February 1st, 2008
02:50 PM ET
15 years ago

Blitzer: Another record-breaking night

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/21/art.wolfdebate.cnn.jpg caption="More than 8 million voters tuned in last night."]NEW YORK (CNN) - I am now back in New York after taking the red-eye from LA. My job may not necessarily be as glamorous as it sounds - but I am not complaining at all.

I was honored to represent CNN at the debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. It was historic - the first time we saw a woman and an African-American together on the stage poised to become the Democratic presidential nominee. The excitement at the Kodak Theater was palpable.

Going into the debate, I was a little nervous. I knew millions of people would be watching. And indeed, they were. We now know that a record 8.3 million watched in the United States – more than any other presidential primary debate on cable news ever. The previous record was the 4.9 million who watched our Democratic debate in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina earlier in January. Many millions more watched the debate on CNNPolitics.com, and on CNN International around the world.

I want to thank my debate partners, Doyle McManus of The Los Angeles Times and Jeanne Cummings of Politico.com, for joining me in the questioning. When I introduced them last night as excellent journalists, I spoke the truth. I have worked with them over the years covering many stories, and they really are among the best in the business.

Now, we get ready for Super Tuesday. It will be an enormous challenge for those of us in the television news business. But we at CNN have the best political team on television, and I can promise you this – we will be ready for all the action.

–CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer


Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (263 Responses)
  1. Ray

    too bad you got boo'ed in front od 8.3 million people. That's a hint that people are tired of you and CNN always siding with Obama or never asking him any tough questions. You and CNN have become a joke!!!!!!!!!

    February 1, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  2. Rick

    Wonder if he was honored to smack down Hillary a bit, he acted as Obama's attack dog, I mean Wolf, in the latter half. What an honor.....whatever.

    February 1, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  3. C. Marie

    You were not a great moderator. Many of your questions were baiting the candidates. Work on that.

    February 1, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  4. Alison, FL

    Wolfe you did an awesome job but i've heard many complain about the "naive" comment to Senator Clinton. I am an Obama fan so I shared your sentiments but it appeared to some that you were injecting yourself in the debate. I also felt Obama should've gotten an opportunity to respond to the question on Bill's return to the White House. All in all, I think the debate went very well and I feel it cemented my choice for Obama and possibly helped many undecideds decide on him as well.

    February 1, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  5. cj

    I really hope that you and other cnn folks hold a town hall meeting with viewers to talk about how debates are developed- who pick the location, number of questions, tickets to attend etc. Have the League of Women Voters, the DNC, RNC, etc. involved in this town hall as well. The debates all of them – youtube etc. – all raised real questions for voters about how the content and structure of the debates is developed.Simply saying "we have the best political team" does not cover it.

    February 1, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  6. John

    I agree...

    Even though you can't spell elsewhere...

    Wolf needs to go... or at least not moderate anymore debates...

    Thanks!

    February 1, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  7. Becky

    Good Job Wolf!! I watched the debate with alot of enthusiasm

    February 1, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  8. Adrienne Garcia

    Wolf- I've been watching CNN non stop during this campaign season. Let me just say, you are one of my favorites 🙂

    February 1, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  9. Aly

    I'll definetly be tuning In on Super Tuesday! Great Job last Night !

    February 1, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  10. Anil Sharma

    You did a great job. It was a historical moment and we all are proud to be witnessing it. There were no fireworks. But eeryone was appreciative that either way, Clinton or Obama, it is a history in making and no one wants to spoil it including candiates.

    You will ever be remembered as the anchor of this historical debate. Congratulations !!!

    February 1, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  11. tom kunze

    Wolf
    I was outside the Kodak yesterday and watched you broadcasting live as I do most every day, except I was in the crowd. Then I watched you last night during the debate. You are one hard working man. But I missed Jack not being there.... j/k.
    Keep it up.

    February 1, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  12. Rada

    Wolf you TICKED ME OFF LAST NIGHT –

    you were RUDE-ARROGANT AND OUT OF ORDER!!! Hillary Clinton is a former first Lady, a Senator from the state of New York and a very possible the next President of the United States and a LADY… Have some respect WOLF!!!

    February 1, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  13. Uy Le

    Hi Mr. Wolf

    I have been watching your show and CNN for long time. I usually consider CNN as the best chanel to watch Politics. However, i have to tell you that I am disappointed the way you, Susan, and Jack cover news of Obama. I felt that you guys are doing little favorite Obama. You don't like Hillary? Be fair with all candidate Wolf!

    Thanks.

    February 1, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  14. JohnS

    SOME OF THE DEMS, like the Clintons, NEVER LEARN FROM THEIR MISTAKES!!!

    I really believe that it is going to take the active support of Hillary for the DEMS to lose the White House again; Remember Gore and Kerry? How short minded can the Dems really be in this nation. Gore and Kerry (each a stronger candidate than Hillary) were the "accidents" of the Clintons– The Dems lost each time!!!!!

    Currently, the Dems are celebrating the "huge number of voters" out there for them because of the Independents (like myself), moderate Republicans, and young voters that have been brought onboard by Obama. Let us wait until the Dems put up Hillary as the nominee and the "voting pool" will run dry!!

    This is yours Dems to lose again; it always takes the Clintons for the Dems to lose the White House or to deal with issues of moral corruptions!!!

    WISE and Intelligent Dems should simply stay AWAY from the Clintons; they are the source of "curse" for the Dems!!!!

    No Clinton, not even Bill, can ever restore the ECONOMIC fortunes of the past; the conditions of the past (e.g., Internet bubble) that made that happen are simply NOT there today. The Clintons burnt their bridges BEFORE thet left (in disgrace), the White House!!! And guess what? Hillary has been making stronger enemies since!

    February 1, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  15. Karen

    As a journalist, you are supposed to be objective. Last night, your disapproval of one candidate showed. I know you know who that was. I have always had great respect for you until last night.

    February 1, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  16. E. in Dallas, TX

    Fine- but leave this stuff to Anderson Cooper from now on please.

    February 1, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  17. bart derrick

    We didn't tune in because you were the moderator!!

    February 1, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  18. jerry

    A Clinton-Obama ticket yes sir!!!! However, not the reverse. Great program and the reaction from the audience was outstanding.

    February 1, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  19. Cody

    Wolf,

    I think in telling that the strongest audience reaction came when you tried, as usual, to pit the two candidates against each other.

    You were booed. And rightfully so.

    Your style of "journalism-through-instigation" is a disservice to the electorate and the world.

    The practice of finding a story angle solely in the most contentious parts of a candidates conversation and then running back to the other candidate to get there reaction is NOT journalism. Signifying and starting fights is not objective reporting but inserting your self in the story in a larger way than the participants themselves.

    Yes, it has worked to boost ratings and start fights. But it is not good reporting and you are the chief journalist responsible for this sad point in the history of a noble profession.

    I only hope you've learned something from that reaction. Sadly, however, I doubt it.

    February 1, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  20. Willis

    Wolf I am sure you will conclude that I am just another nut who thinks that the media is picking our candidates to vote on in November. Well nut or not I believe that. CNN as well as MSNBC have tried very hard to swing the election by "sucker punching" them all at different times during the debates. Last night you interrupted Barack when he was trying to finish his answer. You used the word "naive" on Mrs. Clinton.

    Look we don't care what your opinion is. You were surely hired as well as your buddies to ask probing questions that helps the general public make a decision. I don't care how you vote!! But fairness always wins the race. How about trying to be fair and keep your "sucker punches" to yourself? This country is in deep trouble.

    Thanks for the oppotunity to comment.

    February 1, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  21. david

    It is Friday 4:25pm est. I am watching the lovefest of Barack Obama on BNN (Barack News Network) in the situation room with Wolf Blitzer. Can you be more unfair and Biased. Every time I turn the situation room on lately it is all Obama. You never show Hilary speaking or any of the good stuff in her campaign. The only time you show her is if Obama is making a point against her or Jack Cafferty is saying something disrespectful about her. How would jack like someone saying those things about his wife or daughter. I can tell he is one of those men that cant handle a woman in power. Wolf I could probably lump you in there too, because you never say anything flattering about her either. You are suppose to report the news not try to make it.

    February 1, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  22. Arthur Villarreal

    Blitzer did an adequate job at last night debate.However, I thought he was disrespectful to Hillary when he called her naive.

    February 1, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  23. Derek, Jersey Shore

    Wolf,

    How did it feel to get booed by the crowd last night when you misrepresented Hillary's statement and took a cheap shot at her?

    February 1, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  24. Paul

    Wolf: Congratulations on your management of the Democratic debate. While not a debate in the truest meaning of the word, the event reflected the best that our political leaders, candidates and nominees can offer: a true "conversation" about the issues and the differences between opposing positions. No glaring eyes or snarky smirk (McCain); no lofty disdain for political honesty (Romney); no rubbish about American "values" or religious pomposity on the evils of abortion and related "jerk-of-the-moment" iconoclastic topics, no "heart-tugging, tearful" references to flag, country, patriotism, Mom or apple pie. Nope, none of that; just a "discussion" of those things the average American voter is concerned about. And in that vein both Sen Clinton and Sen Obama succeeded admirably (and so did the Democratic party). I am not surprised at the number of viewers across this nation. The Republicans and this administration have done more to denigrate our political process and values in the last 35+ years than anyone else. The American voter is fed up with the Republican version of politics, of values, and of the failed policies of this administration. Hats off to Hillary, Barack, CNN, the American people (who provided some excellent questions via Politico.com)! And bye the way ~~ don't be surprised if the Democrats win in Nov. America’s long political nightmare is ending!

    February 1, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  25. joe

    Well I appreciate the debate Wolf, but I also booed you from my couch when you tried to put a spin on Hillary's words on Iraq.

    CNN does not have the best political team - in fact it has become so partisan and personal that it is hard to watch at times. I have seen and heard and read many similar complaints lately and was wondering if any of you care - or if it all goes by the wayside?

    Also - Anderson said twice last night that Obama "voted" against the war from the beginning (right after the debate was over) - which is simply untrue. He was not in the Senate and did not vote - he made a speech about it. After that, he voted to support it in every vote since he has been in the Senate. I am shocked that a single housewife knows that and Anderson Cooper, who does politics all day every day - and reports it to the world - can get that wrong. That is not the "best" political team!

    February 1, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
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