February 13th, 2008
09:30 PM ET
15 years ago

Carville: Do or die for Clinton in Texas and Ohio

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/13/art.carville1.gi.jpg
caption="James Carville is supporting Hillary Clinton's White House bid."]
(CNN) - He hinted at a similar sentiment earlier this week on CNN, but James Carville – a supporter of Hillary Clinton’s White House run - was decidedly more blunt Wednesday on the impact a loss in Texas or Ohio would have on her presidential bid.

"Make no mistake," Bill Clinton's former chief strategist told the Orlando Sentinel. "If she loses either Texas or Ohio, this thing is done."

The Clinton campaign has increasingly placed importance on those two March 4 primaries following eight straight losses for the New York Democrat since Super Tuesday. On Tuesday night, she was swept in the so called Potomac primary, losing to Obama in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

In a conference call with reporters earlier Wednesday, Clinton campaign aides noted 60 percent of the remaining delegates are in Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania - all states where polls show the New York senator is leading Obama. But delegates in those states will not be awarded on a winner-take-all basis, and Clinton staffers said Wednesday that their expectation was that the two candidates would be within 25 delegates of each other following the March 4 contests.

Obama campaign aides said Wednesday they believe it is nearly impossible for Clinton to catch up to Obama in the delegate count under the current guidelines, even if she wins all three contests.

Speaking on CNN's The Situation Room earlier this week, Carville struck a similar note.

"The truth is that Sen. Clinton has to win Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania," he said. "If she wins those three, she's probably the nominee. If she loses one of those three, then Sen. Obama is probably going to be the nominee. That's a fact."

"We have a lot of debates left to go," Carville continued. "This has been a very close contest. Democrats want to hear from both of them. I've seen the Clintons counted out before. I would be very reluctant to count the Clintons out."

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (516 Responses)
  1. Gaby

    As I sit and listen to HC, I just see more of the same, as she wants to feed off of the so called success of her husband, she should also take the credit for his failures. If she loses a state or three, then she goes crying to Bill, thinking that he can make a difference. This may be true, but it is a negative difference for her. The only way to get change, protection of our borders, jobs, returned to the U.S., etc... and not sold out through NAFTA, as the Clinton's did, is by voting for Obama. It is better to have someone. that is not complacent, with the same old politics, that's works hard to make a difference for the American people and that is Barack. I do not need Hillary to describe her strong desire to reside in the White House, she's been there and was not as successful as she leads people to believe.

    February 14, 2008 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  2. Heather Peterson

    I am from Michigan and I watch the news every day. I did not know that an "uncommitted" vote was my way of supporting Obama; I voted in the Republican primary instead, because I thought that was the only one that counted. I desparately wanted to vote for Obama. It's not fair that our delegates are just given to Hillary when Obama wasn't even on the ballot. How can you people from other states determine what is fair for my vote?

    No Michigan Delegates for Hillary unless we get a do-over.

    February 14, 2008 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  3. ChicoSez

    First, this is not an election. This is internal party politics, where democrats decide who the democratic candidate will be. It is not a movement or a personality cult, it is a political party that is controlled by its members. Go join the green party if you don't like superdelegates or want to change the rules in midgame. Obama knew all about superdelegates when he joined the race, especially since he IS one and now he's whining about the rules not being fair. John McCain would eat Obama alive, its George McGovern all over again. Even the Obama Girl didn't vote for him. Take the stars out of your eyes and refuse to drink the kool-aid. Vote Hillary in 08.

    February 14, 2008 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  4. Bob

    He said: "We have a lot of debates left to go," Carville continued. "This has been a very close contest. Democrats want to hear from both of them. I've seen the Clintons counted out before. I would be very reluctant to count the Clintons out."

    and I thought.. "the ClintonS" I thought it was Hillary's turn.. I thought I was voting for Hillary, not Bill.. I'm done with the Clinton Machine.. it's in the past.. this slip of the lip here says it all...

    February 14, 2008 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  5. Dave

    E Bryant,
    You might want to look at Hillarys health care plan on her site. It is about making it affordable for all. As a matter of fact everyone will be covered and at a cost cheaper per individual than Obama. Obamas plan penalizes anyone using the insurance if they haven't signed up for it. hmmmmmm.......
    Also, Obama copied Hillarys plan per se and Edwards. He did the copying without the mandates and his plan is doomed for failure as Hillarys has a shot at coming true.
    He does that a lot with his ideas that Hillary has come up with. Hillary is in her second term too. I saw someone say it was her first.

    February 14, 2008 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  6. Judy

    From a disenfranchised voter in Florida: It is time that the media stops its love-fest with Obama and gives him the scrutiny it has given Hillary. He is untested, has ties with nuclear energy contributors to his campaign, and is reputed to be cocky and crabby.

    February 14, 2008 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  7. BB-WI

    James Carville, we need you to help the Hillary campaign.
    I think you're the greatest. Please HELP!!!!!

    February 14, 2008 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  8. Agora phila

    I am for Obama

    Go Obama ! dont listen to anyboby.Black or white, we support you.

    Yes we can !!!!

    February 14, 2008 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  9. Obama is the truth

    I love seeing all these

    "If Obama wins I'm voting McCain...your a heartless piece of crap if you bail on the democrat's just cause your canidate didn't get picked....and a sexist or racist to boot...how can some of you people even say that...McCain is just as bad as bush and just cause the person you picked may or may not be in the general election you change alliance....some americans are truly very sorry people..

    February 14, 2008 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  10. tomdavie

    CNN is the all Obama network. I have to honestly wonder if the owners are putting them up to it.

    I used to really enjoy CNN. Everyone with 1/2 a brain knows 1/2 their democratic audience is voting for Hillary, so why pi*s them all off by worshipping Obama 24/7 ?

    One thing is for sure. The media is not afraid to outright stump for one candidate.

    Its a very sad day for america. It would be more tolerable if the candidate was well liked and well qualified.

    This isnt the case with Obama. He has no real experience to be president yet. His platform is to the left of the democratic party, which CANNOT possibly appeal to republicans.

    Its all a CULT of personality, and people are going to be HORRIFIED at the non job he is capable of doing.

    February 14, 2008 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  11. Jennifer Ruiz

    Mrs. Clinton has proven to be successful in states that truly reflect the diversity of America. On the other hand, Mr. Obama's wins are in states that are obsessed with anything the popular media stuffs down their throats. Clinton will prevail in Texas and Ohio because she is simply the most experienced and best qualified candidate who can offer real solutions. As for Mr. Obama, he is as mainstream as it gets. He is a candidate with very little experience surrounded by supporters who are simply out of touch with reality and caught up in nothing but rhetoric.

    Texans for Hillary!!!!

    February 14, 2008 02:31 am at 2:31 am |
  12. Brendan Armitage

    I think that as Democrats we need to recognize that
    1. Barack Obama seems to be getting new blood in our party and growing it, while Hillary attracts an older, poorer base of the party.
    2. HIllary is clearly more experienced as an administrator and Barack is clearly the better speaker and leader. Administrators are necessary but plentiful, while leaders are few and far between (Republicans haven't had one either since Reagan.)
    3. Their platforms are 95% the same.
    4. Based on the first three comments, I believe that Obama offers a better package for 2008. In this election, Obama brings in independents while Bush brings the Democratic base out to vote, and the Republicans have no one to run against. That sounds like a Democratic slaughter in the House and a comfortable majority in the Senate, possibly as the majority party for the next twenty years.
    I'm afraid I see Hillary as only attracting the Democratic base, losing independents to McCain, and bringing out the otherwise demoralized Republicans in droves to vote against her. And we would want this outcome...why?
    Obama makes more sense in 2008 than Clinton.

    February 14, 2008 02:42 am at 2:42 am |
  13. Michael

    I laugh when I see comments like those from klb. It sums up what is wrong politically in this country at the moment.

    Do you even know what conservative values are? And more importantly, can you equate them to a tangible sustained policy in the last 25 years? The best things about conservatism – fiscal responsibility, smaller government – have all been betrayed by your own leaders. RR – your icon- presided over 3 tax increases, including one of the biggest ever, spending rivaled only by W, and foreign policy that – having served in the military during that time, left a lot to be desired. I still mourn my brothers for Lebanon. Presence with no ability to use force?

    My point is this. It is easy to speak. It is more difficult to actually know what youre speaking of. My guess is you have no sense of why the parties are who they are, where they came from, or that neither one does what it says its going to do. NEITHER on. So before you trade ignorant barbs. Learn something.

    February 14, 2008 03:00 am at 3:00 am |
  14. alex

    ok everyone that says that they are tired of the "clinton/bush dynasties" or the "clinton dynasty" you need buy a dictionary
    1. a sequence of rulers from the same family, stock, or group

    The Clintons have only had one family member become president and the that does not qualify as a dynasty. Clinton/Bush are not family and are about as close to being similar as Transformers are to Decepticons . Bill had the highest end of term approval rating in history (or at least as long as we have been recording it) so if you are tired of the job THE Clinton did in office then look to the person on your left and to the one your right, both of those people disagree with you.
    Personally I support Obama because I want to believe that change can happen. The change I am talking about is not from the politician themselves but from the people that they inspire. I believe Obama can inspire us out of our coma make us believe that we can make a difference.
    The fact is that Hillary is NOT Bill Clinton, and to give her credit for what her husband did is almost as idiotic as electing G.W. Bush because of who his dad is.

    February 14, 2008 03:03 am at 3:03 am |
  15. jc in oh

    not every one of the media reporters show bias, but many appear to favor obama, with the overall impression, as enthusiasm for his candidacy and slanted journalism. you guys at cnn (msnbc too) should work to improve your work ethic; are you delivering or are you controlling/selling/making the story?

    i'm a clinton supporter, as you probably guessed. i find it difficult to understand why seasoned , hard core political journalists would not scrutinize mr obama. i've heard him in debates ,at times, scrambling for answers, for details to specific questions; he sounded unsure and unspecific. and, you let him go.

    he speaks of innovation but he has none; he talks of reform, but hasn't executed change; how many testimonials of helping others does he have? by the way, that's where the hard work and proven results are suppossed to matter. but, we don't need that; we have arrogance personified.

    i fear, the same mind set that elected mr bush, would follow suit with this candidate ( of course, dems this time). so many hopes, so many dreams and so much at stake.

    but, hey, let's all forget about that...it's gonna be fine. after all, barack can turn a phrase better than anyone; can't wait to hear his first state of the union address. should be brilliant. "good night and good luck"...oh, wrong station, but, same story.

    February 14, 2008 03:24 am at 3:24 am |
  16. AL

    For all of you Clintonites that argue that Obama is "all talk". What you're really saying is that you're too lazy to do your research on the candidate. I challenge you to go to Obama's official web site and spend a little time researching his stance and promises on the issues. Obama does NOT bite off more than he can chew. That's why the foundation of his campaign message is 'UNITY'! He understands that to get anything done in Washington you must first unify congress and the senate to look past their partisan views and agendas and unite for the greater cause of serving the American People. NOT their own interests!

    February 14, 2008 03:50 am at 3:50 am |
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