January 8th, 2008
11:33 PM ET
5 years ago

Clinton claims victory in New Hampshire Democratic primary

Big support from women helped fuel the Clinton win.

Big support from women helped fuel the Clinton win.

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (CNN) - Sen. Hillary Clinton claimed a come-from-behind victory in New Hampshire's Democratic primary late Tuesday, edging out her Senate colleague, Barack Obama, after placing third in the Iowa caucuses.

Flanked by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and daughter Chelsea, the New York senator told supporters she "found her own voice" in the five days since Iowa, and promised them "we are in it for the long run."

"I felt like we all spoke from our hearts, and I'm so gratified that you responded," she said. "Now let's give America the kind of comeback that New Hampshire has just given me."

Obama, the first-term Illinois senator, had beaten her in Iowa and saw his lead grow to near-double digits in polls taken just before the Granite State's first-in-the-nation primary. But with 81 percent of precincts reporting Tuesday night, Clinton led the Democratic field with 39 percent of the vote.

Obama had 37 percent and conceded defeat shortly before Clinton spoke. Former Sen. John Edwards, who placed second in Iowa, had 17 percent, while New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich trailed in single digits.

Clinton had worked to blunt Obama's message of change by pointing to her own record as an advocate for children and health-care reform, which she called "the work of my life."

"For all the ups and downs of this campaign, you helped remind everyone that politics isn't a game," she said. "This campaign is about people, about making a difference in your lives, about making sure that everyone in this country has the opportunity to live up to his or her God-given potential."

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • New Hampshire
soundoff (151 Responses)
  1. Eddie

    Brandy? . . . What strikes me odd is that the American people permitted George to walk into Washington and just change everything. And that has been real people! Should we or shouldn't we know that Washington isn't set up so that one person can control the decisions or just make changes as George has?

    Playing the game properly perpetuates the same proper game.

    January 9, 2008 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  2. Nice, Houston, Texas

    "Phonies FADE FAST," HILLARY

    Her fake tears won her NH, but she will not be President because of it. She has become even more divisive with these disingenuous fabrications, accrued more bagage. Sooner than later she'll tear up again.

    January 9, 2008 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  3. Tom Darby

    Well, "THE BEST POLITICAL TEAM ON TV" sure got it wrong in NH. Maybe, now you will know that a poll with a five percentage point error cannot predict an election with a two percentag point difference. Your talking heads need to return to the math class room.

    January 9, 2008 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  4. Maggie,Pittsburgh,PA

    Here we go again! Isn't it important that we look at a persons accomplishments from their past and present rather than their race,religion or other qualities? Hillary produced CHIP, ADA, balanced the budget with her husband..Do we not remember preventative healthcare? Instead hospitals and insurance company regultors decide when we no longer need treatment?(And many times at the cost of human lives?!?) Do you really want someone in office that isn't going to address the economy, taxes, the environment, US jobs and the betterment of your situation?!? Hillary in 2009!! We need stability, not6 excessive spending!! HILLARY IN 2009!

    January 9, 2008 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  5. Ted

    Personally, I can't stand Hillary, and she scares me. However, she won, so get over it. We spend all this time calling other candidates names, and calling the current administration unbelievable names. Then we complain when the partisan policitics as usual continues in Washington. We can't be civil, so why should the politicians? We elect them, so one tends to get what one deserves. I know I have posted negaive comments, and have been criticized in return, but can't we respectfully disagree and debate?? For the record, I am mostly Republican, and think someone like McCain might be a good president. Why? He seems like a straight shooter, is honest, and has the experience. More so than the alternatives at least, though is support for what he thinks is right in Iraq is not always popular. Not the best orator, but we need someone who can lead right now. I also happen to think Biden would be a good choice, but he never got the attention. Alas, let's take the country back into a "duty" frame of mind, rather than an "entitlement" frame of mind. If we can't be willing to respect other opinions, how can the servants we send to the capitol? Just a thought.

    January 9, 2008 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  6. Duncan, Richmond, VA

    Clinton is a hard core politician. No words come out of her mouth that has not been discussed in great detail by a huge team of people. If people truly believe that Clinton is about change then you know very little about politics.

    Take a look at her policies. They are all BS statements. "Hillary has proposed an Apollo Project-like program dedicated to achieving energy independence" ... how? who? costs? who pays? How does that trickle down to the consumer if the corporations ignore the project? Bush has been making such statement for 7 years, where are the results?

    Like all the politicians, they are wishy washy statements with no substance and the American voter is failing for the same stuff time and time again. You want change and yet vote for the same. Pathetic. If you want real change from a candidate who has detailed exactly what he will do, then Ron Paul is the only viable candidate.

    January 9, 2008 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  7. Ten

    Ted, I don't like her either. She is just not believeable. She is so untrustworthy. She has taken everything that Obama has said and tried to make it her own. The people of New Hampshire, let's face it, they get it wrong just as much as they get it right. I'm voting for Obama. Hands down. I see no other way. Hillary is just craying wolf, and they fell for it. No mam. No mam.

    January 9, 2008 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  8. Nicky

    To everyone who supported Hillary please remember that NH was by NO Means a landside victory....It was a TIE!!! One down but she has several more to go. Do you think she can make it??

    Another woman not voting for Dear Hillary!!!!


    January 9, 2008 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  9. Maggie,Pittsburgh,PA

    Look for results that will better our/your situation..employment,taxes,healthcare,and the truth..Republicans waste money.destabilize the economy, send jobs overseas and place hard working Americans in the UNEMPLOYMENT office..Think before you speak ill of someone who has done such good for our country.

    January 9, 2008 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  10. Kevin, Illinois

    I personally cannot stand Hillary Clinton.I don't believe her policies are the right thing for America. If you listen to what she " promises" to deliver,nationalized everything, you will realize that these are the same words the socialists use. I do not want the government that involved in my life. As for her gender, I don't care one iota that she is a woman. I would be more apt to vote for a Margaret Thatcher type than a Hillary Clinton type.

    January 9, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  11. Trevor

    I don't care if the tears were fake or real. This is politics, and everything is pretty calculated. Finding voices, refining messages, swapping campaign managers are all ways of saying, "my message isn't resonating, I need to tap a stronger vein". Duly, it is of no great coincidence that as any given candidate captures the popular imagination, other camps are quick to co-opt it. This, to me, is the tragedy of elected office as it exists: campaigns are not about messages, not about beliefs, they are about getting elected and staying elected. Perhaps this a natural evolution of a democracy, where elected office becomes like any other job in the country. To that end, I am less shocked than dismayed that candidates play the game of saying what they think we want to hear, versus saying what it is that they truly believe.

    After watching several debates, I can say that Hillary misses the mark for me as her temperment seems incompatible with political progress–the rapidity with which she shouted down Edwards after Edwards tried to disassociate his campaign from Hillary's, followed quickly by her emotional statements about how this is all really personal for her (seems Edwards said that a couple days earlier) appears much to opportunistic to be real. Edwards and Richardson struggle with the "Presidential" factor as, I would not want to send Richardson to speak as my "Head of State", though bet he would be fun to have a beer with, while Edwards is too myopic on the working class struggle which–to be frank–will not accomplish anything, unless we want to be the new France.

    That leaves me with Obama from the Dem camp. He is articulate and comes across as capable of leadership. I must admit to being humored by the rabid Clintonites above who harp on the experience factor as, to my mind, the Presidential post is about leadership and the ability to lead / inspire, versus the ability to debate / pass policy. Those who think anyone who has spent any time in Washington doesn't understand the gives and takes of the political process, and use this to talk down Mr. Obama, are fooling themselves. His appeal to Dems, Reps, and Independents tells me he is the most electable of the Dems and, simply, in a year in which the Dems should sweep up Congress and the White House, I would rather have a conciliatory, rational voice than one that comes across as hell-bent on avenging the Bush years. This isn't about yesterday, it's about tomorrow. And Clinton, to my mind, can be beat in a national election because she is too polarizing, she will unite the Reps and a large swath of Independents to mobilize against her and Bill, and even some Dems I know.

    January 9, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  12. chris

    McCain is a walking time bomb, just itching to draft our boys for a global empire. The economy will not go into recession. Just hype to get people to spend more money. So spend more money!!! Obama is a good "hope" candidate for us and the rest of the world as long as he gets really sound advices. Junior senators arent stupid and he is about ""WE". He will not lead us to turmoil (Watch CSPAN tapes on him he is the same as he is now). Clinton is a great choice for America but not on foreign policy, most countries won't respect her because of her history all of it and we will further be disrespected from the international community. These words are golden.

    January 9, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  13. William Withrow

    It amazes me how well the Clinton campaignes know how to tap into people. They KNEW that as stupid as Hillary's staged emotional display and crying would be to some people, that the demographic group they were trying to reach would respond like Pavlov's dogs. That is both admirable and scary at the same time. I think we may chose to keep these people around because they simply entertain us. Watching them is better than anything Vince McMahon and the WWE could possibly think up for their scripts.

    January 9, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  14. Toots

    Your news reporting is dreadful. This is the lead sentence of your lead article: "Sen. Hillary Clinton claimed a come-from-behind victory in New Hampshire's Democratic primary late Tuesday." I began watching CNN at 8:01 pm which was, to my knowledge, your first reporting of the vote results (except for the small groups of midnight voters). Hillary was ahead from the start and she never fell behind. Why is her win characterized as a come-from-behind? That is what LSU did against Ohio State.

    Maybe the headline should be, "The Pollsters were Dead Wrong."

    January 9, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  15. E.L.T

    I agree with George completely. If the Bush administration can be given credit/blame for changing government for the worse with no regard for the country, then why is it farfetched to believe that Obama can change it for the better? Remember folks, the buck stops here (president). Furthermore, I wish people would stop talking about Hillary's 35 years of experience. She has not been an elected official for 35 years. Being first lady doesn't make her anymore qualified than if Nancy Reagan decided to run in '08. One other note that others have pointed out is that you can't claim to have all this experience and be ready to lead from day one, but after a dismal loss in Iowa, SUDDENLY find your voice. Contradictory, at best. If you haven't had your voice for all those 35 years, wouldnt' that make Obama more qualified?

    January 9, 2008 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  16. Julie

    As a canadian it is very interesting watching you go over a process that is way too long and only for the wealthy. cause no money, no candy man!
    Stop saying that Hilary is phony and just won because she cried...common I hope you think your people are more intelligent than that!
    she won because she is just the best candidate and people remember that before they vote. Way to go N.H. You were not influence BY THE MEDIA THAT IS VERY MUCH ON ONE SIDE AND THAT'S OBAMA'S SIDE. POOR JOURNALISM THAT'S WHAT I THINK. BILL IS RIGHT!
    And what's wrong with the Clinton's?? Your economy was at it's best with Bill Clinton...I DON'T GET IT MY FRIEND
    Is it the scandal?? my god get over it people..who gives a ...

    January 9, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  17. Toby Clive, IA

    I am very happy that Hillary won the New Hampshire primary. Obama preaches about change and the things he will do. Tell us about what you've actually done instead of what you will do. I for one think he is grossly underestimating what it takes to be the President of the United States. Experience will be a huge deciding factor for me when I vote. We do not need a president that has to learn everything as he goes. We've seen enough mistakes by the current president, that I'm not in the mood for another 4 years of constant mis-steps. If Obama gets the democratic nomination, I will vote republican, and I am a registered democrat.

    January 9, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  18. Nancy

    Whatever way you look at the results in NH, how amazing is it that the competition for the Democratic nomination for President is between a woman and an African-American. How historical is that!! But I am humiliated as a woman that it appears Clinton won the popular vote because women fell for the crocodile tears. When a man shows emotional vulnerblity he is dismissed as being "weak", Remember McCain, McCarthy? \When Clinton does the same women, who should know better, feel sorry for her and shift their vote. When she is sitting in the war room, do we want the tears? If Obama had teared up would the women have turned their vote to him? Obama is an orator, Hillary has blatantly stolen his message couching it as her own in her own convoluted speachs. Her tears were disingenuous, And, btw, a split of delegates does not constitute a win, a two percent lead is almost negligible. Give me a break, Hillary; sorry but you are not the "comeback kid" . And that "voice" you finally found, where have you been hiding it for 35 years. Late bloomer, aren't you. On the other hand Obama has had his voice from the beginning and never lost touch with it. Watch out for the blast of negativity coming out of the Clinton Headquarters and watch Obama rise above it. And shame on Bill Clinton for using half of an Obama quote to start it all with nasty accusations against Obama. Shameful display of desperation.

    A woman in NC who will not be voting for Hillary.

    January 9, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  19. namata

    I am independent and leaning towards dems this coming election. The media gave Obama a free pass. The men in the NH democratic debate ganged on HC. The women in NH watched, listened and reacted – the rest is history. Kudos to NH – no one tells you what to do or how to do it!!! For me it is a gender issue. I want a woman in the oval office this time.

    January 9, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  20. tmsea2001

    As a black African watching from Central Africa (EST+6), I went to bed knowing that I would wake up this morning with another Obama big win. It was Hilary! Sincerely from now my opinion is that we are very far from who will be the elected Democrat candidate, Hilary or Obama. But one thing seems clear to me: For Hilary time for huge battle has come, no matter who shall be the opponent, either party-mate senator Obama or any republican else. For Obama, speech talent will not prevail. He needs more talent to upset the strong lady who will count on her husband spirit of battle. Wait and see. Experience and dream : what the American will vote for?

    January 9, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  21. gabriele

    39:37=9 delegates each=its a tie
    48 states to go

    keep on going and get out the vote before you call a winner

    January 9, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  22. david

    fantastic political move for Clinton to show the "softer" side-unfortunately not believable and actually depressing to see how manipulative this move was

    Obama continues to be the frontrunner despite numbers. He is not wavering in his message and the biggest compliment to him is the fact that now nearly everyone is emulating him and his message

    January 9, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  23. chris

    Is Hilary the first woman to win a primary? Liz Dole is a remarkable lady, I am not sure whether she won a primary?

    January 9, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  24. Michael, VA

    crocodile tears don't move me a bit. There will be no change with someone as entrenched as clinton

    It is not over yet. time for idealism, character, honesty, integrity and judgement. Go Barack!

    January 9, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  25. Julie

    Just one thing...
    When Obama was doing his speech yesterday. it looks more like a baptist chuch speech than a president speech. did you hear everybody inthe back repeating his words. yes we can..in a transe..THAT'S VERY SCARY!!


    Go look at what he has done...you better look very hard cause he hasn't done very much yet. And we still don't know what is going to do..ONLY WORDS WORDS WORDS..


    January 9, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
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