May 8th, 2008
01:18 PM ET
6 years ago

Clinton: West Virginia a must-win for Democrats

Sen. Hillary Clinton says West Virginia is a test for her and Sen. Barack Obama.
Sen. Hillary Clinton says West Virginia is a test for her and Sen. Barack Obama.

CHARLESTON, West Virginia (CNN) – Hillary Clinton told West Virginia supporters Thursday morning that any Democratic nominee needed to win their state to claim the presidency - and that every successful candidate since Woodrow Wilson had.

“It’s a test for me, and it’s a test for Sen. Obama because for too long we have let places like West Virginia slip out of the Democratic column,” said Clinton at a rally in the state capitol, during her second day of campaigning in the state.

“...I think the hard working voters of West Virginia represent the heart and soul of the Democratic Party and the backbone of our victory in November.”

Amid questions of whether she can still win the nomination, Clinton argued that she is beating Obama with the groups of people McCain will be targeting in the Fall – Catholics, Hispanics, blue-collar workers and senior citizens. Clinton also called McCain a "formidable" opponent.

“We’re going to have a run a vigorous, victorious campaign in November. That’s why I am building such a strong and broad coalition among the states and among the voters we must have to deliver the White House.

“This is a little like deja vu all over again,” Clinton told the crowd. “Some in Washington wanted us to end our campaign and then I won New Hampshire. Then we had huge victories on Super Tuesday. Then we won Ohio and Texas and Pennsylvania. And I was never supposed to win Indiana. Well, I am running to be president of all 50 states.”

soundoff (266 Responses)
  1. Rick in Oregon

    I think that Hillary is brilliant. Here is why...she knows that she is going to lose the nomination, but as long as she is in the race, the democratic party gets a bunch of free publicity AND more and more people sign up and get involved in the process. This will make sure that we have a democrat in the white house after the GE.

    May 8, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  2. JB

    Bill in Fla,

    Therein lies the problem with her argument. Seating the MI and FL delegates are all important to her now, but were meaningless back in December when she was still the "inevitable" candidate. You say that giving Obama the uncommitted is generous, but do you really think she wins 55% of the vote if both Obama and Edwards are on the ballot. Also, despite being the 8th most populous state in the union, less than 600,000 people voted in the Michigan primary, Ohio has a similar population and well over 2 million people voted. I won't ever dispute that she would have won Florida under any circumstances, but given the overall demographic layout of Michigan, it was anything but a slam dunk in the Clinton column. She probably could have gotten Florida seated in its entirety by now if she didn't insist that Michigan also be seated as is when she was the only candidate on the ballot. The remaining primaries are likely to split evenly between them, so she'll hardly have any arguments on momentum. There's a reason that even given two days, she or none of her surrogates can lay out a realistic path to the nomination. Her only hope is a major gaffe or catastrophe by the Obama campaign.

    May 8, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  3. VM

    Does "hard working" mean "white" now?

    May 8, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  4. Uncle Sam

    It's official. Reagan Democrats are now referred to as McCain Democrats.

    May 8, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  5. Desmond Sequeira

    A view from abroad:

    Mrs Clinton,

    I cannot help feeling that you are so sad, so cheap, so desperate, so unpresidential. Please spare us further shannaigans. it is time to be graceful.

    May 8, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  6. Chris, Silicon Valley, CA, USA

    The Dems do need WV. They should count on losing FL & MI.

    May 8, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  7. Joe

    I agree, states that have voted Democratic in the past (like WV) need to vote Democratic in 2008 and I predict that the debacle of the Bush presidency will ensure that those states do. What Senator Clinton needs to do is quit trying to use seating the MI and FL delegates as a wedge issue. She is hurting the party. Nobody in their right mind (and yes, I am implying that Senator Clinton's thinking on this issue is somewhat flawed) believes that you would count the votes from a state where only one candidate's name appeared on the ballot. Also, if she felt so strongly that the delegates from MI and FL should be seated, why did she and her campaign agree to a policy that said that those delegates would not be seated if they moved their primaries ahead. It is a desperate move and it proves her "win at any cost" strategy. Sorry, it's not working.

    People need to believe in the integrity of the political process. You can't get a "redo" just because you don't like the results. Again, I feel for the people who voted in the MI and FL, but they have nobody to blame but their own state leaders. Senator Clinton needs to quit trying to transfer that blame onto somebody else - (in this case, Senator Obama).

    The surest way for her to ensure that these votes count is to withdraw from the race and release her delegates to vote for Senator Obama in Denver. If she's so concerned about ensuring that the delegates are seated and that those states vote Democratic in the fall, that's one sure way to make that happen.

    So, is this really about the delegates in those states and Democratic party or is it about Hillary Clinton? I think we all know the answer to that question.

    May 8, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  8. LKB

    The most important goal is to win the White House in November. I am angry that Hillary won't exit gracefully and let all of us focus on the greater goal. I admire determination, but if she were the leader at this point, she would be "demanding" that Obama step aside. This is becoming a real turn off and I know that she is losing more than gaining at this time with her endless "battles..."

    Let it go...It's time...

    May 8, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  9. April in Texas

    Every state that shes heavily favored in has been you cant win without (insert state here) Havent we heard this toon before? Lets not forget that while shes fighting to seat MI and FL in her favor she also says that small states dont matter or caucuses dont count..

    Go home Hillary where ever that may be this week..

    Obama 08/09

    May 8, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  10. Marshall

    "hard working", I think the only thing she works hard for is advancing herself and increasing her wealth. She is so out of touch with the "Hard Working Voters."

    Give us a break!

    May 8, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  11. Chuck

    it's over, Hillary. Accept it.

    May 8, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  12. White Guy for Obama

    Will someone stick a fork in Hillary so she will know that she is D U N N! Done. Over. Hasta luego!

    Obama '08

    May 8, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  13. sophia nyc

    McBush is NOT a formidable opponent. He hasn't even been in the news all day.

    May 8, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  14. Dee n Texas

    I think it is high time for Dr. Phil to come out and talk to the Clinton's. They need to find PEACE for themselves and this country. Maybe Dr. Phil can sit with them calmly and get them to realize what is REALLY happening – TODAY IN AMERICA! They seem to be on another cloud!

    May 8, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  15. Alex

    This woman has one thing in common with Bush...they both like changing the rule of the game in the middle of the game when they think they are close to loosing it. The only reason she tolerated Bill’s infidelity is not to be seen as a divorced woman so that people do not question how she can manage a nation if she can not manage a single family. It is her ambition to be President that made her tolerate his unfaithfulness. Otherwise, we all know that she does not take any crap from anybody if there is nothing in it for her. That is why she is coming up with all these weird excuses after every loss. I do not at all mind her fighting all the way but she has to cut out the crap. Just focus on the issue and tell us why you should be the nominee. What you can do better than him or what you can do that he can not do. Then leave the judgement to the people and accept the people’s verdict.

    May 8, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  16. Dani girl

    One word – pathetic

    May 8, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  17. Anna

    Obama is such a gracious winner.
    What skill he has had throughout this race showing kindness when it was needed and getting tough on the issues when it was needed.
    I really admire him for that.

    I hope Hillary is able to take a long rest and get back to work in the Senate.

    May 8, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  18. Marshall

    "Marc May 8th, 2008 3:49 pm ET

    Sorry but there aren't enough of Obama's core to even have a respectable showing in this State. He'll lose by 30 points."

    Are you calling the people of WV uneducated? Just come and say what you mean. Maybe it is me but, he is saying they are stupid.

    May 8, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  19. close hi lies piehole

    Hillary close shop and move on you have lost it /the curtain is coming down /we have heard enough lies and slams from you about others to last us a life time .
    You are a Republican wearing a mask / the mask has came off.
    You were a Goldwater girl now Goldilocks you just can't get rid of the gold.

    Go Away

    May 8, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  20. fred

    hillary you should get out ,your vote dont count

    May 8, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  21. David, Silver Spring, MD

    States like Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana would be more likely to vote Democratic in November if they hadn't been exposed to Hillary smearing the future Democratic nominee. Hillary painted Obama in a way that makes him less appealing in those states. Her own avarice and ambition has done more to drive those states to McCain than anything Obama did or didn't do.

    May 8, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  22. Pamela, Sacramento

    Hillary the cure for "entitlementitis" is prozac. You have absolutely lost it. What is wrong witih this woman? Is she headed for a breakdown or what?

    May 8, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  23. Hillary, hush!

    PUH-LEEZE

    Talk about losing perspective!

    With every stupid thing she says she drives down the possibility of getting on the Obama train as VP.

    May 8, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  24. jvc

    What's really needed is for Hillary to run as a third party candidate! Then it's bye-bye barack o'bambi hello johhny McC.

    May 8, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  25. Jos bam

    Real stupidity.

    this woman is just saying the supedelegates :

    "'Hey ,this man is black and he is named Barack Obama a name that is not really american ,he will never win the general elctions because,white americans will not vote for him.They will prefer the white guy MC Cain...Then hey superdelegates give me the nomination because i'm white,i'am more "electable" than this stupid black guy..."

    Sorry Hillary go away....You have lost all respect..You are stupid..

    Why can't the superdelegates end this race?This woman will do anything to get the nomination ,even behind closed doors..

    Hillary...Shame on You...Please drop out.

    May 8, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
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