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. Alox

    I wish Hillary would not tie herself so closely to her husband's primary experiences from 1992. Does it matter that Bill Clinton lost Maryland too? She needs to focus on what she has done...not him. He is a sorry chapter in this country's life.

    February 13, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  2. Bob

    I hear a lot about Senator Clinton being a "doer" and someone who has "real plans", whereas Senator Obama is characterized as being "a motivational speaker" or "all rhetoric"...

    In that sense (and full disclosure: I am an Obama supporter), I would simply ask those who make these claims to submit specific policies or plans that Clinton has done during all of her "experience" which support your point. If you like, you could also point out elements where you think Obama has weak positions.

    This would actually elevate the discourse here. I would be happy to counter with Obama's positions as well.

    February 13, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  3. wcw in houston

    If she cries again she might have a chance.

    look for tears to magically appear March 3rd

    February 13, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  4. roger lodge

    supporters of obama need to realize that he has no clear specifics on his solutions and offers no real experience to back himself up.

    he is all talk and is basing his candidacy on hope that he wont deliver and that will result in more misery for the U.S.

    Mcain wants to run this country in record level debt...which is even worse

    February 13, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  5. Katie

    Clinton knows she is getting an old fashioned fanny whippin. I do not think her ego can handle the truth...AMERICANS WANT CHANGE, CHANGE THAT THEY CAN BELIEVE IN, CHANGE THAT IS OBAMA. Billery is not running for President, Hillary is. She needs to quit referring to dear old hubby and start really seeing reality for what it is. Gee, could it actually be true that not everyone can be bought out, that we might actually get a man for President who will not line his pockets with special interest group monies? Could this President line his heart with the American people's hopes and dreams and actually help to make them a reality? I am ready for change. I am ready to rid this country of the same old POLITICAL STEAM ENGINE. We need OBAMA people...we need to start fresh with someone fresh, honest, hard working, not prejudice. We need OBAMA. I am confident that in the end, Americans will do what we all know we need, what we all know is right, and elect OBAMA as the next President of the United States of America. OBAMA OBAMA OBAMA

    February 13, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  6. alex


    You need to give credit to whom it is due. Barack has my vote have You noticed a trend during this voting time. The most important Bills Barack has gone to Vote. For the economic Stimulus Plan Our dear POW John Mccain bailed out he Didn't vote. Our dear Billary voted for it Thanks Alot and Barack voted for it. Yesterday for the Wiretapping deal (FISA BILL) Our Dear POW john Mccain voted for immunity for the phone companies and all the rubbish attached to it. Billary bailed on the next Plane to El Paso to have some burrito and Lie to the people. Where Was Barack? He was there Protecting our interest once Again He Voted Against the rubbish the current Cowboy from texas is doing. I will prefer a President Who stands up and upholds the rule of Law Than for a Politician Who is simply Protecting his interest. John Mccain didnt vote for the stimulus Plan simply because it was against Conservative America Whom He is courting their vote. Billary Was Confused about Voting with the Iraq Mantra Squad again so she bailed out. So tell me would you choose a leader who votes Present because he has some problems with a bill or someone who timidly bails out, Due to their Do anything to be president Or appeal To the GOP fan base. Barack's Present Votes are better than Bailing out. Present means you are not satisfied with some parts of the law and it needs to be returned to the negotiation table for negotiating. Vote barack and you wont be disappointed.

    February 13, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  7. wcw in houston

    Huckabee = Hillary = Hilla-bee

    drop out now Mrs Clinton

    February 13, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  8. MNDem

    Hey California Independent,

    Don't be too surprised if Bloomberg is Obama's running mate.

    February 13, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  9. Steve

    Though I don't doubt that Hilary is bright and motivated (she's demonstrated this repeatedly, sometimes cruelly) I am very concerned that her husband won't let her be the President she should be. Bill committed gaff after gaff in the past months, until someone in Hillary's campaign must've wised up and told him to step back. The fact that Hillary continues to base her "experience" on things her husband has done, and is parroting some of his old rhetoric, makes me VERY concerned that she, in fact, will have to struggle to keep Bill out of her politics, when she should be focused on the issues at hand.
    I don't deny that a spouse has a great deal to do with one's decisions, but the Bill/Hillary relationship isn't really spousal. It is more founded in power and politics. This is a dangerous situation. Our country has had one pathetic president for 8 years. Let's not overcompensate by having two "Presidents" in the next four.

    It is also important to recognize that due to Hillary's politics have been divisive and negative. She has constantly blamed all the country's problems on the Republicans. In one truly bizzare statement, she stated, something to the effect that the roots of our country's problems go back 15 years. Uhhh... Hillary? Do your math. That goes back into your husband's administration. Don't blame it on Congress. Your husband's administration was a strong one, with a great deal of latitude to make things better (which, in many cases, it did).

    We need a charismatic President who doesn't constantly use the word "I", when talking about how things might be fixed. We need a leader who will get the fragments of what is left of our government to work together. We need a person who will work on the world stage to repair our reputation, and re-establish our role as a positive force in world politics (the UN was put in New York for a reason). We need a president who doesn't blame everything on someone else, but who takes the responsibility to work to get things fixed.

    Hillary? You're obviously panicking, as you go negative on Obama. It shows. If this is how you behave when the pressure builds, I'll vote for someone else. Your days are numbered.

    February 13, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  10. wisconsin4hillary

    We need to know where they stand on issues. I keep listening to The Reverend Obama and I can't here anything but fluff.

    Remember what happened when people voted for the "guy they could drink a beer with"? Yeah, didn't work out so well.

    Don't vote for who you like, vote for who can do the job.

    I'm voting for Hillary next Tuesday.

    February 13, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  11. Dan

    @ Peter – Obama is making 8 stops in Wisconsin, Hillary is making none. It would take a debate to convince her to leave Texas.

    What's with all Talker v. Doer debate? I remember election night in 2000 when Hillary said the first thing she'd "Do" in the Senate was abolish the electoral college. That went about as well as her last attempt to "Do" something about healthcare.

    Even if you don't want to count Obama's organizing, state legislature and Senate as comparable to Hillary's, his academic resume is out of this world (Editor of Harvard Law Review, Con Law Prof at Chicago). Even if he IS less experienced, he's more than qualified.

    Oh, and Obama is the only candidate with a 21st century tech policy.

    February 13, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  12. Elicka

    This is the oldest trick in the book–challenge him to a ridiculous number of debates, then make a big deal when he refuses. One a week? Hillary, wake up–nobody wants to hear the same tired talking points on a weekly basis. You do far better in smaller doses.


    February 13, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  13. suzanne

    WE don't want another day of slimey Bill Clinton in OUR White House.
    If Hillary had divorced him, I would vote for her.
    Let's give some decent people a chance.

    February 13, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  14. Hope

    Hillary, I am very sure you are disappointing even your true supporters. Nothing sounds more awful than having an excuse for one’s every failure. List –

    Jesse Jackson won South Carolina
    My Husband didn’t win caucuses
    Activites invade caucuses
    Obama was expected to win

    The list goes on and on for every loss.

    Even, my 12years kid can come up with better excuses for his failures.

    My mother taught me give honor to whom honor is due and to talk responsibility for my action. I believe these should be some of the basic character of a leader and one called Humility.

    Tomorrow, you will be telling stories of people you have met across the country… those with large amount of delegates.

    America choose wisely

    February 13, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  15. Caveat Emptor

    Hillary has got all Latinos in Texas duped. She thinks that having a mexican boy on stage with her will do the trick. Please don't be lulled to sleep with feelings of the past and how Bill Clinton "kept you safe." Hello! Bill is not running this time. Hillary fired her Latina campaign manager because "she couldn't attract enough Mexicans." You just can't use people like that! Shame on you. Just like when she is plastered in front of black folks at black churches. And the best is when she was at a Black women's group standing in front of a picture of a prominent Black woman. What message is this? Shame on Hillary and her advisors if she/they think that we are too stupid to fall for this manipulation.......well some of us are. Look at California.

    Be careful Texas, look what she did during the Potomac primaries she didn't even stick around she flew immidiately to Texas. Chew you up and spit you out too? Buyer beware and be smart Texas.

    February 13, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  16. Debby

    H. Clinton is making by a big mistake by minimizing the outcome in states that overwhelmingly supported Obama in the last few days. If I were a voter in one of those states I'd be "hot" that she doesn't think the votes in these recent bouts are worthy of her concern . She's further alientating herself from those states.

    February 13, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  17. Nando, Florida

    down goes frazier down goes frazier!!!!!

    February 13, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  18. JLB

    I have to say that I am not impressed with Hillary Clinton at all, being a female and divorced as well. I thought that it was terribly un feeling of her to not have a problem with her husband cheating on her while he was president (being First Lady was more important). This gives her a unfeeling persona. Recently, an anchor person makes a comment about her daughter and she flips out. Where were those emotions way back when. She is a politician! People are going to make comments about her and her family. If she couldn't show emotions then, she whouldn't now. It just seems like a ploy to get to the emotions of empathetic people so they will vote for her.

    I don't know who the best candidate is for president but I have a very hard time thinking that someone who plays the emotional game in politics is a good person to vote for.

    February 13, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  19. John


    February 13, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  20. Ryan M.

    0 for 8 in February so far.

    0 for 10 potentially, before Ohio – Texas

    Even if Obama narrowly loses both – How does that change things? This race will just go on and on and on...

    Hillary needs to win a Swing State by 20 points, like Obama did in Virginia – don't think it is a swing state? Remember, the Past vs. the Future.

    What a storyline – Hillary goes down at the Alamo... She is pigeon-holing herself into defeat. Why not? She has nothing else to lose.

    February 13, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  21. krystof

    Claiming to run on your own record and then saying "well, my husband didn't win this state" is ironic. Claiming that the "red states" don't count and then courting Texas for three weeks is backtracking. Saying that Obama has no specifics when he has called for a VERY specific withdrawal date, laid out an affordable health care plan and mentioned many times the $4000 school credit for students who give back to the country...is just plain wrong.

    I like Hillary...enough to vote for her if she somehow pulls this out. But she is coming across as so two-faced that it makes no sense, and makes me a very strong Obama supporter (who is white with only an AA degree and LOVED the Bill Clinton White House).

    And yes, the leader of the country must be able to MOTIVATE the American people to change the country, so rhetoric and a solid speaking voice IS important.

    February 13, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  22. Daniel Williams

    The important thing to note is that Hillary will be making a sure comeback in Texas, one of the key states she needs to stop Obama's popular, but misguided victories. This race shouldn't be about rhetoric. If that was the case, any Hollywood actor could be running for President. Here specifics matter. Hillary has a clear, well-defined, solid plan for the future. Obama has empty, airy long-winded talk of "change". Do the right thing.

    February 13, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  23. Carol

    It's winding around your neck. Haven't seen that arrogant smirk for awhile.

    February 13, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  24. Bob

    Obama suppoters are whining too much. They think that just because they are rich and liberals, they are some how privileged and every one else should roll over and hand it to them. They do not have the stamina to fight and they are showing it. If they cannot withstand Hillary, how will they face the republicans?

    February 13, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  25. Elmor

    "change and hope"Is a big slogan. Rhetoric, he talks very well this man.
    He knows how to get the people around him, he knows how to tell them that there is hope in the future, he never gets tired from saying, “future verses past”, “our time has come”, “yes we can ”. BIiiiiig slogans. People need to hear this, but they need more to live in reality. I ask you Mr. Obama with all your fantastic speeches did you give us some real solutions. It is a hope to change from bad to good but do you know how to do it, good to say that you have hope but do you know how to give it, it is good to look forward for a better future but could there be a future that is not based on the past. The change Mr. Obama as a slogan is a dream, but the change based on reality is a specific dream that will come true.
    I think you better go on with your speeches and let the experts work. I’m afraid if people get more and more around you for what you are and not what you can do, then our ffuture president will be Sen. Mc Cain

    February 13, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
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