Bill Schneider recently spoke at a luncheon in Staunton, Virginia. Below is an excerpt from an article on The News Leader.com about the appearance:
Barack Obama's ability to convince voters he can unite the country and end the nation's "cultural civil war" was a key reason for his election victory, CNN's senior political analyst Bill Schneider told a crowd Friday in Staunton.
"In this year, it was all about looking for a uniter; someone who could end the red-blue divide, just like the Progressive Era ended the North-South divide," he said. "And what we are seeing is that (Obama) is determined as president, even as president-elect, to reach across barriers to end this divide."
As part of the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum's annual Luncheon Speaker Series at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel and Convention Center, Schneider discussed the recent election, how he sees the new administration will govern and how the media will cover Obama's presidency.
Eric Vettel, executive director of the museum, said Schneider was perfect for the speech, calling him the "nation's election maestro" and the "most consistently intelligent analyst on television. "
A native Virginian and alumnus of Woodrow Wilson High School in Portsmouth, Schneider said he has observed firsthand the shifting nature of politics in the state. He recalled growing up in 1952, when the state was predominately Democratic, being dismayed that no one saw Virginia as an important battleground state.
"But when we voted for Eisenhower in 1952, Virginia led the way as one of the first Southern states to vote Republican," he said. "Then look what happened this year: Virginia was one of three Southern states that voted Democratic."
Schneider said, based largely on the state's shifting demographics, he predicts there is a good chance Democrats will keep power in the Senate and governor's seat for years to come. But the growing Democratic base in the state will not ensure a successful presidency for Obama. Schneider said coming into power at a time of financial crisis gives Obama a real opportunity to create change. However, even with an expected "honeymoon" period from the press, he will have high expectations to meet.
Just in time for Thanksgiving, Bill Schneider announced his Political turkeys of the year. You can read his top ten on CNN.com or watch the top five:
Andy Plesser from BeetTV spoke with CNN's Soledad O'Brien earlier this month about the election.
One last note tonight. Tis the time of year where journalists frequently get asked what they are thankful for. Here are a few of the responses that I found from some of our favorites on CNN:
John King, anchor, CNN: "I am enormously grateful for the opportunity to visit 31 states in the past 20 months meeting dozens and dozens of the ordinary people that made this such an extraordinary election cycle. I am most grateful that I can focus now on the leaves changing colors, not states changing colors; that I can spend time with my wife, not my map; and for this, to borrow a phrase, Change I Can Believe In: more time with the remarkably patient Noah and Hannah King."
James Carville, political consultant and former strategist for President Bill Clinton: "The thing I'm looking forward to most about Thanksgiving is going back to Louisiana as I have 62 people coming over, so I won't be lonely. "
Gloria Borger, contributor, CNN: "That my twenty-something sons will be home with my husband and me to partake in our Thanksgiving Day tradition of staying home in our sweats and/or jeans, watching football — and that no presidential recount will get in the way!"
CNN's Candy Crowley: "First, last, evermore, my children."