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. esther

    How long do we have to go on listening to the likes of Bill Bennett and Carl Bernstein on any subject. Which trash barrel did you fish them out of and are they the best you can do in choosing a "best political team"? Are they your paragons of virtue........if so I guess I'll have to look elsewhere for political commentary.

    Esther Levy
    Annapolis

    February 2, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  2. Faye

    Wolf, Did you see where one of your news lady said that Hillary was the winner in the debate the other night. Someone need to say that you were the only on the stage that got booed that night. LOL

    February 2, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  3. Wendy, Florida

    Your political advisors who showed up after the debate need to be reconsidered. You have Carl Bernstein who wrote an unauthorized biography about Hillary Clinton that is full of inaccuracies; you have a conservative Bill Burnet. You have Holland Martin, an African American who obviously does not want Hillary beat Obama (He has called Hillary ridiculous on air and often give strategy to Obama as what to do to win, on air). It is not a balanced team. Obama told his high school and college kids to blog on every blogsite there is so give the impression that he has lots of supporters. They forced Carville out, claiming he is a Clinton consultant. Then why Martin? One can see he DOES NOT want Clinton beat Obama and did nothing to hide it. Journalist should be fair and objective. Bernstein and Martin are neither fair nor objective!

    February 2, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  4. Jack

    Media's favorable treatment of BO (barack obama) and trashing of Mrs. Clinton is distrubing. Especially Newsweak magazine. Very biased. It read like a tabloid. I just cancelled my subscription to NewsWeak after reading their defamatory article about President Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton has done more great things for our great nation than any other president with the exception of Ronald Reagan.

    A simple notice to media: Write anything untrue or one sided negative stories about Bill or Hillary and you will end up abandoning your main loyal base.

    February 2, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  5. Debbie

    If as you say Wolf, that you have the best political team on television why am I watching a Hillaryfest going on this Saturday before Super Tuesday on the CNN segments.....I can hear Hillary say the same thing over and over on Ballot Box 2008 but I cannot hear Barack Obama speak at length on anything. I can see Bill Clinton as a surrogate on stage but I cannot see Ted Kennedy (and that group seems like they are having a lot of fun in Santa Fe etc). On the other shows on CNN a topic is brought up only for the vast majority of examples to be Hillary again....if an Obama point has really made a point on the economy, health care or whatever that of course will not be mentioned.....

    I have always loved CNN ..... but I have to go on the internet to get any sort of information as to the goings on with the Obama campaign. It sure appears to me that corporations like CNN are in Hillary's camp and that you are attempting to ensure the public is.....WHY do you think the American People are being driven away from so called journalists. We no longer have an independent press and that is one of the main components of a democracy! What is your role in that????

    Fox News has now gone very pro Hillary as have the current Republican statements..... Seems they are afraid of Obama as well. No one ever thought he could make such a splash.

    CNN needs to change its ways or loose this viewer!

    February 2, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  6. ken chrispens

    I've enjoyed watching all the drama of the U.S.presidential race unfold here in S.Korea.Unfortunately CNN is the only english news channel available to me.I've picked up a decidely Anti-Clinton,pro-Obama feel from its news casts,and its website .I know you want the race to last til the convention,but it would be nice to hear a few pro Clinton comments from someone other than republicans,who think they can beat her in november .This so called "Best team of political experts",seem to try to disparage her and encourage Obama with almost every word they speak.It'll be interesting to hear their pathetic moans when she wipes him up on feb 5th!

    February 2, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  7. Hillary in 2008

    Wolf was out of line with the "nieve" Comment. You could see he was try to give a n edge for Obama to attack and showed clear Favoritism toward Obama.

    I didnt see Wolf Say to Obama "during Your days in the Crack house did you ever feel a need to take a hit a little to far and overdose". "Or during your days kicking families out of houses with Rezko did you ever develop any kind of Feeling of what a piece of trash you really are?" Or you could really really confused him and everyone else listening by having him try to explain his Health care plan or any other Real issue that is effecting the nation. But you know you'd hear some stupid speech that has nothing to do at all with the issues. In other words "Double talk".

    Hillary in 2008 "Ready and qualified to lead on Day one"

    February 2, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  8. OBAMA4EVER

    JohnS brilliant post....Kudos!

    February 2, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  9. Voting Democrat

    Wolf

    You're a trouble maker to say the least. You were doing just fine until you started to pick on Hillary Clinton..... " swipe " " nieve " WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?
    There was no need for that kind of nonsense Wolf!

    February 2, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  10. kalvin

    Wolf,

    I have enjoyed your balanced political presentations and analysis in the past. However, during this past debate your questioning introduced a clear bias against Hillary. Your inflammatory posing of a question to Hillary with respect to "naiveté" on her Iraq vote makes a convincing case against you with the jury audience immediately supporting this verdict with loud boos.

    As the moderator, hardball questions are fine but there needs to be a balance present. For example, if you had offset your question to Hillary by asking Obama why his U.S. Senate voting record on Iraq was virtually the same as Hillary's or if you had asked Obama after both candidates had finished listing their qualifications for the presidency why voters shouldn't be concerned about Obama's relatively short list of accomplishments then you might claim fairness in "hardball moderation". Yet this hardball balance was missing.

    You damaged CNN's and your reputation for fairness in this last debate. At a minimum, an apology for your "slip" to the American people similar to Chris Matthews's recent mea culpa with respect to his comments on Hillary is appropriate here. Not only must the candidates be measured in their words in a nationally televised debate but also so must the moderators. Historically, you have been an excellent commentator in the past and admitting a mistake now could only help restore and even strengthen your and CNN's reputation.

    February 2, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  11. Mike

    Wolf is another Clinton hater. G

    February 2, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  12. Joe

    Completely amateurish this debate panel CNN put in place. This panel was as low as I have ever seen any debate panels through my 40+ years of watching political debates on TV. Blitzer and your gang of wannabes take some pointers from true professionals like.....Brian Williams, Tim Russert and Chris Mathews!!!

    I'm simply not going to tune in to CNN anymore after watching lately how completely bias towards Sen. Obama this Network is...Why doesn't this Network just come out and officially endorse Obama, all that is left!! Don't believe me...all you had to watch lastnight out here on the westcoast lastnight was repeat after repeat of the Michelle Obama "exclusive" interview..catchy phrase right? short of endorsement...very lame and a flat shame to news networks who the American public counts on broadcasting "NON-BIAS" reporting!

    So long CNN...Hello MSNBC!!!!

    February 2, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  13. Kenny Change

    To Jack c.and Wolf b. you guys are the best you know whats really going on in white house and i know you guys are tied of this people foolin us.We want a CHANGE tied of CLINTON, BUSH

    February 2, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  14. CC

    Wolf,

    Can you please ask the honorable folks at CNN to update Barack Obama's profile on your election center. You have 3 videos that are over 2 months old – one about inhaling? Is this what the nation is talking about? I'm sure CNN would want it's web site to be the most current. Your profile should have videos of his speech after his win in South Carolina or his announcement speech in in IL. This really leaves the impression that CNN is supporting Hillary.

    Thanks.

    February 2, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  15. Colleen

    This is driving me crazy. Doesn't anyone know how to spell naive?

    February 3, 2008 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  16. Madar

    Wolf.

    CNN is wolf and wolf is CNN. you are a great man in CNN and keep up the good you a doing. Thanks.

    February 3, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  17. Chris

    Did Wolf and CNN fail to notice that Barack Obama nodded off TWICE during the debates. Seriously, if you didn't catch it the first time...watch it again. He was having a very difficult time staying awake during Hillary's responses in regards to the war in Iraq. I am disheartened at how biased (especially CNN) at how the media has been during these primaries.

    If Hillary were falling asleep during one of Obama's responses, we would never hear the end of it!!! The whole world would know about it.

    Hillary has clearly showed that she has more stamina than the young hotshot. Don't know about you, but I want someone who is going to stay awake on the job!

    February 3, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  18. Mary Miles

    Wolf – this is directed at you especially. I have been around long enough, watched newscasts, political and otherwise and never have I witnessed such a lack of professionalism as being displayed in today's reporting of the upcoming election.

    It used to be, you could watch newcaster's comment on elections, interview candidates and report on polls, and the observer would never be able to tell which party the reporter was backing. Not so today. Every show, almost every reporter and every comment smacks of unbridled bias. I can tell beyond a shadow of a doubt who you support as well as numerous others in your job are supporting

    Again, it's a shameful lack of professionalism. SHAME ON ALL OF YOU. It's such a pity our new young voters will never know political reporting without opinions interjected.

    February 3, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  19. Peggy, Gary, IN

    I don't agree that Wolf and CNN endorses Senator Obama for President. As a matter of fact, I feel Wolf is a Clinton supporter. Stop being soooo sensitive!

    February 3, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  20. Connie Ont. Canada

    I looked through some of the comments regarding debate with Clinton and Obama and I agree with many of them CNN is appearing to show Hillary in a somewhat negative way.

    At first I though I was just imagining it, but the more I have followed the CNN reporting and viewing the comments here, I see I am right,. Is there a problem with the fact of a female president, or is CNN really trying to swing the voters over to Obama for president.

    Do you realize how much impact you could have on a nation or the world who rely on you for fair and accurant news reporting.

    I watch CNN for news every day and I am very disappointed.

    February 3, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  21. Mike J.

    I think CNN should do a story on Wolf and his best political team doing everything they can to Make Obama look like he is the best thing since sliced bread and they do everything possable to make Hillary Clinton look like the bad person.Wolf did all he can to break Hillary in this debate and couldnt do it.CNN and other media channles are doing everything they can to keep Hillary Clinton out of the White House.Do you want to stay the most watched news channel? Start doing things fair.You guys are so lopsided toward Barak it is so blatint.Wise up CNN your starting to look like all of the other lopsided channels.We all know Obamas i voted no on going into Iraq.Big deal he wasnt voteing and he didnt have the preasure on him like not only Hillary but alot of other Democrats that were talked into voteing for this war.HE WASNT THERE.If he was i am sure he would have voted for the war.This is a thing of the past anyway.Who do you think will try and fix this from day one.Not Obama he didnt vote for it and its not his mistake.Hillary knoes they were talked into this war and will fix this war alot faster then Barak.The man is a talker a preacher and that wont get anything done. you have to be a doer like Hillary Clinton.(BE FAIR CNN!!!!!!!!!!BE FAIR CNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BE FAIR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Go Hillary 08

    February 3, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  22. grant

    Obama shows an inmature side which ill-equipps him to be president.
    To be able to Inspire plays very little role in world polictics. All leaders of other nations tend to emphasize on their own nations' self interst and can't be INSPIRED by any high sounding words when it comes to nitty-gritty negotiations.
    Hillary has demonstrated a sensitivty to others's viewpoints when she said that she could understand the developing nations' views towards global warning.
    She has shown constant graciousness in front of all the condescension, snubs and personal attacks and treat them with such good humor and generosity. Coupled with her command of the facts, she will be a most effective president in dealing with world leaders with her strength, sensitivity and graciousness.

    February 3, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  23. Juno

    If the public's votes ultimately end up in a 'tie' of Democratic delegates, then the super delegates will decide the nominee. It's going to be interesting to see if the super-delegates vote according to race lines... wouldn't it be ironic that the first Black nominee is prevented by a vote of a white-majority group of Democratic super-delegates?

    Wolf, you need to do a story angle on that.

    February 3, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  24. cathy

    February 4, 2008 8:37 am ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Wolf,

    I have been watching you since you were crouched under a table during the Gulf War. Never before have I seen you report with such bias. Why don't you just wear an Obama for President pin while you report from The Situation Room? Such media manipulation I have never seen! Yestserday I decided even though I can barely stand it, I will be getting my political coverage from Fox news—a tough pill to swallow for a Democrat–but I can no longer tolerate your blatant support for Obama while belittling Senator Clinton. You really did try hard in the debate to make her look bad–but she didn't fall for it-too bad for you.

    February 4, 2008 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  25. gina

    Wolf,
    I agree with everyone regarding that your dislike Hillary. "Naive" hahahaha.
    Every time I tune to CNN is Obama, come on! Stop running interview with Michelle Obama all day long! This weekend you should have named CNN " A Michelle Obama Weekend!!!" Please!!!!!!!!! I am sooo tired of CNN. Hey who is in charge of these people! come CNN do something!!!!!!!!

    February 4, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
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