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. Rebecca - Fresno, CA

    Whether she congratulates B. Obama or not, is insignificant. Like most candidates when they have been formally projected as the winner, he came out to speak to the over 20,000 people that braved the frigid tremperatures and snow to vote for him and who had waited to hear him speak. I made a point to watch her speech before his came on and then again in its entirety after his speech. I heard everything she had to say. I do think it was rather strange though, that she didn't even acknowledge the voters of Wisconsin who took the time and effort to vote for her.

    February 19, 2008 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  2. Bill

    Good riddance sea-hag!

    Even the democrats can see what a lying, disingenuous, deceitful, bag of wind "she who shall not be named" really is.

    Pack it up and go home–to Arkansas, not NY.

    February 19, 2008 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  3. jrterrier

    the most telling moment of tonight's election coverage on another network was when wisconsin governor doyle, an obama supporter mentioned that the last time he could remember such great enthusiasm in wisconsin for a candidate was perhaps when mcgovern ran. does anyone remember what happened to mcgovern in the general election? he lost by a landslide.

    of course, the newscaster didn't mention the landslide loss.

    oh, well.

    hillary in '08

    February 19, 2008 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  4. SodaPop

    I think it's sad that once again the media jumps to favor whoever seems to be ahead at the moment. We couldn't hear what Hillary was trying to say because of the cut off.
    Also, I agree with another comment where Obama did not get this trashed when he was behind! Now that Hillary is (and is only slightly!) behind, they completely put her down and act like she is out of the race!
    Let's just be real, the media and the general pubic still feel so inadequate and weak that they still feel more comfortable with a MAN than a WOMAN in the White House. That goes past the color barrier, but resides within the majority of people that still believe through stereotype that men are the more effective leaders.
    But watch out people, Hillary is by now means out, and keep dreaming if you think Obama will lead the country to unity. It's not like he is making his speeches or coming up with his own campaign ideas. Change and hope- like he says so repeatedly ( which he knows is key to the remembering), are "just words" he is using to get hopeful Americans who are looking for ANYONE different from the norm, to side with him to get his glory as the first African American presidential candidate. Wait and see folks, it's not over 'til it's over.

    February 19, 2008 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  5. Equality

    If you can't give a speech that keeps people awake to listen to be inclinded to listen to your policies then what good is your words Hillary!

    February 19, 2008 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  6. evora sverige

    as response to "Voted for Hillary in WI"
    Wisconsin has never voted for George W. Bush

    February 19, 2008 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  7. 4Change

    For all the sore loser Hillary supporters who threaten to leave the party just because ...GULP...their candidate keeps losing the vote...GOOD! Get out.

    We are glad to see you go. We don't need (nor want) anyone with such blind allegiance. We saw what that got the Republican party (and everyone else) over the last 7 years. It is the independents and the crossovers that are finally making their voice heard. And if you are too "old school" to recognize this country needs a break from "politics as usual" – then you deserve what you get...to be left in the dust with the far right wackos.

    February 19, 2008 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  8. jasmene

    Your true colors tend to be exposed when things are not going your way. Hilary is a poor sport!
    So what he started his speech in Texas when she was doing hers in Ohio. Its very apparent that the people of this country want to hear what Obama has to say over Clinton and that's why the media cut her speech short to show his!

    February 19, 2008 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  9. Laughing Repbulican

    Quit whining for Hillary. If you wanted to see her complete speech you could have tuned to CSPAN or other Public Access Channel or Radio.

    Fact is, she stinks as a public speaker and she isn't saying anything new. As far as experience, she doesn't have much as an elected and accountable public servant. So stop with that angle.

    And finally, who cares if she didn't acknowledge Obama's sweeping victories? Why should she? Like her husband, she can tell the truth, much less face it.

    I might have to return to the Dem party, it seems they are the only ones fighting for the privilege of running this country.

    February 19, 2008 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  10. Joe Peterson

    Queen Clinton speaks again in her silence
    "Let them eat cake then off with their heads".


    She is trying to steal delegates as we write of another Obama victory.

    King Clinton's legacy is waning even after his reign .

    What to think of the Clintons now?

    February 19, 2008 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  11. Justin

    History will repeat. Poor Dumbcrats doing again.Independent's please save our country.

    February 19, 2008 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  12. Egoama

    way to go BO!!! Is this the start of the positive change that you are talking about....starting your speech before your opponent had finished? Shame on the media for actually cutting away. If this isn't the same old same old. The arrogance is starting to show, bro. Better hold it in check before the general election. true colors, true colors.

    February 19, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  13. Patriot

    Hillary, the is the beginning of the end of your campaign...AND you konw that! So, you better give up now or tomorrow will be too late...politically speaking.........................................

    February 19, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  14. Deb Democrat

    What's wrong with my fellow Obama supporters? Why do some of us take such great pleasure in bashing Sen. Clinton? It's disheartening to see that we have bought into the media's hate for her (and the Clintons). Come on, grow up – Sen. Clinton deserves our respect. I support Sen. Obama, but I will not say a hurtful word against the Clintons.

    February 19, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  15. s. clark

    i commented twice on this blog ......neither was published....
    guess they didnt agree with you

    February 19, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  16. Melanie

    Part of being able to take a "political" punch is thanking the crowd that came to watch you fight. In all her years of experience, Hillary hasn't learned social graces. It's a shame.
    Oh, and if you don't like CNN pointing out a flaw in your candidate, go to the New York Times, they speak highly of her there.

    February 19, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  17. WestCoastMessenger

    Hamby, you don't control the candidates timetables, they control their own. HIllary will congratulate Obama for his Wisconsin win. Will Obama congratulate Hillary for her Washington primary win tonight?

    February 19, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  18. SodaPop

    Also, the more the media talks up one candidate and counts the other out, the more the American pubic is going to believe it. With this said, this causes more and more people who cannot think for themselves to go out and vote that way, favoring the media's favorite. Sad.

    February 19, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  19. CW Jones

    Of course Hillary hasn't mentioned anything about losing. At best, she is in denial. I am a one-time Clinton supporter, however I don't think Hillary has used her true wits to construct a message that resonates with people instead of polls. Her ego is in the way and she isn't willing to admit that she has relied on 'old-boy' politics when the nation is asking for something new. If she gets the nomination I'll vote for her, however reluctantly. But it will be a vote against McCain and not for Clinton. She should bow out now, be gracious, and really support the momentum that Obama is creating. If she did that, I would have unending respect for her.

    February 19, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  20. Mia

    Now the losers are pointing to the refs and claiming they are calling all the plays in the other man's favor. Hillary was as an hour late in giving her speech. Don't expect everyone to accomodate her.

    I will be honest. If she was a woman - and not Hillary– I'd be much more likely to vote for her. Let a woman who has not rode her husband's coattails and expect the DNC to fall in line just because she wants them to.

    CNN also reported so-called plagiarism on Obama's part. So those of you complaining that CNN is biased - stop posting on a CNN blog and make your own.

    Call it Pity Party for Clinton. Awwwwww.

    February 19, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  21. anomaka

    Clinton delayed her speech 1 hour. Of course she will be cut. Who wants to listen to a loser.

    February 19, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  22. Dani

    It's truly sad the partisan politics that CNN is playing. I originally supported Hillary and ended up voting for Obama. Yes, he is inspiring but as I am taking a closer look, he and his campaign dismisses any criticism of him and has nothing but excuses. Everyone in the media is afraid to touch him. But CNN has really overstepped their bounds and I have no respect for them. I saw Hillary in Boston and she is really very smart and quite specific. I'll vote for McCain unless the media stops determining who the candidate will be. The media will either build you up or tear you down. We see it with the Hollywood stars. It really is a disgrace. In fact, the media stands in the way of true democracy.

    February 19, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    All I have to say is unacceptable.. 45% people of WI standed for you, Clinton – and you haven't even thanked them... No, thank you... Obama all way

    February 19, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  24. jt

    Stop watching CNN – they can't get it right. CLINTON 08.

    CHANGE – isn't that what CNN likes so much? I am CHANGING to a different NETWORK. ONE THAT TRULY IS INDEPENDENT.

    February 19, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  25. Illinois voters!!!!!!!!!

    Poor and very naive Young Americans !!!!!!
    Open your brain and think !!!!!! before making any decision or comment !!!!!!
    Obama is the one who won't have any power and speaches won't halp to make the changes !!!!!!!
    Please, be realistic !!!!!
    Only experienced, hard working, smart person could change today's
    America !!!!!

    Strong women is needed !!!!! She has a power !!!!!!! more then Obama !!!!
    ALL votes for HILLARY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 19, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
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