CBS’s Schieffer Compares Obama to Lincoln

Bob Schieffer, CBS On Monday’s CBS Early Show, Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer shared his thoughts on Barack Obama’s inauguration and made this comparison: "Well, people just want to be a part of it. It's like who wouldn't want to be a part of it if you could have been there when Lincoln gave one of his addresses or something...People really do feel this is a moment in history. And they want to be part of it."

Earlier, co-host Harry Smith observed: "And there is an amazing feeling here, especially contrast with the feeling of eight years ago." Schieffer agreed: "Yeah, it really was, because don't forget, you had that really difficult thing down in Florida. People were not convinced. Some people were not convinced that George Bush really was legitimately-" Smith interjected: "Still not convinced." Schieffer continued: "-the president. There was a lot of rancor. People had fun, they came up, and -- but nothing like the spirit that you see here...There is a real spirit here. I've never seen anything quite like it."

Smith later declared: "They're here from Canada, California, Colorado, Ohio. They're from all over the country. Every color of the rainbow. And there really is a sense of togetherness, of unity." He then concluded the segment by exclaiming: "It really is that sort of a sense of E. Pluribus Unum, right?...Out of many, one." Schieffer agreed: "It really is."

Co-host Maggie Rodriguez also shared her thoughts, comparing Obama’s inauguration to that of George H.W. Bush: "The only other inauguration I went to was George H.W. Bush. I was a college student here at American University, and my dorm mates and I came out to see the crowd. And I thought that I saw a lot of people then. But what we're expecting here tomorrow, I can't even imagine, 2 million plus. Some estimates have it up to 4 million." Schieffer added: "Maybe ten times the number of people that were here for George Bush's inauguration in 2004."

Here is the full transcript of the segment:

7:08AM SEGMENT:

MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: We're joined now by Bob Schieffer, CBS News chief Washington correspondent, host of 'Face the Nation,' who, of course, would not miss this for the world. Good morning, Bob.

BOB SCHIEFFER: How are you all?

RODRIGUEZ: Great. Number 12 for you, right?

SCHIEFFER: The 12th. My first was 1965, Lyndon Johnson's inaugural, we came up, my mother had been invited by our local congressman to come. And so I came with her as a guest. And then in 1969, just behind where we are at the Washington Monument, I had my first assignment as a reporter. It was Richard Nixon's inauguration, my assignment as a rookie. Abby Hoffman and a group called the yuppies-

SMITH: Yippies.

SCHIEFFER: -Yippies -- inaugurated a pig-

RODRIGUEZ: Oh my goodness.

SCHIEFFER: -and the pig got out and we were chasing him around in the mud. And my mother called that night and said 'was it just wonderful? How were the gowns at the balls?' I said, 'Mom, we didn't even get inside. We were out there chasing this pig around.'

RODRIGUEZ: You've come a long way, Bob.

SCHIEFFER: Yeah.

HARRY SMITH: This is -- you would have been with the Star Telegram then?

SCHIEFFER: Yeah.

SMITH: Oh my goodness, wow. This is different. This is really different. I've been to a few of these myself. And there is an amazing feeling here, especially contrast with the feeling of eight years ago.

SCHIEFFER: Yeah, it really was because don't forget, you had that really difficult thing down in Florida. People were not convinced. Some people were not convinced that George Bush really was legitimately-

SMITH: Still not convinced.

SCHIEFFER: -the president. There was a lot of rancor. People had fun, they came up, and -- but nothing like the spirit that you see here. I can't tell you, Harry, how many members of the Bush Administration that I have talked to in the last couple of weeks who said this is going to be a thrilling moment. The president himself said it. He said, you know, it is a moment in history. There is a real spirit here. I've never seen anything quite like it.

RODRIGUEZ: The only other inauguration I went to was George H.W. Bush. I was a college student here at American University, and my dorm mates and I came out to see the crowd. And I thought that I saw a lot of people then. But what we're expecting here tomorrow, I can't even imagine, 2 million plus. Some estimates have it up to 4 million.

SCHIEFFER: Maybe ten times the number of people that were here for George Bush's inauguration in 2004.

SMITH: The other thing -- because we were standing here yesterday most of the afternoon. The Washington Monument is just maybe 200 yards from us here. That's about as close as we could get to the concert. But we just stood here and talked to people all day long. They're here from Canada, California, Colorado, Ohio. They're from all over the country. Every color of the rainbow. And there really is a sense of togetherness, of unity.

SCHIEFFER: Well, people just want to be a part of it. It's like who wouldn't want to be a part of it, if you could have been there when Lincoln gave one of his addresses or something.

SMITH: Right.

SCHIEFFER: People really do feel this is a moment in history. And they want to be part of it. I mean, you know, Obama himself said, maybe you'd see it better on TV. Nobody paid any attention.

RODRIGUEZ: Yeah, and then Wednesday it's down to business.

SCHIEFFER: Yep.

RODRIGUEZ: After the Party. Thank you, Bob.

SCHIEFFER: Great to be here.

SMITH: It really is that sort of a sense of E. Pluribus Unum, right?

RODRIGUEZ: Yeah.

SCHIEFFER: It really is.

SMITH: Out of many, one.

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