April 23rd, 2008
03:15 PM ET
6 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. Kathy

    It's great that so many are involved at this point in the process - while by no means a senior citizen I certainly don't fit the younger demographic. I can't remember the last time there was so much discussion about candidates at this point in the game and it's good. My confusion stems from the fact that through all the rhetoric we still don't know a heck of a lot about Obama. Hillary is a known commodity and so is McCain. Besides his talk of change - which he needs Congress's backing to pull off in the first place, he can't do it alone - where's his experience dealing in the shark-infested waters of politics?

    April 23, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  2. judge fishburne

    The Clinton's continue their Arkansas style of Back-door dirty political
    maneuvering and shenanigans. This is way beyond throwing the 'kitchen-sink' at Obama, Hillary is attempting to project that she is 'The People's Choice', by dropping her "Elitist Roots" and pretending to be one of the blue-collar good-ole-boys. The very same ones that secretly supported the Bush's in their last 3 administrations.
    Now, she is going after every one of the Superdelegates, whether committed or not, just to make her case.
    Every one of her Actions ... point to one over-whelming Fact, that she is Desperate and is on a course of absolute Desperation and to what means? WHAT? She can't Count?

    April 23, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  3. Barry

    Lately the media has been acting like Hillary agents. Taking everything uttered out of her twisted mouth as the greatest thing as sliced bread. While at the same time only airing negative things about Obama. I would hope the media would be fair and impartial. But I guess that would be to much to hope for. Thanks media for showing your bias. Don't think at all I'm believing any of the spin you or Hillary are throwing out on the air. The more you try to manipulate the truth, the more I know Mr. Obama's the right choice.

    April 23, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  4. wannabeobamagirl

    florida and michigan DON'T COUNT! Their hasty decision...AND Obama wasn't even on the ballot in Michigan! let it go...and accept that Hillary has made her negative bed and now has to lay in it! Hindsight is 20/20 I guess.

    April 23, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  5. De'Jon Prescott

    The notion that Obama can not win in Pennsylvania or Ohio against McCain in the general election shows lack of knowledge. First of all, Obama won Iowa which is prominant of White workers. Once Obama is our nominee, the party will unifiy and defeat McCain. More then double of register voters are democrate so if McCain has a chance of winning a third Bush term he would need democrates, and i highly believe democrates will sway here votes to McCain.

    April 23, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  6. DJP

    What is wrong with cnn?!! Is Jack C. the only one with any common sence?!! Can you amagine what would happen if super delegates went against the popular vote and all the rules, and robbed Obama of this nomination!!! It would be an ugly America!

    April 23, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  7. Ken

    Wolf, you and your pundit friends at CNN have a conflict of interest. You all hope for this "horse race" to continue to the convention since it provides cheap content to fill the hours on the network. The pundits, I'm sure, love all the extra airtime.

    Is ANY of this serving the PUBLIC interest? When are you going to start informing us about REAL news? There's still a world out there, Wolf, where things we should know about are happening.

    Ted Turner, for one, is revolted as to what you and CNN have become.

    April 23, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  8. Tricia

    It took a Clinton to stop the Democrats winning the election in 2000. It will take a Clinton to stop the Democrats winning in 2008.

    April 23, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  9. JDinPA

    How very nice.. Glad to know that myself and neighbors are racist. Instead of blaming PA for Obama's failure to win. How about you blame the man himself? PA has one of the highest military enlistment rates. Also a large percentage of Catholics voters, who happen to be, very discerning of the wannabe walk on water types. Try to connect with PA voters and win.. fail and you loose. Simply right?

    April 23, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  10. Millie 2

    Hillary 's life story is a true example of when you have Money in the Bank, come from an Elitist family, with all the rights and privileges, that always works towards your goals, staying focus on "what you want to do when you grow up", like the preez and stay the course in the face of adversity, it pays off, because you get to keep all that money.

    April 23, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  11. Chyanne

    I was upset watching your show today and the comments from your guests. As for the Super Delegates giving their votes to Clinton, it would their choice. You can not say it would be stealing the vote from Obama. Aren't Hillary's votes being taken away since she is not getting Florida or Michigan's votes?

    April 23, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  12. Moleyo

    Jerry,
    what?
    Everytime they have one these panels it is someone with an opinion.
    None of them are objective.

    April 23, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  13. Tim from Eugene OR.

    I am making my first donation ever to a politition today for Obama. I am going to canvas for Obama this weekend, also a first for me. As obama says he can't win without our help. Hope anyone out there that reads this will make their first donatoin. Lord help this country if Hillary or McWar wins,

    Go Obama 08 YES WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

    April 23, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  14. Tony

    I don't understand the basis for the argument that Obama can't win the big states in November simply because Hillary has won them now. That's like saying that just because the Yankees couldn't beat the Red Sox, then they would stand no chance against the Rockies. It makes no sense to me. Sounds like grasping at straws by the Clinton campaign.

    April 23, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  15. Barbara

    Is there any good estimate as to the extent that Rush Limbaugh's "Chaos" initiative might have pumped up Hillary's votes? In listening to his radio show today, he seems to think that he is creating major havoc within the Democratic Primary races by encouraging his listeners to register to vote as Democratics and then voting for Hillary. Obviously, his aim is to eliminate Barack as a candidate who is more formidable against McCain.

    April 23, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  16. gary

    THE FACTS ARE O.B. WILL LOOSE. HRC HAS WON ALL THE BIG STATES THAT MATTER ALOT FOR NOV. IF HRC LOOSES WE LOOSE. THE REPUBLICANS WILL TAKE OFFICE AGAIN.AMERICA WILL DESERVE WHAT THEY GET FOR TRASHING OUR ONLY PRAYER (HRC.). HRC IS THE FIGHTER WE NEED FOR OUR COMMANDER AND CHIEF.SHE IS THE ONLY ONE THAT HAS THE KNOW HOW TO WORK AROUND WASHINGTON POLITICS ,AND BRING THE CHANGES WE NEED.WITH BILL IN OFFICE SHE DIDNT HAVE THE LAST SAY. IF SHE BECOMES LEADER ,SHE WILL DELIVER WHAT WE NEED. O.B. IS A GREENHORN ,AND WE DONT NEED AN ON THE JOB TRAINING CANIDATE IN THE OVAL OFFICE. GO HRC

    April 23, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  17. velli

    I have to say this cus i see CNN not doing its job. why equip the Clinton and Reps with adds that will hurt obamas camp, we know what the game is now. thanks to the likes of Lou that is happy over notting.

    April 23, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  18. Jo

    Obama is a jerk. He cries that Hillary is negative, and then he calls her Annie Oakley. Let the contest continue, put in the Florida and Michigan votes, and wait for the convention. Then let's see who wins. The process is important, and it should continue. Go Hillary!!! You deserve to win!

    April 23, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  19. Disheartened

    If the super delegates go against the will of the people it will be like Bush taking the presidency away from Gore. Imagine how different the world would have been.
    I hope the super delegates are aware of her bold face lies and avoidance of answering a straight question.
    By the way, doesn't she have a court date to attend regarding Peter Paul V.S. Clinton. That hasn't been plastered all over the media every half hour.

    April 23, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  20. David Smith

    It amuses me to see that Senator Clinton is still bringing up Michigan, where all the democratic party candidates other than her removed their name from the ballot – and she still only got a bit over half the vote, and Florida where there was ostensibly no campaigning. When you look at the demographics, it was clear that Senator Clinton had an enormous edge against Senator Obama, and yet her win was anything but huge.

    What galls me the most, however, is that there is a candidate who is accusing another of being elitist. Of COURSE the candidate is elitist, that is almost a requirement of being a candidate in the first place. ALL candidates left in the race, and almost all that had their hat in the ring, are elitist. That is, after all, how our republic is run. Oh, yeah, that too – AMERICA IS NOT A DEMOCRACY. If you think of the pledge of allegience, it is to the republic for which it stands, not to the democracy. It is even laid out in the constitution that we are a republic. But I digress. We elect representatives – the political elite – to do what they think is in our interest. We choose based on whether we think they will act a certain way, but we give them the power – they are the elite, after all.

    April 23, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  21. james gaymon

    I don't understand how the clinton campaign is getting away with just stright out midleading the counrty. she does not have the most votes she is out right lieing.... I can't not understand why the media is not calling her on this???????? This is the trouble i am having with the clintons' they are willing to say and do anything to win this race... Why is not someone with a voice saying something about this??? This country is in trouble, we need help on what DNN is calling Issue one. Food cost, gas cost, the security of my job, can i continue to afford my home, are more of our children goitn to die in war, is more os my tax dollars going to finance the war. If they think they can say any thing to get into the white house what is going to stop them from doing the samething once they are in the white house????

    April 23, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  22. Philip

    Obama's biggest claim is that he transcends all "lines" - black and white, rich and poor, young and old, white-collar and blue collar, etc., etc.

    What we as voters should always remember is that you can NEVER be all things to all people - you can never please everyone. At one point, you have to take a meaningful stand and stick by it - and Obama's "teflon" is not a stand - it's a cop-out.

    April 23, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  23. gary

    SUPER DELIGATES WILL GO FOR THE ONE THEY KNOW CAN RUN OUR COUNTRY. IT SURE THE HELL ISN'T OBAMA. THE VOTERS FOR O.B. ARE MOSTLY BLACK AND YOUNG. YOU THINK THE WISER SUPER DELIGATES ARE GOING TO LET THEM CONTROL OUR COUNTRY. THIS RACE IS JUST WHAT IT IS. A BIAS RACE AGAINST HRC. RACE VOTING RACE. THATS A REVOLUTION NOT A PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. OUR COUNTRY IS IN TO MUCH TROUBLE FOR A UNKNOWN CANIDATE TO TAKE CHARGE. GIVE ME A BREAK.

    April 23, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  24. Shirley

    Hillary wants all the trauma to end if she wins, since Senator Obama is ahead she will continue with her 'kitchen sink' campaign. I will vote for John McCain if Hillary is the nominee, she is more a Republican that John. Hillary voted for the Iraq war, she voted for Bush to have powers normally given only to Congress; I did not hear Hillary speak out even once against Bush's Administration until she started running for President. Hillary is proven liar and a corrupt politian who will do anything, change any rule to win.

    April 23, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  25. mike

    Hillary is getting free TV support (so called political analysts) from CNN and of course from FOX because republican wants her to win because she is an easy target. ABC showed their best support towards Hillary by asking the questions to Obama which helped her to win big in PA. Obama has to spend money on TV to balance those up. Everybody is against Obama (CNN, FOX, ABC). With all these support, she will not be able to win this election. Obama is the one who will get the nomination. Please don't hurt the party. Let democrat win this election.
    Thanks

    April 23, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
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