February 29th, 2008
11:00 AM ET
10 years ago

Clinton campaign: Obama needs to sweep March 4

 The Clinton campaign says Obama needs to win big on March 4, or else he has a problem.

The Clinton campaign says Obama needs to win big on March 4, or else he has a problem.

(CNN) - Seeking to raise the expectations for its rival, Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign said Friday that Sen. Barack Obama needs to sweep the March 4 primaries.

The Illinois senator should win all four states - Ohio, Texas, Rhode Island and Vermont - decisively, given the amount of money and resources he has devoted to them, the Clinton campaign said in a memo circulated to reporters.

"If he fails to garner big wins, there's a problem," the memo states.

"The Obama campaign and its allies are outspending us two to one in paid media and have sent more staff into the March 4 states. In fact, when all is totaled, Senator Obama and his allies have outspent Senator Clinton by a margin of $18.4 million to $9.2 million on advertising in the four states that are voting next Tuesday."

"Senator Obama has campaigned hard in these states," the memo continues. "He has spent time meeting editorial boards, courting endorsers, holding rallies, and – of course – making speeches."

The memo came out moments after Obama campaign manager David Plouffe finished a conference call with reporters, during which he said the New York senator needs big victories in Texas and Ohio Tuesday if she hopes to chip away at Obama's now 153 pledged delegate lead - according to CNN's latest estimate.

"The Clinton campaign needs to begin wining big states by big margins to have any hope of eliminating this delegate lead they are facing," he said.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (329 Responses)
  1. Brig

    I think those who want to see a change need to realize that the more we bicker amongst ourselves the more time John McCain has to mobilize and win. I am really hoping this can be over with on March 4th and whoever has the lead after the count is done will just be congratulated and we can focus on winning the white house. I like Hillary I like Obama but for the good of the party it would seem that one needs to step aside and let the other get on with the final goal. Obama is in the lead on delegates and on total votes and unless Hillary can really overtake him on the 4th she should just step aside. I will be happy to vote for her in 2012 or 2016, but this is only going to end up hurting the Democrats chances if someone hasn't stepped aside on March 5th.

    February 29, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  2. USMC Veteran

    Newsflash: After losing 11 straight states, I would worry about my own campaign having problems.

    February 29, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  3. Peace

    Clinton campaign stop twist things. You are the ones who are behind. Having lost 11 contests in a row, you are the ones who must win big. Whole people know this. Obama campaign will add on its lead they have already.

    February 29, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  4. Brian

    He needs to sweep, because if he doesn't, he'll only win the nomination by a couple hundred delegates...

    February 29, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  5. J. in PA

    All you Hillary people who think that the Obama supporters are delusional... Which campaign is it that keeps changing the rules of the contest, the benchmarks for success, and the bounds for what's acceptable campaigning? You are following a whirling spin machine that is spewing out more and more falsities as it hopelessly flails to the bitter end. I

    February 29, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  6. Wiselectorate

    Give me a break!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    When did Ohio, Texas and the other March 4 states became a must win for Obama?

    Where are Hilary supporters in this forum????????????????

    I thought HRC had consistently maintained her firewall was going to be Texas and Ohio?
    Can we really trust Hilary to run this country? God Forbid. Where is the experience????. She has been outpaced in terms of organization and finance by a relatively unknown new comer in the game – Obama.

    Obama 08

    February 29, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  7. Rachel F.

    I just received an email from a fellow Obama supporter that said she was contacted by the Clinton campaign and they are paying $10 per hour for anyone who will agree to blockwalk on March 4th in Texas. Maybe its just me, but this doesn't seem like a good sign.

    February 29, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  8. onyekaba nnaemeka

    why won't the clinton's campaign face what is ahead of them which is the reality of being kicked out on the fourth of march! leave Obama alone!

    February 29, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  9. JD

    Interesting that "making speeches" has been turned into a negative characteristic of a campaign by the Clinton camp. What exactly does Clinton do when she holds events with voters? Does she *gasp* also make speeches?

    I'd like to see the next few days focus on substantive issues, and not divisive tactics. I think we've had enough of those over the past 7 years.

    February 29, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  10. EL NNINO

    Senator CLinton's las t comment is ridiculously funny!!!

    February 29, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  11. Luke

    After the wisconsin primary 10 days ago most analysts looked at the situation and declared that Hillary would need to win Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania by 15 point margins to catch up to Obama's delegate totals. It seemed possible at the time based on polling data, but no longer does.

    That is still the reality. Hillary's campaign team can do all the "lowering expectations" for Clinton and "raising expecatations" for Obama it wants, but it doesn't change anything at the end of the day. The fact that Clinton's campaign is saying Obama needs to win ALL 4 states to not be considered a failure is comical. If he wins either texas or ohio, this race is essentially over on Tuesday.

    February 29, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  12. Russell

    Hillary....After 11 straight losses...Don't you think it is time for you to focus on what you need to do?

    February 29, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  13. Lynn

    in other words Clinton is going to hang on to the bitter end no matter what harm it does to the party. Apparently, over and above wanting to change the rules for Florida and Michigan, there is word they may sue over the caususes in Texas...Is this the type of president we want to represent us??

    February 29, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  14. Former Clinton Supporter

    Does Hillary Clinton realize that her campaign has reached the stage of extreme desparation? First a law suit filed to challenge the rules of the Texas primary/caucus that her own campaign staff agreed to before the primaries, now this? Now the pressure is on Obama to win? Give me a break, talk about swiftboating!

    February 29, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  15. G

    No – Hillary, I believe you need to win more than just Rhode Island to stay in the race. Spending well over $100 million and a year campaigning to win the smallest state in the nation does not make you qualified to lead on day one.

    February 29, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  16. Charlotte

    Obama has not won a large state yet, and it dosen't seem as if he will any of the remaining ones. Why dosen't Obama drop out, he can't win the general. His platform is he didn't vote for the war. DUH!!! Hillary raised 35 million dollars from all those poor voters, Obama should have at least doubled it with his so call higher wage voters. Go Hillary

    February 29, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  17. Kevin

    Sounds like the Clinton campaign is resorting to the idea of "if you say it often enough, it becomes true."

    February 29, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  18. Gadren

    Nice try, Senator Clinton. First your husband says that you need to win both Texas and Ohio for you to continue. Now that Obama is beginning to cut at your support there, you try to claim that his victories are meaningless unless he wins by almost impossible margins.

    You just want to be able to declare victory in defeat. Quit shifting the goalposts.

    February 29, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  19. Dylan from CA

    Looks like the Clinton campaign is trying desperately to raise expectations for Obama to an unreasonable level so that even if Hillary wins one or two states it will look like a huge victory for her.

    The FACT of the matter is that she MUST win HUGE and TEXAS AND OHIO or this race is OVER.

    I think she'll take Rhode Island and has a good shot at Ohio, but should Obama win Texas (and he leads in the polls right now) it will be time for her to concede. Mathematically she'll be too far back in the delegate count to have a realistic chance. Unless she actually does want to take this to the convention and complete what appears to be her objective of utterly destroying the Democratic Party.

    February 29, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  20. Truly Inspired

    This post is very perplexing. Now, Hillary's camp is claiming Obama SHOULD win??? This is what she's paying these people millions of dollars to come up with??? Anyone with half a brain understands that Obama is the "challenger" – up till now, it was expected that Hillary would coast to the nomination...it was expected that she would be the nominee...and I for one, don't expect Obama to win anything! EVERY SINGLE WIN is a surprise to me. it's a surprise that an unknown could take down the giant time and time again...and that's what's inspiring so many people...that for ONCE a multi-millionaire WON'T BE IN THE WHITE HOUSE AND MAKING DECISIONS THAT WILL AFFECT SO MANY PEOPLE!!!

    Hillary's camp, at this point, is just pathetic!

    February 29, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  21. JJ

    LOL! the clinton campain is hillarious! This is horrible the games they play. Do they think folks are stupid or something? That we are not paying attention? Just last week they were telling another story. This is why I stopped supporting Hillary Clinton in the first place. There is no doubt in my mind that what you see in this campain is what you will see in the white house. In Her case, you wont know what to believe therfore you wont be able to trust her, or anything she says.

    February 29, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  22. s_charles

    Yes, he has outspent her just like he out smarted her in strategy, shown himself to be a better and more frugal manager of his campaign, (less donuts, less fancy hotels and less top tier meals)a wiser judge of circumstances and message more in tune with the mood and desires of the Nation.
    The Clinton camp can ramp up expectations for Obama all they want, but everytime they do it and whine about the money he receives from ordinary people, we are reminded about the failings and excesses of the Clinton campaign for the woman who would be President.
    Hardly a vote of confidence!

    February 29, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  23. Sean

    I don't think the candidate who's lost over and over again should be telling Barack what he needs to do.

    February 29, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  24. Jay

    Using simple math, Clinton needs to win the remaining primaries by an average of 58-42% just to TIE Obama in pledged delegates.

    It's funny to hear her campaign tell us that Obama needs to win by wide margins. Actually, it's dishonest.

    February 29, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  25. Jerome_PGH

    Obama has outspent Clinton 2-1 in Ohio and Texas because as recently as 2 weeks ago he was down 20-25% points to Clinton. So he had to spend alot of money to try to catch up. The bigger thing here is not that Obama needs to win but if Clinton cant hold on to that large of a lead then what does that tell us!

    February 29, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
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