The Fierce Urgency Of Now

Democratic presidential hopeful,Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., and Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga,. meet during a campaign stop in this Friday, Oct. 12, 2007 file photo, in Atlanta in which Lewis officially endorsed Clinton's candidacy for president.
AP
This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.

The fierce urgency of now.

Martin Luther King, Jr. used those words in a stunning speech against the Vietnam War at New York's Riverside Church in 1967. Barack Obama uses those words now to acclaim, as King did more than 40 years ago, that tomorrow is today.

The battle for the Democratic presidential nomination is not a popularity contest. It is an act of soul-searching. Democrats and independents are taking a serious look at where they've been and where they want to go.

Some early Hillary Clinton supporters have shown a change of heart. Among them is Congressman John Lewis, and here's a clue to why.

Lewis was arrested dozens of times and beaten for his leadership in the civil rights movement. Years later, when he decided to run for Congress, his path was blocked by Julian Bond, the choice of Atlanta's Democratic establishment. Lewis was basically told he would have to wait his turn.

Against all odds and good advice, Lewis ran against Bond. And won. Lewis knew the urgency of now.


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