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. Jimmy Valente

    Stop Hillary!
    We are tired to hear from you= I am your President, I will be in this ovale Washington office, My oponent blablabla.
    He never mention your name during his speech tonight and you continue to pick on him.
    We see the real face now=You want to be a President for yourself.That's it.
    Stop this obssession, Ï am your President, I am I am I am....
    Where are The American folks?
    ...Andplease, recognize that he is a real politician we do need, recognize he is more stronger than you. That's what a real americans are waiting for since JFK: Honest sincere man devoted for ALL USA.

    February 19, 2008 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  2. TexasDem

    Seems like CNN has a political point to make when it comes to Hilary Clinton. It's suspicious how much negative Clinton press shows up on the CNN web-site on primary voting days (financial irrgularities alos linked to the Obama campaign, Bill's conforntation of a heckler.. ) Even here Clinton is painted as a sore loser through this article with a one-line redaction at the end that nullifies the whole thing. Why not just delete the article if it's totally bogus. I'm disapointed that CNN is showing such bias.

    February 19, 2008 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  3. Murray

    And why she should mention it? What is your point? That once again she is some kind of evil person. I am tired of these sexist accusations against this woman. How she manages to battled against the impossible I don't know. I would have given up in the face of such odds. It's a male dominated world and never so true is this statement as in the current democratic race. If Clinton was a man, this game would be over – by a knock out. But suddenly "experience" means nothing when a woman has it. The sexist bias in the media is beyond disgusting – it's socially irresponsible and destructive. And no doubt CNN will delete this comment because it's never good to expose the truth.

    February 19, 2008 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  4. JerryZ

    Wolf Blitzer is crying in a corner now, wiping his tears with Hillary '09
    T-shirt he wears under his suit.

    February 19, 2008 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  5. get real

    To the person who wrote this: if you look at the exit polls for Wisconsin people vote 94% that Clinton will win in November! Yet they voted for Obama…. Take another look at where exactly the 94% was at. 94% of the people who voted for hillary think she will win in November, not 94% of all the people who voted.

    February 19, 2008 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  6. Jasmine--AZ

    I just want all the voters in Texas and Ohio to take this question to heart...

    Do you want a president that can't even run a successful campaign running your country???


    February 19, 2008 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  7. kathleen, illinois

    To Steve, NYC, N.Y.

    They cut away from her "speech", "words" because HE WON.
    in WISCONSIN. What did you expect? And she is a boring "old
    politics" speaker. It is not sad, it is reality.

    February 19, 2008 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  8. Elaine in Grand Rapids

    If Clinton has the experience to make the right decisions on day 1, why has she had to fire 3 key members of her campaign management?

    February 19, 2008 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  9. KB

    Bring it to Texas! How exciting Texas has a chance to weigh in on the Democratic race for a change. Clinton is in a tough position. She needs to either come out with a profound and substantial new policy proposal or really dominate Thursday's Texas debate. If she begins to attack, however, it will work against her as in the past. The only other hope for her is a major hick-up from Obama. She missed a great opportunity in her speech tonight to say something new which she failed to do. I feel Obama's momentum is unstoppable at this point and I couldn't be more excited about it.

    February 19, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  10. David T

    Gavin, I suppose Obama contacted CNN and told them to cut into her speech. Gimme a break!


    February 19, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  11. Cory Fisher

    She is sore that she lost. If she were winning right now they would of done the same thing. The thing is? She hasnt been winning. Shes lost more than she has won.


    I want to listen to the winner. Not the looser.

    The media isnt as biased as you think. Look at the total of stories on Hillary. There are more on her than Obama.

    February 19, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  12. David T

    Gavin, I suppose Obama contacted CNN and told them to cut into her speech. Gimme a break!


    February 19, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  13. Truthful Tuesday

    The Larry SInclair story could be very damaging to the Obama campaign. I suspect that Tuesday's polygraph could ruin his credibility. If the media would have covered the story in November when it actually broke, Obama would have never made it this far.

    If you think the Democratic Party is divided now, wait until Tuesday.

    February 19, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  14. Abe, Land O Lakes, FL

    I hope Barak and Hillary will put thier differences and agree on a dream ticket Barak/Hillary. Dems need to unite and change Washington. Another Repuplican presidency would be nothing different than giving Bush's third term. Another hundred years in Iraq and more tax cuts for the top 1%!!!

    February 19, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  15. David Jones

    Hillary needs to take her medication and get out of the race!
    Texas and Ohio will fall under the column of Obama!

    If she can't put her so called "Experience", "Ready on Day 1" and "Solutions Business" to win primaries, then she is a SORE BIG FAT LOOOOOOSER!



    YES WE CAN!!!!

    GO OBAMA!!!

    February 19, 2008 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  16. Janice

    YES SHE IS (the loser) YES SHE IS (the loser), the best slogan for HILLARY! she does not acknowledge anyone, no one unless she is the winner otherwise we mean nothing to her. she is a big sore loser, just like grade school kids are; when they dont get their way, they bully or have temper tantrums. I dont want Bill Clinton as the first Gentleman either, who would? Not I!

    February 19, 2008 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  17. Dave

    Even if Hillary looses, I give her alot of credit, even if you don't like her she is a smart women. I will vote for Mccain in 08.

    February 19, 2008 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  18. Charles

    CNN Viewers

    Don't get trapped with small dramas.

    If CNN toyed with viewers over Obama's borrowing of lines yesterday then toys with viewers over Clinton not expressing congratulations today then the best reaction is to ignore and turn the TV off and stop blogging.

    Move on and dwell on more substantial items to think about. There is plenty to choose from at the moment- Cuba and Castro, NIU tragedy and implication on gun policies or mental illness policies, Tornado damages, Texas fire, Kosovo and Pakistan elections, Al Quaeda's tactic in Iraq. There are relevant policy-related matters that are worthwhile. I wished CNN was daring enough to set up the next debate with youtuber questions like they did awhile back.

    February 19, 2008 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  19. Meea

    Mrs. Clinton just gavea speech in Ohio about bringing back jobs in America. Well, she forgot to say the word.....Nafta, the reason our jobs folded up and left the United States. Sen. Clinton should have told her husband. Mr. clinton to think Nafta.

    February 19, 2008 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  20. Michael S

    Wow, of course they cut away from Clinton to Obama giving his victory speech – that is typical when an opponent wins an election. But they also mentioned that Obama's speech was scheduled and could start any time when they listened in to HRC.

    And to the comments that Obama didn't congratulate HRC for her winnings on Super Tuesday – well, why would he? On the whole, she lost that day – both delegate count and number of states.

    February 19, 2008 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  21. Hillaryfan

    Hillary...we have to at least thank the people who voted for her........Also she spoke for 10-15 minutes and she thanked the band but couldn't at least thank the people who went out in the Cold...that rude and it was disrespectful for to the voters that support you....shame on you Clinton...shame on you.

    February 19, 2008 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  22. gar

    I sure hope as a Canadian that Obama proves to be as good as the media has made him out to be if he should get the nomination and win the election. I do not think Hillary gets a fair shake from the media or for that matter anyone who looks like they might lose. You people have thing about star struck jump on the bandwagon and past history modified to suit your egos. Johnson did more for blacks in the states than Kennedy ever did, another Camelot in the making until failure sets in then maybe Hillary or McCain will have to rescue you from another disaster like Iraq.When are you going to ask Obama some tough questions on policy ?

    February 19, 2008 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  23. frank

    I am Hillary Clinton supporter I like other Hillary supporters will be voting for John Mcain in november. The reason is because the way cnn and other media outlets have covered Barack Obama this guy does no wrong. But every little thing Hillary does gets negative press. To me the media is getting obama elected with their pro obama coverage. the hillary voters are getting turned off by this thats why we will be voting for john mcain in november........

    February 19, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  24. Matt

    Her speech was nearly over, she wasn't on for more than four minutes after he approached the microphone. He went through thank-you's and didn't even start the crux of his speech until after she was no longer being carried on the air.

    Big freakin' whoop. He's the winner. He can come out and speak whenever he darn well pleases. If she won, I wouldn't expect her to respect Obama enough not to come out and speak, after all, she never mentions the fact she keeps losing in primaries and caucuses since Super Tuesday.

    February 19, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  25. John

    Hillary is bashing herself, plain and simple. Nomination was hers to lose and she's lost it just by being herself. Go Obama!

    February 19, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
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