BROWNSTEIN: I was going to say, look, the president has had some success and broadening his coalition outside of Congress. He has had more success than Clinton did at bringing in business interests on really all of the major initiatives whether it's on cap and trade with some of the major utilities...
STEPHANOPOULOS: Or health care policy.
BROWNSTEIN: But the underlying fact I think is George is correct whether you characterize it the way he did or not, what Obama and the Democrats want to do and what the Republicans fundamentally want to do at this point, the gulf is so large, it is very difficult to see them coming together in meaningful numbers.
And if you say what Obama has done in nine months, he really has changed the frame of debate. The stimulus plan included more net new public investment and the things that Democrats prize, like education, alternative energy than Clinton was able to achieve in his eight years.
And let's not forget that he is within sight now of a health care bill that has defeated every president who has tried it since Franklin Roosevelt. So he is changing the terms of the debate. There are political costs, we'll talk about those later, but he is shifting what we're discussing and what the solutions we're discussing are.
STEPHANOPOULOS: One area where we've seen less change than actually I would have expected is on the issue of race relations in the United States. Remarkable poll from the Gallup organization this week. They asked, "Do you think that relations between blacks and whites will always be a problem for the United States, or that a solution will eventually be worked out?" You go back to December 1963, 42 percent thought it would be a problem, 55 percent thought it would eventually be worked out. By November 2008, the number thought a year ago on Election Day, it would be a problem, had gone down quite a bit.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And the number who thought it would be worked out had gone up.
But look at October 2009, right back to where we were, basically, in November 1963, despite all the changes we've had in those times, Reverend Sharpton.
SHARPTON: Because I think the structural inequality is still there. The reality is that you still see the race gap in education, in employment, in health care. And I think the reality has sobered a lot of people up.
I think what the president has done is tried to reach out and bring people together, and I think everyone appreciates that. But I think people are looking at the reality.
So a year after his election, with all the hope of Americans coming together and the great symbolism of having an African-American president, I don't think we've lost that; I think we just sobered up to the reality. We've learned that he can't walk on water, but he's still the best swimmer in national politics.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Best swimmer, George?
WILL: When a poll shows something that is so obviously preposterous, they ought to go back and look at the poll. The Voting Rights Act, public accommodations act, enormous changes in education in the United States, access to college -- we've made enormous strides. And for them to say essentially nothing has changed is just nonsense.
Watch the election in Atlanta this week.