February 26th, 2008
03:58 PM ET
6 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. Jimmy Miller

    There are words "CHANGE" among all presidential candidates this year.

    I don't see any "CHANGE" yet in the future, but one thing I know for sure that CHANGE from the Father to Son ruling this country and now that CHANGE from Husband to Wife!!

    While we, United States are criticized the dictatorship of N. Korea & Cuba, but does anyone look back to the last 20 years span to see whose last name ruling this country?

    America should wake up and think about it!

    Do we have some other last name for this great nation beside BUSH & CLINTON???

    I guess poeple are already got sick and tired with these two last names! Do you?

    Jimmy

    February 26, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  2. Rob

    Obama the new Bush in Dems clothing....."THE GREAT UNITER" WHAT A JOKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 26, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  3. Rob

    McCain in 08.....even though he can't walk on water he is the real thing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 26, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  4. James Wachai

    Hillary's loyalty to the Democratic Party needs to be questioned. She knows she will lose this nomination contest. She's throwing mud at Obama to jeopardize his chances of losing the General Election to John McCain. That picture her campaign was circulating on the internet wasn't meant to sink Obama's ship in the primaries. Alas! It was to torpedo his chances of defeating McCain, which is what makes me question Hillary's loyalty to the Democratic Party.

    February 26, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  5. MB

    She does not care what happens to Obama after she loses. She would rather hand the White House to the GOP than let Obama win.
    She is no different to what Nadar did in the last election.

    February 26, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  6. allison

    Wolf- I have always thought you were open minded. However, the folks on lower Cape Cod are beginning to think you are a M.C.P. "Obema is grest" Hillary has so many problems"

    February 26, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  7. Valerie

    Does no one else realize Hillary didn't blast Obama when she had the chance because she is listening to all the pundits criticizing the polarization of the Democrats?

    Y'all have prompted me to make a donation to the Clinton campaign. You go, girl!

    February 26, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  8. Bubba

    I have heard enough from the reporters. They are trying to sell a story and use their only outlet which is "polls". On one called me and asked me what I thought about the debates. But every hour on the one, the news reporters are trying to sell or get the ratings they need. They are like the weather people, no matter which on you watch for the weather, they all have something else to report (weather wise). I don't put any trust or stock in what the new people report. Remember they had the polls WRONG in one of the states voting.
    Let's ask Obama, to explain his "HOPE" and "Change" any one can say HOPE and Change, so I would like to say WHERE"S THE BEEF? to what he is selling to the voters? And isn't he just another "BUSH"?

    February 26, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  9. Bubba

    I have heard enough from the reporters. They are trying to sell a story and use their only outlet which is "polls". No one called me and asked me what I thought about the debates. But every hour on the hour, the news reporters are trying to sell or get the ratings they need. They are like the weather people, no matter which one you watch for the weather, they all have something else to report (weather wise). I don't put any trust or stock in what the new people report. Remember they had the polls WRONG in one of the states voting.
    Let's ask Obama, to explain his "HOPE" and "Change" any one can say HOPE and Change, so I would like to say WHERE"S THE BEEF? to what he is selling to the voters? And isn't he just another "BUSH"?

    February 26, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  10. mme

    Sen Clinton does indeed care about the Democratic party as do her supporters, many of whom have indicated that they would vote for Obama should he mesmerize his way into this nomination. (I am too angry to be so magnanimous.)
    A good number of Obama's supporters, on the other hand, are in this for him alone, not the Democratic party; as they have been reported to say that they would not support Sen Clinton in the general election.
    I must ask myself if I really want to be in a party that votes like this is American Idol.......
    How many other Democrats feel the same way and would stay home or even end up voting for McCain?

    February 26, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  11. Raul Medina

    just heard on the news the big controversy over using Barack Hussein Obama's name. If it is his name why be ashamed. The news caster also beat around and not use Obama's middle name. Isn't this the reason we have debates and comments. Let everyone know the truth and vote according to the truths not the perceptions. Hillary Rodman Clinton has been hit hard for everything she breathes. Why not let the truth on both sides come out and let the voters vote on the facts not what the news media wants to feed us only.

    February 26, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  12. Steve

    "were the Clinton years that bad? No. At the time NO ONE complained now it is all about how bad it was."

    – That may be the funniest thing I've ever seen on a political blog! Um, honey, he WAS impeached by the House of Representatives. The Dems want to claim that it was all a "political smear by Repubs" but 200 plus years of politics and we've only had THREE Presidents impeached in the house. Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, William Clinton.

    Enough of this.

    February 26, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  13. Dorleen

    As an Obama supporter, I could have accepted Hillary as the
    nominee;however her irrational attacks andmood swings have me concerned.
    I remember a past champaign when the leading (democratic?)
    candidate cried in public and was subsequently dismissed as
    presidential material. I am glad we are not that rigid and judge-
    mental today , but Hillary has taken emotionalism to new heights.

    February 26, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  14. Bye-bye Hillary

    11 Losses!
    Any normal Dem would be pressured to step down but since she's Mrs. Clinton....hummmm

    OBAMA '08 please!

    February 26, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  15. Andre

    Change will only occur in America when we adjust our mindset away from materialism toward a greater sense of sharing and global unity. Between them, these candidates will spend a billion dollars on this campaign. Where do you think the money goes? Into the pockets of greedy corporations who profit from the political process. We have become a country driven by the almighty dollar and neither Clinton, Obama or McCain has a plan to change our fundamental way of thinking.

    February 26, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  16. Mandy

    Oh my lord, Randy (comment no. 2), are you calling George W. Bush a great orator??

    Thanks for the best laugh I've had all day.

    February 26, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  17. dsw

    HIllary is cracking under pressure, I don't even know which one of her personalities debued in the last few days will show up at the debate, the one who was "honored" the "shame on you" or "Mrs. Sarcastic". . . if she is turning into Cybal now what will she do when the pressure is really on. . .

    February 26, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  18. Tina/Chicago

    mccain and his fellow conservatives showed the world today just how racists they are. If hillary accepts the endorsement from that mccain supporter-what does that say about her?

    February 26, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  19. Asians for Hillary

    Anyone who supports Obama lives in a delusion that he has created for you. He's not going to win the general nomination, even if he wins the democratic nomination. Many people who support Hillary would rather vote for Mccain than vote for Obama. Obama is just not competent enough to be a president.

    February 26, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  20. Bob

    WILL THE REAL HANNAH MONTANA PLEASE STAND UP!

    Obama has been "created" by Media Blitz....It has gotten so bad that it is almost like watching a Hannah Montana concert..........put a red cape on Obama, a big "S" on his chest, shoot off fireworks, have flashing lights and dancers on stage with him and you got the complete package! Oops! I forgot the blonde wig.........

    A Clinton/Obama ticket would be unbeatable for the Dems, but a Obama/? ticket could be easy pickings for the Reps. Obama is 4-8 years too early. He would probably make a good president if he had more experience.........Right now it would be McCain(Experience) vs Obama(Change-Hope-What could be-Possibly-Wish upon a star, etc.)

    Clintons' choice should be Richardson for VP. Have no idea for Obama except that Edwards might be coming thru the back door.

    Obama has alot of Hype but no substance and I have heard that alot of Dems will vote for McCain if he gets the nomination!,

    February 26, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  21. RAFi68

    if obama wins , hillary should move from harlem to washinton hight where the hispanic are , they are more loyal and dont kill people in the back . i belive the clinton should stop doing so much for the black comunity .it has been a lose of time ........

    February 26, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  22. concerned

    One hears about Hillary voting for the war over and over again... 5 years ago it would almost be unpatriotic if you didn't.. we didn't find out how W maneuvered until BBC broke the news about the time the Valerie Plame truth was uncovered.

    My question: The religion of Iraq, Iran and etc is predominantly Islam.. wouldn't one consider not going to war against the religion of homeland or homeland area?

    ??

    February 26, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  23. Mike

    For the firrstr time in our life time we had a smart women running for president and shame on you CNN and all your Pro Obama pundits not to give her a fair chance. The only CNN contributer you have that is worst anything is Donna Brazil (the super delegate).

    February 26, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  24. Mary

    Wolf-is the "dream ticket" still open for consideration? This would solve all of this childish 'mud-slinging" presentations – enough is enough! Who wants to vote for either Democrat when they are non-professional? And how can either lead this country the way they display their actions?
    IT IS TIME TO "KNOCK THIS STUFF OFF" AND GET DOWN TO BUSINESS or there will be less voters.

    February 26, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  25. Andre

    I have also NEVER, in my years of watching election coverage, EVER seen the press softball a candidate as much as they have Obama. Keep the kid gloves on and we're sure to determine his potential as a president....

    February 26, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
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