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. Anonymous

    why should dems be angry or turned off by hillary challenging barack, it is exactly what the republicans are going to do... they need to get over it, every weakness each canidate has is going to come out at some point, if anything it should be a good thing that they come out now before the dems have committed on a nominee

    February 26, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  2. Democrat no more?

    The press as well as all the "hollywooders" have definitely jumped on the Obama band wagon & as a result Obama is leaping ahead. Why of why can't we just have the free press actually be free of trying to convince people of their should be candidate. We don't need your help to make up our minds! The notion that we have presidential candidate that will be in a "learn as I go" position? What on earth can so many be thinking as well as the press? ( I think that they will agree to anything as long as it not a strong women.) I have been a democrat all my life & if Obama is the democratic choice, for the first time I will have to vote for a REPUBLICAN! Dear God!!! I will not vote for some inexperienced "the world will be a warm & wonderful place" kind of candidate! WAKE UP people & listen to the facts– so watch the debates put your biases towards strong women behind you & LISTEN UP!!!!!

    February 26, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  3. larry

    im just a cnn watchers. but it is noticeable that most news about the runners are not favor of clinton. it is ovious and it is always showing that your programs mostly against her and all your comment and the advocates speaks always show favor to obama.im just a sympathizer and cant vote and i have no favoritism whoever the candidates.
    it is so tiring to watch and bored watching your programs instead of staying your political programs cause they all saying same things again and again same commentators.. i suggest to bring new faces on your programs to refresh the mood of the viewers.to hear something new thought and ideas even it is old topics it will become new again from new faces ,new voices, new tones rather than seeing same faces again and again and the viewers will know their judgement as soon as they open their mouth. and that was so boring.and become senseless to hear.
    just a suggestion to improve your programs.

    February 26, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  4. Arcadio De Jesus

    Yes Mr, Blitzer, Hillary is doing bad, but is because since the begining of her campign, you in the media went against her, and favor Obama, it is amazing, how you In the media hate the woman, not only man, but women too. I used to watch your program at CNN, and when I though, how unfair you were to Hillary Clinton, I moved to MSNBC, thinking they were better than you, but they ride the same horse you ride, is not much of a difference, between CNN and MSNBC, you both hate Clinton, and think that is because she is a woman. I am amazing, that not only you men hate Hillary Clinton, the women in the media hate her too, a shame on you all, for going against somebody, because of her/his gender.

    And for thoes that voted in Florida and Michigan, now that Nader is running for president, I hope they vote for him, instead of votin for the democrats, and give Mcain, the win, this way, the democratic leaders, in this Country, will not pratic dictatorship anymore. The democrats, criticize Chavez and Castro, and now, they are about to do same thing thay do, in this Country, that is suppose to be, and I believe it is, a democratic Country.

    I know, that you may not even read this message, because, for what I see, you in CNN, only read, what is in favor of Obama, and against Clinton, but just in case, I am sending it to you.

    February 26, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  5. Rosemarie

    Obama a uniter!!!!!!!!!! With the viciousness that is on this email list by Obamaites and the evil lashing at Hillary, I can't see Obama as a Uniter.................you must be joking...........Wake up everyone

    Vote Hillary 08

    February 26, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  6. Michael Tucker

    Has anyone picked up on the blatantly biased broadcast media coverage of Senator Clinton with negative lead-in commentary that it is pretty much always coming from a male broadcast journalist 2who is always juiced to deliver his pitch with no eyes on the tele-prompter?

    February 26, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  7. Dave UK

    I have been following the USA elections with great interest over the past month, the last Obama/Clinton to me has been the climax of these campaigns. I must say Senator was more mature in his responses compared to Senator Clinton. Clearly her experience she claims has not helped her and I wonder if she will stand the hit if elected as President. I have my doubts.

    February 26, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  8. Republican Looking In

    She missed that fork in the road long ago. Too late. Waaaaay too late.

    February 26, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  9. mick

    Wolf, How about if you guy's stop plugging for OB and Hillary does win,would it be fare for OB's attacts to be used for McCain?

    February 26, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  10. rimofheaven

    At first I was upset at the Hillary camp for stooping so low this past month. Now, I think she is only making Obama stronger. Until the NY Times strategically ran the McCain story, Obama had kitchen sinks coming at him from both sides. If he can walk out of this campaign in one piece he'll be almost unbeatable.

    February 26, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  11. Joe

    Obama may very well win the nomination ... as a democrat I will not support him for president .. he is as polarizing as Sen. Clinton and your polls have proved just that.

    I want experience and a work horse not a show horse. I will vote for McCain if Obama is the democratic nominee.

    If by chance Obama does win the presidency all of the democratic elite who have backed him better be counting your days in office because when he cannot deliver everything he has promised the American People you all will be voted out of office, along with a one term Democratic President of inexperience.

    The American People will hold him accountable to the extreme because those who have supported him have gone way out on a limb to support the underdog and boost his appeal. Had it not been for Oprah's endorsement and the extreme bias of the media I do not feel he would have made it past Super Tuesday.

    February 26, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  12. Douglas

    i think snl was right

    February 26, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  13. Cynthia

    Looks like Barack isn't the only one talking change. Hillary is flip-flopping like a fish on dry land-her last gasps, I'd imagine. "Honored to be with" Barack one day, "Shame on You" the next. And then mocking his speeches! Hard to tell which Hillary we would get in the White House!

    February 26, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  14. Just Wondering ...

    If Obama should be fortunate enough to win in the general election ... I wonder which of you Clinton supporters will be in the news for trying to do him harm.

    “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they attack you, then you win”. (Gandhi)

    February 26, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  15. Debby

    Geeez Wolf thats all you talk about for 3 hours is Politics. You hardly mentioned the blackout in Florida which by the way was real news. I realize you, Cafferty, Borger bow at the feet of Obuma but please enough is enough we turned to Fox in our office just to listen to real things happening in the world.

    February 26, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  16. Bliss

    Please i beg you ,keep your mis-leading Poll to yourselves.... Nobody cares about it for God sake.

    February 26, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  17. Brian

    I would vote for either Hillary or Barack over McCain. I just like someone who is fresh and positive instead of someone who owes so many political favors. CNN isn't doing anything biased. Its the people that are going nuts for Obama right now giving him an amazing amount of momentum. I really don't think you guys watch CNN. They do run fact checks on things Obama says or does (more so than I have seen with Clinton, in fact).

    In any case, this has been an incredibly exciting race. It is nice to see two very viable Democratic candidates running for the nomination. I hope there is a clear winner next week so that we can all get behind him or her. As far as McCain goes...what happened to you, my friend? 5 years ago you were a voice for the independents. Now you are just a puppet for Busy. It makes me sad to see you fall so far just to win the Republican nomination. You can tell it makes your friend on the Daily Show sad too.

    February 26, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  18. PMI

    If Hillary's camp reminds takes her to take her Bi-Polar meds before the debate tonight she will do just fine, with no outburst of anger or hysterical laughter and flailing of her arms, nor will she wear her Star Trek suit.
    I'm making popcorn in case she doesn't.
    Obamalicious! YES WE CAN!!!

    February 26, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  19. CE, Wisconsin, USA

    Wolf, I have come to the conclusion you are related to the Clinton's. Just a casual review of your blog shows a consistent dialogue from the perspective of her campaign. I used to have respect for your reporting but have become quite dissillusioned.

    February 26, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  20. Noel

    Wolf , Sen.Clinton talks about exprience all day and its not working ,this is why she is losing and now she tries to add chang to he speeches once in a while but its too late for her. The American people needs change not exprience. Sen Clinton needs to let go this run for the Presidency and allow Sen.Obama to focus on the Republicans. The Democratic party needs to do something about this now before it gets out of hand.

    February 26, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  21. richard

    Hey Wolf, I am a former supporter of Mr. Edwards and I am shocked at you and the main medias 527 for Obama. I hope that Michael Moore looks into the conspiracy of this. I have done only minor research on the issu and it is overwhelming the amount of material supporting this. From error oops Air America to blogging it is a shame you have tha ability to slant the coverage so much that you the media are choosing the democrat nomine and possible president. I will be placing my support behind Senator McCain based on the media coverage if Obama wins the dem nominee.

    February 26, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  22. Bill Jay

    Hey Wolfman, you are a cool dude.

    I hope that the black folks that vote for obama get their man in office,
    cause they are goona be really upset when they find out nothing is gonna matter in their way of living. We will see that come to light.

    So Wolfman, keep on doing your thing, maybe you should run for President, you got my vote.

    February 26, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  23. Steve

    I think it a bit odd that the Clinton camp accuses Wolf and CNN of bias toward Obama, when just a few short weeks ago, Obama wasn't being given much air time, because Hillary was the presumptive Democratic nominee. I've been watching CNN and the other media outlets carefully, and as near as I can tell, every time Obama is mentioned, so is Clinton, since they are at the forefront of the Democratic selection process. It would be odd to see an article about one with no mention of the other.

    I believe the real truth here is that CNN is not parroting the Clinton party line, with its almost continuous distortions and flip-flops. CNN is, for the most part, reporting both sides of the Democratic story. For those that have sipped the Clinton kool aid, this is interpreted as bias against Clinton. That attitude follows with Clinton's "My Way or the Highway" attitude.

    Keep up the good work, CNN and Mr. Blitzer. While no media outlet can be completely unbiased, your work has been, for the most part, informative and detailed.

    February 26, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  24. Rob

    People Obama is NOT going to become president. He will not get elected....This is only a mirage....Sorry, they are taking the only chance of a democrat winning the general election and throwing it away. Dennis Kucinich has more of a chance....Its

    McCain in 08.......America has already blown 8 years and a great economy on a know nothing!!!!!! Remember Bush the other UNITER???????

    February 26, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  25. Bill Jay

    Hey Wolfman, you are a cool dude.

    I hope that the black folks that vote for obama get their man in office,
    cause they are goona be really upset when they find out nothing is gonna matter in their way of living. We will see that come to light.

    So Wolfman, keep on doing your thing, maybe you should run for President, you got my vote.

    February 26, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
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