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. Ozer

    Clinton seems to be using false logic. First she did not really win Florida and Michigan – unfortunately DNC process is run based on silly rules and they seem to care more about schedules rather than people being able to vote. Second she is implying that democratic primaries are a reflection of the race between a democrat and a republican and Obama can't win named states in the general election – democrats voting against other democrats are not the same things as democrats voting against republicans. Third, she is then noting that named states will be critical in winning the general election, implying that Obama can't win the general election – which contradicts with what she said at the PA debate where she answered "yes, yes, yes" when asked if Obama can win the presidency if elected to be the democratic nominee.

    When are presidential candidates going to treat American voters as if they are intellectual and competent adult human beings?

    April 23, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |

    SHUTUP Blitzer, who cares what you say or think! Obama is winning the numbers speak for themselves, you make it sound like Obama should let Hitlery just take over and push Obama aside. You're an idiot he is winning and the rest of the states will go to Obama, the saying is that Obama can't put Hitlery away, well Hitlery can't catch up or win! so shut the hell up!

    April 23, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  3. kaye

    Sorry your wrong his ads spread into Fla.
    In Michigan she was not the only name on the ballot.
    If the votes from Michigan and Florida are not counted then the dems can kiss the white house goodbye.

    April 23, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  4. Joe

    NOTE TO HILLARY- I am a Hoosier voter. I will vote for you for $100. If you agree. Go on TV and bob your head up and down while clapping your hands and cackleing. Cash only! Don't owe me.

    April 23, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  5. James E. Ward

    Why does the news media kelp overlooking the fact
    that Obama was battling the entire machine of the democratic party instead of concentrating on what he spent. Starting from 20 points back and with Clinton's machine support... the Negative ads..He did a great job. She really has nothing to brag about.

    April 23, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  6. Jose, from Europe

    You are an excellent spin master, Wolf. You mention Michigan and Florida?...

    April 23, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  7. shirley

    It's pretty hard to run a fair election when the only states that count are the ones Hillary wins. She did not win Florida and Michigan, she was the only candidate on the ballad. Dirty politics, and reporter's are not holding Hillary accountable for anything she says or does.

    April 23, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  8. ed haught

    gee wolf, are you stupid. Why do you think that if Obama was the canidate in November he couldn't carry PA? I guess since Obama won Iowa,and if Clinton was the canidate in November, Hillary would not be able to carry Iowa!! Get a GRIP!!

    April 23, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  9. DAN

    Wolf the 14th amendment of constitution is straight and clear of any spin and says Every vote counts, Party rules are not law, Obama is a constitutional lawyer and it's sad to see the voice of change and hope be so slick and dirty in politics. If Dean doesn't fix this problem, it will go down as the biggest political scam in history. It's only fair and logical to count every vote casted.

    April 23, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  10. Rob

    Early on in the PA vote. Numerous "irregularities" were reported. Then after Hillary took the lead. The reports went away. So, how many Obama voters were marginalized and disenfranchised by the crooked Hillary supporters who run PA.

    April 23, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  11. Amanda in Utah

    Hmm. . . not very subtle, Wolf. You clearly support Hillary and want to encourage the Superdelegates to help her steal it – which is the only way she'll be the nomination. Why are people even listening to you? Hillary and her media puppets are exactly the sort of status quo poison that we should be trying to move away from.

    April 23, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  12. nancy

    I keep hearing how Clinton voters won't vote for Obama in the fall if he wins the nominatin...especailly women voters. Well, I'm a white woman, 59 . ... and that's malarky! Think of the women in your life......wives, secretaries, neighbors, daughters...we manipulate...it's what we do best. Of course we'll tell you we will vote for Mc Cain if Obama get the nomination but the truth is , that's how we play the game. Now, I actually abhor Clinton so much that i couldn't force myself for all the oil iin the world to vote for her. Yeah I know. I know.....

    I think if the media has a gender it's female. Talk about fickle??? Shallow, running on hormones.....

    April 23, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  13. Rick

    Wolf, please explain to me, how Hillary can overtake Obama in the pledged delegates ?

    April 23, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  14. Reid

    What do you do when the Media, including CNN, gift Hillary the 10% magic number that she needed to maintain viability????? She won by 8.6% and picked up about 10 delegates. One month ago she had a 25% lead in Pennsylvania. THIS ELECTION HAS ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT DELEGATES!!!! The media is trying to follow Hillary's lead and move the goal posts and change the rules now that Hillary has lost. It is easy to understand how G.W. Bush was elected when our media is so easily manipulated by the Karl Roves and Clinton's of the world. Shameless, disgraceful, and unconscionable!

    April 23, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  15. andy

    I agree, why is everyone still talking about Florida and Michigan. H.C. was the only one on the ballot. Obama did close the gap in Pennsylvania and is still ahead. He has managed his campaign well. He has raised so much money and spent it well. The Clinton campaign is in trouble financially. Do you really want her to run the country? Does American really need another four years of Hillary and Bill? That is the question that needs to be asked. If she gets the nomination, there will be droves of people turning Republican. Just imagine what that would do to the country. Obama is the only person to get the economy back on track and deal with the war in Iraq. Why isn't anyone asking what Hillary did with the $800,000 she and Bill pocketed?

    April 23, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  16. Sam

    Some folks are saying delegate math does not count for the general election, some saying it does. Some says superdelegates count, some says it should not. Some says fund raising counts some says it should not. Some says blue collar counts, some says conservatives, some says older etc.
    So here we got a total mess and nobody correctly knows whats the "right thing".
    So like soccer possibly the cadidates will go to a penalty shooter at the convention, if that is also not even decisive, Gov Dean will have to toss a coin.
    If democracy means verdict of the people then the rational says superdelegates shouldn't have anything to say. If it means something else at the primary level then why don't we change the rules of this messy game and get rid of this benifit of doubt.
    Thanks to both of these senators, that they have run hard campaigns to point out the fallacy lying in this political enggneering. Right now it sounds like each candidate will not fight for every vote but BEG for each.

    April 23, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  17. NJ

    you are right... there are some that will never vote for a black man but remeber Obama also has the advantage of getting >90% of the black vote so it's a wash as far as I am concerned. The main problem is blue collared democrats, the core of the party, which he is not able to capture much like Dukakis, Kerry, Gore. He will not beat Mccain in the general.

    April 23, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  18. NO-BAMA




    April 23, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  19. Bob

    Interesting that the Polls showed White Male voters who usually vote Republican, voted for Hillary. Lets face it. The difference between Bush and Hillary (Bush Lite) Clinton is negligable. For twenty years the Bush/Clinton team has taken turns padding their pockets with sleazy money and selling our jobs to China.

    April 23, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  20. brian.soe

    This simply proves that Senator Obama will probably not win the general election in November even if he win the democratic party nomination.

    April 23, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  21. Vig

    Obama does not have the right stuff to win the "gut states" which Hillary has been winning. You nominate him and you will be getting 4 more years of Republican rule and with it the Iraq war. He can't do it and superdelegates need to think long and hard about Mr. Congeniality.

    April 23, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  22. Deb

    We could salvage this debacle with a Obama/Clinton dream ticket. Hillary would have to be the VP though because her health plan is nothing short of socialism and has already been soundly rejected by American workers.

    April 23, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  23. Craig in Texas Democrat and supporter for Obama

    He can win the big states cause Billary wont be in the election destroying the party how about that spin. Or what about the fact she only won by 220,000 republican voters. Isnt she still losing in everything. What momentum she only got 11 delegates. You people are on crack lol.

    April 23, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  24. joe

    florida was won by clinton, though it didnt count do to time of it, she won michigan 55 to 40 . he 65 he took his name off the ballot. noone told him to. florida was won without campaining from either side. 1.5 million votes are why clinton won. count them or not she won. he stopped a revote so here we are popular votes for clinton do count but the delegates dont count. that is why they say she won mi. and florida

    April 23, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  25. John

    I'm tired of people saying that Obama did not campaign in Florida..
    NEITHER of them campaigned in Florida!

    April 23, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
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