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. James

    If Hillary plans to run the country the same way she has run the campaign then God save America indeed!

    February 29, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  2. Nod

    More lies and grandiose posturing:

    Sen. Obama LIED during the last debate:

    Quote: “My objections to the war in Iraq were simply — not simply a speech. I was in the midst of a U.S. Senate campaign. It was a high-stakes campaign.”

    Obama wasn’t running for the US Senate in 2002.

    He was running for re-election to the state senate and that re-election was cakewalk.
    His opponent was Alan Keyes who didn’t even live in Illinois. That is why he won so handily. He ran against the worst candidate imaginable. It was not some miracle win.

    So, Obama lied. This isn’t “mispoke.” He said “US Senate.” It made him sound better. And it was a lie. That speech is not something new to him, he has referenced it over and over. He knows when he gave it. He’s reference that over and over. He was not running for the US Senate. He thought he could get away with it (and during the debate he did).

    One speech does not make you “one of the most outspoken critics of the war”. He was no even close to even Howard Dean, for example.

    Obama gave one speech in an anti-war rally in front of his supporters in Illinois. But if he was so outspoken, what more did he do? Did he writte a few editorial? A state senator could have gotten one published in Illinois. He could have given a dozen speeches. Did he march in anti-war protests? Surely they had them in Chicago. One speech hardly anyone heard at the time
    doesn’t cut it as an anti-war leader and certainly does *not* entitle him to even suggest he owns the mantle of *judgement*. What a grandiose attitude....

    Judgement is a big word to qualify a man's character based on a single anti-war rally speech.

    He was not and did not vote in the US Senate. When he came in the US Senate in 2004 he voted *exactly* as (or worse than) his fellow democrats.

    February 29, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  3. CR

    The usual and typical Clinton spine. They're never without an "out clause".
    Way to go Hillary – lower the bar for yourself and raise the bar for your competitor. Apparently that's the only way she can win.

    February 29, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  4. Crusty the CLown

    She's conceding, this plus the TX lawsuit threat, its a concession.

    February 29, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  5. Makeba

    I can't believe the spin coming out of this campaign. I really believe that they believe that most AMericans are idiots that can be swayed so easily. For toomuch of our history this has been true. BUt people are waking up.

    I think it is clear that Clinton will not be on the ticket...in either slot now.


    February 29, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  6. owl

    Hopeless Clinton campaign........he does not need to sweep them all ...hopefully he would win them all but after 11-0 ...he does not need to prove anything ....stop playing the underdog card after all Hillary was leading every body and in every where back in November ....what happened .
    We the people choose Obama.....it is that simple.

    February 29, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  7. Yeah Right

    Move the goalposts yet again. The fact that she still gets any media coverage after losing 11 straight and using every dirty trick in the book to con voters should be clear testimony to the fairness of the media. My God, Wolf Bliter, Candy Crowley and Jessica Yellin alone have given Clinton nothing but fawning press coverage. ENOUGH!

    February 29, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    The Clinton Attack Machine/Spin Machine.

    Like Barack says.....people are tired of the dirty Politics. That is why they are voting in record numbers for him.
    My prediction.....Barack will take Ohio and Texas with no problem.

    February 29, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  9. Vijay

    Remember after the potomac primaries Hillary directly went to Texas skipping Wisconsin. They really thought that they had a good chance and she did have a 20 point lead then. As people get to know Obama more they like his plans, his past and his ofcourse his speeches much better than they like the alternative. Like Jay has pointed out, it is she who needs to win big to keep her hopes alive. How disingenuous can the Clinton machine get?

    -Obama 08-

    February 29, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  10. PH, Dallas, TX

    Well I'm probably the exception here switching from Obama to Hillary. I was on the Obama bandwagon but have come to realize he is just another politician, a bit more eloquent than most though. With that said I have changed my allegiance to Hillary
    because she is more prepared to take charge. And I will not vote for McCain as he does not represent any of the Democrat party's positions on issues.

    February 29, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  11. Chris

    This is the excuse when Hillary barely wins maybe ONE of the four states, as to why she won't withdraw. Or loses all four but Ohio/TX are close.

    Yeah Jay, I checked that yesterday too - Hillary needs 58% in ALL STATES on average to CATCH him. Even if Billary win one or both big states March 4, it won't be nearly that.

    February 29, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  12. NW Independent

    It's not that he needs to win by big margins, it's that he SHOULD win given all the money and time he is spending. This is of course if he really has a message that brings all Dems. together (which he doesn't).

    Does this man really think he can unit the Dems. and Republicans?

    Not a snowballs chance given his way liberal record.

    February 29, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  13. ariel

    The Clinton campaign is thrashing about in an increasing sense of unreality.I think Obama will carry Texas comfortably (as well as Vermont) and narrowly defeat Clinton in Ohio. Sen. Clinton needs to prepare a gracious departure.She has already spoonfed too many attack points about Obama to the Republican party.She can offset that by the energy of her campaign on his behalf in Nov.With that,she might win my grudging respect.

    February 29, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  14. Marie, Mtl Can

    It's funny this message from Hillary campain. I think they need new course on math. Because my calculation says they are wrong about the winning score for Obama. They should stop to deny the reality here. And even Bill her husband realize that it will be hard very hard,
    No offense

    February 29, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  15. Nancy S -Long Beach, CA

    The Clinton campaign are masters at spin, but I'm not sure if any one is listening to them anymore....

    February 29, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  16. Mag

    This is obviously a memo that is purposefully leaked. Unless they plan to steal the election with superdelegates, Clinton needs to sweep by huge margins to catch Obama. It's virtually impossible for her to do so.

    This is more dishonest talk from a growingly desparate campaign.

    February 29, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  17. Tad

    "He has spent time meeting editorial boards, courting endorsers, holding rallies, and – of course – making speeches."

    Billary sounds jealous.

    February 29, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  18. Shaun

    Well, for one, why wouldn't Obama be spending more money? His campaign is the one that has not needed to take out a loan to continue running. I am sorry, but something is wrong when you have to take out a 5 million dollar loan to continue your candidacy. If our government wants to give the power back to the people, then they should, and stop the lunacy that is the presidential 'poker game'. Clinton had a good run, and that is great, but she is not the nominee, and she will not be, I am sorry, but there are no buybacks in the world we live in, so why are there in politics?

    February 29, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  19. Brian

    Clinton is doing everything they can to make it look like she'll win the nomination if she takes Ohio and Texas, and reflectively, to make it look like Obama will be down and out if he doesn't sweep the whole race. But the reality will set in after Tuesday, when even if Clinton wins by ten-point margins in all four contests (she'll NEVER win Vermont), she'll still be way behind in pledged delegates and in the popular vote, and Obama still has easy wins in South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Oregon, North Carolina and Mississippi coming up.

    Mathematically Clinton has almost no way of making a comeback in the delegate and popular vote counts. What it's going to come down to is if the super delegates are willing to overthrow the popular and pledged delegate vote – something that wouldn't happen in a million years. They wouldn't dream of ruining 2008 for Democrats. Not in a million years.

    February 29, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  20. Xavier, Washington, DC

    Wow. I just got so dizzy trying to read through all that spin. So now he has to win all four? How about the fact that she was up by double digits in TX and OH only two weeks ago? I figure she's going to drag this thing out all the way to the convention. Face it Sen. Clinton, unless you win big on Tuesday, it's a wrap.

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

    All obama needs to do it win Texas and vermount even by small margin and the game is Over.

    February 29, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  22. z,new york, ny

    Obama had to go from nobody to somebody in this presidential race. Of course he had to work much harder and spend more money just so people get to know him. Nothing new there. If anything he has already beaten most expectations so far.

    For Obama to exceed all of them, Clinton will finally have to drop out.

    The press keeps saying if Clinton stays she may have a chance in Pennsylvania. However, the press neglects to mention another big contest 2-3 weeks later which may heavily favor Obama: North Carolina... and a good win for him there will cancel out any Clinton Pennsylvania or even March 4th wins and finally end this long and tired primary.

    February 29, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  23. Ronald, American living abroad

    The spin from the HRC campaign is exactly what exasperates the majority of voters. Every other day she changes the focus of her campaign, reneges on her "honest" answers about releasing documents, threatening to sue Texas DNC to change the long-agreed-upon rules of the "Texas Two Step," and the list goes on and on.
    Hillary, please, you remind us too much of the destructive politics of personal destruction!

    February 29, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  24. Rita

    Barack Obama has been at a great disadvantage from day one. He has had to spend much more that Clinton to even get on a level playing field with her. There are many people today who still do not even really know what Barack Obama stands for because he is new to the national political scene. If Obama was as well-known as Hillary Clinton when this started then yes, I would say that him outspending her 2 to 1 and not winning would be a flag. However, we all know that there are many other factors at play here. This is not a fair argument, but it is a smart one. Her campaign is trying raise high expectations for Obama so that if he loses any state on March 4th it will cast doubt for his potential supporters, and take the heat off of the fact there is a good chance that she will lose states on Tuesday. They fail to remember the extraordinary success he had when expectations were next to nothing for Barack Obama. Although I like Hillary Clinton and I respect what her campaign is trying to do, its not going to work. I hope you Clinton supporters will rally around Obama if he gets the nomination because I would do the same for Clinton if she does.

    February 29, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  25. Lety

    Hilary is doing great, no thanks to the media! It is awesome that she is going to attend the fallen police officer's funeral in Dallas. Days before the most important race in her life, she has put her campaigning to the side to do the right thing. Kudos to you Hilary! Just one question, how come the Obama-nosing press hasn't mentioned anything in the news about why he didn't return to Illinois after the shooting to give his condolences to the people who are actually his current constituents. Obviously he was too busy with his campaign that he wasn't going to risk losing votes in another state since Illinois had already voted! Way to go Hilary!

    February 29, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
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