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. Mace

    Has anyone else noticed how Hillary always fails to thank the supporters in the state that she just lost? In a report on NPR, I heard her say that Iowa wasn't a real determinant of her support and that moving to a primary state (New Hampshire) would be a true measure for her. Everytime she loses she makes the same excuse...and on to the next state! Why can't she just be thankful for her supporters in multiple states and be humble enough to not belittle them in her interviews/speeches.

    February 20, 2008 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  2. alli2

    The negative slamming of these candidates is getting old. They both bring an impressive list of skill and ability to the table. They both have their down sides that most of you hi-light in raging insults. I can handle it from those of you with way to much time on your hands and an anonymous format to be heard but I'm tired of the media's involvement. They took an innocuous topic like, "gee, did Hillary mention the Wisconsin voters or congratulate Barak?" and turned it into a full artillary attack on Hillary. If anyone is actually listening to talk TV tonight, they also said Barak didn't acknowledge the Wisconsin voters either. Where's that article. I'm a Barak supporter and I'm disappointed that the media doesn't let him stand on his own. They have him walking on water and he's just a man with a vision like every candidate out there. Let him convey that so the hillary supporters and Republicans have no ammunition against his campaign.

    February 20, 2008 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  3. Kristen

    The reporting of CNN on the democratic election has really been bias and obviously in favor of Obama. I'm a huge supporter of Clinton. I really can't see myself voting for Obama... should he win, my vote will go to McCain.

    February 20, 2008 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  4. DK

    44 minutes of a speech to rally Houston, snore! to 20,000, snore! What a bore! At least, McCain said something tangible and kept my interest. Hillary, who I will write in if she does not win the primary, is right, it will be another tough election and they will not give up the White House without a fight. So wind up that ego again and go man, go!

    February 20, 2008 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  5. eibreh3

    Arrogance, desperation and poor organizational skills have been the hallmark of the Clinton campaign. Where is the experience she speaks so highly of and why hasn't it been applied to her sinking campaign. As for Obama's true colors showing...well what you see is what you get...he's for real so deal with it!

    Obama '08 !

    February 20, 2008 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  6. Jen, California

    The only thing that got me was Hillary not thanking the approx. 200,000 people who did vote for her and all the other hundreds who helped get her campaign to the people and who came out to her rally to support her. I wish she at least acknowledged them. Then again, it may have been difficult to mention Wisconsin w/out congratulating Barack; it would have been that much more obvious an intent. I don't know. Still, I wish a little thank you worked its way into her speech. 🙁

    February 20, 2008 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
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