Chicago Tonight: 1996 Democratic National Convention, Day 2

This special edition of Chicago Tonight covers the second day of the 1996 Democratic National Convention, including Jesse Jackson's speech to the convention floor.

0:06Copy video clip URL Introduction sequence to Chicago Tonight. This is a special episode covering the Democratic National Convention in Chicago’s United Center.

0:44Copy video clip URL John Callaway and Elizabeth Brackett discuss the new platform of the Democratic Party. This includes Bill Clinton’s controversial welfare reform bill, which has upset many Democrats, and especially the Hispanic community.

2:56Copy video clip URL Transportation Secretary Federico Pena spoke to the Hispanic caucus, but avoided talking about the welfare reform bill. Hispanics are particularly upset because the bill cuts off aid for legal aliens. Delegates are divided about the issue. Many of them, including Jesse Jackson, are discouraging protest and think it is more important to stay united as a party. Community activist Carlos Arango was working the Hispanic delegation, trying to find support for more activism surrounding the issue. Arango worries that the Democrat’s desire for unity may “paper over” the issue.

7:08Copy video clip URL Gary LaPaille, chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois, talks about the strategy being used at the convention, and the convention’s relevance for taking back control of the House and the Senate.

9:34Copy video clip URL Reverend Jesse Jackson is given an introduction by his son, Rev. Jesse Jackson Jr.

14:02Copy video clip URL Jackson speaks about the gulf between Chicago’s ball parks and the Cook County jail. He relates the increased number of mostly young, under-educated prisoners to the disappearance of industry from Chicago and other cities, as well as growing wealth disparity.

19:37Copy video clip URL Jackson urges the delegates not to become divided over the welfare issue, which could lose them the race. He tries to shift the emphasis from welfare, which he calls the “exhaust pipe” of a broken economic system, to job growth and education.

25:18Copy video clip URL Jackson speaks in support of President Clinton’s reelection, and emphasizes party unity. He ends the speech by talking about his father’s time in World War II, who came back from Europe only to face racial discrimination back in the United States.

35:28Copy video clip URL Senator Paul Simon thinks Jackson’s speech was eloquent and liked his message of party unity. Simon tells Callaway that he does not regret not running for reelection. Callaway asks Simon about the book he co-authored with Ross Perot, and how he reconciles working with a man who is running against Clinton in the upcoming election.

38:33Copy video clip URL The panel at the studio, which includes Elaine Weiss, Andrew Foster, and Joel Weisman, discuss Jackson’s speech. Foster thinks the speech demonstrates that there are deep divisions in the party, and that Jackson’s attitude is out of sync with Clinton’s moderate image. Weisman thinks it would have been risky to run this speech during prime time, and that Jackson should have been more concise.

42:10Copy video clip URL The panel discusses Hillary Clinton’s upcoming speech. Weiss hopes Clinton’s speech will continue the theme of focusing on children and families. Foster thinks it is inevitable for pundits to compare Elizabeth Dole and Hillary Clinton. Weisman thinks Clinton needs to soften up her image, because many older women resent her forceful nature. Foster thinks she attracts resentment because she is an unelected official with too much influence on policy-making.

50:24Copy video clip URL End of tape.



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