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Barack Obama, John McCain Win in Wisconsin

Aired February 19, 2008 - 23:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: We're at the top of the hour here, the end of another crucial night in election '08.
The headline, another win for Barack Obama in Wisconsin, adding momentum to the winning strategic he's been on since Super Tuesday. Caucuses, too, tonight in Hawaii. We don't have results from those caucuses yet, because of the time change. Check for all the late results in that race throughout the night at the bottom of your screen.

Another tough night for the Clinton Camp. Wisconsin might have been fertile ground for Senator Clinton, that's what some had thought based on the demographics, the keywords there, might have been. We'll be talking a lot about that in the hour ahead.

Also, John McCain's big night, putting even more distance between himself and challenger Mike Huckabee. The question now, what does staying in the race longer actually do for Mike Huckabee and the GOP?

All that and more, but first Wolf Blitzer, who's been following the results all night. Wolf?

WOLF BLITZER, CNN CO-ANCHOR: Let's update our viewers, Anderson, on what the tally shows right now, Barack Obama the winner on the Democratic side of the primary. Right now it's 70 percent of the precincts reporting. He's at 57 percent to Hillary Clinton's 42 percent.

And if we zoom in on the actual numbers that are reported in Wisconsin, more than 400,000 for Barack Obama, 298,000 for Hillary Clinton. It's shaping up to be a pretty impressive decisive win in the state of Wisconsin for Barack Obama.

In Wisconsin on the Republican side, 69 percent of the precincts reporting McCain 54 percent, Huckabee managing to get 37 percent of the vote so far, Ron Paul at 5 percent. You can se smaller turnout on the Republican side than the Democratic side, 146,000 for Senator McCain, 10,000 for Huckabee, 12,000 for Ron Paul.

This is one of those states on the Republican side where it's winner-take-all, so that the Republican winner, John McCain, will get those delegates in Wisconsin. But clearly, impressive wins for both John McCain, Anderson, and Barack Obama.

COOPER: No doubt about it. More than -- well, 15 percentage points right now between Senator Clinton and Barack Obama. Big double-digit lead for Senator Obama.

We're going to go now to the candidates themselves, to their campaigns; a lot to talk about. We heard both from Senator Obama earlier tonight in a speech that lasted more than 44 minutes, about 44 and a half -minutes before a crowd of 20,000 people in Houston. We also heard Senator Clinton speaking before a crowd in Youngstown, Ohio.

Let's right now go to CNN's Candy Crowley who's with the Obama campaign. Candy?

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, Anderson, what we heard tonight on CNN and here in this rally room, a huge arena packed with about 20,00 people, was Barack Obama walking that fine line. It was part rally and part policy speech. He has done both before. But this was a mix of the two.

A salute to the fact that the Obama people understand that as they move into Ohio, as they move into Texas, as they court that working class vote, policy makes a huge difference here, and they need to be out front and ahead on that.

So he used this time tonight to talk policy and to talk middle class issues. At the same time, he held on to his central premise, that just having policy isn't enough. You have to be able to inspire.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you. What we're trying to do here is not easy. And it will not happen overnight. It is going to take more than big rallies, it's going to require more than rousing speeches. It will also require more than policy papers and positions and websites.

It is going to require something more. Because the problem that we face in America today is not the lack of good ideas, it's that Washington has become a place where good ideas go to die.


CROWLEY: I talked to a top Obama strategist tonight who said that he was ebullient but realistic. They are looking ahead now to Ohio and to Texas. They know this will be a rough go, but they're also looking at those same exit poll numbers that we are seeing. And what most encourages them, particularly about Ohio is that for voters who said the economy was the top issue, Obama was their choice.

So they think that that particular number really might help them in Ohio. And they also think that Wisconsin and Ohio are not that much different, although they concede Ohio is a lot bigger state.

Nonetheless, they are looking at both these states, feeling better about it, but far from predicting that they would have victory in those two states, which, as we know, Hillary Clinton has described as her firewall. Anderson. COOPER: Candy, I just want to talk about speech etiquette for a moment, because I'm getting a lot of e-mails from Obama supporters who are angry at Clinton for not congratulating Senator Obama for his win tonight in Wisconsin. I'm also getting a lot of e-mails from Clinton supporters who are outraged that Senator Obama came on to speak while Senator Clinton was still speaking.

How much is this stuff coordinated?

CROWLEY: I certainly have seen things that were by accident and I've also seen things that are on purpose. I mean generally what happens is that the loser comes out and talks first.

But this has been a very different campaign as you know. They told us all along at the Obama campaign that he would come out as soon as somebody called the race in Wisconsin, that they were going to play a video of his, the "Join the Movement" video, and then he was going to come out.

I actually wondered the same thing, whether they would sit back stage and wait for Hillary Clinton to end. They did not. Look, this is a national forum here. These candidates know that their speech, as carried over CNN and others, are going into these states, Ohio, and Texas and beyond where they are going. So do you say gamesmanship, probably, but I've never seen a politician that passed up an opportunity to reach the broadest audience, Anderson.

COOPER: No doubt about that. Candy Crowley thanks.

On now to Youngstown, a real old-line Democratic ethnic union city about an hour west of Pittsburgh. This seemed to be Clinton country. It certainly is tonight.

Jessica Yellin is there for us now. Jessica?

JESSICA YELLIN: Well, this was a painful loss for Senator Clinton and a sign of a campaign in real trouble. The bottom line here is that Senator Clinton should have been able to win Wisconsin. This is a state with Democrats who are blue collar workers who should be responding to her message of policy solutions, her talk of the economy and health care.

But, as Candy pointed out, it was Barack Obama who won the people who say health care and economy were the top concerns. He split the union vote, won every age group but seniors and every income bracket.

The bottom line is she needs some of these voters, and her campaign has to be wondering now why isn't her message connecting? What does she have to do differently to possibly pull off an upset in Ohio and Texas, which are must-wins for her?

Tonight, this is the new improved message, she says this is the future Clinton message we'll be hearing into the future. This is what she delivered.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It is about picking a president who relies not just on words, but on work, on hard work to get America back to work. That's our goal.

You know, when I think about what we're really comparing in this election, you know, we can't just have speeches. We've got to have solutions and we need those solutions for America. We've got to get America back in the solutions business.


YELLIN: The problem, Anderson, is we've heard this message from her before and it didn't work in Wisconsin. Now, the Clinton campaign is making a big show of moving on. She's delivering what they're calling a major policy address tomorrow morning that will be a continuation of what we heard tonight.

And in perhaps the most profound show of moving on, but a little odd, she didn't even acknowledge her loss in Wisconsin during the speech tonight. They're cleaning up in here, excuse us. But she managed to find time to thank the marching band that played, but as you say did not find time to congratulate Barack Obama.

COOPER: So where is she off to next? How much time is she going to be spending in Ohio, how much time in Texas, do we know?

YELLIN: She's splitting them very evenly. In a conference call today, her campaign made it very clear, and top advisers have told me that they're focusing on - when she's not here, President Clinton will be in Ohio. If she's in Texas, they're just going to send surrogates to each state and maintain a definite presence nonstop because they know they have to win these states, otherwise it's all done for her.

And as everyone's been saying all night, it has to be by a significant margin. But there is more and more talk that at this point she really needs Barack Obama to stumble. They need a major stumble or something to go wrong on the other side for her to really pull this off.

COOPER: Interesting. Jessica Yellin, appreciate the reporting in Youngstown, Ohio tonight.

You can compare the candidates on the issues at

We're back with our panel next, not just the best political team on television also some the sharpest writers and thinkers any where, John King, Gloria Borger, Jeffrey Toobin, Carl Bernstein when this special edition of "360" continues.

We'll be right back.


COOPER: We're getting some more results now in from Washington, an interesting state what's going on there. Let's check in with Wolf. Wolf? BLITZER: Thanks very much Anderson. Washington State, it's an important contest for the Republicans, because there are 19 delegates at stake. Right now, with 8 percent of the precincts reporting, McCain has a hefty lead at 51 percent to Mike Huckabee's 23 percent, Ron Paul at 7 percent. If we take a look at the actual numbers that are coming in, 26,000 or so for McCain, 11,741 for Huckabee, 3500 for Ron Paul.

These are mostly mail-in ballots in Washington State. Once again, at stake, 19 delegates. On the Democratic side, they had their contest on February 9th. Barack Obama won. Today in effect it's simply a beauty contest. No impact on the delegates on the Democratic side; 8 percent of the precincts reporting. Obama is at 50 percent to Hillary Clinton's 47 percent; 40,374 for Obama, 37,800 or so for Hillary Clinton. But once again, this is strictly a beauty contest in Washington state, because they did their real contest on February 9th, and Barack Obama won on that date. Anderson?

COOPER: Of course the real story tonight is Wisconsin where Barack Obama has won by at least 15 percent margin. The margin really is what's gotten your attention, Jeffrey.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: 15 percent is a landslide. That is close to how he won in Maryland and Virginia. Another point that I think is perilous for Hillary Clinton is consistently over the past several weeks, Obama is outperforming public opinion polls.

He was ahead in Wisconsin in most polls, 6, 7, 8 percent. He's winning by 15. If that trend continues, the close race that we now see in Texas could turn in his favor.

MARTIN ROWLAND, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I think one of the things his campaign learned after New Hampshire, they didn't close in New Hampshire. A lot of folks talk about, well, when she cried and things along those lines, but her campaign closed very well in New Hampshire.

But they changed their focus; he really talked about her policy points. One of the things he said after Super Tuesday, he kept saying, it's not going be to be easy. He said it three times in that speech.

He's been driving his campaign people. "Look, you don't stop until the last ballot is cast. That's the only way we're going to win." So they're going to put more pressure on the campaign, even going to Texas and Ohio. He said, "We can't let up. We're too close."

GLORIA BORGER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: You know imagine the pressure that's on her. She's lost by double digits tonight, whatever it turns out to be. She's going to Texas and Ohio, where she has to win by double digits in order to keep her delegate count up.

She faces the prospect of these superdelegates deserting her on March 5th, saying, you know, we've got to go with our voters. So there could not be more pressure on that campaign right now, Anderson. JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And the question is, what do they do with that pressure? You learn a lot about a candidate when they're on their last or second-to-last breath.

And she has said to her campaign, "Have to win Ohio and Texas." Do they decide to be even sharper and negative in the contrast, heading there, or do they decide to try to reset the clock, and make it less about him and more about her. And try to retell here story.

You can be sure they're working on this right now, Anderson. Two weeks to those elections might seem like a long time. Usually with time, he does better. They know that.

COOPER: I want to go over to the other road Jamal Simmons, Democratic strategist and Barack Obama supporter. Where does Barack Obama go from here in terms of his rhetoric? We heard attacks from John McCain directly to Barack Obama. We heard attacks from Hillary Clinton tonight directly to Barack Obama.

Does he try to rise above that, and look presidential at this point?

JAMAL SIMMONS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, I think what he was doing tonight was he broadening out just the hope message to also talking about what are the actually policies it is he wants to communicate and wants people to know about him.

It's clear we all talk about this after tonight, he's talking to people in Texas, he knew he was on television, he was communicating very clearly.

And it's interesting, when you look at the juxtaposition of Barack Obama standing there talking with that crowd full of people screaming and yelling and then John McCain's speech, where he's sort of standing in front of a bunch of people that clap, it sounds like 30 people standing in the room clapping for his remarks, when you look at John McCain, he's a hero, but he's sort of a symbol of a lot of Americans' struggle from the past.

Barack Obama is a symbol of the possibility of future.

LESLIE SANCHES, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: A lot of the people talking on the phone, playing with their kids, clapping at the wrong times. Let's not over-make what Texas in that speech was. I think they both gave compelling speeches. But I think there's one probably the biggest underreported story is she has nine significant losses.

If it were reverse and Barack Obama had those losses, we'd be saying he'd be an irrelevant candidate. That's the biggest story. She had all the toys in the sand box. The money, the consultants and every type of Democratic establishment that stood behind her and she still fails to win.

COOPER: Paul Begala, you're a supporter of Clinton. What is she doing wrong? PAUL BEGALA, CLINTON SUPPORTER: She's losing. I'm sorry, I need to I say that, because apparently it's an underreported story that she's lost nine times. I pay my cable bill. I've seen that. Come on.

COOPER: I've got to quickly go to Wolf.

BEGALA: That's the point.

COOPER: Wolf Blitzer with the projection from Washington.

BLITZER: Anderson, CNN can now project that John McCain is the winner tonight in Washington state's Republican primary. Decisive win, the second win of the night for John McCain over Mike Huckabee. Not a huge surprise, but still an important win at stake in Washington state with 19 delegates for the Republican convention. And John McCain goes ahead and will win this primary in Washington state.

It doesn't necessarily mean he's going to get all 19 of those. Some of those will be divided proportionately, but still an important win for John McCain. The winner in Washington state on the Republican side, just as earlier we projected he was the winner in Wisconsin as well. Anderson?

COOPER: Wolf, thanks very much. Let's go back to Paul Begala who just announced that what she's doing wrong is she's losing.

BEGALA: She's losing. This is what they pay me all this money for. What's interesting here, it looks like, if the numbers hold up and they will, I think, certainly from the exit point. It looks like Barack Obama will beat Hillary Clinton by a larger margin than John McCain beats Mike Huckabee.

Huckabee's got his gifts, but he does not have the formidable campaign structure or finances Hillary has. If Barack wins by more than McCain, it's enormously important certainly for Barack, but it's really troubling I think for Senator McCain for his campaign. I think it's like tonight, Jamal pointed out he had such a low energy victory. He looked like Bob Dole after a long night of filibustering.

AMY HOLMES, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: If you look at the other side of that coin, that means Hillary is less formidable than Mike Huckabee. And I would actually look at that exit polling that I find very interesting.

When you asked Democrats if they would be satisfied if Hillary Clinton were the nominee, only, let's see, 68 percent said yes. The satisfaction for Barack Obama is much higher at 82. If you look at the Republican side if you asked, would you be satisfied if John McCain were the nominee, 76 percent yes.

So when we talk about who's having trouble with their base, who's having trouble with their party, actually Hillary Clinton among the three is having the most.

SIMMONS: And most - John McCain is going to be the nominee so they've got to get satisfied.

CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I'm sorry, I thought McCain made the best possible speech he could have tonight and people paid attention to it. It's going to require the Democrats to put together a national security policy that really answers him.

But picking up on what Paul says, you know, we have all these exit polls, which are terrific, but voting is mystical. It's a mystical act and deep down, people are voting, and we don't know exactly what motivates them, but a lot of it has to do with their perceptions of character, and they have a feeling.

And the feeling that we're picking up, and we've seen it all through this is that Hillary Clinton is being rejected. The Clintons, and the restoration of the Clintons to the White House, is being rejected and there is an alternative who is being embraced. Those are the two factors that have coalesced tonight.

And that is why this bridge to Texas, you know, is being built. Ohio, she's got a better shot in. But Texas is going to be terribly difficult for her. He's got investigative reporters all over the place, looking at her tax returns, looking at why Bill Clinton won't release her correspondence with him in the White House that's in the library.

It's not going to be pretty in Texas unless she can do something in this debate.

COOPER: I want to go to Dana Bash who's at McCain headquarters. She's going to set a read on where the McCain campaign feels they are tonight.

Dana, what's going on there?

DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You probably wouldn't be able to tell from looking behind me, because it's pretty empty right now, but the McCain campaign is feeling very, very good.

They are celebrating somewhere right now, but they feel good about the fact that as John McCain said for the first time in this ballroom tonight, he is confident that he will be the party's nominee for president.

And if you listened, as you've just been talking about with the panel there, if you listened to the way John McCain tried to lay out the ground work and the themes for his candidacy, it was abundantly clear where he's going, making it clear he may not be the youngest candidate, but he is the most experienced.

Then, Anderson, you and I talked last week about the fact that there were some subtle references to Barack Obama. There was nothing subtle about the way he talked about Barack Obama tonight, really, really went after him in a sharp way. Not by name, but it was clear who he was talking about, saying that America can't be deceived by somebody who delivers eloquent but empty calls for change, really making the case that Barack Obama simply isn't ready for prime time. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN MCCAIN, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Each event poses a challenge and an opportunity. Will the next president have the experience, the judgment and experience in form and the strength of purpose to respond to each of these developments in ways that strengthen our security and advance the global progress of our ideals, or will we risk the confused leadership of an inexperienced candidate who once suggested bombing our ally, Pakistan and suggested sitting down without preconditions or clear purpose with enemies who support terrorists and are intent on destabilizing the world by acquiring nuclear weapons? I think you know the answer to that question.


BASH: Now, the question is, why did John McCain decide to really single out Barack Obama tonight? Obviously, Barack Obama had a very good night, he's had nine consecutive wins, that is one reason, but the reality is the McCain campaign knows it is still very unclear, very murky as to who their opponent on t6he Democratic side will be.

I talked to McCain adviser tonight who said that they chose to have this narrative and focus the speech tonight for a couple of reasons. One is the fact they think Barack Obama really does give them a good foil for the narrative that they're trying to lay out, which is John McCain is the most experienced. And this adviser I talked to simply said that Obama was a good prop for them tonight in doing that.

The other thing that they point out is the fact that they understand that it could be 50/50 as to which Democratic candidate they're going to be running against. So they definitely focused on Barack Obama tonight, but they insist inside the McCain campaign they're going to also be focusing also on Hillary Clinton, because they just are not exactly sure who it's going to be.

One adviser said it could be the third night of the Democratic convention before they really know who their opponent is going to be.

COOPER: And it is just getting more and more interesting. Dana bash, thanks very much from Columbus, Ohio.

Still to come, the question of superdelegates. We're going to speak with one of them, Donna Brazile, along with David Gergen.

You're watching a special edition of 360. We'll be right back.



H. CLINTON: I've been through the Republican attack machine. You know I can take a punch. And I come back, and let's not kid ourselves. This is going to be another brutal election. They are not going to give up the White House without a fight.


COOPER: Senator Clinton earlier today. That fight of course is getting tougher for her tonight; another big night for Barack Obama. Not just in the raw numbers he racked up in Wisconsin, which are impressive, but in how he took votes from Hillary Clinton. Crunching numbers for us all night, John King.

KING: Anderson, you bet your money in politics and in the stock market on a growth stock. We want to show you four trends from the beginning of the race going all the way back to the leadoff primary in the state of New Hampshire and try to illustrate to you what we've been saying all night long about how Barack Obama is eating into Senator Clinton's beginning coalition.

Let's look at group number one. These are white men. Senator Obama beginning back in New Hampshire was at 38 percent among white men. Grew in Missouri, went high in Maryland. 62 percent tonight in Wisconsin. Barack Obama winning among white men.

Now let's look at a second age group, Democratic voters aged 50 to 64. Senator Clinton is winning among senior citizens 65 and older. But look at Obama's growth, that's the orange line, dipped a little bit in Wisconsin tonight, but considering where he began, back in New Hampshire.

Now, number three, those making between $30,000 and $50,000 a year. Again, Obama starting in the 30s in New Hampshire, hitting above 60, dipped a bit in Wisconsin today, but still significantly up from the beginning.

Now let's look at constituency number 4, white women. Senator Clinton continues to win this demographic group, but again look at Senator Obama making slow, but significant growth in that as well.

As you look at this chart, you might think it's a bit confuse being. Imagine if this were your 401k and you started the year back here in the thirties and you ended the year way over there. You'd be feeling quite optimistic about yourself, because the trend lines for Obama among four groups that are critical to Senator Clinton's victory are going up. Which is why Barack Obama is not only winning, Anderson, but winning by bigger margins as this campaign goes on.

COOPER: It's fascinating to see the trend lines there. John King, thanks.

One late note on campaign etiquette, some questions about that earlier tonight. We've just been told that Hillary Clinton did indeed call Barack this evening to congratulate him on his winning the Wisconsin primary. The call was made prior to Senator Clinton departing Ohio from New York, which means it was made after the speech there.

There was no public congratulation congratulations.

Now to superdelegates, with the pledged delegate count nearly deadlocked for the Democrats, the supers are getting a lot more attention. There are nearly 800 party activists, elected officials and others whose votes could make the difference if the Democratic candidates don't win enough delegates to clinch the nomination themselves.

Turning us to talk about the battle for super delegates, CNN's senior political analyst David Gergen and CNN contributor and Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, who is also a superdelegate.

Donna, what are you hearing from Democratic Party insiders? How much pressure are superdelegates like yourself feeling and do you or do they believe this nomination is going to come down to the superdelegates' vote?

DONNA BRAZILE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, Anderson, with over 800 delegates still at - pledged delegated at stake, I think the superdelegates who are now uncommitted will remain uncommitted until we hear from the voters in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, of course, Texas and Ohio. So I don't believe that the uncommitted superdelegates are under any rush.

There's a lot of e-mails, there clearly are a lot of arm twisting taking place. But superdelegates by our very nature are responsible. We understand the process. We've been around the block once or twice, and there's no reason to think that superdelegates will do an in run around the process.

COOPER: So you're taking your cues from the electorate?

BRAZILE: We'll take our cues from many factors. The electorate - I'm an at large delegate, so I can take it based on who I believe is best capable of beating John McCain. But at some point we'll make up our minds.

I want to say one thing, because it's important. I think Senator Clinton has replaced her campaign manager. She's replaced her deputy campaign manager. Someone needs to replace the speechwriter. There's no reason to keep talking about 35 years and how -- how much of a whipping and beating she's gotten from Republicans.

It's time now to talk about what she can do to lift up those -- the people out there in this country who want change, who want to see a difference in the White House. She has the credibility to make that argument. It's time she makes that argument so that she can pick up the 820-some-odd pledged delegates that are still at stake.

COOPER: David, what does it say -- to Donna's point about the speechwriter, what does it say about the fact, I mean, Hillary -- Senator Clinton talked about finding her voice way back in New Hampshire, which, frankly, seems like three years ago. What happened between then and now?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: She hasn't found her voice. She hasn't found her message, Anderson.

I think the Clinton campaign right now stands guilty of political malpractice. They have -- they allowed Barack Obama to run away with almost all the caucuses almost -- virtually unopposed. They allowed him to now rack up 10 victories in a row, without fighting seriously in any single state.

So -- and they went out -- and she went out and made that speech tonight, which I thought was rather flat. I thought Donna's point is -- is well taken on that.

So, it's been a mystery to me. But I have to say -- and I'm sorry I'm not there to join you all tonight in New York -- but I have to say that I think the suspense about superdelegates may soon disappear. You know, the -- this -- by winning as many, especially tonight, which was -- so psychologically so important, by winning tonight, I think this has become Barack Obama's to lose.


GERGEN: I think he's going into the fourth quarter with a 21- point lead. It's very hard to see how she can take it away from him now.

COOPER: Donna Brazile, do you agree with that?

BRAZILE: Well, I don't believe in surrendering, and I know the Clintons very well, having worked on both of their presidential campaigns.

And she may have to go down just a little deeper in herself to make this work, to make this connection, because she is still a fighter. She is still a change agent. And she's still someone that I believe can inspire Democrats.

That being said, Texas will be hard. Ohio will be hard, of course, Rhode Island and these other states. But can she do it? Absolutely. I'm not ready to throw in the towel for either Senator Clinton or Senator Obama.


COOPER: David, how do you see it playing out?

GERGEN: I don't think that she's finished. I just think she's really far behind psychologically now.

And I think the -- for the Clinton campaign to not fight hard and to essentially allow 10 contests between February 5 and March 4 go basically not very seriously contested is stunning to me, because it has changed the whole psychology of this race. You know, and we're going to have two weeks now, between now and Ohio and Texas.

COOPER: It sounds almost like you're talking about Rudy Giuliani's campaign. You know, I mean, they have sort of given up early on.


GERGEN: I don't understand it. I thought she was a much stronger candidate than she proved to be.

I mean, it looked like she had a chance to really go in and fight and win Wisconsin. And to get blown away by 15 points, there's something not working about her campaign. There's something not working about the strategy of it. There's something not working in the speeches. And I must say, he's had an opening, and he's taken it.

COOPER: How does she, then, turn it around? I mean, she's got two weeks to prepare before Ohio, before Texas on March 4. If that is the -- the make-or-break date, what does she have to do?


COOPER: Go ahead, Donna.

BRAZILE: She needs to exploit any weaknesses that she can find. Don't trivialize this race, but exploit any weaknesses.

She needs to do very well at the debate on Thursday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. I got the memo.


BRAZILE: But -- but -- but she must also do something that her campaign has failed to do since Super Tuesday. They have got to compete for votes. This is not going to be handed. Barack Obama had a movement.

Now the movement is on the ground. It has -- it has a life, and people feel the energy and the buzz. And it's time that she puts her campaign on the ground and stop thinking that someone is going to hand these delegates over to Senator Clinton or anyone else.

Barack Obama is fighting for it. It's time that Senator Clinton go out there and do the same.

COOPER: And, David, that -- that energy, that buzz that Donna talks about, I mean, that feeds on itself. That grows.

GERGEN: It sure does.

And, you know, in the modern media, it grows a lot. It can really get -- you know, it just -- the media sort of just -- it builds and builds and builds. And I think that's why it's very hard for her. She can play on his mistakes. I mean, as I say, I think it's his to lose in many ways.

I think she needs to come out with a new argument. I think, at this point, she has got to say -- come to the voters in a very serious way and -- and what she should have done tonight, I think, was: Look -- look, I lost tonight. I lost big. I congratulate my opponent. I'm in trouble. I need your help. This is too important. We have got to rethink about where the country is going.

I think she has to come back to the country and voters in Ohio and Texas and beyond in a more emotional way, reconnect with them emotionally, not come out and give these kind of platitudinous kind of speech she gave. We have heard all this that she said tonight.

I think she's got to have a new message, and it's got to have some emotion in it. And I don't think it can just be a new policy, you know, three-point policy plan.

COOPER: Interesting comments from both Donna Brazile and David Gergen.

Thank you.

We're going to take a short break. Our coverage continues also online,, day or night. You can watch the raw results come in as we see them.

We're also going to be looking at exit polls with Bill Schneider and Soledad O'Brien coming up after this break.

I mean, just fascinating how Barack Obama has eaten into these core constituencies formally supportive of Senator Clinton. We will talk about that -- a lot more coverage ahead.

Stay tuned.



SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I know how the world works. I know the good and the evil in it. I know how to work with leaders who share our dreams of a freer, safer, and more prosperous world, and how to stand up to those who don't.



COOPER: John McCain winning big in Wisconsin and Washington State tonight. The exit polling shows how he did in Wisconsin.

Details now from CNN's Bill Schneider and Soledad O'Brien, who join me once again.


COOPER: Soledad?

O'BRIEN: All right, Anderson, thanks.

You know, when he was giving his -- his remarks, he said: I'm not the youngest candidate, but I am the most experienced.

And people laughed in the crowd. Let's take a look at why John McCain actually won. One of those reasons is that. I mean, his peers, 65 and older, supported him well.


We showed before that young voters broke very heavily for Barack Obama. Well, take a look at senior voters, 65 and older, in Wisconsin. They were the core of the McCain constituency. They voted 65 percent, nearly two-thirds, for McCain. That's better than 2-1 over Mike Huckabee. Those are the ones who really delivered for McCain, the people who are about his age.

O'BRIEN: Mike Huckabee still in the race, but, when you take a look at this category, most likely to win in November, he's really barely -- barely ranking in there.

SCHNEIDER: He really is. This is the electability question. Who do you think is most likely to beat the Democrat in November? McCain, 82 percent, Mike Huckabee 13, which means people who are voting for Huckabee -- he got 36 percent of the vote, but people who are voting for Huckabee didn't really think of him as a candidate who would win. They were making a statement, most of them. Very few thought he was going to be able to win.

O'BRIEN: How did the vote break down between Republicans and independents?

SCHNEIDER: This is an interesting split, because it's always been believed that John McCain, like Barack Obama, has a lot of appeal to independents.

Well, about three-quarters of the voters in the Wisconsin Republican primary were self-described Republicans. They voted for McCain 58 percent. Keep that figure in mind, about 20 points more than Huckabee, and notice, only 3 percent for Ron Paul.

Now, compare them, 58 percent for McCain, with independents who voted in the Republican primary. Remember, it was an open primary. McCain's vote actually is lower, 47, compared to 58. He did worse with independents.

O'BRIEN: Eleven points worse.

SCHNEIDER: Eleven points worse. Huckabee did about the same. The candidate who did better with independents is Ron Paul, who doesn't really figure very much into this Republican race, but he does do better with independents.

So, it's kind of a myth that John McCain appeals to independents voting in the Republican primary. Independents aren't voting for McCain this year. They did in 2000, not this year. Independents are voting for Barack Obama.

O'BRIEN: All right.

Let's send it right back to Anderson -- Anderson.

COOPER: Soledad, Bill, thanks very much.

The conversation over here has been about Democrats, and a fascinating conversation.

Let's talk a little bit about what Senator Clinton has done wrong, where she may go from here.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I will let them get into the details.

I think I would start with the big picture. Just like many Republicans underestimated John McCain -- Rudy Giuliani's strategy was not just based on waiting in Florida. It was based on the assumption that McCain would crumble and he would not be a factor by the time the race got to Florida. It was a fundamental miscalculation.

The Clinton campaign was not prepared to compete in many of these states that we have gone through in the past two weeks -- Barack is at nine in a row; Hawaii would make it 10 -- in part because their assumption was: This is ours. We will win.

COOPER: That was the assumption made, what, months ago?


KING: Months ago, that, by Super Tuesday, they would have locked up the race, essentially -- my words, not theirs -- nice kid, can't beat us.

He's proven them wrong.


And I think there's also something larger going on, which is that this turned out, or is turning out, to be a big election, about big ideas, big changes. The Hillary Clinton campaign was run by someone who believes in micro-targeting and little ideas...


COOPER: ... Mark Penn.

BORGER: Mark Penn -- cobbling together coalitions from smaller groups and talking about, say, streamlining your medical records or -- or doing...


COOPER: I mean, isn't that how -- how politics has been played of late?

BORGER: But it has. And it's -- yes. It's not that it's -- it's -- it's wrong or it's bad. It's just that, this year, it may turn out to be about something a lot larger than that.

COOPER: Because there's this force that they didn't anticipate?

BORGER: Right, change. And, you know, Hillary -- Hillary Clinton does not represent change in its purest form, because her husband was president of the United States. For better or for worse, she's been around.

COOPER: Certainly in the minds of voters, that is the case.

BORGER: Yes. And so has John McCain, by the way.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: Speaking of big concepts from this election, Barack Obama is going to -- has about 524,000 votes so far. The...

COOPER: In the state of Wisconsin.

TOOBIN: In the state of Wisconsin.

The entire Republican primary has fewer than 400,000 votes. I mean, the turnout between the Democrats and the Republicans, it looks like it's going to be about 2-1 here. Here you have same -- same state, a fairly evenly divided state, very competitive state in the fall. The Democrats are outdrawing Republicans 2-1.

I think that's a big warning s Republicans in the fall. And that's been true in state after state all through this election.

ROLAND MARTIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: This is inside politics. And for the people at home watching, they want to know how...


COOPER: Believe me, if you're up at 11:43 on the East Coast...


COOPER: ... watching us, "American Idol," we ain't.


MARTIN: If they want to know how -- if they want to know how bad this beating was, we haven't gotten a single e-mail all night from the Clinton campaign.

Normally, they're firing e-mails out and talking about strategy, doing spin. No. They're taking this whipping. And I think, when the Obama folks had the no-excuses state, that is probably what this is.

When it comes to strategy and what he did, he had what I'm going to call a national strategy. She wanted to say, you know what? Let me win the big states. We focus on the big states. And, that way, I don't worry about the rest of you.

Obama said, no, I'm going to build the credibility as a national candidate by appealing to all of those Midwestern and Western states.

And, so, that's how I think he's been able to say that, I am more of a national candidate than Clinton is. And, so, that gave him also the confidence of being able to say, you know what? I speak for you in Idaho. I speak for you in Utah, in Montana, in those states, vs. only being concerned about New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts.

COOPER: All right. We're going to have more coming up after this short break, a lot more politics. We want to talk more with our analysts on the other row. No longer call them the deep bench.


COOPER: But we have a lot more of the -- of those results coming up.


COOPER: We will have also "LARRY KING" beginning at 12:00 p.m. East Coast time. That's about 15 minutes away from now.

Let's check in with Larry right now.

Larry, what are you going to be covering?


We will take the baton on this primary night, and check in with our panelists keeping track of the races, the standings, what they all mean. Hawaii's coming in, of course, all coming up on "LARRY KING LIVE" at the top of the hour.

And, by the way, tomorrow night, when we're back at our regular hour, Jon Stewart is our special guest -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right, that should be a great show.

Larry, thanks very much. We will see you in about 15 minutes.

When we come back, more analysis from here. We will also check in Suzanne Malveaux, who somehow pulled the assignment of being in Hawaii tonight.


COOPER: I want to talk to her producer, how she managed that.


COOPER: We will be right back.


COOPER: Democratic caucuses tonight in Hawaii. Barack Obama, of course, was born there, went to high school there, but Hillary Clinton has been pushing hard. Not only has her daughter, Chelsea, been campaigning for her in Hawaii, but Senator Clinton has won the support of labor unions there and Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye. CNN's Suzanne Malveaux is in Honolulu -- Suzanne.


Well, they're going to get down to business in about 10 minutes or so. There are 81 caucus precincts. And this is about over seven islands or so. It is really fascinating to see the turnout. Already, the lines are just around the block. They predict that this is going to be a record-breaking evening here. It is just going to get under way.

And, as you had mentioned before, the home court advantage, home state advantage is for Senator Barack Obama. He grew up here. But, also, this is territory where Senator Clinton did not give up easily. She dispatched Chelsea for three days.

And caucus officials, Democratic officials, say that that really did make a difference. They saw a surge when it came to people asking, how do they participate, how do they vote in the Clinton camp. We also saw Barack Obama's sister Maya. We got a chance to talk to her. She was dispatched in the campaign.

So, neither one of these candidates taking this state for granted. This is 20 delegates that are on the line for this evening. And we are already evening -- they think it's going to break all records, perhaps as much as 40 percent more of those caucus-goers this time around. Clearly, this is going to be a very interesting and exciting evening -- Anderson.

COOPER: And, Suzanne, no doubt, it's an evening you hope lasts a very long time, maybe several days, so that you will be able to stay in Hawaii for a long time.


COOPER: Suzanne, thanks very much for that.

MALVEAUX: Hey, of course, as long as the assignment lasts.


COOPER: Exactly.


COOPER: We will continue to check in with you throughout -- throughout the evening, and also into the early morning.

I'm joined now by Amy Holmes, CNN contributor.

What do you make of what Senator Clinton -- what do you think she's done wrong?

AMY HOLMES, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think one of the original sins leads back to Mark Penn. And that was posing her as the inevitable candidate. He put out this thick memo saying, and all the statistics show that she's going to roll to this nomination. I think that gave them false confidence. And it's made some of the tactical mistakes that other people have been talking about.

Talking about voter turnout -- we have discussed this before Anderson -- back in 1998 (sic), Democratic primary voters were double those of Republican primary voters. In 1998 (sic), we did not elect President Dukakis. So, take that...

COOPER: Don't read too much into the numbers, you're saying.

HOLMES: Don't read too much into that just yet.

COOPER: Leslie Sanchez, Republican strategist?


LESLIE SANCHEZ, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: And, on that point, demographer John Morgan, who's very well respected on both sides of the aisle, has definitely talked about that.

You are going to see two to three times more voters turn out in the general election than you do now. In 2004, you had a lot of people upset about the Iraq war. You know, they were going to come out for Kerry. And, still, he still lost. So, there's definitely a lot of opportunity for independents and Republicans.

The other part is, we talk about this being a change election. That's not new. People knew this was going to be an election about change, coming at the end of a long administration.

The difference is, Barack framed his debate around the narrative, but he also talked about opportunity and hope, as opposed to fear, which was something that Hillary was talking about, fear in the economy.

COOPER: Jamal Simmons?

JAMAL SIMMONS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: You know, it's interesting. We go through all this analysis and we all look at the fine points of this exist poll vs. that one.

At the end of the day, I think people know what it is they're looking for when they show up at the voting booth. They want to know -- you know, I came in looking for a candidate that's going to be about change, something new and different.

Hillary Clinton, for all the best packaging they could try to do, is somebody that people in America are very familiar with. So, I think it was a tough -- it would be a tough campaign for her to try to really go toe to toe with Barack Obama on change, even if she had tried, just because he symbolizes that change in a way that is much more fundamental than she does, based upon who they are.

COOPER: You know, Paul, it's interesting. I do remember doing an interview with Bill Clinton a year ago, and him saying that, you know, he didn't believe that voters really knew who his wife was, and, once they got a chance to see her and in more intimate settings, they would come to know her.

Have they succeeded in that? It doesn't seem like voters have a sense of who this person is.



I mean, I think President Clinton, when he told you that, spoke a very powerful truth. And, yet, this campaign never ran a bio spot. You know, consultants like me always begin by introducing the candidate.

With her, it would have been more important than with someone who was unknown, right? I was calling -- somebody was screaming about Hillary and saying she was too conventional. I think her campaign has been. And she has outperformed her campaign. But her campaign has let her down.

Did they tell anyone that, after getting a Yale law degree, instead of going to Wall Street, she joined the Children's Defense Fund to be an advocate for the poor; instead of taking a traditional political route, she investigated Nixon's corruption in the White House as part of the Watergate Committee? She followed her heart to Arkansas, hardly the path to power, with a guy who -- that they told her had no future.

None of this were we told, right? I mean, she was run as if she were the candidate -- she was -- if she were a corporation, her campaign was ExxonMobil.

COOPER: At this point, though, it seems too late to be trying to reintroduce a candidate.

BEGALA: I think it's probably too late for a bio spot.

There are tactical things that she can and I think probably will try. But I think Gloria's point about missing the fact that this is a big election about big idea -- you know, Isaiah Berlin said there are foxes and hedgehogs, right? The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.

This is a hedgehog election. Barack knows one big thing here, and it's this about change and hope and unity. And that's much more what people are looking, rather than a thousand tiny, little things.

COOPER: I got a little lost as to who's the fox and the hedgehog.


(LAUGHTER) BEGALA: You know, that always screwed me up, but that is a sort of famous...


COOPER: I have got to -- we have got to take a short break.

Our coverage continues, a lot more ahead., you can follow along online.

Stay with us.


COOPER: A reminder: We are awaiting results still from the Hawaii caucuses.

Meanwhile, in Cuba, a political shakeup has made headlines around the world. And there are some other headlines as well.

Erica Hill has a 360 bulletin -- Erica.


We will start off in Cuba, where, today, Cuban leader Fidel Castro announcing he is stepping down after almost a half-century in power. His brother Raul expected to take over as president. President Bush said the move should spark a democratic transition for the communist island nation.

The U.S. Navy may try to shoot down that faulty spy satellite tomorrow. They will try to shoot it down over the Pacific, just west of Hawaii. The Navy has already warns and planes to stay clear of the area starting at 4:30 p.m. local time. The goal here, eliminate the satellite's toxic fuel, which U.S. officials say could actually kill or injure people if it reaches Earth.

And former first lady Nancy Reagan out of the hospital tonight, two days after falling at her California home -- she did not break her hip. And we're told she has now resumed her daily activities -- Anderson.

COOPER: Well, that's certainly some good news for her...

HILL: It is.

COOPER: ... and for all -- her entire family.

Our special coverage continues after a short break. We will be right back.


COOPER: Another big night for Barack Obama and John McCain.

That is it for us. Right now, a special edition of "LARRY KING LIVE."

And, to borrow a phrase, Mr. King, it is yours.


KING: I know where you got that.