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. Noans

    Don't blame CNN for cutting to Obama's speech. Every network cut to his speech. Maybe if the Hill had displayed more political grace and congratulated Obama for his wins, as he has with Hillary's wins, maybe she would have gotten her speech covered by the networks. If the Hill is really about change, then let's see her unite the Democratic Party by calling it a day. Senator Hillary can be a power broker in the Senate to make sure President Obama's new policies are not blocked by Republicans. And hey, she can be the heir apparent to Senator Kennedy. I also want to say that I think Hillary is extremely intelligent, tough and has some good ideas but her destiny is in the Senate, not the White House. Been there. Done that.

    February 19, 2008 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  2. George from Minnesota

    What people most respond to when voting in caucuses, primaries and final elections is charisma. More so than policies, or experience. Obama has more charisma than Hillary and way more than McCain. Therefore he will win in '08.

    Just look at past presidential elections, and the candidate with more charisma usually wins.

    Mc Cain has less charisma than his republican oponents, but they split the vote against him which is why he is leading. Now you will have a superannuated soporific candidate going against a dynamic, youthful candidate. Obama will win. Their policies don't matter.

    February 19, 2008 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  3. Kay

    I remember watching George Bush during the last election. As he gained momentum and the people started being lulled into supporting him for the second time, all I could think of was "Forgive them for they know not what they do" and yes, that was taken from the bible. We do like our sweet talkin rock stars don't we? Stroke us and we will follow you anywhere . We never seem to learn and seem content to judge the messenger and unable to evaluate the message. We are in the process of doing ourselves in again, and McCain will be the next President.

    February 19, 2008 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  4. Darth Vadik, CA

    Jim Douglas,

    I don't want McCain anywhere close to Obama,

    McCain has absolutely NOTHING new to offer, nothing, same old same old.

    February 19, 2008 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  5. Jack Robertson

    Poor Hillary! As the crown slips away from her reach, the princess becomes ever more bitter. She will congratulate Obama eventually when he wins the nomination but she will do so with her trademark genuine, artificial sincerity.

    February 19, 2008 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  6. Steve, NYC, NY

    It's so funny. Even if Hillary congratulated Obama... who would have heard it? Obama was arrogant enough (again) to start his speech before she finished. Everyone cut away from her to broadcast his speech. Sad really... when all the media is hyping Obama and influencing the process.

    February 19, 2008 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  7. N.m

    If Clinton really wants to even stay in the race, she better start going after Obama about the issues and not resort to negative and petty politics. This will only hurt her in the long term

    February 19, 2008 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  8. Evelyn

    The last 3 times Obama has started his victory speech in the middle of Clinton speaking elsewhere when she has no way of knowing the results yet and that way she gets cut off and he gets the free ride again.What rudeness.CNN should be charging him for all of his free coverage.

    February 19, 2008 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  9. Brandy, NJ

    Well ... again based on these responses ... people seem to believe everything they read in the media.

    CNN the best political team for Obama ....

    I can count at least 5 times during the past presidential seasons where during primaries and general election the loser did not congratulate the winner.

    The media just likes to make a big deal out of nothing ... they can say anything they want and people will believe it.

    You people really put too much stock into what the media, especially CNN says.

    Obama does not have some great lead over Clinton ... yet he is being treated like the 'clear winner' ...

    Get over yourselves CNN.

    February 19, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  10. Peter

    Democrats are shooting in their own foot. I can now virtually guarantee that McCain will be the next President. You know why? Because Democrats can't stop fighting. The way super-delegates lobbying will take place will create a rift in the party. Even now, Democrats are either hard-core Hillary backer or ardent Obama supporter. If Obama will win nomination, a few of the Hillary backers (including Clintons) might vote for McCain in spite and vice-versa.

    Congrats McCain. You don't need to work hard. Democrats will do it for you.

    February 19, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  11. Waiting for Miracles

    I'm voting for McCain in General Election if Obama is the nominee for the Dems. I can't vote for a PLAGIARIST for President.

    February 19, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  12. Jones in California

    I support Hillary before, but tonight i switched to Obama-the wining movement.

    OBAMA 08....

    February 19, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  13. Hawk

    Who cares about these dummies? It's going to be President McCain anyway, thank God!

    February 19, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  14. Shametta

    Everyone on here is sad and childish. Hillary Clinton knows she did not campaign like she should have and Obama is clearly getting the votes. Hillary has no money and therefore you hear no more ad's on television or radio. If she can't run her campaign or fundings for her campaign for that matter how can she run the country. While you Hillary fans sit her and complain; the FACT is Obama is ahead. I live in Texas, and all I can say is Hillary watch out.

    February 19, 2008 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  15. New Dems

    Hillary Clinton is not officially the Huckabee of the Democratic Party. She needs to exit quickly and not force the party's favorite to spend anymore resources in wasteful primaries.

    February 19, 2008 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  16. JerryZ

    What goes around, comes around.

    Hillary was nasty and deceitful. She got what she had coming.
    And I'm sure she 'll be dumb enough to do it again.

    February 19, 2008 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  17. Sally

    Hillary will distroy this country.

    February 19, 2008 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  18. Brandy, NJ

    Remember Bush had no experience and we elected him twice. Obama has less experience than Bush ...

    He is becoming a joke .. Obamaism, Oba-mania, Obama-nation, etc ... please ... Bush is also a joke now in our country too. The last thing we need is some FAD becoming president.

    CNN even did a fluff piece on Obama, interviewing his past wooing girl friends from hawaii ... PLEASE ... this is what we want to hear about our future president?

    February 19, 2008 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  19. Janice

    YES WE CAN! Alright you Clinton fans, the better candidate is winning and it's AMERICAS CHOICE. I am a white poor american and female, and I am living proof that she will not get my vote! Obama is an inspiration, just as I tell my sons, you can do anything that you put your mindset to do! My youngest is a teacher in Texas, he will make sure to help Obama too; Obama is by far the better candidate in every which way; and he and his family will bring PRIDE back to what a FIRST FAMILY'S IMAGE is all about, a family that our young people and children can look up to, after all they are going to be our future leaders too!

    YES WE CAN, only with OBAMA!

    February 19, 2008 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  20. charlieblaze

    Member Since: Feb. 19, 2008

    Party: NA

    Last Visited: Feb. 19, 2008 – 10:33 PM EST

    #350Feb. 19, 2008 – 10:31 PM EST

    I have two points to make to those imbeciles that keeping calling Obama a Muslim. The 1st point is that true Christians know that it only takes confession in Christ as your savior and baptism to confirm yourself as a Christian. Obama has done that. So, unless you want to tell every evangelist that they're wrong, people should re-evaluate their statements.

    Point 2 is that if you want to judge people based on their ethnicity and heritage, then many of the slanderers here may be hurting themselves. For example, if you are of Italian, German, or Japanese descent, then maybe you should be shunned, since your compatriots were the Axis Powers. Or better yet, if you're of Russian, Ukrainian, or any other former Communist country descent, then maybe you should judged too. See how stupid that way of thinking is? Slam Obama on facts, not superficial things such as heritage. That makes you an idiot racist, not a rational being.

    I just speak truth. If you don't like it, remain happily ignorant! 🙂

    February 19, 2008 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  21. Ray

    Who cares? CNN is obviously so pro Obama that you can't say anything against him. If you post something pro Hillary, your comment will be "awaiting moderation" until it disappears. Who cares about Superdelegates when CNN has already chosen a candidate for us? Their so called "best political team" is made up of one Hillary supporter and six or more Obama crones! I know I'm just waiting my time writing but I don't care I'll be spending my night wondering how we Americans can be so blind. I said it in 2000 and I'll say it again... We deserve what we get!!!!

    February 19, 2008 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  22. Jason

    Gaving, it is the decision of TV Studios to air what they feel they should.

    How is Obama being arrogant? Do you even know what you're talking about?

    And turn off the caps, shouting won't make people vote for her.

    February 19, 2008 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  23. dick, WI

    They always cut away to the winner.
    I'm sure there was a reporter there at Hillarys who could have reported she congratulated OB if she had done it.
    Now, Wisconsin has an OPEN primary. The dems can vote for a Rep too if they want to. It isn't just that Repubs can vote for a dem.
    Which they did today . They don't like Hillary so voted for OB.
    Then in Nov. they will go back and vote for the repub.
    But Hillary learned something. Obama got the white vote, low percentage of minority here, men and equal on the women. She learned that "the Clintons" arent as beloved as they like to think. They have a bad reputation and we all know what it is.
    Also WI people don't like neg. ads which she has been doing these days and they don't like negative people and corrupt cheats.
    She didn't thank her supporters in WI either.
    So, we shall see how her surrogates try to spin this one. or perhaps she will pretend it didn't happen and ignore us. Even if she would pull off the nom. we will remember.
    I wonder how the press knows who voted by race, religion, sex, age, etc. They don't have a person at every polling spot asking exit questions. Where does the press get this stuff??

    February 19, 2008 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  24. Bran

    Of course, CNN had to cut Hillary's speech down to several minutes to show 45 minutes of their little darling's speech.

    Obama should just change his campaign song to "Free Ride" to honor CNN and their contribution to his campaign!!!

    February 19, 2008 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  25. pete

    If that woman spent as much time on her marriage as she does running around the country in her self-serving gambit no one cares about, maybe she could salvage one of two losing battles.

    February 19, 2008 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21