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. Kim from Illinois

    Give me a BREAK. Come on people. Please tell me you're not arguing about his speech trumping hers. Kudos to CNN!

    February 19, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  2. Reuben

    I think its funny that cnn wasnt the only one to cut of Hillary's speech for OBAMA.Truly the people are changeing time for our goverment to change

    February 19, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  3. Charles

    I'm a huge progressive San Francisco style left all the way liberal and let me tell you. I'm am very put off by Obama. He is sooo arragant and snickers just like Bush. Ok, that is a huge red flag for me. Michelle snarling all here interviews. It's just too much. I am now taking a look at Mccain, something I thought I would never do in a million years. If you win, there's something to be said about graciousness. I just can't take the arrogance of Barrack. I went from backing him to being so turned off, I don't even feel like campaigning for him.

    February 19, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  4. rod

    I would think that the "when will the CIlintons break up" office pools will start tomorrow. It seems to me that the CIinton's have less friends in the Democratic Party than they thought.
    Rod from Canada

    February 19, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  5. richard rinaldi

    That's ok I posted the same thing about CNN on about 100 other network blogs....many agree with me about your biased against Barak...

    (pssst...no one's listening)

    February 19, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  6. Joyce

    I am so sick of Hillary. I guess she will whip up tears for sure now! I wish she would just go away and take her husband with her.

    February 19, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  7. julie, Los Angeles

    Hillary was just giving another ordinary speech, perhaps timed to cut Obama's victory speech out of the prime time news cycle. It made sense for him to speak since the results were announced.

    Kind of amazing, on the other hand, that Clinton makes no mention of the state she's lost, doesn't congratulate the winner. Doesn't even THANK the people who went out in 5 degree weather to support her.

    That's getting to be typical with her, going all the way back to South Carolina. I'm really surprised, given her campaign speeches, that she's so cold and unappreciative to supporters when she looses.

    February 19, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  8. CW


    You all sound like a bunch of adolescent High Schoolers in a popularity contest. This article is NOT news, it's just more CNN Hillary bashing.

    Focus on the issues. Make your candidate answer the tough questions on the issues.

    February 19, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  9. logical

    It is a shame that cnn cut Hillary clinton while she was giving her speech. That is the reason Obama is winning because of all the media coverage. Lot of people are not into politics and do not know what the whole process is. they are just either democrats or republicans and watch the news and hear you people (supposedly journalists) to see who to vote for. And all the news channels are Obama, obama, vote for obama if not this directly but still direct to some extent. Hillary is being treated very unfairly and yet she is holding her own without the support of media or starpower and she is still doing great. Stop counting her out as of yet. People wake up and see what is really going on. Obama doesn't even speak from his heart, he plagarises other people's speeches just to make an impression, his wife has not even been proud of our country until now because her husband Barack is getting votes. the whole campaign is all about the Obama's not the people, they are playing with people's sentiments, and dividing the country. Wake up from the trance, you guys are in. Vote Smart! Vote Hillary "08! for president. My friends and me were very excited about this election but it is a big turn off now. McCain is going to win, definately if Obama is the nominee.

    February 19, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  10. does it really matter

    gavin is a fairy, who told u to support hillary?

    February 19, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  11. Cathy from Vermont

    Gold Canyon Gal, AZ Those wet behind the ears 18 year olds are fighting an d dying in Iraq-by all means leave the Democratic party and go vote for McCain!

    February 19, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  12. Chon

    Dirty ad campaign reallly isn't working in your favor. America is tired of it. Get the hint yet Hillary??? When you are proud of running negative ads that speaks volumes!! And now she can't extend common courtesy??? If she does this in a campaign...what will she be like as the leader of our country???? She going to be that with heads of other countries because they are against her?? No thanks!!!

    Obama in '08

    February 19, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  13. Javier

    I think should Obama win, ALL Hillary's suporters should vote for McCain. That will be a slap to Obama in the face.....

    Should Hillary loose, she should endorse McCain

    February 19, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  14. go hillary

    thats it

    February 19, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  15. deidre

    Jeff, check on this but I don't think Obama went to Hawaii before the Primary. So , no he is not going to every state. He is going to the state with the most votes up for grabs...just like Clinton.

    February 19, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  16. mark

    Hillary can lose still she could be gracious. It is a big game, and losing to Obama, a powerful candidate, is also an honorable thing. Think, they are competing for the most powerful position in the world. American president is, in fact, the president of the whole world. And, the whole world is watching what our Billary and Obama do.
    Hey, Hillary, give us a chance to respect you even if we decide not to vote for you.

    February 19, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  17. Deb

    The ppl have spoken...shut it and listen!!!!!!!!!

    February 19, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  18. Beans

    And what do you expect...from HER? Just let her be. Let her go with her moaning and groaning about his words and rationalizing why he wins. She's acting more and more like the loser she is. Luckily Americans saw that true HRC before it got too far. GOBAMA!

    February 19, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  19. David

    Obama clearly timed HIS speech to coincide with hers. I highly doubt it was the other way around. CNN– shame on you for cutting into her speech.
    Hillary Clinton for President '08!!

    February 19, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  20. ks katty

    Sue, Michigan February 19th, 2008 10:35 pm ET

    Gosh, she gets berated for not congratulating him with a whole 1% of the vote counted, and he again gets a free ride for being totally callous and speaking in the middle of her speech, so I guess I don't know for sure if she mentioned him or not.
    I would have appreciated hearing ALL of her speech. Way to go, Obama. Your true colors are starting to appear. This is not over yet!

    OBAMA, didn't bring do this . It was decided by CNN or the AP. These type of comments will just ensure McCain wins.

    February 19, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  21. EJ

    If Hillary doesn't want to congratulate Barack on his victories, why should he have to wait for her to give a stump speech, when he was the winner? Both are political moves, so why should one have the right to do it while the other doesn't? It would be great if these types of things didn't happen as much, but then again we live in the era of mainstream media. Obama was the winner tonight and he deserves getting the benefit of more media.

    February 19, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  22. Dave

    I don't know why you Clinton supporters are so upset. CNN always cuts off concession speeches when the winner begins his/her victory speech.

    McCain '08

    February 19, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  23. Dustin

    Does CNN back Obama? Im not for any candidate at this time, but it seems to me that CNN is extra "Obama-friendly". It would be nice to see a little fairness.....or at least a non-biased story....till then I will get my news somewhere else.....

    February 19, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  24. Seriously?

    Please all Hillary supporters who are crying like babies about CNN tilting the election – GET REAL!

    I didnot hear any comments like that when they were projecting her to be the nominee or consistently plastering her face on the news in a nothing but positive light

    Grow up and take the loss like an adult

    February 19, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  25. MK

    Kind of a factual inaccuracy here:

    Clinton moved her speech to interfere with Obama, not the other way around, according to multiple news services. CNN just had Crowley and Anderson Cooper speculating on this without actually discussing the facts. Also widely reported that there was no courtesy or acknowledgment of Obama or Wisconsin.

    February 19, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
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