April 23rd, 2008
03:15 PM ET
7 years ago

Blitzer: Inside the spin wars

CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer
CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer

(CNN) – You can get dizzy from all the political spinning that's going on.

If you listen to the Barack Obama team, the Pennsylvania results actually showed that he was improving when it comes to winning support from white working class voters. They say he did better with this group in Pennsylvania than he did six weeks ago in Ohio, where Clinton also won by about ten points.

If you listen to the Hillary Clinton team, the results show that Obama simply can't win in major battleground states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida and Michigan. Those are states, they insist, a Democratic presidential candidate desperately would need to win in the general election.

All the spinning is designed to sway those still-undecided super delegates who will be critical in eventually determining the party's nominee. Remember – the party created those superdelegates so they would be able to ensure that the eventual nominee would be more competitive against the Republican nominee. That's why those superdelegates are so important and powerful. The rules make clear that they can choose a candidate who did not win the greatest number of pledged delegates, or the popular vote.

Right now, Clinton advisers also pursuing some of the superdelegates who earlier announced their support for Obama. They suspect the results from Ohio, and now Pennsylvania, are giving some of those Obama supporters buyer's remorse. They are hoping to change their minds. The party rules state that superdelegates can change their minds at any time until the real roll call on the convention floor.

All of which suggests this contest is not over yet – and might not be for some time.

If someone would have predicted back in early January, before the first contests in Iowa and New Hampshire, that the Democrats would still be slugging it out now, they would have been ridiculed. The assumption back then was that the Republicans would be fighting and fighting while the Democrats settled on their candidate relatively quickly. That goes to explain why politics can be so unpredictable and so much fun to cover.

soundoff (305 Responses)
  1. John Smith

    Most people want the candidates and supporters to keep "fighting." Most people feel this is great for the party and the nation.

    Well, let us wait– "monkey see, monkey do." In months to come, the Dems and Republicans in the House and Senate will be "figting" and I will like to listen to those who say that they should STOP and focus on issues of interest to this nation. Why should they? You have told them to go to Washington and "fight, not get together to resolve issues." So, as instructed by Hillary– keep fighting warriors! All you need is go out and pay $4/gallon for gas at the pump; they will still be fighting!!! God bless us all.

    April 23, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  2. Mauri

    BARACK OBAMA says he cannot imagine why he hasn't been successful in winning over senior voters who continue to vote for Clinton. And I see where some obviously younger bloggers say the reason for this is that seniors are "out of touch" with the political system workings, and only vote for Clinton because the Clintons have been around so long.

    As a 79-year-old white female, I'm standing up here to tell everyone that these suppositions could not be more wrong. If I had a chance, I could tell Senator Barack Obama why seniors vote for Clinton more often than they do for him. And just as important, whoever thinks we're "out of touch," should think again, do the research, and they will find that we are perhaps the most well versed on not only the major issue concerns, but we know perfectly well what each candidate is doing that are turnoffs vs. what constitutes a winning philosophy.
    Here are a couple of examples for starters: Sometime ago, Barack Obama described his grandmother (who is probably around my age) as "a typical WHITE person." Ouch! Then there's the gender issue that, at our age, we have been exposed to all our lives, and perhaps more than anything in some cases, we have this undying and burning desire to see a WOMAN elected to the presidency.

    Finally, Obama should not suppose that we seniors are all-consumed with Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid - or even his vow earlier in the campaign that he would see to it, if elected, that all persons whose annual salary is under $50 thousand would be exempt from income tax. RATHER, HE SHOULD KNOW, THAT OUR GENERATION IS ONE THAT KNOWS HOW MUCH AND HOW HARD ONE HAS TO WORK TO GET AHEAD IN THIS WORLD. WE JUST DON'T HAPPEN TO THINK HE'S PAID HIS DUES IN THAT DEPARTMENT. Hillary has. One last thought. As a 50-year-old female in the workforce in the seventies, I was able to succeed into a managerial job that I would otherwise not have been considered. This was due to Affirmative Action, and was I happy to qualify as a woman over 45 minority. I hope Senator Obama will think about the above and perhaps profit by it.

    April 23, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  3. Michelle

    The vote didn’t count because Obama did everything in his power to fight a revote, accept the results or seat the delegates in a fair manner. The people of Michigan and Florida did not make the decision to move up their primary, the democratic leadership did. Their voices should be heard. If Obama wants to unite the US, then why did he fight to stop a revote or allow the delegates to be seated? It is apparent; he knows he will not win these big states either. Obama was on the ballot in Florida and was crushed. He had his name on the Michigan ballot and made the decision to remove his name. His choice. This is another instance of bad judgment on his part ... think Wright, Weatherman, Revco, bitter; the list goes on and on

    April 23, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  4. Mark

    Wolf,

    I completely disagree. The spin is not aimed at convincing superdelegates; it is aimed at the general population. We live the election through a media with headlines, 100 word essays, and 30 second sound bytes. The spin tries to keep us going to the polls and digging into our all important pockets for cash. It is a sales pitch, no more no less.

    The superdelegates know the score, and I am pretty sure have already made up their minds on much less "scene stealing" stuff. Even their arguments to us are for us. Their real reasons are the business of politics, which often goes on behind closed doors.

    April 23, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  5. Sharon Minnesota

    Well Wolf, that's exactly why the democratic party has a process to elect a nominee when no one candidate has the required amount of delegates. It's designed to stop the spinning and get the job done. (The candidate who can win the General Election.)

    The Obama campaign is going bananas trying to get Hillary to quit before all the votes are in. It's a good thing she's mature enough to shake off all the intimidation so we can complete the democratic process.

    The spinning is ok if you don't mind getting dizzy.

    April 23, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
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