January 9th, 2008
03:42 PM ET
6 years ago

Blitzer: 'It's a brand-new ball game'


Wolf Blitzer during Tuesday night's New Hampshire coverage of the primary. Photo: Jake Herrle/CNN.

(CNN) - For the Democrats, the next two states on the presidential nomination circuit are Nevada and South Carolina - both very different than either Iowa or New Hampshire. There is a significant African-American and Hispanic community in Nevada. About half of the likely Democratic voters in South Carolina are black, compared to a tiny percentage in both Iowa and New Hampshire. Watch for the candidates to adjust their strategies somewhat.

For both the Democrats and the Republicans, there will be less retail politics in the coming days and weeks. The people of Iowa and New Hampshire had the luxury of getting to the see the candidates up close and personal – all the time. That will change now. There are going to be so many contests compressed around a short period of time around the country, building up to Super Tuesday on February 5.

I suspect that means you will be seeing even more of the candidates on national television shows, including mine. That is what the political strategists call "free media." They don't have to pay thousands of dollars for 30 second commercial spots. John McCain and Mike Huckabee so far during this campaign have been especially adept in taking advantage of "free media," which is critical for both since they are relatively strapped for cash.

What I am especially pumped about right now is that after New Hampshire, it's a brand-new ball game on both the Republican and Democratic side. The battle is intense, and it will remain that way for at least the next four weeks.

Once the political dust settles and we know the two nominees, I will be anxious to see if a serious third party candidate emerges. That would further energize and complicate this race.

–CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer

Filed under: Nevada • South Carolina • Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (150 Responses)
  1. Former Rightie, Pittsburgh

    The candidates and media may think it is a brand new ballgame, but I do not believe either are in the right ball park.

    The country is in a financial mess and even ever optimistic Wall Street and trading firms are finally seeing the how bad things are.

    We are in an unnafordable war with no end in sight and no progress. Throwing 30,000 troops to calm things down and arming one sect is a very short term win.

    The price of gasoline is killing the economy. Nobody wants to admit it. Anyone who keeps saying we can absorb it is not living in reality.

    The credit crises, well, we made our bed and now a lot of people can't afford to sleep in it.

    More jobs outsource every year (I am personnally so sick of not understanding an India call center agent).

    More imports happen every year.

    Immigration – we can't live with them and we can't live without them. So make them ligit tax paying residents.

    I believe the most underreported news is how many times the feds have had to inject cash in the banking system to keep them afloat. The banks do not even have enough money to exchange between themselves. The frequency this is occuring is very scary.

    As a country, we are financially broke and cannot afford to continue business.

    The next president is going to inherit a major financial crises.

    Unfortunately, not a single candidate is in that ballpark...........yet.

    January 9, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  2. Michael

    Barack Obama is a snake oil salesman...a great speaker to the public...nothing more nothing less.

    January 9, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    I am a 66 year old african-american woman who was excited about having a woman as president of our country. I am still excited by the prospect .... but no longer wish Hillary to be that person. I have been a fan of Bill Clinton for years, but his actions of late have truely made me regret that support. I have tried to rationalize the negative items that are being dropped into this campaign by the Clintons but enough is enough.

    Bill, to give a speech that strongly implies that Barrack changed his stance on the war was just wrong!! Iooked up the history on this and you just lied on the man.

    Sending emails to potential voters that lie about the opposition candidate is also wrong.

    That whole 'drug' thing put out by your campaign is the kind of negative politics I'm sick of. I note that the folks who did it are still working for you, so how much does your apology really mean?

    I cannot overstate how disappointed I am that a man I deeply admired and a woman I was willing to support have resorted to the same old negatives that I sympathized with them over when they were under attack.

    Please Mr. & Mrs. Clinton, don't continue down this road ... It's the same old road we've been taken down before. Make me believe in you again.

    January 9, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  4. Tyler, Wilmington, NC

    No matter what y'all want to think, this election will come down to race. The bottom line is that the south doesn't have enough African Americans to pull in off for Obama in a general election. If y'all vote him as our nominee, the Republicans will win in November. I'm voting for Edwards being from his home state, but I would gladly take Clinton. She's becoming much more of a person that alot of my colleagues are beginning to respect down here.

    I'm not trying to make it a race thing, but the fact of the matter is that the south doesn't have the same demographics and values as shown throughout the rest of the country and WILL NOT vote for Obama. He has no experience and no one knows where he stands on issues besides cheering and saying "change" over and over again.... all of the young vote can vote for him all they want. Pick Edwards or Clinton and you got a winner.. Obama will lose, and lose bad down here if nominated in the general election.

    January 9, 2008 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  5. Jim Baxter

    I promise you that the Republicans are hoping and praying for a Obama nomination. So they can nail him to the wall on his drug abuse, and Muslim roots. Hillary is the one candidate that can bring some change. Bill continually said he consulted her during his Presidency, and look what he got accomplished. Helped bring peace to Northern Ireland after centuries of turmoil. Help stop geneocide in Bosnia with the loss of only 1 American. Helped first time home purchasers buy a home. Passed tax credits for higher education making it easiler for more people to obtain a College Education. Balanced the budget after Reagan and Bush ran it into the hundreds of Billions. Don't gamble on Obama when you have a proven team.

    January 10, 2008 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  6. Jyde

    Wolf – If Hilary wins the nomination, the democrats will lose the general elections. This is very sad. The kind of negative and false campaign the Clintons embarked is absoltely inexcusable. They are indeed using the same playbook they have critized all through their career. They are ready to stake the unity and chances of the democratic party to get a short at the white house. Can you imagine Bill lying that Obama flip flopped on Iraq and all the untrue mailers and e-mail that Obama is anti-choice. Come on Bill, you just lost your respect and statemanship within the party. Obama has shown unusual restraint for a politician – indicating that he is really interested in moving away from "status-quo" politics. He wants to heal our country. We have never been short of ideas, we 've just been too polarized as a nation to get anything done.

    If Clinton wins, she will lose the general and the party will go into a coma for at least a decade. Hopefully Chelsea will come to the rescue.

    January 10, 2008 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  7. Michael

    Barack Obama will win Nevada and South Carolina and then take the momentum to victory Febuary 5th...Go Obama '08

    Wolf Blitzer hasn't proclaimed it but I believe he is bias to Hillary Clinton it surly showed at the Nevada Debate and other interviews....

    January 10, 2008 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  8. marty anderson

    Is it just me or does anyone else see Charlie Chaplin when ever they do a close up of John McCain?

    January 10, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  9. Shelley

    Thumbs down to you Sherry, Lisa, and Carrie.

    January 10, 2008 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  10. senlay

    I am a 66 year old african-americanwoman who was excited at the prospect of having a woman as the president of our country. I would still love to have this dream come true but no longer feel that Hillary Clinton is the person to fulfill it. I voted for Bill Clinton both times he ran, and I cannot overstate how disappointed I am by his recent actions. I not only voted for him, but vociferously defended him at work whenever he was under attack by my co-workers. I felt that the Clintons were the victims of negative, nebulous, unsupported attacks. Imagine my dismay to find that they are using those same tactics against their competition.

    To distort, discredit and outright lie is not the road I will follow you down Hillary. You just lost this vote from New York. I don't know whether my vote will go to Edwards or Obama; but I am sure that you won't be getting it. I am sick and tired of the same old tired negativity just to WIN. I want to see a President who is not only about change and issues (not much difference on candidites stand on issues of importance to me) but about UNITY.

    To any other women who have the same dreams I had, remember this – The Clintons are devisive. No matter what experience you have, how much can you really accomplish by being devisive? It was a hard lesson for me, but like "a raisin in the sun' my dream of a female president will have to be deferred.

    January 10, 2008 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  11. George

    It rather bother me that we're even talking about the Clintons, Bill sold most of our manufactoring jobs to China enacted NAFTA, that is enough to send the middle class reeling, so when you look at the homeless and our increased provety, please think of those 35 years of expereince that belong to Bill not Hillary. Hillary was only elected 7 years ago. So to all lets not fall for the 1 for 2 plan.

    January 10, 2008 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  12. dap

    This is still a very prejudiced country...what a shame . we will never become the place we could be...GO OBAMA. i am sick of this experience nonesense. Who was President prior to becoming President. It is simply a code word for black..you racists

    January 10, 2008 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  13. Javier

    Obama talks alot about change, but change is not always good. If you have a business who would you hire a person with experience or somebody with no experience who is a great talker. The great talker is probably going to spent most of his time talking instead of doing something.

    January 10, 2008 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  14. steve

    Obama will bring a new face to american goverment

    January 10, 2008 02:01 am at 2:01 am |
  15. Bev

    We have watched Hillary for 35 years and during that time she got the rep of being cold. Do you really think that she can honestly become warm and fuzzy in one day. Not I . It hink that was all an act. If it was real than she has a problem, she can't take the heat when it gets rough. What will the terrorists and other international leaders do to her, cry if she gets in a tough spot. No she has to much experience for that, so that had to be faked.

    Obama uses the theme of Change and now everyone is. John Edwards stressed that the issues he is talking about is Personal and Passionate. Now Hillary used that exact expression. Then Obama had his people chanting We Can, then Hillary comes out for her speech after winning and uses that same expression in one line in her speech. It seems that Hillary has to copy her opponents, she can not think up new sloggans for herself.

    January 10, 2008 03:09 am at 3:09 am |
  16. Ann Aloha, PA

    Same Ole...Same Ole
    Until we are treated equal and fair in every aspect of our agreement to be PEOPLE OF THIS FREE NATION, we will never be able to move forward. Senator Clinton is more criticized negatively for being a woman, seeking the Democratic Presidential nomination than Senator Obama is for being African American for seeking the same nomination..Why?, mainly because of a male dominated upper-tier of businessmen, along with the anti-feminist(most whom are married to these businessmen), where sexism is more noticeable and practiced than racism.
    The mistreatment of Senator Clinton by the media, after her loss in Iowa and the very fact that EVERY media branch called her out of the race for the nomination was unfair and misrepresented the journalism that is truly expected by we the people. Stop the one sidedness and you will gain more viewers for longer periods of time, therfore increasing you ratings with dignity and truthfulness. All these male commentators that continue to try to discredit Senator Clinton mainly due to them disagreeing with the former Bill Clinton years and the policies that it held. Well guess what...this is 2008 and time to move on and catch up to modern politics.
    Until the media as a whole respects more women in higher-teir business positions such as Senator Clinton and genuinely accept the fact that she EARNED her place in the Senate, we will continue to see this mistreatment. Darn if she does and darn if she doesn't, male candidates challenge other male candidates and they are veiwed as tough on issues, Senator Clinton challenges male candidates, she is considered non womanly or too tough.
    In my opinion, I feel the media should educate this group of people to update them on equality and fairness, not just for this election but for life in general.

    January 10, 2008 04:36 am at 4:36 am |
  17. Margaret

    I like Obama, Hillary and Edwards and will vote for the ones that get the nomination, but I am sickened by the obvious favortism the press is giving Obama. I know a lot of you will say I am wrong, but who's speech did you get to hear immediately after HILLARIES win. After Hillary's win, I clicked on the line on CNN's website that said it would take me to the demicratic candidates page, and guess what I saw. Under the headline claiming to be a picture of the four front runners in this election, was a picture of Obama, Edwards, McLain, and Huckabee, in that order. They left her out even though she clearly won, and is actually leading nationally as well. Of course they don't mention any of her accomplishments, she pointed them out during the last debate, but a lot of you say you don't know what her experiences were, and the media is failing to metion the possitives about Hillary as well. I would be saying the same thing if they had done it to Obama. I finally found her speach in it's intirety on BBC. The BRITISH broadcast. Today, after her win, I see on the news questions about "why" she won instead of well deserved congratulations. I see a pole asking if I would vote for an Obama/ Hillary ticket. The Hillary/Obama possibility wasn't given as an option. I hear a lot about the fact that Hillary's experience doesn't matter, but people repeatedly point out the negative things that came out about the Clintons while in the White House. Duh..they were" in the White House"..that means an aweful lot of us saw the entire picture well enough to put them there. As far as the negative charecteristics of our candidates is concerned, I HAVE HEARD NO ONE MENTION THE FACT OBAMA PUBLICLY ADMITTED. He not only drank alcohol and used mariguana, which Bill Clinton foolishly claimed he did not inhale " Obama also admitted to using cocaine. A proven addictive substance.Why isn't that an issue? It concerns me because I am a recovering alcoholic and I can tell you that his line, "they keep doing the same old thing, expecting different results" was coined in the Alcoholics Annomymous meetings. As I said I don't dislike Obama, I dislike the media for their obvious manipulation and unfair and unequal coverage of the other candidates. The media are masters at controlling and manipulating the public. If you don't believe me, watch the movie "Wag The Dog'. It is an exagerated story but made that way for a good reason. To expose the media as it is seen through the eyes of a lot of high profile entertainment folks who have the opportunity to see and experience the press on personal levels.

    If you think it's ugly now, wait until one gets nominated and has to start campaigning against the republican party. I will base my decision on what I can read on their websites and the reactions I see from them during the debates.

    January 10, 2008 04:46 am at 4:46 am |
  18. Honan

    Senator Clinton proved the “experts” wrong!!! She really has shown that substance, experience, and her "proven" ability for enabling change, along with a lifelong passion and experience in actually helping the majority of Americans, is what the voters care more about when choosing the best leader for this next critical term as president! Voters are not listening to the slanted views of the media "pundits" who care more about drama and a "story", rather than reporting the truth... Americans are smarter than the "sheep" they believe we are! The NH voters proved this!!!...

    Thank goodness people are finally waking up and realizing that although Obama is a brilliant orator and nice person, he lacks the actual skill, leadership, experience, and ability to truly make change happen and lead our country... talk is cheap at this point – Look at his record as a State Senator in Illinois and in DC!!! Whenever he is presented with a difficult vote, he doesn't even take a stand – he votes "present”!!! He voted “present,” effectively sidestepping issues nearly 130 times as a state senator. On a sex crime bill, Mr. Obama cast the only vote in a 58-to-0 vote!! He barely has any record for doing much as a US Senator in Washington DC, but what is interesting is that he said he would vote against the Patriot Act, yet when he joined the US Senate, he voted for it!! He said he would vote against the Iraq war, and then voted for funding, AND, he SKIPPED a tough vote on Iran, distorted what the bill authorized, and criticized those who voted for it!! This does not show the true leadership that is required for creating the change we desperately need! He’s not the “outsider” that his campaign is trying to make him out to be – yes, he has fantastic speeches, but his record shows otherwise...it proves that he is more of the typical “sidestepping” polititian and lawyer that we have seen before, who lacks the “real” leadership to get things done. The Republicans will have a field day with Obama if he ever got lucky enough to win the Democratic ticket!!!

    Rookies are not needed right now to run the country in the most important job in the world.... Remember the last "rookie" who used “likeability” without substance or experience to get elected? Back then, people liked GW Bush, they didn't care that he lacked experience because he talked in generalities and made us feel good. Well guess what, he won the White House and got us into this mess!! – GW Bush ran a very similar campaign as Obama, and his inexperience has been a disaster for our country!!.... Gore and Kerry warned all of us, but we didn’t listen. Obama can talk in generalities – anyone can do this, but he has no clear plan, no clear ideas, shows a lack of “true” leadership by avoiding difficult decision-making as proven by his actual voting record, and lacks the "real world" experience to deliver on his unsubstantiated promises and “generalities” for change...Hopefully people won't make the same mistake we made with Bush by believing in another rookie with Obama.

    Americans will take this critical vote very seriously for 2008 by choosing the best person who has already proven she can lead with success, has already brought about "real" change, and can truly pull our country together to restore our reputation and our world position as the leaders we were once considered. With former President Bill Clinton by Hillary’s side, we will all prosper from such an amazing team that will help bring our country back from the difficulties that we have encountered with the Bush administration... especially with the economic difficulties and international issues we are already facing today and will face over the next few years. No more rookies and false impressions, folks – let's put the best team in the White House!! Senator Clinton is the "real" change Americans need! Go Hillary!!! The country believes in you and your ability to “truly” lead and enable “real” change as our next great President!!!

    January 10, 2008 05:16 am at 5:16 am |
  19. shakti

    It is time that you begin scrutinizing Obama,s "CHANGE THEME". The congress has very poor approval rating even worse than Emperor Bush. Is Obama going to fire the entire congress and start fresh. That will be a change. I know he cant do that. The very fact we don't have to deal with the emperor any longer, it is a sigh of relief. To have an African American president is also a REAL CHANGE. I don't think that will happen. In the end the white voters will not vote for him The democrats will be committing political suicide if he becomes the party nominee..

    January 10, 2008 05:28 am at 5:28 am |
  20. Debbie

    Why is no one asking the question I've been waiting to hear? Hillary keeps saying she has 35 years of experience – other than her senate seat, what experience does she have?? I don't think being a first lady or her limited senate experience gives her 35 years experience. I cannot believe that anyone would believe anything she says. She is very calculating and does/says anything she thinks will be to her advantage.

    January 10, 2008 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  21. james

    Exciting news! When I was in the Air Force, my engineering squadron had a favorite saying: "You can be part of the train or part of the tracks." Well, the "Straight Talk Express" has left the station and we find ourselves at a personal junction. We can: 1) Stand and watch our country's greatest chance to restore Honor and Respect to the Oval Office travel by, or 2) We can help all our friends and loved ones get on the train. Of course, cross-country trips like these require time and financial investment. The upside is, making a contribution is a wonderful way to experience this great country of ours. So I invite you to come along! Visit me at Hoosiersfor.JohnMcCain.com

    January 10, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  22. Gbryant

    A bunch of crazies on here. It is a good thing that all democrats for Hillary do not post their comments. Seems like all of the younger computer users for Obama get on here and post and they think that is all of the citizens in the United States. Not.

    Go Hillary

    January 10, 2008 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  23. Laurinda

    Personally, I think the news would be more interesting if the newscasters would be allowed to give their opinions. Why should they just have to go along with the news with a blank look on there face. Lou Dobbs gives his opinion and I think the rest of them should start doing it to. I think it is time that people stood up to the higher ups. Without the little people they wouldn't have any news show to broadcast.

    January 10, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  24. Frank

    The country is now posed for big changes. The inspiration and hope that Obama is
    giving the young people of this nation who have never voted and are suddenly swept up by
    the possibility of real change. Obama's message of change,hope and planet awareness rings out loud among the younger voters and older ones too.
    I think people will continue to realizing Obama's message now that anything is possible and hope is not a fantasy.
    Two years ago Neil Young wrote a song called " Lookin' for a Leader" and named
    Obama in the song as the possible president and leader whom we all so desperately need right now to guide this country into better days.
    The time is now......we found a leader!

    January 10, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  25. Kendall, San Francisco, Ca

    Well, Wolf, nice CYA after you and all the other media experts got the polls completely wrong in N.H. While I do support Obama even I realize that the media's habit of calling races and saturating viewers with ridiculous polls serves to underestimate worthy challangers and uber campaigners like the Clintons. So how about this: Lets leave the results to the actual voters.

    Oh,and remeber, Obama only lost by 2% points.

    January 10, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
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