March 12th, 2008
02:00 PM ET
10 years ago

Blitzer: Get ready for a primary season extension

The primary season is about to get a bit longer.

The primary season is about to get a bit longer.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Right after Barack Obama won the Mississippi Democratic Primary, I had a chance to speak with him. Two points that he made stand out in my mind: 1) that he’s open to possibly having Hillary Clinton serve as his vice presidential running mate; and 2) that he believes there eventually will be make-over Democratic contests in both Michigan and Florida.

“Senator Clinton,” he told me, “is a very capable person, and, as I’ve said before, she’d be on anybody’s short list.”

That certainly doesn’t mean he would ask her to join his ticket - but it does mean he’s clearly not ruling it out.

She seems to have gone further in recent days, hinting that she would ask him to serve as her Vice Presidential running mate. Bill Clinton has made a similar point.

All this is happening despite the increasingly nasty exchanges that have been hurled against each other. Obama told me that he was “confident” that once the Democratic contest was resolved, “the party is going to be unified” in the battle against John McCain. An Obama-Clinton or Clinton-Obama ticket, many Democrats believe, would go a long way toward uniting the party.

On the make-over contests in Florida and Michigan, Obama expressed some concern about the logistics for another election. Will, for example, a mail-in ballot work? But he noted that conversations were currently underway between the campaigns and the Democratic National Committee. “I’m sure it will get sorted out,” he said.

Bottom line: get ready for the Michigan and Florida make-over elections in June – after the last scheduled contest in Puerto Rico, now expected to take place on June 1.

–CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer

Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (177 Responses)
  1. Jay Graham, Dallas, TX

    If Obama is considering Hillary as his VP, is this because she is going to train him on a CEO job? He will be on training from Day 1.

    March 12, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  2. Seastar

    Why does the "greatest democracy on earth" have a presidential election system that is so poorly constituted? It goes on forever and brings out the worst in the candidates. I can't think of another western country where the level of "discussion" is so puerile. These are the people we want to represent the US?

    March 12, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  3. Alex

    I personally feel that Hillary Clinton as a Veep would be a bad move for Barack. It would counter his message of "change" and would be something that could allow McCain to attack the ticket. Personally, Hillary has more to gain with Obama then Obama can gain from Hillary. THat is just my humble opinion.

    March 12, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  4. Pennsylvania

    Wolf loves Clinton.....quit pushing this agenda that favors the Clinton machine.

    March 12, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  5. Goodheart

    The only way to unite Democrats against McCain is a joint ticket. It is the only way. Polls already indicate many Democrats are strongly divided and would not support the nominee if it is not their candidate.

    They both should announce that they would choose the other, so at least Democrats would unite on that point.

    March 12, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  6. polly molly

    Blitzer is in love with Hillary he is always reporting HIlalary HIlalary, HIlalary............ please! Hillary and Senator Obama may be both democrats but they are like the north and south pole.
    Honesty vs. Lies.

    March 12, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  7. dannE

    TO: Chris, Silicon Valley, CA, USA: Seriously? Roland Martin really said that 26 million Americans should not be represented??? I doubt that very much, someone needs to go read the article again. Martin only said that rules should be followed and enforced in order to prevent, you know, future chaos.

    March 12, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  8. Eki Ehizele

    I am writing from Africa and i am shocked at the ignorance of Americans. Clinton's ways can only fool toddlers in my country. Well, maybe she's actually what u deserve. Disgusting!

    March 12, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  9. Al Smith

    You cut me off before finishing my comment!!!How about expanding your coverage on Fallon which is far more important than Spitzer and the Obama, Hillary crap!!!!

    March 12, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  10. Brenda Honea

    I don't much care about Florida snd haven't since 2000. I still believe that was all rigged. But that is history so let it stay there.
    I don't like the way these candidates try to smear each other. Stick to the issues not the personalities.
    I don't believe that Obama is for real. He is not Super Man, able to change congress in a single bound! He lives in a fools paridise.
    I will have a very hard time diciding come November, just like in 2000. It will be a choice of the lesser of the two evils again.

    March 12, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  11. JJ

    FL, MI should have a revote.

    March 12, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  12. A CANUCK

    The Cintons will do or say ANYTHING to get back in th White House.
    They are so DESPERATE it is laughable. They deseve each other....
    I wish they would just walk into the sunset and disappear.

    March 12, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  13. Al Smith

    Most of the media has no idea how many Republicans have voted in the Demo primaries where cross over voting is allowed. We are gettin a choice between the two worst candidates in the Demo race.
    I am an independent in Texas where you do not have to declare to vote .

    March 12, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  14. Craig

    Florida and Michigan do not deserve a re-vote. They knew the rules, they knew the consequences of breaking the rules, and they still broke the rules. We live in a society of rules. If you break rules you pay the consequences, you are not awarded special privileges.

    March 12, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  15. Iloveobama

    and after all the months to come it will still be the same outcome...Obama will still be in the lead and all that money that could have been going in the general election will have been wasted, the party will become more divisive and what for, at what cost?? because of ONE WOMAN'S BRUISED EGO to not know how to step down, put an end to this and save our party...tsk tsk this is taking sore loser to higher heights and the MEDIA is fueling this thing with their biases and hope for ratings, even after knowing very well Hillary will never be able to catch catch up .

    March 12, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  16. Jeff

    The elected officials of FL and MI are the ones who caused this problem by moving up the dates. They are the ones responsible for the reason that the resident's votes don't count. Now it is too bad that these people won't get their chance to vote in the primary, nothing is excluding them from the general election, but if they are that upset about it, the elected officials shouldn't get elected next time around. This is what our democracy is about, not crying foul when someone doesn't like the outcome.

    March 12, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  17. Gregory

    Thank you for finally including the front runner, Barack Obama link on your political website. It's about time. I guess you finally actually looked at your own delegate count.

    March 12, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  18. Joel Fishman

    I just listened to Rep Wexler on your program , he is a Obama supporter. I cannot beleive what I heard. I am not sure what he is advocating for. Does he want a redo, does he want to seat the delegates as they were voted for. What is his position because I didn"t hear one. It is amazing to me that this is going on at all. Citizens votes should be counted. If not as the votes were cast then in a redo of the primary. It is inconceivable that in 2008 the party cannot come up with a way to have a fair primary again. If they can't the people who came out to vote, exercised a right to vote and votes should be counted. Barack Obama took his name off the ballot in Michigan, his own choice. He did not have to do that and probably should not ahve done that. In retrospect I am sure he would not make that same choice today. On the other hand he and Hillary were both on the ballot in Florida. He lsot that election, whcih perhaps might be the most fair way to ahve a primary. No campaigning just let people vote how they feel.

    March 12, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  19. Chanda-Cincinnati

    When Obama won Iowa, the Clinton campaign said it's not the number of states you win, it's "a contest for delegates."

    When Obama won a significant lead in delegates, they said it's really about which states you win.

    When Obama won predominantly white, rural states like Idaho, Utah, and Nebraska, they said those didn't count because they won't be competitive in the general election.

    When Obama won in Washington State, Wisconsin, and Missouri - general election battlegrounds where polls show Barack is a stronger candidate against John McCain - the Clinton campaign attacked those voters as "latte-sipping" elitists.

    And now that he's won more than twice as many states, the Clinton spin is that only certain states really count.

    But the facts are clear.

    For all their attempts to discount, distract, and distort, he has won more delegates, more states, and more votes.

    Meanwhile, more than half of the votes that Senator Clinton has won so far have come from just five states. And in four of these five states, polls show that Barack would be a stronger general election candidate against McCain than Clinton.

    So let Florida and Michican re-vote. The delegates needed to win will rise, and Clinton will still be behind. I just wish someone would ask her if she plans on representing ALL of the United States of America, or just the "BIG" states. As far as my state of Ohio, no dem will win this state in the general election. A good percentage of the people who voted for her in SW Ohio were Republicans who followed the lead of Limbaugh and Cunningham. Trust me, they WILL be voting for McCain in November.

    March 12, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  20. Osa

    I watch with amazement how the Clintons have defined and re-defined the race for the democratic nomination with tacit help from the media. First they pick and chose which state is important and which one is not. Then, they say, the pledge delegate lead does not really matter, then they say, you know, the state we won are more important than the states Obama won. They blatantly are trying to change the rules they signed onto before the contest in the middle of the game. What’s worse, the media has applauded their kitchen sink strategy, while down playing Obama’s lead. They Clintons have convinced the media in this country that other states are no longer important but Pennsylvania and what do we hear from the media, Pennsylvania will define the way forward. Now, if Obama was far behind in the popular vote count, has lost more states like the Clintons, far behind in delegate count, the press would have long buried his candidacy. The media has been most unfair to Obama, with the Clintons shifting the post every time it does not favor them with the help of the media. The world is watching how we conduct our affairs in this country, what is good for one American, is as well good for the other.

    March 12, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  21. fred

    As sad as it is, I must agree with SAM.

    My entire family in NM and TX have been democrats as far back as we can remember. All of them voted Hillary to keep Obama from becoming the nominee.

    They all plan to vote Republican for the first time ever in this election.

    The democratic party has split the constituency on race and gender.

    McCain will win in November.

    I only hope the party can rally a candidate that will bring democrats back together in time for the next election.

    March 12, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  22. billy in richmond

    Wolf, you talk about how nasty the campaigning is getting. You fail to mention how nasty the media has been toward the Clinton's, especially since SC. The media made this campaign about race back in NH. Remember? The polls did not match the results and all the talking heads said it was possibly the Bradley effect. What part of that was not about race?
    Also, Obama has definitely made this about race expecially since SC. Once he saw the support from the African-American community he seems to have forgotten that he is not African-American, he is both black and white. Why does he never speak about how proud he is to be part white? He constantly talks about his black heritage knowing that the African-American community wants to hear it and he knows that if these same people were fully aware of his mixed race they would think twice about his candidacy. You in the media never question him on this issue and that is just another issue which shows your bias toward him. It seems his wife is only proud of this country because he is running and now it seems he is only proud of his black roots. I posted a similar comment on AC360 last night and one of his supporters said that he was not running as an African-American but rather that is what the media is portraying him as. So my question is if he is not running as a black candidate then why has he not corrected the media? The answer is simple, he would lose a huge amount of the African-American votes if he were to say hold on folks I am half white.
    I wish the media was brave enough the next time he speaks about being African-American to ask him about his white half. But I know that will never happen.
    Also, when you interviewed him about the Florida and Michigan primaries he made a point of saying his name was not on the ballot in Michigan, yet you were to scared to remind him that it was his decision as well as Edwards to remove their names- so he has only himself to fault. Then, he made a point to say he did not campaign in Florida, inferring that others had, which is not the case. Once again you were spineless and did not bring up the fact that he was the only one who did campaign in Florida- REMEMBER- he had ads that ran there, as a matter of fact they were run on CNN and MSNBC. Of course he would have given you the same lame excuse that he was unable to stop them in time. Guess what, they should never have bought time in markets which they KNEW would run in Florida.
    Spineless and unfair seems to be yours and Jack's attributes these days. Jack should take a leave of abscence and join Obama's campaign and maybe you should think about doing the same.

    March 12, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  23. Waterbed Namata Itoe

    Oslo, Norway!

    I am a political scientist and a staunch supporter of both Senators Clinton and Obama. I have 6 weighty, objective and honest comments to them (1) I am so charmed to supporting the Clintons, but I expect Senator Clinton to 'gracefully accept' her campaign made a mistake by under-estimating her opponent and put Obama on the lead. Delegate-count is the fundamental rule for a candidate to become the Democratic nominee and not "blue states." The arsenals of democracy must profess 'majority of delegates or votes (2) Blue states and red states are all Americans and "they are talking" by their votes "for primaries" (3) I'm afraid, Clinton has a new burden. Her 'survival and very abrasive' campaign pattern will divide or ruin the Democratic party 'almost forever' and she should ask herself: Is this a new legacy the Clintons want to leave in America's politics? (4) The tough politics I see in 'Clinton-Obama chess play' is that Obama can't survive without Clinton and Clinton can't survive without Obama in November. If Obama leads by delegates and by popular votes, he must incorporate Clinton to partner in his "change we can believe in" as his Vice president, she becomes the first female Vice president in America to impact on US gender politics. Iif Clinton leads in delegates and popular votes, Obama should be the first African-American Vice-president. (5) Clinton and Obama should realize both of them would be "making history" as the first 'female and African-American' presidents. These two would lead America as Presidents for 8 plus 8 years – 16 years consecutively (6) Why did the Democatic Lawmakers put 2,025 delegate count as the nominee guarantor? – it's because the delegate-count is what decides the winner of Democrat's primary, and not "the blue states" – don't change a fundamental rule. This is the basic rule of 'democratic majority' and I guess for US primaries as well. I WISH BOTH CLINTON AND OBAMA GOOD LUCK FOR THE NEW FRENZY THEY HAVE BROUGHT IN THE US ELECTIONS!

    March 12, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  24. RAFi68

    if McCain pick mitt romney , obama will not beat then because independent will go back to then , and he will need hillary clinton with him to be able to win , that is a fact .

    March 12, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  25. jeromeepps

    Thanks again for all of your updates u handle the florida congressman very well. Born in florida and now live in Lithonia, GA., and I feel like her comment was not racist. I am a black male, retired from the military/DAV. It's true i feel that blacks are voting for him because of the color of his skin and race. If he was not black tell me who would get 90 percent of the black vote or any other race vote. Let's be honest about it. I am ashame of what this might do to all america when we look at the truth. He was invited along with all the other candiate to go to the black cacus in new orleans but he didn't go but to the news Senator Hilliary Clinton went.

    March 12, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
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