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. Kathy

    Oh and the spin goes round and round. Clinton beat him by 10%!!!!
    That is double digits. Big big win for her and the momentum goes her way.
    Obama is showing who he really is. Their camp has a lot of spin to do, but it is too late. People have his number and the supers will go to Hillary as she can beat McCain.
    Obama has not won one single big state and those are states that are necessary to win the general.
    Obama and his camp need to accept they lost and move on or they will just look like whiners again.

    April 23, 2008 03:59 am at 3:59 am |
  2. aliou salam Florida

    The rest of the states should learn a lesson from here. Clinton will say anything, do anything, to win. Are you going to be sucked in by it?

    April 23, 2008 04:00 am at 4:00 am |
  3. John

    I'm amazed PA chose Clinton? 60% of America distrusts her. She helped destroy PA with NAFTA ~ She lied on TV about sniper fire , and hey Mr. and Mrs. America it's a job interview ~ She's applying to be President and she lied and PA chose her ? She cant manage her campaign finances or pay her bills on time ask OHIO , but some people expect her to manage the country? she needed a blow out 500,000 more votes, a 70/30 to put a dent in the delegates .

    April 23, 2008 04:00 am at 4:00 am |
  4. sama

    Obama forge ahead you are the chosen one for the liberation of America

    April 23, 2008 04:01 am at 4:01 am |
  5. Buckman

    Stop the smoke sceen, Hillary was up by 20-30 points but only won by 10 points was this really a great victory for her? Naturally Obama had to out spend her, she was supposed to win.

    April 23, 2008 04:01 am at 4:01 am |
  6. Jennifer

    How is it that Obama, the front-runner who outspent Clinton in PA 4-1 in media buys, direct mail and more, couldn't close the deal? How come he lost by a 10-point margin to Clinton?

    The time has come for the Obama camp to stop trying to steal this election away and feign some mandate that the electorate hasn't given them. Let the process play out, and let's hear the mandate of ALL voters. (Yes, even the disenfranchised ones in FL and MI.)

    Clinton's won the big states, she's won the popular vote. He's won the caucus states and the delegates. They both have compelling arguments – give the voters some respect and allow us ALL to decide who we want to be our nominee.

    April 23, 2008 04:02 am at 4:02 am |
  7. aliou salam Florida

    If hillary is nominated despite Obama's lead, that is cheating.

    if I blame Mugabe and Sadam for rigging elections to perpetrate themselves at the head of their nation, what is clinton/bush

    if you see anything different, I see the same old tactics and bloodshed.

    April 23, 2008 04:05 am at 4:05 am |
  8. Seth

    For all the talk, Michigan and Florida will have their delegates seated. When that happens, Hillary will have both the popular and delegate vote.
    (If you counted just Florida, Hillary will have that now)

    Hillary knows this. Obama might complain, but all I can say, well Barack you might have guessed right about Iraq but you go Michigan and Florida wrong.

    April 23, 2008 04:07 am at 4:07 am |
  9. John


    You're for clinton now ? a documented liar , Who is a monster that would do anything even kill the party to get what she wants , And she has no chance at all ~ so it must be Macain , he's so old he cant do 2 terms he will never win after they see him flip out when questioned

    He's not right

    April 23, 2008 04:09 am at 4:09 am |
  10. guudboi

    If Hillary Clinton becomes the President of America did anyone knows the name of the Bush that will be president before Chelsea Clinton in the Federal Kingdom of America?. I just want to update my records.

    April 23, 2008 04:17 am at 4:17 am |
  11. Chris Crew

    Hillary got a much needed win tonight.

    Though, she should still drop out. The "big state" argument is so arbitrary and weak. Obama is winning the delegates, popular vote, and the most contests and all Hillary can say is that she won the big state. Even if that mattered, thats not entirely true.

    Hillary did win in Penn tonight, but her claim that she wins all the big states is wrong. She lost in Texas! Despite the media initially calling her the winner, she lost by 2 or 3 delegates, because of how big a margin Obama had in the caucus. And I do believe that Texas is bigger than Ohio and Penn together 🙂

    April 23, 2008 04:20 am at 4:20 am |
  12. Biira

    While it is ok for the media that this circus continues, it is dangerous for the democratic party. First, Clinton and her advisers are no longer fighting to win the democratic nomination, but to ensure that she lives to compete in 2012. They know Obama will win the nomination. So her strategy is to destroy Obama to make him as unelectable in November as possible and for the democratic party to lose to the Republicans and McCain in November. In that way, there will be no democratic incumbent come 2012 for whom to compete against. Otherwise, Hilary will be almost 70 years old were a democrat to win 08 and 2012. As we can see, her campain is more for herself than the democratic party. The media has helped her in this quest with the silliness around big states and electoral colleges. For crying out loud, the democratic primary is won on delegates counts and the results of voting now cannot be conflated with voting patterns in November when the whole country, not only democrats vote for the presidential candidate. The popular votes and the big state arguments is like saying in NHL (Hockey) division playoffs, we must ignore the best of seven but also consider how many face offs won and how many goals the losing team scored in the three games they won and award the divisional championship to them, not the team that took 4 out of 7 games. Unfortunately, the media is not challenging these kind of ludicruous Clinton campaign grasping at twigs. But of course what she needs is time to destroy Obama and the democratic party and hand 08 to McCain so Clinton lives to contest in 2012. Otherwise there is simply no rationale inside of the democratic nominating rules and prodedures that she could point to to support why she is still in the race and running as negatively as she is doing. Whatever her claims of what the republican will do to the democratic candidate in November, leave it to the Republicans to bring up what they want, but not for the democrats to cripple the democratic nominee and the democratic party. Enough already of this self-interested, illogical and unrealistic arguments. It is simply irrational at times.

    April 23, 2008 04:20 am at 4:20 am |
  13. "J" in Indy

    Treaties aren't negotiated on "hope and change" You know what Jay u are so right only our Country was founded on it. So what's wrong with that... I hope everyday that the war in Iraq comes to an end and for a change in our "Gov" from the status quo. Every one attacks him for having no experience but forgot that Bill Clinton himself was just a darn Gov with no experience himself.... but sometimes to shake things up in Washington u need someone from the out outside. Not someone who has been in bed with a ton of lobbyist who cares nothing about whats is right but only about there own views....I was not going to use my superdelegate vote at first and wanted to stay neutral but ...... you know what My mom is going to have alot to say but "HILL" has really piss'ed me off You know greed is a deadly sin and her hidden ambitions scare me and I will now cast my vote for Obama and plan on donatin my full 2300 to his campaing hopefully my freinds will do the same and get him another 40 mil to defeat Old man McCain in Nov

    "08" Indiana 4 OBAMA "08"

    April 23, 2008 04:22 am at 4:22 am |
  14. emv, Holland

    Yesterday I heard the speech of Senator Obama after his defeat in Pennsylvania. First I want to say that Senator Obama seems to be a men with vision but in his speech he did'nt mension former President B. Clinton when he spoke over presidents with a great legancy. I don't understand why he denies President Clinton and the democratic Party the respect they deserve. Remember that both houses where dominate by Rep. In europe and i guess also in other part of the world people still have good memories, the time President Clinton was in office and speak highly of him. Senator Obama is a great men but even greater when he salute former President Clinton.

    April 23, 2008 04:23 am at 4:23 am |
  15. Sara from Arizona


    April 23, 2008 04:24 am at 4:24 am |
  16. Kris

    Anyone, who thinks that DNC will use super delegates to overturn Obama's victory and choose Hillary, needs to get his/her head checked. Obama is leading with 150 pl. delegates and there is nothing Hillary can do to close this gap. Those 10 delegates that she gained in PA only prolong the fight she has already lost.

    After every state has voted, the worst she can do to Obama is to narrow it down to 100 delegates. Since there are 7 states still left, from now on they will be arguing over peanuts. The writing is on the wall and Hillary is the only one too stubborn to read it.

    April 23, 2008 04:25 am at 4:25 am |
  17. EW

    Yes, she won PA. When all the Wal-mart Board members doing's are put out, look out. HRC was a board member when the Wal-mart meat-cutters/butchers were put out of work, had signed for union shop, and a Wal-mart store closed completely in Canada And She is (against) NAFTA, haw haw.

    I will hold my Union nose and vote for her if Obama does not get the nomination.

    April 23, 2008 04:26 am at 4:26 am |
  18. Jeremy, Evansville, Indiana

    Barak Obama was in Evansville this evening and i had no clue, probably because no one even wanted him here. We do not care much for Barak Obama in Southern Indiana. Everyone in Indiana knows you will not win the state without winning the 8th district. That is of course why it is called the bloody 8th. This is the first time Barak Obama has made an appearance in southern Indiana since he has been coming to our state. The larger African American population resides in and around Gary, IN. and that is where he chooses to spend most of his efforts campaigning. Why is it that only when he is loosing by a substantial margin in Pensylvania that he has decided to come to Southern Indiana where he didn't even give a second look at a week ago? He is scared because someone told him you will not win without the 8th district. After his staggering loss in Pensylvania he has decided all of a sudden that he needs Indiana. Well, guess what too late. Here in Southern Indiana we know about Politics and know how to use our votes to take out the most popular of candidates. So, congratulations HRC you will win Indiana for sure.

    April 23, 2008 04:30 am at 4:30 am |
  19. M. Yates

    If Hillary just lost her last best chance, then it looks like McCain will be the next president. Cause like myself there are quite a few others who won't vote for Obama. If I had to vote bewteen him and McCain then it would be McCain. I said had to vote, since I don't have to vote I join a long line that will not be voting if not for Hillary.

    Go Hillary next president!

    April 23, 2008 04:33 am at 4:33 am |
  20. TYPICAL WHITE MALE from Michigan

    You Obama Supporters really make me want to Puke - this KOOL-AID Generation just cannot accept the basic fact that Hillary is a much better person to be in the White House. You will try to SPIN to your way constantly. The really SAD fact is that I was an Obama Supporter but you Obama people changed my mind by the way you act and the most VILE and DISGUSTING BLOGS I read on the different articles on CNN and Fox News. I do not want to be on that type of team. So thank You Obama Supporters - you have completely turned me off to Obama. I also know many people who feel the exact same way. I am also extremely surprised how many people I talk to here in Michigan that will not vote for Obama because he would not OK another vote for us. The people I talk to said they will vote for McCain if Obama gets the Democratic Nomination. GOOD LUCK OBAMA SUPPORTERS!!!!

    April 23, 2008 04:34 am at 4:34 am |
  21. Jesse

    Obama may have trouble in the few "big" states against Hillary, but this does not mean he would have that same trouble against McCain. Further, although Hillary could win a few big states, she still couldn't win very many states. Obama clearly has the best chance to win the general election since he is competetive even when he loses the "big" states, which does not include Texas which he in fact won. Plus Hillary has soiled her image and the democratic party's image. I was previously for Hillary, but she lost my vote and my confidence in her has been shattered by her campaining.

    April 23, 2008 04:35 am at 4:35 am |
  22. Anonymous


    April 23, 2008 04:36 am at 4:36 am |
  23. Kaygee

    Barack Obama swamped the media space in PA with what was called an "obscene" amount of spending. It back-fired on him.

    I don't think that we are back to "square one" because of that advertising budget. If he couldn't "close the deal" with the colossal budget he had, there's a problem.

    Some of the drawbacks of an Obama candidacy came out. He is no longer the "Mr. Chance" of that Peter Sellers movie Being There. He can no longer serve as a screen onto which voters project their desires like the "hero" of that film.

    And the African American vote has started to de-consolidate. Which is a good thing. A vote which is too racially aligned creates divisive dynamics for the entire country.

    April 23, 2008 04:36 am at 4:36 am |
  24. Regina La Mirada, California

    To all democrats, I was a Clinton supporter, I felt the economy was good in the 90's and I felt that Bill Clinton was one of the people. What people fail to understand is that Hillary is not Bill. Bill wasn't the richest kid, he was adopted, and he truly had humble beginnings, not Hillary. My point is, I understand how much people would like to see Hillary in the White House. Many women are waiting for this moment. However, what we have to keep in mind are the facts, not opinion because we want things our way, but the hard, cold, facts. I am against War and the idea that Hillary, gave George Bush the okay to invade Iraq, Hillary actually trusted George Bush!! I find that truly amazing. What that Shows me is that when the it's time to stand up....Hillary stands up, alright when there is something for her to gain out of it. My point is Hillary and John Mccain are the reason we are in this mess with Iraq distracting us from Afghanistan. She didn't say no. On one of the most important issues we needed her to stand up and she let this country down. In my mind, if anyone supported that war, that has cost over 4,000+ American troops to die, I cannot stand up for you. Obama, however took a stand, when it was uncomfortable, when everyone was jumping on the ship Of George Bush's Fear Ride, Obama said No! I am not concerned with his color. I am concerned with his intent. If America is truly where we claim to be in this country, then people will put their fears aside and think logically. Did experience put us in this position we are now or not? Wake up people!! Different doesn't have to scare us! Obama wants people to become involved in the process and that is a breathe of fresh air. If your choice is based on race, then continue with that shallow mentality, but if you want substance, common sense, and has the peaceful demeanor to resolve our issue from a broader perspective, then Obama it is. Unfortunately people let race be the factor instead of the persons intentions. Obama isn't running against just Hillary it's him against Bill, & Chelsea! I applaud him and support him for slicing her pie in half....Keep going Barack!!!
    You have made history already and will continue to do so once you clinch the nomination. Hillary ? Yesterday's news!! Obama the future!!!

    April 23, 2008 04:36 am at 4:36 am |
  25. Peter from Atlanta

    I think in the end the lesson of what's happening (and not just in PA) is this:

    This country is not ready for a woman to be President. (This isn't a slam against Hillary, it's about us).

    The Powers That Be in both parties would rather nominate a black man, with questionable amount of experience, as well as questionable talent to engage everyone in his own party (yes, that's a slight slam against Obama) then they will a white woman no matter who she would be.

    In the end, which I suspect after the fact that she doesn't do as well as she needs to in Indiana & Kentucky (even if she wins both, if she only wins with these 55% to 56% to 45% to 44% margins then that will not be enough for her to collect enough delegates - and no, Puerto Rico at the very end won't help, and I'd have to think that would clear to the most hardened Clinton supporter and aide come the day after these May primaries) & yes, Obama (for good or ill) wins rather big in North Carolina (although I suspect it will be a closer margin, after PA, then what is being seen in polls as of now, I suspect Hillary will close the gap to something like 59% to 41% - a similiar margin as in Wisconsin), that Hillary will suspend (but not necessarily drop out, leading to her still winning, Puerto Rico) her campaign sometime around May 20, 2008. This will acknowledge the fact that she can not make up the difference in pledged delegates, and give superdelegates some leaway, as well as the gift of making sure we have a united party. It will also give her some chance at helping to decide who Obama will need to choose as his Vice Presidential running mate (I doubt Hillary will want to run as Vice President, she will probably have more power as a New York U.S. Senator than as a VEEP & if Obama/? lose in November {I would say it would be a very close loss & more than likely it will be over the international stage than on the economy - if Obama loses closely it means by November the economy isn't as bad as it seems, now}, Hillary still has that U.S. Senate seat, as does chastined Obama).

    But for now, Obama's campaign needs to be as gracious as he appeared to be, and give Hillary her due on winning in PA!

    April 23, 2008 04:40 am at 4:40 am |
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