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. Haley, VA

    Stop bashing CNN. CNN does not vote, people do. I for one, don't believe people are that easily swayed. I'm voting for the candidate of my choice because I want to vote that way. Not because CNN is telling me to.

    It's a news station, and that's it.

    February 22, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  2. Barb

    that makes two today that didn't get posted

    February 22, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  3. CH

    Clinton is a wonderful! As a Black Male Im voting for Clinton. She is strong on all the issues of importance. Obama's Healthcare Plan to fine parents and poor people who can't afford to purchase his mandated health care plan is unconstitutional. The Obama Plan will have a certain group ol supposedly low cost insurance and if you dont purchase it and go to the emergency room you will be fined. Obama's Plan also will not carry over if you lose your job! Clinton's Plan will carry over even if you lose your job! People please know the issues and vote for the Best Person! Hillary's Track Record is great.

    Black Texan For Hillary Clinton Here

    February 22, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  4. military in utah

    Its the media, its the media, its the media. Bush tried the same thing. He blamed low approval ratings on the media when it was actually he and his administration doing a very poor job. Wolf is just reporting what he sees and hears and frames it based on his journalistic experience. Don't mistake CNN for Fox News, or as Keith Oberman says, "Fixed News Channel"

    Keep up the good work Wolf.

    February 22, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  5. George

    Hillary all the way for me. In these troubled times with the economy and nuclear weapons and terrorist threats, I would want Hillary in charge. She is much tougher and wouldn't stand for any garbage.

    February 22, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  6. Darren, KS

    Hillary is already at the top of her game, and we've all seen what happened to her campaign. She's good when she's winning, but any adverse situation, she loses it.

    Vote McCain 08

    February 22, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  7. Amy, Kazoo

    chechong, that's a funny comment coming from someone with a name like yours. maybe scale back on the smoke and you won't be so given to lame, incorrect conspiracy theories.

    February 22, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  8. Jim

    You could clearly tell from the debate that Obama spent most of his time thinking how to respond. Looking into space, writing and more writing. If he really had substance he wouldn't have had to constantly be writing and thinking how to respond. Didn't anyone notice that his come backs were nothing more than reciting parts of his standard speech over again. That's all he is. If last nights debate was a college test, with questions of what and how. His hows would be blank. The fry cook at McDonalds can come up with thoughts, it's how your going to accomplish them that makes you real. Obama is a cartoon, and YES, all those blindly supporting him ARE delusional. Including Wolf....a big Obama fan....

    February 22, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  9. Janice

    Last night's debate was not all that. Obama at times seemed like he was copying her. I think that the press left out some of her major points. Neither of them looked that comfortable. Obama does have more chrisma than Hillary but she knows a lot more about the real world than he does. The way it really works and will work or NOT! I believe there is a lot more money behind him and that is what is making him. He is a great speaker and with the money behind him he is giving Hillary a hard run. But considering all of that.she is still very close to him in the polls. She is a woman and he is a man. He does not have to be better to get the job!

    Hillary we have come a long way, but not far enough! I hope you can pull this off.

    February 22, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  10. Cheryl

    Obama the new "Profit" of 2008. Please.........

    February 22, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  11. Independent-Latina-voter, Salt Lake City, UT

    To Will, who says that Obama cannot carry Texas, New Mexico, etc., PLEASE and you think that Clinton with a 47-50% disapproval rating among likely voters will win?!

    All you have to do is check out what Obama has done, he has come from behind, he has raised more money, has won 11 of the last contests.

    Really, people, this election is about CHANGE! Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton is NOT change!

    OBAMA CAN! 08

    February 22, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  12. Seth

    What I don't get is why Obama doesn't say the obvious. If Hillary wins, McCain wins by a landslide with all the independents and dems (me) that will vote for him. If Obama wins, dems have legit chance. McCain vs Obama, two people of character discussing issues – that's what we need. You can say all you want about lack of Obama experience, but you can't question his character and I would proudly vote for him...and if Clinton wins, I'll jump on the McCain bus...this is what Obama should be saying for HIllary supporters and why she should drop out, for the good of the party.

    February 22, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  13. Lee

    I am so sick of the media bias toward Hillary. On Lou Dobbs tonight Keith, Migel and Micheal were pathetic – not one positive word about Hillary. I find it utterly disgusting. Hillary cant, shes not blah blah blah – I am so tired of it.

    Bring back Lou Dobbs – at least he is fair – negative or positive to both the show on tonight now is turned off my TV and I gone to another network.
    Nice Job Lou Dobbs stand ins. You lost a viewer.

    February 22, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  14. Lori

    If Bill were in that debate last night it would be all over for Obama!

    February 22, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  15. al


    OBAMA 08

    February 22, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  16. gene

    I am amazed by the media's complete ,not understanding the hispanic community. They lump them all together, when in fact they are different. Hispanic's in Texas are mostly Mexican and that is expected, as we border Mexico. Hillary relationship with the hispanic community goes all the way back to 1972 and they were Mexican then and today, they are still Mexican and they support Hillary. The population of blacks in Texas is 2,385,000 and hispanics is 8,392,000 and in case the Obama supporter's can not count, that almost 4 to 1 and Hillary is carrying the hispanic vote by 65% . Obama will carry the black vote by 80% and please get your calculators out and do the numbers, All will not vote, but the percentages will be the same. I will give the Obama supporter's another problem, google the black populations in the states that have already voted and the number of Democratic registered voters and with out a 80 to 90% black vote, he would have lost the following: South Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana, Missouri, Virginia, Maryland and the Virgin Islands. The only truly blue states that he won was Conn. and Wisconsin. All the rest are red states now and the fall.

    February 22, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  17. NinaK

    Somebody asked if Hillary's gold ribbing on her collar bothered anyone else, she had found it distracting. I agree, it took me a while to figure out what the heck she had on her neck. At first it looked like she had a couple of cute decorative coathanger heads on her jacket, then I thought they were extensions to her necklace, then upon a closeup view, i saw the ribbing was on her collar. Yes, it was somewhat distracting. But if she likes the outfit, that's what matters. I say, dress for yourself, do not dress to please others. It makes life a lot more fun and less stressful! (PS I am not a Hillary fan)

    A few years back I was looking at a beautiful red dress splashed with a floral pattern. I kept looking at it and thought it was "too wild" for me. An elderly lady came by while I was still holding the dress and we started chatting. I told her I really liked the dress but thought it might be a little "too wild" for me. What she said to me was, "Honey, if you like the dress, buy it, you only live once." I bought the dress and, since then, I have acquired a beautiful and colorful wardrobe. And, I enjoyed wearing that dress.

    February 22, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  18. JOHN


    February 22, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  19. Mariann Pepitone

    Obama decided suddenly to run for the presidency and I believe he was preparing for it a year prior deciding to run. Gov. Patrick was teaching him the skills of talking with his speeches. If you notice when TV played Patrick talking and Obama in back you can tell they act alike. I believe if Obama wins the nomination (pray not) he will ask Patrice to be his VP. I am hoping she wins Texas and Ohio plus PA then go from there, She still has a chance so why did Wolf state on TV a older and younger running as president for the white house. Hillary is ten years younger than McCain and only two years out of her 50's. Obama wanted to make history preparing himself as the first black president elected in America as MLK day was approaching. Obama studied RFk speaking and TV showed RFK and Obama pictures side by side with RFK talking. Why doesn't he just be himself instead of acting the part of someone else.

    February 22, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  20. Rivas

    I think Hillary has made great contributions to our nation, for which we are grateful, and she certainly has tremendous experience. My concern is, can she truly get Republicans to work with her so that our nation makes progress? That's my fear. She and her husband, fairly or not, are so disliked by many Republicans, that she won't be able to negotiate across the aisle. When she first tried to implement her health plan as First Lady, it was her manner of trying to get this accomplished that added to its ultimate failure. She has experience, but what good will that do if Republicans dig their heels in and fight her on everything, like they did Bill. I will vote for Barack because he has the ability to move us forward by uniting Democrats, Republicans and independents. He doesn't see Republicans or independents as enemies, as he has said. We are all Americans. And that's what we need. I fear that nominating Hillary, with all her baggage and negative feelings towards her and Bill, will cause us the lose the WH and we'll be stuck with another version of Bush.

    February 22, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  21. W Murphy

    The reality of the media so totally controling this election is absolute shame. There is absolutley no doubt CNN is as guilty as every other network and at the end of the day who really pays the price. It is one thing to have an opinion and idenify it as well but what you boast continuiosly about, is being the best political team on TV , how about evenning out the your playing field especially and in paticular the Clinton, Obama race. It wouldn't matter what Hillary Clinton did or said or what she stands for, there is always that spin of negativety from you all. Bill Press indicated not to long ago on your show about that halo on Obama's head and what should be done with it, the only good comment that has been said for sometime. This election not only effects the U.S and all their people it directly effects everyone in the entire world. Wolf, you are a professional and one of the best at what you do but the network you work for is not in that same category by no means anymore. As I am sending this I hear, coming up how Hillary Clinton's campaign has spent 100,000 on sandwiches and 13,000 on pizza, as if it is her directly invoved with that, go figure. How about the guy with the halo, can we expect to get a report on his sandwich and pizza spending too, oh I forgot he raises more money.

    February 22, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  22. Don Luis

    There is no bashing towards Hillary on CNN! What I did see in last night's campaign was Hillary trying to dig herself out of the mud she herself made by taking cheap shots at Obama. Is that all she really has to win the American vote? Obama was quite intelligent at addressing Hillary's bickering, by saying she was only direction attention away from the real subjects the debate was suppose to deal with.

    I see a very desperate Hillary campaign!
    Hillary can't win the nomination by winning large states, you win by having the people behind you. Aren't we in a democratic country anymore?

    Obama, you have the people behind you!!

    February 22, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  23. Peter Canada 4 Obama!

    She will soon endorsed Obama because she has tried and she has changed her tactic or tone about him.

    February 22, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |

    i hope the virtual fence is not anyone's solution for border security... that poll or radio tower technology doesnt look like it can stand up to a stone thrown at it or being shot down by a bullet... personnel have difficulties capturing a single animal on the loose... how can that technology detirmine exactly how many people in a large group like a fleeing riot have crossed the border... even with personnel using an alarm sysyem on the great wall of china did not keep invaders out... it looks like we dont want to learn from history... also the possiblility of terrorist on the US border just like on the Pakistan border doesnt seem important after 9/11... shifting blame seems to be everyone's solution

    February 22, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  25. Eric

    Hillary, I sure hope and prey that you will hang in there for the North Carolina primary in May. I have been working so hard for you and i and my friends and family would love to have the chance to push you over the edge here.

    Vote Hillary 2008 from North Carolina!!!

    February 22, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7