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June 5th, 2008
06:56 PM ET

Obama can reach Hillary's loyalists

Lisa Witter
Author and COO, Fenton Communications

The news cycle is buzzing with questions about how Obama can woo many of the 18 million Senator Clinton voters who had their hearts broken on Tuesday. It’s important to know that they weren’t just upset for Hillary, they were upset for themselves. Many saw Senator Clinton’s fight as their fight. Many people saw her tenacity and wished they would have had it when they lost a promotion or job because of their gender. Many saw her outcome as theirs. This loss runs deep.

On Saturday, when Senator Clinton suspends her campaign, we need to listen closely to what she says and how she says it. I’m confident that if Senator Clinton fully and sincerely endorses Senator Obama with her heart and her head he’ll not only be able to capture back many of these disillusioned women, but they will become evangelicals for him.

However, he’ll need to take note of some of the truths about women’s lives and the values women hold dearest. Here’s how:

Women value community and connection.

So, Obama needs to:

  • Activate Obama’s women supporters to reach out to Clinton supporters and have open and respectful one-on-one conversations about why Obama will be good for America's women. (When you connect women to each other you strengthen your “brand”).
  • Opt for campaign events at small scale venues, instead of large stadiums, to connect more intimately. (For example: town halls, union halls, community centers, etc.)
  • Talk more about his mother and the role she had in his life. He was raised by a strong, single mother who had an enormous impact on his life. Women want to see him as a real person, not just a politician. Talking more about his mother will go a long way.
  • Frame his policies and principles as from the perspective of a husband and a parent of two small girls. Women respect a family man.

Women like to feel part of a movement –they draw on their movement allegiances and want to see women in leadership positions.

So, Obama needs to:

  • Get high profile Clinton supporters to endorse Obama very publicly as soon as possible – Gloria Steinem, Geraldine Ferraro, Madeline Albright, etc.
  • Give a seminal speech on gender much like the one he did on race. Ellen Goodman suggested this and wrote a beautiful version last weekend.
  • Have a private meeting with Clinton and leaders of the women's movement to talk about how women will be prominent in his campaign.
  • Commit to 1/2 of his cabinet being women. Why not have his advisors reflect the gender make-up of the country? This would show Hillary supporters that he understands the importance of women’s leadership in his inner-circle.

Women have a strong predilection for empathy.

So, Obama needs to:

  • Continue to communicate the need for change and do it with optimism. If he starts attacking McCain it could really turn off women voters. He needs to communicate his refrain on hope.
    Always be gracious to Senator Clinton. He must never ever do or say anything disrespectful of her.

Obama’s having trouble reaching women over 35, and 80% of women over 40 have children.

So, Obama needs to:

  • Communicate that he understands that women are often the main caregivers in the family and that they are struggling to work, be mothers and often take care of their parents. He needs to communicate that he understands that this economy is tight for American working families and that women, as 83% of consumers, are forced to make the tough purchasing decisions: gas or food; which soap works best watered down; what medication cant they do without, etc.
  • Go on a women/mother’s listening tour.
  • Continue to use the Web as an organizing tool for women. More women are online and blog than men are so his internet outreach is key. Women are also twice as likely to pass on information – he can continue to use the web to help raise money and spread the word. Women are key to his viral success.
  • Make being involved in his campaign easy.
  • Update his Web site to be reflective of women. He should have prominent women endorsements, photos of women and of real people.

I hope that the Obama campaign wakes up every day thinking about the women’s vote. Women have turned out in higher numbers than men in every Presidential election since 1960. They are the key to this election.

Editor's note: Lisa Witter is co-author of  The She Spot: Why Women are the Market for Changing the World and How to Reach Them, and Chief Operating Officer of Fenton Communications which represents various public advocacy organizations.


Filed under: Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton • Raw Politics
soundoff (173 Responses)
  1. Olivia

    After the terrible way hillary was treated by the media,superdelegates,obama supporters and personal friends and endorsers....after she was called slimebag, sleeze,liar, ugly, and more...........she will still be faithful to the party and her word to support barack.

    As for us, her supporters, being easy pickings for Obama.....don't bet on it. We know the nominees are being nice to her to get to us, but we are not sheep and Hillary was our choice.

    June 6, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  2. Joe

    Obama is not a political Messiah. Upon examination, his questionable acquaintances have more than their share of taxpayer’s money to account for.

    If Obama was surrounded by crooks in Chicago who are and will be found guilty and every accusation that is made against him, his answer is simply “he can not recall”…..then do you really want this guy running the country….because this is absolutely how politics is done every day on the hill. These people get rich because of our taxpayer money and they are all in on the game, so they all protect each other.

    Get your buddies in on a no bid government contract, stack committees in your favor, hide a pork barrel in a large bill for your state, set up a alliances through the law and get off of the hook…..it’s all BS.

    Sounds to me like the change we can believe in is a mirage. We are supposed to believe it because it is different magician.
    He’s seasoned smooth talker being marketed as the quintessential democratic nominee exemplifying everything that America, freedom and democracy suggests…it’s a ploy and the DNC know that they threw an election, but don’t care because they are trying to maintain their strangle hold over a dying party, both on the ground and in congress, so they can continue to line their pockets.

    I’m not saying that Hillary is a saint. They’re both crooked and they have both lied to the American people.

    The difference is that Hillary has been in the game longer. She knows how to play dirty with this complete legislature of felons and actually get something accomplished for us.

    What good is a candidate for the party that is completely unelectable? None for you and me! Maybe for those who run the party because if the democrats aren’t in office, their positions become more important for representation.

    Just like award shows are spectacles to stroke the egos of those who make the final decisions, so is this mess.

    Yeah…and drop this public servant all your life stuff….the everyday American is well aware that you are all WAY overpaid and the benefits are killer….

    I'm a democrat who knows how to do election math....This is EXACTLY what the republicans wanted...and look who delivered!

    June 6, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  3. George

    He will try anything to reach her loyalists:

    Obama can do anything. He will fly to Iran early and fix the oil prices – no prob at all – none.
    Can hardly wait to see this genius in action

    June 6, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  4. LAVON K HUMMEL

    How can any of you make a decition about getting behind Barack. Your blinded by hate. Most of you do are not what most hilery supporter are about. They will make there choice respectful and of clear thought, and for what is best for the future of our county and children. So keep your vote. your are small section of hate mongers. You belong with McCain.

    June 6, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  5. Lesli

    Wow, after reading this blog I have surmised there are some really strong feelings out there.

    Here's what I see.

    I see Obama supporters who view him as some kind of demi god and support him so piously that they victimize the Clinton voters.
    Hint to Obama supporters – you won't win over the Clinton voters with this type of talk and your show of no respect for their concerns and the esteme they hold her in. You won't win the election if you don't win them over – your talk so far above is insulting and without much merrit except to boost your own estemes and continue to burst the Clinton bubble.

    Obama has attracted women and others much like a cult leader attracts his audience – in fact – I'm beginning to wonder when he will hand out the koolaid – I guess that will be after November. I was watching Larry King before AC360 last night and one of the Obama supporters couldn't directly answer one question she was asked because she spouted off so much Obama rehtoric.

    When the Democratic party talks about the party uniting, they don't mean for a common good, or to make concession to bring the party to a middle ground – they mean that all of Clinton's voters must surrender their ideals and goals for the good of the party – not for the good of the nation. They mean that they can stomp on the feelings and aspirations and pride of every Clinton voter. Again – they want Clinton voters to vote for Obama but they must only tow his line – a line of sweet talk with nothing to back it up. We all like dreams, but let's face we can't live in them.

    Next point – if you Obama supporters want to have Obama win the election you must realize that it can only be done if Clinton supporters come on board – insulting them and chastising them at every turn will do no good in the end. It will alienate them, and I doubt your fearless leader supports your message since he toots himself as a candiate for change, a candidate for hope and a candidate for every one. How is your attitude helping him win votes when all I read above is your harsh language and lack of respect for 18 million people. Remember in this case sugar will get more votes than viniger.

    Most important point of all – I am more than disappointed in you sisters who think that just because a good looking eleoquent man sweet talks in your collective ear that all other women should find him equally as attractive. He sure is a charming sweet talker, but not all women are swayed by this. Many of us want substance and proof that we will be taken care of. Many of us wanted a record of a person who really put her goals in line with ours to fight for us. A person with a background in getting things done. We chose Clinton, and your lack of respect for our freedom to choose and your gloating biggoted and yes even sexist response to it is leading people away from the commong goal.

    You want to know why so many Clinton voters say they will vote for McCain rather than Obama? You want to know why they can't bring themself to vote for him?

    Because you people (Obama supporters) insist on shoving his marginal win down our throats with glee and yes, I guess when you do that we do become bad loosers.

    June 6, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  6. Pearlie Lance

    I don't understand how Hillary supporters which are majority women state that they will vote for McCain or will stay home, I think they need to wake up and stop throwing a tantrum because they didn't get there way, somes like someone else I know. If they are not going to vote for a candidate because of the issues, which I might add that Obama and Hillary are 95% similar on the same issues, and are going to vote for another candidate out of anomosity, then I think they all need to stay home because what really would be the point. And to say the least if McCain give us another year of Bush policies then they will be the main ones complaining, so they all need to grow up or shut up.

    June 6, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  7. sorel suarez

    I'm sorry Mrs. Clinton has had that particular harsh campaign against Mr. Obama. I don't think she realized how bad she was going to hurt the parties' chances against the Republican. Even now she is still only trying to get the best for her and for her alone.
    People who supported her, should realize supporting Mr.Obama is the right thing to do in order of attainning the party goals.

    Sorel Suarez
    Bolivia

    June 6, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  8. Keith Whtie

    I for one will not vote for Obama although i am a staunch democrat. The whole process of how he got the nomination had a distinct feel that it was predetermined by the DNC. And in my personal opinion he and his wife are both racist and belonged to a racist church for 20 years. Also he talks about CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN, but all he does is change his stance on issues as fast as he can when it benefits him. But that didn't matter to the media you guys pretty much gave him a free pass.

    Now I am a disenfranchised voter. I will NO longer be a Democrat. I am from this point on a Independent. I REALLY don't want to vote for McCain. but i will because i don't like a candidate being shoved down my throat.

    I really don't think he can get the biggest portion of the GUN TOTING BIBLE THUMPING RURAL WORKING CLASS OR WOMEN VOTERS BACK BEFORE NOVEMBER.

    Here stands a newly INDEPENDENT VOTER wishing he could vote for NONE OF THE ABOVE

    June 6, 2008 at 11:55 am |
  9. Debbie, NJ

    Hillary supporters. No matter how much you bash Obama, and you have doing this from the beginning and getting mad at Obama supporters for striking back, you cannot stop him from winning the Presidency. Learn a lesson from Hillary. She threw the kitchen sink, endorsed McCain, used her political power to rig debates, pulled the race card, tried to insight an assassination, tried to insight a riot but he still won. You people who are checking his background, you better check hers too. I think its a waste of time trying to woo people who are like Hillary. Birds of a feather flock together. The true Dems will listen to Obama and make their own choices. They won't vote for McCain out of emotions and disappointments. But all of this hate coming from Hillary supporters is only hurting them . Because if you vote for McCain your jobs, homes, social security, health benefits, and very lives will be at stake. Not Hillary's.

    June 6, 2008 at 11:42 am |
  10. Debbie, NJ

    Karen...SC. If Hillary runs independent she will lose. There are some people who value integrity and morality and the fact that she would break up the Dem party for her own selfish reasons is turning a lot of people off. The fact that she didn't even congradulate Obama on his victory was childress. Obama did win fair and square, he had most states won and popular vote, do your research and get the facts, then the delegates had to go with the voters plus they have their own choice and she herself said this.

    June 6, 2008 at 11:34 am |
  11. Debbie, NJ

    Esbee. I respect your comment as a Hillary supporter. Yes Obama has to earn your vote and he should and that's the way he wants it.
    You have a right to demand he show you something if you're not convinced he would be a good President for the Dems. At least you're willing to listen and research instead of going to McCain. I for one appreciate your maturity. He doesn't need Hillary to hand her voters over. You guys aren't zombies or droids, you are people with reasoning ability who can make their own choices.

    June 6, 2008 at 11:29 am |
  12. Debbie, NJ

    Pamela burgess " I fear the next 4 years. a mom, grandmother and citizen of this country.'" You are confused. You won't vote for Obama simply because Hillary loss and you will vote for McCain but you fear the next 4 years? I'm confused. Why would you do something that's going to hurt you and your family because Hillary loss.

    June 6, 2008 at 11:25 am |
  13. Debbie, NJ

    Cindy. Fortunately Obamas middle class problem is regional not country wide. And now that he can focus and not tiptoe around hurting Hillary's or supporters feelings he will win some of them.

    Ann. No Obama is not God but he is also not an imp out of Hell.
    If you could stop your tamdrums for a moment and to realclearpolictics.com and stop listening to lying Lanny and find out the facts for yourself you will find that Obama has most votes(counting the caucus votes, we're counting everybody right). And as far as radicals. Isn't there a trial waiting for Hillary to testify in after she gets done about one of the shifty people she was dealing with? And she can't even take the VP positiion if offered because Bill will have to tell who supported his Library and he won't do that. At least half or more of the 17 million votes she won are Dems first and Hillary groopies second. Because while you and others are voting for McCain because you can't think straight Hillary won't be at jeopardy of losing her home, her job, her health care, her daughters chance of education or her loved one at war. But Obama and the Dems will prevail. We have so far. Going to Denver isn't going to help her either.
    SHe has alienated the Dem leaders with her self centerness. She cares more about herself than she does the party or the country.

    June 6, 2008 at 11:18 am |
  14. James L Williams

    I am really tired of everyone implying that all Hillary has to do is just say the word and all her supporters will follow like little puppies and fall to support Obama. I CHOSE to vote for Hillary Clinton for a reason, she didn't CHOOSE me to vote. I have a choice and a brain to make a responsible decision come November. I am choosing to back someone who has experience, a plan not just dreams and speeches. I am voting for John MCCain come November.

    June 6, 2008 at 10:49 am |
  15. Sasha Morris

    CNN, please don't forget that there are a lot of intelligent women who support Obama for his ideas, principles and values. I would love to support a woman, but I did not support Hillary, and for good reason. I used my head on this, and I resent women who act like they personally have been slighted by her failure to win the election. I changed parties to vote for Obama. I for one won't be voting for McCain unless Obama puts Hillary on his ticket. Then, I'll see. I didn't vote for Hillary because of her past connections to drug companies. I don't like women who can be "purchased." I am waiting for a woman with integrity who could rule this country.

    June 6, 2008 at 10:47 am |
  16. Bill

    Please follow this political axiom.

    Until Hillary has made her announcement, the Democratic party is in a state of coup. This is a widely accepted view. In fact, Hillary has hijacked the party and that makes her, by definition, a political terrorist.

    June 6, 2008 at 10:33 am |
  17. Chris

    How can you call yourself a Democrat when you are planning to vote for the other party because your canidate didn't when. That sounds like you are either racist and you don't care who gets in as long as it is not a black person or you are not a true Democrat and don't care about supporting the party. This trying to sabatage the election so Hilliary can run in 2012 will only back fire on you. She is moving on and supporting him, why can't you. If you trulely look at it, he not just a Black man, his mother is also a white women. Lets be adults about this and help change this country to show how great it can really be instead of taking two steps back into time. I love the Clintons just as well, but unfortunately she didn't win. So if she thinks he is good enough to support and you call yourself a true Clinton supporter, so should you. Don't be a party pooper! Let's make history together.

    June 6, 2008 at 10:27 am |
  18. DeDe

    I am mortified that so many people would rather have 4 more years of Bush policies, than have someone who is almost Hillary's twin when it comes to his policies/beliefs. I was a Republican until this campaign began, and I have been so disillusioned with the lies, manipulation, scandals, and years of an unnecessary war, that my husband (a soldier) and I both switched to become Democrats for the chance to change things.
    People – stop the drama – we are talking about the lives of thousands more military members, about healthcare for everyone, about abortion rights – this isn't about black vs. white or men vs. women – this is about the fact that this country has taken a dramatic turn for the worse in the last 8 years, and we have a responsibility as voters, as citizens, to turn that around!

    June 6, 2008 at 10:08 am |
  19. Elvis Boakye

    I believe strongly that, senator clinton will be a very good VP but what Americans have to know is that, success and renovation of economy is not achieved on a silver platter. Moreover, ideas and a good change like what Americans are looking for can be done only from a different ethnicities and perspectives.

    June 6, 2008 at 8:59 am |
  20. Duncan S. Sandison

    It would be a disaster if Obama selected Hillary as his running mate.
    In essence, he would be giving Bill Clinton another term in the White House because he would be subject to so much interference from both Clintons,
    The world would wonder who was running the country. There was nothing wrong with Bill's terrn in office it is just that the United States needs a new direction .
    The election of Obama as President would improve the US image around the world. They would say "At last the United States is growing up".

    June 6, 2008 at 8:06 am |
  21. Barbara Querrie

    Lisa ,when you say that if Obama uses attacks on Mccain that it will turn off women voters.Here is the question ,why were they not turned off by Hillary's attacks on Obama.In my view wowmen enjoy attacks bse they supported a candidate who is sould be in the US records for using the attack and smear political strategy.
    For your information , you should make a diff btn young womaen and older women(above 65yrs).Ima a young educated women and i know that Hillary's politics have had no effect on me instead she has embarrasedd me so in that case OBAMA dont worry you have the vote for the young women dems.

    June 6, 2008 at 7:05 am |
  22. Maria A. Sesma

    My husband and I are in our eighties and WERE life long Democrats. This election we will not vote.

    June 6, 2008 at 6:33 am |
  23. Bill Berry

    What if Hillary Clinton took her 18 million supporters and her support in an overall General Election and ran as an independent? Whether we like it or not, she garners the respect which 18 million supporters voted for her. Obama NEEDS her support; and her supporters, and given how the primary season wound down, we can't dismiss Obama's weaknesses. It's easy to point fingers at who and what went wrong; bottom line it was an extraordinary marathon that pitted two historic candidates against one another and made for some terrific theater; but they are also human beings, flawed, like the rest of us and that too was on display for all of us to bear witness to. We saw what makes the United States unique, and it's politcal process was on display to all the world to see, and what the world got, was what makes the United States "United". Voters are not stupid, it won't take five months to unite who are Democrats and who are Republicans. Finally, African-Americans have numbers now, and they have the right to be heard and will not be denied no longer. As controversial as this statement may be, like the AARP, they as a voting block are likely to be the most powerful voting block of this election cycle. Black women's voices will be heard, and it's long about time for them to be heard.

    June 6, 2008 at 6:20 am |
  24. Trudy in Peoria

    Obama never attacked Hillary supporters, and he has run his campaign with honor and integrity, and if you think he didn't I invite you to prove it with cold, hard, evidence. As to Obama supporters being mean to Hillary supporters, well duh, of course, but you are a pathetic fool if you think Hillary supporters haven't done the same. Of course they will LIE and say they were perfect little angels. Give me a break! It's politics, that's the way it goes every election. We did this with Kerrry, Edwards, Perot, Dole, Clinton, Reagan, etc. Throughout American history, supporters get enthused about their candidate and bash anyone that stands against them. So suck it up and get thicker skin if you want to play politics.

    June 6, 2008 at 3:11 am |
  25. Min. Donald Williams

    I must say when I read these blogs it remind me of grammar school when the kids were fighting about who turn it would be on the swing. I live in Alabama and we have been bless not to have suffer as much as other states. Yes gas prices has risen to (3.78 reg on avg.). Yes food is higher , yes some jobs have left the state. But, we still have survived. I said all that to say this. We did not survive because of some fat cat in Washington who say what they think we want to hear. We need to have faith in each other and pray for who every the President is. The love of money has taken a strong hold over our lives. We will hurt whoever we have to in order to get money. I voted for President Bush because I thought he was what we needed at the time. We have proved to everyone that this is a big mistake to attack America. The troops have done their job and have already won. we can't continue to babysit other countries and fight for them. We have problems here races against each just because of the color of their skin . Dem. against Rep. WE ARE ONE NATION UNDER GOD. We must come together and unite behind who every the President may be . Or you can continue to be just like the kids on the play ground and keep on fighting for the swing. Just remember they were fighting about childless thing and this is serious. Think not with your eyes and what they see but with your heart that knows what right .

    June 6, 2008 at 3:03 am |
  26. Min. Donald Williams

    I must say when I read these blogs it remind me of grammar school when the kids were fighting about who turn it would be on the swing. I live in Alabama and we have been bless not to have suffer as much as other states. Yes gas prices has risen to (3.78 reg on avg.). Yes food is higher , yes some jobs have left the state. But, we still have survived. I said all that to say this. We did not survive because of some fat cat in Washington who say what they think we want to hear. We need to have faith in each other and pray for who every the President is. The love of money has taken a strong hold over our lifes. We will hurt whoever we have to in order to get money. I voted for President Bush because I thought he was what we needed at the time. We have proved to everyone that this is a big mistake to attack America. The troops have done their job and habe already won. we can continue to babysit other countries and fight for them. We have problems here races against each just because of the color of their skin . Dem. against Rep. WE ARE ONE NATION UNDER GOD. We must come together and unite behind who every the Resident may be . Or you can continue to be just like the kids on the play ground and keep on fighting for the swing. Just remember they were fighting bout childless thing and this is serious. Think not with your eyes and what they see but with your heart that knows what right .

    June 6, 2008 at 2:53 am |
  27. Sharon

    Obama doesn't need HRC. She is NOT the only female, for all feminist and blue collar minded workers. She is however, very tempermental and accustom to having her way. Obama and HRC are oil and water. They do not compliment or mix. The bigger issue I have is the pressure being place on Obama to select HRC. Give me a break. If HRC had won, I guarantee Obama's highly intellectual voters would not be signing petitions, demanding he be VP. It's pathetic. She loss, the race has been won.... Move on and defeat McCain.

    For voters jump ship.... You aren't a true democratic to begin with. See ya..... Perhaps you'll receive an invite to Iraq over the 100 years.. Bozos!!!

    June 6, 2008 at 2:45 am |
  28. Joseph De La Torre

    I really think Obama can seal the nomination by choosing Hilary as his V.P...... He needs her.............I am a hilary supporter and i would truly support Obama more if he had Hiilary on this so called "dream ticket"......I believe she is the best choice for this position and he should hurry up and pick her.............
    Thanks,,
    Joseph

    June 6, 2008 at 2:15 am |
  29. Bob

    V.P or BUST ! anything less then a V.P. spot for Hillary John McCain gets my vote ! There is nothing she can say or do that would make me vote for OBAMA ! As a life long democrat it will hurt me long and deep to vote republican but I refuse to vote for OBAMA and will give my time and money to McCain if Hillary is not the V.P.

    June 6, 2008 at 2:14 am |
  30. Amanda

    And also for Hillary supporters to not pick Obama, even if he tries his hardest to please you and give you what you out of a candidate is narrow-minded and stubborn and that is not good for our country, so please don't vote at all

    June 6, 2008 at 2:08 am |
  31. Amanda

    I am also sick of everyone bringing up the Michigan and Florida votes. The democrats made a decision that since Florida and Michigan DID NOT FOLLOW THE RULES, their vote would not be counted and HILLARY AGREED TO THIS on national TV. to say that was stolen from her is stupid, she only went for those delagates because she was losing, and she knew they would all go to her because Obama took his name off the ballot, which he did because they werent going to be counted. QUIT being sore losers. Hillary is not the only women that is strong and by hearing all these women saying this is showing yall are feminists and just want Hillary because she is a women, because quite frankly what she wants and what Obama wants are not that different. And to what someone else said about terrorists, Obama doesnt want to talk to terrorists because he is weak, he is talking to them because he cares about the lives that are being taken from pointless wars. I think that shows that he cares and is not just going to put lives at risk for no reason. Are any of you going to fight? I am starting to think that people that will vote for McCain are just racist or mental because voting for him is voting for Bush. And lets get one thing straight Obama does not need HIllary Clinton. He is strong without her, and I dont think she needs to be VP because she is not the type of woman to play second. Obama needs someone who will work with him for change, not someone that is going to try to run the show.

    June 6, 2008 at 2:05 am |
  32. Susan in Wayne, NJ

    If Obama is too cool to court the 18 million of us who voted for Hillary, I think the brilliant move would be for John McCain to sweep in and offer her the VP slot on his ticket. He'd lock up the election in a single move. My vote is with HIllary...as VP for either Obama or McCain or as a write in. She's the only one of the three that can really win this election.

    June 6, 2008 at 1:59 am |
  33. Peg Rapp

    Many Obama supporters and most of the media seemed to be giving Clinton the "bum's rush" ever since Iowa (New Hampshire was seen as a "comeback" when only a very small percentage of one party in one state had voted), and then did not have a grace to wait until the voting was finished before trying to shove her out the door. I think one friend of mine (a black pastor in the South Bronx reflected the arrogrance and lsexism of the good old boys network when he said "What do these women want? Why are they still hanging on?" Personally, I think she was smart to hold out on Tuesday until she got the respect that she demanded for women and working class voters– which they certainly didn't get during the campaign. In fact, in spite of all the grousing about her being a deranged narcissist and poor sport, she has gotten attention and at least formal verbal respect in the last few days. Even if Obama does not put her on the ticket, he has to give something tangible to these voters - perhaps the party platform reflecting more her type of all inclusive mandatory healthcare program. While it might not be the best idea in many respects, if Obama can find a way to put her on the ticket and still keep his foreign policy and program, it will show that he really is a uniter and can really bring diverse groups together

    June 6, 2008 at 1:55 am |
  34. Susan

    The way you EXIT a contest such as this one says almost as much about you as the way it was waged. Sen. Clinton's failure to allow such an historic event to have its full light was beyond disappointing. She ended up making it all about her. It's a simple matter of math really- she lost – but couldn't bow out gracefully. I am not unsympathetic to the hardship, effort, her own money and the time she has put into this campaign. Realizing how difficult it might be to say the words, "I concede and congratulate and support Sen. Obama as the Democratic Nominee," that is what she should have done for herself, for him, for the party and for us Americans. This isn't the kind of decision a potential president has difficulty making- you make the RIGHT decision because you care about the people in the country and party you are representing.

    Everyone keeps mentioning how if she had won, everyone would expect her to offer the VP to Sen. Obama- but no one has even mentioned that if SHE had won, do you think HE would have said, "I'll decide later?" No, throughout this campaign he has taken the "high road" and has behaved in the spirit of partisanship, magnanimously and even more important- *presidentially.* No tears, no complaining "why do you always call on me first?" And I do not think he would have tried to "blackmail" her with the 18 million people who voted for HIM.

    I shudder to think how the Democrats seem to FIND a way to lose when everything says they should win. Sen. Clinton's speech is an example of finding a way to lose. I say this because I am worried that with her now "suspended" campaign and other potentially self-aggrandizing behaviors, come November her fanatical supporters will write her name in on the ballot- and if there's enough- then we may envision McCain winning the presidency and that would indeed be a tragedy this country can ill afford.

    Look at the 3 speeches the day before yesterday. McCain's was all about Obama. Clinton's was all about HER and Obama's was all about US – WE THE PEOPLE- who will hopefully come through for ourselves this time. To paraphrase Obama, WE are the hope and future we've been waiting for. No politics as usual, no status quo- and that means, no Hillary for VP. Most of the pundits keep making it sound like that's the only way to heal the party & have a winning ticket. I disagree. Gen. Clark or Gov. Richardson would both make great VP's. There are alternatives. And it's ironic because by trying to force Obama to pick her, he may have to NOT pick her just to show he won't be influenced by the Clinton's. And to not pick her may just be the most "presidential" thing he could do at this point.

    June 6, 2008 at 1:46 am |
  35. Betty

    I am an avid Hillary Clinton supporter from Kentucky. It is amazing to me that you and your panel continue to criticize and make fun of Senator Clinton and her husband, a former President of the United States of America. Mr. David G. on your panel speaks disrespectfully of both of the Clintons. Amazing. If you don't believe me, please review your panel discussions over the last months. How can he criticize someone he used to advise and work so closely with? It must be wonderful to always be as correct as Mr. G.

    I wonder how safe it is to show actual pictures on TV of the Clinton's home? Wouldn't this put them in jeopardy?

    And yes, we supporters of Senator Clinton need time to heal. Give her space.

    I am unsure of how I will vote in November.

    Respectfully,
    Betty
    Winchester, KY

    June 6, 2008 at 1:46 am |
  36. Maggie Moe

    I think it's very interesting that Hillary Clinton says she would consider being the VP, if it would ensure a Democrat be elected in Nov. I don't think Obama would be as gracious if it was the other outcome (and it was close). I saw this simple comment morph in the press to becoming her actively trying to press Obama, to force his hand. An interesting comment from a commentator was that this isn't how the VP is chosen...but I thought Obama was for "change", including change in how the politics works. So he could change "how it's always been done" and do it any way he wants.

    It might be better for her personal career to stay in the Senate to try to get the bills passed (and run in 2012 if McCain manages to win in 08). But (like many women & mothers) she is willing to do what is best for the whole, not just the individual.

    And if McCain reads the writing on the wall, he may very well nominate Condoleeza Rice as his VP. Now that might just be the Republican "dream team ticket" and a serious threat to a Democratic win in Nov.

    June 6, 2008 at 1:39 am |
  37. Nuwan Sam

    This is how see it, Obama does speak impressively. His message is logical and goes straight to minds of a lot of people who want things to be changed. He rarely shows any emotions. So more educated and young people get his message. As far as African Americans are concerned, they are proudly anticipating a first AA president and ready to go all the way for him.

    Hillary Clinton started to show more human side of her towards the middle of the campaign. She started to pick up votes at that point and I believe she did better than Obama towards the end of the contest. She connected well emotionally with the people. She fought for their dreams even when all odds were against her. She talked to the heart of the people and people took this fight as their personal fight. And they were with her till the end when it seems like a shot in the dark.

    This emotional connection people have with Hillary's fight is the hardest to break for Obama. Obama does not know how to show passion and talk to the heart. That is what I felt when I listened to both. So it will be very hard for Obama to break into this group of people without a solid support from Hillary.

    That is why I strongly suggest that Obama consider Hillary for VP. That way those passionate supporters get something from their fight. If that happened, they didnt lost completely. Their fight would have some meaning. I dont think these people hate Obama. Hillary has made them fight for a cause and they are not willing to accept complete defeat.

    Now there are many other well qualified people for Obama to pick as VP. I have no argument about that. But none of them will be able to reach out to those heart-broken Hillary supporters. John Edwards is the only one who can even come close.

    So this can become a real issue for Obama. He can not win in November without a lot of support from that segment of the people. Yet, he does not know the art to reach those people. If he knew that, Hillary would not have won primaries till the end. I don't think Obama can mobilize his campaign supporters to get their support. He himself has to do it. No one else.

    This is why Hillary is going to be a great asset to his campaign. He knows that too. So lets see how smart he is and how he manage to reach to those people. Lets see how he will show the leadership to those people to see him as their leader. At the end, we need a president who can lead the whole nation, not just a part of it. For that he should know that art to reach every segment of the population.

    If we consider McCain, he does not have a similar problem. No segment of republicans would vote for Obama because they just dislikes McCain. At least that is what polls show.

    This is my humble analysis.

    – Nuwan

    June 6, 2008 at 1:39 am |
  38. Amanda

    I think that all of Hillary's voters need to get over it! Obama is the better candidate and he is basically the nominee. I hate to hear all the people who say, "Now we will pick McCain". That is the most immature and idiotic thing i have ever heard. Yes, these people wanted Clinton and couldnt get her for nominee, but that does not mean that McCain is going to care as much about middle class, and women voters as Obama would. We have to remember what team were on, we are Democrats! The Republicans do not care about the Middle Class or women for that mattter, they care about keeping the rich rich and the poor poor. Has the past eight years told you anything? Not to mention that McCain is basically 80 years old. I know that Obama is not as expierienced as Clinton and McCain, but what I like about Obama is that he seems sincere about how he wants to better our country. He admits he doesnt know much, but he wants to try, and he promises to do his best. As far as I'm concerned that means he is not a dirty politician, he is one of the few true politicians that care about the people. It reminds me of an old black and white movie called Mr. Smith goes to Washington. If you havn't seen it Mr. Smith wanted to bring change to his state and make it better. When he got there it was full of corruption. Mr. Smith to me is Obama and its time for us to have a young, entergetic, and hopeful president. I used to respect Hillary, but in this race I have seen her true colors. It is clear that through her whole campaign she has only talked about what Obama lacks, and when that didnt work. she jumped on anytihing that was slightly wrong with him; like the Pastor Wright situation: have we forgotten that by the 1st admendment we as citizens have freedom of speech. that means that Obama has nothing to do with what anyone says about Hillary or the election. He can't make anyone do anything. SO poeple stop capitalizing on this as is he could control anything that they said, and I'm pretty sure that much more contrversial things go on in other churches besides his former church. And I mean honestly what Pastor Wright, and Father Pfleger is how some black people feel and some whites. And what sticks out to me the most is that after all of that Obama is still positive, gracious, never saying anything negative about Hillary, and still WINNING!!! That speaks volumes he is sincere, and unlike Clinton and McCain when Obama says he will do something I beleive he will do it. He won't sugar coat, or agree to one thing and change his mind later in the game like (Like Hillary did regarding the Michigan and Florida delagates). He is the president that this government was created for. He is the epitomy of what our founding fathers wanted for this country. People please wake up and dont let your let down from not having Hillary as the nominee get in the way in what is best for the country, because trust me McCain is not it. One more important thing, i dont think foreign policy is that important because while we are helping other countries, barely anytihing is being done about ours. It took entirely too long for the president to come and see about the victims of Katrina and for all the people who think they know have no idea, and I'm tired of that type of policy, I think before we can help others, we have got to help ourselves. We have got to get these poor people off the streets, and this health care issue tackled, these gas prices lowered, and many other things. I honestly feel that the Democrats are more worried about that, and to me that is of the utmost importance, so I choose – with the strictest confidence OBAMA 08
    Amanda......Louisiana

    June 6, 2008 at 1:32 am |
  39. MARY 50YRS OLD ARIZONA

    Anderson,

    Hillary Clinton would be a big mistake if named as a Vice Pres. running w/Obama. Why? because she lied bold facee to the public ( sniper fire!) and then went negative with her campaigne. She lost my respect and it seemed to have she sold her soul just to try to winn the nomination. She also represent the old politics, we want change and progress and she doesn't represent either. What about John Edwards or Gov. Richardson? And how about removing insurance companies and protections for drug companies from the univ. health care program proposed, that would be too logical right? Keep them honest Anderson, The press plays an extremely important part in the process.

    Thanks
    Mary

    June 6, 2008 at 1:31 am |
  40. Victoria Jackson-Dick

    I'm not voting for Senator Obama . . . point blank. I'm also not voting for a Republican. I am a loyal supporter to Senator Clinton and I completely refuse to vote for Obama, not because I am a woman, and I am also a minority, but I don't believe he is capable of running this country in the debt it is in. If the Green Party is an option, I am there.

    June 6, 2008 at 1:30 am |
  41. marmees momma

    There is an old saying "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink". Here is a new saying "you can lead a Hillary supporter to Obama but you can't make us vote for him". I don't care where the DNC or Obama put Senator Clinton on his team I will never vote for him in the general election. I won't "cool down" or "unite" or do any of the other things I am being told as a Hillary supporter I will do "in time". And Pleaseee Obama supporters do not comment me about "high gas prices" or any other issue facing our Nation. I simply believe heart and soul Obama is far too inexperienced for the position of president. I also believe he was far too influenced by all the Rev. Wrights' in his past.

    June 6, 2008 at 1:29 am |
  42. Della

    I say NO to Obama/Hillary ticket. I lost respect for Hillary during the Florida and MIchigan situation. Had the situation been reversed Hillary would have fought with everything she had to make it stick. She cheated and drug her supporter right in with her, the angry and hostilety her supporters showed when the ruling for Florida and MIchigan was handed down was unbelieveable. Florida and Michigan were told what would happen if they voted early it's not like they didn't know. To change the rules in the middle of the game because you need the votes is unthinkable. It is cheating and it makes her untrustworthy. Hillary said there were only two people who could step in as president the first day (she and McCain). I don't know about anyone else but to me, Hillary was endorsing McCain.

    June 6, 2008 at 1:27 am |
  43. Bob S Philadelphia, PA

    Trust me when I tell you it will not happen there is no way anyone that is a true hillary backer will vote Obama ! I have been a life long democrat and there is nothing she can say to me that will make me vote for him! I will do everything I can to make sure he DOESN'T win my home state of Pennsylvania ! I will vote for John McCain I would rather have 4 more years of Bush then vote for Obama.The DNC screwed themself when they messed up FLA and Mich. Thanks to the DNC I will be casting my 1st ever vote for a republican

    June 6, 2008 at 1:26 am |
  44. C Stewart

    Talk all you want about the pros and cons but the bottom line is this... Hillary Clinton had more people in the United States of America check her name off on a ballot than anyone at anytime, anywhere in the US. Unfortunately she lost a few key races in February and could never recapture the delegate lead. As a caucus attendee I still do not believe the caucus process is a valid means of assigning delegates. It did not require identification or voter registration in my State. Nothing that would be required in an actual election. It was held during the day on a day that many people had to work. I found it to be a very troubling experience and I left with no faith in the process. And now we find our selves in a position very similar to the end of the Gore election. The DNC reprising the role of the Supreme Court carved up Florida and Michigan. But unlike the Gore election we still have a campaign ahead of us and there are 18 million of us who voted for Hillary that will not be ignored. You can't win without us. You won't win without us. What are you going to do about us... we aren't falling in line because we love you because we don't.

    June 6, 2008 at 1:20 am |
  45. Sarah

    Imagine the unifying effect Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama could have were they to run together as Presidential and VP candidates. Innumerable Clinton supporters would be more likely to vote for the two as a team rather than for Obama with a different running mate. I think it would be a mistake for Obama not to name Clinton his running mate if he truly has his most serious sights set on beating McCain. Two widely popular, progressive-minded candidates working as a team against one conservative and traditional candidate seems much better than Obama going head to head with McCain without that strong support from Clinton's former supporters and from Clinton herself. Couple Obama's push for positive change in this country with Clinton's political experience and wisdom, and I don't think the democrats can lose.

    June 6, 2008 at 1:20 am |
  46. Maggie Moe

    If Obama really wants to "heal the rift" he will seriously consider having HC as his running mate. Together they will have a landslide. (There are always more people who vote in the general election than in the primaries. Add both Clinton's & Obama's together & add a bit more – a landslide, even if the Republican Right is motivated to vote.)

    Why does the press need the answer right away? Let him have the time. YOU stop putting on the pressure (& alluding that it is from HC). If the people want the dream team ticket, they should be able to convey their wishes without the press calling it pressure. This is, afterall, supposed to be a gov't for the people, by the people.

    If he nominates another woman, I will be very disappointed, because that will obviously be a token.

    June 6, 2008 at 1:20 am |
  47. Mike

    Independents like me who like Obama, but can't stand Hillary will vote for McCain if Clinton gets the VP nod. She and Bill will paralyze government by sheer spite.

    June 6, 2008 at 1:13 am |
  48. George Johnson

    If he chooses Bill Richardson he looses in November. There are actually quite a few people who would clinch the November win. Hillary is obviously one of those.

    June 6, 2008 at 1:10 am |
  49. derrick in NC

    Listen, there is only 2 states that Hillary won that obama may be concern about, Ohio and Pennsylvania, and i think he can carry those states without Hillary being on the ticket. HE WON MORE STATES, people seem to forget that point and she only wins popular vote when you count Michigan and Florida or some kind of formula that includes those two so she really has no argument there. I wish that people stop with the her voters mess because that does nothing but separate and divide us. To all those hillary voters that will not vote for obama because hillary lost you are very shallow. I am a obama supporter but if hillary would have won, she would have gotten my vote no question and i still like hillary but enough is enough lets grow up, unite and show the republicans what they in store for this November. Mccain and his campaign seating back and watching us implode. I joined the democratic party because i thought it was for small person regardless of color,relegion,sex, or creed. So lets put our differences aside and think about our country and where it needs to go.

    June 6, 2008 at 12:49 am |
  50. Michael

    Curt W.
    I mean to take issue with the facts you state. The DNC did not delay the revote in Michigan or Florida, if you will research it, you will find that the two state legislatures could not reach a majority vote on a revote, and there was money as well as timing issues, this was the reason no agreement could be reached. You also failed to state that Florida and Michigan broke the rules of the DNC, rules that clearly state there is an order to which state votes and when and the campaigns agreed to these rules. Clinton won the popular vote but if you had done your research, you would have found that the DNC’s rules are based on the General Election model, which does not go by the popular vote but the Electoral College or in the case of the primaries, delegates. It should also be noted that the RNC has the same rules, another fact you failed to mention in your argument.
    What basis in fact do you have for your argument that Clinton won? I will state it again, Florida and Michigan broke the rules, and all the delegates were seated in accordance with DNC rules. The ONLY issue is Michigan and the uncommitted votes, which according to the math as it stood at the time, even if Obama had not received any delegates from Michigan it would have still been nearly impossible for Clinton to catch up. Media pressure is not an excuse and I reject that argument out of hand. I would suggest you check your sources, I would suggest that if you are looking for a scapegoat to blame for the Michigan and Florida debacle that you focus your attention on the legislators of those two states. If you watched and listened to their testimony, they admitted breaking the DNC, rules, and Michigan did so with malice and intent.
    Your arguments have no basis in fact, you want to change the facts to fit your argument, your facts are without merit, and your argument is baseless and frankly insulting. You are in contradiction sir by voting for the Republican Party when they have generally the same rules and choose their candidates in the exact same fashion. You are also contradicting yourself by voting in the General Election simply because you are going based on the popular vote when it is very clear the General Election is not based on a popular vote. I suggest reading the 12th, 22nd, and 23rd amendments to the Constitution and like the primaries, each state has a set of electors who are part of the Electoral College, they are the ones who choose based on the votes of each state. I believe I have answered your challenge and I mean no disrespect by my answer.

    June 6, 2008 at 12:39 am |
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