May 8th, 2008
03:00 PM ET
15 years ago

Blitzer on Obama: He seemed at ease


Wolf Blitzer interviewed Obama Thursday. (AP Photo)

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Having interviewed Senator Barack Obama on several occasions in recent years, I must say he seemed very relaxed and at ease when we spoke in The Situation Room today. On earlier occasions, he often seemed more wound up and intense. That was certainly true during the four Democratic presidential debates that I moderated over the past year. On this day, however, he seemed very comfortable and very confident. And with good reason.

I showed him the new issue of Time magazine, which features him on the cover, along with the words: “And the winner is…” Asked for his reaction, he said: “I don’t want to be jinxed. We’ve still got some work to do.” It reminded me of superstitious athletes who fear having their picture on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Obama could not have been more effusive in his praise of Hillary Clinton. He kept calling her an “extraordinary” candidate. In response to a video question from a CNN I-Reporter, he said Senator Clinton would certainly be “on anybody’s short list” as a vice presidential running mate. “But it would be presumptuous of me at this point when she is still actively running, when she is highly favored to win two of the next three contests, for me to somehow suggest that she should be a running mate,” he said. “At this point, I think we have to resolve this process and then we can figure it out.”

While he had nice things to say about Hillary Clinton, he didn’t hold back in criticizing his other opponent, John McCain, on a host of domestic economic and national security issues. He seemed ready to move on to the next chapter of his campaign.

soundoff (248 Responses)
  1. bigben

    What a joke. Clinton supporters lets riot. just like obama supporters have said they would.

    May 8, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  2. joe

    Good job Wolf. You asked serious questions with No Spin. A good interview to watch.

    May 8, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  3. Beverly, NYC

    Obama always a gentlman. Him mom and grandma taught him well. Can 't say the same for the other candidate

    May 8, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  4. Cathy

    I seriously need someone to explain to me how someone can support either Obama or Clinton (who are so similar in the political positions) in the primaries and JUST because their candidate isn't the nominee will vote for McCain or not vote at all. I DON'T UNDERSTAND YOUR LOGIC. You are only hurting yourself, your neightbors, your children and me if you are going to be that spitful and turn your support to McCain.

    Come on people!!! We aren't picking the the captin of the kick ball team in 5th grade.

    Support the Democrates 110%!!!!

    May 8, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  5. R.I.F.

    Clinton backers really seem upset. The man said only good things about Eight Belle and all you do is bash him. I swear all of these Clinton supporters on this board are really Lanny "Windbag" Davis.

    May 8, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  6. Regina

    Thank You,
    Senator Obama

    You were very professional and inspiring! Proud to be American!
    We are UNITED!

    Obama "08"

    May 8, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  7. Yvonne

    Clinton keeps referring to "hard-working Americans." Aren't we all hard-working (except for the upper 1-5% or so)? Sounds like a euphemism/code words for a group of people that doesn't include me – a middle aged, African American professional who still runs out of money at the end of each month. Frankly, the more I hear her campaign stump speeches, the more frightened I become. Am I the only one who feels this?

    May 8, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  8. Conservative

    Well, Sen. Clinton is hanging in there... just like Huckabee did refusing to back down. She has ran her campaign the best that she can, I suppose. There's no need in prolonging the process as if there's some magic rabbit to pull out of her hat. I think I speak for most Americanss when I say," Enough of the debates!" Everything has been said or done already and we will only get a repeat performance. Open your minds and set aside your disdain for Sen. Obama... There's other candidates better qualified to do the job than Bush and Clintons. It's not about the candidate... we need answers now!

    May 8, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  9. Janne, Finland

    Obama couldn't be more right when he says world wants to see the US lead. YES WE WANT YOU TO LEAD; in enviromental policy, in diplomacy, in innovative technology - in humanity and civil rights.

    The day Obama is elected to be the President of USA, you will get the whole worlds respect.

    I personally promise to buy American flag that day and to go Helsinki square to wave it. Or maybe I could arrange a small scale fireworks that night. 😉

    Do everything you can to make him elected.

    May 8, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  10. Martyball

    Everybody who says they are going to vote for McCain if their favorite democrat doesn't win needs to read the article about what kind of judges McCain will nominate. If that doesn't convince you to either vote democrat or stay home, then I don't want to hear any whining from you when Roe v. Wade is overturned. WAKE UP!!!

    May 8, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  11. Chris 2

    The picture says it all: The Two Most Important Persons in the World. Howzabout a ticket of Blitzer (number 1) and Obama (for VP)?

    May 8, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  12. Janne, Finland

    And trust me, I have seen every Democrat debate since Iowa caucus on CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, I even follow Fox interviews! (I admit, I have lost my personal life to these primaries.)

    May 8, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  13. Woffy

    BFD so the great one wears jeans. Wow!

    May 8, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  14. Sarah Zeld, Michigan

    Great interview, Wolf! And thank you for keeping the Jeremiah Wright issues out of the discussion.

    May 8, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  15. obamafan

    This guy looks real honest and says so and praises opponent on every occasion. Hillary never does that and she is too selfish and nothing less.

    May 8, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  16. Paris

    CNN stop being bias and ask the tough questions.
    Wolf you should’ve asked he Obama like a pillow.
    How can you insult your viewers like that?
    Are a news agency or part of Obama’s campaign.

    May 8, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  17. Marla

    YES WE CAN.... NOW lets focus on getting the WHITE HOUSE back to Dem Party!! we have to start attacking MCcain/BUSH.

    Obama/Edwards 08'

    May 8, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  18. Enough

    Whew there's a lot of bitter folks on this board!

    May 8, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  19. solidforlife

    Everybody just need to chill out and take a deep breath. Obama is here to stay!! No weapon formed against him will ever prosper. He will lead this country back to greatness. I do understand that there is a percentage of americans that wont vote for him because he is black. I know deep in my heart he will change this country for the best. He has inspired me to the point where i'm going to campaign for him. We will all come together as one and vote for Obama. We just gotta heal the wounds that hillary cut wide open. "We shall overcome some day"

    May 8, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  20. Lilarose in Oregon

    One of the reasons I would vote McCain is to screw you rude people out of your dream.

    I am sick of hearing that Hillary should quit.

    When the REST OF US have had a chance to mark our ballot, then maybe she should bow out.

    Give us an even chance, posters.

    May 8, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  21. David, Santa Rosa, CA

    Democrats unite! For better or worse, we have our candidate. It is time to get beyond the internal bickering and Obama/Clinton bashing and start bashing the GOP and John McCain!

    Sen. McCain is frightening. His ideas and politics are old school and archaic. We democrats need to accept what is and start moving forward to regain the White House and congress.

    May 8, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  22. leon

    Sure Peter, we believe you.

    Just tell me:

    1- Why Obama made a speech opposing the War in Iraq but then did not continue an aggresive campaing against it when he run for office in Chicago? Was it because patriotism was high and important for his campaing that year and it will not look good. Also he even declared that had he been in the USA Senate he might have voted for the War or did not know how he might voted.

    2- Does Obama really had a good and better judgement? Why was he part of the church in Chicago and close to his pastor for 20 years. Did not recognize that he knew about his pastor's comments first and then change his position. And finally separated himself from the pastor when his rate in the polls were going down becuase the pastor said that he was a regular politician.

    3- What kind of movement has Obama created? Is it a poitical, social or just a movement for the elections. And after the election what? Also does he provide a platform for the movement that will allow people to really know where are we heading and going? Is it really a change or is it just a way to get support for the election. Why does he create the movement now and not when he was in Chicago several years ago or when he became a US Senator?

    4- CHANGE... is the change only about special interest? does he really think that he will change Washington by going against the lobbyst and the special interest. He knows better than that unless you really change the structure of the society and the political circles of power saying that you will change Washington by fighting the special interest is also a band-aid to the real problems we have. Is he willing to go all the way?

    5- So why is Clinton part of the status quo but Senators Kerry and Kennedy are not? If you are against the status-quo is he going to ask those Senators and others that also represent the status-quo in Washington to leave their positions and allow new Senators to come to Washington. Why is he makling deals with them then?

    It seems to me that Obama is not really that different from other politicians but he portrays himself as he would be and a lot of average Americans who are hungry for a real change want to believe he really is even when in the bottom of our hearts we know he really isn't.

    May 8, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  23. Unshrub

    It is hard to tell if McCain is senile or if it is just republican rhetoric.

    May 8, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
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