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. RP

    I am having some difficulties in following the Clinton logics here. Maybe some of the Clinton supporters can explain to me why Texas is so important when we are told that red states don't matter.

    February 13, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  2. Mary

    Texas has a new motto: Don't Mess With Hillary! Hillary = True Grit. Obama = Mr. Pie In The Sky

    February 13, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  3. Marl

    Mark my words: Next, for the Clinton machine, will be to pull a "Willie Horton" on Obama and Hillery will claim she knew nothing about it!

    February 13, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  4. gene

    Hillary arrived in El Paso, Texas yesterday to a rally of 10,000 enthusiastic supporters. One out of three hispanic voters will vote in the primary on March 4,2008 and two of those three will be Hillary Clinton voters. Hillary has a long history going all the way back to 1972 when she was in Texas in support of George Mcgovern campaign for President. This is a fine lady. She has experience, not only in economics ,but in foreign affairs as well. She has worked on human rights and children issues. She is ready on day one. Obama will need on the job training .

    February 13, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  5. Vince Los Angeles, CA

    South Philly Italiana:

    Your facts are wrong. Barack most certainly DID congratulate her after Super Tuesday.....

    February 13, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  6. Hillary with tons of the past, New York

    Go Hillary! I mean step aside once in your lifetime, like NOW for the people of this nation. I can't believe there are many dupes chanting Hillary! Just look back at what she has proven to be. We are well educated enough to say NO to the dirty politics of the past! As she was coming out of the White House, did you know that she stole some funiture from it so that she had to reimburse the interior department? This is only one example. Threre are tons more. The Rose Law Firm, White Water, Travelgate, Vincent Foster...etc. How lame!!!

    February 13, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  7. John in Virgina

    I am an Obama supporter, but I agree with what she is saying here. This thing is far from over for either candidate. We should all keep a humble attitude. Yes, she congratulated Senator Obama in this article, but I have to say, I think it was in response to a few articles that called her out. She most certainly did not congratulate him last night. To Elmor and all of the other lazy people who keep saying Obama has yet to answer any questions: get off your butt and go to his website and you will get all of the details you seek. There is a tab at the top of the screen and it has the issues layed out individually. Secondly, I've been watching the debates like everyone else, and Obama answers the same questions Clinton does. They pose the question to one of them, and the other responds. Obama's candidacy has made great use of the internet to get the detail of his plans out, as well as to mobilize people. You are on this board complaining about knowing anything; why don't you take some time and do more research and less complaining. That way when you post, you can be informed.

    February 13, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  8. Gbenga Kayode

    CNN be careful you are not helping Hillary neither is the press . You are all partial you have tunrned jurnalism to politics!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 13, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  9. Jose

    I am hispanic and don't remember anything the Clintons did for me (us) except give us stuff to laugh about. Infedelity, stealing silverware etc.

    I vote for Obama!!

    February 13, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  10. BAA

    I wonder how well Hillary would do in politics if her last name was Johnson...

    February 13, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  11. Anne in Texas

    I can't beleive all these barack-obots walking around in a daze, can't they see this is what George Bush did to us to get elected, not once, but twice! Are we so stupid? It really makes me wonder about the intelligence of this country. Barack is NOT.

    Hillary 2008!

    February 13, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  12. Marie

    I am totally amage at how negative and hateful some of these comments are on Hillary. The race is not over yet; she could be a Democrat's nominee at the end of it.

    Oh, I am captivated by Obama – he is charismatic and very inspirational. However, since Hillary has more years and experience in politics, and THE FIRST WOMAN to run for presidency, I am for Hillary.

    My "Dream Team" would be Hillary for President, Obama for Vice.

    February 13, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  13. jeremy

    daniel I belive i am making the best decision for this country go obama

    February 13, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  14. Fred C Dobbs

    After March 4th, Hillary Clinton will once again lead in the delegate.

    And still the Obama media hype will continue the drumbeat right up to the time that she is sworn in as president.

    February 13, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  15. constant

    It's interesting that Hillary talks only about delegates. Not voters. DELEGATES. She thought she was a shoe in, when she threw in her hat. Then came along Obama. Pay no attention to him...she thought.....I HAVE EXPERIENCE! (ie: political clout) Obama has inspired Americans to get up and vote. To get up and work to make America better. Not just empty promises, forgotten when you get in office. But telling us, it's not about HIM, it's about US. Hillary underestimated the power of his words, the NEED and DESIRE of Americans to have their voices be heard again, to have politicians who work for US not for themselves or their cronies.
    The first time I heard Obama speak...i was touched. I was inspired. I was proud....YEAH...PROUD to be an American again. "Yeah! That's what it used to feel like...to be an American!! I remember!"
    Hillary does not do that for me, or anyone else I have spoken to in the last year of this campaign. People say Obama is "green"? I would rather have a President that is "green" than one that is the same junk we have had for 20 years. Corruption, crooked lobbyists buying our country, while the "people" lose their jobs, our country is sold out to foreign interests, and our young people are dying in a war we should not be in. Do I believe that Obama will not make a mistake...nope. But unlike anyone else I have heard or seen...who will ALSO make mistakes, HE will be open and honest WITH THE PEOPLE. He has asked us, the people, for our help, because "together we can". To some that might sound hokie...but to me it gives me HOPE that my children will live in an America that I grew up in!!
    My son, who is 27...PROUDLY registered to vote for the first time! He has never felt his vote would count, and even if he voted, it would not be for anything different, "they are all dirty crooks!" He is inspired and fired up...to VOTE...and he has AMERICAN PRIDE he has never had before!!
    THAT is enough for me!

    February 13, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  16. Luke W

    I love the concept that more time in the Federal government somehow encourages some to believe that Hillary is a good pick for president. More years in politics and more experience simply means she knows how to play the political game, not be a successful president. she might do well in NY as a senator but it takes more than "experience" to be president. Her husband failed to unite republicans and democrats, and her story will be the same. After a greater division caused by the current Administration, maybe america needs something fresh and outside the box, not the same old crap from the same old stylings of federal government blah blah blah. First woman, First black.... who cares. I vote based on the best candidate, not on the novelty of who the candidate is, and at the end of the day, more americans will vote for Obama than Clinton if one of them were to go toe to toe with McCain.

    February 13, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  17. Justin

    The one thing that consistently annoys me is when Hillary says "we all knew he was going to win there." That doesn't change the fact that he DID win, and it certainly doesn't change the fact that he won BIG. A win is a win, regardless of whether or not it's expected.

    February 13, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  18. Ted in Chicago


    My "Dream Team" would be Hillary for President

    Obama for Governor of my state of IL.

    Then Obama for President – after 8 years of Hillary – 16 years of smart DEMS – yahooooooooooooo.

    If you look at JFK – with Robert/Bobby in the WH there was no room for LBJ .... and the same would be true for Obama. Better he get some on the job training and a chance to strut his stuff – and yes to learn to walk the walk as Governor of a large and diverse state.

    I would like to see Richardson for VP.

    February 13, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  19. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Sounds Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, just click your hills and follow the yellow brick road that leads to the Obama house, the White House.

    February 13, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  20. Randy - Denver

    Guess you guys did not listen/watch Mr. Obama's speech today, boring enough for even a Clinton supporter, and heard many specifics. I do think it was very polite of Ms. Clinton to finally acknowledge Mr. Obama's victories. I also feel her noise about the debates is simply that, noise, Mr. Obama has agreed to two additional debates, Mr. Obama is talking in Wisconson so the voters there can hear what he has to say, Ms. Clinton is betting on her accusations that he will not debate her (he will twice more) and her name recognition to win in Wisconson. Mr. Obama made a decision to move away from the campaign to vote on a VERY important bill last night and Ms. Clinton did not. For those with a short memory early on in this process Mr. Obama got the nickname as Professor obama because he spoke on the details of his plans ad nauseum, he learned that people really do not want to hear specifics so he started telling them what his bold plan is and allowed those who dwell in the land of details to go look for themselves. he learns how to deal with people, Ms. clinton has not changed from day one, she still talks at and about people not to them, she does not relate well with people. SO she cares more for getting elected than your rights, she does not know how to relate to people, she cannot change her approach to a problem (which is not to say she cannot flip flop on an issue) so someone explain why I should vote for her and not Mr. Obama, no flames here simple facts as I see them.

    February 13, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  21. Ted in Chicago


    Good point – but maybe with the Latino vote Texas is Blue?

    But point taken – well made.

    February 13, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  22. Leonardo


    February 13, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  23. Jenny

    Obama-Napolitano ticket is what I hear down in AZ.

    February 13, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  24. Jim in FL

    Hillary's Lesson #1. "When Obama wins red states, they are of no relevence. Me, I need to win in Red Texas and Red Ohio, cause then they will matter !"

    Yes, it apparently is a "long and whining road" for you Hillary.

    February 13, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  25. Amazed me!

    Kool-Aid anyone???

    I’m still amazed that Mrs. Clinton is still standing after all the negative media against her and her family and all the misleading statements of the Obama campaign!!! I have no doubt that if she was a man, Mr. Obama had no chance and he knows it! I can’t wait for the media to turn on him and see what he’s going to do then. Hopefully, he will be able to take it as graciously as Mrs. Clinton. Time will tell!

    This should show everyone what she is made of! She took down most of her opponents and she only has two more to go. In her career, she not only done the talk but she has also walked the walk many, many times unlike Mr. Obama that I’m still trying to figure out what exactly he has accomplished so far. His wife has a better resume than him!

    Sadly, it goes to show that, it is unimportant how intelligent, prepared and qualified a woman is, an arrogant, inexperienced and unaccomplished man “seems” to be capable of running this country. God help us!

    It is not over until the fat lady sings!!!

    February 13, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
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