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. The Queen

    Gold Canyon Gal-

    I am a cross over Republican vote and I would think you would be grateful for any vote I cast against my own party. Also, I suppose you just skipped the period in your life when you were 'still wet behind the ears' and just learning about politics. How very humble of you- just like a straight-ticket Democrat.

    February 19, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  2. Eric, NM

    Gold Canyon Gal – dump the party, take your money with you and don't let the door hit you on the way out. We neither need nor want you among our proud Democratic ranks.

    February 19, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  3. George from Minneapolis

    That was awesome how Obama knocked Hillary off all the airways at the same time. The next time she wants to go negative, she should think about the payback.

    February 19, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  4. deborah

    What is wrong with the women in this country?? Obama is a great orator, but he is a man. We have waited so long to stand on equal ground, we finally get a chance and we let a smooth talking man (with no experience or real plan) take it away from us.

    February 19, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  5. mike

    Obama never apoligize for what his wife said or try to fix it...do we really want a family like this in the white house!

    February 19, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  6. Efosa Akenbor

    HRC you are sore loser for not acknowledging Obama's victory in WI. But if you had won, you would have said "i am very proud to have won WI". Shame upon you Hillary! OBAMA 08

    February 19, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  7. Ralph

    Obama did excellent. Look at his numbers versus Mccain. My god Hillary is done. It's totaly done for her.

    February 19, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  8. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Hillary continues to steal Obama's words that aren't working for her. If Hillary is confident she'll win, she would have no problem congratulating Obama. A strong and confident person would do this, Obama had no problem congratulating her on her wins. Hillary just exhibits how difficult she would be for anybody to work, it's her way or the highway and that's exactly how she treated some of the States. Vote Obama, he's simply the best.

    February 19, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  9. 1Love

    This is what I love about human nature. Irrespective of the evidence before us we rarely except the truth. HRC is losing as the presumptive nominee of the Democratic party. Even if there is a significant turn-around the writing is on the wall. She is not embraced by a large number of the electorate.

    February 19, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  10. Eric

    Hilary...go home. Now. Please.

    February 19, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  11. Basquale

    She just shows her real character. She starts speaking quite early when the polls have closed so nobody can blame her not mentioning Obamas victory. Games, Games, Games. And look tomorrow she will do it at a press conference. She is such a false woman.

    February 19, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  12. Christian, Tampa FL

    You know, when you look at principles of evolution, you see that creatures that don't adapt, die. Hillary Clinton ought to see that failing to congratulate her voters or her opponents doesn't work. Perhaps she should evolve and actually, hmm, take a moment to thank her supporters in states she loses even if she doesn't say anything about Obama.

    February 19, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  13. Remi

    it was in very poor taste and a reflection of a sore looser for Hillary Clinton to take the stage on election night before the winning candidate. it has been tridition for the loosing candidate to wait until after the winner finished their speech before taking the stage. SHAME ON YOU SORE LOOSER HILLARY. America needs a President with Character and thats Obama! YES WE CAN!!!

    February 19, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  14. Andrew

    Gold Canyon Gal, thats a shame because apparently you don't like democracy. Also, in this country the voting age is 18 but unfortunately the young voters have never mattered. For years, there have been times where politicians have gone after the young vote and people would say "they'll never show" and they were in fact right. This year, however, is different and the young voters are showing. Apparently (based on your comments), though, they aren't showing up for your candidate. So, don't be bitter because young people are finally taking advantage of their constitutional right. It's their country too and they'll also be greatly affected by the decisions that the next president makes.

    Obama 08- 9 (likely soon to be 10) in a row!!!

    February 19, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  15. daniel

    Grow up Billary – oops – Hillary!

    February 19, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  16. Texasboo

    LOL @ all the sore losers bashing Sen. Obama. WOW Hillary has taught you well. Why don't you email Sen. Clinton on why lose after lose she fails to acknowledge her supporters in Wisconsin anddoesn't congratulate the winner? I'm sure Obama would of and you Hillary supporters would of been whining and crying about it.

    Divisive and petty politics get you no where. I guess you Hillary supporters are drinking from the same bitter tea!


    February 19, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  17. Mike P

    Once again, CNN plays favorites by moving away from Senator Clinton to hear CNN Favorite, Senator Obama's speech. CNN...lets start playing fair or it looks like I will need to change my tv station. Lets try to be fair to all of the candidates.

    February 19, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  18. Michael Dunn

    I have to admit; I was listening to see if Hillary so much as acknowledged her supporters in Wisconsin, but ultimately who cares is she congratulated Obama or not...Keep racking up the wins Barack we'll take this country back, we can believe and hope in a better future, we can become the country which can be used as a model once again, we can beat special interest and force our elected officials serve the people!

    Yes we can!!!!

    Obama '08

    February 19, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  19. Corinne, Stockton CA

    Along with refusing to admit she voted WRONG on the war, she also refuses to admit when she loses. Don't we need a Pres. that is honest for once. And the BS she put out about Obama using someone elses language, I just heard her screaming "Yes we will" does that sound familiar to anyone? And as far as the Obama's uniting the country, open your eyes, they already have. We are uniting behind them, Go Obama!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a wonderful night.

    February 19, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  20. John

    Hillary supporters:

    To the winner goes the spoils. Try winning a state. Then Hillary can get all the TV time she wants.

    February 19, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  21. Sam

    If anyone can remember, at the end of the last debate Obama graciously pulled out Hillary's chair to help her stand. She never said thank you or even acknowledged him. She behaved as if she were some Queen. I find it detestable. She must really believe there will be a Clinton dynasty.

    February 19, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  22. DJW

    WOW, I am sure happy that CNN stayed with the Obama speech all the way. The man is a very powerful speaker and I believe that his words have iron in them, and are not just words. I believe that we are seeing the start of a political movement in this country, a movement for the good. It's about time ! ! I'm a retired lifelong white Republican and I'm voting for Obama ! ! ! Man, it feels kinda strange but good too. The time for change is now.

    Obama in 08

    February 19, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  23. John

    Jim said Obama has not congratulated Obama since Super Tues....

    Jim...Hillary hasn't won a state since super tuesday.

    February 19, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  24. Joe

    If CNN and the other networks would give Clinton the same respect as they give Obama the race would be different. People would actually get to see both sides of the race instead of the one side of Obamas.

    February 19, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  25. Regine

    Yes, I noticed she does that at well. She is a sore loser...

    February 19, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
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