May 12th, 2008
03:14 PM ET
13 years ago

Clinton draws parallel between her campaign, JFK's 1960 run

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Hillary Clinton compared her Campaign to JFK's Monday.'"]
(CNN) - Hillary Clinton said again Monday that no Democratic presidential candidate can win without a victory in West Virginia - and drew a parallel between her own campaign and John Kennedy’s 1960 White House run.

“It was West Virginia that made it possible for John Kennedy to become president,” Clinton said at a Clear Fork, West Virginia campaign stop. “Now, John Kennedy didn’t have the number of delegates he needed when he went to the convention in 1960. He had something equally as important - he had West Virginia behind him, because it’s a fact that Democrats don’t get elected president unless West Virginia votes for you…”

Barack Obama may be the party’s pledged and superdelegate leader – but that status does not appear to have helped him in West Virginia, where Clinton leads by 30-40 points in recent state polls.

“So I’m here today because I know what’s really going to matter tomorrow,” said Clinton. “It’s the votes of the people of West Virginia and if you will come out and honor me with your vote I will work my heart out for you.

Clinton criticized the Democratic front-runner on his health care proposal, and his rejection of her proposed “gas tax holiday.”

“My opponent Sen. Obama says, “Oh no, that’s just a gimmick, that’s not going to help people,” said Clinton before again arguing that it will save families $70 on average and more for those with longer commutes as well as truckers.

Clinton added that West Virginia proportionately has more veterans, “more people who have served in the conflicts and in the armed forces of the United States….

“It is the hard-working, dedicated people of West Virginia who have really made America what it has been, and what it will be again.”

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (659 Responses)
  1. uchujin

    Funny, I just viewed the video excerpt of her stumping today and talking about how "we could be great" blah, blah, blah..........She has slowly been changing her message to sound more like BO everyday. Beware the "Cheshire Snake"!

    May 12, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  2. D R

    I just seen this article and copied it over. It reads-

    "There was just an AP article posted that found how Sen. Obama's support among hardworking Americans, white Americans is weakening again, and how the whites in both states that have not completed college were supporting me," Clinton said in a USA Today interview May 7.

    Now tell me, do we want these people making important decisions about this election. Get a clue Ohio, PA, Kentucky, WV.. We impeached the Clinton's eight years ago for lying under oath.

    May 12, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  3. Shiloh Everett

    You're no Jack Kennedy, Hillary.

    May 12, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  4. Tom, RI

    She's more like Lee Harvey Oswald-yuck.

    May 12, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  5. FreshAir

    Go now to HillaryClinton dot com and deposit money straight to her bank account. She's squandered millions, now its your turn to do the same.

    May 12, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  6. Beverly, NYC

    West Virginia voters ask yourself, How will she work her heart out for you from the Senate? She still has to serve her term as the Junior Senator from NY. Has she ever set foot in West Virginia since her husband left office. 3 weeks ago PA was important too, the road to the White House ran through it. Has she been back since, NO. Don't get too flattered WV, if she had the airfare to Puerto Rico and their 55 pledged delegates the only Clinton you would meet would be Chelsea.

    May 12, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  7. Chuck, Oregonians for Obama

    Trust me Sen Clinton, you're no JFK and your campaign is and has been a far cry from that of JFK. A few weeks ago you were Rocky. So why the change? Is this another flip flop? Seems your campaign and message has changed so much, I am begining to wonder if you know who you are? At one point I had a great deal of respect for the Clinton brand, that diminished greatly over the months. Now I am not sure if I feel sorry for you, Or pitty you. Either way, give it up and do as you said you would weeks ago, and put your efforts and support behind Obama.
    Sen Obama, has run a great campaign. Especially when you take into consideration he has taken on the greatest Political Machine and Political Name brand and defeated them. He did this pretty much single handedly as he may have had a great deal of support from his supporters stumping for him; they received ZERO media attention. Where as every place Bill and the Clinton daughter went there was a great level of media attention. Their speaches were even broadcasted. Talking about media coverage. There was very little coverage of Michelle, or any surrogates speaches on behalf of Obama on the other hand. So it is safe to say Obama no only beat Sen Clinton, but he beat Bill, Chelse, the Clinton brand name, the Great Clinton Political machine and the media. Now that everyone is one very great accomplishment.

    So give him his due for he has more than earned the privilage of being where he is at this moment.

    May 12, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  8. Terry

    The true comback kid is Senator Obama. According to NCB’s Domenico Montanaro, “That Obama has been able to accomplish what he has is an incredible thing when one steps back to think about it.” The New York senator had many of the advantages, including:

    (a) Name recognition: At the start of this race, the Clinton name was the most famous name in Democratic politics. Hillary and Bill Clinton had sky-high approval ratings among Democrats. Obama, himself, called Clinton the “default” choice for many Democrats.
    (b) Money: Clinton transferred in $10 million from her Senate campaign and had seemingly every major Democratic fundraiser behind her. No one thought Clinton would be the one outraised and in debt.
    (c) The Democratic Establishment: From the DNC calendar to superdelegates to even Bill Clinton, Clinton had them all. Again, no one though Clinton would be the one behind in superdelegates.

    So why is she losing?

    To parphrase an article by Karen Tumulty
    The Five Mistakes Clinton Made

    For all her talk about "full speed on to the White House," there was an unmistakably elegiac tone to Hillary Clinton's primary-night speech in Indianapolis. And if one needed further confirmation that the undaunted, never-say-die Clintons realize their bid might be at an end, all it took was a look at the wistful faces of the husband and the daughter who stood behind the candidate as she talked of all the people she has met in a journey "that has been a blessing for me."
    It was also a journey she had begun with what appeared to be insurmountable advantages, which evaporated one by one as the campaign dragged on far longer than anyone could have anticipated. She made at least five big mistakes, each of which compounded the others:
    1. She misjudged the mood, change vs Status Quo
    2. She didn't master the rules. The poor choice of people in her camp
    3. She underestimated the caucus states. Discounted them, so was not prepared
    4. She relied on old money. That coffer dried up
    5. She never counted on a long haul. Thought Super Tuesday was her corination.

    May 12, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  9. David, Silver Spring, MD

    You mean Hillary is comparing herself to Richard Nixon?

    May 12, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  10. Doom.

    calling the things in West Virginia people is really stretching it don't you think?

    May 12, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  11. Jane

    I believe Sen. Clinton can be compared to the Kennedy's and also to Martin Luther King, who did so much for the country, yet had a certain segment of people who truly hated them. Sen. Clinton has spent a lifetime in service to her countrymen, and when you stand up as she has over the years, many people are going to hate you.

    May 12, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  12. Dan (TX)

    Are you kiddin' me!?

    Obama is much more like JFK (for the 21st century). Even Ted Kennedy knows that!

    How ridiculous can you get!?

    So Hillary wins WV at 65% – big deal she gets 19 delegates but Obama still gets 10 (thanks to Democratic proportioning).

    Way too little, way too late.

    May 12, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  13. Viet Nam Vet

    hEY sHARON!


    May 12, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  14. uchujin


    Still living the delusion, er, dream I see. Good for you, every woman needs a fantasy. HRC is a case in point.

    May 12, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  15. Ca Native

    Keep Running Hillary – take it to the convention!! Obama doesn't want to count Mi & Fla – he doesn't deserve to win this nomination!!

    May 12, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  16. Marshall

    People...I am guilty of bashing. Yes, I can admit it. But we all are. It is time to stop blaming each other. Both sides did it. It wasn't just the Obama supporter or just the Clinton supporters. IT WAS BOTH SIDES.

    We need to get past the he said, she said playground justice and focus on the real issue...KEEPING MCCAIN out of the White House.

    As I said before, I am guilty. I bashed on both sides. I started supporting one candidate and later changed sides. Who I support doesn't matter because their stand on the issues is almost identical.

    Rush wants us to continue to bash and to keep us weak because he knows we could get anyone elected if we stood together. He fears US...A UNITED DEMOCRATIC PARTY!

    So let's leave the name calling and finger pointing to the children on the playgrounds and act like adults. Once again, me included.

    Let's end the negitive and focus on the challenge...Beating McCain.

    This is my pledge. Who stands with me?

    May 12, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  17. Janel, St. Paul, MN

    This may have been true in the past, but the line seems very familiar. . .that Hillary Clinton always says "X state is a "must win". . .those that she is winning, of course.

    I am praying that people in West Virginia and Kentucky will take some time to compare candidates on issues, then vote for Obama, so that Hillary's lead is not so grandiose.

    I am SO weary of Hillary's comments.

    May 12, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  18. azmy


    May 12, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  19. Rosemary

    This is from an individual in West Virginia... It says it very loud and very clear:




    " YES SHE CAN"
    " YES WE WILL"


    May 12, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  20. HilleryBillery

    Oh My God!! Hillary is now JFK?! What? Rocky and Goldilocks not good enough? Hillary is not fit to Iron JFK's socks.

    May 12, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  21. Doom.

    Well, they both dealt with sniper fire right?

    I'm sorry 🙁

    May 12, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  22. Bring Unity not Divide and Conquer

    OK, I think I narrowed it down to WV and KY white uneducated racist women are the only votes that count in an election.


    May 12, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  23. Nate

    Obviously race is a hot button in this country. There are many people in WV and Kentucky who are voting for Hillary because she is the best candidate. There are still many people who are voting for her to spite Obama. I don’t get it since he stands for the same things she does.

    As far as I can tell Obama has not brought race into the campaign, others inject it and he responds to it. Hillary on the other hand says- “Hey, white people will vote for me but white people won’t vote for the black candidate.” That type of argument is not true for one, and it is divisive. The democratic party has brought together whites, blacks latinos, rich, poor, the hard working and the less fortunate. Why is she trying to divide us? She’s doing the same thing she did when she brought up the gas tax- she’s pandering to people who she believes share her point of view- specifically the folks in Kentucky and West Virginia. She saying you’ll vote based on race because that’s the type of people you are.

    There are others that say it’s racism that African Americans vote for Obama. Maybe, but it’s more symbolism given the legacy of slavery and discrimination in this country- Furthermore Bill Clinton got some 90% of the African American vote in 1996. African Americans always strongly support the democratic party. When Hillary was the presumptive nominee in January she had more than 50% of the African American vote. Now she wants to divide us by race because it helps HER. I’m white and I take offense to that. This may help her in the short term but hurts the party and the country in the long term. Take a step back and look at this objectively, and ask yourself is that what you stand for. If you do you are free to vote republican in the fall.

    May 12, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  24. andrew

    GO HILLARY!!! These young people are really make a joke of our party! I hate OBO and his young dumb and mostly UGLY fans! Get a life you dumb people!!!! HILLARY'08!!!!!

    May 12, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  25. Rod

    Why are all of you Obama supporters SO mean-spirited?
    I thought Barack is supposed to be SUCH a Uniter...what on earth is the matter with you people? Obviously, you have NO idea what he or you stand for!!!!!

    May 12, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
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