CBS: Barack Obama = Martin Luther King

Harry Smith, CBS In the wake of Barack Obama officially becoming the first African-American presidential nominee of the Democratic Party, on Thursday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith declared: "This day, August 28, is steeped in history. Barack Obama delivers his historic acceptance speech and 45 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his 'I Have A Dream" speech. August 28, 1963, hundreds of thousands of people came to Washington, D.C. They came to march for jobs, and for freedom, and for equality."

Smith went on to describe Obama as the culmination of all of King’s efforts: "Barack Obama was 2 years old when Dr. King shared his dream. In 2004, Obama burst on to the national scene with a speech that paid homage to King and those who came before him...Tonight Barack Obama will deliver another speech, loaded with history and promise. And expectations are high." Smith also got reaction from poet Maya Angelou: "I mean, we all know he's going to, in front of our very eyes, metamorphose into Martin Luther King -- not really, no. He has a different background. He has, I think, pretty much the same dream. I think he had the same dream that any leader has for her people, for his people." Smith responded by adding: "A dream that would become the American dream."

Smith then wondered: "And if Dr. King were alive today?" Angelou speculated: "It'd be a lot of 'I told you so, we could do this.' To America, not to blacks, not to whites, and not to Asians. But to Americans, 'I knew we could do this.' Amazing, these are really historic moments we're in."

Here is the full transcript of the segment:

7:18AM SEGMENT:

HARRY SMITH: This day, August 28, is steeped in history. Barack Obama delivers his historic acceptance speech and 45 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his 'I Have A Dream" speech. August 28, 1963, hundreds of thousands of people came to Washington, D.C. They came to march for jobs, and for freedom, and for equality.

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR: I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed. We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.

SMITH: King's words have become immortal. Poet Maya Angelou knew the preacher and profit from Birmingham.

MAYA ANGELOU: He was brave. That may be the best thing I can say for anybody.

KING: I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.

ANGELOU: I think that Reverend King, looking out at those people, saw the American dream. And I think in every heart, in every American, there's the wish to belong to a country where you can just stand up and square your shoulders and smile. Yes, that's my country. Yes.

SMITH: Barack Obama was 2 years old when Dr. King shared his dream. In 2004, Obama burst on to the national scene with a speech that paid homage to King and those who came before him.

BARACK OBAMA: I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger American story. That I owe a debt to all of those who came before me, and that no other country on Earth is my story even possible.

SMITH: Tonight Barack Obama will deliver another speech, loaded with history and promise. And expectations are high.

ANGELOU: I mean, we all know he's going to, in front of our very eyes, metamorphose into Martin Luther King -- not really, no. He has a different background. He has, I think, pretty much the same dream. I think he had the same dream that any leader has for her people, for his people.

SMITH: A dream that would become the American dream. And if Dr. King were alive today-

ANGELOU: It'd be a lot of 'I told you so, we could do this.' To America, not to blacks, not to whites, and not to Asians. But to Americans, 'I knew we could do this.' Amazing, these are really historic moments we're in.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC