April 22nd, 2008
11:45 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama camp: Clinton just 'lost her last, best chance'

(CNN) -
Shortly after Hillary Clinton claimed a decisive victory in Pennsylvania Tuesday night, staffers for Barack Obama’s campaign sent reporters a memo in which they tried to argue once again that her win in the state had left the status quo fundamentally unchanged.

“Tonight, Hillary Clinton lost her last, best chance to make significant inroads in the pledged delegate count,” they wrote. “The only surprising result from Pennsylvania is that in a state considered tailor-made for Hillary Clinton that she was expected to win, Barack Obama was able to improve his standing among key voter groups since the Ohio primary.”

They said that Clinton’s lead over Obama with white voters had narrowed slightly, and her advantage among seniors had shrunk by nearly half - but that gap remained significant, at 24 percent. They pointed to Obama’s strength with Independent voters, a group that did not participate in Tuesday’s primary vote.

“The bottom line is that the Pennsylvania outcome does not change dynamic of this lengthy primary,” they wrote. “While there were 158 delegates at stake there, there are fully 157 up for grabs in the Indiana and North Carolina primaries on May 6.”

The Obama team had made similar arguments in the days leading up to Pennsylvania's primary, in which Clinton was favored despite being significantly outspent by the Illinois senator's campaign.

Filed under: Bill Richardson • Hillary Clinton
soundoff (336 Responses)
  1. Michelle

    I sure hearing a lot of in house chatter about how sick politicians are of Hillary's negativity and her choice to split the democratic party and the country along racial and economic lines in order to win the nomination at any costs. Her desperate use of Republican tactics has also lost her a lot of deocrat's respect. Sure, she's a fighter and she doesn't give up...at least that's her latest spin. And maybe there are those who respect that. But you've got to ask yourself how she is hurting her own party and damaging the chances of a potential nominee. You;ve got to ask how is the deomocratic party going to recover from this trailer park brawl? I don't think this kind of destructive retoric and spin is politics as usual. I think what Hillary is doing is ugly and selfish and unbefitting of a potential President.

    I also agree that Obama needs to keep himself above the fray and not get drawn into this soul destroying brawl. Barack, thank you for the sense of dignity you bring to this contest.

    April 23, 2008 02:44 am at 2:44 am |
  2. Joseph in PA

    Senator Clinton did what she HAD to do...win in Pennsylvania. Senator Obama did what he wanted to do in Pennsylvania, make inroads in her demographics. He also won in the key voter block in the state: Philadelphia and the Suburbs.

    Unfortunately, Senator Clinton has used up a lot of her political clout with voters in the PA election showing a continued mean, personal, and negative "politics as usual" campaign.

    What we have seen is that money can not buy campaigns, but fear tactics can. So on we go to Indiana and North Carolina, and Senator Obama, I'm sending you another contribution, because what I fear is another Clinton Presidency of division, scandal, and impeachment.

    April 23, 2008 02:44 am at 2:44 am |
  3. Leah DiMarco, Texas

    Tuesday evening in PA

    Obama 74 delegates
    Clinton 84 delegates

    That was sure alot of work for Clinton to do to get only ten more delegates 😉

    Obama did a great job in narrowing her margin from +26% down to 9.4% -- I am very proud of him tonight!

    April 23, 2008 02:44 am at 2:44 am |
  4. Mesha

    She The Clinton party once again achieved a win by any cost. It's starting to look like a routine before every Primary for the Clintons campaign to Take a Negative stand point and make it appear as if The Clintons are Fully capable and trustworthy to have another Chance at running this country. No thanks to her and her Husband Pushing a Program like NaFta to send AMericans Jobs overseas ...OH yes let 's apply the tactics of the Past once more as we did when we elected another Bush adminstration and see how Much Change will Occur...

    April 23, 2008 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  5. angelina

    Sen.Obama is leading in the most important pledge delegates,popular vote and most states won.No way on earth that Hillary can catch Sen.Obama even if she wins the remaining 9 states..im sick and tired of the Clinton Inc.so shocking that even the right wing guys like sean hannity,scaife,pat buchanan,scarbourough etc are all singing the praises of hillary.

    April 23, 2008 02:46 am at 2:46 am |
  6. Nuwan Samaranayake

    Its seems like not only Obama but his team can not take the heat now. The truth is that Hillary's win is significant given the fact, Obama had a all out campaign having outspending her almost 3-1 and still was not able to take her out.

    Sometimes, truth hurts. For me, this is a clear defeat for Obama when you consider the effort he made. He got almost all the votes from the people of his own race. Otherwise, things would have been miserable for him today.

    Adding to that, it is very disturbing to note how black people rally around him. I don't believe they vote for issues. I now firmly believe they vote for Obama unconditionaly because he is one of their own. That is called "Racial Divide". It is a very disturbing fact to notice that black people have choosen this path to vote alone the racial lines.

    April 23, 2008 02:47 am at 2:47 am |
  7. politics

    They suck ! Move on dudes, you lost! I cant stand the whining, its getting ridiculous.

    April 23, 2008 02:47 am at 2:47 am |
  8. george

    How can you not love this guy-Barack Obama? He's got game.
    He's not only an exceptional human being, he's cute, he's witty, he's elegant and he's a jock!
    I want him as our President so bad. Never have I identified with a political figure as I do with him. He speaks for me more than anyone ever has.There is nothing fake about Obama. Never have I beeen able to say that about ANYONE in the political sphere.
    This great man will make one of our greatest presidents.

    April 23, 2008 02:47 am at 2:47 am |
  9. george

    For some “so called” democrats: I will repeat it again and again…..

    1.How is possible to support somebody who represents the big money, the special interests,the status quo,the lobbies and the establishment in Washington??

    2.How do you- white & low-income workers- in some states, can identify yourself with the Billioners Clintons??

    3.Can you accept the fact that Hillary voted for the shameful war in Iraq along with Bush?? Don't you see that actualy she's a neocon, not a Democrat??

    You know pretty well that HRC can't win Obama in pledged delegates,even if she would win both PA,FL,MI and -MOST OF ALL- YOU KNOW (YES YOU KNOW IT!!!),THAT SHE IS A LOOSING CARD IN NOVEMBER AGAINST MCCAIN simply because, unlike Obama, SHE ISN’T ABLE TO BRING EVEN ONE independent or republican voter to the Democratic Party and you continue to fight for her??

    So, you want the collapse of the democratic party...
    I have no other explanation !!!

    So, Vote Obama-End the Drama!!

    A White, Male, Obama supporter & Hungry For Some PRINCIPLES!!

    April 23, 2008 02:47 am at 2:47 am |
  10. Crispus

    The sheep have spoken, they fell for the HRC lies.

    April 23, 2008 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
  11. Jacob Koenig

    I'm sorry to inform Clinton supporters that the primary season is officially game over for them. I know we all like math here so let's do a hypothetical. Let's say Hillary wins all the states 62-38. She will still be behind in the delegate count. Winning by 24 points in every remaining state won't even put her over the top! Of course she will NOT win by that margin in every state. Basically all Clinton is doing is being selfish and dividing the party even more than she and Bill have already done in the first place. Please pack your bags and go home. You're destroying the party with significant numbers against you. You can't fight the "simple math". No chance.

    As far as superdelgates.......please remember that we want to be a democracy FOR the people and BY the people. The superdelegate system is a complete joke to the democratic process. They can say thanks for your thought America, but we really don't care. As far as I'm concerned that's a tyranny of the minority which I'm sure the Framers really wanted to create. It's time to start thinking about having a true democracy and leave this bull chips on superdelegates out of the picture.

    April 23, 2008 02:50 am at 2:50 am |
  12. Gabe Polson, The Woodlands,TX

    This is sad and tired. They lost. They lost....wait...They lost.

    After all the bad press...being outspent 3 to 1...a bus tour...a countless negative attacks Hillary...Obama still lost.

    No matter how you spin it. He lost. He can't close the deal. He was rejected by the voters. He has now lost all four of the states that historically choose a president. Ohio, Michigan, Penn, and Florida.

    If you include the Michigan and florida votes, Clinton is ahead in the popular vote. Afterall, Nancy Pelosi said...the will of the voter.

    The will of the voter has spoken. Against the odds...Hillary is the winner.

    Spin that!

    April 23, 2008 02:50 am at 2:50 am |
  13. Mary

    Remember when everyone said she was supposed to win big in Ohio & Texas?

    Well she LOST delegates in Texas, so the conclusion was she had to win by a HUGE amount.

    Remember weeks ago when even Hillary's camp had said she needed at least 20% gains. It was possible a few months ago when polls showed she had over 30% lead.

    Now? Hillary just picked up a few delegates. She can't win any more.

    It makes you think. She had what was considered a perfect demographical state plus she had all the big elected people on her side.

    Yet she hardly made a dent.

    Hillary supporters are probably celebrating but please do the math. There are way too few states to come back.

    April 23, 2008 02:51 am at 2:51 am |
  14. Douglas

    I dont get it, why is it such a big deal if she wins a state meanwhile he has won twice the amount of states as she has. Yet she and her campaign has the nerve to spin this like she is now the come back kid. When she wins 30 states total an ties him in delegates, and the popular vote, then she will be able to talk. Until then shut up and play catch up.

    April 23, 2008 02:51 am at 2:51 am |
  15. Man

    I wonder what "a few delegates ahead " means. While its true BO shd be wrapping up this nomination, people should also be asking how come she is also still struggling to win big if she is the stronger candidate? Anyone saying that they wont vote for HRC or BO if their preferred candidate losses just shows one thing..ego, just like that of these two candidates. No wonder Dems have lost twice to Bush! Go McCain!~

    April 23, 2008 02:51 am at 2:51 am |
  16. Leah DiMarco, Texas

    What the media does not tell ya'll are the important numbers. After tonight ....

    Obama needs only 303 more delegates to win.

    Clinton needs 432 more delegates to win.

    Stop listening to the SPIN. Popular votes, electoral votes, etc. do not count. This is a DELEGATE race!

    Obama '08/'12

    April 23, 2008 02:52 am at 2:52 am |
  17. Matt Agnello

    Somebody needs to realize that Clinton's way of doing things just won't work. You can't play the old politics games anymore. You can't lie to people, because you'll be mocked for it; you can't try to smear people, because we're not voting for the least smeared candidate, we're voting on issues; you can't base your entire campaign on name-calling and mudslinging, because nobody wants to hear any more empty rhetoric.

    To me, Obama failed in PA by not communicating his greatest strength: that he doesn't come from Old Washington, that he can look at the world in a different way from Old Washington, that the Old way of doing things has to end on Day One - and that Clinton and McCain are only a change of the name on the office door.

    April 23, 2008 02:52 am at 2:52 am |
  18. Mike

    To Leah...

    Did you fail math?

    Have you ever heard of "Super Delegates...""


    Go Hillary!!!!!

    You people stop with the math, you really don't think that the Super Delegates aren't going to decide this?

    Hillary will plead her case during her Primary journey, she's got this!!!

    Go Hillary!!!

    April 23, 2008 02:54 am at 2:54 am |
  19. Ted van Tol

    Yale, I am proud on you!

    Ted The NBetherlands

    April 23, 2008 02:54 am at 2:54 am |
  20. Cynthia

    Roshawda, Obama was graceful and congratulated her. What is it that made you turn from Obama? I am curious. Was it the "bitter " story. What is the real Obama that you are refering to? i like Hillary and I like Obama but there are a lot of slippery politics playing out here and I think more from the Clinton camp than the Obama.

    April 23, 2008 02:54 am at 2:54 am |
  21. Dylan

    Explain what Hillary actually won today... in two weeks virtually all the delegates she gained in PA will be erased by NC and IN, and we'll be right back to square one. What will be her excuse then to continue her quest for the complete and utter destruction of the Democratic Party?

    I have lost all respect for her. Luckily when she loses both states in two weeks, she'll have nothing left to stand on. She may have won PA today, but the Democratic Party lost big time.

    April 23, 2008 02:54 am at 2:54 am |
  22. Zeda, houston, texas

    Barack did a good job in PA. It's just sorry that some weak-minded voters will be affected by the negative campaign of Hillary. Til this stage of the presidential race, Barack just kept the message of motivating the people to move beyond their differnces of all nature for the sake of a better 2row. Obama is inspiring the new generation, and hillary got nothin to talk but her experience. Yes we can!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 23, 2008 02:55 am at 2:55 am |
  23. Ted van Tol

    Yale, I am proud of you~!

    Witjh love from the Netherlands


    April 23, 2008 02:55 am at 2:55 am |
  24. nwcanadian

    Democrats laud themselves for supporting a party that is inclusive, non-racist and non-bigoted and yet the election analysis seems to indicate otherwise. I thought "enlightened" candidates and voters, not to mention commentators, were supposed to look beyond identity politics. What a farce.

    April 23, 2008 02:56 am at 2:56 am |
  25. The Patriot

    Why are we so afraid? HRC plays into our fears and divisions. Those who turn a blind eye to her embracement of lobbyists and special interests are the same good ole guys/gals that would defend her habitual lying. If she wins the nomination despite only having won 14 of 44 contests the party base and the rest of the world will view American democracy as a big joke.

    April 23, 2008 02:56 am at 2:56 am |
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