April 23rd, 2008
03:15 PM ET
10 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. Jo

    Judge Fishburne - You need to back off. There is nothing wrong with Arkansas politics. Here we put everything in the open and fight to the finish –no holds barred. People deserve to hear the truth, no matter how ugly it seems, and they deserve the opportunity to fully examine the candidates. Go Hillary - you're our girl whether we are black or white!

    April 23, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  2. Philip

    Wolf Blitzer:

    You're a spin doctor yourself, so stop proselityzing and hiding under the hood of media objectivity. Your bias is obvious in the way you introduce news from and about Obama - and how you make Clinton's possibilities and potential much less attractive.

    Just report the news - or join Obama's campaign. Who knows - if he wins he might make you press secretary.

    April 23, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  3. Janice

    Yeah! Way to go Hillary! Keep up the momentum.

    April 23, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  4. Donna

    Hi Wolf Blitzer

    Voters were not given the realtity of people who (false start), Even at the Olympics, a Contestant is allowed ONE false start, but 2 (false starts) equal an elimination from any game event. So, When Did
    Bill Clinton said:' we are in this to win", how did he pay off the Mafia between her sqrew ups/ I am a voter, ligitiment Judge of her qualification. She was out when she went against the agreement not to vote -count, Fla. and Mo. t his is low-tech Mafia , and I am the only lowley person to get her out.

    Donna, Idaho Falls

    April 23, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  5. CNNBias

    FOX reported the winner at least 30 minutes before CNN. Even though CNN knew the winner. CNN is biased and is pushing their own political agenda. CNN didn't want to admit that Hillary was the clear winner. The bias at CNN is dispicable, which is why(along with all the other bias) after being a longtime viewer, my home is no longer a CNN home.

    April 23, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  6. Tom

    92% of black voters voted for Obama in PA... similar % of black voters voted for him in other states... It reminds me of OJ simpson case.
    Am I the only one reach this conclusion here?

    April 23, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  7. Donnaat:ronanddonna13@msn.com

    Hi Wolf Blitzer

    Voters were not given the realtity of people who (false start), Even at the Olympics, a Contestant is allowed ONE false start, but 2 (false starts) equal an elimination from any game event. So, When Did
    Bill Clinton said:' we are in this to win", how did he pay off the Mafia between her sqrew ups/ I am a voter, ligitiment Judge of her qualification. She was out when she went against the agreement not to vote -count, Fla. and Mo. t his is low-tech Mafia , and I am the only lowley person to get her out.

    Donna, Idaho Falls

    April 23, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  8. carol, san ramon, ca.

    Wolf...During your roundtable today with Jeffrey, Jack and Gloria there was an amazing point when Jack Cafferty made a point that Senator Obama has won the race and the Democratic Party can't possibly take it away from him! What amazed me is that none of you really took him on...I guess you all believe that it doesn't matter what the remaining primary states voters have to say? I guess you have a crystal ball and know who's going to win in each remaining state? I guess it doesn't matter what the Superdelegates have to say? This is all a fete de complis!

    If you insist on having Jack Cafferty voice these kinds of opinions the least you can do is make sure both sides are covered equally! These kinds of discussions are fueling the controversy, these kinds of rabid opinions left unchallenged are what's going to cause the rift that Jack Cafferty speaks of with a wave of his hand!

    Please, if you're going to have discussions of this nature make sure you have people on board who are sharp enough to handle both sides!

    April 23, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  9. Vermont

    How can the democratic party pick their nominee and exclude the votes of people in Michigan and Florida, just doesn't seem fair. The last time the democratic party gave up in Florida, we got 8 years of George Bush....I think we need to count their votes this time.

    April 23, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  10. Hattie / Chicago

    Clinton can not win in the general election !!! With the Rush Limbaugh listners switching parties like in the P.A election which made up the new 10% at the end which just happened to be the amount she won by. HER VICTORY was not a true victory and when November comes, if she wins the preliminaries, she will see just what I'm talking about.. She is working with anyone that she thinks will help her win even the far right winged republicans... She is the setting herself up for the biggest fall of her life. Also, I don't believe Obama's people will vove for her.. . SUPER DELEGATES don't be fooled !!!

    April 23, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  11. Ross

    Why has no one mentioned "operation chaos"? I am a staunch Obama supporter and listen to Limbaugh for sarcastic entertainment. He spent several hours today taking credit for Hillary's win yesterday. It will be interesting to see how many republican defectors run back to home after they messed up the Democratic primary.

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

    Ron Reagan is dead right...there is still racism in this country and unfortunately more prevalent in some states. Obama is loosing the "blue collar" and the less educated votes in these states for that reason only. The Clinton’s are very aware of this and they’ve been subtly and sometime overtly using race to their advantage and through surrogates like Gov. Rendell in PA. Trust me, Gov Rendell didn’t bring this issue up in the PA primary by accident…these people will do anything to win, particularly when the PA has the 2nd oldest average age in the county and one of the lowest percentage of college educated residents – prime targets for that kind of politics. I’m cautiously optimistic that we will soon be able to turn the page and move away from this type of politics. The country will be better for it.

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

    This is mostly Obama's fault... he needs to put her away. Take her down on her lies and contradictions.

    > NAFTA
    > BOSNIA
    > Womens right speeches in China
    > Releasing the donation list for her husband's library

    He needs to drive home she cant be trusted to do right by the people. Frst lady is not the same as expereince. The point needs to be made that the POTUS needs to lead by example and show the courage to say and do things that arent popular AND be able to say I was WRONG and not I "mis-spoke"

    April 23, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  14. Mike

    To Jerry,

    I agree with you, why does Jack seem to get so hostile; always interrupting and becomming agitated if things get heated?

    He seems to get P--d off often!!

    Go Hillary!!!!!!

    April 23, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |

    That's the thing no one should be listening to Hillary or her supporters, they are deluted of truth. Hillary lacks the ability to be truth about anything and her supporters lack information and understanding of who they are really supporting, they could not have done much research on the Clintons otherwise they would know they are voting for a CROOK and DRUG DEALER and LIAR and POSSIBLE MURDER PLUS SHE'S GUILTY OF CAMPAIGN FRAUD!!

    All of those sending money to Clinton will recieve the same for their trouble as did others that sent in the past. Do your research before sending you hard earned money. Don't take my word, don't take the words of hundreds others take the words of the official documented written and recorded PROOF. This is hard stuff, it's only for those wanting the TRUTH! The same TRUTH that the REPUBLICANS are dying to use to bring the Clintons down, that's why they want her to win so even to the point of helping her fight against Obama.


    Google: Hillary Clinton Scandals
    Google: Clinton Scandals
    You Tube: Hillary Clinton "shocking things they don't want you to know" videos 1-3
    You Tube: Hillary Clinton "Bill & Hillary Clinton their secret lives" videos 1-12.

    April 23, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  16. Jane, NC

    Florida has to count now. The race has been too close now to exclude that important state. Neither candidate campaigned there, and both names were on the ballot. They have to count.
    And a resolution to the problem of Michigan must also be reached.

    April 23, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  17. aware

    Right Wolf!

    But, Obama is by his own choice of alliances, his questionable ideology and the ill advised words of both Barack and Michelle, a fatally flawed candidate. He cannot win the general election.

    The campaign has actually been quite civil so far but the Republicans won't heed McCain's call to maintain civility. They taste another victory with Obama.

    So, It will be Hillary Clinton or John McCain in 2008! 🙂

    April 23, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  18. Laurie Hester

    As a Clinton supporter, I agree that MI cannot count, as Obama was not on the ballot. However, In FL, he was, and neither candidate campaigned in FL as per the rules. It was a clean election.

    While Florida's delegates cannot count per the rules, it is idiotic to say that their votes don't count when factoring in "the peoples' will". Being ahead in pledged delegates counts for nothing. It's whomever gets to the finish line which counts. And super delegates will look at 2 things; the people's will (which, by the end of the primaries and including FL, Hillary will have won the popular vote), and electability. Obama's support is in mostly red states, and he has failed big in the important swing states. Dems cannot win without PA and OH, and those voters have rejected his lack of experience and empty promises.

    April 23, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  19. Jocely

    For Hillary Clinton to say the republican will beat Obama just like George H. W. Bush beat Michael Dukakis show two things. Step one she don’t know her history or she is playing the American people to picture Obama with a picture in order to confuse the voters.
    I need to remind people George H. W. Bush was vice president of Ronald Reagan a very popular president who won two terms. George H. W. Bush was a third term of Ronald Reagan.
    If you go back you see in 1980 Reagan won 44 states against Carter. In 1984 Reagan beat Walter Mondale 49 states to 1 state you George Bush term was a Reagan third term.
    This is why an inexperience candidate like Bill Clinton was able to beat a seating president like George Bush because people come to the term George Bush was no longer Ronald Reagan.
    Michael Dukakis lost against Ronald Reagan.

    Fayetteville, NC

    April 23, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  20. David Spies

    Speaking of spin, Jamal is 1% an analysts and 99% a politician. Nothing comes out of his mouth that is not biased. He degrades potentially informative discussions continuously...

    April 23, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  21. James S. Klich II

    Clinton and Obama need to stop attacking each other and start attacking McCain. This will make the Democratic party stronger in the long run. One of you will win so let fate run its course. The other option is both can run on the same ticket. Lets go after McCain now. Lets start with his pro NRA stance. McCain in the White House means more dead Americans due to gun deaths. Also, McCain will drag the war on forever.

    April 23, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  22. Greg

    This woman, and her minions, are becoming psychotic.

    The race is decided on PLEDGED DELEGATES + SUPERDELEGATES.

    Not by:

    -who wins the popular vote, inclusive of "votes" from states that are not allowed to participate in the nomination

    -who raised the most funds since the contest they won the night before

    -who performed best in the latest debate that was moderated by a former staffer from their husband's presidency

    -who has won the largest states

    -who has won the prettiest states

    -who has succeeded in disgusting the largest number of Americans by their willingness to outright lie at the drop of a dime

    The Democratic party leaders must be losing their minds with this woman's antics.

    April 23, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  23. OC - CA - cubanamericanwoman

    Fellow democrats...

    "Peck may be an ardent Clinton supporter, but she says she is ready to work for whichever Democrat wins the nomination. If Clinton fails to get the nod, Peck says, "I'll be the first person to walk into Barack Obama's campaign office and say, 'What can I do to help?'" She adds, "And I hope they'd welcome me." At this point, the Democratic Party would welcome all of Indiana into its arms if it can help finally decide, once and for all, who will be the Democratic presidential nominee in the fall."....



    April 23, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  24. Lee

    The Clinton's are all about winning at all costs, ugly or otherwise. Time for Democrats to wake up and usher in a new generation of politicians lead by Barack Obama.

    April 23, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  25. Ross in Indiana

    Only in the Clinton world can a difference of less that 10%, that's right actually do the math, be spun in to a "DOUBLE DIGIT" victory.

    April 23, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
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