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. Chris

    As a new voter I can honestly say, if Clinton steals the nomination even though Obama has MORE delegates, has MORE of the popular vote AND has won twice as many states, I'm done with politics.

    It just doesn't seem very democratic to me.

    I'm also very insulted when I hear the Clinton camp say that she's won the important states like California, Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Excuse me, but isn't there 50 states in this union? We ALL should have a voice and say in who becomes the nomination; it shouldn't be decided by the minority.

    April 23, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  2. Clinton or McCain, but NEVER obama

    I don't know why you people keep saying that anyone for Clinton or McCain and NOT obama is racist. We are not racist .........the man is simply UNFIT to be President of this country. He isn't even fit to be in the congress. He has an agenda and does not have the best interest of this country at heart. I don't care what color he is.....I would not vote for him if he were the only person running.
    NEVER obama.

    April 23, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  3. Tony

    Speaking of spin, the press (including CNN) reports that Clinton got a 10 point win. My calculator adds it up to 9.2%. Imaging the storyline if the win wasn't a "double-digit" win! My math teacher gives the press an "F."

    April 23, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  4. Gart

    Wolf, would you please stop saying "the best political team on television"? It is a slogan! It is beneath you to have to repeat a stupid slogan seven times on every show.

    April 23, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  5. Gene

    Look all the spin is the media!
    This past week-end you could not find out who she was running against because the media did not cover Obama at all! What happened to unbiased reporting?
    Look they want to extend this for Money and entertainment reasons news ratings and look at how much money is being spent! Lots, and lots of people making out over this! Until the system changes this is what you get.

    Shame on the public not smart enough to pickup on it! Dam, no one saw Lions for Lambs? What did Tom Cruse say about the media, it’s the point of the movie and the war! ! !
    Also read the News week article on Media Mogul, Murdoch, find out why he indorsed Obama!

    Get smart people or we all will loose more then you can imagine.

    April 23, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  6. School Teachers for Obama

    As as school teacher I know Math is a fundamental skill that all students need to learn. It seems that Hillary has not learned this skill in her elitist upbringings. The things she says just don't add up! The only way for her to win is to "Steal" the nomination. I just can't condone the use of "New Math". GO OBAMA!!!

    April 23, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  7. Steve, South Carolina

    The fact that the Democratic Party has designed superdelegate votes to have more flexibility in who they ultimately choose prior to or at the national convention compared to their states popular vote or regular delegate votes just goes to show how much the Democratic Party is an elitist party......................McCain 2008

    April 23, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  8. ronnie

    if she win, will she he to worried about what bill doing.

    April 23, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  9. American Girl

    So true -–

    Hillary – tears "I love this country"
    Hillary – Why are they always picking on me
    Why do I get the tough questions and have to go first... maybe becasue you won't be quiet and you always interupt.

    You kow their is something to said about silence sometimes. She just goes on and on and says anything., When people won't stop talking they are lying and will say things they do not remember.

    Hillary you fo complain..

    OBAMA '08

    April 23, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  10. Nancy Christoff

    Can't believe people are supporting Clinton. It must be all about
    money in their pocket. We DO want a woman president in the
    future. But we want the most intelligent learned disciplined woman
    possible. We are willing to wait for the right woman. We want a
    woman without scandals and baggage. A woman who has eyes
    that show true integrity and emotion. A woman with a pristine
    record of public service. A woman of high moral character.

    Maybe we will choose

    April 23, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  11. Rob

    Because Obama won't play the game that HRC uses which keeps her in this race please don't confuse that with what the repugnicans have in store for her if she manages to 'steal' this nomination. For all the folks out there that figure Obama is un-electable you must have forgotten all the junk that HRC yet has to face. She says she's been vetted? By whom? Obama has tried to stay above all that but because of the attacks from HRC he has to counter but that's all he has been doing is countering he's never taken the offensive. You all need to give your collective heads a shake if you think all the Clinton garbage won't be coming out full force and more by the Repugs.

    April 23, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  12. Val

    Has anyone analyzed the impact of "Operation Chaos" in Pennsylvania? The Washington Post reported a shift in Pennsylvania over the past year with Democrat registrations rising by over 300,000. Could this operation account for the double as opposed to single digit victory by Clinton? Such a manipulation of the system may thrill Republicans now, but won't it hurt our country in the long run by making a mockery of our forefathers vision of democracy?

    April 23, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  13. John Smith

    Personally, I do not have any problem with Hillary. As I understand "personality disorders," she strongly believes that "there is nothing wrong with her." I work with these kinds of folks everyday- they abuse their spouses and blame their spouses for all the problems in the relationship.

    My problem is with those who "fail" to see or recognize the psychopathology (a mental health issue) in this family! They continue to support the Clintons, totally blind to their "history" in this nation. Or probably blinded by wealth or the "image of a "fighter" and not a "peace-maker." God bless us all!!

    April 23, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  14. andrea, Illinois

    Hillary is going to ruin it for the Dems..... They are going to loose because of her.
    1. She will divide the party
    2. If for some strange/unfair reason she will be the nominee, McCain will have an easy game. You can't win if 58% of the population has a negative opinion about you.

    For my part, I would rather stay home than give her my vote. The Clintons are disgusting and dishonest people.

    April 23, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  15. Kelly

    This is my comment, I am tired of hearing about Hillary and the people of this nation and the news media are not pointing out that it was HER HUSAND that sign into agreement the Nafta treaty that has made me loose my job and my families income. If everyone is tired of Washington being the same way then vote for something different. I am a white women from Kansas that is 44 years old and my stomach just turns when I hear everyone saying she still stands a chance to win the nomination. Everyone talks like the USA is only made up of states like PA, OH, NY and so on. That is just not true and I think everyone else in the USA that does not live in those state should stand together and say we are tired of the few making decisions for the rest of us. I have to say that I believe that most people still do believe that because he is half black and half white then he is going to lean toward the black people. I know that is the truth of what some believe but they then HAVE NO RIGHT TO THROW STONES AT THE REV. WHITE FOR HIS STATEMENTS. THE DIFFERENCE IS HE SAID THEM OUT LOUD AND THEY HAVE NOT OR ARE NOT ANYONE IMPORTANT ENOUGH FOR PEOPLE TO CARE WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY.

    April 23, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  16. Betty

    It appears that Clinton thinks the American people are ignorant as she continues to lie to us ........and who is elitist?
    How can you say to the smart American public that Michigan votes should count when her opponent was not even on the ballot?
    There are so many Republicans and Independents READY to vote for an honest democrat this year, but Clinton is hell bent on destroying her opponent and her party.
    Obama should focus on McCain, ignore her completely and her antics, not engage in her dirty politics and ready himself for a fight in November.

    April 23, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  17. brad smith

    can someone explain to me the spin that "he can't win big states"
    Who decides what states are more important than others?
    So basically on Fl, OH,PA count, the rest of the country is just window shopping. This is exactly what the Clinton campaign is trying to "spin" to the country. She fights "for the little guy", give me a break, only if it is in one of those "big states"
    Also this whole notion he outspent her 2 to 1. She is basically saying that money buys peoples votes. She is insulting everyone. The clintons are insinuating that peoples votes can be bought, that's why it was a big victory for her in PA. PEOPLE WAKE UP.

    April 23, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  18. dguill



    April 23, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  19. Rake Morgan

    After doing an analysis of the Gross Domestic Product produced by each state, I've found that states Hillary Clinton has won contribute a whopping 63% of total GDP, as compared to Barack Obama’s 37%. The significance of this data cannot be overstated. These states are the economic backbone and future of this country. That is where Hillary is winning. Even though ‘total states won’ and delegate counts get most of the attention, Hillary’s almost two-to-one lead in states that contribute the most to our economy should send an important message to the "super-delegates."

    April 23, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  20. mnjack

    There is NO way Florida and Michigan are going to vote for Obama in the general election.
    Not after what he did to them!!!!!

    People are starting to see Nobama for what he is.
    He has a lot of baggage and a nasty group of friends.

    John McCain would rip him apart.

    Obama is NOT fit to be President of the United States.

    Hillary is the correct choice for Commander in Cheif.

    Hillary 2008

    April 23, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  21. Kevin

    We all know who the real spin doctors are.. Senator Clinton's victory, though impressive, was a 9% margin (based upon CNN's own figures). The "Clinton wins by double-digit" claim is neitier accurate or fair, however CNN spin doctors began this misleading spin in concert both before and now after all votes have been counted. Most American are intelligent enough to do the math, especially when you (CNN) provide the actual vote count... You now only have 12-days to spin for the Clintons, as on May 7th we will all have to bid farewell to Senator Clinton...

    April 23, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  22. merle 7

    The super delagates should also consider Hillary can't not win the GE with out the support of the AA community,even though you never here them talk about her lack of support in votes among these group. Not to mention the new young voters that have come to the party mainly because of Obama. If these two groups are turn off by dirty politics Hillary will still lose the GE. But I think that this her plan if she won't get the nod then she will continue to hurt or OBLITERATE Obama 's chances. It has became apparent that the Clintons own the democratic party at lease that is the way it appears.

    OBAMA 08!

    April 23, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  23. Tubby The Tuba from Texas

    The answer is the same reason that Hillary could not close the deal on almost twice the states that Barack Obama could not close. But realistically, unless CNN is purposely trying to keep this primary going, it sells, right ?,what democrat worth his/her salt is not going to vote for a democrat in California or in New York, your big state?

    April 23, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  24. skip from Asheville, NC

    Wolfe: Quit using talking points youirself and find out a few facts about it is impossible for Hillary to win the nimination. Math, superdelegates and the complete collaspe of the democratic Party will occur if Hillary wins.

    April 23, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  25. alf


    April 23, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13