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. benneth

    Mrs. Clinton’s letter to Obama sounds like the voice of a desperate witch crying in the wilderness.
    Let Mrs. Clinton hang on to her selfish interest and continue even beyond the nomination of Obama.
    She can as-well decide to form her own Democratic party, nominate herself and contest along Obama against McCain.
    The news of Rep. David Bonior endorsement of Obama will be the sweetest news today.
    Edward and Obama are my political mentors.
    Edward and Obama represent the new face of American politics. The days of the Clintons, the bushes are over and over for good. The American people are wiser now.

    May 8, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  2. Nick

    Everyone here acts like Obama and Hillary are SO different.
    Look at the issues.
    They're almost the same.

    May 8, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  3. Kevin-Seattle

    Look everyone, alot of us didn't get all we wanted out of this or maybe we got more than what we wanted but the primary process played itself out and we have what we have for our nominee. This is not the time to rub it in on Clinton Supporters or Clinton supporters switching parties. The people of the democratic party has picked their nominee and like "Unified"-it's time to unite. You really need to look at the big picture...a non-vote for Obama or a vote for McCain could jeopardize our Supreme Court for decades. We have 3 to 4 Supreme court judges that might step down or retire.....Lets keep the eye on the prize. Lets not forget Iraq and if you want this war to end, a VOTE FOR MCCAIN WILL NOT DO THAT!!! DEMOCRATS WE NEED TO UNITE!!!

    May 8, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  4. Dani

    Well sure he is at ease, he bought the nomination, or at least is in the process of the final purchase. Look, he can't win the general support from disgruntled Clinton supporters and not having won major red and swing states. I'm sure the Republicans are thrilled with the prospect of him being the nominee, it makes their job much easier.

    May 8, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  5. leon


    The Primary might be over but the presidential race is not. And all of you who have showed a high level of disrespect and hate towards Hillary and her followers you forgot that Snator Obama and you need the other half of the Democratic Party. The African-American community voted 85% to 90% for Obama but they are a minority in the general election and now you will need the whole base of the Democratic Party so you and the DNC and people like T. Kennedy, Kerry, Bill Richardson and many others will have to work their heart very hard to reach us and we might not go with you guys becuase if you felt that Hillary was negative we also think that Obama was and from the very beginning when he started calling Hillary part of Washington and the status-quo as if he would not be part of it too. He is a regular politician not different from Kerry, from Kennedy or from Hillary the real different is that Hillary never pretended to be and we are not stupid we now know what Obama has done (nothing relevant neither in Chicago nor in Washington), what his record is and more important that he has played with the dreams of voters for his political ambition.

    Wait and see you will be dissapointed if he is elected because he will not fulfill his promisses and if he is not because you will think that you were wrong.

    May 8, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  6. Antoine

    OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT, he is a great man, serious, brillant, intelligent. He will be a great president, he 's not a negative person like Clinton, he made a wonderful campaing, honest and positive, not like Clinton...

    OBAMA 08

    May 8, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  7. Veterans For Obama

    Linda....arrogance? are you one of tarded people? Why should he even give Beirut a thought? should we stop off there after we flatten Iran?

    May 8, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  8. LaTeef ,GA


    May 8, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  9. SalBal

    I got to watch this programme tonight. I tell you – these days I watch more of CNN than BBC. CNN is really good in reporting this election.

    The world is excited with the prospect of this man leading the free world. I just hope he is not held back and he is allowed to make the changes he is promising. The world really needs an honest leader with fresh ideas to take initiative and set examples.


    May 8, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  10. Peter Frederick

    To joneser23 responding to Debby, Chicano Art, Roger, Rick etc. as follows:
    The Chicago mafia? Community Organizer? Clueless foreign policy? A used car salesman that went to Harvard on an academic scholarship? The guy is a U.S. Senator. You're entitled to your opinion, but trust me – educated opinions are much more convincing. Whomever you support, it doesn't matter, as long as you educate yourselves so you can make an informed decision. Go to the candidate's web sites and actually read what their positions are. Obama's Blueprint For Change is an extremely detailed, deep document that outlines his specific accomplishments and proposals on many important issues, including foreign policy. I don't agree with all of them, but I know what they are.

    ...Its ok to disagree with a candidate on issues. But those posts were never about the issues. They were not intended to be based on reason. They are based on an uncontrollable emotion that belonged to the past in this country (where a few still reside).

    May 8, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  11. mike_a

    It is people like "yeah yeah" which often makes it painful to live in this country.

    "We will NOT vote for Obama- for no reason but to protest the corruption of this primary", "the Fl and Mi fiasco", "Obama supporters using bully tactics at caucus", "So We WILL teach the DNC a lesson with our vote in Nov.", etc, etc. Fine, vote McBush and suffer the consequence. Very smart approach.

    Just to address a couple of your idiotic remarks....the "corruption"? What are you talking about? I participated in a caucus that was wonderfully democratic, engaging, and healthy. Were you bullied? Did someone force you to write Obama on a ballot? That is the most asinine, desperate thing I have ever heard. And you want to count a state where Obama wasn't even on the ballot???? Fine, do it, and Obama still wins.

    I'll spare you the thousand ways I could cut down Hillary and supporters like you that have compromised any sense of dignity to try and scare, lie to, and ridicule the intelligence of Americans. well, most people saw through it so let us know how that works out for you and McCain.

    May 8, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  12. Jewish Women for Obama

    God Bless America!!!

    What a blessing to have this guy as our president!!!

    He's a "once in a generation" type of leader!

    Just watch him become the best president ever!!!

    Obama 2008, 2012 and forever!!!

    May 8, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  13. Ostriches burying our heads in the sand

    His equanimity and grace do make him look real Presidential! And for those of you condemning him just for the heck of it, take a little time and read his books.....Who knows? Maybe a miracle will occur and you will realize that he is not that bad after all!

    May 8, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  14. PDX

    Please stop the racists rants and Hillary and Obama bashing. We've gone down that road too many times before and it has gotten us no where. We need to move forward together as the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - NOT - THE DIVIDED STATES OF AMERICA!

    May 8, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  15. TJ

    This is how things are supposed to be done! Hillary should be taking notes. They should've been criticizing McCain all along instead of her trying to tear down Obama!

    May 8, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  16. solomon

    Why is Mrs Clinton blamming sen.Obama over Michigan and Florida elections ?,
    Can this be explain cos, sen.Obama didnt cancelled that elections so why the noice? secondly,Sen.Mrs Clinton how are you going to manage American Economy when you cant even manage yours , Its difficult to spent the money that is not there.

    May 8, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  17. stevo

    united kingdom is looking forward to welcome Barak Obama as a president of USA. American grab that chance fore the right man on the right time. have my £100. OBAMA 08

    May 8, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  18. TonyNJ

    I make this appeal to the good people of West Virginia to vote with both your heart and with your head. Hillary Clinton is not a quitter! She knows want our country's wants are. Hillary Clinton knows what are our peoples needs are, and she will hit the White House floor a runnin, as she does not need to be tutored as she is experienced in the world of Washington and the world. The People need jobs. Hillary Clinton will work to make the state of our economy, First on the agenda. This will keep roofs over the people's heads and food on their plates. It will also help to restore our Right to Dignity, which comes hand in hand with employment and a paycheck, but mysteriously disappears when the pink slip makes it's dread appearance. Obama can go around in a pair of jeans and make his attempt to make a victory lap around the Senate chambers. The race is not over! The good people of West Virginia can make that upstart eat that pair of jeans, by supporting the experienced candidate, the one who will not forget you after election day, the one who knows what the people need. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, Now, Now, Now! Give Hillary a chance. Give Hillary your support. Help Hillary to help you! The fight ain't over yet Mr. Obama! The People come first and they deserve a President who has experience solving problems, not creating problems. West Virginians, You can make history which will make your children's children proud.

    May 8, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  19. Al

    All you Clinton supporters who will vote for McCain in the fall are spiteful and incredibly stupid. It shows that you obviously don't share any of the values that Clinton claims to have.

    May 8, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  20. Uncle Sam

    McCain Democrats Rule!!!

    May 8, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  21. Time to move on

    To echo OBAMA himself "this election is not about senator Cintor or Barack Obama or John Maccain but about American people"so if Hillary's supporters felt voting Maccain will put Hllary in white house,they better think what they are wishing for.Obama is for all Americans support him

    May 8, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  22. BigAce

    I'm just going to come out and say it.......................

    For those who keep saying that they are democrats and will not vote for Obama if he is chosen as the nominee then they are pure, unadulterated, Racist.

    I can't recall any other primary where a nominee was chosen by the people and the superdelegates to be the nominee that I've seen such
    hatred for that candidate.

    HRC and Obama are very similar on all policies, be they foreign or domestic. There may be some small differences on issues and Ideas to solve problems, but not a great chasm. Obama has longer legislative experience since he started in the state senate in Illinois in '97 and HRC as NY senator in '2001.

    So what else could it be? As for the Rev. Wright issue, Obama must have missed a lot of church, because I have not heard him say anything that resembles the remarks Wright has said.

    Like Obama said (paraphrased) "I can no more disown my being black anymore than my being white".

    May 8, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  23. leon


    This is the kind of new Domocrat that you are the one that Obama is bringing. You represent the change I can see that with your lack of respect your cocky silly thoughts and empty rethoric. You should go tot the Middle East with Obama and talk to the leaders there. yes sure they will listen to him and laugh later He can tell them a good speach asking for "CHANGE" and "HOPE" I can see that and the rest of the world will forget about the history and will say yes Obama we will follow you...

    May 8, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  24. Mary Cincinnati

    I am a democrat who desperately wants to see a Democratic President elected in November. I am really distressed to read people claiming to be democrats who state they will vote for McCain if their delegate does not win the nomination. Of course people have a first choice for their nominee, but I will vote for the Democratic Party Nominee , be it Obama or Clinton. Both have great strengths and gifts, people just prefer one over the other. The Democratic Party has not been this lucky in generations, to have 2 such qualified candidates. Most of my life I have had to vote for the lesser of 2 evils. This time we have 2 great choices. If we have to wait another 4 years to elect a Democrat, be ready to pay $5 – 10 per gallon of gas, be ready to be out of work, no savings, no insurance and worst of all, be ready to have another 4000 of our young men and women dead in Iraq.

    May 8, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  25. John from NJ

    With answers like this interview he not have much more to say now and
    The democratic party has always had such a radical and militant portion within the party that if you go against anything they believe in your no good to them again – no matter if your in the same house, city, group, or party. This years election is lost to the democrats – start planning for the next one…

    May 8, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
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