May 8th, 2008
01:18 PM ET
10 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. Unified Democratic Party 2008

    Hillary Clinton supporters:

    Please stop with the threats and insults. I realize many Obama supporters are gloating and taunting you, which is disappointing and wrong. I wish this wasn’t going on. However, it's important that you rise above the petty taunts and stop threatening to vote against the well-being of our nation just because your preferred candidate will not be in the race. Voting for a Democrat, regardless of who he/she is, is absolutely critical this fall. We're all depending on Clinton supporters everywhere to see the big picture and help the Democratic Party take back the White House, and help our nation begin recovering from Bush's mistakes and blunders at home and abroad. We need you, there's no denying it. Please, please, please unite behind Obama and help the cause. We're in this together.

    May 8, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  2. Dylan

    Hillary... are you still talking?

    May 8, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  3. CJ

    I wonder why she didn't say that she is winning large groups of white people like she told Time magazine earlier today? She's a real act..

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

    Won't this woman ever go away so this country can get on with the next election?! Her ego is so big that she's lost in it.

    May 8, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  5. Here to stay

    Hillary is here to stay because many lifelong democrats do not like election fixing that has influenced this primary.

    We will NOT vote for Obama- for no reason but to protest the corruption of this primary: Advantages for one, obstacles for the other. Media bias. Flawed caucus format. Obama supporters using bully tactics at caucus. Obama with his gloating, cocky, arrogant mocking of Hillary with his Annie Oakley antics (while claiming he does not go negative). Obama with his ridiculing of Hillary by dismissively brushing her off his shoulder ( again, not negative? is this the uniter?). And, of course the Fl and Mi fiasco. It is never good or right to disenfranchise your voter base.

    So We WILL teach the DNC a lesson with our vote in Nov.

    It is that simple.

    May 8, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  6. CJ

    She's told every state that-especially the states where she has been looked upon as the major winner.

    May 8, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  7. RT

    I'm starting to feel bad for Hillary. Its obvious she must have some type of mental illness.

    May 8, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  8. CJ

    And just to make it clear-she didn't win Texas at all. I know John King shows on the magic map that the colors are stripped because of the caucus and primary, when the total caucus and primary votes were added up, he won the total state of Texas. Funny Hiliary, telling lies are just like advertising-say it long enough and loud enough and everybody starts to believes you.

    May 8, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  9. Katy Hill Prescott, Az.

    Clinton needs to stay among the "hard working white Americans" in West Virginia because her comments smack of racism and suggest all non- whites aren't hard working.

    May 8, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  10. richard, Chicago

    What happened to Ohio? and Pennsyvania? and Indiana? has the road to the white house detoured through West Virginia? Well if you really believe so, then help campaign for Obama there so that the Democrats win, since you care so much about the Democratic party.

    May 8, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  11. Suziku

    She represents "old" negative, nasty, karl rove politics as usual. For those people who say they won't vote for Obama and will vote for McCain, I presume they are uninformed completely and have lived on Mars for the last 8 miserable bush years! They must be satisfied with the status quo and just want it to continue because they will get more of the same with Mcbush! Women will lose their rights, more right wing supreme court justices will appointed, wars will continue and new wars will start. But gee hillarycrites you just go ahead and vote for mccain, IF by some horrible chance he's elected don't you dare complain that this country is ruined and you are responsible!

    May 8, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  12. Ophelia/FL

    Two weeks ago only the Big States mattered to Hillary, now Virginia is the most important State. Virginian's don't fall for it, she will use you all, and then move on and forget you...

    May 8, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  13. bukky

    Ummm did she say that the states she lost and the people who didnt vote for her DON'T matter.

    May 8, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  14. Sarah

    GO AWAY CLNTONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 8, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  15. Obama will be President!

    Hillary should help the party by going after Huckabee....oh wait he's no longer in this is he?....I guess its all the same in the end. LOL

    May 8, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  16. David in Illinois

    In fhe fall, all of those core Democratic constituents will vote in solidy majorities for Obama. When it's Clinton vs. Obama, she gets a few more of some of these. In the general election it's a whole different ballgame. In fact, McCain is a really shaky candidate.
    She's distorting the facts - ONE MORE TIME. This is really getting to be sickening.

    May 8, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  17. Obama mama, Grayslake IL

    I totally agree with some one who said, whoever, took away Hillary's Bipolar medication should bring it back as soon as possible, because she needs that medication really bad. I cannot see how the president could lie and fail to do the MATH that is really simple. I am an old woman who had some sympathy for Hillary, but when I discover her lies one after another I was turned off and went to support Obama.

    May 8, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  18. Ross in MD



    Next we'll hear Kentucky is the heart and soul of America.

    May 8, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  19. Sarah

    This is almost becoming laughable. When Obama is sworn in as President she will be there demanding that the job is hers and they will have to haul her off in a straight jacket.

    May 8, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  20. No Obama

    Nasty Obama supporters all over this blog too. West Virginia is Hillary's for obvious reasons.

    May 8, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  21. D.J. Morales

    I am a Hispanic, Catholic, Democrat...and tired to the bone of Clinton"s insistence. The only reason she ran for the senate in New York was to project her ambitions to the white house, (where she apparently left something hidden and must return to look for it. ) and surely not to serve the people of a state where she had no trajectory. Hillary is not completely useless in American politics however. She serves as a bad example.

    May 8, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  22. JB

    Well if Hillary is nothing else she's consistent. Once again, states that she wins or is favored in are the the true tests of who makes the best candidate, and the 49% of voters that vote for her are the "winning" base of the party, but those other 33 states and 51% of the voters are meaningless, because apparently you can win the general election without meaningless states like Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Conneticut, Missouri, etc.

    May 8, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  23. Bill, Florida

    While it is unlikely Clinton will get the nomination at this point, it is not improbable. She's not yet the Huckabee of the race. I think for her to continue to be able to compete she needs to show to her supporters a clear path for her to win the nomination, or else her money and campaign will dry up. It will be something along the lines of,

    1) seating the Florida and Michigan delegates,
    2) winning the popular vote including Florida and Michigan (giving the uncommitted votes to Obama, which is generous because it includes Edwards supporters as well),
    3) winning a majority of the remaining pledged delegates (she's heavily favored in some of the upcoming states),
    4) and making a strong arguement of electability and momentum to the super delegates.

    Hillary Clinton 08

    May 8, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  24. Sam

    Why do we even bother with elections in other states at all? West Virginia is where it's at! West Virginia is the ONLY STATE THAT REALLY COUNTS!

    What a joke.

    I thought the popular vote was what really mattered? Now that she doesn't have that – even with MI and FL – it apparently doesn't matter any more.

    May 8, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  25. Monica

    It is starting to look like the Superdelegates care more about the Clinton's feelings then the actual party. What's that all about? The superdelegates could end this in one day, but they refuse to give Barack a chance to catch his breath before his fight with the Republicans. I'm really starting to wonder about this country......

    May 8, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
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