February 26th, 2008
03:58 PM ET
10 years ago

Blitzer: Clinton has a fine line to walk

 Clinton has a tough task in tonight's debate.

Clinton has a tough task in tonight's debate.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - There’s one week to go before the voters speak in Texas, Ohio, Vermont and Rhode Island - and a lot can happen in one week. The undecided Democratic voters still have plenty of time to study the candidates and the issues before making up their minds. And those who have made up their minds are certainly capable of changing their opinions. This will be an exciting week for all of us.

One thing I have noticed over these past several weeks is that Democrats across the country are truly energized by this campaign. They are turning out to vote in huge numbers. I suspect this will be the case in the four upcoming states.

Clinton’s supporters are passionate; so are Barack Obama’s supporters. These Democrats are also itching to start the general campaign, presumably against John McCain.

That helps explain why Hillary Clinton’s strategy in trying to win the March 4 contests is so complicated. After 11 losses in a row, she is trying to catch up. In the process, she has to walk a fine line.

A lot of Democrats say they are turned off by her tough rhetoric, especially in comparing Obama’s inexperience in foreign policy to George W. Bush’s inexperience when he took office more than seven years ago. I have heard from several of her own long-time supporters over the past 24 hours that they don’t like her slamming him and effectively providing McCain with ammunition should Obama capture the party’s nomination - they don’t want her words thrown back at Obama by McCain and his team during the general election.

Clinton is understandably trying to differentiate herself from Obama, looking to highlight differences that are important to Democratic voters out there. That is, of course, what all candidates try to do during elections. But it’s not easy to do this without turning off the Democratic base is not easy.

- CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer

Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (217 Responses)
  1. Urbandale

    The heat is on. Hillary feels it even more as she goes negative and accusing a DEM of attacking another DEM. Duhhh She is the main one aiming those attacks. At least she will be quiet by next Tuesday when she gets kick out of the race, thanks God. Good riddance.

    February 26, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  2. T. Wright

    I am glad what Hillary is doing now and what She is saying about Obama, about time that somebody has to tell the people about Obama Hillary has to say it in her own words because most of you the journalist was so unfair with her and, common, Obama is been negatives about Clinton !!!! I don't see any problems there this is politics.

    February 26, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  3. Local News

    Go to your local news source. CNN is pitting Clinton and Obama against one another. Please don't play into it.

    February 26, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  4. Ohio

    Clinton does not care about anyone but her geting what she wants. She says Shes honored to be with Obama but then all week long throws the kitchgen sink at him. The photo is the worse thing that I have seen in a long time. Obama uses the truth while Clinton willmake anything a argument.

    Remember when she brought up his Kindergarden papers? Just terrible

    February 26, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  5. Greg Koenning

    Dear Wolf.You are very right.Shame on you, Hillary. As a Democrat here in Texas,I was having a hard time decieding on the best candadate.But when Hillary went negetive and started the old mud slinging, my choice was made.Obama gets my vote.YES,WE CAN.

    February 26, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  6. joe

    For the good...
    My thought is: which candidate will be the first to drop out "for the good of the party"?

    February 26, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  7. rachel

    of course she is trying ti differentiate herself, but she's going about it entirely the wrong way. i never was a big fan of hillary but i'm becoming more and more disgusted with both her comments and those of her campaign staff. i don't know if she's trying to throw the nomination but she's sure alienating a lot of voters... most likely the undecided voters who want anything other than more of the same cutthroat, desperate politics

    February 26, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  8. Sylvia

    Obama is dangerous. People NEED to wake up!!!!

    February 26, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  9. Vasuki

    If Obama thinks he is the best and democrats think he will the nomination then it is better for him to face the reality than later. It's better for poeple to face the reality of what he is and where he stands with his experience....Why to run away from the truth?

    It is not that GOP party is dumb not to notice about Obama's credentials. So let us give Clinton a chance to make her case and let her help us to open some democrats eyes.


    February 26, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  10. John

    "A fine line to walk.."? Very tough for a crooked person to walk a straight line much less a fine one. My advice, Hillary, don't just cry in tonight's debate, sob a lot and say how unfair it is for someone that you try to malign/smear to dare to fight back.

    February 26, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  11. Doc Jerome

    Why is Sen. Clinton still getting the amount of press she's been getting after losing 11 straight contsets badly, and coming periously close to having a meltdown?

    Any other candidate would be completely dismissed.

    February 26, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  12. Dakota

    This election sure has opened my eyes to "biased Media". I have been so disappointed in CNN's support for Obama. I have lost all respect for you Wol f. I wish you could have just reported fact instead of your opinion. You have done an unjustice to women that is not likely to be forgotten soon. I never thought I would say this but Fox News has been much more fair in their repporting. I guess I'll stay with fox news

    February 26, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  13. wil

    Hillary is cooked and done. Obama will win Texas, RI, and Vermont and that will be the end. I just hope she bows out with some dignity.

    February 26, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  14. Robert in Albuquerque

    I only wish the media would try walking the fine line of being fair in their coverage on Clinton and Obama. Clearly it's been one sided for a while now.

    February 26, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  15. Patrick

    Hi Wolf,

    What a beautiful event this primary season is. Democracy is based on voter involvement, and that is exactly what is happening in this energized campaign. Where else in the world could you express your opinion, disagree and not be afraid of the consequences. This is a great big thank you for all the participants supporters and media in showing our system does work, is vibrant and is alive.

    February 26, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  16. Thomas

    Well well well, another reporter writing words of advice for Clinton. If Clinton points Obama's lack of experience, it's called Obama bashing. And if Obama prints a propaganda manifesto filled with lies about Clinton's the media just lets it go.

    I support Clinton, but I really wish that Obama wins so that Americans can see for themselves what a hollow man they've voted for. Apparently two terms of Bush weren't enough. It'll be real fun to see how he brings the rosy picture he paints down to specifics and eventually gets some very stubborn people around him in Washington to work for him.

    He's talking change, but he's no Kennedy.He doesn't even know what he wants to change. As far as policy issues are concerned, he just xeroxed Clinton's blue prints with a little tweaks here and there. His speech ofcourse as everyone knows by now, is not his own either.

    February 26, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  17. Sylvia

    OBAMA is dangerous

    February 26, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  18. jad

    Hillary's campaign, as of late, is damaging the democratic party for the general. If she can't win DECISIVELY on March 4th on the merits of her policies and ability to connect with voters...she should demonstrate she puts the party above her personal ambitions and withdraw...and unify the party.

    February 26, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  19. mark

    If Hillary can not manage her own campaign, campaign finance and her crazy weekend of calling shame on Obama, who is going to have such a president? I want a woman president but not this woman.

    Till then, Go Barack!

    February 26, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  20. Silvio

    Hillary should support Obama and stand for unity of the Democratic party. Doing otherwise means that McCain and Nader will deliver the White House to the GOP.

    February 26, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  21. Francis Martin

    In the eyes of many, the ONLY thing she can do that is right is to drop out. The media has been very tough on Senator Clinton, while allowing Obama to catch a free ride.

    February 26, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  22. James, Houston, TX.

    The Bush election was thru the EFFORTS of Murdoch. Trial and Error was their Theme. So Live with IT!
    Now Obama offers more of the same; Trial and Error !
    Question being, Can You Live With IT?
    Yes experience is relevant; You should know being employed by CNN.
    There's a difference being an Employee and being the Employer; Do recognize either or both?

    February 26, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  23. clarity

    Oh Wolf,

    So I guess that means they both need to walk a fine line, since it's a very tight race and anything can happen. Especially as Barak's campaign has been at least as negative, manipulative and pointed towards Clinton. Of course that's unless some folks in the media overlook this. I swear somebody slipped some cool-aid into the CNN water cooler!

    Wolf, switch to bottled.

    February 26, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  24. Lee Chang

    Wolf: I took a peep at what you say – but I have turned off your program – I have been disappointed with your comments and analysis about the Hillary and Obama race – you have been bias and taken sides – to the Obama side, and it shows. I am an outsider and do not care who wins – but I would like to have a news channel with fair minded journalist and reporters etc. CNN has lost that with the recent team of anchors.

    February 26, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  25. Miles

    When is CNN going to correctly add Obama and Hillary's overall delegate and super delegate count like you did for McCain and Huckabee? Are you trying to make HIllary's total delegate count look worse then it is and Obama's better then it is? Both totals count? Report the news instead of your opinion of which candidate you would like to win! It is obvious to America now CNN, that your people support Obama!

    And remember CNN! Hillary's total delegate count has been higher than Obams's to date. Obama has yet to catch the lead Hillary had over him!

    February 26, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9