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. david cercone,pompano beach,florida

    Once again..this just shows her lack of character

    February 19, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  2. Johnny Ward


    February 19, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  3. Lynn in NM

    Why would she say anything? These primaries/caucases didn't count. The only ones that matter are Texas and Ohio. The people in 30+ other states that Obama wondon't count either. She lives in a dream world.

    February 19, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  4. yodajedi

    I believe we need a fresh face in politics. If it takes a wet behind the ears approach, I'm all for it. I don't want Hillary to win, because if you get Mrs. Clinton you get Mr.Clinton, and he's scandalous at best. Does anyone remember him hitting on a mummy at a televised press conferance? How disrespectful, even if he is kidding. Also she preaches about being ready on "day one", but she embraces the same old politics that the Bush's having been running and this whole country has been running for centuries even if she's a democrat. You can't change if your not willing to be differant yourself. Be a leader of the pack and endorse real change. Not you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours later when I get elected. Her cat fights are getting old too. Focus on the agenda, not at how you need to smear people through the mud in order to get ahead. That's highschool politics.

    February 19, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  5. Will, CA

    Hillary only can say 'thank you' if it is in the same sentence as 'I', 'me', or"win."

    Since she did not win, she has nothing to say.

    February 19, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  6. Mike in Cleveland

    Gold Canyon Gal, AZ

    Sounds like you're crying cause you didn't get your way. So go ahead, shoot yourself and the ideals you stand for in the foot, just because Hillary lost. Oh and by the way, some 18 year old voters may actually be more informed about politics than you so stop discriminating against people younger than you. How would you feel if people didn't want you to vote because you were too old?

    February 19, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  7. Realistico

    Doesn't really matter whether Hillary congratulates or not at this point, since she is as relevant as Mike Huckabee or Ron Paul are to John McCain.

    Stick a fork in Hillary, she's done.

    February 19, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  8. Mike in TX

    Obama is going to get destroyed by McCain folks.

    Here's a new word for you: McCainicat – I predict there will be a lot of those, especially if the Dems nominate a foreign-policy novice like Obama.

    Yes, Obama may be ahead in the polls against McCain now... but do you really see that surviving the Obamabubble?

    February 19, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  9. Pat S

    There she goes again, denial , running away and negative ads. Hillary keeps saying that he runs away from debates. She is the one running away. she has ran away from at least eight states, while she sends Bill or Chelsea to deal with them. Can we have a President like that who pretends we do not have a problem?
    Talking about debates, "The proof of a debate is in the eating...oops sorry, the BEATING.

    February 19, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  10. JB

    This is the most flagrant example of bias journalism I have ever seen.

    February 19, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  11. Nytecoldawn

    Wait, I thought Hillary wasn't about speeches? What was that? Words don't matter but solutions do? How do you intend to get your solutions acted upon without using words? I guess Hillary won't mind when CNN switches over to Obama's speech while she is in the middle of hers. Remember, from her own mouth, words don't mean anything.

    After all, speeches are just words. You can't use words to communicate a vision. You can't use words to persuade. You can't use words to compromise. You can't use words to direct. You can't use words to spur a person into action.

    Yeah words don't move mountains. But neither does one person working alone. Without words, the constructs of language, nothing gets done in society of millions.

    If I was CNN, I would have cut her off mid speech too. It is not like anything she says would mean anything. She said it her self. Words mean nothing.

    February 19, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  12. Janelle

    It really makes me mad that she doesn't thank her supporters in any state that she loses. People are working hard for her and she doesn't even notice unless she is making a winning speech. That is selfinsh and inconsiderate!!! And we notice

    February 19, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  13. CMS

    Gold Canyon Gal – You should brush up on the Constitution, namely the 26th amendment which grants 18 year-olds the right to vote. If someone is old enough to fight for this country, that same someone should have the right to vote for their Commander in Chief. I'm quite sure that anyone who thinks otherwise wouldn't be welcomed by the Democratic Party anyway.

    Obama '08

    February 19, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  14. Todd

    Hillary, Queen of Denial. Nine in a row, Hawaii will make it ten...But maybe no one will notice if she doesn't acknowledge it.

    February 19, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  15. H Galal

    Her refusal to acknowledge Obama's victory speaks volumes on her character!!!

    February 19, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  16. Sue, Michigan

    It isn't 9 in a row-she won New Mexico!

    February 19, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  17. Tara, Ames IA

    Senator Clinton needs to show some grace and dignity. If you don't want to congratulate the person who won tonight, at least thank the ~45% of the voters that came out in sub-zero temperatures to vote for your ungrateful, disgraceful self.

    February 19, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  18. Ernie

    If she won't give a word of congratulations, she deserves to be pre-empted.

    February 19, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  19. Rob

    As a liberal, and sworn democrat, I am saddened by the effect the Clinton's have had over our party. Lest us not forget that the tremendous leap to the right that occurred in the body politic occurred during the Clinton administration. What Obama offers us is a step away from the past and a chance to put the anger and frustration behind us. Hillary on the other hand is the one force that can unite the Republican party, plus her actions and her rhetoric is divisive and ridden with personal anger. If she is unable to be cordial within her own party, and willing to pull a win at all cost strategy in the primary, what hope can she offer to unite the country?

    February 19, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  20. Pricha

    I am a Buckeye, if on March 4th, Hillary couldn't grab a big win in Ohio and Texas then I have to vote for McCain on November period.

    February 19, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  21. J Morris

    I hope that the delegates with their potential power, realize the "cans and cannots" in the political promises being poised... Only so much will be accomplished during the next four year presidency. Our main focus should be here at home, don't you think? Long term advancement should begin in solving serious deficit problems that could backfire on our economy. Who owns American soil?

    February 19, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    CNN cut away from her address so rudely because Obama showed no respect by not delaying his speech. And then he went on for almost an hour while CNN gave him full coverage. CNN is clearly in Obama's side and it shows by their commentary and the people they put on their panels. I think the media is stealing this election from the American people.

    February 19, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  23. Sarah

    Here goes CNN again, throwing mud on Hillary. CNN seems to have highjacked the election process by not letting it take it's course, by trying to influence outcome by tilting the scales in Obama's favor by the type and amout of coverage given to him. Let me tell you something. If Mr. Obama were Ms. Obama and two shades darker than he is, he would be laughed off the stage with his yes we can's, change and luv ya's – but because he's male and light enough to be socially pleasing – he's gotten this far. Expressions of sexism are just more socially acceptable than expressions of racism – ask CNN.

    February 19, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  24. Observer

    Hillary Clinton is an egomaniac, just like her husband. I really doubted the dems would actually make the right choice, as history has shown the opposite, but it looks like history is in the making.

    Congrats to the USA.

    February 19, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  25. Janet

    CNN – you're making a big deal out of her not congratulating Obama. Do you think she might have a little bit on her mind? You're making a mountain out of a mole hill, and everyone is jumping on that band wagon because they love to hate her. People are saying because she didn't thank him she would not make a good president. Give me a break Grow up. Larry King asked Bill Maher (spelling) why people hate her so much and he said something to the effect that they really hate themselves or something inside them, and she's an easy target. It sad people like to blame others for things that are going wrong. People need to learn to be accountable.

    February 19, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
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