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. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    ATTENTION ALL DEMOCRATS: Everyone needs to realize the Democratic Party belongs to the Bill and Hillary Clinton. Stop fighting they can do and say what ever they want and when they want. They can change the rules when it’s necessary, they can lie, cheat, steal and commit election fraud as long as they are alive and in control. I repeat the Democratic Party belongs to them and know one I mean know one can stop them.

    Nobody has power or strength to stop them nobody. All other democrats have to do what they say when they say. The journalism in this country is horrible they are paid for and bought by the Clintons and the GOP. The media tells you how to vote and why you should vote a certain way. They get e-mails from the Clinton staff and give the media there talking points and just like puppets the media goes on the air and perform for her.

    April 23, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  2. Pam

    Wolf Blitzer should know spin when he hears it. He should be dizzy from all the spinning he does.

    April 23, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  3. NJ Executive

    I don't understand how Clinton can make the claim that Obama can't win the swing states. He has not lost by large margins. If the 50% of the democrats who voted for Hiliary vote for Obama, the Republicans can't compete. The increase in the democratic party should make the republicans nervous. Also, Obama is respected by independents. I don't understand why the media is falling into the Clinton trap and not pointing out the numbers.

    April 23, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  4. Tim H

    How does Obama losing to Hilliary in a primary mean that Obama will lose to McCain in that same state in the general election? That argument makes no logical sense. Please someone try to explain that illogical thinking.

    April 23, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  5. Debbie, NJ

    Clinton is going to start another war and have as much blood on her hands as George Bush.

    April 23, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  6. MDR

    Tired of this drawn out battle. Wish Clinton will stop trying to change the rules whenever she feels she can't win a certain way. Pennsylvania was her state to begin with tired of her going around acting like she was the underdog. The race is dirty at the moment and I for one think Obama has to pick his battles when it comes to the whole negativity issues, can't win being the nice guy all the time. Gotta fight fire with fire. I don't understand how people keep saying McCain is neck and neck with Clinton and Obama when the votes are split up between the two of them. Once the nominee is selected more than likely the canidate with get the other canidates supporters.

    April 23, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  7. Ordinary Voter

    Wolf, for ordinary voters, its about being a part of history not superdelegates. In 1960, a young democrat needed to win West Virginia to effectively take the decision off the convention. Religion was a decisive issue. John Kennedy took this issue head on and won West Virginia and became our first Catholic President. Our family still talks of being part of that historic election. In 2006, we are seeing an histoic primary that many of us will remember for a life time. Maybe it will be Indiana...maybe it will be West Virginia who will decide the outcome. Whatever happens, for the average voter who doesn't live in Iowa or New Hampshire, it is finally their small "moment in the sun" in an historic election. Isn't it better the election is decided this way than by some party head?

    April 23, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  8. Mike

    blitzers "beard" seems to be growing into his brain. No other explanation for his obvious ignorance.

    April 23, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  9. Kyla

    You're spinning too!

    We all know you're a Hillary fan! Now can you tell us what is Barack Obama's camp doing with the Superdelegates, since you gave us Hillary's play by play!

    April 23, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  10. Jay

    I agree with TIME.com's statement that John McCain was the real winner of Tuesday's election. In the beginning, I was hoping for John Edwards or Mitt Romney. Hillary has never been in the race for my vote, but as Edwards and Romney conceded or 'suspended' their campaigns I aligned fairly quickly with Barack Obama. At the time, I felt like McCain had too many negatives. The long democratic race has been dirty and tiring, but it has also given me a chance to listen more carefully to John McCain. In a race as compelling as this one I don't think anyone can make an accurate, objective projection for what will happen in November, but I do think democratic quarrelling has resurrected John McCain's chances. I'm much more open to his comments now than before; and that's a good start for a candidate that has so often required resurrecting.

    April 23, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  11. Rachel

    Wow! Three hoyrs of Blitzer everyday. And one of Lou Dobbs. It's enough to make a person cry.

    April 23, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  12. PTE

    Barack Obama is as guilty of spin as any other politician. I get sick of hearing him say he didn't campaign in Florida as if to say that Clinton did. And when he says he wasn't even on the ballot in MI, why doesn't he say its because he removed his name from the ballot? The statements he makes imply that *he* is somehow more ethical than Clinton. The amazing thing is that it seems to work. Why doesn't the media point out how disingenuous is statements are?

    April 23, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  13. Stewart from North Carolina

    I keep hearing about Obama not winning without Clinton's core support, i.e blue collar folks. Well, exactly how does Clinton expect to win when Obama is getting 85-90% of the black vote, many of whom have been alienated by the Clintons' gutter tactics against Obama. These black voters ARE and HAVE BEEN the most reliable voting block in the Democratic Party for years, and if the y are not motivated to turn out in large numbers in the FAll, NO Democrat will win regardless of who it is. These so-called blue collar voters are NOT reliable Democratic voters...they often times vote Republican...that's why they are called Reagan Democrats. These media folks, and many of you, have lost complete sight of this and need to get a grip on reality.

    April 23, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  14. Deb

    Totally baffling how Billary supporters are still talking about Michigan and Florida. Hello...the only person on the ballot in Michigan was Hillary and Obama did absolutely no campaigning in Florida because that is what they had agreed on. So supporters of Billary...do the math.

    April 23, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  15. Debbie

    Hillary signed off on the rules last year. Now she wants to change the rules. Earlier this year, Hillary even said on television, that the votes in Michigan and Florida CAN NOT count. They did not abide by the rules.

    Republicans will play that video every day for the next several years if the Democratic party decides un-Democratically.

    Hillary Clinton wants to be responsible for the US Constitution, but she can't even play by the rules she said on television earlier this year.

    April 23, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  16. 50 something white woman

    Superdelegates just commit already. Then, whoever picks up enough delegates in the remaining contests to hit 2025 wins. End the drama. If the supers don't know by now who they support we might as well forfeit to McCain.

    April 23, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  17. Barb

    A better question than why can't he finish her off, is why hasn't she done better? If she is so electable and the favorite, why is she behind in votes, delegates, states, and money. If the way she runs her campaign and her strategies are any indication, there will be another 4 years of gridlock and nothing will progress. She's the one who's under pressure to win, not Obama.

    April 23, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  18. Paris

    At this point it is open and fair game.
    They are running a very competitive race and the race must go on based on the rules.
    This is what democracy is about.
    The only problem is Florida and Michigan, that has to be resolved in order to keep it democratic.

    April 23, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  19. Kyle

    I am sure you sleaz balls think this is fun to cover. Rating$

    April 23, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  20. Adam FL

    Hey Blitzer, I would just like to also add that Hillary has had more votes cast for her this primary season the Barak has. By roughly, 120,000 people. A slim margin, so lets look to where we need to win, and Hillary has won all of those states, in a convincing fashion!

    Way to go Hillary!!!

    April 23, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  21. An Agnostic Democrat


    Hillary still hasn't grown up. I know toddlers that are more mature than her and Bill, and their public behavior and good manners would put the Clintons to shame.

    April 23, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  22. DRS

    What if some of those people in Penn who switched from the Republican or Independent parties so they could vote for a Dem in the primary only did so to try to ensure that Hillary Clinton is the one who runs against McCain – because the polls indicate that McCain is more likely to win against Clinton than against Obama? Is anybody tracking this possibility?

    April 23, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  23. Amira

    Barack Obama has energized all nationalities white, black, hispanics, asian you name it I dont think that Hillary is making a good case that he cannot win white blue collars, this is only the primaries. On the contrary I think she will have a big issue with the African American vote because of all the dirty comments coming from bill and her campaign surrogates.
    Also, one of the reasons why she won states like ohio and pennsysvania is because republicans are switching parties and voting for Hillary because they know Barack Obama is a stronger candidate.

    Yes We Can
    Obama 08

    April 23, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  24. thomas Scully, St.Petersburg, Fl

    I believe that the most recent primary victory for Hillary should certainly have a serious impact on the final selection of a candidate for President from the Democratic party. With the string of major vitctories in large states that are critical to a winning the White House, Hillary has proven once again in Pennsylvania that she is the only choice to really be able to take on the Republicans in the fall campaign. Yes it is historical that an afro-american has been able to succeed in consolidating the support that he has thus far. More importantly it is not only historical but almost miraculous that a female has been able to succeed in establishing herself as a serious candidate. Lets face it women in this country are still for the most part looked at as sexual objects and for this mentality to be once and for all brought into proper perspective it is absolutely necessary that we finally put away the "cowboy mentality" that permeates american politics and elect Hillary Clinton for President.

    April 23, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  25. Len

    Don't give up the fight Hillary.

    You can still steal this. lol

    McCain 08

    April 23, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
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