May 13th, 2008
03:30 PM ET
14 years ago

Schneider: Will West Virginia keep Clinton alive?

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Sen. Hillary Clinton talks on a mobile phone while walking to the Senate chambers Tuesday."](CNN) - What are we looking for tonight in West Virginia? Whether the state’s Democrats will keep Hillary Clinton's campaign going.

If Hillary Clinton wins big in West Virginia, it will send a message: that she has something to say, and Democrats better listen. Clinton's strength all along has been, not just with women, but also with older, rural and blue-collar Democrats. The kinds of voters who predominate in West Virginia.

Are they Reagan Democrats? Not exactly. West Virginia did not vote for Ronald Reagan in 1980, and it did not vote for his vice president in 1988.

But the state did vote for George W. Bush. Twice. They're Bush Democrats, and the Democratic Party wants them back. Obama has had trouble reaching them. He has a message of inspiration and unity.

"We've got to open up our arms and say we want everybody - black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, young, old, rich, poor, gay, straight - we want everybody,” Obama has told crowds on the campaign trail.

But a lot of West Virginia Democrats are hurting. They're not bitter. They're not turning to guns and religion for solace. They're looking for hope.

"I think the message that Barack Obama takes from West Virginia and states like West Virginia, at least from our experience, is that he's going to somehow have to convince older, socially conservative voters that he can make their life better, and he's going to have to stick to the issues of economics and health care " says Kenny Bass, a political reporter in West Virginia.

Hillary Clinton seems to know how to reach those voters. Listen to what she's been saying in West Virginia: "We need a president again who's going to be solving our problems and begin to once again take care of the american people and all the challenges that we face.”

She says she delivers and says she’s a fighter: "It's going to take somebody who gets in there and rolls up her sleeves and gets to work for you!"

Senator Clinton may not win the nomination, but she's sending a valuable message to Democrats: show more fight!

You know, sometimes it takes a woman to toughen up a man.

"Screw your courage to the sticking place, and we'll not fail," Lady Macbeth said.

Not that Lady Macbeth is a role model, but still.

soundoff (295 Responses)
  1. Robb

    To the Author (Bill Schneider).

    Your article is pure biased garbage and you know it. How much did Hillary pay you ? I hope you got cash up front.

    May 13, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  2. Bridgette-PA

    CNN, when will you learn? You are becoming more and more sad with your coverage and tickers. We all know that Schneider loves Hillary. Most of you that work there do. Jack Cafferty is the only true person there. He keeps it real...

    OBAMA -08!

    May 13, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  3. Darryl

    Let not call African American who voted for Obama a Racist. Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton are causing faulty thoughts in the minds of Americans.

    We must unite behind a winner let's elect senator Obama as President and Unite America........

    May 13, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  4. Isabella , Canada

    I had listened to Ted Kennedy's speech outlining why Hillary Clinton should not be considered for VP.
    This is a man who got away with murder and he has the audacity to sit in judgement of other people's character.
    Whether you like Hillary Clinton or not , she has been a dedicated public servant all her life , she should turn her back on the Democratic Party and run as an Independent.
    They have treated her quite shabbily and have successfully manipulated the race in favour of Obama.
    I can not see how a flawed and inexperienced candidate like Obama could even be considered for your presidency.

    May 13, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  5. Think about it

    Think about it, CNN says a majority want Hillary as VP, I'll bet that they are wrong. Hillary as VP will turn off many Democrates because Bill will be near the Whitehouse and Hillary will try to Dictate policy and also create another racial issue, so think about it, Her as VP can never cure the ill's she has created.

    Its exactly what McCain wants......

    May 13, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  6. Tom from Georgia

    I’d rather vote for an honest person I disagree with than someone who openly distorts facts. I don’t have the time or energy to research every word from a candidate to see if it is true. I’m too busy working two jobs to fill my gas tank.

    I initially supported Clinton but I quickly became tired of hearing one misleading statement or exaggeration after another. If voters can’t trust a candidate to speak directly and accurately about minor issues there is very little likelihood that candidate would be honest about big issues. Look at the illogical hyperbole about West Virginia, Michigan, and Florida. I’d like to think most voters see through the finger wagging truth-bending of the Clintons.

    Only a fool would elect someone who isn’t honest about things where there is no reason to exaggerate or lie. Clinton’s target audience must be people without common sense of the ability to think logically.

    May 13, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  7. Pepou

    I want to take strong exception to the rumor that Obama is mocking women. This is absolutely untrue ! On the other hand Clinton has been mocking men, and denigrating African-Americans by using the racial card. Women (white primarily) who wish to support Clinton can do so but they should not try to spread lies.

    May 13, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  8. Jack

    If we base the election on WV, then it would be Hillary vs. Huckabee!

    What does that tell you?

    May 13, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  9. Peggy - Old White Female for Obama from Texas

    Not everyone in WV is racist, but clearly there is a strong racial factor in WV voting trends. If Hillary wins big-it is not because she is wonderful, rather it is because she got the I-Will-Not-Vote-For-A-Black-Person vote and the republican vote. Frankly-I am amazed at how well Obama has done and how weak the I-Will-Not-Vote-For-A-Black-Person coalition is in America today. The fact that Obama has overcome this racist factor is an attribute to his extraordinary integrity, his uplifting message of hope, and his extraordinary ability to speak in a manner that makes lots of people want to listen. I believe in Obama and I believe he will someday be viewed as one of the greatest leaders in American history. The fact that he is black, is a good thing; it announces to the world and to Americans’ that a new day has arrived, where the post WWII mentality (i.e.white male’s rule mentality) is no longer dominating American Politics.

    May 13, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |

    Seeing that BO supporters make $100,000 a year or more and Hillary's make $50,000 and less.....doesn't it make sense that he has all the money in the world to spend and she is in debt? She's had to keep up with his spending, actually gets outspent 3 to 1, and he STILL has not closed the deal....she's been winning states with FAR LESS money to spend!

    "You're likeable enough, Hillary...." REMEMBER THAT?????? As A woman, YES THAT WAS OFFENSIVE! Plus soooooo many more after that....go back and check out the way he looked down on her in EVERY debate!

    May 13, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  11. Nando, Florida


    May 13, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  12. Phil-Little Rock

    The Clintons need to remember one major fact: they are NOT the entire Democratic party! Jump or be pushed, Hillary.

    May 13, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  13. Debbie

    It's time to move on from the politics of old.
    HC can't win playing by the NDC rules so she's going to bend/twish/break them to get her own way.
    A great President – I think NOT!!!
    As a nation we should be more evolved and be able to vote for someone who is of color (whatever color).
    It's 2008 for goodness sake – what does it say about society when you won't vote for someon because they are black!
    It's a sad sad day for this country – and shame on Hillary for exploiting this issue for all it's worth.
    And shame on HC supporters for aiding and abetting!!!
    PS: I'm white

    May 13, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  14. SCM DC

    Okay, Hillary and Hillary supporters (espcially those "strong women" who identify with Hillary): When you fight for something that you have a chance of winning, no matter how small the chance, then you're a fighter. But when you fight for something that you have NO CHANCE WHATSOEVER of winning...then you're not a're a bitter, spiteful sore loser who annoys the hell out of everyone who has any common sense!


    May 13, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  15. william

    Re-Pub-Lee-Cuns–American word derived from the word-HYPOCRITICAL-WIN-AT-ANY-SNEAKY-THING. Otherwise they can't win an election. They want to vote for McSame and then grit their teeth at the gas pump like they have the last couple of years. I haven't seen too many "Bush-Cheney bumper stickers or not as many as the country falters. They know they voted for it. And, yes, don't blame me I voted Gore.

    May 13, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |

    but she still has KY and Puerto Rico....nearly 4 million voters in those two primaries alone 🙂

    May 13, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  17. Hillary-ious

    Can someone please post the specific mockery that "Democrat but Still Thinking" is referring to? I must've missed that one.

    I find it very hard to believe that Sen. Obama would be out there mocking women. He needs them too much to be that stupid...

    On the other hand, Hillary has absolutely mocked Obama- anyone remember the speech where she talked about "The heavens opening, and choirs singing, and the sun shining..." or whatever else she said. That was clear mockery of Obama, but he didn't whine about it.

    May 13, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  18. D R

    Looks like CNN is keeping Hillary alive. I know the ratings must have been nice during this race, but please. From the fanning of the flames on the Rev. Wright story, to every single primary being the one that brings Hillary back! If this country thinks that 1/3 of the country represents the majority then they have another thing going! If you think Hillary is going to win, after looking at the math, then you must question your reporting! There is NO WAY McCain wins in November after the Bush disaster. There is NO WAY Hillary wins in November if you alginate the 2/3 of the country that has moved for Obama. With CNN's help, Hillary and Rev. Wright has put a racial and gender divide on this country that will take years to forget. If all of her supporters forgot that we impeached the Clinton's from the white house, then they should be able to move past the color of Obama's skin.

    May 13, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  19. Misty

    Hillary Clinton stars in the "Nightmare in Democrat Party" .

    She is toast regarding her future with the Democrats. She and Bill are extremely selfish and think only of themselves.

    Leave Leave - Oh! Please leave.

    May 13, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  20. Common Sense

    The comments here are shocking. People are choosing presidents like some highschool prom queen or king. Hillary is toast, but, that's okay because Obama is the same on the issues. You people need to take this more seriously, this is about our daily lives, you don't owe hillary nothing.

    May 13, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  21. It's not to late

    As much as 30% of Obama's primary, and caucus votes are Republicans trying to choose the weakest democratic candidate for McCain to run against. These Republicans have been gaming the caucuses where it is easier to vote cheat. This is why Obama has not been able to win the BIG! states primaries. Even with Republican vote cheating help.
    Hillary Clinton has been out manned, out gunned, and out spent 2 and 3 to 1. Yet Obama has only been able to manage a very tenuous, and questionable tie with Hillary Clinton.
    If Obama is the democratic nominee for the national election in November he will be slaughtered. Because the Republican vote cheating help will suddenly evaporate. All of this vote fraud and republican manipulation has made Obama falsely look like a much stronger candidate than he really is. The democratic party needs to fix this outrage. I suggest a Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama ticket. Everyone needs to throw all your support to Hillary Clinton NOW! So you can end this outrage against US the voter, and against democracy.

    May 13, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  22. Navyvet

    In her mind it will, but in her mind she's still winning the election.

    May 13, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  23. Mike

    I love watching you liberals attack each other. Go Billary! Keep fighting! Watching your party implode in November will truly be a joy.

    May 13, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  24. Dem Bashed Enabler

    These articles and these comments are becoming ridiculous. It has a feel of being beat about the head with a stupid stick. And it must be a potent stick because like an abused spouse I keep coming back every time the bitterness evaporates.

    May 13, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  25. David

    A general note to CNN: Don't create news – just report it.

    Got it?

    May 13, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
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