November 4th, 2008
11:26 PM ET

We lived to see the day

Bill Shneider
CNN Senior Political Analyst

I grew up in the segregated South.
Like millions of Americans, I never thought I'd live to see the day.
We have lived to see the day.

Filed under: 2008 Election • Barack Obama • Raw Politics • William Schneider
soundoff (88 Responses)
  1. Sharon Kitchen

    Yes we can. Yes we did.Yes we sill.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:37 pm |
  2. Van, Alameda, CA


    I really enjoyed your wonderful comments of this historical Election08.

    Thank you.

    I can now be a proud American again.


    November 5, 2008 at 8:12 am |
  3. Kent Fitzsimmons,Kewanee, IL

    It's amazing...................I just cannot believe that this country did the right thing..............I'm very happy today.

    November 5, 2008 at 7:52 am |
  4. Martina Ilstad Germany

    Hey Bill
    I know how you feel.For me it was the same.I grew up in a county with a big wall.Thanks god in the west of the county.I never thought that this wall will be open.But it is!!!We live in history!!!History is happen right now!!!

    November 5, 2008 at 7:36 am |
  5. stan

    just curious: why is it that a biracial person is always considered black when one of the parents is black and the other is white?

    November 5, 2008 at 7:20 am |
  6. Christine Shannon-Preval

    “Yes”, God has Blessed America! After 11:00 pm November 4, 2008 with my eyes closed listening to CNN on TV with my 26-yr old son & 22-yr old daughter, my sons best friend who is also 26-yrs old, and even my niece who is 28-yrs old sat in the den screaming to the top of our lungs “Yes We Did” Obama with tears rolling down our faces in shock, witnessing a Historical Moment!

    As a 47-year old Black Woman remembering 40-years ago how my Mother marched to Washington DC during the Civil Rights in the 1960’s, and camping out on the lawn of the State Capital in Hartford CT for Minority & Women Rights, and how I wish my Mom could be here to share this day!

    In silence, with my eyes closed, I listen to My Heart pounding hard into my ears and my Spirit Cry from those who have come before us chanting “Joy, Joy, Joy” and I felt something special that words can not explain, but I now know that my Son & Daughter’s Generation & Americans of All Colors have Spoken and our Ancestor’s have paved the way for BARACK OBAMA to guide this Nation with wisdom and Spiritual Guidance around the world that will heal & unite beyond our imagination with our 1st Elected Black Man who looks like all of Us! The Color Theory has “Cracked in a Million Pieces” and the people have spoken.

    Yes We Can, and Yes We Did in 2008!

    Christine Shannon-Preval, Hartford CT 11/5/08

    November 5, 2008 at 7:01 am |
  7. Trasa, Texas

    I'm so excited and I see that already he going into transition mode which only reaffirms what I knew he had it in him to do this job. I know it's going to be hard, and change will take time, but the American people will have your back...President Obama. I only wish my great grandmother was alive to see this day. In memory of all those before us who fought.

    Wish the Obama/Biden families well and may God protect you and guide you on your new journey.

    YES WE CAN, YES WE DID AND AND YES HE WILL change America. See, he already has.

    November 5, 2008 at 6:53 am |
  8. Charles, CA

    November 4th 2008 has been marked as the day, a long awaited milestone has finally come. For the first time in American history, an African American has been elected the 44th President of the United States of America. What's to come in the days ahead? This is the question by many that anticipate some sort of "CHANGE". This is one thing that united voters not just across state lines but across party lines as well.

    The cost of living has far exceeded the cost of labor and now America is facing the worst economic decline in history. Day after day, dozens of these low paying companies have filed for bankruptcy protection, while laying off thousands of workers. Bill payments slow as cash levels grow short, forcing many to fall victim to high interest credit cards and loans in order to survive the crisis at hand.

    I remember not being sure which candidate I would endorse, but when asked my answer remained, "someone that will bring a change of politics to benefit the people". Change has been the key theme for the Obama/Biden campaign. The change that's needed is greater than just one man, it's going to take "We the People" to help make this change. We must budget ourselves to live within our means and not be tempted to keep up with the Jones or even try to be the Jones. We must teach our kids and ourselves the fundamental skills of survival (farming, sewing, home economics), not to many people would know how to survive if the economy was to really come to a stand still. The saying, "when life brings you lemons, make lemonade" should not be taken lightly, as it bears a message of survival. So lets all continue to do our part as we did today and cut back on spending as we adapt to better ways of living and getting along while we rebuild ourselves to uphold a stronger economy in a better America.

    Congrats to President Obama

    November 5, 2008 at 4:52 am |
  9. Stephen, NY (just moved from TN)

    Bill, I love the way you put that.

    One day we'll be able to tell our kids and grandkids that we participated in this historic election. Unless we have to tell them that we were too "busy."

    Fortunately, I won't have to say that.

    "Yes we did!"

    November 5, 2008 at 4:23 am |
  10. mary a

    i'm so proud as a world citizen. as a human being. as an african. as a canadian. as a female. as a youth. i'm so happy. i never thought this would happen. i hoped. i dreamed. i prayed. i wished. this is the best day of my life.

    November 5, 2008 at 4:16 am |
  11. Brenda Johnson

    Now the election is over we know we are under the judgement of GOD !!! No one tells Isreal to give away their covenant land that God Himself gave them. Genesis 12 2-3 "I will make you (Isreal) into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."

    November 5, 2008 at 3:54 am |
  12. Jose Nsasi, Toronto

    I love you guys. Americans, you are great. I never thought I’d live to see the day too.

    November 5, 2008 at 3:43 am |
  13. J.V.Hodgson

    Still after he has won people still talk about colour and race.
    American or elections any where should not be about cplour of skin race, ethnicity or religion. After this win the major issue is to take religion out of politics, wherever that is appropriate as it will not happen in Muslim/Islamic states, at least not in my lifetime, but with sensible diplomacy, globaliastion and moderation will reduce in Islamic and muslim states over time at thier pace, not one which is imposed.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:55 am |
  14. Jessica Macabasa

    That's very heartwarming.

    "We have lived to see the day."

    Very inspiring. We all wanted to see this day happening because we love the man that Obama represents, has become. He's truly a blessing not just for America, but for all peoples of the world who see him as an inspiration.

    The world is watching as both lives and history unfold.

    Thanks God for Obama. He's the man.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:20 am |
  15. George S

    I did not see what a truly segregated South was like, i cannot speak to the harshness that so many Americans had to endure.
    I can speak of growing up in Kentucky where many pretend that their prejudices were gone. i remember getting bad looks not only from my friends but even some family when my best friend for years was a black person.
    I hope today is another giant step in achieving Dr King's dream and inspires all generations of minorities that anything is possible with effort ad persistence.
    We are a better country. We have now joined the 21st century.

    November 5, 2008 at 2:10 am |
  16. Barbara H-Kansas City

    I can say this will be a day,( the election of Barack Obama,) the nation first black President of the United States, a lot of American will see a day that all man will look up on in history. To get where I am going. The Emancipation of 1863 , that President Abraham Lincoln,(Democrate from Illinois) signed into law to free the slave, which lead to all forms of killing ,harrassment and discrimination of people of color. Over time people of all color stood up for the rights of the people of color, who were being killed, harrassed and discrimination. The Emancipation of 1863 gave a lot of slave the dream ofhope and prosperity, in which caused a lot of white American, to feel that the people of color where a threat to them, in so many ways, that they has passed laws that would limit anyone of color and their decendent the rights that the White American had on the enconomical and politcal side of their new found freedom, not to achieve things such as education,voting, owning there own property and living a dream of total freedom, to live a fruitful life in harmony and peace. The struggle along the way, has been with a sea of pain with blood and suffering.
    From the beginning of Frederick Douglas, Harriett Tubman, Jackie Robinson, Maya Angelo , to Martin Luther King, Jr, to Rosa Parks and John Kennedy, to all of the American who believed that all men are creative equal, White, Black, Chinese, all people of God. I can say that all American of all nationality can stand up and say that with belief and strength, we as a whole can acheive our dream. It has been 146 years that one man (White) believed that all men were creatative equal, the 16th President of the United States, which along with the other pioneers of history that believed in the change are looking down upon this earth not only with a smile,and with great pride to see the struggle of yesterday, which brought on a new day,a new light, a new history, and a new beginning for all people no matter what your color, religion, creed. As one of our greatest fighter and believer of equal right and freedom, Dr Marting Luther King, who spoke of the difficulties of today and tomorrow. who had the dream, that one day that this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of it creed, that we hold the truth that all men are created equal. On this day 145 year after the passing of the Emanicipation of 1863, we have as man, woman, black and white, open up our eye to see what our forefather and pioneers had struggle, died and fought for, the right to live the American dream, where all things are possible. So on this day November 4, 2008, with the election of the first Black president of The United States,the dream is no more, but it is a reality of what our ancestor prayed for. The opportunity of all men to be acknowledge for who they are and not what they are.

    Barbara H. Kansas City

    November 5, 2008 at 2:08 am |
  17. Ron

    While I am very pleased that Barak Obama was elected and am convinced he will do great things for this country, I am quite disappointed with the racial packaging of Mr. Obama. To be more precise, he is "bi-racial", "multi-racial", or "mulatto". The bottom line is he not "African American" in the traditional sense of those whose families have been here for 400 years in the Americas and has no connection to their legacy. Why can't CNN be fair and objective and present his identity correctly?

    November 5, 2008 at 2:02 am |
  18. Don, WA

    "We lived to see the day" – Yes We Did.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:58 am |
  19. Phyllis from Canada

    Wow! This is huge! Congratulations America!

    November 5, 2008 at 1:56 am |
  20. Annie Kate


    I'm like you – I grew up in the South. My husband grew up in Birmingham and heard the bomb go off in the church that Sunday morning when the little girls were killed. We never thought we would live to see this day either. I'm glad we did.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    November 5, 2008 at 1:40 am |
  21. e..v

    jesse jackson who's been running with the torch
    can he now pass it now! who's been inthe forefront...
    can credit be given to someone who's been there.
    or you think a teeshirt ad is is some merit or a joke!!!........
    or trying to make money ......

    November 5, 2008 at 1:27 am |
  22. ME Rasmussen

    I too grew up watching, in some of my earliest memories, black protesters having firehoses trained on them in Burmingham, AL and asking my parents, "Why are they doing that?". I am so happy to have that memory erased. Forever.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:14 am |
  23. Mr. Britt

    he's right, he will bring "change" to America. Everyone needs to learn the Arabic language now!!

    November 5, 2008 at 1:10 am |
  24. Lilibeth

    I feel so privileged to witness history and to have my vote be part of the voice that made today a great day in our history.

    November 5, 2008 at 1:09 am |
  25. Tina

    I live in Oklahoma in which people still went with the establishment. I think it's an awesome process despite that and am so happy that my children are seeing this change take place while they are still young. Gives me more hope for their futures. They can get ahead despite the color of their skin or their appearance or the size of their parents pocketbooks. Obama has given so many people in this country true hope, something a lot of us hasn't seen in the last 8 years, and I was really sad to think what the next 4 years would have been if the other guy would have won! OBAMA!OBAMA!OBAMA! Victory is ours, sayeth the Lord!

    November 5, 2008 at 1:07 am |
  26. Olivia

    I too, grew up in the deep south and am still here.
    For the first time, in a very long time, in fact a life time, I have "hope" for myself, my children two of which voted for the first time, the veterans like my brother and the Senior Citizens like my mother, and the list goes on an on.
    I believe for the first time that hard work, honesty, and caring for others will mean something, will be the popular thing to do, and will actually pay off.
    I am overwhelmed with joy...but ready to begin!

    November 5, 2008 at 12:51 am |
  27. robert malboeuf

    It is a very significant and historical day in the United States, i am a aboriginal person from northern saskatchewan,canada. i applaude the american votes that instilled the trust in an african american to lead for the future. i feel the Obama will prove himself to the USA, to the world to address the crisis we face in todays challenges. i as a canadian aboriginal and a neighbour can see benefits for north america and the globe.

    November 5, 2008 at 12:50 am |
  28. Jesus

    sorry suckas
    democrats are back on track because the people of the united states of america have chosen,,,gay, straight, black, white, brown, chinese, hindu, catholics,,,,you know everyone that make up this great country have spoken,,,,

    November 5, 2008 at 12:49 am |
  29. Paul, NY

    I am 24 years old... and my mother who is 54, made the same comment tonight... as a member of young America, I could never imagine race being a factor in any part of my life... I am very proud to be an American and an Obama supporter today.

    November 5, 2008 at 12:40 am |
  30. Michael Henningsen

    It just occurred to me that Barack Obama was born on August 4, 1961, almost 9 months to the day after John F. Kennedy was elected president on November 8, 1960. Perhaps President-Elect Obama's parents were inspired by something one night in November, 1960.

    November 5, 2008 at 12:40 am |
  31. Rainer

    Millions of people from around the world just wittiness the most rarest event in World. A nation who has been growing and learning for 221 years has finally matured.

    Ontario Canada

    November 5, 2008 at 12:39 am |
  32. JC-Los Angeles

    As a previously undecided, white male, Independent voter, tonight I just couldn't bring myself to vote for anyone other than Barack Obama.

    He ran a flawless campaign and deserves a chance to show the American people what he can do; if anyone deserved a chance, it was Obama.

    My only concern is that people like Roland Martin and Soledad O'Brien will continue to frame all conversations in racial terms.

    Tonight proved that Barack Obama has been embraced by people of all races, religions and creeds and represents not an African-American President-elect but rather a President-elect that represents a new, hopeful, integrated and better America.

    November 5, 2008 at 12:37 am |
  33. Zaynah Usmani

    Hi I'm Zaynah, I am in Second Grade and I live in Washington state. I am so happy to see Barack Obama become President of the United States of America, he worked really hard in the election. John McCain did a really nice speech and I was sad when he was leaving. He was nice and sweet. I loved President Obama's speech, he was awesome.

    November 5, 2008 at 12:35 am |
  34. Christine, Santa Barbara

    Martin Luther King had a dream, and today it came true! I am now a proud American.

    November 5, 2008 at 12:30 am |
  35. CaseyJ - Palm Springs, CA

    For anyone who's ever been the target of hate or discrimination, this is a huge relief and a major step forward in history. The world will have a new perspective of the U.S. after tonight.

    November 5, 2008 at 12:30 am |
  36. clifton

    I can't believe what i seeing. A black president , over the past years I hears people. SAY YOU WILL NEVER live to see a black president.
    Well tonight i live to see histroic election. I thank all the white people and the black people has well. Know we can united has one people one nation.

    November 5, 2008 at 12:23 am |
  37. Bob Schertz

    Proud to be an American?!?! That is a joke – we just elected a man that has no experience whatsoever ! But wait....I forgot – he is a great storyteller! Just remember in the next few years when we have a socialist country – when it is okay to attend a church that hates America – we got what we wanted! This is not the change I am looking for. For me – it is a SAD day for America.

    November 5, 2008 at 12:20 am |
  38. Carol

    To paraphrase Michelle Obama, "This is the first time in my adult life I am NOT proud of my country". It was the most racist election I have ever seen. Blacks voting for someone only because of his color, not his qualifications.

    November 5, 2008 at 12:17 am |
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