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. Jim

    Hmm. Let's review:

    Can't admit she was wrong about her vote on Iraq– the seminal issue of our time– and now can't admit that she has been beaten fair and square.

    I'm sensing a character flaw...

    February 19, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  2. Larry Buchas, New Britain, CT

    Hillary has an obligation to congratulate Obama and she didn't. She was scheduled to go on at 8:30 and she didn't.

    Hillary doesn't acknowledge her supporters in Wisconsin. The same occurred in Virginia, Maryland, etc. She claims caucus state voters "do not represent the electorate."

    I see a pattern here. Hillary Clinton is simply a sore loser.

    February 19, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  3. Amadu

    Cnn is a really biased network now.why cant they just go ahead and endorse sen Obama

    Hillary Clinton 08

    February 19, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  4. Franky

    Clinton-If you continue this negative adds, you`ll continue to loose and loose big. Respect people and respect the world. Politics at all cost is dangerous for the world. Make the world a better place.

    February 19, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  5. Texas4Obama

    First of all they were not giving concession speeches.

    The Houston rally had a schedule and 20,000 people at Toyota Center that were waiting to hear Obama speak already had waited several hours for him to take the stage – and they probably didn't get home till 10pm and they have to go to work tomorrow. Obama has no control on when Billary is speaking. It was CNN's choice to cut to the Obama rally – thanks CNN – that Hillary speech was putting me to sleep anyway!

    Obama '08

    February 19, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  6. Nick

    I was watching CNN at the time of the speeches. Obama was scheduled to go on, even Wolf Blitzer said we are expecting Obama's speech in a few moments, and Hillary cut in front of him.

    But this whole thing about speech timings and not congratulating each other detracts us from the issue of who is the best candidate for president. This is why politics is such a farce.

    February 19, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  7. glavela

    It ain't over until the fat lady sings...
    Sad to see CNN once again be so biased and unfair. Your panel disgusted me. Even Paul Begala looked compressed by the aging and obese Berstein who spills venom every time he speaks of Hillary. I wonder how much royalty he gets from his sad book about her. He hates her so much (hypocrit) but loves to be presented as the "Hillary biographer". He should remember who is putting food in his table. Take that man off the air!!!!

    February 19, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Whats going on with the count in NY?

    February 19, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  9. David, Silver Spring MD

    I think HRC is saving up her congratulations so she can offer them all at once when Obama gets the nomination.

    February 19, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  10. jim douglas

    She talks about Obama ripping off Patrick, What about Clinton ripping off edwards? The Clinton camp better do their homework before they start pointing fingers. We don't need another 4 years of lying idiots.

    OBAMA /MCCAIN!!!!!

    February 19, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  11. Ben

    As the campaign continues on, Hillary is looking less like Presidential material and more like a women scorned. Maybe it is time for a change and as a Republican, I could easily vote for Obama but can not vote for Hillary.

    February 19, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  12. jimhenry

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


    February 19, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  13. Time Will Tell

    Will the Larry Sinclair polygraph that is scheduled next Tuesday make a big difference in the voters left?

    February 19, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  14. Tara

    they switched to Obama's speech because he WON. Isn't that obvious?

    February 19, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  15. C from Bmore

    Hillary is a hater. And I hope this proves to her once and for all–Negative campaigning and cheating never prospers. Beat him on the issues. She could have beat him in wisconsin had she not gone negative and stayed focused on policy. Dumb.

    It's official: Hillary is gonna act like a 14 karat fool on thursday during the debate.

    February 19, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  16. jam

    After eight tortuous years of a Bush-Cheney White House, I am desperate for a president with not only a unifying vision for the nation and the world, but one who possesses the grace, intelligence, and humility to lead us. Clearly, Senator Obama is the only candidate, Democrat or Republican, who qualifies.

    February 19, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  17. Yadayada

    Thanks be to God it's over for the Clinton's. No more of slick Willie's lying or Hilary's cackling! It must be very tough news for CNN, The Clinton New Network.

    February 19, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  18. Tom

    Poor Obama... 70% of the democratic party is going to vote McCane. (For the people who dont understand why 70% of democratic voters have voted for Hillary, but so many republicans have voted for Obama..)

    Don't blame me, I voted for Hillary!

    February 19, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  19. ek

    I think Hillary has not shown Obama any courtesy and I think tonight he finally returned the favor..who cares about her speech anyway – she sounds and looks so disingenuous when she speaks..no-one wants to listen to a sore loser !

    February 19, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  20. Donna

    I am a Democrat. If Obama is the Democratic nominee, I will vote for McCain, and I don't really like McCain either. But Obama will be a disaster. We have gullible voters who are falling for fancy speeches. No one seemed to have learned from voting for George W. Bush. Here we go again...same mentality, same mistake and I believe more disaster for our country if Obama wins. As far as CNN goes, that Carl Bernstein has to get a life. I agree, CNN is biased and unfair toward Hillary Clinton. Anderson Cooper has been fair toward her though. I still believe Hillary can win the nomination if she wins Texas and Ohio. If she does, you can count on the fact she will fight to seat the Florida and Michigan delegates. If that happens, she will be the Democratic nominee. GO HILLARY!

    February 19, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  21. Dorothy from Los Angeles

    PLEASE READ CAREFULLY – don't blame CNN or Barack Obama when you don't know the facts...

    Hillary Clinton was scheduled (on record) to speak at 8:30 pm, with Barack then scheduled at 9:30. She, as reported on multiple other sites, CHOSE to speak ONE HOUR LATE, thus choosing to risk pre-empting her opponent OR to be pre-empted. Barack had NOTHING to do with it, and neither did ANY OF THE MAJOR NETWORKS.

    Catch up bloggers – you gotta read more than one site. This is being reported ALL OVER THE NET.

    Hillary made the choice on timing, she also chose not to concede, and she made a bad decision. THAT'S IT.

    February 19, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  22. LatinoinAZ

    Stay the course Senator Clinton... We believe in you!!
    Latinos For Hillary!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 19, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  23. Gabby

    I dont think she was cut off from the speech, from what i heard on CNN, she moved her speech forward.

    Lets face it, hillary has been nasty in her attack, so what do you expect Obama to do ? Sit back and watch her give all her speeches when he was already projected to have won ?

    February 19, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  24. Jason, San Diego

    People, this is politics...it's exactly this kind of strategy (whether timing your speech or not mentioning your losses) that helps sway voters. Do we really believe that Clinton wouldn't have cut into Obama's speech had he started first? Hillary has been discourteous to Obama's integrity throughout her campaign, misquoting him, giving us ad hominem attacks, and misrepresenting his policies. Isn't is par for the course for Obama and Clinton to duke it out? We live in an age of TV and media finagling for the vote. It's do or die and the candidates are both doing what they think will work. Will we complain the same way if our democratic candidate, whoever it may be, does this very thing to McCain leading up to the general election? I doubt any Hillary supporters out there would call her out for that. Get real. It's politics, not an ice cream social.

    February 19, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  25. joanna

    IF Obama wins this election, he will be a one-term dissapointment...

    And as for his wife, how patriotic of that woman! And how insulting would be to this country to have someone like her become "first lady", one has to be one to act like one, with comments like hers who needs....

    February 19, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21