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. al

    I see that Obama talked about hte victims of the subprime mortgage mess tonight, too bad they did not get the same sweet deal he got on his 1.6 million dollar Chicago residence.

    February 20, 2008 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  2. sabastian

    Numbers don't lie. There's at least 150,000 votes that separated Obama and Clinton. Clinton supporters, get over it!

    February 20, 2008 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  3. Jay CA

    The reason CNN cut from Hilary is because she is a loser, she lost tonight. Nobody wants to hear a loser talk about ther' loser views, they want to hear the winner talk about winnning!!!!

    that is American politics at it best, its a full contact sport if you can't take it then leave it!!

    VOTE 2008 doesn't matter who wins, just VOTE

    February 20, 2008 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  4. carrie

    I really wish people would READ the actual article before commenting! Obama began speaking at his appointed time–it was Hillary who delayed HER speech!

    February 20, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  5. Chris in TX

    "Acknowledging your losses isn’t required in politics, though it is a courtesy that’s been practiced for decades."

    I keep being surprised that she doesn't realize this... given her 35 years of experience and all.

    February 20, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  6. Leslea Obamacan From Cypress

    Oh what a tangled web we weave, when we practice to DECEIVE.....Hillary is a sore looser, and it is so shameful for a former first lady......

    Hillary wash the blood off your hands....:)

    With love.

    February 20, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  7. Linda, Tucson

    America has a chance to do the right thing, once again, Let's not blow it. We have a charismatic front-runner who should not be denied his opportunity to harness all the energy he has generated and put it toward solving the not unformidable challenges we face at home and abroad.

    I for one would welcome a President who is willing to talk, not dictate, who brings fresh ideas,not old baggage, and who will be sensitive to his entire constituency, not just the old-boys gang.

    February 20, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  8. GBB

    Someone needs to press this man "Obama", he's getting off way too easy, no other candidate would escape true scrutiny. No point in being nice and easy here, the next leader of our country better be tough and tested and now is as good a time as any, the rest of the world won't be letting him off with a kiss on the cheek or a slap on the wrist, translated that means America will pay if he's not ready. I'm a Hillary supporter, I won't be voting for Barack, I'll be writing her in if he wins the nom, most people I talk to who are HRC supporters say they'll vote McCain instead because there confidence for real change was in Hillary. Most politicians offer hope and promises, so Barack, that's not new and it doesn't mean anything will change.

    February 20, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  9. Lee Ann H~ Texas

    I think the people who voted for her in Wisconsin deserved a big thank you more than congratulating her opponent. I don't recall her doing that in her speech either. Seems to me that not only is she a sore loser, but an ungrateful person.

    February 20, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  10. Chris in Va.

    It's like in racing, if they are interviewing the losers and the winner pulls into victory lane they cut to that scene.

    February 20, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  11. AK

    Have any of you commenting about the negative campaigning on Clinton's part seen any of Obama's ads???? Thought so.

    February 20, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  12. Independent voting democrat

    To both Hillary and Obama supporters,

    please stop this constant insulting of one another.
    I'm glad to see that there are a few smart people on this page who are also trying to encourage you democrats to unite and stop this hate against one another.
    Obama supporters, PLEASE stop saying you won't vote for Clinton if she's the nominee.

    Same goes to you Clinton supporters!

    Knock it off both sides. The media along with the republicans are playing us democrats against one another. Don't you see it?

    Don't let the same thing that happened to us in 04 happen again.

    We CANT afford another Bush in the white house.

    February 20, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  13. s.positive

    The reason why some folks end with a sinking ship is because they do not have enough sence to jump onto a winning or safer team when they had the chance...

    February 20, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  14. Nora

    I think she showed poor manners by not atleast mentioning the results in Wisconsin. Some people did vote for her it might of been nice for her to mention that. Forget Obama, I am sure it came as no surprise to him that she said nothing. I understand she is frustrated but if she would of won and Obama did not acknowledge, that would of been front page news. Hillary you are just showing us who you really are!!!!!!!!

    February 20, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  15. Leslea Obamacan From Cypress

    How about Chelsea Clinton, begging people to vote for her mother, she is even more arrogant. As if at 27 years of age, she cant talk to the media. Forget you too.

    February 20, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  16. Anonymous

    This only further illustrates how Polarizing Hillary can be, and how ungracious she can be when she is down.

    Voters should really take a close look at this woman and see how divisive and unproductive she can be.

    Her Campaign is falling apart and instead of Uniting those who may lean to her aid and are sitting on the Fence when it comes to Barack, she is further demonstrating how this Election is NOT about the Democrats or the country, but about her own Ambition for Power.

    Obama has always played Fair, and only discusses differences in Issues and Not personal Attacks.

    Join the Movement Everyone. OBAMA 08!! = D

    February 20, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  17. Adam

    Obama is dumb

    February 20, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  18. Steve Houdek

    As I understand it, Senator Clinton delayed her speech by nearly an hour. The switchover was not an Obama or CNN cheapshot.

    The last time I checked they don't spend a lot of time interviewing the Super Bowl losers, the boxer that got KO'd, or the other four actors that didn't win the Oscar. Not switching over would have only been the overt act of a Clinton supporter.

    One last thing...

    Nearly all these posts are bashing the last. You all don't realize you have one great attribute in common. You are all sheep. Some look like donkeys and others like elephants, but you've all proven you can't think for yourselves.

    Neither a liberal nor a conservative approach can work in every situation. Neither the Dems or Reps have all the answers. Sometimes you gotta give it up; other times you don't.

    Quit picking sides and do as our founding fathers and mothers did. Stand in the middle and do what's best for everyone.

    February 20, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  19. amanda

    Oh yea the count in N.Y. for some reason networks aren't airing the fact that in 80 districts Barack Obama received a "ZERO" vote count! They are recounting those votes now...

    February 20, 2008 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  20. Smart Move for Obama

    If Hillary cant give congrats to a fellow democrat, why should Obama wait for her to finish a speech where she is just belittling him.

    Smart move on the Obama camp to come out and give he's Wisconsin primary victory speech.

    Even smarter for the networks to show his speech.

    Next time congratulate the victory!

    February 20, 2008 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  21. alli2

    Totally off the topic here but can anyone shed light on this: On the cnn election center they always list all the demographics of the voters. It's always by gender and age. In this campaign race does matter. I'd be interested to see how the exit polls work saying that 88% of black voters voted for......yet they're never mentioned in the demographics on this web site.

    February 20, 2008 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  22. camul

    How does any normal person not congratulate a candidate who has won 8 times in a row? Is she even human? We need real people in the white house. People who feel our pain and fears. We do not stones and blocks. Her disregard suggests she feels sure his wins do no not matter. Now, what would that kind of confidence suggest? Same old politics by same old Washington players as usual? This must not be allowed to continue. I believe in the urgency of now.

    February 20, 2008 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  23. Gene

    Obama's act was really arrogant and unethical. This kind of acts will not unite the country but will divide even democrats. I would not be surprised if Hillary and centrists in Democrats will help McCain to win in November. I really didn't like the substance of his speech. He sounded like ultra liberal socialist.
    McCain 2008.

    February 20, 2008 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  24. Ellis, Brown University

    "The stakes are too high and the challenges are too great to play the same old Washington game with the same old Washington players and expect a different result."

    Obama '08

    February 20, 2008 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  25. Texan

    Dear B. Obama,
    We welcome you to Texas. We will be supporting you down here.
    yes we can

    February 20, 2008 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
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