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. Mark

    88 Bush 92 Clinton 96 Clinton 00 Bush04 Bush AND 2008 OBAMA!!!! We are a country that is Big enough to elect outside two families. IF NOT THEN I GUESS ITS JEB BUSH IN 1212.

    February 26, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  2. Sally, San Antonio, TX

    Actually, Hillary's is correct to remind the voters about Obama's rash stance on invading Pakistan to get Obama. If Obama gets the nomination, he will consider Hillary's points mild in comparison. It is a fact that Obama is inexperienced and untested. Do the Obama people really think that McCain would not notice?

    February 26, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  3. junior Catao

    Experience is the most important thing for this country nowadays and obama is on his first term as a senator, and very imature when the issue is military and economy.

    February 26, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  4. Dawn

    First of all, let me say that if this comment does make it before the cut...I am so sick and tired of reading all the whining by the Clinton supporters because their comments are not making it to the board. I am an Obama supporter and have yet to see one of my comments make it either. But I sure don't blame that on CNN. As a matter of fact, I feel like my intelligent comments are not making it because these boards are filled with cry-baby rants instead.

    Secondly...you all want to make it seem like the Obama supporters haven't got a clue. You think we're all delusional...we're watching the so-called biased news reports and turning out to the polls in record numbers because of what a news anchor says.

    Get real!

    You're all crying because your candidate doesn't look good on the news. Maybe, just maybe it's your candidate and not the news. You're swearing that you won't vote for Obama if he wins the nomination. Then you know what...why don't you pack up your toys now and go home. This election is about REAL GROWN UP issues. If you're not adult enough to do what's in the best interest of your country just because your first choice doesn't make it...then maybe you aren't adult enough to vote at all!

    February 26, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  5. Pat

    It is quite apparent CNN feels it took a hit from the Saturday Live Show. One cannot help but notice you are bending over backward for Hillary this week. Why not just shoot from the hip and not try to mold the news.

    February 26, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  6. Divine

    It is eminent but not quite certain that the end of the road is about to hit the Clinton campaign. We've witnessed a string of disturbing and underrated behavioural patterns from Hilary and her crew which saw the resignation of two of the top campaign officials. In the law business, it is often said "loose case, loose trial". Hilary jumped onto the campaign on her husbands back hoping to enjoy past glories, but this is not what modern politics is about. Bill won't be president, she will if she makes it. But her bogus attitude of doing anything to win as we've seen so far is not only kindergarten, but disloyal to the Democrates as a whole.

    I think Barack's got the momentum on and his charismatic ability to reach out across the aisle is what the next president deserves. We seen him maneuver his way from underdog to front runner and it is no doubt, if he's having a big appeal for Hilary's base supporters. I'm almost forced to believe that she got in race without a clear concept of her campaign strategy and after been given a reality check by Barack, she going wild. That ain't politics americans want to see that can bring solutions and the experience she's been preaching about seems to be eroding.

    Thanks Wolf for letting me drop a line and i'm looking forward for the debate tonight.

    February 26, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  7. pastjob

    let's stop this nonsense. Hillary does not look Presidential, infact she just looks like an ex President's wife. that's it!
    if u r a plumber and you call in sick, does your wife have the experience to take your place? enough said. they both are terrible but at least Obama looks Presidential and can have a decent conversation with other presidents around the world.

    February 26, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  8. Pympikeme


    Continue to do your thing on CNN and pay the stupid comments no mind...Hillary pressed the "self-destruct" button on her campaign from the minute she decided to run like a Republican...Disregarding the entire map for only the select few "big states". Now she's playing catch up & is ready to change the rules laid out by party officials at the beginning to favor her with the Michigan and Florida delegates. Since that's the game she decided to roll the dice on (losing), then thats how it needs to be covered. Do your thing Biltzer and brush your shoulders off from those haters...


    February 26, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  9. phood

    Change from the top down is dependent on fear,
    change from the bottom up is dependent on hope.

    We have two candidates that couldn't be further apart in how they think and how they have run their campaigns. Clinton is promising change in action, Obama is delivering it as we speak. He is consistently walking the walk as he talks the talk, she is in panic mode. I'd trust him in a jam more than her I'm afraid.

    February 26, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  10. Katie

    How is stating the facts "slamming" him its true he is inexperinced and i agree with the previous poster that the news media is all about obama and not being fair with coverage!
    Clinton 08!!!!

    February 26, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  11. Scott

    Mr. Blitzer
    Which Hillary you think will show up tonight at the debate, the I am really sweet and you can vote for me, or the heavyweight boxer even though I voted to go to war with Iraq before reading all the security report so now I'm going to bring the boys and girls back home and fight for you, or will we see the Hillary everything that was good in the 90's I was for It and everything that was bad I wasn't for It, or my very favorite tell me what you want to hear and I'm for it, can someone say BIPOLAR.

    Long Island, NY

    February 26, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  12. Tejano

    Hillary needs to do her own thing and forget about providing any ammunition to the McCain campaign. By exposing this Fraud called Obama you will do this nation a favor we will not forget. Republicans have all the ammunition they need to defeat him in November. Your time will come in 2012 once you get rid of Bill and all the baggage he saddled your campaign with.

    February 26, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  13. Bill Jay

    Hillary for President, period.

    February 26, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  14. Mr. Kurt Ali (N.Y.)

    The feeling that I get when I converse with my friends is that Hillary comes across very untrust worthy with her demeanor. Today she'll smile in your face and the following day she is looking you stab you in the back. She lacks sincereness.

    February 26, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  15. crat3

    the moderated process is censorship as explained.

    February 26, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  16. Deleon Texas

    I am a Democrat and have always voted Democrat...But if Hillary Clinton is on the ticket I will vote Republican for the first time. if her plans are so great lets hear them.. All she talks about is Obama . Plus who wants a cry baby in the white house anyway.

    February 26, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  17. Hilda Holcomb



    February 26, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  18. Dave C - N.J.

    The GOP would have said it anyway. And it still wouldn't matter.

    For all of you crying about CNN being biased, did it occur to you that they are covering Obama more because he is doing better, not that he is doing better because they are covering him? Get real.

    And so what if the commentators are showing their OPINION that they prefer Obama. That's their job.

    If you don't like CNN, take some advice from Howard Stern: Change the Channel.

    February 26, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  19. John

    @Shannon McMurphy:

    If you truly believe there are a misrepresented number of Obama to Clinton supporters posted on CNN, then have you looked at the polls lately? Better yet, look at the primary results. There's a reason Obama has won 11 in a row...so to say that viewer comments reflect that paradigm is perfectly rational.

    February 26, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  20. Walid Garosh

    This is great. November election is a done deal. Republicans will not only be defeated but also will be humuliated . However, Democratic primaries is the super ball.

    February 26, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  21. Windy

    I agree. Hillary is giving McCain a hand by attacking Obama. I wonder if the GOP is taping Hillary's ads and speeches, and use those as a McCain campaign negative ad in the future.

    If GOP wins this year, Hillary is to blame.

    February 26, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  22. Wisdom

    If HRC is on the ticket in NOV., we will have a new GOP president in MCcain. It is sad that this is so, but very true.

    February 26, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  23. SC

    I suspect Hillary has been nice as long as she can. She will likely go after Obama in full anger mode tonight. And that ,for all practical purposes, will end her campaign on March 4th. Frontal attacks are only going to pull her further away from a presidential presentation. But let's be real, that's why she's not going to make it.

    February 26, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  24. Mike, Oceanside,CA

    Wolf, we have two Great Democratic candidate's. Why is race a factor? What happened to Dr.King's dream?? Let the people make up their minds without race being a factor. We need to get away from which race made the candidate.....

    February 26, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  25. Isabella

    Wolf-why not ask complicated questions to Obama? I hear the media is so afraid to do so, due to fear of being called racist. So in fact, there is more sexism, in this campaign, then there is racism. How sad. Is everyone so blind not to see Obama's true colors. He is a talker, not a doer. He leads these "religious-like" rallies, that really remind me more of a "Born Again" Obamanites. People are sucking it up, like water. And the media is loving it. The media has always been anti Clinton and want the weakest candidate to face McCain. Duh.

    February 26, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
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