February 5th, 2008
03:53 PM ET
7 years ago

Blitzer: Get ready for a long night

CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer.
CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer.

NEW YORK (CNN) - These very long nights happen every few years. I remember staying up all night in November 2000, wondering out loud on television whether George W. Bush or Al Gore would be the next President. We anchored our coverage that night from the CNN Center in Atlanta. And the next day, I flew to Tallahassee to cover the Florida recount.

Four years later, it was an all-nighter as we watched the results come in, and wondered whether Bush or John Kerry would be the winner. Kerry conceded the next day. We anchored our coverage that night from the NASDAQ headquarters in New York. It was the first time we took advantage of those huge video walls which have since become a hallmark of our CNN coverage.

In 2006, we brought our new generation of video walls to the CNN studios at the Time Warner Center in New York. It was another long night as we saw the Democrats become the majority in both the House and Senate. We took our political coverage to a new level that night.

And now we get ready for what I suspect will be another long night of election coverage.

People are always asking me: How do you prepare for this? My answer is simple. I am always preparing - every single day. I do my homework. I have discovered over the years that if you know your stuff, you will be prepared.

But there is also the matter of preparing physically for what will be a very long night. People always ask me about that. Don’t you get tired? The answer is that I am too pumped up to get tired. Still, I work hard at being ready. The night before, I always get a good night’s sleep. I exercise in the morning. It’s always a great way to start the day. I ran five miles this morning – as I try to do every morning. I eat a healthy breakfast. And the rest falls into place.

- CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer


Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (263 Responses)
  1. Stan

    Wolf, I enjoy your show, Congrats on a job well done!

    February 5, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  2. Andrea

    Shame on you Cafferty for displaying e-mails from around the world. yes, this great country has a great impact on the world, but this is OUR country's election. NOT THEIRS!

    February 5, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  3. JB

    Any night stuck with Blitzer is a long night. I'll be catching the returns tomorrow morning...

    February 5, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  4. Candi

    Although there are many who want to jump in the middle of the media when their candidate is down we all need to step back and clear our heads. CNN has done a respectable job during this campaign. Those who are now baliming the media for the downward movement of the Clintons need to step back and remember the past referenced by the Clintons. Sopme of us a re old enough to remember the Clintons when they were bringing shame on the presidency. I for one have not forgotten whitewater, Hillary's futures market profits, contributors in the whitehouse, the Arkansas State Police adventures, the great right wing conspiracy, Bill and the interns, Hillary's lies, Bill's. Perjury, and last but not least impeachment. These things were not caused or created by the media. These things were the result of the Clinton's on actions. The media reported it all and were scapegoated by the Clinton but they were their own and our worst enemy. We said good-by to them years ago hopefully we can say good-by again real soon.

    February 5, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  5. Andrew

    Hello everyone,

    I was checking up on cnn.com to check on the election results from today, and while doing so, came across this blog.
    This is my first time ever writing in response to a blog, and in reading all the replies posted here, it's quite fascinating to see all the rhetoric and high spirits reflected in people's posts.
    Since this is available, here's my two (or few) cents, whatever it's worth...

    1. I think people are taking Wolf's initial post a little too seriously. It's a blog, and from what I understand, blogs are supposed to be some kind of online journal. It's not the main news site – for that, just go back to the main page. Besides, most of the returns have not come in yet, and there isn't much to comment on except for the situation in WV, which seems like will require some research.
    2. I agree that reporting on CNN has been biased in favor of some candidates on some days, in favor of different candidates on others. I expect that CNN is simply "playing the angles" to present the most "interesting" story, which will generate the most viewership, while trying to maintain some modicum of journalistic integrity. Thus, the different "reporters" and commentators that have been coming out are all trying to present some fresh angle. It's much like the two weeks before the Superbowl – every possible human interest angle and question was asked and presented, until it bordered on the ridiculous. And like the past Superbowl, it'll be interesting to see the actual final outcome, which will stand on its own – biased reporting or not.
    3. The more recent debates have been somewhat disappointing to me as well. It seems that the "no rules" debates have been a lot of wasted time to hear the candidates repeat everything that they have been saying repeatedly already. There needs to be more structured and nuanced debate, rather than trying to stoke controversy and unnecessary bitter rhetoric between the candidates. The time given to the different candidates to speak and clarify their positions and give some detail to their plans has been really unfair and marginalized as well.
    For example, in the Republican debate at the Regan Library, Ron Paul (who I really do not support at all) was given little, to no time, to speak at all. Mike Huckabee (who presents some interesting ideas and speaks well) was marginalized, seemingly in favor of stoking the harsh rhetoric between McCain and Romney.
    During the Democratic debate, at the Kodak Center as well as at the African American Congressional Caucus, John Edwards was marginalized often (albeit not as much as Paul and Huckabee were), in favor of the fierce and nasty rhetoric between Clinton and Obama.
    For me personally, I would really like to have some more detail drawn out by the CNN (and other news network) reporters from the candidates. I would like to know how a "fair tax" would play out and how it would sustain the economy. I would like to know what McCain's "long record" of economic success is. I would like to know how Romney sees international relations outside of Iraq – very little discussion outside of Iraq and AlQaeda and fleeting mention of other countries is ever brought out during the debates. What have these senators/governors/congressman really accomplished during their times in the Senate/House/State capitals. That would be substantive, informative, and helpful.
    In short, these should be debates, not talk shows or shock. While it may boost viewership and present interest, it actually has little substance – which is what our country desperately needs more than anything right now.
    4. Finally, I would like to see more "fair" journalism, and Wolf (if you really read and write these posts), I would really like to see you take the lead on this. Be more of a "Cronkite" or a "Murrow" than a "Springer".

    God bless (all of you), and I look forward to seeing the results tonight.

    February 5, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  6. wasim

    First of all,i watch your program religiously even i am not a religious person.I learn something new everyday from you,job well done!
    Today could be the history making,either Hillary or Obama,if not we will witness the history soon. I will be voting first time in my life this coming November,i will be voting for the person who will be better for the America and the world.
    Would you explain the difference between a caucus and primary, who are the delegates,who are the super-delegates and how this delegate system works for both Democrats and Republicans,why not use the popular vote? I am watching your program right now,i will wait for your explanation! CNN is the fair and balanced news-network.
    Sincerely,
    wasim

    February 5, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  7. neclark

    ...yeah...right...

    It was all that "preparation" which caused Wolf to lose control so early during the last Democratic debate in which John Edwards was present (but hardly allowed to be a full participant). Control which he never regained to even pretend to give equal time to Edwards' truly Progressive ideas.

    That cluster-_uck was emblematic of the media's intentional marginalization of Edwards – the one candidate they presumable feared because he wasn't a "media darling" (they had & have plenty of time to lavish on Republican non-starters like Fred Thompson, and leader-of-the-back Ron Paul). The denial of fair time almost certainly contributed to Edwards' untimely withdrawal from the campaign.

    February 5, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  8. Geetha Bahi Pillai

    Dear Wolf Blitzer,

    Oprah Winfrey mentionaed that she is choosing Obama because he is brilliant. I hope the most brilliant AND the most experienced person wins the demaocartic race, i.e. Hillary Clinton. Oprah said that people called her 'LOW' for choosing Obama because of his race, and she defiantly said that she was not 'LOW'. She is indeed a very low person for having spent millions of dollars for a luxurious school in South African when she knows pretty well that the American schools which has a majority of African Americans are so badly damaged. If she was a brilliant woman or a person with 'High or Great character, she would have given that money to those American schools who so badly need the funding. Shame on her!

    February 5, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  9. Lisa

    Hi Wolf,
    Enjoy your show. This is the most interesting election since I have been able to vote. This is the way it should be. Young people, old people, Rep. and Dem. are motivated to get the vote out. It's great to see so many people voting. I wish the N.C. primary was today.

    February 5, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  10. gerald bryant

    I am a Canadian citizen and I have never before in my lifetime watched a US election campaign with any particular interest. Why this time, I don't really know. Considering that there are only two parties (Republican and Democrate) I believe that there cannot be any political system in the world more complicated than the election method used in the United States. Not surprising that many American citizens don't bother to vote.

    February 5, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  11. Scotland

    This is the most interesting election in years. I went to an Obama rally the other night and they were speaking about how the world is watching and anticipating Obama becoming the next president of the United States. What we gain from this is someone who represents a type of Tiger Woods appeal to a larger audience. Obama's level of appeal and his ability to convene in a sense, different cultures keeps the election very interesting. I have never seen so many people engaged in the election process. It is like being a child and wanting to stay up for Saturday Night Live.

    More important than that, we have an opportunity to stand up to the challenge of our Constitution and vote according to the principles that the Constitution was founded upon.

    This long awaited scenario deserves every ounce of attention from the people of the United States. It is something I hope marks the beginning of what we will see much more often in our political process- real challenges to put to the test our political leaders, our beliefs as citizens, and ownership of the diversity of our nation.

    February 5, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  12. Prakaithip

    On The Job Training is NOT ACCEPTABLE. Not now, not ever for President... it's too risky folks. Look what happened with Bush. Clearly, Kerry had more experience. Wakeup.

    February 5, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  13. WOLF, we have a problem!!

    WOLF,
    I thought reporters were supoosed to keep their personnal opinions to themselves. A good reporter does. You are all about OBAMA and that makes you prejudiced. HILLARY is the one for 09' you need to start learning more about the next president instead of reporting on the MAN that could never be president!!

    February 5, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  14. R Patel

    Let me start by saying I'm neither black nor white, I'm Asian....and not Chinese or Oriental, I'm Indian. I say this because somehow the media/news/politicians seem to forget about our demographic – all Asians.

    It seems as though Obama is winning in deep south states – something that we didn't think would be possible a few years ago.

    My Question:

    If Obama wins the Democratic nomination, do you think that we will see a huge divide in the Republican/Democratic votes along black/white votes? (No need to worry about including us in your equation, we're use to it)

    February 5, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  15. Kevin

    I really appreciate your dedication to the news and the all-night coverage. I'm glad to know that you prepare with exercise and a healthy breakfast. Who'd have thought that you ran so much? Good to know. It's an example to us all.

    I hope you're not deprived of food all night though. To go that long without anything would be awful. You could always hand it off back and forth between you and Lou. He's more than capable.

    February 5, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  16. Matt Parrott

    This is obviously a build-up to a series of informercials selling fitness and wellness tapes featuring Wolf Blitzer himself. Watch out Tony Little and Richard Simmons!

    This man has already run more miles, lobbied for more anti-American interest groups, and eaten more fiber by the time I wake up in the morning than I can keep up with my entire day!

    February 5, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  17. Terry S

    You and Lou are THE BEST!

    Keep up the good work!

    February 5, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  18. David McDougal

    CNN your the best to watch the results on the voting BUT why does the media and especially CNN report the winner with NO or Less than 1% of the vote in–this is wrong. The American people throughout the country deserves better coverage .

    February 5, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  19. Independent007

    I read and watch a lot of news, domestic and international. I search for different news centers for a variety of information. I think Wolf does a good job. I'm angered by the posts decrying this short article and what he does to prepare for a long day. I believe the title of the article was self-explainatory. If you don't want the information, it's simple not to click the link. I do not believe he is overly bias in his reporting as compared to other news casters. Human beings have a strong urge to imprint their own motivations on other people. This explains some of the other posts that are present. Wolf: I for one found this brief repast was an interesting insight into what journalists in your position do to prepare for your chosen carrer. Keep up the good work.

    February 5, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  20. Theresa

    I wish that your coverage of Hillary Clinton was more fair than it is. It seems as though the Media is gang up on Hillary because she is a strong woman. Why do you hate her so much?

    February 5, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  21. shelly in NH

    I'm sick of you saying north eastern people are not going to vote for a black president. Most of NH is white and Clinton almost lost. So we are not against a black candidate. My husband and I both voted for Obama and love him. Stop saying negative things about us. Your opininion is unfair and in-accurate.
    Clinton only won by 2%. Go Obama!

    February 5, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  22. David

    How many times did you have to announce your blog on the air tonight? We get it, you blog. How cutting edge!

    February 5, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  23. Barbara

    Why is CNN not calling Tennesse? Are they trying to influence the Western states before the polls close? Fox shows Hillary 78% to a very low 3% Obama. I am getting exhausted by the media trying to influence the elections.

    February 5, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  24. Mary

    Well an hour into the "best political team on television" and the Hillary
    hate continues at it's fullest.
    Would it be so difficult to cover this thing objectively ?
    Apparently not.

    February 5, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  25. JEAN

    for Mr. Bill Bennett –

    CT is the wealthiest state in the country – hence the change in voting ...........

    February 5, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
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