February 13th, 2008
02:10 PM ET
13 years ago

Clinton: ‘This is a long and winding road’

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/13/art.clinton0213.ap.jpg caption="Clinton is looking to Texas to deliver a win."] MCALLEN, Texas (CNN) - Hillary Clinton on Wednesday denied her campaign is in trouble after three more bruising losses, telling reporters that this phase of the campaign is "exciting" and that "everyone knew" Barack Obama was favored in the Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. primaries.

"My husband lost Maryland when he was running in the primaries," she said. "So we go on." Bill Clinton did win Virginia and the District of Columbia during the 1992 primary season.

A Clinton campaign memo sent to reporters Wednesday included lists of the states lost by three past Democratic presidential nominees - Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale – as evidence a string of losses often proves meaningless in deciding the party’s nomination.

"This is a long and winding road," Clinton said, "and we're all picking up delegates as we go. The key is to end up with 2,025 delegates. 2,025. That's our objective and I feel good about what we're going to be doing in the states."

The New York senator pointed to the March 4 contests here in Texas and in Ohio - as well as upcoming votes in Wisconsin, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania - as places where she would be competitive against Obama.

For several weeks, her campaign has been trying to focus attention on the states that vote that day, largely dismissing the results of February’s contests.

"I want to congratulate senator Obama on his recent victories and tell him to meet me in Texas. We're ready," said Clinton.

On an afternoon conference call, Clinton staffer Guy Cecil also highlighted March 4, telling reporters that the campaign would be within 25 delegates of Obama after that date.

The current CNN count has Obama leading Clinton 1,253 to 1,211, a difference of 42 delegates.

Cecil said the campaign would now be hiring staffers and opening field offices in several states with upcoming contests they had not devoted resources to before, including Montana and Wyoming – and admitted that they regretted the fact that they largely left the field to Obama in similar contests to date.

In the wake of several top-level staff departures, Hillary Clinton rejected reports of internal bickering among campaign staffers.

"That's not what's going on," she said Wednesday, pointing to recent success in Internet fundraising. "We have a tremendous amount of energy and focus."

- CNN's Peter Hamby and Rebecca Sinderbrand

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (159 Responses)
  1. Unbelievable

    We always knew he would win those states? Wasn't not just a short month or two ago that Hillary thought she was going to win all the states? Let's get the real truth out there, she cannot compete head-to-head. She is afraid of Obama, and does not have the money nor the staff to compete with him in every state. So, she decides that some states are not worth the same as others. She leaves those states, does not campaign in them, does not thank her supporters in them, does not congratulate the winner in them, BUT she does go and campaign in two states that have no delegates, and since she is the only one there, when she wins, wants the Party to change the rules that she agreed to follow. Hillary, you are nothing but a cheat and a sore loser. Do the Democratic Party a favor, and stop your campaign now. We don't need you, we don't want you, and the only people who are pulling for you are the conservatives so they can shore up the Republican Party against you. However, most Americans are smart enough to see through your BS and will fall in behind and support Barack Obama who will be the next President of the United States.

    February 13, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  2. Ken

    So I guess the votes in the states between California and Texas dont really matter according to Hillary. Oh unless she won them of course. "Meet me in Texas" ??
    I could have swore there are two more states before Texas votes. Oh thats right it holds more delagates, which should show you that it is more of the same ol politics we have had the past. If she really cared about the American people, she would be spending some time in every state, hmmm like Obama. But I supose she cant get away from her 3 week tour of Texas. Its her only hope.

    February 13, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  3. TEH

    Senator Clinton needs to get a realty check. Fist she says that Caucus voting reflects activism not the choice of people. Okay... Then we had 3 primaries, and the comments from her were that she never expected to win anyways. Oh yeahhhhh??? I didn't hear that tone in her rally speech earlier in VA. Now she counts on people whom she think will be against any black candidate to win the primaries. Great going Senator Clinton. You are REALLY the one that knows how to unite America. For her information, it was not the blue collar workers voting for her in VA. Rather misinformed conservatives who do not see beyond skin depth. Idaho, ND, NE, KS and all the other "traditionally red" states voted overwhelmingly to Senator Obama.. What is so special about the upcoming TX battle I wonder.

    February 13, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  4. Boomer for Obama

    New national poll averages have Obama and Clinton now neck and neck.

    Just listened to the Obama ad in Wisconsin called "Enough"...what a contrast to Clinton's ad.

    Yes, Hillary, it is a long, winy road when one compares the statistics over the past six months!!...you definitely thought it was going to be a straight, narrow one!

    February 13, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  5. Peter

    That didn't sound negative to me. It's mostly stating some facts. I believe debate can show the true character of a candidate. I am from Wisconsin. I'd vote for Clinton just because Obama refused to debate in front of Wisconsinites.

    February 13, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  6. Myrna

    The Woman does NOT fool anyone , The Only Long and Winding road she will be taking is to Oblivion an and Good Riddance, I do think the Woman is finally getting a reality check and That she is NOT the Candidate, and Never will be... Obama Rocks, and He will be at the end of the Yellow Brick Road... See Ya Hillary !!

    February 13, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  7. south philly italiana

    Please. Who cares anymore who the new president will be? Liberal or conservative, they're all a bunch of self-centered crooks. Although one can still dream of a world without liberals.....

    February 13, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  8. David

    Go Hillary. We need a leader and a doer not a motivational speaker.....I'm a Texan and I vote. I am with you all the way. If you are not the Democratic candidate..then I will vote for John McCain.

    February 13, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  9. J Sett

    There has been times when both of these candiates looked done only to prove us wrong. Although, I think Obama will eventually be the nom. I wouldn't bet the mortgage on it.

    A Stronger America '08

    February 13, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  10. Mike

    BEWARE THE SINKING SHIP! All of a sudden BILLARY is discouting the WILL of the PEOPLE when it suits her! Not even a thank you to the misguided supporters that voted for her in the states that she lost.

    February 13, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  11. LatinoNation

    We are with you Sen Clinton 100% ! in Texas, Ohio, Pen,! as I have said before Obama will go down in smoke with out latinos or catholics and they will cross to McCain so why do you continue to make waves by your remarks which divides us even more in the Dem party ! you will think how hard you made it for all of us and when McCain is in the white house you will never ever forgive yourselfs!

    February 13, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  12. Dave, San Antonio

    Supporting Hillary all the way!!!!! The country needs HER experience, not his borrowed speeches. When you don't stand for something, you will believe in anything. That's what most of Obama's supporters are! Go Hillary!!!! We're with you!

    February 13, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  13. NW

    Yeah, I like how hillary is playing the Texan Latino's as tokens. She brought a little boy in a Sombraro up on stage with flowers! Was talking about listening to music and eating some good food! LOL! There was no diversity in her crowd during her interrupting speach right before the final winners were announced for the primaries that went on Tuesday night! She is playing a last hope plea to one particular group which I find insulting! Never congratulating her party member on his wins. Total soar looser! Obama has always maintained his friendship with Hillary and not once has she mentioned a friendship with him! You can tell in her face big time that she is about to break and play dirty!

    February 13, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  14. south philly italiana

    Hey 'Chris' – I'm no liberal or supporter of Hillary Clinton, but how come all you guys who are trashing her about not "congratulating" Obama don't own up to the fact that he didn't congratulate her on her Super Tuesday win? What, just because she's a woman she's supposed to be more polite? She's still in a competition and I wouldn't go out of my way to congratulate an opponent unless and until the competition was over – and you wouldn't either.

    February 13, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  15. Lyle Baucom

    My wife and have always believed CNN to be the best alternative to Fox News if one wants unbiased comment. We have revised our opinion during this recent election cycle due to comments like Hillary's "basket of goodies" when referring to what she wants to do if elected. Examples of this type of commentary are numerous and constant from most of your reporters. Your slanting the election to please a particular audience or to promote company policy may be what the young expect from the news, but we remember a time not so distant when Aaron Brown used to separate his personal opinions and commentary from the reported facts. Of course, he's no longer with CNN and neither are we.

    February 13, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  16. Karen, Des Moines

    This new strategy of Clinton's worries me on two counts: 1) It is very similar to Rudy Giuliani's failed Florida fiasco – waiting in the weeds while others win; 2) If she cannot put up a real fight in every state during the nominating process, how can WE put up a real fight in every state in the general election? It is pretty clear she blew too much money in the early contests that did not turn out to be the expected coronations. Now she must rely on debates to get free media time. I think the people in all the rest of the states deserve a spirited contest instead of boring debates with banal questions. With both candidates building strong teams in every state, we will have the people on the ground to challenge McCain all over the map in the general election. I cannot wait to go to work for whichever Democrat wins, I just hope it is the one with the best 50 state strategy.

    February 13, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  17. Bukky, Baltimore

    Umm Hillary... This is why people dont like you. You keep making excuses for loosing, and everything else. Maryland is a extremely democratic state. If you can't win this state or even come close what does that say about you?

    February 13, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  18. Chris

    Yeah, and "everyone knew" too that she was going to lose in New Hampshire, but she won by 2 percent.

    And now she tried to trap Obama with ads, since she called for a million debates with him, and now she's painting him as a coward for not accepting them on all. For going against HER TERMS. Boo hoo.

    She's gonna be shedding some real tears after March 4 for a change.

    February 13, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  19. Shun

    If you think its all rhetoric...

    Just visit his website and you will see Obama's plan for the nation.

    Stop turning a blind eye to change... and common sence for that matter.

    February 13, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  20. Mete Kamil

    I'm a green card holder, I moved to this country in the year 2000. I cannot vote...never have wanted to..until now! Obama is a very REAL person. He says it how it is. I'm a good judge of character, this guy isn't feeding us bull. Hilary on the other hand, is all about winning presidency just to wint he presidency! Not for america! For herself!

    Obama seems like he really is doing it for the people. He seems to know so much about everything that is wrong with america. He might not say how he is fixing it. Its not like he wont have advice. I'd vote for someone who knows whats wrong and wants to fix things, versus someone who is all talk with a hidden agenda.

    I think it'll do good overseas too!

    February 13, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  21. Chris

    Senator Clinton is the real deal. She has my vote and I gave it to her in VA yesterday!!!! Obama doesn't impress me at all. He offers nothing. His rhetoric on having hope is something that I can offer to myself, but Clinton can rebuild this country which is something that I cannot do. Her solutions are real, she can actually make a change, one for the positive and one that is not based on idealogy spun on an artistic choice of words. History repeats itself no matter what we do... his rhetoric is going to mimic that of Bush.... her solutions will mimic that of Pres. Clinton. I know which one gets my vote. It's our choice and in the end, we get what we deserve!

    Hillary Clinton '08

    February 13, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  22. Kab

    She is so arrogant.
    Why has everything to do-"Oh whatever Obama has scored till now- it does not matter?"
    If obama wins Wisconsin, she is gonna say-"Oh that state doesn't matter- my husband didnot win there."
    When obama wins Texas and Ohio, she is gonna say" Oh they are red states- does not matter- my husband didnot win there"
    How come everything that she has achieved matters and the one Obama achieved does not matter

    February 13, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  23. Mandy Celaya

    March 4th is my birthday and if I have a say in what happens that day.... Clinton will drop out after losing her "firewall"! Pleeeeease happen.

    February 13, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  24. MR

    Vote Obama Vote Obama Vote Obama

    Hilary Clinton is not for Hispanic or Afro-American people. Hilary Clinton is simply trying to get elected........

    Don't be afraid to vote for Obama because he's Black. He's the closes candidate to a Hispanic representation we have in this race for President.......

    Vote OBAMA ...... Obama represents us as a people as a united country...............

    February 13, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  25. George

    Two presidential elections ago, we wanted somebody who made us laugh, funny and easy to have a beer. Look where we are, nobody is laughing, its does not seem funny, but it seems like we are still drunk. Now we want beautiful words with lots of air but still empty. CHANGE, change and more change and no substance. If change is all you got, how are going to stand against McCain. You'll look so childish debating McCain about change. No more hype. Hillary has been there, pushed so hard, but always found a way to get up and serve the people of this country. OPEN YOUR EYES, MINDS, AND REASON BEFORE YOU VOTE. We need sabstance not just recyled words.

    February 13, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
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