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. mike wyeth

    seems to me that the candidate who defines definite details and actions to achieve expressed goals would gain considerable support
    in final stages!

    February 20, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  2. Francisco

    People in Winconsin are concerned about the economy and they vote for a person with no experience. Now that is absurd. Congratulations Hussien Obama (yes this is his real name).

    February 20, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  3. SF., CA

    And CNN abruptly ended Clinton's speech in order to air a speech full of hot air.

    For CNN, Obama can do no wrong. It is because of the media that the most inexperienced person will win the Democratic nomination.

    February 20, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  4. pagpag

    This is the headline:

    Clinton's election night speech fails to mention election

    Why wasn't it something like:
    Obama victory speech cuts Hillary off the air

    When is the press going to stop treating Obama with kid gloves?

    February 20, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  5. Jen, Gainesville

    It was rude for Hillary to start her speech without congratulating the winner. I am sure Obama waited to hear it. After that time elapses, Obama needed to move on. Why would anyone blame Obama, especially it has been habitual for Hilllary not to concede? Hillary was giving a rally, not a conceding speech. There was nothing wrong for Obama to go ahead with his victory speech. A gentleman and a witch.

    February 20, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  6. Justin

    Poor Hilary. If you don't want to be cut off, then don't delay your speech. The world isn't going to sit around and wait for you to spout your usual rhetoric. You'd think your "experiance" would tell you that...

    February 20, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  7. Steve25

    She needs to cry before TX and OH.

    February 20, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  8. Kristin

    Why can't she just be graceful? Isn't that a quality that future "presidents" should have, especially when the loss is NOT at all a close one?

    February 20, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  9. Baystate Barn Cat

    Hillary needs to understand that Americans are sick and tired of the "old" style politics. She's behaving like something out of a Jeff Foxworthy joke.....

    February 20, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  10. s. clark

    also the hatred spewed by the obama supporters leads me to wonder
    if that is all that man can inspire in people.

    February 20, 2008 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  11. Angela

    Honestly, she can't. What she did tonight, congratulate him in private reflects the stage they are at in this race.

    I believe that Hillary needs to talk about the day she decided on her own to run for president. She needs to show that even if she is Bill's wife, this is no easy decision for anyone, and to want to put her family back through the tough days that are being the president, she must be the ultimate civil servant we are looking for to bring us through the days ahead.

    February 20, 2008 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  12. 08

    Well, that shows who she is that she cannot accept the fact that she lost. A true leader can admit that there are battles to be lost and others to be won.
    She stated that those states did not count for her just like she said of other states............ apparently only some votes, some voices and some people count for Senator Clinton.

    Obama 08. Yes We Can..............

    February 20, 2008 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  13. Monique from California

    It is not important for Hillary to congratulate Obama. He kicked her butt again and we all know it, she knows it too. I am glad to be a part of the process of CHANGE and not one to settle for the same-old-same old rhetoric. Hillary is not going to move this country forward she is going to move the Clinton Dynasty forward. I supported Bill, thought he was good but Hill is not Bill and I did not blame him for his multiple affairs.

    February 20, 2008 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  14. DW

    Obama is nothing more than an empty shell; He may be mesmerizing on the outside, but there is NOTHING inside.

    HIllary has substance; how refreshing!!!

    February 20, 2008 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  15. Barbara

    Barack shows me nothing but alot of talk he has no expreience in foreign affairs. He head is as big as his mouth. I wonder what all of the people will do when he is trying to run this country and he has to do more than give a good speech. His wife needs to apologize for her unpatriotic remarks about our country. And she would make a good first lady??? She seem to have the same problem as her husband a big mouth!

    February 20, 2008 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  16. Eric

    If you are a Dem you will support whomever the nominee is. You win some and you loose some. It does not take much to thank the voters in WI that came out and voted in below zero temperatures. Hillary should have thanked the voters regardless of the outcome. If she had won this primary she would have thanked them. If she somehow comes back and win the nomination she will want those voters to vote for again.

    February 20, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  17. Monsur

    Game is not over yet. But I am afraid Democrat's will loose in the general election. Obama people and Clinton people hate each. Is anyone know why Democrat primary got more vote those clinton hater having feast they are voting for Obama.

    February 20, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  18. Sami

    Hilary has now congratulated him, by private phonecall according to AC.

    I think she needs to decide on one modeus operandi and stick to it. Am very confused right now as to what she stands for. Also it was a big, huge mistake for her to discount he states she lost in as inconsiquential. It makes the others rethink how she maybe viewing them.

    February 20, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  19. Douglas

    She is washed up and extremely unpopular. I am surprised she got this far. I see 'Stop Hillary!' posters all over my town. She's part of the problem, not the solution. She is running on fumes and it's incredibly enjoyable to watch from a distance. When she loses Texas and Ohio, maybe her head will explode.

    February 20, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  20. James T. Laing

    This is great drama. Like The West Wing writ large. I hope it goes all the way to a brokered convention. The Democratic Primaries Rock! Woo Hoo!!!

    February 20, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  21. OBAMA 08

    She has failed period.

    February 20, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  22. Delilah

    A few weeks ago, CNN regularly cut away from Senator Obama speeches to go to Senator Clinton speeches. Clinton supporters lauded CNN for their fair coverage. Now the trend has reversed and they call foul.

    Once upon a time, Obama supporters called CNN "The Clinton News Network" now the Clinton supporters are calling for CNN to endorse Obama.

    Guess what folks, the story is the story. You can't change the fact that Senator Obama has won 9 primaries out of 9. Hawai'i hasn't come in yet. CNN has the reponsibility to report THE FACTS not the facts as either campaign would prefer but the facts as they are.

    As for the comment 18 year old kids don't matter? They are old enough to enlist in the armed forces and go to Iraq and die. They are old enough to matter. In fact, to my mind, they matter more than someone who sat on their couch and didn't put their butt or that of a family member's butt on the line.

    February 20, 2008 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  23. dieter

    9 in a row. It's time to unite the party behind Obama. Hillary supporters and Obama supporters, we're all the Democratic party. Unite behind Obama.

    Obama '08

    February 20, 2008 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  24. Dr. Gonzo

    Yes Steve, because we all know Obama strategically placed his speech nears Clinton's to drive her off of the T.V.

    These things are scheduled in advanced. It was the choice of the news agencies to cover the speech of the WINNER.

    February 20, 2008 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  25. Judy Peters

    Cnn said Hillary called Obama and congratulaed his win.

    February 20, 2008 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
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