February 12th, 2008
10:30 PM ET
9 years ago

Clinton: Still no congratulations for Obama

Clinton did not acknowledge Obama's winnings or congratulate him on his victories over the past two nights.

Clinton did not acknowledge Obama's winnings or congratulate him on his victories over the past two nights.

EL PASO, Texas (CNN) – For the second election night in a row, Hillary Clinton failed to acknowledge or congratulate Barack Obama after he won the day in dominating fashion.

On Tuesday in El Paso, hours after Virginia had been called for Obama, she stuck to her “Texas campaign kickoff” message and did not stray from an energetic, Lone Star-themed stump speech. She did mention Obama by name, only to chide his health care plan.

On Saturday night in Richmond, Virginia, Clinton spoke to a crowd of thousands at the state’s annual Jefferson-Jackson dinner, but she ignored Obama’s quartet of blowout primary and caucus wins that day as well (Obama also won the Maine caucuses the next day).

The courtesy of conceding a primary or caucus loss - and then congratulating your opponent - is by no means required. But it has become standard practice during campaign season.

Clinton congratulated Obama and John Edwards after their first and second place finishes in the Iowa caucuses. Obama returned the favor in New Hampshire, saying Clinton “did an outstanding job.” That courtesy continued through the early states.

But as the race has shifted to a delegate chase with dozens of states in play around the country, the notion of congratulating one’s opponent seems, for Clinton, to have fallen by the wayside.

- CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (329 Responses)
  1. strategery

    This campaign must be grueling for both Hillary and Obama. It's a shame they
    have to be viewed under a microscope and evaluated by such petty unimportant criteria. HEY! IT'S ABOUT WINNING IN NOVEMBER!!!! IT'S ABOUT US. REALLY. NOT THE CANDIDATES. Hillary and Barack are very close in their policies. Who is going to win against McCain? It's going to take the candidate who can tout strength , experience and durability. The media's soft on Barack and much to the disadvantage of the Democratic party, as their voters are lulled into thinking that he will go unchallenged in the general election. THINK and vote with your head! Let's not repeat the mistakes of the past and put up a nominee who is doomed to lose in Nov.

    a Dem who wants to take back the White House.

    February 12, 2008 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  2. Sean

    Anyone who thinks Hillary has a better chance of winning the general election is a moron. Hillary is a polarizing figure, while Obama is attracting and energizing previously untouched constituencies.

    February 12, 2008 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  3. Carol Fortune

    It is refreshing to see new energy and vision in the American political process and while I am full of hope, and I did and will continue to participate in the electoral process, I am also reminded of the tragic circumstances which betook the Bush campaign and the dirty politics that ensued. I only hope that as Obama, who is obviously the favorable candidate thus far, does not experience this dark, ugly side of American politics as he moves towards the finalization of a well run, sincere and honest race for the Presidency of the United States. In addition, I raised my children to be politically conscious and one of my daughter's reminded me of the difference between the popular vote and the electoral vote and why she was so ambivalent about voting even though she does exercise her right to vote. For us as African Americans, not voting is a slap in the face of our ancestors who struggled, had hoses and dogs set upon them, for this right and so we participate but often wonder what is the point when other factors often come into play and eradicate the chance for real change. We will see and I hope and pray that I am wrong and that history will prove me to be agnostic and pessimistic. God Change America.

    February 12, 2008 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  4. Virgin Islands

    For those of you who think Obama gets more media coverage, no one gets more than Hillary because everytime Bill opens his mouth that's double coverage!

    Let us not forget that she had 8 years to fix health insurance problems when her husband was President...think about it...8 years and it still didn't get done! So much for "leadership" and "experience."

    George W became President through the name recognition of his father; Hillary has name recognition because of her husband. What an even greater race it would be if no one had ever heard of Hillary Rodham Clinton before 2004 (when the country was first introduced to Obama).

    Senator Clinton also stated that she wants to bring "values back to the White House." She must have attention deficit disorder about the lack of "values" in the White House.

    February 13, 2008 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  5. albertthelatino

    Texas is not stupid.... GO HILARY!!!! SI SE Puede!!!!

    February 13, 2008 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  6. jose



    February 13, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  7. marigold

    This is exactly why I cannot stand Hillary. She had neither the grace nor the courtesy to thank those who did vote for her. She also did not have the good sportsmanship to congrat Obama.


    February 13, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  8. simplyme

    I've had it. I think everyone (especially Hillary supporters) on this blog (or any other for that matter) need to do some reading before they start claiming crap. Everyone knows that Obama always gives credit where it's due regardless of how he feels. Well known fact. Please please please stop publishing intentional and outrageous lies, that's just pathetic. You cannot win that way!!!

    February 13, 2008 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  9. msk-



    February 13, 2008 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  10. Rep of Ohio

    In Ohio, the support for Hillary has basically fallen just like the Roman Empire ever since November or so.

    At first before people were really into the Primaries and the Elections, all the democrats only knew Clinton and Edwards very well, but now its become a total flip-flop and it's all Obama now, on the Democratic view at least.

    Our school took a vote, and the Republicans ended up having 65% for Romney, and the Democrats had 95% for Obama, with 3% to Clinton and 2% to Edwards.

    February 13, 2008 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  11. john metters

    why why why is the media all over obama and not hilary it's becaus this is ther way of getting the republicans in the white house who will vote obama in the white house if he is running against mccain? mccain will win by a land slide just amagine saying the name President Obama what is our nation comming too. it is almost ryhmes with Benlaton another muslem this is why every arobic nationallty is voting for Obama this guy has another side to him and he is hiding it. HE IS A MUSLEM WE DO NOT WANT A MUSLEM IN THE WHITE HOUSE IF HE IS THE NOMINEE FOR THE DEMOCRAT PARTY WHICH HE WILL NOT BE JUST WATCJ HOW THE MEDIA WILL TURN ON HIM THERE GOING TO BRING OUT ALL OF HIS HIDDEN AGENDAS BUT RIGHT NOW THEY ARE PRAISING HIM WAKE UP DUM YOUNG PEOPLE WE DON'T NEED COLOR IN THE WHITE HOUSE WE NEED SOMEONE WHO IS FOR AMERICA REGARDLESS OF RACE AND THAT IS MRS. HILARY R. CLINTON. AND YES I AM A BLACK MALE.

    February 13, 2008 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  12. marge

    "Cause she knows she underestimated Obama and just how strong his message is..this election was hers to win but I'm sorry you can't compete againest an idea or vision…those type of things deal with much more emotion then experience…Hilary is just to full of her self …she thought that president seat was hers cause she was sill with Bill but you can't fight a Vision or idea with race baiting…its all showing now…I gurantee you…if she does not win both Ohio and texas by a blow out margin her superdelegate pool will shrink"

    Hillary will have to win Texas,Ohio and Pa by 56-60 per cent of the vote,just to catch up. I don't think she can win by that big of a margin.
    I think that super delegate pool is already shrinking.
    Obama leads her in delegates. Hillary is hoping she can get enough super delegates to over ride the voters. In other words "steal" the nomination.
    The DNC doesn't want all the problems that will cause.

    February 13, 2008 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  13. Marie,San Diego

    For the good of the party, let end this...graciously.

    February 13, 2008 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  14. John

    Poor Billary ,
    Why does she have to look so unpresidential on national television?..Or is she starting to realize that america is a democracy after all ,and that after the terrible blunder we did in electing a son as a thank you to his father ,we are certainly not gonna elect a wife just to celebratre her husband .Come on people,think about it !!!!! What are the odds that the best commander in chief among 300 millions americans is twice within the same family ?Bush proved us wrong once,and boy did we pay it dearly ,i hope we just wont be stupid enough to try it ever again !!
    As a proud texas ,it's my duty to make sure the bushes never harm us again ,so too bad for hillary if her husband already won the only ticket the clintons are ever gonna get to the white house .

    You bet we can !
    And we will !
    From west to east etc... etc....

    February 13, 2008 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  15. James

    Senator Clinton is not obligated to congratulate Obama after his wins today. Why is it a big issue if Obama Congratulated Hillary or not? Obama did not congratulate Hillary after her wins. Competition is Competition and there is no such things as having "grace." It is superficial when another losing candidate congratulates another.

    February 13, 2008 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  16. Mike D from So Cali

    If Hillary loses either Texas or Ohio I hope she will see that she can't win and just drop out gracefully. We don't want to drag this race out to August and let the Super delegates decide the election. Unless Hillary turns things around and pulls off an upset in Wisconsin and sweeps the March 4th states I dont see the logic/legitimacy in her continuing to challenge for the nomination.

    Besides polls do support what has been often claimed....that Obama matches up better against McCain than Hillary does.

    February 13, 2008 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  17. Kalie

    Okay people why does it matter who mentions who on their speeches i mean what the heck. Why is everyone talking crap for dont ya'll have anything else to do? Its a presidential campaign everyone of those candidates are against each other. None of them are best friends so why should they say hey great job heres a pat on the back woohoo. All that matters is that who ever is going to be president next needs to make changes in this country!! I believe that Hillary Clinton will be the person to do it! So you go Hillary you know ARKANSAS loves YOU!

    February 13, 2008 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  18. Andrea

    I am a Democrat, and i will vote Maccain before i ever vote Obama, he is making false promises, its all hype, Hillary is the only one giving it to us like it really is, her plans are realistic. Her plans are something to believe in. They are what i hope for. Not this unrealistic, say what we want to hear jumble Obama is feeding us. Everyone is being duped into thinking she will "say anything to get elected" or is "more of the same" when really, jesus look at what he's promising "common purpose" FOR WHAT?! He is not straight talk, not at all. She is.

    I wouldnt congratulate people buying into a undefined "Common Purpose" either.

    February 13, 2008 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  19. Michael Grant

    I think ti was smart of Hillary not to shout out to Obama tonight. We haven't seen a democratic or republican nomination process this close this late in the primary season for a long time. When you get this far in, all bets are off on conceding, praising your oponent, etc. Hillary needs everyone to believe that these losses don't mean anything...that she will win Texas and Ohio and Pennsylvania and secure the nomination.

    That said, it is clear that the nomination is slipping through her fingers. And the fact that she has won the big states, and that she is saying THAT is all that matters, is a concession for the democrats. When you lose the majority of the states in the nation, all over the nation, it doesn't matter if you can hold the traditional blue states. That's trying to play chess on Karl Rove's board. The democratic candidate HAS to run in all 50 states. I like Hillary, I like Obama, and I even like John McCain. But for me, Obama makes me believe that all Americans can unite to face the daunting challenges of the post W-years. And we will need to be together.

    February 13, 2008 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  20. Michael Dunne

    I actually didn't think Hillary stood a chance a year ago but the fact that under the current media led swift boating (eg. Bill Clinton is a racist, return to bedroom scandals in the White House, Obama is pure and inspiring) she has shown her ability to win votes. If we take into account Florida & Michigan (even if we give Mitchigan's uncommitted to Obama) Hillary actually leads and this is something the super delegates cannot ignore.

    Quite remarkable given the circumstances. I like Obama, but his media led popularity won't last, eventually the headline slogans will have to be replaced by substance. Maybe in a few more years he'll have something more substantial to offer other than an "audacity of hope", but right now he's not done anything.

    Either way, whoever wins will still have to beat McCain which will be far from a walk in the park. The guy has tremendous appeal to swing voters who aren't ready for a woman or african-american in the White House.

    February 13, 2008 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  21. kittenkatter

    Yes, Barack IS stealing the election. Hillary won Michigan and Florida, but we'll never hear Barack admit this. He talks about fairness but doesn't pursue it in his politicall life. Come on Barack. Stand up like a man and insist that Hillary gets a fair election . We hear Barack talk about change, but NOTHING has changed. The elections are as crooked as ever and the voters have been disenfranchised.

    February 13, 2008 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  22. Steve

    This isn't news. It's clear both want to win and will do whatever it takes to win.

    No one cares about this and you should be chided for publishing it.

    How do you even know? Did Barack Obama say she never called? Can you trust him? Did she say she doesn't care? If she did why wouldn't the headline be "Clinton ditches custom, adopts 'straight talk'" since that would be, well, new (as in news).

    February 13, 2008 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  23. Carol

    Should Hillary not receive the nomination:
    Interesting to hear all of these polls because my experience is quite different. Obama better not only have independent voters, but he'll also need Martians and members of other planets as I predict that an overwhelming majority of Clinton supporters will never support him. WE DO NOT TRUST IN HIM to be capable of getting the job done. Mark my words; McCain will win if Obama is the candidate

    February 13, 2008 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  24. Dave

    CNN should be ashamed of an article like this. Isn't there anything of substance to write about?

    February 13, 2008 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  25. arlana Vaughan

    Give me a break.. everyone knows that Obama would take these states... it was expected..... do not get me wrong I like Obama but I dislike the anit women energy from Obama supporters...i I preferr Hillary to lead the country because I believe she is better qualitified... end of conversation.. .. this is not entertainment tonight... this is serious business in getting us out of this awful mess left by Mr Bush..

    February 13, 2008 02:01 am at 2:01 am |
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