February 19th, 2008
11:19 PM ET
10 years ago

After Wisc. win, Obama urges Texans to 'fight for every delegate'

HOUSTON, Texas (CNN) – Fresh on the heels of his win in Wisconsin–and after thanking the people of the Badger State for "their extraordinary civic pride"–Obama told an audience in Houston, Texas, that the change America seeks is "still months and miles away."

"We will need you to fight for every delegate it takes to win this nomination," the Illinois senator said to crowd of over 18,000 at the Toyota Center.

"And if we win the nomination, if we are blessed and honored to win the nomination, then we're going to need your help to win the election in November."

The battleground that is the race for the Democratic nomination has recently turned into a fierce back and forth over the role of both pledged delegates and super-delegates.

A story appearing on the political website Politico.com Tuesday alleged that a source in the Clinton campaign revealed that part of their strategy is to whittle away Obama's slight lead in pledged delegates by pulling them into Clinton's corner. It's an allegation the Clinton campaign flatly denied.

Speaking of the New York senator, both her campaign and Obama's confirmed Clinton phoned Obama to congratulate him on the Tuesday win. A spokeswoman for Obama said the call came shortly after the Illinois senator left the stage.

In what could be called his victory rally– even though it wasn't billed as one–Obama also urged the voters of Texas to participate starting as early as "today," because in the Lone Star State, early voting for the March 4 election opens up on February 19.

"If you didn’t vote today you can start tomorrow or the next day or the day after that," he said.

Obama then moved into a few modified lines from his stump speech of late, telling the crowd it will take "more than big rallies," "rousing speeches," and "policy papers" to bring about change. Instead, he said it will require "something more."

"The problem that we face in America today is not the lack of good ideas. Its that Washington has become a place where good ideas go to die."

-CNN Political Producer Chris Welch

soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Stuart in L.A.

    "Blessed and honored to win this nomination?" Sounds like preaching to me.... Just what we need- another theologian in the White House. Wake up Dems- this guy is a preacher in disguise.

    February 20, 2008 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  2. June (California Voter)

    That is true. Ideas do seem to die in Washington.
    Go Obama '08

    February 20, 2008 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  3. Dan from MA

    When is Obama going to be asked about Tony Rezko? Do the Obama Maniacs care about shady mansion sales? Do the Obamaphiles care about honesty in politcs? Maybe they should google Tony Rezko and ask themselves what kind of change they really want. Action, or..."Just words" ?

    February 20, 2008 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  4. jaylo

    Come on Texas.. don't let me down. Barack dumped so much money in Wisconsin it was disgusting. It's is time for Americans to start using real criteria. We are not electing an American Idol, we are electing a President .

    February 20, 2008 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  5. Independant Voice

    Hillary is the reason a lot will vote for Obama. I personally will vote for the eventual president based on his merits.

    I think the country is ready for a woman president. Let's wait for the right woman.

    Obama '08

    February 20, 2008 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  6. Chris

    i'm in HOUSTON!!! and I will do whatever is necessary to ensure that this Great Man becomes President. I will pick up voters from my old neighborhood to take them to the polls, help organize, cook, put out signs... the whole gammit just because he asked me too. That's the difference between Clinton and Obama. I will do whatever Obama asks of me because he is GENUINE to me.

    February 20, 2008 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  7. Sam

    Obama is right. He is up against a dirty campaign with the Clintons. This thing is not over and we all need to fight very hard to get out the vote. It will take work but YES WE CAN!

    February 20, 2008 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  8. Diana

    I've been swept by the movement not bc, as some people have suggested, i have become blind by empty optimism, but because finally someone in public office speaks my voice and embodies the values that i hold dear.

    I'm proud to be part of this historical movement.
    and I will be proud to call Barack Obama my president.

    si se puede!

    Obama '08

    February 20, 2008 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  9. Viki

    Just words...just borrow some words from my "friends". Obama speech was so long, so church-like.

    Women rules!

    February 20, 2008 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  10. ashley

    in response to michelle obamas remark about how for the first time in her life she is proud of her country, I say that, that remark is an interesting one particularly because she is a black woman who makes in excess of 300,000k every year, and i have a feeling that in between the lines there were hints of race

    February 20, 2008 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  11. Texas Pete

    C'mon Texas, let's get it done. Let's put Billary out to pasture.

    OBAMA 08

    February 20, 2008 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  12. Jennifer

    I am so happy for the Obama campaign tonight!

    Obama '08

    February 20, 2008 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  13. Ivan, Chicago, Illinois

    Remeber the New England Patriots they lost the Super Bowl, and Obama if he faces McCain in the general election will lose the
    Super Bowl of elections the "Presidency."
    The similarities are stricking, the New Giants lost their first two games and needed a comeback to win the next game. McCain was all but gone and written off early on, stayed around came back and will be the Republican nominee.
    Obama has had an easy time of it, because Hillary has not wanted to rip apart the party by really going after Obama, but McCain will have no such restraints.

    February 20, 2008 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  14. Jane

    No, no, no, Michele. You have had the extraordinary luck of a great college education and top law school and you say "things have gotten progressively worse for me" in my lifetime. Perhaps it's time to look within yourself and see if the problem is simply YOU.

    February 20, 2008 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  15. philliplorenz

    If Hillary can't win in Texas and Ohio with wide margins, I don't see how she can win the nomination. We need to start preparing to defend Obama from the imminent Republican Hate campaign.

    February 20, 2008 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  16. A HARD LEFT!!!!!

    Thank you WI America has heard your voice and know that you have chosen an individual that represents all of America Thank you once again. Now lets pray that Texas speaks up as well

    February 20, 2008 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  17. JJS of Texas

    Teaxs for OBAMA!!! Let's get out and early vote!!

    Over 20,000 voted today on the first day of early voting!!

    Yes We Can!!

    February 20, 2008 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  18. Anthony

    Congratulations to you Senator Obama for your win. You inspire us to be better citizens by participating actively in the process. Dont let your detractors tell you words dont matter because they dont have any.

    Your ideas and your charisma are refreshing and my family and I pray for blessings on your family.

    Fight the good fight! We are counting on you to grant a voice to the voiceless and hope to those who have lost it.

    Yes We Can!

    February 20, 2008 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  19. Braineel

    Well done again Senator Obama.

    February 20, 2008 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  20. bond

    The big picture: Nothing of consequence will get done in congress if Billary Clinton wins the oval office. She is so polarizing and hated by republicans, that they would pull out all the stops and dirty political tricks just to undermine her presidency. Like it or not, that's exactly what will happen. It is no accident that the majority of college educated voters are supporting Barack Obama. They are simply too smart to vote for Billary Clinton. The fat lady is about to sing...

    February 20, 2008 01:45 am at 1:45 am |


    February 20, 2008 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  22. mr.singh

    This was a great speech! Obama tells us if you want change go out there and vote. He's leaving it to us to get up and vote because we can change America if we go and vote now. He reiterates "we" to mean a vote for "us".

    Hillary is saying "it's about picking a president" and "it's about works". There's no impetus for people to do anything. Her comments make people contemplate and so they start making comparisons in their heads. For someone who uses word's like "managing the bureaucracy", she doesn't understand she needs to close the deal.

    She says it's more than just hope but "hardwork" (Bush word) and "she's" the best for the job. So already she's telling us forget about hope, vote for "me," because I know what's best for "you" when we know she failed at health reform in 90's, and the more she reminds us of how she's been in the republican attack machine, the more voters go to Obama because they remember those years.

    February 20, 2008 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  23. Voted for Hillary in WI

    When Obama first came on the scene I was impressed and thought this man should run for president in '08. I consider myself to have an open mind and seek change as much as the next person. The next phase for me was wanting both Clinton and Obama to be president which of course led me to a Clinton Obama ticket. Today I voted for Hillary Clinton and Obama's speech tonight in Houston explains why. He said it will take more than rallies, rousing speeches, and policy papers, it will take "something more." We're still waiting to hear what that "something more" is. This is why I didn't see Senator Clinton's ad regarding the debate invitiation as negative. I personally would have really appreciated the debate. I just don't understand how so many perceive the request for the debate as a negative. Change is a curious thing.

    February 20, 2008 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  24. T.POWELL

    HE will win texas becuase he is a great canidate...he has the MLK charisma!! keep up the good work obama!

    February 20, 2008 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  25. Darth Vadik, CA

    Obama is trully a great man, he has said he does not want to win the nomination thru the super-delegates if he does not win the popular vote.

    Hillary doesn't care how she wins, there is something Bush like about that, she would make a great president, but I want her to win fair and square.

    February 20, 2008 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
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