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. scott

    \\Paul vs Clinton

    GOOGLE IT!!!

    April 23, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  2. steveda - Poconos Pennsylvania

    I said it before, I am gonna say it again... the media doesn't favor anyone other than itself. The circus the Democratic race has become is a treasure trove for the media.... when you rent tents, you love circuses!!!

    April 23, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  3. Elli

    There is a very simple theory about corruption: Power attracts corruption. + The longer the same power structure prevails the greater is the potential for corruption....
    So, doesn't it worry you folks that a WIFE of a former president would become the next president? (Did you not learn anything when a SON of a president was elected as a president?)
    This issue is certainly seen in a very dubious light outside US...... and it eats up the US credibility abroad.

    April 23, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  4. annie

    What about Obamas 17 point win in Wisconsin?

    or Missouri?

    or Virginia?

    ALL his wins were 15 points or MORE!

    The Media NEVER went on and on...

    Never even covered it!

    April 23, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  5. Hac

    Hilary just got a momentary boost, The people like Obama they game him close to 40 million to campaign while Hilary got 21 million from donations from people. She was in debt yesterday and she'll be in debt tomorrow. Hilary is also attacking Obama whenever she can't out smart him. Also after Obama is attacked he takes the defensive he doesn't go attacking her. Shes using cheap tactic that every other pathetic candidate has used in the past. Its sick and getting old. Some asked about why Obama hasn't attacked Bill Clinton yet. His campaign leader answered that they didn't do it yet and wont do it. Obamas bolstering his strategy of change but he is the change. a change from these cheap politics.

    April 23, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  6. maybe it's you


    Wolf Blitzer has an MA from John Hopkins and more journalism awards to count. Maybe he's not the ignorant one!

    April 23, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  7. Chris - Hemet, Ca.

    When Obama is unpacking his things in the White House next January Clinton will be outside on the sidewalk still going negative. After almost eight years of the current idiot (Dubya) with his arrogance and stupid smirk why would anyone want Clinton and her arrogance and stupid smirk for the next four?

    April 23, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  8. carol

    As a Canadian watching this...I can't believe how STUPID Americans are!

    There should be IQ restrictions put on voting privileges in the US.

    The WHOLE WORLD sees the Clintons for the LIARS they are.

    And wasn't Samantha Power a smart Woman!


    April 23, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  9. cserre

    Wolf, you are sounding very objective here.

    Keep up the good work!

    April 23, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  10. Debby

    Wolf bottom line voters want CHANGE in their pocketbooks vs. politics. This is why Clinton is the better candidate for the job.

    I posted this to your buddy Cafferty's blaaahg but of course anything pro clinton doesn't get in.

    April 23, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  11. Bruce

    Winning a state primary election does not translate into a general election win. It does not even reveal who the strongest candidate would be. If Obama was not in the race, where would his voters go? Mostly to Clinton, but some of his voters are Independents and Republicans. Those voters would probably go to McCain.Conversely, If Clinton was not in the race, where would her voters go? Since they are the traditional Democratic base, they would go to Obama. I don't see any of them supporting McCain. Obama can steal votes from McCain, but Clinton can not. The argument that if Obama can not beat Clinton in Ohio and Pennsylvania, that he could not then beat McCain is illogical and without merit.

    April 23, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  12. virginia zdanowicz

    How effective is Rush Limbaugh’s “Operation Chaos”? Claiming credit today in having Republicans cross over and vote for Hillary. He said his hope is to have Hillary get the superdelegates to take the election from Obama at the convention to create RIOTS, across the country, CAR BURNING etc. How can an American aim to create blood shed and rioting in the street of America? Please please call him out on this. For someone to openly claim to be promoting stuffing the ballot to create civil unrest cannot be tolerated.
    Thank you,

    Virginia Zdanowicz


    April 23, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  13. chuck

    Trouble here is that if Hillary is not the nominee, most of her constituents are going to vote for McCain. If Obama is not the nominee, most of his constituents will vote for Hillary. WAKE UP DEMOCRATS!!! If we loose this election because the democratic delegates are too afraid to say no to an african American because it wouldn't be politically correct then I will become a republican where who you vote for counts all or nothing. At least they knew who their candidate was a month ago. SOMEONE GET HOWARD DEAN THE HELL OUT OF HIS POST. HE IS CLUELESS

    April 23, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  14. DaveCanada

    Congratulations Wolf!

    This is your 100th Article that doesn't actually Say anything about anything.

    Do you have a point? Do you Ever have a point or do you just 'raise issues' we're all aware of and are very simple.

    April 23, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  15. Sharon

    Obama is the only one who can win against McCain.

    McCain would have Hillary for lunch and spit her back out again.

    April 23, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  16. seattle sue

    Deb, If I remember right Clinton did no campaigning in Florida either. So what is the big deal?

    April 23, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  17. Enough

    I keep hearing that she won TX too – she won the popular vote, but he won more delegates. He won.

    April 23, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  18. Jack

    Who cares who the president is if you don't have a significant majority in both houses of Congress... If Obama can bring enough new voters to the polls and they vote in more Democratic members for Congress he should be the candidate – for the future of the republic.

    April 23, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  19. David in Seattle

    I have looked at the polls for the remaining states in this race and run them up on the CNN charts and every which way I run it Hillary has to essentially get all of the Superdelegate vote to win. Not likely. The only other scenario is for the state of Florida and Michigan to be counted as- is, which isnt very likely either....seating the delegates from those states may have that same effect unless the delegate count from those states is based upon the percentage roll up from all of the other states for each candidate. If the democratic party wants to get on with this and get it over with, then the right decision is to parce out the delegates for Michigan and Floridia based again upon a rollup of all of the other states percentage for each candidate and then have a superdelegate session that requires the superdelegates to make their decision....If the DNC had the guts to do that we could be past this next month. In any case I dont see any ethical, moral, or just way that Hillary could possibly win at this point....we will just have to see how she pulls it off in spite of that.

    April 23, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  20. Todd

    If the superdelegates pull a fast one and vote in Hillary I would love to see Obama move over to the independant ranks, thus taking all those supporters and effectively wiping out the chances of democrats doing anything for years.....even the mere mention of it would frighten the superdelegates to reconsider......

    April 23, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  21. Sarah

    Ah... Hillary did not win Michigan. You can't say that MI doesn't count, not campaign in the state, and then say that you won them simply because you did not take your name off of the ballet like all the other major candidates. Hillary's claims that she won here are bogus.

    April 23, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  22. Venus

    Wolf – if Hillary can win all the states – how come Obama has won 30?
    How come since Feb.5 – Obama has gotten about 85 endorsements and Hillary got about 7?

    Hillary can't win! She had her chance!

    Come on people with the name "Clinton" up against a rookie? And, Hillary is saying she is the underdog? Obama's game was to cut into her lead – which he did in Penn State – She had a 33+ lead and Obama cute that to about 9.4. What's great is this is after Rev. Wright, Bitter-Gate... Also only 10 % of voters vote in a primary. And – since when did Hillary win FL. and MI? Hillary needs to take a walk with her broke game! Although I must admitt – I like seeing her play her games... If Hillary was so great – how come Obama is still in the race?

    April 23, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  23. Rosemarie A. Stone

    The "spin" will stop here! When all the remaining States' have voted, Senator Barack Obama will be in the lead in pledged delegates, popular vote and States' won. That's when Hillary Clinton will have to curtsy and bow out of the race. She has no argument that'll convince the superdelegates that she won the race. Numbers do count and her numbers won't add up to much. She has smeared this campaign negatively and I can't wait for the time when we won't have to listen to her cackling banter any more. Obama's message of hope, unity and the promise for America's bright future is the most promising, optimistic, wholesome view and direction that this country sorely needs.
    Vero Beach, FL

    April 23, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  24. Paul

    The only possible way for Hillary to win is to try an destroy Obama. It is crazy for her to say she is more electable when every poll shows that he is leading against McCain and is against her nationally. It's amusing to see her try to claim the big states are the one's that matter and that Obama can't win those. The only people that believe that are the uneducated clueless people that are her main supporters in the first place.

    April 23, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  25. Wil Smith Jackson, MS


    QUIT THE DANG WHINING!!!!!!!!!!!

    HILLARY 2008 AND RE-ELECT 2012

    April 23, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
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