August 26th, 2008
09:00 PM ET
10 years ago

Castellanos: Will Clinton acknowledge her failings?

Clinton takes the stage tonight, vowing to unite Democrats.

Clinton takes the stage tonight, vowing to unite Democrats.

I often teach young campaign managers what I view as "The Laws of Politics."

One of them is "The Law of the Ketchup Stain" - When your candidate walks into the room with a stain on his or her shirt, no one is going to listen to a word they say until it is acknowledged.

Everyone knows Hillary Clinton is going to support Barack Obama, that's not the stain on her shirt. Rather, the "ketchup stain" is that she has said Obama is inexperienced and unprepared to be president. She's got to acknowledge what every Democrat has heard her say.

How does she do it? She must say, "I know you've heard me say things in the competitive heat of battle that may cause some of you to have doubts about my support for Obama. I know that and you know that. Let me put those doubts to rest. I'm not only going to do everything I can do to elect Obama, I am going to ask you to help me, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your energy. If you believe in Hillary Clinton, believe in Obama, support him. Elect him president."

Will she do it? The Clintons have never been very good at acknowledging their failings. Unless she does, however, her support of Obama will be seen by many Democrats as a choice between the lesser of two evils - the appearance that she supports Obama only because he is not as bad John McCain.

soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. BK

    What failings? She got bashed by the media and cheated out of the election and CNN helped. It took SNL to wake you guys up.

    August 26, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  2. Watching

    What? Say she lied then or she's lying now? Doesn't seem like a fair choice to me. Does she admit she lied about him being ready then? Or does she lie now and say he is ready when she doesn't truly believe it? I wouldn't want to be in her shoes.

    August 26, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  3. Cheryl Swaim

    And when will Obama admit he set out to destroy Hillary Clinton? He said she was corrupt and didn't represent a change from George Bush. Obama is a hypocrite and ruthless and will stab a long-time friend in the back to get what he wants. Why do you people set one standard for him and another for her?
    Disillusioned with Democrats

    August 26, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  4. New Yorker

    "...she supports Obama only because he is not as bad John McCain." It's true; that is why she supports him.

    McCain/Any Conservative 2008 !!!

    August 26, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  5. dilmont

    Will Clinton acknowledge failings? Not a chance.

    August 26, 2008 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  6. vic nashville,Tn

    Democratic party changed their views Many times about FL and MI delegates to steal the nomination from Hillary
    Hillary didn’t lose the primaries
    Hillary 2012 / Mc Cain 2008

    August 26, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  7. mcbush thanks mcclinton

    ha what a title

    will i say i was born blond?

    clinton will never never admit she lost fair and square
    she and bill have made sure that CNn reports about THEM

    she and bill have made sure the convetion is about them

    they are so sick and we are so tired of the snake with three heads

    she is giving mccain the presidency

    i could not stomach these people but hey they gave us the presidency
    she will do whatever it takes to make sure no black guy gets to the presidency of this country

    since she and bill are and feel so entitled she prefer old mcsame
    to New Obama

    thanks billary

    August 26, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  8. Go Hill.

    Did Ted Kennedy get this much flack in 1980 when he took his own primary fight to the convention floor?

    What a double standard.

    August 26, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  9. Kimberly

    What failings???

    He IS inexperienced and unprepared. He also puts pride before intellect. Sound familiar?

    An Independant who is swinging back to the right

    August 26, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  10. P. Ross

    I agree this is what Hillary must say. In spite of that, some of her followers are going to still vote for McCain because...

    1. They are sore losers.
    2. Many of them can' t stomach an African-American being President.

    Just like the Clintons have never been very good at acknowledging their failings, their followers are going the same path and won't acknowledge their racism. Yes, I said r-a-c-i-s-m. The 'experience' card they're playing is just a smokescreen.

    Our current President has plenty of past 'experience' and look where we are now.

    August 26, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  11. Time to heal

    I am ready to move on. I voted for Hillary in the primary but I got sick of her negative and got behind Obama months ago. I am sick of the negative and sick of the press being so desperate to find dirt. This country needs to unite around very real and critical issues. We need to grow up and step up to the plate. Mature people forgive and build together. In this case I mean I am ready to forgive Hillary for the unbelievable negative campaign she ran and have her be a part of the solution.

    August 26, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  12. Auf Wiedersehen

    BK, would you kindly tell us how Hillary got "cheated" out of anything?
    I just hope the Democrats grow some stones and out-hate the GOP. Refusing to "stoop to their level" is just another way of saying "congratulations, President McCain." Let's stop this garbage about a noble calling, principled positions, etc. It's about getting the pro-war, pro-theocracy, gay-hating, Republicans OUT of the White House. DO WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO TO WIN. PERIOD!

    August 26, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  13. ME IN FL

    What failings????

    Why should she acknowledge anything. Everyone can see that Obama has no substance nor the backbone to be President nor to win the elections Just look at the choice for VP, first choice he makes and the wrong one. What does Biden brings to the ticket??? Do you think Biden can win over the HRC vote when he seldom had any in the primaries?? Do you think that is a brilliant choice???? Give me a break!!!!!

    August 26, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  14. no joke, boston

    this is what CNN pays you for, castellano or whoever you may be?? pathetic.

    August 26, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  15. Sandy

    Will you ever shut up? Same answer.

    We're sick of hearing you (I'm watching PBS and/or CSPAN – ha ha )

    August 26, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  16. ree

    Why should she. The only reason he is the candidate is because he had the money and the DNC need the money.

    Now that it does not matter Florida and Michigan can have full votes. He needs you now so he gives you the vote, he needs Sen. Clinton so he gives her time to speak.

    I wonder if the Obama's would be doing the same for Sen. Clinton if she was the candidate? Oh, wait didn't he say his supporters would not vote for her but her supporters would vote for him. Well, alot of us aren't. We just don't like him!!!!

    August 26, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  17. David Peter

    Hillary Clinton IS a failure. That's why she lost, duh.

    August 26, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  18. hillarysupporter

    well if I was Clinton and I was asked about what I said in the primary I would say I stand by it but I am here to make sure with all of our delegate supports and rallying behind O I believe he can win the presidency and we have to work very hard to make it happen regardless....We do not want 8 more years of McSame so we have to be reunited and stand for O even if we do not believe it in our hearts so lets go Obama...I am still a supporter of Hillary and I always will and I am only going to vote for him because I do not want another Bush in office and I am not voting for him because he is Black by the way I am a black american too

    August 26, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  19. The US abolishes century old clinton dynasty

    WE are so sick of the clintons

    in her sick mind and world, she won, she is taking the spot light after all is about clintons is it not?

    she is not given up
    wait she will wait till next year when her plot is reveal and accomplished

    will clinton acknwoledge her failings? what question is this??

    was i born with wings??
    what a joke
    cnn better get some good headlines instead of these enquirer types

    August 26, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |

    She owes Obama NOTHING!!!! What needs to happen is that the superdelegates WAKE UP before Thursday and vote her in as the Democratic Presidential nominee. Obama has NO CHANCE against McCain in November. The more intelligent and experienced Democrats know this–which is why we REFUSE TO VOTE FOR OBAMA...WE WOULD RATHER TOLERATE 4 MORE YEARS WITH A REPUBLICAN KNOWING THAT HILLARY WOULD BE JUST AROUND THE CORNER IN 2012 TO FIX EVERYTHING THAT SHE COULD HAVE FIXED NOW IF THE MEDIA LEVELED THE PLAYING FIELD AND GAVE HER A CHANCE–SHAME ON YOU, MEDIA, FOR BLOWING THE CHANCE FOR REAL CHANGE AND REAL SOLUTIONS....

    August 26, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  21. Independentandlovingit

    Will Someone, Anyone please explain to me How Much Political Experience Our Founding Fathers Had; And They founded a nation.
    It was their Visionary Leadership and Charisma that lead a nation of misfits to see their true potential and fight against a tyrant and superior force to win their Indepence against all Odds.

    August 26, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  22. Khezrian

    Honest I am no fan of democrats but Why taking any risks? How about you giving the speech Mr. Castellanos? It's enough with so many "Kevorkian” Strategists teaching Clintons how to exterminate themselves faster!

    August 26, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  23. Jim Warner

    I love Hillary, but will not vote for that man. I just won't, I just don't like him. As he said to Hillary in New Hampshire "Oh, you're likable enough, Hillary". We'll guess what, Sir, you just aren't likable enough for me.

    The biggest question is what does Obama have to do to win our votes? Answer: more, a whole lot more, or on Election Day someone is going to be singing the blues.

    August 26, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  24. Disappointed Democrat

    What a pathetic statement you want Clinton to say. This is crazy now!!! Why should Clinton have to bend to Obama and the previous male candidates were not expected to do the same. You democrat men are so chauvanistic that it stinks. I cannot believe that in 2008, these men are expecting us women to bow down and follow behind the men. What has happened to you women? How can you sit back and let Hillary Clinton be treated this way? What ever happened to the equality theme? Has it been thrown of the window. I am so disappointed with women of the democrat party that it makes me sick. How dare they ask Hillary to do all this crap and if Obama had been the loser (which rightfully he is but stole it away from her) all this bull would not be expected fom him. America has not really moved forward with the modern times at all. This is so sickening now that I think I am going to puke. All you democrat men....go to hell....and leave Clinton alone.

    August 26, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  25. Julio

    Her destructive and selfish words are now being used to destroy the democrats chances of ever regainig the white house. This, even though the country is facing the worst econonic crisis since the great depression. She and her husband should be ashamed of themselves.

    August 26, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
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