February 22nd, 2008
03:15 PM ET
10 years ago

Blitzer: 'Huge challenge' ahead for Clinton

Clinton has one debate left before the critical March 4 contests.

Clinton has one debate left before the critical March 4 contests.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have come a long way in their debating skills since they began their exchanges nearly a year ago.

Those were the days when there were eight Democratic candidates on the stage. I moderated one of their first debates back in June of last year. We met in New Hampshire, and the many candidates were literally fighting for airtime - some of them were angry at me for not giving them enough time.

You remember those days: in addition to Clinton and Obama, there were Dodd, Biden, Richardson, Kucinich, Gravel, and Edwards.

And in those days, Clinton was by far the frontrunner.

Now, things have changed so dramatically. Only two candidates are left standing - and Clinton is no longer the frontrunner.

She has a huge challenge ahead of her in the coming days, having now lost 11 contests in a row. The last was the Democrats Abroad contest – the final tally of votes from Democrats living outside the United States. Obama won decisively.

Bill Clinton says that if his wife wins in Ohio and Texas on March 4, she will be the party’s nominee. That’s a tall order right now, given the gains Obama has been making among some of her most ardent backers, including Latinos and women.

Still, I go back to their debating skills that were evident during the CNN/Univision debate in Austin, Texas, Thursday night. They were both impressive in making their points. They will have one more debate next week before the March 4 contests in Ohio, Texas, Vermont and Rhode Island.

Obama has the momentum right now – but, as we saw last night, there’s still a real fight underway.

–CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer

Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (168 Responses)
  1. Byron Goodgame

    When does CNN have a blog about is sexism playing a part in the election?

    February 22, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  2. Darryl, Arlington TX

    Hillary is now 61, she have gave us a great part of her life. Thank you Hillary, now is the time of you to relax an enjoy your retirement. May God bless you..

    February 22, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  3. Andy NYC

    Honestly, Wolf (and your CNN colleagues), I'm shocked at CNN.
    It is so clear that you are all determined to sway an election.

    Is that blog entry really worth even having written?
    As it appears to me, it was just another cheap shot at Senator Clinton.

    CNN is quickly becoming but another version (a bit further to the left, granted, but still unapologetically biased for B.O.) of Fox News.

    Shame on you all!

    February 22, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  4. Mike

    Give Hillary a break already! Let Texas and Ohio come and go. I hope millions eat the words "momentum" after Hillary becomes the nominee. Don't count Mrs. Clinton out, I as well as millions more haven't.

    Go Hillary, or shall I say Madame President?!

    February 22, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  5. Danielle, OH

    Come on Hillary....We can do it !!!

    February 22, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  6. Stanley

    Thanks Wolf,

    CNN's continues attack on Hillery made me wonder if anybody was going to say anything positive about the next President.

    February 22, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  7. v.ananthan


    February 22, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  8. yl

    Hillary is so great!

    She deserves much more.

    The media is so unfair. Even the debate, CNN cut her chance. Why let Obama speak after Hillary? Obama just said 'agree', so simple job for him.

    So unfair!!!!

    Don't like Obama. How did he decide to run for president with such simple experience?

    Isn't change / hope so by default and easy that everyone can say?

    Isn't obvious that Hillary has been beyond the stage of talking about empty change / hope and always been at the further stage of actions and solutions than Obama?

    Hillary picks up the tough job, such as the real reform of the health care, because she wants REAL change.

    February 22, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  9. Jack

    I just trust Hillary on the economy more than Obama. I think she can do a better job of handling a recession, foreclosures, job losses, credit crisis....

    February 22, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  10. Philiana

    I think that it is nice that you create a blog wolf so people like get to participate in your blog. I was a Hillary supporter in the begining and I voted for OBAMA as a democrat I think it is time for Hillary to get out of the race.

    February 22, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  11. RuthieM

    Obama won that debate hands down. I was so sick of hearing Hillary scream all night and absolutely disgusted they let her get away with not answering the questions but writing her own debate answering her own questions. It was like she was chasing Obama or something, not allowing him to have the last word. Even as they returned from commercial break and they asked Hillary a different question, she just had to go back to the health care and insisted demanded she speak on that, and they let her. Uggghhh.
    Obama was very presidential, with clear answers, as she hung on his every word, and couldn't wait to speak after he did on the same subject. Then in the end when she gave that 'hankie' moment, it was the same speech John Edwards gave in Louisana when he suspended his campaign. Hm, so she was correct, her words are, 'words you can xerox' as she's been doing.

    February 22, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  12. Jean

    I have said it befor and I am saying it again CNN is responsible for this freenzy over Obama. He will never be my choise , I just can't see him in the Whitehouse or his ole lady. I have NO respect for any of the CNN folks even Anderson Cooper . I did like Anderson until he turned out like the rest of the hoodlums.If Hillary looses this election the blame will rest soley on the shoulders of CNN.All you want people to think you have to be poor and uneducated to vote for Hillary , seems to me the uneducated are the ones voting for Obama. And I don't mean scholarly uneducated. No common sense.If Hillary dosen't win then McCain.

    February 22, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  13. tricia

    i voted already for obama but, what i see is, the differences that separate them on the issues are small. i feel they are both very qualified. but obama inspires us to be better and demand more of ouselves as citzens. he made me proud to be american again. YES WE CAN!!!!!! if hillary wins the nomination, i won't be so selfish that because my guy didn't win i'm going to vote for mccain. i would vote for her.

    February 22, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  14. Timo Garcia

    CNN's losing the plot this year. That kind of trust is hard to earn back. Who knows when they'll wake up and realise they've spent all their years of trust in one campaign season. I look forward to it, because they deserve it.

    February 22, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  15. Obama 16

    Obama '16!

    Current Nonsense Network (CNN)

    February 22, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  16. leo

    Hilary is a great leader and commander in chief for this country!

    As others, I am puzzled by CNN's (almost constant) negative coverage on Hilllary, and in a sharp contrast, a almost constant positive coverage on Obama. Isn't this the new channel who claims to be fair? The current progress made by Obama is no doubt helped by these media tools.

    I have faith in Hillary, however unfair she was treated by the so called "fair" media in this election. She has what it takes to win this election and to lead the country.

    Hillary 08!

    February 22, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  17. gimme a break

    Hillary is the status quo, it's time for some new blood.

    The Clintons already had their time in the white house.
    This is supposed to a democracy, not an aristocracy!

    February 22, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  18. Jen, Oregon

    Look, we have no illwill towards Hillary Clinton and honestly admire her tenacity and ambition. Heck we ALL saw much of the trials and tribulations she’s gone thru – saw it all on the big screen in our living room. How horrible to have to go thru that, but to have your husband cheat on you with the whole nation watching must have been just the most humiliating experience ever. Perhaps she even feels we owe her something for witnessing her humility. So it’s no wonder people feel such affinity for her. But still, in my gut, I don’t feel she has the ability to lead a nation. In Texas, the economy is the hot button issue. Look at Clinton’s own campaign to understanding her economic abilities – and its not so good. I don’t think I want to take a risk on that since the national economy is so far in the red as well. But now when I look at Obama’s campaign management and the state of its economics, I see a different more positive picture and I’m joining that team. It doesn’t mean I won’t still honor and admire Hillary – I’m just voting for the better leader, that’s all. And I know that’s personal, but my life, my and my families future and my Country are very personal to me.

    Let’s all let Hillary know we still, and always will, hold her in our high regard, but her work is in the NY Senate, not running our Country.

    February 22, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  19. jb

    Nonsense, many articles on CNN make it look like they are pro-Clinton and anti-Obama.

    They are doing nothing more than going off of facts here (although not mentioned).

    Statistically, she needs 57% of the votes from now until ALL STATES are done with their primaries. If she doesn't meet this number, Obama will have more delegates, and the DNC and the superdelegates will surely follow to avoid losing the faith of the people. it's a fact, try math, it's fun.

    February 22, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  20. Atanu

    That Senator Clinton actually "changed" Senator Obama from "change" only kind of speeches in early debates and initial days to talk over issues, as we heard in yesterday's debate, itself proves how Senator Clinton could "make" America according to her action-plans. Thanks.

    February 22, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  21. Bill

    CNN has shown to be and continue to be hugely biased towards B.O.

    In Wolf’s Situation Room and others shows “political” experts are invited, sometimes 4 at a time, just to support and praise B.O. Their superficial pseudo political analyses are B.O. ads. Clinton has won less but Big States and B.O. more but small states. B.O. has also won primaries of states that in a general election will never go for democrats.

    For the first time in my life, I am now watching FOX News. At least with them I know what to expect.

    Shame on you CNN!!!

    February 22, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  22. Latigo

    When Hillary Clinton referenced Obama's call to change as "change you can Xerox", she was right. Obama's use of Patrick's precise speech wording was a matter of ethics. If he had done the same thing on a research paper at Harvard, he would have been brought up on honros charges and appropriately so.

    We have to believe that what we hear from Mr. Obama is what he wrote and what he means especially in the dangerous world we now live in. Otherwise, how can we trust him to speak the truth if he becomes President? The issue is the as the one many Democrats have targeted President Bush for doing. We can't just xerox words and ideas from others without credit to achieve real change. Doing so is disenguous at the very least.

    February 22, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  23. a

    Obama is the biggest fraud on the planet and the US media especially CNN and MSNBC is a joke. Their reporting reeks of double standards. There was absolutely NOTHING wrong in her statement about "change you can xerox". I just can't understand why anyone would get so worked up when all she did was call a spade a spade.

    If the American electorate remains as dumb as they are turning out to be by getting carried away by this Obama mania, we will end up having another clown in the White house like the current one.

    February 22, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  24. dsw

    I would like to make a couple of points for those folks who may still be undecided. I would hope that you would take these thoughts into consideration while making your own judgements:

    1. We should be taking a good look at each candidates leadership and managment abilities demonstrated by how they have run their campaign's.

    February 22, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  25. Cliff

    I think that 20 years of the same two families ruling the USA is long enough! Time for a fresh start with someone who inspires instead of polarizes! Go Obama!

    February 22, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
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