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tv   Race for the White House  CNN  February 29, 2020 9:00pm-10:00pm PST

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have wanted to change it. you're the junior senator from illinois, and you barely know your way around the hill. and now the party bosses want a meeting. they have a proposition. they want you to take a shot at the white house. not eventually but now. >> think about it, will you? >> well, first you have to get past her, the senator with decades of experience and friends in high places, already at home in the oval office. and then you have to get past him, a senator and bona fide war
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hero backed by a mean political machine. let's say you are ready. here's the real question. is america? only one way to find out. ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ america, president george w. bush's second term. at war in iraq and afghanistan, teetering on the brink of a global economic crash. disillusion, divided, desperate for change. whoever wins the democratic nomination looks like a shoe-in for the white house. senator hillary clinton is ready to roll. >> i am not just starting a campaign, though. i'm beginning a conversation with you, with america. >> we had been working on getting ready for a potential presidential run for hillary
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clinton for a very long time. all the pieces were in place. >> hillary clinton is a major frontrunner as she launches her campaign. she's the former first lady. she is a well respected senator. she is married to bill clinton. >> and i'm in it to win it. [ cheers and applause ] >> the team was never overconfident about winning because a lot of women would vote for the first woman president. the question was would men? ♪ >> in hillary clinton's office is a photograph of the obama family. a gift from the freshman senator from illinois. >> people call me alabamer, they call me yomamer, but the name's obama. >> barack obama really wasn't on our radar as a candidate in early 2006. i think the general feeling was he just got to the senate, there is no way he's going to run for president. that would be pretty, you know,
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audacious. >> i got a call from senator obama in the spring of 2006, and he said i just had the most peculiar meeting. senators harry reid and chuck schumer called me. >> top democratic dogs on the hill. >> and harry said you ought to think about running for president. ♪ like every overnight success, obama's didn't actually happen overnight. >> we waged a quiet campaign to get him the keynote slot at the 2004 democratic convention.
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>> do we participate in the politics of cynicism? or do we participate in the politics of hope? >> he wants to think that he's ready for the nation. >> the hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that america has a place for him too. [ cheers and applause ] >> that he is coming from a very distinct background that represents the american story. >> there is not a black america and a white america and latino america and asia america. there is the united states of america. >> i think everybody saw this guy is going to be president someday. but so soon? so quickly?
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did i think he had the makings of a good president? i certainly did. did i know he had the makings of a presidential candidate? i wasn't sure about that. >> my concern is that he wasn't pathological enough. >> he said you know me i'm competitive. he said i'm not getting in this to lose. >> and how does the candidate's wife feel? >> michelle obama is a realistic. she wants to know just how bad it could possibly be so she can prepare herself for that. >> at one point she asked what is it that you think you can contribute that nobody else can contribute? and barack said the day i put my hand up and take that oath of office, the world will look at us differently, and there are kids all over this country, millions of kids who will look at themselves differently. >> i stand before you today to announce my candidacy for president of the united states of america. [ cheers and applause ]
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>> from the day that barack obama entered, he was the opponent, we knew that. it was a puzzle trying to figure out how to stop that phenomenon. >> one part of that puzzle, an unpopular war in iraq. obama spoke out against it. clinton voted to support it. chief strategist mark penn's idea is to double down on clinton's toughness by channeling britain's iron lady. >> one of his strong messages to the team and to the candidate, it was we need margaret thatcher, not mary tyler moore. other people, myself included, felt that american voters really needed to see the hillary that we knew, fiercely loyal, fiercely nurturing, funny. but we lost that battle. [ applause ] >> in late march 2007, the iron lady and the skinny kid with the
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funny name face off in las vegas. the issue? health care. >> she has been studying public policy all of her life. she's really, really good. >> so we can't get universal health care coverage unless we end insurance discrimination once and for all. [ cheers and applause ] >> obama looked ill-informed. he didn't really have a fully formulated plan. >> i would like to -- >> he always resisted and really resented the performance part of politics. >> as i indicated before -- >> that really wasn't how he was wired. >> we have a plan that we are in the process of unveiling. >> he was kind of cut down to size a little bit. >> we're all going to have plans, that's not in doubt. we need a movement.
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>> she cleaned his clock. >> thank you all very much! >> and he was blunt about it and he said hillary looked like a president up there and i didn't. now starting at $7.99. now that's eatin' good in the neighborhood. -excuse me. uh... do you mind...being a mo-tour? -what could be better than being a mo-tour? the real question is... do you mind not being a mo-tour? -i do. for those who were born to ride, there's progressive.
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i know how to fight, and i know how to make peace. i know who i am and what i want to do. [ applause ] >> senator john mccain is in portsmouth, new hampshire, to announce his bid for the 2008 republican nomination. >> john mccain is a hero of
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mine, the insurgent, the smart guy, the fighter, you know, the truth teller, you know, the underdog. >> he is a genuine war hero, prisoner of war, shot down over north vietnam, badly wounded. >> what is your rank? >> lieutenant commander in the navy. >> and your number? >> 64787. >> his father was an important figure in the u.s. military. and he was given the opportunity to leave captivity early, and he says i'm not going to go, i'm going to sit here in hell with my colleagues. >> mccain is going to need all his legendary resilience to overcome the legacy of the current republican president. >> the iraq war, the abuse of
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iraqi prisoners by american military, the gross negligence towards the victims of hurricane katrina, the economy is souring, and bush's approval ratings are down in the 30s. >> george bush was like a tire that was lit on fire and hung around john mccain's neck. >> once considered the gop frontrunner in the race for the white house, john mccain is now struggling to keep his campaign afloat. >> the campaign wasn't managed well, and a lot of money was raised but it was also spent. >> we had a staff of about just under 400 people. we had a massive campaign office in crystal city. we started running out of money. we started running out of support. there were genuine divisions and friction. >> strategy, money, um, a whole list of things. >> john knew the campaign wasn't working. he was either going to get out of the campaign and cut his losses or he was going to have to change the campaign dramatically.
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and so john mccain did what was a typical john mccain move. in order to get a little relaxation and clear his mind, he went to a battle zone. he went to iraq. >> in baghdad on the fourth of july, surrounded by the military he so admires, john mccain attends a reenlistment and naturalization ceremony. >> when he got to the ceremony, he saw boots of the guys who were going to be made naturalized citizens there. they had been killed in action, and that got to him. >> john came back and told us this story, and it was very emotional. and he said i looked at that and i realized i need to fight as much for my country as they are. >> mccain makes a bold tactical move stripping his campaign to the bare bones and relaunching it as the no surrender tour. >> okay, guys, we're having fun now. >> while other candidates, republican and democrat,
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distance themselves from the unpopular war in iraq. the maverick john mccain defends it, insisting that victory is within reach. >> he told us all that the new campaign theme is he'd rather lose the presidency than to lose the war in iraq. >> mccain believed not only in the war but that we needed to put more troops in in order to make sure we won the war, the so-called surge strategy. >> with the surge comes additional troops and additional spending that a war-weary nation was very likely to contest. i remember one crowd i think it was in somebody's garage. >> we cannot surrender in iraq, my friends, and we will not as long as we support the people who are serving. >> the republican race has gotten crowded.
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among the frontrunners is former governor of massachusetts, mitt romney. a candidate who's everything mccain is not. >> very buttoned down, very conservative in his personality and his style, very smooth on the stump. >> determined to grab back the media spotlight, mccain picks a fight with romney. >> he had been wishy-washy on the iraq war, he didn't want to get into it. we saw it as a vulnerability. >> the opportunity comes during a republican debate in new hampshire when the subject of the surge comes up. >> what i've indicated is that it is very consistent with what we are hearing from iraq right now and that is that the surge is apparently working. >> and of course john saw that as the moment and he pounced. >> governor, the surge is working, the surge is working, sir. it is working, no, not apparently, it's working. >> it's not apparently, it is working. that's surrender to say apparently working.
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>> and i can assure you it is more than apparent. we have to rally the american people. >> and it worked. the essential mccain came through. >> it's not that people like wars but they like being winners. and john mccain gave him the first inkling of hope that we can actually pull this off at a time when everyone's war weary, that was the magic. [ applause ] >> john mccain sails into the primary season to anyone who will listen that mac is back. >> i will be the republican nominee for president of the united states. [ cheers and applause ] >> we were able to thread through the eye of a needle. john mccain had done it his way like frank sinatra. a's. this guy looks like he's ready for some scampi bites. wait a sec i feel like i know you?
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[ fast-paced drumming ]
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can i say hello? >> barack obama's knocking on every door in iowa, determined to win this crucial first state. >> hillary clinton was such a strong frontrunner. our view was we had to win in iowa, not come in second, not come in third. we had to have a jolt. we had to have her have a setback. >> if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. [ laughter ] >> obama's iowa strategy is months in the making. painstakingly built from the grassroots up. >> he's a candidate running for
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president. >> we had young people from around the country who descended on iowa and really became kind of indigenous to their communities. >> they had to use their skill, their personality, their persuasion, their character to recruit people. >> you know, i had someone poking his finger in my chest saying we're going to win iowa, right? he's like we are going to win, yes, we are. >> so i was organizing southeast polk county, and i would post up at a coffee shop sort of at a roadside diner. any time someone would walk up, i would perk up and earnestly hope to bring them over to talk to me. i became a known figure in the community. people would say, oh, yeah, you're that chinaman that's over
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at the coffee shop. [ laughter ] and i would be, yeah, i guess that's me. it took maybe a month before the first person came up and chatted me up. we knew that we were gaining some ground. ♪ >> just over 50 days before caucus night with barack and michelle dancing out front, team obama revealed for the first time the strength of their organization. >> we had amazing young people showing up. these are not traditional caucusgoers. we kind of made caucuses seem cool. >> we had the drumline in which they were always just crushing it, great energy, got on my bandana and my t-shirt, me and ronnie cho doing the chobama dance outside. >> there must've been 3 or 4,000 volunteers and supporters. you can hear the drum getting
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louder and louder as it marched downtown. someone said, oh, my god, it's like "lord of the rings." >> iowa was perplexing to our campaign. you know, young people do not caucus. they just don't. >> hillary's campaign dismissed them as facebook kids. but they were the future. they were obama's people. and hillary's people missed that. >> at 6:30 on caucus night and in the next couple of hours, obama's ten-month iowa gamble will either be won or lost. >> i had no idea what a caucus was before i got there. >> i think the most important thing to remember about the democratic caucuses is they're not an election, they are a caucus. they're more like a meeting.
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and people stand up and be counted. >> but the best way to describe it is 90 minutes of organized chaos. >> we need one person for obama. >> yes, i have been counting for obama. >> oh, thank you, you rock. >> it was so loud in there you could not think. and i'm trying to hold it together, but i felt confident because i know that i had done the work and i knew every single person walking in that door. i knew their families. i've had lunch in their living rooms. in that moment, they're not thinking about the speech you gave, they're thinking, you're representing obama. i believe in you. i trust in you. you're making a good case. i'll be for you. >> holy shit. holy shit. >> we are back on the air here in des moines. nbc news is projecting that when all the caucusgoers are counted up, barack obama will win the iowa caucuses on the democratic side. >> history.
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>> i may live to a hundred years old and i will maintain that that will always hold a place as one of the best nights of my life. >> iowa caucus night was really probably the worst night of my political life. we thought, you know what, maybe she is just not likeable enough to be president. >> with the new hampshire primary just days away, the media is drafting clinton's political obituary. >> i had the task of telling her that we were not in a good place, that our polling showed that we were going to lose new hampshire. and, worse, we may even come in third. so, from there, you know, she goes to her first event.
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>> we are in the rv, we're campaigning, and someone gets on and says hillary just broke down at an event. >> our communications people, our press people are getting calls, hillary's crying. >> i have so many opportunities from this country, i just don't want to see us fall backwards. >> when i saw the footage of her looking into her heart and answering why she wants to be president -- >> i see what's happening. we have to reverse it. >> -- i thought, all right, this is good for us. >> and when the results come in, the tears in the clinton cap are tears of joy. >> for the first time this evening i can tell you that campaign officials do believe that she's won here tonight. high-fives being exchanged all around. >> it was a real turning point for the campaign. >> over the last week i listened
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to you, and in the process i found my own voice. [ cheers and applause ] >> i think we were shellshocked. it was just a profoundly painful defeat. he said, you know what, it shouldn't be too easy. and i remember thinking why not? motor? nope. not motor? it's pronounced "motaur." for those who were born to ride, there's progressive.
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the fight for the democratic nomination rolls into south carolina. ♪ and the gloves are coming off. >> wait a minute, just a minute -- >> he said, look, this can be a tough debate and i'm going to be tough. >> while i was working on those streets watching those folks see their job shift overseas, you were a corporate lawyer sitting on the board of walmart. i was fighting these fights. >> he didn't say it but i think he thought it was important for the african-american community in south carolina to see that he wasn't going to be pushed around. >> political arguments here often circle around the issue of race. >> see, in south carolina, race permeates everything. it doesn't matter where you go to church, where you go to school, where you live. race is just kind of a defining factor. >> up till now, the obama strategy on race has been largely to steer clear. >> we always understated race.
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he always used to say i'm of the african-american community but i'm not limited to it. >> that was audacious on his part. for him to say i'm not going to let you put me into this small box. i want to be in the full box, the big box with everybody. and people thought he was trying to be post-racial. >> but in south carolina, history is too raw, and memories too bitter for post-racial to fly. >> there was a serious fear in the black community that every time we get our hopes around a great leader like dr. king, like malcolm x, that they all get assassinated. and there were people who literally said i don't want to vote for barack obama because i'm concerned for his safety, that if i vote for him and put him in that position, they are going to try to kill him.
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>> michelle obama had hit south carolina early to address the issue head on. >> she goes right into orangeburg, and she, in her own way, directly and clearly said to the crowd that was gathering i know you're afraid, i have those same fears, but we have to conquer those fears. >> we all have that. >> look, don't treat them like your grandmother's living room furniture that's covered in plastic. we have to take the plastic off. that rang so true to so many people. >> let's prove to our children that they can really reach for their dreams. i want that for my girls.
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let's show them that america is ready for barack obama today, right now. [ applause ] >> i was taping some ads with michelle obama, and i looked and said, oh, my god, i can't believe this. this can't be true and she's going what, what? and finally i said it says we are going to win by 30 points. and i think she slugged me and said don't ever do that to me again. >> obama scores big, and his supporters go wild. there was a spontaneous chant that erupted at his victory "race doesn't matter." it was in one way a beautiful thing to hear that, and in
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another way, it was way premature. >> we were winning, winning, winning, winning, winning. >> and when it hit, it hit like a lightning bolt. >> the government gives him the drugs to build bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law, and then wants us to sing "god bless america." >> on march 13th, 2008, america is introduced to the reverend jeremiah wright. >> jeremiah wright is the pastor of barack obama and his wife. he married them, he had baptized their two little daughters. >> no, no, no, not god bless america, god damn america. >> how could you go to this church for 20 years and not know this guy? >> i sort of agree. >> obama's out. >> this was a grade-a political [ bleep ] storm. >> new polls say obama's taking
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a big hit because of his pastor. >> the backlash is so swift and so fierce and so visceral that barack obama has to react. >> he called me and he said i want to give this speech on race, it's non-negotiable and i want to give it no later than tuesday morning. >> i remember sitting in the audience next to michelle obama, and we were all kind of bracing ourself. >> reverend wright's comments were not only wrong but divisive, divisive at a time when we need unity. i can no more disown him than i can disown my white grandmother, who, on more than one occasion, has uttered racial or stereo typical comments that made me cringe. >> people feel it. they don't just think it they feel it. >> these people are part of me, and they are part of america,
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this country that i love. >> it actually turned a moment of a doubt into a moment of triumph because he looked like a president of the united states. >> hillary clinton slugs it out until the end. and when she finally goes down, she goes down fighting. >> although we weren't able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you it's got about 18 million cracks in it. [ cheers and applause ] >> on a balmy august night in denver in front of 80,000 people, barack obama accepts his nomination. >> for me that was one of the times when the history of this was apparent.
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you see him stride out there, the first african-american nominee. it was a magical night. [ cheers and applause ] >> thank you so much. >> the next day, obama's magic night is overshadowed by breaking news. >> our phones start buzzing with rumors that john mccain is picking sarah palin for his vice presidential pick. and we're all like what? there's moving... and then there's moving with move free ultra. it has triple action support for your joints cartilage and bones. and unlike big glucosamine chondroitin pills, it's all in one tiny pill. move free. find our coupon in sunday's paper.
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a book that you're ready to share with the world? get published now, call for your free publisher kit today! trailing in the polls, republican nominee john mccain decides to roll the dice. >> we started at looking what we could do to get back in the race because we were barely mentioned in the news. we were desperate for attention. >> she's not from these parts and she's not from washington. but when you get to know her, you're going to be as impressed as i am. >> we needed to find someone that could move some votes, and we sure did. >> i am very pleased and very
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privileged to introduce to you the next vice president of the united states. [ cheers and applause ] governor sarah palin of the great state of alaska! [ cheers and applause ] >> was just your average hockey mom and signed up for the p.t.a. i love those hockey moms. you know they say the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? lipstick. >> there was not another word to be breathed about barack obama on the evening news that night. it was all sarah all week long. ♪ >> i was surprised and elated. she was known as a conservative republican, a solid conservative
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outspoken. >> she's particularly particular with white working-class evangelical churchgoers. >> she had a great impact on the ticket and boosted mccain's chances. she drew bigger crowds out in the country than mccain did. >> mccain had no real argument for why he should beat barack obama. but when he picked her, a significant slice of the country just lit up. >> obama says national politics is really tough. he said it took me six months to become a decent candidate. maybe she's the greatest candidate since ronald reagan. but i give this a month and we'll know in a month what kind of candidate she is. >> what insight into russian actions particularly in the last couple of weeks does the proximity of the state give you? >> they're our nextdoor neighbors. and you can actually see russia from land here in alaska. >> the media was rough on her. but that's what you expect when you're in a presidential campaign. >> you've cited alaska's
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proximity to russia as part of your foreign policy experience. what did you mean by that? >> every morning when alaskans wake up, one of the first things they do is look outside to see if there are any russians hanging around. [ laughter ] >> "saturday night live" doesn't treat anyone fairly. >> it's our responsibility to say, shoe, get back over there. [ laughter ] >> sarah palin really didn't get a fair shot to be able to present her own credentials to the american public without getting defined in advance by the media. she wasn't looking for a pass. she was just looking for a fair break. >> the palin phenomenon is only upstaged by an event of global significance. >> so on september 14th, 2008, i called a meeting at my office because we were worried about sarah palin. and at the end of the meeting senator obama said i just spoke to hank paulson last night for
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an hour, who is george bush's treasury secretary, and he said something bad overnight is going to happen. i can't tell you what it is, but it's going to have a dramatic impact. >> it was a monday morning like none other in the 158-year history of financial giant lehman brothers, the company went bankrupt. >> this is a global catastrophe, the market is selling off 800 points a day. you felt like you were in a crashing airplane. >> john said i got to do what's right for the country. >> and i'm not going to be campaigning because of this crisis. i think we should cancel the next presidential debate. >> then obama comes out and says, guess what. >> it is going to be part of the president's job to deal with more than one thing at once. >> and kept on campaigning. >> john mccain asks to have a summit meeting at the white house that he will attend, obama will attend, and senate leaders and congressional leaders will attend as well as the incumbent
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president george bush. >> the breaking news happening right now, president bush and the men running to replace him together at the white house talking about the nation's financial crisis. >> and the word gets out in the media that obama seemed supremely presidential in the white house and john mccain did not. >> the world economy fell apart in that campaign. and he somehow as a junior baby senator looks more presidential handling it than a legendary war hero in john mccain. >> i think from that point on, we wouldn't have said it to each other, but i think in all our minds, we knew that the odds were almost impossible. >> mccain resumes campaigning the next day. and the first presidential debate will go ahead as scheduled. >> before the first debate i was a nervous wreck.
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i turned to obama and i said, how are you feeling? and he said, just give me the ball, man. i'm ready.
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i was reading today a copy of the "new york times." >> a month before election day, with the republican ticket just 6 points behind, sarah palin lobs a grenade into the obama campaign. >> and i was really interested
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to read in there about barack obama's friends from chicago. it turns out, one of his earliest supporters is a man who, according to the "new york times," was a domestic terrorist. >> the article, about 1960s re looksary bill ayers, offers the republican ticket a chance to come from behind. >> bill ayers was a professor in chicago and a neighbor of barack obama. but he had a very radical past. he had been a member of the domestic terrorist group, the weather underground in the late 1960s, 1970s, that planted bombs in the u.s. pentagon and the department of state. >> the mccain team seizes the moment. >> we did decide the relationship that obama had with bill ayers was inbounds. we took advantage of it.
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>> barack obama and domestic terrorist bill ayers, friends. they've worked together for years. but obama tries to hide it. why? >> obama plays down his relationship with ayers. but the controversy adds fuel to a racist whispering campaign that is taken up by the main stream media. >> there was a dark underbelly. the whole notion that senator obama wasn't born in this country. that he was a muslim. mrs. obama was described as the angry black woman taking her phrases out of context. all intended to distort and discredit both michelle and barack obama and make him under electable. >> as the election draws near and the crowds get bigger, for mccain, he starts to hear and see statements from the crowds that are unfair to barack obama. >> we're scared. we're scared of an obama
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presidency. >> mccain could just, if he wanted to, just laugh it off. ignore it. change the subject. pivot. that's what politicians are supposed to do. >> i have to tell you, i have to tell you, he is a decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared as president of the united states. now -- >> you don't to have correct your own people. unless you're john mccain. >> i can't trust obama. i have read about him. and he's not, he's an arab. >> and he will probably be remembered 100 years from now for the moment of truth choice
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he makes. >> no ma'am. no ma'am. he's a decent family man citizen that i happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues. that's what this campaign is all about. thank you. >> did he something that is not often done in politics. a moment of fairness and grace in a difficult situation. >> that was mccain at his best. >> we want a fight and i will fight. but we will be respectful. i admire senator obama and his accomplishments. >> he looked at his own base and he says no. i don't want your support based on a lie. i want your support based on the truth of who i am. and it may have cost him. who knows? >> that's the way politics should be conducted in america.
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>> good morning election day. after a hard fought battle -- >> it shifts to america's voters -- >> happening now, an historic election day in the united states. >> two men, two parties, two very different visions. >> we knew we were going to win and we were clear we on win with a big margin. it didn't become clear until all the networks said -- >> barack obama. 47 years old, will become president-elect of the united states. >> i had watched the cloud build. the spirit is hard to put into words. it was peaceful, jubilant, strangers were hugging one another and crying with emotion. >> it was such a striking moment. young, african-american, so much promise.
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>> the road ahead will be long. our climb will be steep. >> but it was more so sober than people think. it was almost like deep breath time. like, okay. now the real work begins. >> we will get there. i promise you. we as a people will get there. spring, 1937. albert windsor known as bertie is woken by the sound of a military band. practicing for his coronation.
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he is about to be crowned king george vi. a role he never wanted. his elder brother close to give up the throne to marry a twice-divorced american. >> i cannot be king without the help of the woman i love. >> can king george, the shy man with a stutter, mend a broken monarchy? his brother edward has not gone quietly into exile. and a looming war threatens global kings.


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