January 15th, 2008
01:35 PM ET
15 years ago

Blitzer: The game is too close to call

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/15/art.wolf2006.cnn.jpg caption="How is politics like the playoffs?"]NEW YORK (CNN) - As some of you probably know, I am a huge basketball fan. I have season tickets for the Washington Wizards and try to go to as many games as possible - though I have missed a lot of them this season because of election year coverage. Right now, I am in New York getting ready to anchor our coverage from the CNN Election Center at the Time Warner Center.

This morning, by chance, I ran into some of the Wizards coaches who happen to be staying at my hotel. They are getting ready for tonight’s game against the hapless New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. The Wizards, even playing without their star, Gilbert Arenas, managed to beat the best team in the NBA, the Boston Celtics, twice in the last three days - at home Saturday night and last night on the road in Boston. That was very impressive. But there’s still a long way to go until the playoffs and the championship games.

As I was talking with Eddie Jordan, the Wizards coach, and his associates, they raised the issue of politics - I, of course, wanted to talk about basketball, but they wanted to pick my brain about the primaries. “Give me the real inside story,” one of them said. “Who’s going to win?”

I candidly told them the truth: I have no inside story. I really don’t know. This is a wide-open race on the Republican and Democratic side. And even once the Republican and Democratic nominees are selected, there could still be a third-party candidate waiting out there.

And with that, all of us agreed that politics and sports are similar. There are winners and losers. There are close games and close races but only one winner. There are early contests - caucuses and primaries in politics and playoff games in sports – leading up to a presidential election in November or a NBA championship game or Super Bowl. We all agreed it’s better to win than to lose. I love politics and I love sports.

–CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer

Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Andrey

    Good for you Wolf, This is why we love CNN.

    January 15, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  2. Dan

    Mr. Blitzer, I watch your program everyday for two hours.
    I have a question for you, Do you think this election is about to be rigged?

    January 15, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  3. mike

    Is there democracy in America or this is another 5th world in some sort?

    January 15, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  4. Vince Los Angeles, CA

    Wolf: Unfortunately people's lives and welfare do not depend on who wins in sports.

    January 15, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  5. john Brandt

    Except for McCain,all Republican candidates and Lou Dobbs are against what they call amnesty for illegals in this country, against them getting jobs, social benefits and their children going to school. No one and I mean no one ever asks them this direct question.
    What do you propose the Federal government do with/about the millions of illegal immegrants currently in this country?
    Even without jobs and/or social benefits most of these people are going to remain in this country. They are not going to disappear into thin air

    January 15, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  6. Tom Masters

    Wow, you candidly told the truth? That's news?!

    'Too close to call', why would you want to call a winner now anyway?

    We have a lot of deciding to do, it's not time for the media to decide who won yet.

    Let's everybody just calm down and stop trying to be the prophet who told the future first.

    January 15, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  7. Luis H

    If that's the case, why so much fuzz about the primaries. Let's just focus on Basketball Wolf, I'll love to watch your inside story on the recent Wizzard's winning streak...
    At the the end we all know Hillary/Obama is the perfect formula for Nov 2008.

    January 15, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  8. Cat, Costa Mesa, CA

    ???? Wow, what was a bigger waste fo time? Reading this, or the shameful time I spent on TMZ yesterday waiting to see if Britney would show up for court?

    Wolf, it's the Michigan election today, and this is the best you can do??

    January 15, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  9. The Bard

    Wolf loves this game.

    January 15, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  10. Darth Vadik, CA


    January 15, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  11. Bob Shea

    Wolf pinpoints what's wrong with the mainstream media, including CNN, and so-called journalists like him.
    Covering politics as a "sport" with "winners and losers" puts the focus on the politicians, not on the citizens. That could explain the idiocy of most of the coverage...who's up, who's down, who's got the best haircut, who goes to church...and little insight or presentation of contrasts in what America could expect from the policies if the candidate is elected.
    Who can forget that "W" was loved by the media as someone you'd want to have a beer with? So now we've had almost eight years of someone who's been drunk with power.
    Thanks, Wolf for your deep insight. What's next? The real story behind Britney?

    January 15, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  12. La'Kitgum, NH

    Yes man...! Let's call a spade a spade. Rangle is right. This is all BS. The fact is that the Obama campaign knows that anything to do with race will hurt him more than Hillary. The Obama campaign is in shambles to put away this smoke because it has taken the heat out of his campaign. But the issues will NEVER die soon and is bound to drag Obama to the pits.

    Imagine, even Clayburn who started the whole racial thing is not accepting his responsibility but pretending to be the neutral peacemaker. He is real BS.

    January 15, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  13. Cristina Kevia

    Thank you Wolfe.

    I wanted to say that I really appreciate your having asked the public for input in the debate questions.

    I don't know anything about politics, but I like your face. Not in a sexy sort of way, but in an honest sort of way. Though it is handsome. Oh Gosh – what I'm trying to say is that I am glad for democracy and an honest and professional person in the media.

    Your writing style does not have frills and I like that.

    January 15, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  14. Gary, Charlottesville, VA

    What kind of waste of space is this? The last paragraph reads like a 3rd grader's daily journal entry.

    Wolf, I'd really like to see this drawn up in a nice Venn Diagram.

    January 15, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  15. Bill

    Thanks for the deep thoughts and rigorous analysis on the Michigan primary. Now I am VERY informed...even enlightened. There are no winners it's too close to call...this is the reason we love politics? I love CNN because Wolf loves sports and politics.

    January 15, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  16. Abraham

    The 2000 election was also too close to call...(here comes the news item)...that is why I love politics...AND sports.

    January 15, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  17. Geri

    I think its time for you and the rest of the people at CNN to start playing fair with the candidates. You are all over the Clintons constantly and defending Obama to the hilt. He is not the second coming of Christ and can not explain what he plans to do to make all these changes. He's a piece of "fluff" that is riding on what he thinks is a wave. I feel very sorry for the people of the United States if he is elected President. If they think its bad now, wait till a no experienced smart aleck gets in.
    Im an undecided voter but I do know it will not be a vote for Obama when I decide. Depending on who is the candidate on the Republican side I may go that way. Firsat time in all my life that would happen. Obama and the rest of you bash the Clintons and if Obama thinks so badly of them then why does he have all of the old Clinton people around him. As for the race issue, he started that in a very sly way. If he can get them riled then they will vote for him. Notice it all started just before South Carolina where most of the population is black. Get fair CNN...youre beginning to sound like Bill O'Reiley.

    January 15, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  18. Daryl Stout

    I wonder what would happen if...when all the primaries are over...and the respective party conventions are held...if NONE of the candidates has enough delegates to win the nomination of their party...what happens next?? If that's the case, I doubt folks are going to want to put another billion dollars or so of spending into doing all of the primaries, conventions, etc. all over again.

    When Bill Clinton was in the White House, we had the highest budget SURPLUS, and the LOWEST unemployment since the Depression. Since George W. Bush has been in the White House, we've had the highest budget DEFECIT, and the HIGHEST unemployment since the Depression...you do the math.

    January 15, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  19. Will

    Can we please get John Edwards to drop out of this race so OBAMA can wip Billary’s ass. She is stopping the Nevada people from causing for OBAMA with a lawsuit. Taking trying to take their civil right to caucus away WE NEED TO START THIS MOVEMENT NOW....PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD.........

    January 15, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  20. Jim

    2 things:
    1) Since when do Wolf Blitzer articles dominate the Political Ticker?
    2) Should we really be calling politics a game? Or does that just add to the partisan back and forth so many people are eager to move beyond?

    January 15, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  21. Marvin - Houston, TX

    Regarding the debate next week with the Democrats, another question for all candidates:

    Would you consider pursuing alliance relationships with some of the largest and best known companies that have had successful change management programs in the past for the purpose of defining measurement and accountability?

    Thanks again for the opportunity, and best wishes.

    January 15, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  22. xtina- chicago IL

    Im not a political consultant but I know a successful formula for interviewing and I suggest Wolf ask candidates questions that begin with "what have you done" instead of "what would you do ". If you "stay out of the 'woulds' " the candidates are forced to talk about their record - not just make promises about they "would " do if they get elected pres.,

    January 15, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  23. Joe Maher

    Don't let them get to you, Wolf.

    I just want to say, as many problems as there are in the media I can't imagine them living up to the standard some viewers have set. Maybe most people who comment on this sight just have too much pent up aggression, but seriously almost every story is some window to vent political frustrations.

    I'm also pretty fed up with politics, but the worst thing to me is the misinformation and fallacies that the American people are made to believe. Let's not contribute to the falsehoods by harping accusations that serve our own agendas, however right on they may be.

    I find it amusing to see CNN blasted for laying off Obama and harping on the Clinton's after Bill Clinton's speech last week. And in the very same thread, they accuse CNN of being Clinton enablers. Get real, people, and spend your time looking for truth, not enemies.

    January 15, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  24. Tina

    I heard that if Rudy Guiliani is elected president our taxes will drop like a rock!

    January 15, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  25. Swami

    Buckle your seat belts, boys and girls........it's going to be a bumpy election year. Unless somebody catches fire between now and Super Tuesday, we're going to wind up with BOTH parties hitting the convention without a nominee.

    That means we will see a reversion to the old days of brokered conventions. After the first ballot, the horse trading will commence. The bizarre thing about a brokered convention is that the front runners can see their delegates released after the first ballot and everything basically becomes a high school prom queen election conducted by the delegates.

    The 1924 Democratic National Convention required a record 103 ballots to nominate John W. Davis. The term dark horse candidate was coined at the 1920 Republican National Convention, at which little-known Ohio Senator Warren G. Harding emerged as the candidate. Abraham Lincoln won nomination on the third ballot after Seward was considered a lock for the job.

    What could we see? How about Huckabee finishing third in the primary delegate count and being taken as a "compromise" at the Republican convenion, with Ron Paul as the VP nominee.

    Would John Edwards accept a second run at VP in exchange for giving his votes to Hillary or Obama? Or would he hold out in hopes that a compromise would propel him to the top. How about a Draft Al Gore movement after 3 inconclusive ballots? Or Bloomberg deciding not to run as an independent, then stepping in to accept the Democratic (or Republican) nomination as a "white knight".

    How about a Gravel-Kuchinich ticket opposing Paul-Leiberman?

    Wolf is right. This isn't just too close to call. It will be impossible to call.

    January 15, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
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