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. jrterrier

    obama did this to mccain on super tuesday. obama started talking while mccain was giving his speech. is he rude, self-centered, or does he just not care about such things.

    February 19, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  2. jam

    After eight years of Bush-Cheney arrogance, greed, and warmongering, I am desperate for a president with not only a unifying vision for America and the world, but one who possesses the grace, intelligence, humility, and heart to lead us forward. Clearly Senator Obama is the only candidate, Democrat or Republican, who qualifies. Senator Clinton certainly deserves our respect for her commitment to the nation, but Barack Obama deserves our vote.

    February 19, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  3. Confused

    Is it just me, or are other Democrats scared to have to choose between McCain and Obama? We would never hire a CEO without experience so why does it seem my fellow Democrats are doing just that?

    Hillary is exceptionally smart, experienced, focused, a clear communicator and has mental toughness. These are qualities I want in a leader!

    HILLARY IN 2008!!

    February 19, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  4. Abby

    CNN has the temerity to cut off Hillary Clinton' s speech in Ohio and show Obama's speech in Houston and then turn around and HAVE THE NERVE to accuse Hillary of not congratulating Obama?
    Did consider that before cutting her off and switching your coverage to your "preferred candidate"?

    CNN, you have lost your credibility during this election season. I like many other people use to have a very high regard for your network but not anymore.

    February 19, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  5. Percy

    Obama has gone beyond expectations and he really represents a positive change. Clinton and McCain are more of the same, more of the past. We as Americans need to be aware that the situation we are going through needs to change and we will have to fight together with our leader to make everything happen. Let's do this and God bless America!!

    February 19, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  6. Tom

    That's it! CNN has picked their guy and is now cramming him down our throats! The only way you have a vioce in America is if you own a Cable News Network! I was a life-long CNN watcher since it took off in the early days. Tonight, I switch the channel!

    February 19, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  7. Indy for Obama

    She's done. The harder she fights, the more petty she gets. The best thing she can do for her country now is stop, congratulate Obama, and accept his offer for Secretary of Health and Human Services.

    February 19, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  8. Poli

    No wonder Hillary is so tired on the campaign trail – she's been working the night shift! 🙂

    She's in for a rude awakening in Texas. As a life-long Republican voter in Texas, I get to vote in the Democrat's primary for Obama!

    I'll take a fresh start and even just 1 oz of integrity any day! 🙂

    February 19, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  9. Dave

    I am proud o be an Amercian and very proud, unlike Obama's wife!!! She is proud of her husband because he has come this far, and was never proud to be an American till today!

    February 19, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  10. Shelly-in-PA

    Hillary has NOTHING the American people want to hear any way.

    February 19, 2008 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  11. Irene

    Again we democrats are doing the worst thing for our party and will let the media and the Repugs decide our election. I hope that all of you who are gloating now don't cry foul after the general election when Obama loses to McCain. I live in AZ and have seen the stuff this man is willing to do. I believe in hope as much as the next person. but when you are up against the most corrupt group of people on the planet you have to be able to fight. They have set you all up. If they can steal two elections they can affect the outcome of a race by manipulation of the MSM so people vote for the easy mark.
    Too bad you Obama supporters can not see it. I don't look forward to the fall.

    February 19, 2008 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  12. Anonymous


    February 19, 2008 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  13. Kurt

    CNN - your honeymoon with Obama is almost over. When she wins her victory will be sweet. She will not only have defeated Obama but the media too.

    February 19, 2008 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  14. Jacqueline Mac SC

    They cut to the winner. that is it. CNN cut to the winner.

    Hillary will never have this single white 50 yr old woman's vote. She is rude and presumptuous beyond belief. A politician that doesn't congratulate the winner? What is wrong with her?

    Hillary timed her speech haughtily thinking the news would follow her. Since when does the news follow the loser first? She is an idiot

    February 19, 2008 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  15. Margaret Canniff

    For all of you writing off Hillary – she's less than 70 delegates behind with 3 big states to go. (Which, by the way, are the type of states Hillary wins!) And Obama is more than 700 delegates short for the nomination.

    Neither candidate can get enough delegates over the next few primaries to cinch the nomination. It probably will come down to the convention – which it should if they are still this close.

    And for those of you Hillary-haters out there – Hillary is still getting the "older women" vote – and they happen to be the biggest voting bloc within the Democratic Party.

    She may be down – but she's not out.

    February 19, 2008 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  16. Nancy

    I'm very frustrated, with Obama, the coverage of CNN. Your headline is all negative for Hillary. It's outrageous you're letting Obama get away with talking over Hillary's speech. It was arogant and rude. Why don't you cover that part in your coverage. And what's up with you calling an election with just exit polls and 1% of the vote. Let the people vote and report that.

    February 19, 2008 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  17. Katie, NJ

    Hey, CNN,
    Tonight, Its just about the story of the day not the true election.
    Remember the big deal you made about Washington last week? Obama destined to cream Hillary. Now Hillary is leading. But that state apparently won't be as big a deal as Wisconsin, because that was last weeks story. This will be ignored, most likely because it is close.

    Again, media hype.

    February 19, 2008 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  18. paustintx

    I think for all the negative and baseless campaign attack she deserves to be prempted.

    February 19, 2008 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    Shame on CNN for cutting Hillary off.
    CNN for Obama! Way to go CNN! When will you be endorsing Obama?

    I will be voting for Hillary, if I can't, it will be McCain for me.

    Hillary '08

    February 19, 2008 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  20. CNN BIAS

    what WILL you do when you don't have her to pick on anymore? Once again, you show that you are the bottom feeders of journalism.

    February 19, 2008 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  21. Daniel, Dallas, TX

    Honestly, if Hillary wanted her speech covered in its entirety, then she should have started it at or around 8:30, it's scheduled time. She delayed for an hour, and then started it. Should Obama delay his speech simply because Hillary delayed hers? If so, why? He was merely proceeding on schedule.

    February 19, 2008 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  22. Jules

    Clinton was my vote at first, then I changed to Obama the reason I changed my mind is she does not have sincerity, she lacks depth and cares about nothing other then winning at any cost.When she speaks it is dead,. no feeling ,no gusto, no excitement, just blah!

    February 19, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  23. Southerner

    And Hillary was so full of herself that she started her speech an hour after it was supposed to begin! She knew Obama would be coming on and still put hers off, she gets what she deserves, Steve.

    Obama is not hyped, the people want Obama and not more of the same! Why cant you HRC supporters get this concept?

    February 19, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |

    Anyone who doesn't know who said that statement is an ignoramus and was probably home schooled by fundamentalists.

    Here are some statements.
    "Ask not what your country will do for you..." I don't even have to finish it for you. You also know who said it.
    "We have nothing to fear..."
    "I have a dream."

    So, Am I a plagiarist or am I simply not insulting your intelligence by stating the obvious?

    February 19, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  25. Joy

    I wonder if all the Republican crossovers will vote Democratic in November.

    February 19, 2008 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
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