March 12th, 2008
02:00 PM ET
6 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. katherine

    Mr. Blitzer,
    I was listening to your show earlier concerning the Michigan/Florida vote. I had heard on another show Obama saying that they should come to some kind of comprimise like giving 50/50, or 51/49 to each himself and Clinton??? OMG, is he for real??? Yeah, ok, let's just have Hillary tuck tail and give this election to him. From what I understand, republican politicians along with Howard Dean's approval made the decision to hold the elections when they did knowing full well the result. They knew Mrs. Clinton would take Florida and now are doing all they can to take her votes away from her. Mrs. Clinton did nothing wrong here and neither did the people of Florida. They must either count the votes as they are or have a full re-vote. If there is an issue of how to pay for a re-vote, let all who made the decision to vote before super Tuesday pay for it as it was their wrong doings.

    March 12, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  2. edwa8224

    Mr Wolf
    I live in fla and don't think we need a re-vote here in fla why don't the news networks do your jobs and stop being so bias. mrs clinton know what she agreed to now she want to change the rules

    March 12, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  3. KC Atlanta

    Wolf, Thanks for being the fair one on the Situation Room. Cafferty has become to sound like a mean spirted downer about everything, guy.
    Spitzer's wife should not be judged for standing by her husband. None of us knows her persanal life, nor should we.

    March 12, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  4. Derek

    The do-overs in Florida and Michigan will be the biggest mistake the democrats have ever made. Whenever you change the rule of the game 2/3 of the way through a contest – something is very wrong!

    Did anyone notice how this just became the biggest issue after Clinton's so-called win in Texas. Remember that James Carville said that she had to win Texas, Ohio and Penn to stay in the race. When he knew that she would not win the delegate race in Texas – he offer to come up with the 18 million for these redos. Obviously, the only way to keep her close in the delegate count is to add more states – very scary!

    The Democrats are seriously risking Obama's supporters forever rather than Florida's and Michigan's for an single election.

    March 12, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  5. Mad in Texas

    My gosh, you people where have you been out in the boondocks. There has been no lopsided candidate on mud-slinging. You people that claim Hillary has done so much to Obama. Well I've got news for you. It has been just as bad coming from his camp. IT'S POLITICS Now get ready to support the ticket either way it gos. Let the voting play out and if it's a OBAMA/CLINTON then support it. If it's a CLINTON/OBAMA ticket get behind it with all you've got. This is the only way the Democrat Party is going to survive. So grow the hell up people an try unity for a change. AFTER ALL WE ARE ALL GOD's PEOPLE. I wonder what he is doing right now looking down on all this bullcrap. Shaking his head and crying, probably. UNIFY AND VOTE FOR WHATEVER DEMOCRAT TICKET COMES OUT OF THIS> OBama/Clinton Yea man! – Clinton/Obama Yeah Boy!

    March 12, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  6. Paul

    Wolf, YOU want an extended race. YOU are pushing for a Michigan and Florida revote. YOU are pushing for a Obama-Clinton ticket . Just report the news and keep you opinions to yourself. In the Obama interview last night he was trying to be polite by saying the Clinton would be on anyones short list and you very noticeably got excited and spinned it to mean he would still think about it. Today you accused anyone making excuses not have a revote in Florida are automatiically Obama supporters and then turn around and say it is crucial to seat both Michigan and Florida after they both PURPOSELY broke the rules. There is not doubt, Wolf, that you are a BIASED reporter.

    March 12, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  7. anonymous

    I don't mean to be rude, but Army Veteran and Jim-Tucson, can you please go to the delegate counter game on CNN.com and move the cursors of the states, to figure out if HIllary can still get more delegates then Obama and the answer is YES if she does well in all of the remaining states withoug Florida and Michigan. Therefore, if Florida and Michigan come in, then she'll definitely be able to beat Obama in the delegate count. Sorry Charlie, but it's the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

    March 12, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  8. SR

    Fascinating that the DNC doesn't mind Puerto Rico moving up it's primary, but Oh noes! not Florida and Michigan...Let the votes stand. a re-vote will necessarily be much smaller and less fair.

    March 12, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  9. corky

    Hillary Clinton won Florida and Michigan. Florida had all candidates names on ballot and ads were ran on their behalf. Florida should automatically be counted without re-vote and as far as Michigan Obama chose not to put his name on ballot to bad. Obama would be crying all over the Media to seat thes two states if the outcome was in his favor. Howard Dean and Dnc should get some backbone and stop worrying how this is going to affect Obama and his campaign after all the states he won thirteen out of thiteen are Red states voting Republican in Nov. Hillary is the only one getting shated by this deal not Obama. Roland Martin would be all for Florida and Michigan being seated if it played in favor of Obama. Obama ca't use the excuse he was not known because Florida and Michigan have T.V. in this day and age and watched debates. Cnn Please Post

    March 12, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  10. David

    toche!! finally, CNN has acknowledged Barack in the ticker. I have been writing about this for 4 weeks! Hmmm, wonder who they want to win?
    FL and MI DO NOT deserve a revote. They screwed themselves by bucking the rules, now live with it. Yes Oregon has been voting by mail for years, but it took 10 years to perfect the system so there would be limited chance for cheating. Allowing a vote by mail scheme is dangerous to each candidate and the entire election process in the US. I agree the primary process needs to be changed, but the way FL/MI chose to do it is wrong and well, they have lost the opportunity to partcipate in the primary.

    March 12, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  11. Chris In California

    Why is it that comments on some articles are only allowed a short period of time for people to respond??? For example, I would have liked to post a comment regarding Geraldine Ferraro stepping down and it was open for comments for a very short period of time and then closed to comments, yet this one I am posting on has been open for comments for several hours now. I think CNN.com likes to leave the comments open until they get what they feel are enough slams on Hillary Clinton and then they close it so that other people cannot respond. Journalistic integrity? I don't think so.

    As for the Geraldine Ferarro article, I don't think she should have stepped down. I think Barack Obama has been playing the "race card" since South Carolina to silence the voices of people who were NOT being racist. But, the Obama camp having accused people of racism made people be quiet when they were not really being racist. I think it is shameful. I am a Hillary Clinton supporter and I think BARACK OBAMA HAS DIVIDED THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY to a point that it is irreparable. I will not vote for him if he is the nominee. Like other Californians who are speaking the same way I am, I will vote for McCain before I vote for Obama because I have lost respect for the man and the shenanigans that have gone on in his campaign. I did not know him before the campaign began and now all I know of him is the awful games I think he has played. Now, I feel he has caused a person who has never had a racist bone in her body, Geraldine Ferraro to step down without just or fair cause!

    SHAME ON YOU, BARACK OBAMA!!!

    March 12, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  12. Donald Kennedy

    A few minutes ago Jack gave your opinion of G. Ferraro and her right to Freedom of Speech. He has sunk lower than I would ever have imagined. I'm through with CNN! What really bothers me is I though he was a pretty smart, reasonable, savvy guy; boy, was I ever wrong

    March 12, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  13. Tara

    John I noticed that too!
    I'm pleased that someone somewhere in CNN is trying to be fair.

    March 12, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  14. corky

    Hillary is gettin shafted

    March 12, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  15. Rebecca

    Wolf,

    Why are you pushing for this so hard?

    Do you not want Obama to win?

    Clearly anyone can see that Michigan and Florida revotes are in the best interest for Hillary and you are one of the media biggest activists.

    Come on now, who do you support?

    Quit being so opinionated and let the viewers make their own choice. Are you a radical Feminist?

    March 12, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  16. Chris In California

    One more thing...I think that when the Obama camp started trying to silence people by accusing them of racism, they were making legitimate points about him and challenging him just as ALL candidates in elections are challenged. What is he hiding that he does not want to even answer the questions of reporters he turned and walked away from in a recent press question and answer session??? After 7 or 9 questions from reporters, when they began to ask him difficult questions, he just up and walked off. I've never seen Hillary Clinton do that. She actually answers questions. She has been fully vetted. Yet, I think that, whenever anyone tries to scrutinize Barack Obama on fair and legitimate issues, he won't answer or he does just as he did and leaves the area.

    March 12, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  17. t

    shane March 12th, 2008 5:24 pm ET

    The democratic nomination has turned into a circus. It is very disheartening for sure. the party of "tolerance" are the ones that continue to talk about race! You would expect soemthing like this to come from republicans but democrats? No. I dont think geraldine ferraro should of said what she said simply because we all know the race issue is a sensitive issue. I personally dont care about someones race, but some people do. The thing with me is her comments just seemed kind of dumb. think about it for a second. She says that barack wouldnt be where he is at if he were a WHITE MAN. Its almost laughable when you think about the fact that 43 white men have been the front runner in the democratic party! ANd 43 whitle males have been president! In reality it seems that anyone but a white man would have DIFFICULTY gaining the presidency.

    Also if being black was somehow a built in advantage, then why didnt ALAN KEYES win when he ran for presidency? OR jesse jackson or al sharpton. barack is not the first black man to run for president. If he were the first black man to run for the presidency, then maybe she would have some credibility to her claims. But hes not.! ANd those BLACK men that did run did not do as well as obama is doing. SHe fails to state the obvious: Barack is doing so good because of his charisma, not his skin color. Its because of his eloquence, not his race. "He has the advantage because he's black" is something you dont hear in AMERICA everyday. In fact its totally absurd to think such a thing when you actually think about it.

    I thought this was a very good analysis of why the ferraro thing is disturbing, especially for party that says its for the people and has been an advocate (at least in campaigns) for African Americans. I would just like everyone to think for a minute: imagine if obama was Hillary white and had won 30 states out of 44, most very handily, and at one time 11 straight at a time when there were only two candidates, there wouldnt be a question about that losing candidate dropping out for the good of the party. I'd like to hear an arguement refuting this, I really would. And again, barack has never made race an issue until someone in the clinton campaign make a comment and he and his campaign is obligated to say something because this has never been apart of his campaign and it never should, we live in the 21st century its time to move on.

    March 12, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  18. magellan

    hey dem08.....and for the rest of you pathetic dimwits who actually think that anyone other than the elected officials of michigan and florida are the culprits of any "disenfranchisement" of their respective citizen voters.
    has it every crossed your rodent-sized brains that if both florida and michigan held their primaries as scheduled by the national democratic party, that they wouldn't be in this very situation?..... if every state could just set their own primary dates, then it would only be a matter of time when the primary elections for say a 2016 presidential election would begin in 2012.....possibly sooner......cuz......."we wanna be first" syndrome would spiral this whole process into sheer stupidity.....
    on the angle side of things......i am an independent voter who has not yet decided who to support in the general election.....and see any efforts of those who are supporting, or actively involved in trying to get the rules and outcomes altered after the fact......as simply doing so for their own banal logic of "if it helps my candidate, then let's do it"....and not on what is right or fair...... i would bet $50 (at least probably) that you were probably a supporter of ballot recounts in florida in 2000.... and that any multiple marked ballot should have gone to gore.....cuz he was your man and you wanted him to win......even if it meant distorting the rules to your favor.......
    so......why don't you grow up, and give your pacifier back to your mommy!

    March 12, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  19. Texas Voter

    Wolf you really need a long vacation.

    Obama said that about Hillary the very first time you asked that stupid question in a debate. He was his usual diplomatic self. He has never said anything disrespectful of Hillary personally...he has onlyh contrasted their political differences.

    If you would read some of the commentary on your own bias network you would also know there is no way Obama would want her. She is the polar opposite of what he stands for. She is a status quo, polarizing Clinton and will lie, cheat, or do anything to win.

    Let me explain it Wolf...Hillary needs Obama....he DOESN'T NEED HER. Enough already with your stupid Dream Ticket. Go distract the Republicans with that bs.

    March 12, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  20. Maxine from WA State

    No Re-do in FL or MI

    No Re-do in FL or MI

    No Re-do in FL or MI

    Let the rules stand! These states should battle this out with their elected officials. Each candidate agreed to the decision to not recognize their votes and going back to change this is WRONG and TOO EXPENSIVE and a WASTE OF TIME!

    November will be here soon! Dems need to focus on winning the big prize – THE GENERAL ELECTION! We are wasting time bickering about something that happened in January. McCain is sitting pretty now as he does not have to do any campaigning as we are doing it for him by showing that the democratic party is dysfunctional and unorganized!

    HOWARD DEAN I'm begging you to stand firm!

    March 12, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  21. JTS

    Wolf,

    Why don't we let states with caucuses redo their elections too... let them have a mail-in primary. That way, we can see what the true popular vote would be. After all, Clinton is arguing she is close in the popular vote, but Obama states don't really count in that tall. I'd live for WA state to have a "re-do" where we vote by mail.

    MI and FL broke the rules and all in the Democratic part, including both candidates, agreed on the consequence. But then, rules only matter to the Clintons when it's to their advantage.

    How about this solution. Allow FL and MI, but then require all superdelegates to vote in proportion to how their states voted (effectively eliminate the superdelegates).

    Consider how disenfranchising the superdelegates are. One ordinary person voting has a tiny fraction of the voting power of the one person that is a superdelegate. A handful of superdelegates in a state votes with the same weight as tens of thousands of voters. The dilution of the non-super's vote is disenfranchising. If we stop thinking of the superdelegate as a "delegate" and instead think of it as an ordinary person who votes as though they were thousands of persons, we see how unfair the superdelegates are. Yet the battlecry for FL and MI is "disenfranchisement".

    Allow FL and MI a re-do, and eliminate the supers, that's the only fair solution.

    March 12, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  22. ANTI CLINTONS

    That would be fine by me, McCain-Romney, and Obama-loser Clinton tickets. The two libs like Obama and Clinton would never get along. Clinton would do anything she could to undermine Obama and get him impeached if he and Clinton won.

    McCain would be smart to choose Romnry as his VP, first smart thing he could do would to choose him.

    I like Obama, I can't stand that witch Clinton.

    March 12, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  23. Larry Kegel

    I wish you people would look at besides the African Americans voting for Obama... My worry is if Obama goes again McCain in the Presental Election... That The Republican' liberal and all the African Americans won't be voting for Obama and the Republicans will win again... I remember how the Republicans played the last two elections!!! I think Hillary will be the only one that will beat McCain... Because she not ony had the Big States... But a lot of African Americans, Most Hespacic & Woman Voting for her...

    I am not a Races but really feel in my heart after the last two elections... I'm affraid to take a chance on losing this election... I rather go with the person that has the most Democrat...

    March 12, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  24. Jasper

    Presidential Democrat Nominee Apparent, Barak Obama's, campaign has leaked that Rev. Al Sharpton has been chosen for the coveted VP slot.
    It is rumored Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. will be appointed White House Chief of Staff in the event the nation elects Senator Obama.
    All is said to be hush- hush on the campaign trail and this leak has been adamantly denied.

    March 12, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  25. Larry

    How can either of these candidates think of a running mate in real terms when niether can think in real time or real facts. Obama can't get past his real haritage and Clinton can't get past her gender. Obama has clearly chosen to disavow his half caucasion haritage, I suppose in order to get African-American votes. By any standard that seem like a racially motivated reason. Clinton has chosen to disavow half the American population by running a campaign initiated on her proclamation of being "the first female candidate". How many times have we heard Obamam and his surrogotes say the words "our people" in reference to African-Americans and not "All Americans". Even some of the CNN contributors have gotten used to using that phrase. When will these two people talk in detail about the ways they plan to introduce these wonderful changes they promise.

    March 12, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
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