February 22nd, 2008
03:15 PM ET
7 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. John Kay

    Everybody seems to blame the media when things are not going their way. When Hillary was leading in the polls everybody expected the media to report it. I wonder why they don't want the cnn and other media houses to report same now that she is trailing in the polls.
    This is ridiculous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 22, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  2. Kathleen Turner

    Bubba, I just LOVE the way those veins bulge in your temples when you get upset!!

    February 22, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  3. jason

    How does Hillary have experience? Because she was a Senator for 2 more years than Barack? Or is it because she was the WIFE of a former President? Since when does that qualify for experience? If that is the case if Laura Bush runs for President will she have the same experience as Hillary (Less her 6 years in the Senate)?

    What experience did Bill Clinton have? Governor of Arkansas? Arkansas?

    February 22, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  4. Nina

    Did the soldiers have to scrounge weapons from the Taliban in Afghanistan or was this an untruth that CNN is not reporting on? It might make their candidate look bad so they are staying silent. I didn't hear the "best political team" say anything about it.
    Nina

    February 22, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  5. B Van Citters

    Hillary had 8 years as the first lady to do something productive–Lady Bird worked for the environment and beautification of America, Barbara Bush worked for literacy and Laura Bush continues her work in education. Roslyn Carter works as a volunteer with her husband in Habitat for Humanity. Hillary's health plan as first lady was flawed from the beginning so it failed, people had difficulty woring with her because she can be difficult....her management skills are limited–look at the in-fighting at her campaign headquarters and the financila bind that campaign is experiencing.

    Sorry–it is about time we look at someone who truly cares about the American people. Yes, Barack is young but he is an 'old' soul. If he does not get the nomination, I guess I will have to vote for McCain who cheated on wife #1 [Carol] with wife #2 [Cindy]. Yes, I would take his many improprieties over HRC!

    February 22, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  6. AllAboutHilary

    HILARY CLINTON FOR PRESIDENT 2008

    What scares me is the reading and listening to supporters of Obama rave about Obama...they have one thing in common, lack of knowledge of what is true and what is not. They are supporting Obama based on his words and the so called "momentum". What has Obama accomplished? Obama has ZERO experience, how can he run the country? Compare him to JFK? I guess we will be looking at another Cuban Missile Crisis if Obama becomes the president.

    February 22, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  7. dick

    Boy, what a hysterical bunch of dem Hennys. The sky is falling the sky is falling.!!! The media tells it like it is and you call it bashing or being bias. Like Fox says "we report you decide".
    From reading the Nader article and postings it sounds as tho the dems are scared stiff and certainly don't have much confidence in their 2 flawed candidates. and of course blaming Nader for their previous lossess. Always have to blame someone else for their own failings. Like they can do all they're yapping about any way. If they could they would have done it by now. And they know it.
    another debate tuesday night. We'll see which personna Hillary presents that night. Will the real Hillary show up? Great entertainment. Always good for a laugh.

    February 22, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  8. AllAboutHilary

    HILARY CLINTON FOR PRESIDENT 2008

    What scares me is the reading and listening to supporters of Obama rave about Obama...they have one thing in common, lack of knowledge of what is true and what is not. They are supporting Obama based on his words and the so called "momentum". What has Obama accomplished? Obama has ZERO experience, how can he run the country? Compare him to JFK? I guess we will be looking at another Cuban Missile Crisis if Obama becomes the president.

    February 22, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  9. Bernice

    Hillary has this take no prisoner attitude, THAT'S A TURN OFF FOR ME! Then on top of that you never know which one of the Hillarys will show up! Plus she really seems to be a hypocrite!
    She has jumped on this "change" of old politics since she see this phase working for Obama. She has taken to promising to "give the people the same health care the they in the senate" has After she saw this phrase working for Obama. She starting a weak uninspiring "yes we can" AFTER she saw the phases working for Obama. When asked about the No Child Left Behind I heard her quoting Edwards something about "students being test takers and teachers being test givers". Now I hear her whole closing at the debates was a combination of Bill and Edwards. Who the heck is this woman. Somebody out there might want to get her tested for multiple personalities what's that other one ?? Uh. Bipolar!
    Will the real slim shady please stand up!

    TRYING TO FOLLOW HER IS TOO NERVE RECKING!

    February 22, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  10. james Hillier

    Sorry to see that CNN has joined with MSNBC to shot down Hillary, it all started when she had to much of a lead across the country. Suddenly Obama came on the scene, with money to burn. It seems that the "good old boys club" just can stand to see a female as President. Just like they could not see female's being able to vote before blacks were given the vote. Black males, of course.
    Here we go again and it just means more of the same old song and dance.
    Obama is not qualified to be President and will make mistakes that could cost us dearly. But that's OK becuase he's a male.
    As for me if Obama is President I'm going to take my sons (3) and move to Costa Rica so they won't be drafted into the service to fight the wars that will result from Obama's and Congress's errors.

    End it now, elect Hillary and just watch things get cleaned up and in order. Super delegates take note and start counting the number of Democrats you will lose to McCain in November if you try to "force" another hand picked MALE for President down your throats.

    February 22, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  11. rusty

    This race is just now reaching its critical point. It's pretty obvious that Obama has run an incredibly efficient campaign, in comparison to Hillary, and McCain. But, these next few weeks are going to pretty much tell the tale, barring any shady back room deals.

    February 22, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  12. d

    I thought Campbell Brown did a terrible job last nite. She cut off Hilliary more than once. I did not see her stop Obama rattling on.

    February 22, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  13. AJ, IL

    Thank you for your contribution to American society Hillary. I hope you continue to represent New York as a Senator in many years to come. You have a great place in the hearts of the Democratic Party. Now with all that said...

    GO OBAMA! I'M FIRED UP AND READY TO GO!

    February 22, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  14. David

    Good Luck Obama for Ohio and TEXAS!!!!!!!!!
    Yes We can!!!!!!!!!!

    February 22, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  15. Ralph Kerry

    Hillary has lost 11 states in a row by large margins. This makes a strong statement.

    Obama 08

    February 22, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  16. VlS

    Hillary is the right choice for all of us. OBama supporters are temporary. they will flow away when during November elections with John McCain. If democratcs want another Republican house than vote Obama..
    It is only Hillary who can make difference the rest are all cowboys with no cattle.
    Thanks
    VLS

    February 22, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  17. Stephen

    Lets stick with the facts and not media opinion. Let voters make up their own minds and stop trying to sway voters. If Obama is as great as many people seem to think he is then he doesnt need the help of the media to glorify him. Without the media Obama has nothing but "just words"

    February 22, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  18. Byron Goodgame

    To be fair to Wolf, this was one of the more non bias articles I"ve seen written since I've started looking at these blogs this week.

    February 22, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  19. catmom

    Perhaps if CNN and other media outlets had given Mrs. Clinton fair coverage rather than always finding something, anything negative they could find to say about her we would have seen this side of her. Her coverage without a doubt has been the most negative coverage of a candidate ever. On the other hand everything about Obama has been very positive.

    February 22, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  20. rodrigo

    Wolf,

    You tell it like it is....I wish people on this blog stop tearing each other down and be thankful for the way you conduct your shows, interviews, etc...

    HRC camp can't get over the fact she is behind and not liked as much as Obama.

    Obama was winning the debate last night until the last minute when HRC basically surrendered the nomination....Had she been like this from the get go she not have found herself in the predicament.

    It is clear that Obama is the Uniter of the two.... With him is not about I but about We. Fact.

    February 22, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  21. scott

    Its funny how all the Obama fans like to call hillary Power hungry, This guy hasn't even barely started a political carreer and asks to be president, talk and think about who is really power hungry. and it is true CNN really isn't the channel it use to be which is sad because at one time I really thought Wolf was alittle bipartisent and really didn't show his personal veiws. It was always refreshing to see news in a oldstyle real way like it was when growing up. you maybe remember the days before tabloid journalisim. back when they asked real questions and got real answers. I doubt that if Nixon was still around and in office he would of ever been pushed or impeached. And we all know FOX would give him man of the year. One thing I really find funny is that they are now all saying over there she needs to show the world the opened up Hillary. If she would have done that before and I believe still now everyone would say shes good but shes soft, we cant have a soft women in office. and of course you can never say anything wrong aboput BO because nomatter what they all say he is black so they all have to walk gently or they are bashing him. When was the last time you ever saw a person kicked off TV or Radio for saying anything dirogratory about a woman (unless they were black)

    February 22, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  22. santosh

    Watch CNN and MSNBC,Media strongly support OBAMA.Americans love those media which are unbiased.

    CNN=OBAMA

    Best of luck Obama.

    February 22, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  23. Carol12345

    1st choice: Hillary Clinton
    2nd choice: John McCain

    February 22, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  24. QuietStormX

    Come March 4th, truth will be told for Her and Bill. I expect Barack Obama will due quite well in all four contests. I don't think Hillary will get the support people in her campaign expect. The mountain is too high to climb.... Barack Obama has "RUN" a better campaign and people want a real "Change". It will be better for the country and world!

    She was saying on March 5th goodbye in the end. Body Language says allot.

    February 22, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  25. Micahel Guinn, Ventura, CA

    Hillary has done much for this country- especially poor children and women- therefore, she has helped us all. However, it's a new day and Barack Obama will be the nominee and the next President.
    Thanks for all you have done, keep working in the Senate for the American people. I wish you the very best, but this race is over.

    February 22, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
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