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. fletch

    I'm not sweating the fact that she didnt congratulate him. But how come she never even thanks those that voted for her?

    February 19, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  2. jane

    If Hillary doesn't follow the tradition of congratulating the winner and is going to do her normal hour long stump, why should he wait? Since they're both on the stump, it's not like we'd be looking at a 10 minute graceful congratulatory speech.

    Sen. Clinton needs to read the tea leaves. They're telling her that it's time to turn the page. It's time to start building the Democratic Party to be the party who moves this country forward for the next decade or so. Even if she has the possibility of eeking out a victory in the next primary, she would never have a working majority from which something might be accomplished.

    The only hope of winning without the divisive politics of the past few elections is to go with the candidate of HOPE. The Clintons should recognize it....it's Obama '08

    February 19, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  3. KG

    Those of you who lump the Clintons in with the Bushes need to take a breath. They are worlds apart. Remind yourselves what life was like during the Clinton years and what life is like now. If you are being honest, you will remember that life then was much better: lower gas prices, economic surplus, better standing in the world.

    Stop drinking the Kool-Ade. Obama went to her for advice when he joined the senate because he knows what you fail to realize, that she is a formidable, intelligent politician from whom he can learn.

    Don't forget, Bush ran as the candidate of change... Good luck to you, and save the sweetheart bit for your mother.

    February 19, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  4. -30-

    She's not only losing, she's burning her bridges. Nobody likes a sore loser, as she may discover when she gets back to the Senate.

    February 19, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  5. Dee from Philadelphia

    I am a loyal CNN viewer but tonight I am disgusted with CNN and all the other major networks that got sucked into the sexism in this country by allowing Barack Obama to interrupt Hillary Clinton's speech and let him get away with it. The media is clearly tilting this election by allowing Barck's "rock" show to dominate the ari waves. This is not a celebrity show this is an election for the leader of the free world.

    February 19, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  6. nate

    It's over. 0/08.

    February 19, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  7. Jesse

    Everytime Hillary loses a primary she runs with her hands tied behind her back. She fails to thank the voters that came out for her and not even mentioning the state. It shows you that all she cares about is votes and not the people! C'mon Hillary! Lose gracefully!

    February 19, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  8. faboo

    And not surprisingly, you're running with it instead of a clip of the winner of tonight.

    February 19, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  9. TMV from California

    I'm for Barack, but I was interested in what Hillary had to say.

    What's the reason for Obama not to allow Clinton to finish her speech before he gave his? Was he even aware she was in the middle of her talk? And I forget, did Clinton interrupt John McCain's speech? Seems like the networks should "schedule" the speeches so that all candidates are given equal time and audience. The networks could have sent notice to Obama to wait until Clinton had finished. If he did it deliberately, then I'm disappointed...

    February 19, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  10. Oregon Voter

    I guess I'll have to take CNN's word for it, since they CUT HER OFF before she was finished, and after logging onto CNN.com/Live I found that there was NO live feed for the rest of her speech. Way to go CNN, good job covering ALL SIDES of an issue.

    You know, I don't blame her for not bringing up the results tonight. So far the media has helped turn the most important job in America into an American Idol contest of "coolness."

    I've been a democrat all my life, and in times I've been VERY FAR to the left in support of Ralph Nader (I still like the guy). However, I will gladly vote for McCain over Obama any day, since McCain has guts and experience. Obama lacks patriotism, solutions, and experience.

    Oh, and in my opinion, he’ll be ripped to shreds by the republicans and no amount of crying on Oprah’s shoulders will resurrect his career after that.

    February 19, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  11. 08ama

    Hillery moved the meeting forward to under cut Obama, one more of here calculated moves except it backfired. Why blame CNN?

    February 19, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  12. Goodbye Billary

    Your finalling getting what you deserve for all your 35 years of service to ... yourselves.

    Goodnight Bill & Hill

    February 19, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  13. bobo

    Anyone but Hillary!!!

    February 19, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  14. MARIA 2325

    It is not over , who ever laugh last , laughs better ,
    GO HILLARY !!!

    February 19, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  15. Robin

    Did anyone catch how Obama seemed to be running out of steam fairly early during his speech? I realize it was a 45 minute speech – but it seemed like he wasn't feeling well. Perhaps that had something to do with the timing of the speech.

    February 19, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  16. LadyforHillary

    Obama is the media prince, I am sure he's not crying over Clinton not mentioning his name Tuesday night at her speech. We've heard this before from you CNN. What is it that YOU want? With your bias reporting and pulling away from her speech Tuesday night I guess we all know that answer.

    February 19, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  17. Carcel Greenidge

    I am praying Obama wins. When I completed my MBA I thought I would be able to get a good paying job with benefits. I was wrong, many employers offered me the same kind of salary I was making as a high school senior eight years ago. I am married and my job has no healthcare benefits, my husband is a contracted employee with no healthcare. Can I have children right now ? No way..... We were born in this country, highly educated and have the student loans to prove it.....Why are we a part of the working poor in this country ?

    February 19, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  18. Josh

    Clinton is losing because she isn't likeable, isn't electable, and doesn't relate to the average American. Obama has shown to be a very good public speaker who comes across very honest and very direct. Clinton's speeches are almost painful to listen to, she reminds me of every politician I dislike (lifers). I don't care about experience or how long you've been in politics, change is good.

    February 19, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  19. TexasDude

    It's not only that Hillary refuses to congratulate her opponent. It is that she makes no effort to acknowledge or thank voters in the state she's just contested. People braved torrid weather to go cast votes for her, and she does not have the decency to say thanks.

    On the issue of Obama knocking her off the networks, i think this shows, once again, that the Obama campaign is much smarter and more organized than the Hillary campaign. They should be celebrated, not criticized, for outsmarting and outworking their opponents. This explains why they do well with caucuses, and it is why they'll be best against the Republicans.

    February 19, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  20. Philip, NY

    This is a good example of who she is. Every time she lost, she dissed the voters of those States. Like this report, she did not congratulate Barack on his win. Not liking losing is one thing. But, what kind of example does this behavior provide to the you children, to young girls of this nation? Shame on you!

    February 19, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  21. Brian

    Why do people hate Clinton – if a woman with 3 years in the Senate tried to run for President, she'd be laughed at. Look at the resumes people!!! I don't want another guy who's "likable" – I want a brilliant, experienced stateswoman.

    February 19, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  22. Mike

    CNN I don't know what you are going to do now. You must be doing something right though. You get accused of supporting Obama by Clinton fans, and you get accused of supporting Clinton by Obama fans.

    February 19, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  23. Chris in Va.

    Hey Hillary, I hear Cuba is looking for a president, and there it's for LIFE!!!! All your dreams fufilled! Make sure to take Bubba and the girl with a job who doesn't work with you!!!! GOOD RIDDANCE!!!!!!

    February 19, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  24. vivian

    wow, have you heard? Hillary is a closet case Obama mama! She is mezmorized, intoxified and stupified with his awesome speeches. Hillary needs to learn to say thank you to her voters even when she loses. They did their best. and don't forget, just because her voters are described as old,uneducated or very poor it doesn't mean they don't deserve her gratitude. She should express her gratitude to her voters even when she loses. The temps in Wisconsin were in the teens and she did not have the decency to say thank you to all those wonderful people, though I disagree with their politics, who went out in the freezing cold to vote for her. What a shame! Hillary stop thinking about you and start thinking about those who are out there for you. 9 in a row! oh how sweet it is! Obama 08 !

    February 19, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  25. d4obama

    Poor poor pathetic Hillary. Talk about denial. Wow. This lady is delusional. Does she not consider the fact that it is now seasoned democratic vets (superdelegates) who she needs to win over? And her character has taken a nose-dive in the past couple of weeks. Supers are not impressed. Time to call it quits. Democrats are "over the Hill".

    February 19, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
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