February 26th, 2008
03:58 PM ET
15 years ago

Blitzer: Clinton has a fine line to walk

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/20/art.wolf2006.cnn.jpg caption=" Clinton has a tough task in tonight's debate. "]WASHINGTON (CNN) - There’s one week to go before the voters speak in Texas, Ohio, Vermont and Rhode Island - and a lot can happen in one week. The undecided Democratic voters still have plenty of time to study the candidates and the issues before making up their minds. And those who have made up their minds are certainly capable of changing their opinions. This will be an exciting week for all of us.

One thing I have noticed over these past several weeks is that Democrats across the country are truly energized by this campaign. They are turning out to vote in huge numbers. I suspect this will be the case in the four upcoming states.

Clinton’s supporters are passionate; so are Barack Obama’s supporters. These Democrats are also itching to start the general campaign, presumably against John McCain.

That helps explain why Hillary Clinton’s strategy in trying to win the March 4 contests is so complicated. After 11 losses in a row, she is trying to catch up. In the process, she has to walk a fine line.

A lot of Democrats say they are turned off by her tough rhetoric, especially in comparing Obama’s inexperience in foreign policy to George W. Bush’s inexperience when he took office more than seven years ago. I have heard from several of her own long-time supporters over the past 24 hours that they don’t like her slamming him and effectively providing McCain with ammunition should Obama capture the party’s nomination - they don’t want her words thrown back at Obama by McCain and his team during the general election.

Clinton is understandably trying to differentiate herself from Obama, looking to highlight differences that are important to Democratic voters out there. That is, of course, what all candidates try to do during elections. But it’s not easy to do this without turning off the Democratic base is not easy.

- CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer

Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (217 Responses)
  1. Yasir

    It 's obvoius that Hillary is loosing and really confuse about how to turn thinks around. she should admit that's "it's too late to change the Train direction". It's clear that the nation is choosing the better choice, Obama, who is not only more crediable but promising to our country.

    If anything, my advise is for her to losse with degnity, rather than the negativety that she is bringing to our election season. Debate the real issues, and stop the silly tacktics, these are old fashon tricks. Get with program of campaining or get of the wagon .



    February 26, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  2. Bre

    All the actions by Hillary is nothing more than allowing CNN and all biased media groups to give her free air time and I'm sick and tired of seeing her on CNN. Equal time should be given to Barack Obama and any other candidate. Everytime you have Hillary on, you should make sure to have others candidates on the express their point of view and not just the little soundbites.
    Everytime Hillary say or do something negative, that's news? Come on CNN, we are educated people and we do not buy the spin. All of your commentators say that Barack Obama has not been proven by the media. Every night you guys have something negative to say about him.
    Lucky for us we have the internet and can do our own research and choose the best candidate based on factual information. We can research and find articles, dates, etc...where Hillary praise NAFTA and we can read in her OWN WORDS where she thought NAFTA was good for the American people.
    Unfortunately for us (the American People) she has no clue what that means. That's why America wasn't important to her or Bill during their co-presidency,; look at the China connections and now we owe the Chinese money, they own America. People do your research and find out how much China has invested in America. We won't have to worry about Obama, we all may need to learn Chinese. The Clintons have had a long and prosperous relationship with China since his days as Govenor of AR.

    February 26, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  3. MM

    All you people need to stop listening to these reporters and letting them tell you who to vote for, we all know that they have obama signs in their yard and stickers on their cars. This whole thing is a JOKE and so is obama. For this Democrat:. if Clinton is not elected then I WILL VOTE for McCain. There is no way in this world that i will ever vote for obama or hussan or what ever his name is. And if any of you think he can change anything but his name then I feel real sorry for you. And let us not forget about those standing in line for their cheese, stamps and lets not forget about your checks. I know that I won't forget about it when I'm working my tail off 50 hours a week to pay for your government aide. Every hard working man and women in Texas and Ohio that have to work for a living need to remember who are you working for, your kids or those people that don't want to wok.

    February 26, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  4. kendall

    Wolf, a lot of Democrats liked Clinton's tough talk on Obama this weekend. Why don't you and CNN just come out and endorse Obama. You run the same stories on your websiet all day long, changing their titles to priase Obama or cast doubt on clinto. This makes your stories look new, as they are new developments. It's how CNN is keeping Obama's momentum running. Your colum about Clinton walking a fine line, where dems are turned off by her tough rhetoric, is another example. It's also sexist. When Obama talks tough, no one says he's walking a fine line or is turning people. Yoiu accept strong talk from men and criticize the same for women. Cnn has made this process ridiculously biased and I seriously doubt you'll post this comment. You've censored me ten times previously.

    February 26, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  5. eddie

    The only line she should walk, is the one that tells the public that they are hiring the most experienced president we have ever had, in barack obama. I would not trust him to keep my house safe, yet alone my country

    February 26, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  6. Fran

    It is sad, that Senator Clinton has to walk a fine line because of the lack of support she has received from the press. All of the things that she is "throwing" at Obama should have already been thrown at him by the press. He is the front-runner and aren't front-runners traditional dissected by the press? Not in this case though. Still today, the press criticizes everything that Senator Clinton says and/or does. Some members of the press actually had the audacity to deny the fact that they have been on Senator Clinton's case from day one. Don't these people know what they are reporting on their own news channels? Senator Clinton seems to be doing the job of the press, while fending off their criticism, and trying to run a campaign. That alone should make her the front-runner, who else can multi-task better than a woman? I am so frustrated and disgusted by the actions of the press and their biased and slanted reporting. No one ever questions any of Obama's actions. Well, I do, and I know there are others out there who do as well. I just hope that our voices are heard before it is too late for this nation.

    February 26, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  7. Emmeline


    She's done alot for this country. She had a vision for health care – she failed. so what? she at least tried. She's pursuing the votes of the people she wishes to serve to continue to malign her.

    OBAMA fans – there's not much difference between your candidate's policies than clintons (hers have more ideas on how to implement it).
    IRAQ war – yeah she voted for it based on intelligence she and the rest of the senators were presented – but americans around the country wanted it. I have no doubt the Obama would have voted for it as well – when pressed about actionable intelligence against Pakistan for harboring terrorist, he said he would pursue it….how is that not different from voting for a war.

    Since he entered the Senate, his vote on the war has been the same as Hillary's…and you all condemn her? All the senators had the opportunity end the war, but they continue to support it – because that's the message, support the troops.

    But I forgot – watching her maligned by the media – THAT's entertainment. We're voting for the prom king.


    February 26, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  8. Carol

    I will never join the Obama cult if Obama is the nominee. I was a Reagan Democrat and I will be a McCain Democrat if need be. There are serious economic and foreign policy issues in this country. I don't need a pied piper for a president or an America hating first lady.

    Vote McCain if Obama is the nominee!!!!!

    February 26, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  9. Kelly Anne

    Hillary has lost.

    For the good of the Democratic party, please end this.

    All you are doing is helping the GOP for the general election by getting nasty and tearing down the nominee.

    Please Hillary, as a supporter I say: End this gracefully now!!!

    February 26, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  10. The republican machine

    There is really nothing Hillary could say about Obama that the republicans won't think of on their own And there are several things that she hasn't even touched upon that the republicans can't wait to use against him such as his ties to nuclear interests, campaign financing, his indecision on the Kyle Lieberman, his lack of voting record, and yes his inexperience. It is naive thinking to believe that republicans aren't capable of constructing their own strategies. And once they start many of Obama's disillusioned followers will turn to Ralph Nader. The media has protected him but republicans will not. It is unfortunate that the recent polls do not test a vetted Obama because if there's one thing we can count on it is that he will be tested.

    February 26, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  11. I AM

    Richardson is not without reason and fortitude. He will do the right thing for his people. He does not like to be bought and the entire world knows it. Clintons' you fouled out.
    I do believe the great Gov. Richardson will surprize the camp that thinks he will deliver his people to the slaughter. The man is not hen pecked. He is an Obama man. He has vision and is the only person outside of Biden really ready for the White House............. It was the Clintons that caused him to drop his mantle.
    So don't look for him to toot his whistle for more or what the people do not want in sheep's clothing.

    February 26, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  12. lzspc

    Hillary was defending herself just like every other candidate has!! I remember not that long ago....Obama insulted her first!!! But of course, no one remembers that....typical in this country these days!!!!!! but I guess that's ok right?

    Let the woman defend herself without the harsh words.........

    February 26, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  13. Astro

    "A lot of Democrats say they are turned off by her tough rhetoric"

    And a lot of people are turned on! It's about time someone challenges "his untouchable holiness"!

    "they don’t like her slamming him and effectively providing McCain with ammunition should Obama capture the party’s nomination — they don’t want her words thrown back at Obama by McCain and his team during the general election."

    This is sooooo stupid! Do you think others can't come up with similar or tougher questions and attacks against the cult leader Obama?! Do you think the Republicans are dumb?!

    If Hillary turns off the Democratic base by saying the truth about "his holiness", good for the country!

    I refuse to vote for a media phenomenon.

    February 26, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  14. Kris

    I'm a democrat and I've heard nothing but posotive feedback as far as Hillary finally taking off the gloves with Obama.Everyone is saying the same thing.What took her so long ?So much for people being turned off by her tough rhetoric.Wolf,I don't believe you for a second when you say you have talked to many of her long term supporters and they are tired of her slamming him,it sounds more like something you might be thinking.Hillary is not telling republicans anything they don't already know about Barack,they can't wait for him to win the nomination,thats very obvious when you look at how many so called independents and republicans are voting for him in the open primaries.The republicans aren't going to play nice nice with Obama like you responsible journalists over at CNN have been doing.Idon't think you truly realize how transparent you all have been.I used to say whoever won the nomination is who I will vote for, but after the free ride Barack has been given by you and the rest of the media i have lost respect for him ,and if he wins the nomination, i'll vote for Nader.
    Hillary 08!!!!!!!

    February 26, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  15. anonoymous

    A lot of loser Osama Hussein Barrackins out there. All of you should go to Canada. Brainwashed dilusional people vote for a speaker where smart Americans vote for someone who knows how to run this country with respect for it. Bottom line is no matter who wins if the other was on the ticket as vice president the democratic nominee would wipe the floor with the republicans.

    February 26, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  16. joyce T.

    The Clintonians are known for blaming others as the cause of their failures. Now, It is CNN for Hillary's losses after Super Tuesday.

    February 26, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  17. RAFi68

    i want to make something clear to the obama people if he wins the other big part that like s the hillary will not vote for obama and will vote republican because they are mad at the media and the empty hope and change that has come from obama , it is 100% that mcain will win it ........

    February 26, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
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