We tend to talk more in policy terms and we've got our 10-point plans, but we don't have a narrative, I think, of what it means to be a Democrat. ***Sen. Obama also discussed his drug and alcohol use as a young man:
I think that if you ask the average person on the street, 'What does it mean to be a Republican,' whether they agree with the Republicans or not, they have a clear sense of what the Republican Party stands for, and we're going to have to, I think, do some intellectual work to make sure we understand what it means to be a Democrat.
I went through a period when I was a teenager, where I was rebelling against everything, and I think embracing a lot of the exaggerated stereotypes of what it means to be an African-American.Video of the entire interview is available at CBS.
But, fortunately, I had some wonderful mentors and teachers who, I think, pulled me out of it. I had the love of my mother to stabilize me. And part of the reason I wrote about that period in my life in the book was to make clear that there are all kinds of young African-American males out there who are as talented as I am, as energetic as I am, but also as confused and they may not have the same margins of error that I did.