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. Jenna

    Yet again Hillary does not act dignified. I personally would like my president to be dignified.

    February 19, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  2. Some Words OK, Some Not

    Considering it's a CNN projection right now with only 50% of the votes in, I'd say it's a little premature to critique her rally speech. But, then again, Hamby, you've critiqued her for far less: saying she was "saccharine" and acting like a "stewardess"–talk about sexist–comes to mind.

    February 19, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  3. Mike

    its typical Clinton!!! what else do you expect........My advice for her is to get her vocal chords fixed and to stop nodding her head every time she finishes a statement becuase its annoying and its getting on my last nerve.........................

    February 19, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  4. James in Oregon

    This just shows the kind of low life Hillary Clinton is.

    February 19, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  5. Terry from El Paso, TX

    This is not news. This is just the news media trying to stir up a he-said, she-said spat between the two of them so they can cover it. We must realize that news is just the way of marketing their commercials. Ratings is the name of the game. People will stop to watch a fist fight and they will read about a public argument over nothing.

    February 19, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  6. cbenji

    "most of the networks cut away from her event mid-speech"
    ouch... that had to hurt.

    February 19, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  7. mike

    CNN thanks for taking Hillary off as soon as Obama came on, it finally shows you tilted this election. I been a Democrat for many years but as of today, this is the last time I watch CNN and I will definetly vote for MCcain. CNN your pundits and all your crew has been antil Hillary since Iowa. One state and they were writing her off.

    February 19, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  8. Gerry Waldman

    I am watching Hillary's speech, the people behind her look as bored as me.

    some look like they will fall asleep

    maybe you can wake them up by playing Obama's speech

    February 19, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  9. James Recto, Virginia

    Why is CNN reporting about why Sen. Clinton didn't congratulate Obama when he won? Petty reporting on CNN's side!

    February 19, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  10. mary

    Maybe Hillary did congraulate Obama, we don't know, as CNN cut her off to listen to their beloved Obama speech. I refuse to take your word on what or what Hillary didn't say!!

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

    01/20/09: The glorious day of no more Clintons and Bushes!

    February 19, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  12. Roland

    Ann in Los Angeles said "Senator Obama supporters…….you all are just his stepping stone!" And you don't see any similarities in Senator Clinton's run for Senate? How can she represent NY when she's hardly lived there? And her claim to have 'experience' by being First Lady...you don't think that's a stepping stone???

    February 19, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  13. Patrick

    Senator Clinton moved up her speech to pre-empt Obama's in a calculated move. Obama delivered his according to schedule and right on time! The only people responsible for her speech being cut into are the incompetents she has working on her campaign staff.

    Thank god though, I was about to fall asleep listening to her.

    OBAMA 08

    February 19, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  14. glhf

    I sense a pattern forming...I get the feeling that I've seen this before somewhere within the last 7 years...

    February 19, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  15. JMT

    So Gold Canyon Gal are you saying young people should not have the right to vote unless it is for Hillary? Hmmmm!!!

    February 19, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  16. Obama Is The Best

    IF you're considering leaving the party because a great uniter like Obama gets the ticket, please go. You're blind to hope and vision and instead fall in line like a sheep to the Clinton machine, who cares about nothing but their own power. The last thing we need is another president who half the nation absolutely hates.

    February 19, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  17. Jeff

    It's usually considered polite to acknowledge the voter's in the State that held primaries that night. Typical Hillary.

    She talks about caucases don't matter.
    She says States are Red States they don't matter.

    So the arerage city dosen't Matter?
    The average person, dosen't matter?

    Obama is going to every State personally. Not sending someone else. Or arriving at the last minute just to talk negative about someone else. Hillary wants to win at all costs. I fear if she does win, she will have stepped on so many people on the way, what credability of charatcer will she have left once she gets there?

    February 19, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  18. Patriot

    Hillary, we love you but you need to act as grown up kid, and quit the race now, please, you've done so much for the country, the DNC, but we need to win the general elections...sadly but truly it won't be with you on board...by staying on, with your negative ads, it'll just hurt the DNC but certainly not Obama...

    February 19, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  19. Cami

    I'm sure that Senator Clinton will now find a way to add Wisconsin to the growing list of states whose votes are now somehow "insignificant" to this nation. Thank you for voting today, Wisconsin, and welcome to the club!!!!!

    February 19, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  20. JA Cook

    Grace under fire? Not here.

    February 19, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  21. dee

    i have been reading posts on different websites and have noticed an ugly trend...seems that MOST Clinton supporters are often times harsh to us Obama supporters....why is that? Obama 08!

    February 19, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  22. Stacey

    Obama has shown tremendous grace while having to defend his wife's patriotism and his own intellectual integrity. Whenever he loses to Clinton, he commends and compliments her. So while she may be the best candidate on paper, but she's clearly been outdone by a better human being.

    February 19, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  23. go hillary

    good job CNN

    February 19, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  24. Holly, Kansas City, MO

    Well, if Hillary cannot practice common courtesy... then what goes around comes around? She has been trying to pretend that none of her losses are happening. So why should Obama be overly sensitive about her feelings on the matter? She pretends (to her own peril) that Obama does not exist. So maybe he just decided to return the favor.

    I'd rather hear from the WINNER anyway. ONWARD AND UPWARD TO TEXAS AND OHIO!!

    February 19, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  25. Jan E

    I can say this ... she is not losing gracefully. .. not respectable

    February 19, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
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