February 26th, 2008
03:58 PM ET
7 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. Norma

    Wolf, I love to listen to you on tv, but I have heard enough of you and CNN putting Sen. Clinton down while upholding Sen. Obama, why are you doing this?
    Are you afraid a female will be our next President, filling a so called male's role or afraid of being called a racist?
    His wife is ashamed of our country and doesn't want him to be our President, she is not good First Lady material.
    I am glad to Sen. Clinton is standing up for herself and coming out like the Warrior she really is I know she will fight for our rights with every thing she has. She will start on day one because she has been working on these issues for years.
    We DO NOT need another beginner as President.
    McCain told on TV that most of his wealth came from the Iraq War, how do you explain this?
    Ohio

    February 26, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  2. TV

    The media's coverage, particularly CNN, of the Democratic primary is a joke. I have never seen such bias towards one candidate over another in my 25+ years as a registered voter.

    Obama can do no wrong. And the fact that his empty rhetoric has not been called to task by you so-called experts makes me ill.

    And as soon as Senator Clinton defends herself against lies from the Obama campaign, the first thing out of your mouth is she's going negative.

    Obama must have put some special sugar in that kool-aid you guys are obviously sipping on.

    February 26, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  3. Missouri

    Hillary needs to slow down with negative attacks and look for solutions for the Country

    February 26, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  4. Steve

    Let's see . . . First, the gracious Hillary, second, the outraged Hillary, and third, the sarcastic Hillary. Umm . . . is it her time of the month? God forbid, she is elected President and has her finger on the nuclear "football."

    February 26, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  5. Scott

    I agree, this is the only campaign in recent memory when highlighting similarities is so commendable. The only reason why it is commendable is because it helps Obama hide his inexperiences by being highly comparable to better candidates like Hillary and McCain. I find it interesting that whenever I read CNN and Yahoo News that it is always a story about how HRC's campaign is falling apart while Obama is riding high. Never in history has any sort of election been so tailored by the media than this, I'm glad senator Todd decided to make himself more famous by climbing the Obama coattails.

    February 26, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  6. David T

    Obama for President, double period..

    February 26, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  7. ross

    i know what you mean, another reputable news network is reporting on all candidates, abrilliant report on obama'a dodgey funding of his illionis mansion, and who gave him millions of pounds.cnn of course would never report that about obama. hillary still has a chance , especially as neither will reach the number od delegates needed. i think she will take ohio and texas. never count a clinton out.

    February 26, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  8. Scott

    I agree, this is the only campaign in recent memory when highlighting similarities is so commendable. The only reason why it is commendable is because it helps Obama hide his inexperiences by being highly comparable to better candidates like Hillary and McCain. I find it interesting that whenever I read CNN and Yahoo News that it is always a story about how HRC's campaign is falling apart while Obama is riding high. Never in history has any sort of election been so tailored by the media than this, I'm glad senator Todd decided to make himself more famous by climbing the Obama coattails.

    February 26, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  9. Warren

    Hillary Clinton has a few problems. 1) Many voters hate the Clintons. 2) she is from old politics, Most of us are tired of Bush/ Clinton Dinasties, 4) many think she has mental problems and 5) She put up with Bills indegrecians and kept him around. Should of divorced the jerk!

    Main Fact: She is the wrong woman to run for President.
    I don't care, color of skin, gender, wealth makes no difference to me. Put a respectable woman in there that all can trust and I would vote for her.

    Problem is, Edwards dropped out and we got stuck with these 2 candidates.
    If Huckabee would drop his (change the constition ideas) and change to Independent and Edwards would change to Independent and run together, we might have something to look at!

    February 26, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  10. Bryan OH

    I Swear CNN whatever Hillary does is not good enough for any of you. Hillary is only doing what she needs to do which is show this country that Obama is not the best choice for the democratic party, but then again anything bad that is said about Obama the media pounces on Clinton saying she will do anything and everything to win. Hillary is fighting to the end and she has my vote and will always have my support.

    February 26, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  11. chuck

    I love this notion that Hillary is suppose to never say anything bad about Obama and if she does she is giving ammunition to the Republicans. Don't people know that the Republicans will pound this guy over lack of experience, lack of foreign policy background and on and on.

    On the other hand the entire Obama campaign has been one negetive attack after another on Clinton. Status quo, Washington insider, same old politics.

    She is the first woman to ever have a chance to be president that could have been the most radical change this country could ever have had.

    Instead we are going to get John McCain...

    February 26, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  12. Bliss

    The truth might be hidden for a while after which it will be revealed.Nobody wants to listen to sen. clinton now on the issue of experience and ability to get the job done from day one.This is my greatest concern in this election.The world as a whole is on stand still watching every sector of america public, most especially the media which is highly partisan and liable for sen. clinton's downward performace. Everyone of you will pay for your ill-feelings towards her.

    February 26, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  13. arthurW from Virginia

    Baisa's response seems par for the course in the Clinton Camp. This is a Democratic Primary, not the general election. While Hillary, if she thinks of herself as a lone wolf and not part of a party, has nothing to loose but her dignity, the same certainly can not be said for the Democratic Party. A sad commentary on her sense of importance and lack of being part of a greater Democratic team, if she continues to throw the kitchen sink, complete with knives and shanks, at Obama.

    February 26, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  14. Barb

    I AGREE WITH BAISA!!!!!
    GO HILLARY, NOT ALL OF US HAVE BEEN INCLUDED IN THESE
    POLL'S THEY KEEP REPORTING ON!!!!!
    WOLF CAN YOU TELL ME WHY THEY USE REPUBLICAN'S TO
    DISCUSS THE DEMOCRATS ON CNN? WHY NOT ASKING
    QUESTIONS OF TWO OR THREE OF HILLARY'S BACKERS TO
    DISCUSS HER RUN? I HAVE NOTICED EVEN SOME OF YOUR
    DEMOCRACTS ON YOUR SHOW ARE OBVIOUSLY FOR OBAMA.
    I HAVE ALWAYS ENJOYED YOUR SHOW BUT DO FEEL THE
    MEDIA IS TRYING TO HELP OBAMA GET ELECTED. AND FOR
    GOODNESS SAKE KEEP CAFFERTY OUT OF IT PLEASE, HE IS
    OBVIOUSLY A CLINTON HATER.

    February 26, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  15. Randy - Denver

    Why is it sexism if we do not like Ms. Clinton? Me personally, I do not care for her, her gender has nothing to do with it, I think she is no better than Karl Rove and I dislike him, not because he is a man but for the way he acts, same feeling about Ms Clinton it is her actions not her gender that make people hate her.
    It is pretty funny that people can claim sexism freely but if we point out the racist remarks made than we are somehow "playing the race card", if we disagree with Ms. Clinton it is sexism, again the double standards are enforced! Women should be accepted as equals in the workplace (I agree) and this is how we need to change the workplace to make this happen (I DIsagree)

    February 26, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  16. Carole

    CNN is supposed to report the news NOT influence the people. Obama is not doing better all on this on, CNN is biased and anyone can see that. As far as Howard Stern is concerned – I do turn him off – he is not exactly my role model for anything!!

    February 26, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  17. v.ananthan

    THE RACE IS SO CLOSE THAT HILLARY CLINTON SHOULD SHOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HER AND OBAMA BECAUSE THE REPUBLICANS WILL GO AFTER OBAMA IF HE GETS ELECTED.

    I HOPE THAT OBAMA^S SUPPORTERS LIKE KENNEDY , KERRY AND OTHER LEADING DEMOCRATS CAN LOOK AFTER HIM LIKE THEY DO NOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 26, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  18. Veronica Chiesi Brown

    I have to agree that Senator Clinton is NOT getting a fair shake from the media and I work in the media!!! Senator Obama MAY be a good man and MAY be a good candidate in a few years or so but now he is too inexperienced. Too many people want change but confuse change with throwning a guppy into the ocean with a bunch of sharks. That is what would happen if Obama took office. Correct me if I am wrong but were the Clinton years that bad? No. At the time NO ONE complained now it is all about how bad it was. Half of the people complaining were not even old enough to vote then. Give Clinton some credit. She is a woman in a man's world and she knows what she is doing and does not back down. Obama has the "superstar" persona. People say they can't stand celebrities who are always in the limeline...guess what? Obama is just another celebrity in a nice suit.

    February 26, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  19. Carlos P NJ

    I hope HRC comes out stronger than never today and let know all the things the media has been spining during this campaining days specially ONN, they have been distorting the meaning of all the differences HRC has between O and her.
    But if that happen at least I know she gave it all as the candidate she is in this fight. However is good to know the republicans are not going to hold the true about O and I rather her saying it instead of the Republicans

    February 26, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  20. mendoza

    she is walking a fine line but as with all the things the clinton they want to win at all cost and if that means hurting the democratic candidate for the general elections thne they will do just that! and please all these people talking about Obama is getting a free ride, well no one was complaining when she was ahead in every state and ahead in every poll, so clintons supporters dont be sore loosers!

    February 26, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  21. Eli

    When did elections get to the point that you can not tell what the other person has done or who their friends are, that they may have done illegal things with. Did this all change when OBAMA (the golden con artist) could not hold his own in a TRUE debate. Dont think for a minute that the Republicans will be so easy with Obama if he gets the nomination. I think they will degrade him enough that he will tuck his tail and run home. Speaking of being degraded has anyone seen Oprah on the campaign trail for Obama lately.

    February 26, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  22. Barry

    Respectfully, whoever the Democratic Nominee will be, likely at this point it looks like Mr. Obama, I personally prefer Hillary, but if Obama does end up being it, there will be a split in the Democratic Party Democrats will become more regular cross-voters from now on and damage will be done to our party forevermore.
    I don't believe that Mr. Obama has stepped back to see the forrest for the trees nor does he really care what problem he creates.
    I will vote for John McCain and I have never voted Republician.

    February 26, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  23. Dezz

    She could differentiate herself by not going petty. While we understand she needs to get our attention and confront the differences of the two, she does not have to mock and tease... Prsenting facts will do Senator Clinton the dont get desparate and try to crack jokes against Barack cause he makes you look so petty when he doesn't respond to your desparate attempts to get ahead... Just stick to what God loves and thats the truth and the people will decide who we want to represent our party.

    February 26, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  24. Jim, American in Paris

    Obama has to face the truth now or later. Better now that Hillary takes care of the truth with Obama than to let him sneak through to the nomination to run the Republican gauntlet which he has never experienced and would never survive.

    February 26, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  25. luggar

    The debates really dont show much that the voters dont already know.
    The questions are so soft that it is pretty much a waste of time to listen.I personally think opposing sides should sponser the debates. We might get some real questions answered then. So it`s actually a beauty pagent with no substance just a lot of whistling in the wind.

    February 26, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
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