February 20th, 2008
08:30 AM ET
15 years ago

Clinton's election night speech fails to mention election

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/19/art.clinton0219.ap.jpg caption="Clinton tonight in Youngstown, Ohio."]

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Three times may make a trend: for the third primary/caucus night in a row, Hillary Clinton has taken the stage at a post-election rally and failed to mention her losses, or congratulate her winning opponent, Barack Obama.

She spent Tuesday night at a rally in Youngstown, Ohio, looking ahead to the primary there on March 4. She made no mention of Wisconsin.

Last Tuesday in El Paso, Texas, hours after getting swept in the Potomac primaries that night, she didn’t acknowledge her rival’s big day. The Saturday before that in Richmond, Virginia, she spoke at the state’s Jefferson-Jackson Dinner and ignored Obama’s string of four primary and caucus wins that day.

After reports that focused on the second oversight, Clinton congratulated Obama at a press conference the next day.

Acknowledging your losses isn’t required in politics, though it is a courtesy that’s been practiced for decades.

Then again: it's also been traditional for candidates to delay their remarks to avoid overlapping with their opponents' speeches. Obama began his victory speech in Texas Tuesday while Hillary Clinton was still addressing the crowd in Ohio - and most of the networks cut away from her event mid-speech. (Granted, she had begun speaking after the expected start time.)

UPDATE: CNN's Mike Roselli reports that after their speeches ended, Clinton called Obama to offer private congratulations before she headed back to New York.

- CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby

soundoff (506 Responses)
  1. Jerome

    She is a sore loser...we will see how she responds Thursday in Texas for the CNN debate!

    February 19, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  2. Gavin




    remember, Hillary is BARELY behind –obama was NOT treated like this when he was behind.


    February 19, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  3. JF

    How would anybody know WHAT Clinton said? CNN CUT AWAY AND SPENT THE WHOLE TIME MAKING US WATCH OBAMA. This is really taking a sad, sad turn. I will either write in Hillary or vote for McCain in November.

    February 19, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  4. hillary 08:

    if you look at the exit polls for Wisconsin people vote 94% that Clinton will win in November! Yet they voted for Obama.... I guess they need Pennsylvania to VOTE SMART and get the right candidate in.

    I guess they were too busy hoping for change at the polls, and NOT VOTING for it!

    Hillary 08!

    February 19, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  5. Jim

    Obama has not since her wins on super Tuesday or NM. Where is that story.

    She did come out and congradulate him the next day for the last Tuesday elections. Report the truth.

    February 19, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  6. Jeremy

    How will Hillary arrange the chairs?
    That's the question.

    February 19, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  7. fair tax in la.


    February 19, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  8. aware

    Hillary the HOPE of 08

    I will vote words with content over just words. Who would have ever heard of Mother Theresa if she just said, "love/peace" or Ghandi if he had just said "justice" or who would have remembered MLK if he had just said "I have a dream" without his marches and putting his very life on the line. 🙁

    Whoever the next president is it will be a change but the transformation of America will take disciplined, sustained effort – every day hard work!

    I will caucus for Hillary this evening in Hawaii 🙂

    February 19, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  9. Sue, Michigan

    Gosh, she gets berated for not congratulating him with a whole 1% of the vote counted, and he again gets a free ride for being totally callous and speaking in the middle of her speech, so I guess I don't know for sure if she mentioned him or not.
    I would have appreciated hearing ALL of her speech. Way to go, Obama. Your true colors are starting to appear. This is not over yet!

    February 19, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  10. Ben from D.C.

    Didn't McCain overlap Obama in the Potomac primaries?

    Either way, She showed him not courtesy again (or her supporters)! She doesn't deserve a microphone!

    February 19, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  11. Tim W. Ohio

    My party is now doing what it always does better than any political party and that is snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory!

    Hillary take the kid on in the debates HARD!!! Please tell Edwards to grow a pair and do the right thing and endorse you.

    The cause endures, the work goes on and the dream shall never die-tk

    February 19, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  12. Gold Canyon Gal, AZ

    If the Democratic Party allows cross over votes from Reoublicans (who already have their nominee) and 18 year olds still wet behind the ears determine our Party's candidate for November, I will dump this Party like a hot rock after 40 years of voting a straight Dem ticket...and I will take my money with me.

    February 19, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  13. Ann, Los Angeles

    I must just say that people are simply stupid if they think that Senator Obama and Mrs. Obama will unit the country.........wake up and smell the roses – Senator Obama supporters.......you all are just his stepping stone!

    February 19, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  14. asdsgf

    good day madam hillary clinton

    February 19, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  15. asdsgf

    pls take heart ok.......

    February 19, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  16. Roland

    This is disconcerting. Even after Obama's BIG disappointment in New Hampshire, he congratulated Senator Clinton for a hard fought, and well-run campaign. Perhaps this is the reason why Senator Clinton hasn't done so well recently. She's living up to the image of the cold-hearted politician. If she wants to improver her image, she should think about how she's presenting herself.

    February 19, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  17. Obamacan


    Obama returned the courtesy!!

    OBAMA 08'


    February 19, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  18. Toyin, Marietta, GA

    Atleast thank those that went out and vote for you in a 5 degree weather.

    February 19, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  19. Jeff

    Uh, well Hillary is losing, I'm not a good loser either
    but I don't think I could stoop to her level

    And as far as switching to Obama's speech, don't blame Obama for talking (much more elegantly) at the same time, blame the networks (cue Hillary supporters)

    February 19, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  20. Vig

    Here goes CNN again, throwing mud on Hillary. CNN seems to have highjacked the election process by not letting it take it's course, by trying to influence outcome by tilting the scales in Obama's favor by the type and amout of coverage given to him. Let me tell you something. If Mr. Obama were Ms. Obama and two shades darker than he is, he would be laughed off the stage with his yes we can's, change and luv ya's – but because he's male and light enough to be socially pleasing – he's gotten this far. Expressions of sexism are just more socially acceptable than expressions of racism – ask CNN.

    February 19, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  21. Vic

    No matter the situation, CNN always finds a way to bring out the negative side of Hillary Clinton. So what if she didn't mention her loss in Ohio, or last week in El Paso, Texas. There were at least two times Obama didn't acknowledge his loss and her win. But even though so many more things could be covered, that's not news, is it. Very disappointed in the media's coverage of Clinton, and I just hope CNN will not eventually regret his own actions in boosting Obama.

    February 19, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  22. Jon

    All is fair in love and war.

    February 19, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  23. Andrew

    9 in a row!!!

    Obama 08

    February 19, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  24. pj

    all netowrks cut away from her repetative nonsense. she says obama just gives rousing speeches. they both give speeches, its just that his are interesting. she says she offers solutions but all she does is talk about that? how does that help me?

    anyway, 200 people showed up to see her, 20,000 showed up to see him, thats why the networks cut to Obama.

    she doesnt play nice, never acknoweldges her defeat and his victory then why on earth should he wait for her to finish pointless remarks?

    go home hillary.

    February 19, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  25. gene crain

    na na na na hey hey good bye...

    February 19, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
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