May 8th, 2008
03:00 PM ET
10 years ago

Blitzer on Obama: He seemed at ease


Wolf Blitzer interviewed Obama Thursday. (AP Photo)

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Having interviewed Senator Barack Obama on several occasions in recent years, I must say he seemed very relaxed and at ease when we spoke in The Situation Room today. On earlier occasions, he often seemed more wound up and intense. That was certainly true during the four Democratic presidential debates that I moderated over the past year. On this day, however, he seemed very comfortable and very confident. And with good reason.

I showed him the new issue of Time magazine, which features him on the cover, along with the words: “And the winner is…” Asked for his reaction, he said: “I don’t want to be jinxed. We’ve still got some work to do.” It reminded me of superstitious athletes who fear having their picture on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Obama could not have been more effusive in his praise of Hillary Clinton. He kept calling her an “extraordinary” candidate. In response to a video question from a CNN I-Reporter, he said Senator Clinton would certainly be “on anybody’s short list” as a vice presidential running mate. “But it would be presumptuous of me at this point when she is still actively running, when she is highly favored to win two of the next three contests, for me to somehow suggest that she should be a running mate,” he said. “At this point, I think we have to resolve this process and then we can figure it out.”

While he had nice things to say about Hillary Clinton, he didn’t hold back in criticizing his other opponent, John McCain, on a host of domestic economic and national security issues. He seemed ready to move on to the next chapter of his campaign.

soundoff (248 Responses)
  1. Republican in Idaho for Obama

    I appreciate his humility. Hillary is a great leader and so is he. I really respect him for admitting that and not being bitter towards her. I have to admit, I have always mindlessly voted republican all my voting years. For the first time, I am excited about my vote for Obama. I am willing and ready to step up with him to make a change. I really believe that there is no president out there that can change the country, but there is a president who can unite us and inspire us all to make changes in our own lives and ways and that is Obama. There is no miracle, but I actually believe that in America we can make a difference and change the direction our nation is going, and Obama is the best chance to inspire each of us to make that happen. I am willing to do my part, are you willing to do yours?

    May 8, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  2. Mark Johnson

    Please don't put Clinton on the ticket with Obama.

    May 8, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  3. RB

    Listen up. OBAMA IS the nominee. Period. If you can't support him because of _______, then leave the party and go vote for someone who's a litle more ________. BUT, for Pete's sake, stop your whining and stop trying to rip the party apart! If you had all the influence you think you have, OBAMA would not be the nominee. Clearly, democrats across the United States do not agree with you. I know it sounds cruel, but it's "cruel love".

    May 8, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  4. dee in slc

    FOR ALL OF YOU CRYING ABOUT A RE-VOTE: A re-vote is not possible at this time. You can not throw an election together in weeks or months.. they take a lot of money and planning which neither state is prepared to spend/do. MI and FL made their own bed, and Clinton didn't give a crap about "their right to be heard" until she was losing. Time to let it go people.

    All of you Clintonites that say you wont vote for Obama are just showing your ignorance and hatred. He won this nomination because he had a superior campaign. So you're going to vote for McCain? Overturn Roe Vs Wade... stay in Iraq... lose the economy altogether? GET OVER YOURSELVES.

    OBAMA '08

    May 8, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  5. Karen

    For any one who still calims that Obama is inexperienced till this day, what does the expreience of Clinton, McCain or Bush tell you other than a failed war, a failed campaign and a failed American dream?

    If Clnton with all of her experience cannot even manage her check book, what else can she be ready for? Not my pocket for sure.

    May 8, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  6. Etch


    Please stop interferring in Politics you don't understand. Suggesting he should "handle" Lebanon means "foreign" interference in a Civil war (it is shaping up to be a civil war every day now) that has nothing to do with the US in the first place.
    Don't you understand that the more the US and/or Israel opposes a certain faction, the more they grow in popularity and power??
    The only reason Hezbollah is as powerful and as popular as they are now is because of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 2006, not to mention they were formed during the first Israel/Lebanon war in reaction to the Israeli invasion in the 80s!
    The best thing for the US to do is stay out of it and let the Lebanese handle their own, putting US politicians and/or soldiers in the middle will only help unify their people against "foreigners" and fan extremism even more! The fact that the Seniora government is a US ally makes them seem weaker in the eyes of the Lebanese, and helps Hezbollah's cause.
    Something like this has to be handled very carefully.
    Please stop with these Republican suggestions.

    May 8, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  7. Janel, St. Paul, MN

    President Barack Obama will make us proud as Americans.

    I'm very excited that he has proven he has the leadership, vision and love of our country that will win the respect of most world leaders.

    As for a VP candidate, my vote will be for either Dashle or Edwards. . .BUT not Clinton.

    This is SO exciting!

    May 8, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  8. Rena

    I truly don't believe at this point that Hillary and Obama should be on the same ticket. Hillary is showing signs of resentment and poor sportsmanship. I know it is hard for her to except at this point that it is not her time but I believe she will be very vindictive and try to set Barack up for failure. I just don't believe he should trust her being that close up under him. I do however pray for Hillary that God will give her peace and heal her heart of disappointment. She just must know that God has an appointed time for everything and everyone; it doesn't mean that she does not have her turn in office it's just not right now. The sooner she except Gods will and ask for forgivenss the sooner she will heal and be able to know what He really has plan for her now.

    May 8, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  9. NoVoteYet

    Way to go, Obama !! But be careful to not give too much credit unnecessarily to she doesn't deserve such nice words from her opponent.

    One quality I wish Obama had little more is killer instinct..if only he had half of what she has, this would've been over long back.

    It's really very funny, how Hillary talks about electability..She can't even beat Obama in getting the delegates/populat vote..being a former First Lady and all the bogus experience she claims..still crying for MI & FL votes which was not a contest at all in the first place. If Obama was in her place now, he would be ashamed to even ask for those votes to be counted..I am ok for a revote in those 2 states now..

    May 8, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  10. Kingrose

    He is ready to take on the world. I am not American but I have followed this election process and do agree that it's time for change. Too much of Bush and Clinton!!! This is what true Democracy is all about, giving opportunities to people no matter what their background is or where their from. As long as the exhibit the qualities of a leader then they are more than ready to take on the responsibilties of leading their country.

    May 8, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |

    VERY Presidential.......


    I look forward to the return to statesmanship in the Whitehouse!

    May 8, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  12. Sandra

    Great job Senator Obama! Think he will be a fine President!.
    Having HRC as VP is a bad idea. This election is about change not old politics!.

    May 8, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  13. Brian

    Very presidential, Barack. He will literally destroy his opponent in debate. McCain doesn't even understand the economy. The economy! Isn't that one of the main driving points in this election or for that matter being president? With that said, politics as usual. McCain and the republican slime machine will again fall back to their simple minded tactics, and over inflating irrelevant issues to create and appeal to 'fears' in uninformed Americans: Freedom, terror, uhh freedom, uhhh patriotism, uhhh did we say freedom. It never fails. The "swift boat" strategy is alive and well.

    May 8, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  14. Radhakrishnan Gopalan

    Shame on America.
    More so shame on CNN and other media for Obama hype.
    America is the most powerful and the greatest nation.
    Yet it denies a woman becoming president.
    Even Asian countries like Bangla Desh ,Pakistan,Sri Lanka, India have had Prime Ministers and Presidents.


    May 8, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  15. MT, Philly

    Only delusional Clinton supporters could read this and call him arrogant. Completely absurd. You are taking commentary from the author and putting those words into the mouth of Sen. Obama. Who knows if he was truly "at ease?" That's just the author's opinion of him. If you actually read what Obama said, he has not accepted the press' nomination of him and even stated that to suggest Clinton be at the bottom of the ticket would be presumptuous. This, after Clinton prematurely suggested she be on the top of the ticket weeks ago.

    May 8, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  16. democrat21century

    Very nice interview Wolf, now it seems you are emerging as a 21 century great anchor after renouncing Clinton Nonsense Network (CNN) and back to Cable News Network (CNN). You know Obama should have told you-what makes Hillary unelectable- just take her bad judgement (picking up Mark Penn and many others even Bill Clinton husband and former president, and she herself did not know the democratic primary rules) -anybody could see that she has failed to manage human resource management of her campaign. ECONOMY-Her campaigns financial management was chaotic and show her bad management where and how to generate and how to spent. She does not believe in law, rules and regulation which does not suit to her personal advantage and thats made her petty not like presidential, and any political scientist can tell. SHE SHOULD HAVE QUIT GRECIOUSLY!

    May 8, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  17. John from NJ


    Great interview on your part but need more.

    You told him regular Americans own stock and would pay capital gains Obama cut you off and took it right to 401K – but the main thing is he will have capital gains taxes paid on anybody, any income that owns stock on it’s own from buying it on your own or if it was giving to you by the company you work for.

    -When you told him about McCain telling him that Hammas said they wanted Obama for President – He called that name calling – how is that name calling when he is mentioning a Gov. that wants to sit and talk with.

    I don’t know what else Obama has to do that he could not spend more than 15 min. answering questions for millions of people around the country 30-45 min. c’mon Interview was way to short.

    May 8, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  18. Timothy Kall

    Wolf, you keep talking about the Dream Team cause you know its the only way either O or H and your beloved Democrats get the white house. Perhaps the two of them together could snow enough Americans.

    May 8, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  19. Women vote for women

    Of couse he is. Are you?

    May 8, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  20. Lauren-Colorado




    -OBAMA 08

    May 8, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |

    Obama says again his goal is to lead the war in iraq and afganistan, they don't take care of the people here at home in the U.S. They sill don't understand it's the economy stupid! spending billions and it seems to have no end.

    May 8, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  22. Barbara

    I was reading a few comments on CNN ( my # 1 media)
    I am 100% agree w/some people if Obama does not rest he can win W Virg because it is not about the poll it is about us people
    Y not? Obamacan 2008
    ViVa USA back in business around the world

    New America with new team and smart, strong polite leaders
    Obama & DNC ( including Clintons)

    May 8, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  23. Be wise not racist vote Obama

    Americans come together all of you and vote for Obama I know there's a lot of white people who can't stand black man being president I tell you as a outsider America IS HURT thanks to bush you vote for Mcain A WAR CRAZY president that will be the down fall for this great nation Rep, Dem give this guy a chance and lead the world by example

    Message from uk

    May 8, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  24. Ann

    Seems Nobama could have a little temper there when ask about what McCain said. Wouldn't take too much to see his true colors. Shows that he is NOT ready for the White House and all that comes with being President. Not enough experience.....The interview showed absolutely nothing that we did not already know about him...still a lot of generalization.

    May 8, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  25. jane

    Obama will never be able to beat MCCain. I cant believe how many people have voted for him. We do not know very much about him to be electing him as the nominee. At least we do know the Clintons and they are strong fighters to the end. Obama is too wet behind the ears for this job!

    May 8, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
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