August 26th, 2008
09:00 PM ET
6 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. Gary

    I hope CNN allows nothing but Democrats to comment during the RNC Convention. (Especially during McCain's senior moments).

    August 26, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  2. chris nguyen

    hillary fans will vote for mc caine so we can see her in 2012

    August 26, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  3. Manuel TX

    I'm not sick of the Clintons.

    They're among the best that the Democratic party has.

    To say otherwise is absurd.

    Oh wait, I forgot, we're hearing from Obama supporters here.

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    August 26, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  4. Clinton Supporter

    Failings? Like what? Not getting nominated when she got the popular vote? Oh, I forgot. During the counting period, they cut Florida and Michigan votes in half, so she didn't get enough.

    Now they all count, but who's counting now? Nobody.

    She hasn't groveled enough at Obama's feet? Guilty.

    She went the whole distance because 18 million Americans voted for her, and she's not a quitter? Guilty.

    She attacked Obama because it was a campaign and that's what opposing candidates do? Guilty.

    She hasn't apologized for being an effective opponent? Guilty.

    Humph. Wow. I guess no one will ever forgive her for being smarter, better, more electable than The One.

    If The One becomes The Loser, will that be Hillary's fault, too?

    August 26, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  5. What?

    THANK YOU HILLARY.............

    I WOULD LIKE TO BE THE FIRST OBAMA SUPPORTER TO SAY TO ALL OF THE DEMOCRATS THAT WERE SUPPORTERS OF HILLARY CLINTON, THAT HAS HANDLE THIS ELECTION IN A GROWN AND MUTURE WAY AND WILL VOTE WITH YOUR FELLOW DEMOCRATS TO ELECT BARACK OBAMA AS OUR PRESIDENT. I KNOW A LOT OF COMMENTS (EVEN ONES THAT I HAVE STATED) WERE NOT RIGHT. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

    AGAIN, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THINKING ABOUT MINE AND YOUR FUTURE.

    THE LAST EIGHT YEARS HAS BEEN H_LL.

    MCCAIN CARES NOTHING ABOUT THESE ANGRY VOTERS, IF HE DID HE WOULD HAVE GIVEN THEM THE SAME ATTENTION HE IS NOW CONFESSING FOR THEM.

    OBAMA/

    August 26, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  6. Will18E

    Her faults? It was the media that made Hillary the DEM front runner, 3 mouths before the first caucuses. The media made her the front runner when she was not. She fought on and had a largely successful campaign, and only came up a little short of winning. And Now CNN want to dish negative stories about Hillary because they do not want to pay attention to the DEM party as a whole, it's convention, and their party's candidate for president.

    August 26, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  7. David

    Here's what she should say: "It's 3 a.m. A call comes in to the White House. There is crisis in the world. Who do I want answering the phone? BARACK OBAMA!!"

    August 26, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  8. Susan

    She & Obama both 'jabbed' at each other with nasty remarks during the race in the primaries. But, they are friends, Let it be. They are friends!

    August 26, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  9. Monica

    What failings? She would be taking McCain to the cleaners by now. Obama is failing. Stop blaming the Clinton's for his decline. American's tend to be a pragmatic bunch. When it comes time to decide, they will not choose an unknown who is hell bent on hiding the ball from the public.

    August 26, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  10. tedious898

    Thank You "hillarysupporter" didn't know there were any sensible Hillary supporters.

    Again Thank You

    August 26, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  11. David Newport, OR

    no.

    She wants money to pay off her debt yet her 18 million followers won't even give $1 each. Leader? My 6 yr old is a better leader.

    August 26, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  12. ANGEL

    I'm not on nobody's side but its just amazes me how much excitement and drama is going on. AMERICA NEEDS TO WAKE UP PERIOD!!! BE TRUE TO YOUR SELF AT ALL TIMES. DON'T LET NOBODY INFLUENCE YOU IN A BAD WAY LET IT BE THE GOOD WAY PERIOD!

    August 26, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  13. Trasa, Texas

    For one, it was a race for the White House, so what you do is you always find failings in your opponent and address his weakness as to why he/she should not be in the top position. Affortunately for Obama, it is the fact that his resume isn't extensive compared to McCain and that was what they fed off of. Everyone has shortcomings, but to tell the truth, even if she addresses it, everyone is not that stupid to believe all of a sudden he is ready. The Repugs have so many ads of her and truthfully of Biden to that says he's inexperienced that people are skeptical. But I just want to say, would you find any clips of Obama using his words against Clinton or Biden?

    August 26, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  14. California Gold

    A Clinton acknowledge failings? LMBO!

    She's going to be campaigning for 2012, leaving the door open for another run and dropping tidbits of hope for another election while saying "Vote for Barack." The way she couches her message always gives away her motives.

    Now we read President Clinton is boycotting Obama's acceptance speech. This is shameful behavior of a past President. Neither of the Clintons can age gracefully. Neither of the Clintons are able to provide leadership roles in the Democrat Party. Too much anger and too self centered.

    August 26, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  15. Clif, Ga.

    CNN your a poor source for news. I'll even play the race card. That's why i'm watching the convention on GPB.

    August 26, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  16. NClaw441

    It was not in the "heat of battle" that Clinton said Obama was inexperienced. Clinton delivered a measured, pre-thought out statement that McCain had years of experience and Obama had a speech he gave.

    Well said above. Was she lying then or will she lie now?

    August 26, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  17. sety

    I hope President Clinton not attending is of a good reason not because he is still bitter. The one thing the former president should avoid is ruining his wife political career. Senator Hillary Clinton's performance tonight and future campaigns for Senator Obama will definitely have effect on her political career. If sincerely she goes all the way for Senator Obama, her political career is guaranteed to continue but if she fail to help Senator Obama to win the presidency , she should kiss her political career goodbye.

    August 26, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  18. debkansas

    Why does Hillary have to tell the country that Obama is the man for the job. Why doesn't he have to earn that himself. Why do the Clintons have to elect Obama for President. Why does the Clintons have to babysit this guy. Come on, if he is not man enough to do this on his own then maybe he should just go back where ever it is he came from. Come on CNN gives the Clintons a break.

    August 26, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  19. William

    Castellanos is a Cafferty clone. Stop trying to get the Obamabots to bash Hillary, they do enough without prodding by a nwshungry newsperson. You are trying to create news instead of reporting it.

    August 26, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  20. debkansas

    I agree with NCLAW441

    August 26, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  21. melissa

    Obama even admits his inexperience,any time a democrat is asked by the media about joe biden their response goes right to bidens experience and leadership,suggesting that obama needs someone to hold his hand. the worst mistake obama has made is not picking hillary for vice president.unfortunately its going to be a very long 4 more years with john mccain

    August 26, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  22. debkansas

    CNN just shut the heck up. Hillary is not a failure. She stands for America and will always be a true American. What makes you CNN so perfect, tired of your news coverage, can't you just once admit that Hillary is a stronger leader then Obama ever will be. If it wasn't for your coverage Hillary would be the nominee. If you went broke CNN, I would cheer in the streets. So give us a break and start reporting the news the way it should be not how you think it should be. If you can't tell the truth then just shut up. Ust leave the Clintons alone.

    August 26, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  23. tedious898

    Ok...I forgot what a truly great woman Hillary is.

    August 26, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  24. frank Honolulu HI

    CNN. When are you going to become the unbiased source for news?
    You have headlines that are not true and you seem to like to drive wedges between the candidates.
    Do I have to tell you the truth is more interesting than anything you folks could dream up.
    Why not produce a good service to humanity as your commitment. Why fall for the Enquirer type journalism?

    August 26, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  25. JonPeter from Hartford, CT

    Hillary will do just fine at the convention. I'm convinced she's negotiated a leadership position in the Obama administration and will do just fine. She needs for the Democrats to take the White House to take the next step. there are many more opportunities to lead than president and Hillary has figured this out.

    Too bad, Bill and the PUMA gang haven't figured out it takes a team to lead. Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it is going to take a group of good democratic leaders to fix the mess Bush and Co. have dragged the US into.

    ...as for the 8 or so PUMA protesters outside the convention, stop being presumptuous and stop trying to speak for the rest of the 18 million HRC supporters or the 18 million Obama supporters.

    August 26, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
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