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. bobw

    All of the major networks cut away at the same time. Why? It's the viewers stupid! America is getting tired of Clinton and her slash and burn politics. Hillary planned her speech to cut into Obama's scheduled time and not the other way around.

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

    Hillary you are so rude!!! I cant belive that you will not congratulate Mr.Borack. for winnig Wisconsin. Im sorry that is not presidential!!!! That why Americans are rejecting you. We are tired of the old Dramatic tactics that you have displayed in the past two weeks. You are not graceful. Shame on you.

    February 19, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  3. AC

    Just watched the Houston speech – I'm a republican and I'm even starting to believe in this guy.

    February 19, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  4. Matt E

    Hillary did not mention Barack Obama's win in what air time she had, and this of course would anger Obama's people. If she wants to make believe that she hasn't lost 9 in a row and probably 10 in a row when the morning newspaper comes tomorrow, then she can do it without primetime air. Obama won. Not Senator Clinton.

    February 19, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  5. George Hancock

    I think Clinton's pretty much had it. As a registered Republican, and a partially disabled, 20 year veteran of the USAF, I personally like the idea of Obama running against McCain, and will probably switch parties to vote for him. Frankly, I feel he presents something fresh after 16 years of Bush and the Clintons.

    February 19, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  6. Mike

    Enough with the Hillary bashing! Spend some time with your microscope examining Obama for once. A guy with hardly any experience will probably be elected and THEN the media will probably start on him. But this is no surprise. This is the same media who asked no questions about Iraq's WMD's before the war and look what mess we are in now.

    Hill's comeback starts March 4. Ohio is yours Madame President.

    February 19, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  7. Noah

    Cnn you are really getting sad, at your extend of drama, I used to respect your Coverage, and now wish you weren't so popular and monopolized. Its pathetic, and I am sure this won't make it past the screening but i hope it does, it will fuel your hatred ratings, Clinton doesn't have to congratulate him give me a break this is a very serious political race, not a baking competition. And start talking about Barracks negative stuff, onesided liberal scum.

    February 19, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  8. James

    Hearing the Hilbots on television cry over this loss is scary. They just don't get it that America is voting and it is not for their candidate.

    February 19, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  9. Ben

    When was the time when CNN reports Obama doesn't congratulate Hillary when she wins? Where is all the fairness that CNN is supposed to have???

    February 19, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  10. Grace

    Wow!!! Let me start by saying that Borack Obama gave an amazing Economic summit and I as an economic major was blown away with his brilliance. We Americans need to stop saying that Borack is all about talk!! He outlines his plan in major details. Today in wisconsin he talked in great detail about his plan...Take a look. He won big time in Wisconsin among all groups. Wisconsin is 93% white, a mojor win. I really belive that the more Hillary gets negative the more she is rejected by the American people. We Americans are tired of the same old dramatic tactics that Hillary has displyed in the past two weeks,. Her Health plan is being rejected by Americans becouse of a mandate..American like choice not mandates. We Americans dont want our wages to be garnish if we dont join. I hope all democrats will join me and reject the Clinton machine. TO ALL MY WISCONSIN FRIENDS..HILLARY DID NOT CONGRATULATED BORACK OBAMA FOR WINNIG WISCONSIN..NOT ONLY THAT IS NOT LADY LIKE, ITS RUDE!!!!! AND NOT PRESIDENTIAL. SHAME ON YOU HILLARY. THE OTHER ISSUE IS SHE DID NOT THANK HER SUPPORTERS IN WISCONSIN..THAT IS NOT NICE!!! HILLARY. Thats why you are so out of touch with the ordinary American People. I HOPE OHIO TAKES A LOOK AT THIS AND LOOK AT THE REAL HILLARY..RUDE!!!!

    February 19, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  11. Matthew Jon

    If the Obama supporters here are any indication of the "unity" that Obama speaks of, then I will be voting for McCain if Hillary doesn't get the nomination.

    February 19, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  12. Alexandra

    I used to like CNN very much but recently I'm starting to believe that you are not reporting the news fairly, you are starting to look so pro Obama, it's such a shame. Please, do something about it. Be fair. Thank you.

    February 19, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  13. Joe in Indy

    Looks like the media is just trying to stir something up.

    It's understandable, after nine losses, that Hilary isn't running out to announce that she's lost again.

    And it's understandable that Obama started his speech when he did – he had 20.000 people waiting for him to start in Houston and he knew he had a long speech planned.

    These stupid little "controversies" are a distraction from the real and important issues.

    February 19, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  14. Bill is NOT running!

    She would run the country the way she has 'run' her campaign – POORLY. Do we need another President that will speak ONLY of their own will – steal elections – attack the non-issues to thwart the truth! With her back against the wall...does she show the grace a President would require? With all her talk of 'experience' she is making childlike moves at every step of the way. People keep talking about Senator Obama's lack of substance – clearly you only read what Ms. Clinton puts out there. NO ONE who has actually reviewed their respective positions can find real differences. Those of you talking about her 'experience' – don't vote for BILL!!! HE IS NOT RUNNING

    February 19, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  15. Ki-Jana Carter

    Attaboy Obama! Why should he sit around and wait for her to finish spouting off lies? The point of a CONCESSION speach is to, you know, actually concede victory, congratulate your opponent, and thank your supporters. Since Billary didn't do any of those things, Obama shouldn't let her get the air time!

    Ohio and Texas, here we come!!

    Gold Canyon Gal: Don't let the door hit you on the way out!

    February 19, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  16. mike

    CNN has one Clinton supporter and about 10 Obama supporters on today's show. Obama is flip floper and he is a politician that saids anything to get votes. Look what he said about Castro today and what he said last year. He doesn't like the old "Washington" but yet he tried and succeded to get the Kennedy endorsement for a year. The Republicans will unify and will eat him alive and Hillary supporters after the way she was treated will never vote for Obama...so now what!

    He is an empty suit, like McCains says!

    February 19, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  17. Will

    The Clinton supporters on here amaze me. They act truly paranoid and furious about the prospect of Obama winning the nomination. Is this inherent racism, blind faith to the Clintons, or a simple memory lapse that both candidates are Democrats and share virtually the same views and policies???

    Of course CNN cut to Obama... he WON! Hilary is dividing the Democratic party right now. Her only chance of winning (After tonight's loss) is via superdelegates.... which of course will destroy the Democratic party and alienate an entire generation of young voters with a disillusioned outlook towards democracy/ the Democrats.

    Hopefully Hilary will realize that it's Obama's time and drop out of the race

    February 19, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  18. Cary Briel

    Gavin, give it up, Clinton is losing. And, no need to wonder why. She is self centered, not polite, and hopeless..

    February 19, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  19. Kevin

    Glad to see the citizens of Wisconsin react to Clinton's mudslinging!

    What will be her excuse tomorrow? What is it about Wisconsin that makes it unimportant, just like all the other states that Obama has one?

    But who cares what I think, I'm one of those "activists" in a state that doesn't count (Colorado).

    February 19, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  20. rafael

    the inability to recognize a set back or a negative fact hum... sounds familiar...

    February 19, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  21. Frazier

    People all the networks cut from Hillary!!! Most of the Hillary supports are sore losers. Wake UP People! most of all of us who are commenting are Democrats, I really don' t care who wins but i rather vote for change. She got whipped tonight, just take it.

    Obama 08

    February 19, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  22. Tom Stevens

    Obama supporter are unrealistic and will regret their wasted choice soon. How sad. History will soon tell us all.

    February 19, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  23. Jay

    CNN, you disgust me. Has this joke of a candidate ever congratulated Senator Clinton? And just so you know, Senator Clinton congratulated him on his wins, even after his blatant plagiarism of her platform.

    February 19, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  24. Jerry

    Again, Peter Hamby is hitting the BIG issues. Hilary didn't congratulate Obama on his victories; Fred Thompson supports the right to bear arms, but doesn't own a hunting license; and Obama broke tradition and started giving his victory speech before Clinton finished her speech. Of course, Obama's break in tradition was just an honorable mention at the bottom of the article; the main focus was on Hilary's failure to acknowledge her losses or talk about the election she had just lost.

    CNN, please give Peter some meaningful work to do, and maybe he won't have to write about such trivialities.

    February 19, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  25. Abbi

    In-experience, false hope, borrowed speeches, when will the ignorant wake up from the spell of Obama? After trying to put Obama on top the independents will go back to McCain and get him elected.

    Forget about being nice, Hillary should start playing ball like the GOP. The game has still a long way to go.

    February 19, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
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