Clinton in the past tense? Almost with Obama

May 17, 2008

obama-smiles.jpgROSEBURG, Oregon – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama appears ready to put his opponent, Hillary Clinton, into the past tense of the grueling primary campaign.

When asked on Saturday at a rally in Roseburg about party unity, the Illinois senator acknowledged people’s concerns about the length of the nominating process but assured them that Democrats would come out united in the end.

“It was pretty tough and hard fought,” he said about the primary season, describing the former first lady as a “formidable opponent.”

“She was relentless and very effective.”

Was? Note the use of the past tense.

Obama has not wrapped up the nomination and Clinton is still campaigning hard in the remaining primary states.

But the Obama campaign has shifted its focus, at least partly, onto a general election against Republican John McCain. Obama stopped in Michigan and Missouri this week and intends to campaign in Florida and Iowa next week, all of which are states that have already voted and will be crucial to a Democratic win in the fall.

Clinton is seen winning Kentucky on Tuesday while Obama is expected to take Oregon, at which point the campaign predicts he will have more than half of the pledged delegates needed to help secure the nomination. Superdelegates — party leaders and elected officials with the deciding vote in this close race — will follow from there, his camp believes.

Clinton has said she will stay in the race until there is a nominee. The last nominating contest is on June 3. 

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage.

Photo credit: Reuters/Richard Clement (Obama waits to speak as he is introduced at a town hall campaign event)

32 comments

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The sexism is his campaign, the press and the DNC is just non-stop! First he constantly critized the strong woman, along with much of the press that has called her everything from a bi**h to a wh**E. Now he is ignoring her as irrelevant. Attack, if that doesn’t work,ignore….both are classic sexist moves! How very disappointing. Don’t give up Hillary. Run as Independent if need be. We’re behind you all the way.

Posted by gaypastor | Report as abusive

It seems that Obama does not believe in superstition. He starts selling the bear’s skin without killing it yet. Without Michigan nor Florida, this nomination is flawed and will yield a weird result. He is pushing his cart before his horses. No he will not unite with my vote, we don’t want another uniter, Bush style.

Posted by Neut | Report as abusive

[...] Clinton in the past tense? Almost with ObamaReuters – USAROSEBURG, Oregon – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama appears ready to put his opponent, Hillary Clinton, into the past tense of the grueling primary campaign. When asked on Saturday at a rally in Roseburg about party unity, the Illinois senator acknowledged people’s concerns about the length of the nominating process but assured them that Democrats would come out united in the end. “It was pretty tough and hard fought,” he said about the primary season, describing the former first lady as a “formidable opponent.” [...]

Evidence of confidence? Audacity? Rudeness? The reality is, he’s not officially the nominee. Perhaps he’s just being presumptive. Yeah, presumptive nominee being presumptuous. Probably not helpful in his quest to appeal to Clinton supporters.

Posted by joywinnie | Report as abusive

Clinton lost girls. Now if you are the proud women you claim to be you had better start writing like grown ups.

Posted by An adult | Report as abusive

Obama has not won this race yet…I realize he is an overly confident, silver tongued eletist and has been super lucky that the press has not vetted him yet…However…You never know what tomorrow brings. He will never win against McCain in November. HRC is the only candidate that can..If the media would do their job perhaps his messiah persona would disappear…HRC 08′. Bring our Soldiers Home Now….

Posted by kaye c. | Report as abusive

This race is over because Senator Clinton no longer has a mathematical chance. It has nothing to do with sexism. Please, let’s get together now as a Democratic Party. What unites us is much more significant than what divides us.

Clinton was a formidable opponent and an excellent example for men and women in America in this campaign. It is precisely Senator Clinton’s and Senator Obama’s viability as presidential candidates that shows exactly what’s great and right about America at a time when Bush has almost succeeded in spoiling our great nation.

Please! Unity!

Thanks to the Internet this campaign has shown the world the true colors of Americans. Their democracy is only skin deep. They should have Clinton or McCain for president. Not Obama.

Posted by matt_aly | Report as abusive

This race has been over since Feb. Clinton did not have a game plan past super tuesday. Why are the Clinton people so bitter. No one likes to lose, but HRC lost this race, it was not taken from her. In a contest there is one winner and one loser, in this case Hillary is the loser. If see cares about the Democratice party, she would move towards the unification process.

Dems United to beat John McCain

Posted by Gail J | Report as abusive

hillary and her supporters are a bunch of sour graping losers. pathetic…

Posted by jorge nunez | Report as abusive

Speaking as a citizen of the world out side of the US, the only candidate who could start the process of rekindling a sense of respect for the US (so utterly destroyed by Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld cabal) will be Obama. The era of Anmerican dominance is rapidly drawing to a close, with China and India emerging as the new economic superpowers. The US still has so much to offer the world in terms of leadership, but it needs to shed some of the flagrant arrogance displayed by past and present Presidents in the past fifty years. Posted by Barry Vorster, South Africa.

Posted by Barry Vorster | Report as abusive

Obama is speaking in the past tense because the DNC has already chosen him as the nominee, even if this is not yet public. Look at other articles that detail the ways the DNC is beginning to bring supporters from both camps together,and starting to talk about joint fundraising for the fall. They are starting to discuss the choice of a vice presidential nominee from among Clinton’s top supporters, to bring the party together. Look at the way Clinton has stopped bashing Obama, and started supporting his statements against Bush and McCain. They have both changed their rhetoric substantially, and it is clear the end game has been decided. It is time for all democrats to stop making angry and inflammatory comments about each other and start supporting each other.

Posted by katharine | Report as abusive

It doesn’t matter why Obama is our nominee. What does matter is getting a Democrat in the White House to change the downward spiral we find ourselves in. Both Obama and Hillary took the political landscape as they found it and ran very good campaigns. Let’s quit the bickering and unite.

Posted by Joe T. | Report as abusive

The problem with Clinton supporters is not the fact that she lost the battle, but rather it is racism. They are pretending as if Obama is to be blamed. Many of them said she should be the nominee. Then why did they allowed Obama to run in the first place instead of just giving it to her? They are even trying to instigate the media aginst him, so that negative things could be written about him, regardless of if they are true or not. They hammered frequently on the words of his pastor, but not on his own words. The-i-told-you-so attitude they are displaying now is only but a cover up the issue is Obama’s color. if Obama lost again McCain in the general election, so what? the point now is Obama is the choice. Some says she need Clinton to help him. Obama needs more than Clinton to help him he needs every body. If you people refused to vote for him nobody would be suprised, people will only be suprised if you voted for him. Obama may not be the president, infact I don’t believe he would be but, definitely not Clinton. Before now, Clinton offered Obama the position of vice president, while she was even behind in polls. None of of you complain about that. I hope your Clinton will win through the vote of the so called less educated ones. Please don’t vote for Obama

Posted by sola | Report as abusive

clintons latest ploy to confuse the voter—presented to her rabid bloggers on a call Friday;

Clinton is maning an all out effort to confuse the low knowledge voter about obama…and is getting little coverage for her outrageous claims from MSM or Cable so she has turned to the bloggers with this on Friday…

“But by confusing the facts and casting doubt on his legitimacy, she can encourage resentment among her supporters that will persist even if she drops out after June 4 and endorses Obama. If they feel that she was pushed out illegitimately, at least some of her supporters may decide to sit it out or vote for McCain in hopes of giving her another chance in 2012.

In addition to creating questions about Obama’s legitimacy as the nominee, she played the gender card yet again last night. She said that she “deeply regrets the vitriol and the mean-spiritedness and the terrible insults and rhetoric that has been thrown around at you for supporting me, at women in general, at many of those who support my campaign because of who they are and their stand based on principle.” This is not the first time she has claimed that she is being treated differently because of her gender, and it appears to encourage women who feel she has been mistreated because she is a woman to keep feeling that way.

This, like the talking points designed to cloud Obama’s legitimacy in terms of the math, could be part of a strategy to fan the flames of resentment among her supporters, particularly women. Yes, she may bow out gracefully after the primaries are over, but she wants to make sure her supporters are as disappointed and even angry when she does. She appears to want them to feel that she was wronged, making it harder for them to turn around and support Obama. She’ll bow out eventually and give a speech that will probably tug at people’s heartstrings and make them wistful, with some people perhaps hoping that she gets another chance in 4 years.”

Posted by Docb | Report as abusive

Um….people have been vitriolic, mean-spirited, sexist, and hateful. The media has been relentless in their criticism of Hillary, who is clearly a superior candidate. I’m an educated man with a Master’s degree, and I’m disgusted by the sexism that has been so dominant in Obama’s campaign and in the media. This Democrat is voting for a gentleman with a lifetime of experience, since it seems the Democrats are determined to lose yet another election by nominating an unelectable candidate. John McCain gets my vote this time.

Posted by Brian | Report as abusive

Obama is using the “presumptive nominee” angle to phase Hill out the same way she used the “inevitable nominee” angle all the way up until Iowa. Seems like fair game to me. Obama is an excellent leader, I hope Hillary supporters can get past their loss and help put this great man in office.

Posted by sol | Report as abusive

Hillary Clinton has lost. This race is over. No need for Clinton supporters to get angry that the winner and nominee has shifted his focus to the general. That’s the smart thing to do. It’s the only thing to do. There are far more important issues facing Senator Obama. He has beaten Hillary Clinton. He did it fair and square. She and her supporters choose to stay in this race, pretending she has a chance. That’s all and good, but the presumptive nominee has a fall race to win. He cannot wallow in that fantasy with Clinton and company. That’s the reality of the situation. Obama is the nominee!

Posted by Wanakee Hill | Report as abusive

Clinton spent the first half of her campaign running with the “inevitable nominee” angle. The Presumptive nominee angle is fair game.

Posted by youfail | Report as abusive

Americans will not support War Party candidates like Clinton and McCain. Americans want the Bush/Cheney/Clinton/McCain wars over now.

Posted by RichS | Report as abusive

I’m one of those Hillary “pathetic graping loser”, and you will see who is the loser in November.

I won’t forget Obamas dirty game with the suppor of the republian media, I won’t forget this insult to all the females of this country by denying the chance of having the first lady as president of the country. I wont forget the racism insulting all the white working class of this country.

In November we will all see who is the loser, and who will be the last to laugh.

Posted by Hillary "graping loser" supporter | Report as abusive

I am surprised to see so many claims of sexism against Obama. I have been a strong feminist all my life, and while I would love to see a woman as President, I don’t allow Senator Clinton’s gender to cloud my judgment of her actions. She has been extremely divisive throughout the campaign, and her continuing to fight with only the slightest mathematical possibility of victory is undoubtedly harming the Democratic party. I have never, as a white woman, found Obama to be sexist or racist, but rather a unifying figure of change and hope. Holding so much animosity against him will not help Democrats to unite or defeat McCain. Let’s stop bickering, and look forward to November.

Posted by kaos | Report as abusive

Obama has never caught my attention for a vote for presidential nominee or president. He is arrogant and his supporters are often obnoxious. What his nomination to me represents is a superficial tendency of our press to follow trends and create superstars from people of mediocre or raw talent, they show us and give us who they want us to consume…here is politics, too. The press and the DNC have found a wonderful marketing product, but I, like so many others, see this as the democrats version of Bush—though I hate to admit it, but Bush had more years of experience running as a governor. Senior party members will then run the government through him–and as a new member, with much owed to many who got him there, he will spend time paying them back. They wanted a new piece of meat with not so many players already in the picture,,,so now all the dogs will go in for their piece of the power.

By the way,,,,the Huckabee comment that OBAMAS camp was so shocked by, was not a comment about question or suggestion of security…WASN”T IT MORE A QUIP OR RESPONSE TO OBAMA’S ATTACK ON BITTER PEOPLE CLINGING TO RELIGION, AND GUN’S,,,SINCE THIS WAS A MEETING OF THE LATER WHO MAY HAVE TAKEN OFFENSE TO HOW OBAMA CHARACTERIZED THEM….OH WELL, i SUPPOSE IN THIS NEW WORLD OF OBAMA..EVERYTHING WE SAY HAS SOME KIND OF NEGATIVE OR UNFAIR CONOTATION–HANDS OFF THE OBAMA BABY.

Posted by Voter.viewer | Report as abusive

He’s a Winner Alright!
#1. Speaks of Hillary in the past tense..No the race isn´t over. Hillary is still in the race and that there are more votes to be counted.ie: Combined population of Oregon, Montana and South Dakota = 5,173,438
Combined population of Kentucky and Puerto Rico = 8,086,459 ……plus Florida & Michigan RISE~Hillary~RISE

#2.Sanctimonious….OBAMA AND HIS KENTUCKY CROSS…… .Obama is making a direct appeal to Kentuckian evangelicals with fliers that mention his conversion to Christianity,highlights the words FAITH-HOPE-CHANGE and a big old in-your-face cross.(nothing subliminal like Huckabee’s bookcase/cross)The verse is FAITH-HOPE-LOVE. I guess he thinks he is “The Chosen One” and can rewrite the Bible.

#3.Fear Mongering…Obama tells seniors McCain threatens the Social Security that they depend on and would push to raise the retirement age for collecting Social Security benefits or trim annual cost-of-living increases.

Posted by erag5294 | Report as abusive

Obama is a great leader and a unifying figure of change and hope. Please, let’s get together now as a Democratic Party. Let’s stop bickering, and look forward to November.

Dems United to beat John McCain.

Posted by democracy | Report as abusive

In terms of the numbers, I don’t know how else he could react as a candidate. He’s in the lead with superdelegates and only a miracle would put her there. My question is, aside from this sense she has that “it’s her time”, why does a candidate stay in a race past their obvious viability and into threatening the party’s chances to win in November territory? The answer that first comes to me reflects my own pre-judgment of Mrs. Clinton – she’s counting on our pre-judgments and their related fears to stop us from voting for the future of our nation. I think a vote for Obama is a vote for being sick of the same old conversation, same old stalled attitudes. I think we Americans want to evolve into the next phase of what this experiment of a nation can be…I want that for my kids more than I want to see another person who shares my anatomy sitting in that chair.

Posted by WooZee | Report as abusive

Obama has not won yet…The race is far from over…Considering his comments on wearing his flag pin and threatening everyone not to say anything about his perfect wife plus his comments regarding Iran may slow the voting down in Oregon tomorrow…His message of change has resonated very well with the masses however he has no actual plans to implemet the rhetoric promises he makes…Nothing he can say will take away Wright, Ayers, Rezko and his other associates that are questionable. He wants no one to speak negatively about his wife Michelle even tho she is extremely snobby, eletist and her patriorism has and is questioned…It takes much more than book learning and the study and practice of black theology to be President of this great United States…The race is coming to an end and he has not even been vetted yet…Seems like that would be cause for pause before casting your vote…HRC is the only candidate that can beat McCain in November and bring our Soldiers HOME!!!..

Posted by kaye c. | Report as abusive

The nomination is over. Most candidates have the good sense, morals and ethics to drop out before being mathematically eliminated. That would explain the decision of both fields of Republican and Democratic candidates dropping out prior to the conventions for the good of the party. Here, Hillary will be mathmatically out soon, yet she is still in despite the math. She vows to stay in, even when mathematically out. She is not fighting for her supporters, she is only out for one thing –herself. She now says to count Michigan and Florida and redo the math. People have no memory cells. Hillary SIGNED A PLEDGE with ALL of the candidates that stated, Florida and Michigan elections WILL NOT COUNT. She campainged in Iowa and New Hampshire touting that she signed that pledge to gain votes at THAT TIME. She said Florida and Michigan votes should not count because those states were trying to STEAL from Iowa and New Hampshire their place in being the first primaries. Now she is saying the opposite. Anyone who supports Hillary is simply a victim of her and Bill’s manipulations. Don’t believe me, read “The Agenda” by Bob Woodward. In that book, Hillar is quoted as saying, “it does not matter what is true, it matters what we can make people believe is true.” So you Hillary supporters, “keep believing” but the party is over despite her spin and lies about Florida and Michigan which she signed a pledge not to count.

gk

Posted by gk | Report as abusive

Mr. Obama a great leader? Promises change? Have you seen it in writing what changes he proposes? Appears to me he is somewhat of a hothead. Gets defensive over comments that doesn’t mention his name even tho he said it. What does he propose to do, offer the leader of Iran a bowl of warm milk toast and talk it over? Gets p.o.ed over political ads featuring his wife. If she was a stay at home mom then ok, don’t attack her but if she is out there speaking for her husband, then she is fair game. I really hope Ms Clinton makes a fight over it at the convention, just like the old days. But then I’m just a red neck farmer so what I think doesn’t matter.

Posted by Jack from Kansas | Report as abusive

Hillary began with strikes against her. Namely, she supported the war and giving unlimited executive power to Bush/Cheney. She did not speak out against the abuses of power. Plus, she was a devisive figure prior to her presedential bid, alienating potential cross-overs of moderate Republicans. She began her campaign with a sense of entitlement–and I think that is what is keeping her going. But people are weary of the war and suspicious of government spin and outright lies. Polls indicate people believe she is untrustworthy. The election hasn’t been taken from her, she began significant strikes against her and she has not been able to overcome them.

Posted by Lynda from California | Report as abusive

“In November we will all see who is the loser, and who will be the last to laugh.”

If McCain wins, the last laugh will be be had by the Bushes and Roves of the world, who once again will have swindled the rubes of America to vote against their own self interest. Wow, what bragging rights. You sure showed us.

Posted by Jim in PA | Report as abusive

‘FDR’ Floridians Demonstrating for Delegation’s Rights: Rules Committee Meeting Secretly To Avoid Them?

May 20, 2008 (LPAC)–When the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee meets in Washington, D.C. May 31, Floridians demanding the seating of their elected delegates at the Democratic National Convention will be demonstrating in the nation’s capital, representing 157,000 signers (so far) on a petition to uphold the delegation’s rights. But they can’t find where Howard Dean’s DNC will hold this “open, public” meeting. The DNC appears to be resorting to secrecy to avoid being pressed on the rights of Florida’s and Michigan’s delegates.

According to Jim Hannagan, the state chair of Florida Demands Representation (FDR), a member of a coalition of groups demanding that the Florida delegates elected in the state’s Democratic Party Primary be accorded and seated in accordance with the primary vote. The Democratic Party Rules and Bylaws Committee, which is expected to take up that issue, will meet at an undisclosed location in violation of Open Party rules adopted in 1964. Hannagan, who is organizing a demonstration of at least 1,000 Floridians in Washington, D.C that day, and will raise the issue at the “open” meeting, says he cannot learn its location or what the procedure is for attending it, although by Party rules it must be open to the public.

Hannagan said his group, which endorses neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama, is also planning a series of “Respect Our Votes” demonstrations at campaign stops which Obama will make throughout Florida this week, to demand that he support the seating of the Florida delegation, and that all the votes cast be counted. “FDR” will also build demonstrations throughout the country on May 31 to coincide with the flagship demonstration in Washington. The organization is updating its plans on its website, http://www.floridademandsrepresentation. org

In a petition being circulated among registered voters of both parties, the group declares that the Democratic National Committee, in not recognizing the Florida primary vote, is acting counter to due process and democratic principles, and is engaging in an act of disenfranchisement, and warns that the resulting alienation of voters, who acted in good faith when they cast their votes, may result in protest votes for non-Democratic Presidential candidates.

As of May 9, some 157,080 Floridians had signed the petition, and 1,037 FDR volunteers were actively organizing throughout the state.

Hannagan reported that a recent FDR survey of Florida voters shows that the failure to resolve the issue is causing increased polarization; and that 15-20% of those who took part in the survey are planning to leave the Party. Florida is considered a key swing state in the November Presidential election.

Posted by francine223 | Report as abusive

sola hit the nail on the head,Clintn suporters cant bring themselves to vote for a black guy.The fact is that they have no choice than to vote for him or give Bush a third term with no changes in our lifes.

Posted by republican | Report as abusive