not focus on differences race and politics but he an establishment person , the old white man establishment. Let me thank him for his service to this wonderful country of our by telling him I'm the better man for the job as long as you don't look at my lack of expirience and qualifications and shifting political opinions as factors that should be considered. If you do you automatically want eight more years of polictal ineptitude, but were not running this campaign and trying scare you like they are . So if you don't want more of the same you'd better vote for me........

    August 29, 2008 at 12:48 am |
  16. Deborah Andulini

    Wasn't Martin Luther King Jr. a Republican. I mean no disrespect, but I was taught this in history in college. I find it interesting the dems celebrate it more than the repubs. Why is that? I wish Senator McCain would have taken a step up and celebrated this day of remembrance. I'm not African-American but I'm sure it would have helped his campaign. Don't you think? I think Senator Obama went overboard and Senator McCain just forgot.......................


    August 29, 2008 at 12:26 am |
  17. Shay

    Obama, gave a great speech......he truly went to work tonight

    August 29, 2008 at 12:19 am |
  18. A.T.

    it sickens me to read the things i am reading on this blog right now about Obama. if it is not the true form of "hatin" then i don't know what it is. just ridiculous! some people just can't give credit where its due. you all know good and well that man straight represented on so many levels tonight during his speech! thats why the only thinkg you can come up with is the same old things like "he is a rock star" or "civil rights this and that".......at least be original.....you just too stubborn and ignorant to admit that Obama has substance. Shame ON YOU!!!!!!

    Obama 08'

    August 29, 2008 at 12:16 am |
  19. Tonya W, Charlotte NC

    Thursday August 28th, 2008 I just watched Senator Barrack Obama deliver the most powerful and important speech of my time, of our time. On the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr's declaration "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live up to the true meaning of its creed". Tonight, Senator Obama made me believe we as a nation can, and must deliver on that vision. Our time is now. We can not afford to defer our future for one more minute. This memory will reside in my heart for a lifetime, and hopefully the heart of every American who had the privilege to witness such a historic moment. Proud to be an American, a citizen of this world. God bless America.

    Tonya W, Charlotte NC

    August 29, 2008 at 12:12 am |
  20. Kenneth

    Tonight's speech was GREAT! Barack is the FUTURE of politics. He has proven himself to be the best candidate for the job. And I like so many others will be voting for OBAMA! For a lot of reasons, but just to name a few McCain is #1. Too old to be President, #2. He supports our current President who has clearly driven our country into a ditch. #3. I don't want a President who is living in the past, its time to move on and I think it would be best for Senator McCain to go home to one of his 6 houses! Wait..is it 6 or?? who knows..he's out of touch with today's socitey.. Enough about John McCain, he's clearly know match for Senator Obama! So I'll end by saying this "YES WE CAN, and YES WE WILL"

    August 29, 2008 at 12:05 am |

    @ Janice

    Janice, you were going to vote Republican anyway! Using this speech as an excuse to change your vote is ridiculous. Anyway, McCain is up next, lets see him explain how being a POW for 5 years, and being tortured qualifies him to be president. My concern is that McCain seems to be obsessed with his past imprisonment and can't seem to let go. His answer to everything is "I was a POW!". Great you are a hero, but what does that have to do with the economy and current world affairs..... Vietnam is over McCain!

    August 29, 2008 at 12:04 am |
  22. Ken McMullen

    What's wrong with change and hope? Absolutely nothing. For too long the world has watched the Government of the United States squander its resources on war. Who has profited? The American public? Hardly...

    It is the rich Republican owners of the military industrial complex that has profited on the blood and sweat of America's youth. Shame on the Republican party. There is a name for hope, and it is found in Obama/Biden.

    God Bless sanity, the Democratic Party and God Bless Barack Obama, Joe Biden and America's long suffering servicemen/women and their families..

    August 28, 2008 at 11:55 pm |
  23. Viveca Scott, Honolulu, Hawaii

    We have a "Political Messiah" in Barack Obama. He is what we have been waiting for, someone who is untainted politically with a fresh view for change and unification. His visions are about the future for All, not some!
    Unfortunately, the Republicans have encrusted the rich moreso from the the middle class who are constantly bearing the weight of the rich who know how to hide their assets to the middle class helping the poor. Who helps US? Who listens to US? What do we qualify for?
    We all live in this great country called the United States of America. We need to unify and come together and not be be saying, What's in it for me?
    We need to pay it forward and Obama has electrified us with his youthful energy and exuburance with a vision that is so catching, you can't help but get choked up and emotional about this.
    I am a 58 year old Black woman who is proud of the moments Obama has created for me. I am a part of History and I am fortunate to see these special moments evolve. I am proud to say I am a Black American and I am just so taken to see this emotional time. When Obama clinched the official nomination, chills went up my back and tears welled up in my eyes. I was proud!!!
    I pray that many Blessings are bestowed upon Obama, his family, and the Bidens. I pray that the Lord keeps his hands of safety about all involved in the move to and through the White House years.
    I wish the two asassinated Kennedy Brothers, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,and Obama's Mother & Father were here to see this historical change in this still racist society.
    I just wish that one day we all go to sleep at the same time and when we wake up, we have been changed for the better and all this nonsense dealing color, and who is more powerful would have been a terrible nightmare shared by all. As a last note,- Why is it we can get along in times of disasters, and concerts but we can't be unfied in our normal everyday living?

    August 28, 2008 at 11:42 pm |
  24. Marcos

    Obama hit all the notes, he stepped up at a time when no one else would. He is awe inspiring!. I did not know if I was watching him or visions for the lat Martin Luther King Jr.~ To ALL the haters and previous responses, IT is this past and ignorant american presence that he speaks of getting rid of. THese comments do nothing to contribute to patriotism and unity of our American future!

    August 28, 2008 at 11:40 pm |
  25. Mark Slingha

    Barack Obama's speech was absolutely brilliant. He probably promises more than he can deliver, but what nominee has ever inspired millions of Americans like Barack has? If any Americans are paying attention to the issues and seeing past the fear, they will vote for Obama. Unless they are selfish and stubborn, wanting nothing more than to be greedy ignorant americans. Barack has inspired so many of us, he will be the greatest president in the history of the United States.

    August 28, 2008 at 11:32 pm |
  26. Victoria

    Janice Orange park florida – Sorry civil rights are such a drag for you. You have obviously never had your civil rights threatened!

    Can you really not see the relevance and irony of this speech occuring 45 years from MLK's "I have a dream speech"?

    Come on, Civil Rights are America – "All men are created equal..."

    August 28, 2008 at 11:28 pm |
  27. Anisiha

    I love Barack Obama and his family. I love him for the man of God he is. i love how he allows God to use him. I love that he is balanced. I'm so glad that God made him. He makes me feel so proud to be an American citizen. Him I will follow as he follows Jesus Christ.

    August 28, 2008 at 11:22 pm |
  28. Lisa

    I am amazed & moved beyond words as I watch Obama move through this campaign. McCain wants to talk about his celebrity, but I see it as the hand of God upon his campaign. My whole family has been inspired by the hope for the future that Obama represents. Just as he called for a mix of mutual and individual responsibility in his speech this evening, I think that he is a shining example to young black & white men alike to stand up and take care of their families. It is my earnest prayer that he will win this election.

    August 28, 2008 at 11:17 pm |
  29. mary

    I hope when the world looks back at these past months leading up to the convention and all through this convention – they will see with open eyes what I saw: that Barack Obama made for good photo op but not much else. I listened to every speech Obama made and found nothing inspirational in what he said. (No matter how much the Media seemed enamoured with the Fluff) All I could see was that Obama choose clever and tech savy staffers that won him votes through facebook and text messaging. But a country is not run by faceback and text messages. All his Big Smiles and bumbling hums and haws that Obama congenially gives does not equate to be a good presidential candidate. Looking back, history will be the true judge of seeing that the 2008 democratic nomination as a silly popularity contest that picked fluff over stuff. Image over Substance.
    I would also like to add that to many woman and men, Hillary Clinton was truly the inspiring candidate that should have become the presidential candidate. If it were not for the DNC cramming Barack Obama down the throats of the party to choose an African American versus a woman – Hillary should adn would have been the presidential candidate. The DNC failed to allow the proper candidate to be chosen. (Can you say Florida and Michigan debacle)
    Even the Convention itselves proves the point about how effectivwould Hillary Clinton – and even Bill Clinton would be in the Whiet House again. They are both substanative thinkers and action takers who look to inspire and work to change the status quo for the better. When Hillary and Bill spoke, you felt their healtfelt passion and wisdom in every word. When Michelle Obama spoke – it was a snoozefest about HERSELF, HER HUSBAND and HER FAMILY. Public Office is about what you can do for the Public, not about the public should adore or admire you – and that seems to be the Obamas' goal. It is truly a sad day when image wins over substance. But maybe 2012 will be the reverse. One can only HOPE!!!!

    August 28, 2008 at 11:02 pm |
  30. Chris from Kansas

    Yes! He's a slick one, that Barack. Acting like he knows anything about the battle for civil rights is so put on. He has no personal history of suffering at the hands of the old American slave system and its aftermath.

    Obama may be good at dodging words–so was slick willy. But, John McCain is a real leader who has spent time dodging a mortal enemy and has seen the horrors of war with his own eyes. He has been a POW, tortured and enslaved by foreign hands.

    McCain is a proven man. What is Obama but a proven cheerleader for his own cause. I'm a pretty typical Kansan and I do'n't recognize much in Obama–attention seeking, in love with his own celebrity. Iv'e got news for you, Obama. John McCain is the real deal.

    August 28, 2008 at 11:01 pm |
  31. Ian

    I think that McCain has brainwashed people that Obama is a rock star but if you look at the facts this comment only shows more clearly that Obama has the most support

    August 28, 2008 at 10:46 pm |

    obama needs to tell us his policies and he is not telling us about how he will help the disabled and people on social security. the youg people can work. my children does and 2 jobs some times. talking about bush and mccain is not the answer he needs to tell us aount what he will do. he needs to quiet talking about how great it was to be raised by a single mom. bad the is to many of us was. he needs to push men to get out and work..

    August 28, 2008 at 10:38 pm |
  33. An American Soldier

    To the people of my country. You said on 911 we are Americans and we are strong proud people, do you still feel that way? I DO EVERY DAY! I did when we didn't even have body armor or doors on our Hummers. I do even when I get letters from home saying we may lose the house and things aren't so great here at home.
    My American promised dream is to come home get a job buy a new house and go to school and take care of my family. Tell me will that be here for us when we do come home? American people put Joe Biden and Obama in office to make our dreams come true. We fight hard everyday for the freedoms which we all love>>>Don't we or are you just using the fact we're here but you really don't care about US the American Soldier! I LOVE THIS COUNTRY AND OUR PEOPLE!

    August 28, 2008 at 10:37 pm |
  34. Ian McKinnon

    I have to dissagree his comments are showing what America is suposed to be like! HE is purifing the water that runs through the veins of this great nation. HE is the future of the United States of America

    August 28, 2008 at 10:21 pm |
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