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. Ms. GA

    Has everyone forgotten that McCain won 1% of West Virginia in February? Is Clinton now arguing that she is more electable because of WV now if she wins? Has she not said that about every state that she's won? Is anyone tired of this argument?

    One more thing...How can you be more electable if you are losing the popular vote, in delegates and now with superdelegates?

    May 13, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  2. Jackie

    I am a woman, 50 years old, white and an Obama supporter. Someone above posted that they are tired of how Obama has been disrespecting women. When has he done this? I am looking forward to the day a woman is president but it should be a woman that I am proud to have represent me. Not HRC

    All of you Hillary supporters be honest – do you really think if the stats were reversed and Obama was losing the press would be this kind? I don't think so. Do you think everyone would be saying let him be he has a right? I don't think so.

    May 13, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  3. deborah jeane p, Boston

    so, the clinton strategy is, i will make sure you go down with me, unless you give me what i want and deserve. typical washington attitude. self-serving all the way.

    May 13, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  4. Farrell, Houston, Tx


    May 13, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  5. Democrat but Still Thinking

    Steve N: I think my t-shirt is part of what I am talking about. I have quoted Obama in part of it. He said and I quote: “I understand that Senator Clinton periodically, when she's feeling down, launches attacks as a way of trying to boost her appeal.” Steve this is a dated and nasty thing to say. Gone are the days when women had to be sedated because they could not "control" their emotions during their periods. You think that he used the word "periodically" by accident? I don't think so. He has record of giving signals, and winking "You know what I mean?"

    Additionally, his wife from the beginning blamed Hillary Clinton for her husband's affairs. Also, a really old and very mocking argument for all the women out there that know what it's like to have betrayal of trust or even single women who don't have what Michelle Obama calls "the traditional family." I just cannot put these people in power. I guess first week of November may just correspond with my "periodical" down time.

    May 13, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  6. SexyMe

    Of course, Hiliary, show the world how you really feel; this is not showing team player mentality. This is showing selfishness.

    You go girl, I guess if you going to be the best be the best

    May 13, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  7. Wake Up America

    Here are a few possible tickets for Obama:

    Obama/Hamas 2008

    Obama/Rev Wright 2008

    Obama/Ayers 2008

    Obama/Clinton 2008

    Obama/Sharpton 2008

    Let's go. Rally around these potential running mates. Obama's wife is anti american, his pastor is a racist and anti american, his friends support terror and are racist. Do you think he is any different? How diverse is your group of friends and family? You hang with people who are just like you. Look at who Obama has been hanging with all these years to figure out who he is like.. He thinks the rural white, working folks are all bitter, clinging to our guns, and the church.


    May 13, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  8. Tangerine

    Just because Clinton says it, doesn't make it true.... Haven't you learned that yet, CNN? Just because she says she has momentum, doesn't make it true.... just because she says WV can keep her alive, doesn't make it true.... just because she says she has the most experience, doesn't make it true.... just because she says she landed under sniper fire, doesn't make it true. The list goes on. I am sure that if Clinton said that she has a pet unicorn, CNN would report it, like it was true....

    May 13, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  9. Mia and Mike

    Oh come on CNN! You guys always try to keep the flames going on the Democratic side. Go dig up something from all the fodder on the Republicans for a change.

    May 13, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  10. Richard

    Democrats unite!!!

    Unite or be defeated!!!

    The republicans are loving this....stop the bickering.

    There’s too much at stake

    May 13, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  11. R.I.F.

    Democrat but Still Thinking May 13th, 2008 4:10 pm ET
    "As a woman, I am offended by Obama's continuous mocking of women in general. Very unfortunate."

    Clearly I have the worng definition of "mocking". When did Obama ever offend women. Stop spreading lies and hate. He has not said one negative thing about women and I refuse to let you plant that seed. If you want to play that game then please go over to fox news. The like people who spew lies and hate.

    Obama '08

    May 13, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  12. D.Kimbro OHIO

    Ok Hillary, why are you on a cell phone?? Has that bill been paid. If so, what about the vendors in Ohio, that the party may need in the general election.. If you can lend your coffers, nearly 15 million dollars, how about paying your bills. You are so credible on managing this nations budget (Trillions) when you cant manage your campain (millions). By the end of the week more superdelegates will move and it is time to sit down.

    May 13, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  13. hmmmmm.....sounds fishy

    STILL THINKING DEMOCRAT...........first and foremost.....when did Obama start woman bashing.....if beating Hillary is woman bashing.....then your sensitivity is a reason the U.S. may not be ready for a woman at president......all i can say is I have not heard Obama woman bashing and it is time to quit with all the BS.....and try and UNITE A PARTY AFTER A LONG HARD FIGHT.........everyone feels a lil bruised so now is the time to ice our wounds and win come November.......I personally think there are republicans out there stirring up the drama for us so called lets get it together.....don't be fooled by online crap.....if you have uncertainty about a particular candidate look it up....find out more so at least you are informed about your decision.....if you like the way the war has been handled Mc Cain is here for you...........If you feel you need change ....there is also a candidate for you

    May 13, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  14. daniel

    How nobody report the fact that the 3 Clintons were campaining at the same state in same time in different area. Who will report it.

    May 13, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  15. Kristi, Chino Hills, CA

    For those of you who say you will vote for McCain over Obama –
    1.) You are NOT true Democrats
    2.) You obviously don't want health insurance, education for your kids, stem cell research, clean air, alternative fuel options, YOUR FAMILY/FRIENDS HOME FROM IRAQ, national peace settlements, etc.
    3.) Two faced, flip flopper with experience that has accomplished nothing substantial

    Need I go on!!

    May 13, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  16. NickNas

    The ONLY people this will raise doubts for are the people at CNN so they can keep fanning the Clinton flame. I have done a wide search and it is ONLY CNN who is still pushing Hillary so Hard!! EVen her own PEOPLE aren't pushing her on the public with such blind furvor anymore.

    CNN is lobbying for Hillary to be VP and it is Obvious but Obama Picks his VP NOT CNN.

    As usual CNN makes a Big story out of nothing. WV and Kentucky voteing for the WHite candidate. The only weakness in Obamas quest is the racist underground of this nation.

    CNN the new TMZ

    May 13, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  17. lars

    So let me see if I have this whole 'white power' argument straight:
    Hillary argues she should be the nominee to get the white vote,
    so she has to stick it to the black man and shaft him out of
    a fairly contested nomination process.
    Isn't that racist?

    May 13, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  18. Venus

    Too bad her big win won't do any thing to CHANGE the math!

    Good move Obama – move on to bigger and better things!

    Bill Clinton won WV twice and then Bush won WV twice?

    May 13, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  19. James

    CNN wants people to watch the returns tonight. NO THANK YOU

    May 13, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  20. Robert in Toronto,ON

    Thank you Candy West! You show there are some great people in West Virginia.

    As for this topic – I don't understand why CNN is reporting as if Hillary Clinton has life in this race. All signs point to it's over except one...the final delegate count. One that Obama will reach FIRST.

    So please stop trying to put a stop to the Obama train as it leaves the station and heads straight for the White House!

    May 13, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  21. MI White Catholic Woman 4 Barack

    Hillary is an out of control lunatic! The only thing she's likely to accomplish is to destroy the Democratic Party.

    Listen up Democrats – don't let her destroy us! We simply can not have another four years of McSame.

    Whatever everyone's opinions are we ALL must vote Democratic.

    OBAMA 08 & 12!

    May 13, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  22. mitchell from arkansaw

    she makes me ill.....

    May 13, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  23. An Agnostic Democrat

    Can we please stop with the drama? You know that if the tables were turned and Mr. Obama was this far behind, you'd have called this race after Super Tuesday as it should have been.

    What will all the talking heads who like to call themselves "journalists" and "reporters" do with all their spare time after the primaries are over? Probably go work for "Soap Opera Digest"!

    May 13, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  24. Gary Chandler in Canada

    Not that more proof was needed of the Clintons' approach, but notice how she is not campaigning McCain's gas tax holiday anymore?
    It was only a good idea when she thought it would votes, even when it shown to be a bad idea for the people. If it had served he well last week, she would still be pushing it.
    Trouble is, she dropped it in a state that seems very gullible to her mind set.

    May 13, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  25. Rob

    I predict her acceptance speech will also be her concession speech.

    May 13, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
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