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. Adam, Los Angeles

    Senator Clinton didn't even acknowledge the people who supported her and voted for her in these past 9 elections. Shame on her! She deserved to have the lime-light taken off her.

    February 20, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  2. Ed

    Its ten to zero. Hillary should back off and take at look at why people don't like her. Perhaps its time to start crying again. Worked in NH.

    February 20, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  3. Tim O.

    It"s lights out Hillary.

    February 20, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  4. Allen Rhodes

    Slip slidin' away

    February 20, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  5. CaliPeach

    JF, I feel the same way. If Hillary is the nominee, I am voting Republican for the first time in my life.

    OBAMA 2008

    February 20, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  6. Kristin

    Hilary is the one that says that she is the tough candidate used to being scrutinized, so why is everyone whining now? It's funny how the campaign line keeps changing, when his has stayed the same–change!!! It's hard to say that you stand for change when you were in the white house (with your husband), you are the same that we have seen before. You even borrow your husband's speeches. . . or part of them, but who get criticized more, and takes it more gracefully. . .

    February 20, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  7. Crystal in CA

    Come on you guys, it's not that serious. So what if Hillary hasn't congratulated Obama. She's losing and losing doesn't feel good to anyone. I know it's a little immature and lacks common etiquette, but hey, Hillary is out of her element right now. Her wicked wand is broken or something. Her spells are being cast backwards onto her.

    I just have a question. Why is Obama considered arrogant just because he is winning? Is he getting too big for his britches...or perhaps out of line for some of you folks. Does he need to be reminded of his place? Why is he arrogant?

    February 20, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  8. Shawn

    You all can say what you want....But America is speaking for itself....9 wins in a row speaks volumes........Obama 08 !!!!!!

    February 20, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  9. Mark

    If you will read the information from the report Hillary scheduled to give her speech 1 hour earlier that she did. Why she pushed her speech back 1 hour who knows. They both had them scheduled in advance so I would imagine she knew when his was going to happen and gave hers an hour later anyhow, knowing they would overlap. I would say poor planning by her or her team.

    February 20, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  10. Kevin, IN

    Obama is running a brilliant campaign. Speeches don't matter, eh? Why then does Hilary's speech matter?

    February 20, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  11. Terry K

    Way to go Obama. She doesn't show respect for anyone else, so why should he sit around and wait all night to give his speech (she was late giving hers). She obviously doesn't show respect for him or anyone and is your typical politician that nobody wants in the White house anymore. That is why she is now a long shot to win ... GO OBAMA GO!!!

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

    CNN is writing Hillary off because she isn't delivering. The news wants to cover a winner, not a loser, and it's been 9 states since she's won something. Personally I don't want to watch more of Hillary whining about how Obama's wins don't represent the electorate and that he's only winning caucuses, crossover primaries, and red states that'll go Republican in the general election. If I understand Hillary right, she only wants to be President of die-hard Democrats and the rest of the country isn't worth a dang. It's not Obama's fault what the networks do; CNN itself stated that Hillary started after time. It's not his fault, or job, to cater to her schedule.

    February 20, 2008 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  13. Barry, Texas

    Can you people READ? Did you NOT read the article that left it to the end to say–"She started her speech an hour late"...so what's Mr. Obama suppose to do, hold up 20,000 people who had come at the appointed time for Madame Queen Hillary?

    It's always something, with her.

    February 20, 2008 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  14. cleareyes

    When people are influenced by the cultlike movement, the country is in trouble. By then it might be too late to fix!!!

    February 20, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  15. Liz

    Maybe she's waiting for the fairy dust to settle?

    February 20, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  16. Tony

    Hillary is an ordinary politician trying to score on her husband's record. She should have the dignity at least to concede Obama's victories as 9 in a row is very impressive by any standard.

    February 20, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  17. tony

    Why would we vote another Clinton into office? I am tired of the Bush-Clinton-Bush saga. Get someone new in office. What a tired campaign the Clintons are running. Old and tired and giving up – dying you could say.

    February 20, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  18. dave

    clinton supporters who are bashing CNN for favoring obama, did you not notice that michigan were colored baby blue for clinton. now if that doesn't smell of pandering, i don't know what does. why are you not decrying that bias?

    February 20, 2008 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  19. Ken S Newport News VA

    Well, this week Obama shows he doesn't have any of his own thoughts, his wife hasn't been proud to be an American (guess the govt shouldn't have given them those student loans they talk about repaying) and he shows his true character by not waiting until Sen Clinton is done speaker. Why should she even think of congratulating him if he doesn't have the decency to wait until she is done speaking. The democrats have just handed the White House to Sen McCain.

    February 20, 2008 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  20. Scott Sanders

    And so, since when was this an important part of campaigning?

    Hey guess what? I needed a new job since I am unemployed – I voted for "hope" through Obama and...got a job within 24 hours.

    Guess what else? My family needed health insurance since we could not afford to purchase any – my wife voted for "change" through Obama and we got health insurance within 6 hours.

    And you know what else? I wanted to see a withdrawal of our troops from Iraq so my son voted his "yes we can" through Obama and immediately received an email from Barack saying it was a done deal.

    Wow – this fluff really works!

    February 20, 2008 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  21. Joe

    Quit with the Obama was rude. They were competing for a national audience, why would he just defer to her? By the way CNN was not the only station that switch to Obama. Besides, her speech was so horribly boring. Oh and the reason Obama hasn't congratulated her is because she has lost the last 9 primaries.

    February 20, 2008 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  22. No Obama !!!!

    Why does she has to congratulate Obama, is it because he is winning these races with his big bucks not with so called popular vote. I heard that in these election centers, Obama is paying money to people to vote for him

    February 20, 2008 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  23. Erin

    Gold Canyon – 18 year olds have just as much a right to vote as you. If we can join the army and defend our country, then we can vote. Also, WE are the next generation so WE should have the president WE want. Sorry but YOUR days are over, and a new wave is coming – of Hope and Change.

    Also if any of you noticed Hilary was LATE on delivering her speech. If she was ON TIME then the news stations would not have had to flip over to Obama. Obama wasn't arrogant Steve, he was sticking to the schedule. Thank god someone does.

    OBAMA 08.

    February 20, 2008 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  24. Anonymous

    Go O!!!

    February 20, 2008 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  25. Bill

    Sue in Michigan, New Mexico was over long before the counting was complete. Since New Mexico, Obama won 9 and lost 0. That constitutes as 9 in a row. Even using new math.

    Obama – Edwards 08

    February 20, 2008 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
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