February 22nd, 2008
03:15 PM ET
14 years ago

Blitzer: 'Huge challenge' ahead for Clinton

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/22/art.clintondebate.ap.jpg caption="Clinton has one debate left before the critical March 4 contests. "] WASHINGTON (CNN) - Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have come a long way in their debating skills since they began their exchanges nearly a year ago.

Those were the days when there were eight Democratic candidates on the stage. I moderated one of their first debates back in June of last year. We met in New Hampshire, and the many candidates were literally fighting for airtime - some of them were angry at me for not giving them enough time.

You remember those days: in addition to Clinton and Obama, there were Dodd, Biden, Richardson, Kucinich, Gravel, and Edwards.

And in those days, Clinton was by far the frontrunner.

Now, things have changed so dramatically. Only two candidates are left standing - and Clinton is no longer the frontrunner.

She has a huge challenge ahead of her in the coming days, having now lost 11 contests in a row. The last was the Democrats Abroad contest – the final tally of votes from Democrats living outside the United States. Obama won decisively.

Bill Clinton says that if his wife wins in Ohio and Texas on March 4, she will be the party’s nominee. That’s a tall order right now, given the gains Obama has been making among some of her most ardent backers, including Latinos and women.

Still, I go back to their debating skills that were evident during the CNN/Univision debate in Austin, Texas, Thursday night. They were both impressive in making their points. They will have one more debate next week before the March 4 contests in Ohio, Texas, Vermont and Rhode Island.

Obama has the momentum right now – but, as we saw last night, there’s still a real fight underway.

–CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer

Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (168 Responses)
  1. CaseyCT

    If Obama gets the nom. I will have to vote for McCain.
    Obama will not win in the general election.

    February 22, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  2. Fran

    I thought Sen. Clinton won this debate as she has most of the others. Sen. Obama is gifted but is a little immature at times and a little too self-adoring. I want a President not an icon. I dont think I can vote for Sen. Obama if he is the nominee which is too bad since I dont think McCain is the answer. This country is in need of the pros. We've seen what incompetance looks like. We've seen where we get when we pick a president based on "likeability". And yes, 75% of the country cant be wrong. The media is biased against Hillary Clinton. There will be books written about this primary campaign and the role of the media.

    February 22, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  3. Dhandapany

    Hillary is GR8. One should need so generous attitude to accept her/his defeat in polite way..... Whether she wins or loose..She has a unique place in American hearts. Her vision are clear and hope if she allowed to become as president " She will make history".

    February 22, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  4. CNN why are you holding up my post?

    For those who say Sen. Obama is not experienced enough, I have 2 questions for you:

    1. Have you actually visited the Obama website (if you can actually bring yourself to read)?

    2. If Bill Gates asked your opinion before he formed Microsoft years ago, aren't you one of those who would have said "no, you are too young"?

    Enough of these non-visionary, non-leaders.

    We are moving on.

    February 22, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  5. Paige

    I actually think Obama has a better chance at McCain than Hillary. McCain is well respected and has been around forever and all that. But he's starting to get a little spooky with his sense of entitlement. Hillary has a bit of that too and I don't think folks are chiefl executives who are all ego (uh, bush anyone) who forget what that level of leadership is about.

    February 22, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  6. jaysum

    I agree with an earlier blooger, most of obama supporter either work or in college, trying to get ahead in life. Well as Clinton supporter seem to not work and are looking for hand-out, and do nothing but complains that CNN is bias. Stop complaining and get a job

    February 22, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  7. tedd

    I am not here to bash anyone, but i have a question for those who say they would not vote for barack if he wins the nomination"WHY", Barack has done nothing but run for president, and seems to be doing a pretty good job of it. He has not attacked HC on anything but the issues, and rather you want to admit it........the guy is very intelligent.
    So what is the problem. If hillary is catching hell in the media and elswhere, you cant blame barack for it, mostly of her own doing.

    February 22, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  8. Mark

    Vice-president sounds fine to me. If Obama wins Texas and/or Ohio Hillary should consider the VEEP position. An UNBEATABLE democratic ticket – a team with inspiration AND experience, and a path to the presidency for her in 2016!

    Obama and Hillary alone will have tough time winning against McCain once the republican hate machine really gets going. They should consider this!

    February 22, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  9. debbie

    if Hillary losses the primary i wont vote for Obama.Like a lot of democrats i'll vote for McCain.

    February 22, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  10. PCS / North Carolina

    maureen wrote February 22nd, 2008 6:27 pm ET

    She is the only candidate I could bite my tongue and vote for left in the race.I have pretty much dis-engaged after Edwards dropped out.
    I'd vote for Mickey Mouse before I'd cast a vote for the other 2!
    I'll look to the State Races.

    Are you thinking this election is all about the President of DISNEY WORLD or the President of the FREE WORLD? Please think rationally and do not get disillusioned, there is a lot more at stake here.

    February 22, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  11. Rick Tigger in AZ

    I believe the history books will read Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton. After how bad the far right wing Republicans treated her when she was first lady I think the perfect slap in the face would be to have Hillary as our 1st woman president. I can see it in her eyes as I did when Bill ran in 1992. She care's for people and the next generation of Americans. She has my support 100%.

    February 22, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  12. Obama has clean record because he had done nothing

    It's high time CNN start working to scrutinize Obama's record. Oh wait….he's not done much politically so….thats the ticket! You dont have any substance in his career to focus on. I get it now. It's always the person that rocks the boat and truly creates change (Hillary and her 35 years of work) that allows folks to drill into a candiate. Funny how no one has questioned WHY Obama has such a squeeky clean record. Because he has none!

    February 22, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  13. Melissa

    I am so tired of the non-stop attacks on Clinton!

    All I can say is, if the republicans can't stop her I doubt the naysayers in the media will either. Wouldn't it be nice if Obama got even half of the scrutiny Clinton gets?

    His supporters act as if he's the second coming of Christ, it's just creepy.

    Please America, don't be brainwashed. Times were good in the 90's, they can be again. Go Hillary!

    February 22, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  14. Allison Marie

    The media is bias, it always has been! That is why this administration has been able to do whatever they want with little checks from the media.

    I don't get the agruement status quo on Hillary, if anyone is paying attention, she's a democrate & her beliefs have been reflected in the ideas of Obama, there ideas on issues are simalar, however foreign policy MAJOR, WHY isn't anyone really hitting him for his comments on Cuba, did you notice the flip flop? Campbell did.

    We have a president with no foreign policy experience and look what happened we don't need another. Pay close attenetion to Florida & Mich., for whom they will support if they don't count in primaries!!! Howard Dean, what the heck where you think????

    February 22, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  15. Kunj

    Obam is the rhetoric that Bush was for the past 8 years. Americans will vote another stupid and regret again because they know nothing better. We Americans should be smarter than those who elected the Bushes...lets not make the same mistake and vote for a fighter and a solutions giver, vote Hillary!

    February 22, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  16. Daniel

    Democrate's If we miss Obama now the next four years is for Repablican's. Obama is the best candidate. You know what I mean?

    Barack '08

    February 22, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  17. Texas

    It is over for the Clintons this time around. They should gracefully step aside and not divide our party any further in this calendar year.

    February 22, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  18. Texas

    It is over for the Clintons this time around. They should gracefully step aside and not divide our party any further in this calendar year.

    February 22, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
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