CNN’s David Gergen: Gore’s Speech Worth Reading, Compares Obama to Lincoln

David Gergen, CNN Senior Political Analyst | NewsBusters.orgCNN senior political analyst David Gergen gushed over Al Gore’s speech at Invesco Field on Thursday evening during the network’s coverage of the Democratic convention as he urged viewers to go back and read the text:

I think the Gore speech, he -- while it was way too rushed in delivery, had an awful lot to offer, and was one of the first times anybody in this campaign has spoken seriously to the nation about the potential catastrophe coming from global warming.... I think it's really was worth for a lot of people going back and actually reading the text of Al Gore's speech.

He then mentioned Abraham Lincoln’s "brief time in politics before he became President" in an indirect reference to Barack Obama’s short political career.

Host Wolf Blitzer asked Gergen for his take on Gore’s speech, as well as that of Susan Eisenhower, the granddaughter of President Eisenhower who has endorsed Obama. He praised both speeches, which came in the midst of extended musical performances by celebrity supporters of Obama such as Sheryl Crow: "Well, I must say, Wolf, that as much as all of us enjoy the music, I'm really glad that we've had Al Gore and Mrs. Eisenhower out here speaking so we have some substance to this..." After lauding Gore for taking global warming seriously, he chided both Obama and McCain for not being serious enough on the issue: "I don't think any -- either one of these candidates has really seriously addressed what has to be done, how much sacrifice is going to be required, how rapidly this is moving in on us."

After acknowledging that Eisenhower was a "long-time friend," Gergen rambled on about how both speakers apparently connected Obama to Martin Luther King and Lincoln: "It was interesting that both went back to Lincoln through -- on a night we honor King, went back through King to Lincoln, and helped us to frame these choices tonight." Just before this, he mentioned how both speakers referenced Lincoln’s political career before becoming president: "Both of them... evoked memories of what Lincoln faced -- his brief time in politics before he became president, only eight years in the state legislature in Illinois, just one two-year term in the Congress. That's all the experience he had before he got to the Oval -- got to the White House and yet, became one our, you know, perhaps, our most historic president.

Gergen concluded by highlighting the "memorable" nature of the two speeches and making his recommendation about Gore’s: "So I thought both speeches were memorable, and I think it's really was worth for a lot of people going back and actually reading the text of Al Gore's speech, because a lot of it went by so quickly." It must have been so "memorable" that the viewers didn’t get a chance to absorb it the first time around.

The transcript of Gergen’s remarks, which came 15 minutes into the 9 pm Eastern hour of CNN’s Democratic convention coverage on Thursday:

WOLF BLITZER: Let me get some insight from David Gergen right now. Susan Eisenhower speaking at this convention -- what do you make of it, David?

DAVID GERGEN: Well, I must say, Wolf, that as much as all of us enjoy the music, I'm really glad that we've had Al Gore and Mrs. Eisenhower out here speaking so we have some substance to this too, on an evening, and what was -- I think the Gore speech, he -- while it was way too rushed in delivery, had an awful lot to offer, and was one of the first times anybody in this campaign has spoken seriously to the nation about the potential catastrophe coming from global warming. I don't think any -- either one of these candidates has really seriously addressed what has to be done, how much sacrifice is going to be required, how rapidly this is moving in on us. But -- it was also interesting to me to hear both Gore and Susie Eisenhower tonight -- and Susie is a long-time friend -- go back, on a night when we're all talking about Martin Luther King, and remembering that Martin Luther King stood that historic day at the feet of Abraham Lincoln. Both of them tonight have gone back to Lincoln in their speeches and to -- and have evoked memories of what Lincoln faced -- his brief time in politics before he became president, only eight years in the state legislature in Illinois, just one two-year term in the Congress. That's all the experience he had before he got to the Oval -- got to the White House and yet, became one our, you know, perhaps, our most historic president. It was interesting that both went back to Lincoln through -- on a night we honor King, went back through King to Lincoln, and helped us to frame these choices tonight. So I thought both speeches were memorable, and I think it's really was worth for a lot of people going back and actually reading the text of Al Gore's speech, because a lot of it went by so quickly.

BLITZER: Yes. He did rush through that speech.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center