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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Obama Wins North Carolina; Clinton Narrowly Wins Indiana Primary
Aired May 7, 2008 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: (INAUDIBLE) continues here in just one moment.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. We're here at the CNN Election Center. It's late into the night getting toward the morning, and right now we're watching what's happening in Indiana, a very, very dramatic race.
I'm Wolf Blitzer at the CNN Election Center.
Right now North Carolina, it's over with. Barack Obama has clearly won very decisively, very impressively in North Carolina. 100 percent of the precincts have now reported. He has 56 percent. Hillary Clinton's 42 percent, an impressive win in North Carolina.
But in Indiana right now, 95 percent of the precincts have reported. She is clinging to a slight lead, 51 percent to 48 percent. If we zoom in on the actual numbers as they stand right now, we can show you how tight this race is 606,497 for Hillary Clinton, 589,888 for Barack Obama. That is not a huge lead for Hillary Clinton. Five percent of the precincts still remain outstanding.
And in Lake County in the northwestern part of Indiana, that's where the drama is. Only about half -- 50 percent or so of the precincts in Lake County have reported. And we don't know what the outcome is going to be.
Theoretically, this could still go either way even though she still has that slight lead. It may be a situation, maybe a situation where we won't know for some time who is the winner in Indiana, although, as I say, she maintains a slight lead.
I want to walk over to CNN's John King who is watching this contest for us. What a dramatic story it's been in Indiana for the past hours.
As we look at Lake County, he has a lead there, but there's a lot to be counted.
JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's a remarkable drama, Wolf.
If you flashback to just after the polls closed at 6:00 in most of the state, 7:00 Eastern for some of these counties in the Central time zone, early results had Clinton up about 10 percentage points. We said we had to be cautious. They did come in Marion County. We're up to about 98 percent there. A strength for Barack Obama, he is the dark blue on the map. You see him winning 67 percent to 33 percent there.
As he started to post big numbers in Indianapolis, smaller college towns of South Bend and Bloomington, the question became, what would happen up here in the second largest county in the state, the county with close proximity to Barack Obama's home base right here in Chicago, the question became, could he do well enough in Lake County which is anchored in the city of Gary, Indiana, large African American community there, could he do well enough to overcome the lead?
We are now up to 56 percent of the vote. It took hours to get any votes at all out of Lake County. We got 28 percent, and they doubled that up to 56 percent. You see the margin as we wait for the determinative 44 percent left. It could swing the state of Indiana depending on the percentages. Barack Obama, 65 percent to 35 percent in a part of the state we knew he needed to win. The question now is when the rest of that vote comes in, Wolf, will he continue to hold that margin, 65 percent for the county. If he does, there's enough votes up there to erase a little shy of 17,000 votes, Senator Clinton now leads statewide.
BLITZER: And I was trying to understand the mayor of Gary, Indiana, when he said the reason these votes took so long to be counted, to be reported to the state was because they had, what, 11,000 or so absentee ballots. Maybe I was missing something. But I still don't understand, John, maybe we could go back to the mayor right now, and why they couldn't tell us what the votes were, the actual votes that were cast today as opposed to the absentee ballots.
Mayor, if you're still there, maybe you could try one more time to explain to me and to a lot of our viewers who simply don't understand why it took four or five hours to at least bring some of these votes up to speed in Lake County.
MAYOR RUDY CLAY, GARY, INDIANA: Well, I think I've explained it four or five times here. And I don't know how I can say it any differently.
BLITZER: I know it took a long time, Mayor. Excuse me for interrupting. I know it took a long time and it's taking a long time to count those 11,000 absentee ballots and you've never had as many absentee ballots in Lake County. What about the other ballots, the ballots that were cast on this day?
CLAY: You know, we've gone over this three or four times. I could repeat it again, but the fact of the matter is, that we are counting the votes here. They will be counted properly, and the numbers will be given to the community.
BLITZER: But do you understand, Mayor, why it's taking so long?
CLAY: As I said before, because of the number of early voters, 11,000 on Monday, and we went to the polls on Tuesday. BLITZER: I know that, but what about the ballots that were cast today? Why couldn't those have been released in Lake County the way they were released in all the other counties in Indiana?
CLAY: Well, you know, I can't speak for the other counties. But as I said before, we're releasing the numbers as they come in.
BLITZER: Maybe Mayor McDermott of Hammond nearby to Gary, do you understand what's going on in your county, Mayor?
MAYOR TOM MCDERMOTT, HAMMOND, INDIANA: No, I'm frustrated, I'll be honest with you. It looks -- the appearance of impropriety is high in this case, and it's unfortunate. I can tell you that the machine votes, we knew at 7:30 what the machine votes were in Hammond and East Chicago and Whiting and Maryville and Shareville and Crown Point. We knew the machine votes at 7:30.
It's midnight and we don't have any information, and it's frustrating. It's frustrating for me and it makes it look as though something corrupt may be happening, and it's unfortunate because Lake County is a nice place and it doesn't need this negative PR.
BLITZER: Is there recent history of hanky-panky in Lake County?
MCDERMOTT: I'm not going to pick on where I'm from. I'm proud to be from Lake County. And there is hanky-panky in politics all across the state of Indiana, all across the United States.
I'm not going to dig into Lake County's past. But I can tell you that this is -- it looks improper, what's happening. I'm not saying anything improper is happening, but it looks improper, and that's the problem I have is we don't need this kind of negative exposure in Lake County, Indiana. And I know that there are good people working on the county election board. I know Mayor Clay very well. He's an outspoken Obama supporter. I'm an outspoken Clinton supporter.
Release the numbers, Mayor Clay, because this is ridiculous. It's midnight.
BLITZER: Mayor Clay, are you still with us?
CLAY: I'm still here.
BLITZER: Good. Do you want to respond to what Mayor McDermott of Hammond said?
CLAY: First of all, we have some of the best people working in Lake County, Indiana, in our elections department that you have anywhere in the world. Not only that, we have Democrats and Republicans counting these ballots here. There is no hanky-panky going on here in Lake County, Indiana.
BLITZER: What about the machine vote, Mayor? The early voting is done on machines, isn't it?
MCDERMOTT: What about the machine votes? The early votings are done on the machine.
BLITZER: That's a print-out.
CLAY: It's the early voting stopped yesterday at noon, 11,000 people. And we started our regular voting today. You can't count 11,000 ballots in a few minutes here. So we're doing it methodically. We're not going to disenfranchise anybody in Lake County, Indiana, and we will have the votes. And when the votes are counted, everybody will know.
MCDERMOTT: I was election commissioner today, and we would walk into precincts. And I'd say how many votes do you guys have here? They would push a button. They'd say, 180, Mayor. I said thanks. They'd push a button. They didn't tell me who got how many votes. What I'm saying is, this is a computer. How easy is it to turn over a computer so the media and everybody knows what's going on? That's the frustrating part of this, Mayor Clay.
BLITZER: Mayor, you want to respond to that, Mayor Clay?
CLAY: Well, first of all, yes, we were getting the number of people who voted, but you can't and will not know the people who they voted for until you count up all the votes. That's what we're doing here.
MCDERMOTT: But it's a computer.
CLAY: That's what we're doing, counting them up.
BLITZER: So let me just try to move this forward, Mayor Clay. When do you think we will get the rest of the vote in Lake County?
CLAY: Very, very soon. They're counting them as we speak. They're counting them as we speak, Republicans and Democrats.
BLITZER: All right.
CLAY: Hardworking Lake County people.
BLITZER: I think we're getting some more votes.
John, what are we seeing?
KING: Wolf, suddenly jumped from 56 percent of the vote up to 98 percent of the vote. The numbers did not change dramatically, and we'll try to get the exact information, that what came in late was from the more rural areas where we have fewer people. This has jumped dramatically. We have jumped from 58 percent to 98 percent in Lake County. And you see Barack Obama winning 55-45.
BLITZER: Which is not as dramatic as it was.
KING: He was winning 65-35. The votes that came in were more for Senator Clinton.
Let's pull out to see what the impact is statewide. We are now up to 99 percent reporting. Senator Clinton's lead has come down 22,000 votes by my rough math, her lead has come down.
BLITZER: It looks like she's going to be able to squeak through at least based on 99 percent of the votes. That looks like it's going to be difficult for that gap to be overcome by him.
KING: That would be a tough gap to overcome now.
Remember, some of the votes outstanding are down here in Marion County where Obama is winning. So it is not out of the realm of possibilities, but with 98 percent in, we take a big jump there, and I want to switch over here to look at Monroe County. 98 percent there.
The places that are still out are places where Barack Obama is doing well with the one exception of Union County right here, a very small rural county along the Ohio border, but surrounded by other rural counties.
Let's just show you, by way of example, this is a slightly bigger county, Wayne County, Senator Clinton won almost 60-40 there. We come over here, 68-32, 69-31, so every expectation would be, Wolf, that she would carry Union County based on what has happened in the area, a relatively small amount of votes is what you're likely to get.
As we come back now, that has come down, 22,000 votes at 99 percent reporting. Not impossible. We have to go through every one of these now and look to see where there are votes out but that big, dramatic change up here where you went from 58 percent to 98 percent without moving the numbers here dramatically and, in fact, Senator Clinton shrinking Obama's percentage in that county. That was a dramatic, big input of votes.
BLITZER: I want to go back to Mayor Clay, the mayor of Gary, Indiana. You just saw that vote jump. We got 98 percent of the vote now in Lake County. You were saying that we would be getting more of those numbers, more of the vote coming in, and they have come in.
BLITZER: The gap in favor, Mayor Clay, in favor of Barack Obama, did not hold as it had earlier when about 50 percent of the vote is in. And it looks right now that she is positioned to squeak by -- squeak by in Indiana, although all the votes have not been counted. There's still 1 percent to 2 percent of those precincts remaining. I wonder if you want to react to what we just saw.
CLAY: All we can do in Lake County is count our votes and turn them over to the community, and what will be, will be. And as you said before, she squeaks by, and we'll have to see when all the numbers come in.
BLITZER: Mayor McDermott of nearby Hammond, what do you think?
MCDERMOTT: I think it's a great, tough victory for Senator Hillary Clinton. She came into northwest Indiana, which is senator Barack Obama's literally his house, he lives less than 15 minutes from where I live and where I'm the mayor of. And Hillary Clinton came into Barack Obama's backyard and beat him in a state that she was probably supposed to lose, in a state that hasn't voted for a Democrat in 40 years. She did a great job. She campaigned hard, and I'm proud of her.
BLITZER: All right. I want to thank both of these mayors from Lake County, Indiana. And I want both of you to stand by for a second.
All right. With almost all of the vote now actually counted in the state of Indiana, we can now project that Hillary Clinton will win -- will win the state of Indiana. It's taken us hours and hours to do this, but Hillary Clinton, we now project, will be the winner in Indiana. Virtually 100 percent of the ballots have now been counted. You can take a look right now, and it holds firm, 51 percent for Clinton, 49 percent for Barack Obama.
If we want to take a look at the actual numbers right now, you can see how close it is, 637,942. It's a narrow win, a squeaker for Clinton, but it is a win. She wanted to win in Indiana. She needed desperately to win in Indiana, especially given the very decisive loss she suffered in North Carolina earlier.
Hillary Clinton, the winner in Indiana. In other words, there's a split decision tonight. Hillary Clinton wins in Indiana narrowly. Barack Obama wins a much more impressively decisively in North Carolina. But a win is a win, John King, as they say.
And let's explain to our viewers now. I'll walk over to you, how she managed to do it. We had been watching Lake County so closely. Lake County finally came in and the votes are tallied there. Barack Obama won, but not by enough to overcome the losses he had suffered in so many other counties in the state.
KING: The dynamic, Wolf, in some ways very familiar to what happened next door in the state of Ohio. Remember there Barack Obama won in some of the big population centers. But Senator Clinton racked up impressive and huge margins in the more rural communities.
That is what you see here. The light blue is Senator Clinton. She won the sweep across most of the state of Indiana running up some pretty big numbers. You come down here to Evansville, you look down there, 52-48, start moving around, the more rural you get, the higher the Clinton number tends to go in these counties. Not a lot of population in these places, but running up big margins out in rural Indiana.
What did that do? It allowed her to offset the results that came in later in Bloomington, Barack Obama wins, not a huge population center, the big concentration of the population right here in Marion County, Indianapolis, Barack Obama winning huge there, 67 percent to 33 percent.
The drama we waited on all note, the county closest to his political base in Chicago, Lake County, took hours to get any results. First one big chunk, then another big chunk. Seemed to show it was possible Obama could make up the difference. When the last big chunk came in Wolf, Barack Obama winning 55 percent to 45 percent in Lake County, closest to his home base here in Chicago.
But because Senator Clinton, in the later returns, narrowed that gap, that allowed her to protect that statewide lead. It is only there about 23,000 votes. But it is 51-49 percent with 99 percent in. Senator Clinton holding on narrowly as the dramatic count comes in.
BLITZER: Fifty-five to forty-five in Lake County for Obama to have carried the state. He needed at least the 65 or 70 percent margin in Lake County in order to win to overcome what -- that small margin we see there, about 23,000 votes. Enough for Hillary Clinton to go on and carry the state, although we have to remind our viewers, given the way Democrats divide up the delegates in Indiana, it's not going to make a huge difference whether she won by 20,000 or lost by 20,000, in terms of the allocation of the delegates, they do it on a proportionate basis. It's really going to be about the same.
KING: It will be a roughly 50/50 split of the delegates. I say roughly because what we need to do is overlap this with the congressional district lines, they split much of it based on the vote in the congressional districts. The congressional districts here in Indianapolis, that would be Barack Obama. There's another one anchored right up here, most likely Barack Obama's because of his win in South Bend. There's another one over here, Barack Obama. But the other congressional districts out here, advantage, Clinton.
So roughly, when you get a vote this close based on the Democratic rules, you can, in most circumstances, say the delegates will be split somewhere along those lines. So an important win for Senator Clinton.
On the bigger question, Wolf, that we've dealt with all along and I'll quickly just bring it up, the delegate map. This is an easier way to understand the delegate math here. Senator Obama still is out here closer to the finish line than Clinton. So an important win for her in Indiana but still very daunting math of trying to catch up.
BLITZER: Very daunting but neither candidate has reached that magic they need to guarantee the Democratic presidential nomination.
I want to also go back to North Carolina for a second. She'll have the bragging rights, the political bragging rights of saying it's been a split decision that he wins North Carolina, she wins Indiana. It's a very impressive win that he achieved in North Carolina.
KING: A sweeping win, 56 percent 42. He is the dark blue here again. He won in the major population centers, Charlotte, Winston- Salem, Greensboro, Raleigh, Fayetteville, wins in the old tobacco county. Senator Clinton winning along the coast, retirement villages here. That has been a base of hers in the west in these rural counties, she did very well.
The most significant thing about this, Wolf, remember in Pennsylvania, Senator Clinton made up about 200,000 votes in the popular vote contest. One of the arguments that Barack Obama is making to the superdelegates is I have more pledge delegates. I'm winning the popular vote. She had cut that by about 200,000 in Pennsylvania. Look at the margin tonight. Barack Obama essentially erasing the gains Senator Clinton made in Pennsylvania, taking you back in the popular vote contest to advantage Obama.
BLITZER: All right. So now we know, Hillary Clinton wins Indiana narrowly. Barack Obama wins North Carolina. More impressively, you can watch all of the numbers still coming in at CNNPolitics.com. We've got a lot more information.
The next contest next Tuesday in West Virginia and then presumably this entire process will continue will one of these two candidates gets that magic number. We're going to take a quick break. Much more of our coverage including reaction from Clinton's supporters and Obama's supporters. We're also going to hear from what these two candidates actually said earlier tonight. Stay with us.
BLITZER: Hillary Clinton, we now project, is the winner in Indiana, a narrow win for Clinton, but an important one on this day where she did lose in North Carolina to Barack Obama.
I want to walk over to Soledad O'Brien and Bill Schneider. They've been looking at the exit polls and trying to understand this narrow win for Clinton in Indiana. It's an important win because at least she can say they split these two contests.
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: As you called it, a real squeaker. John broke it down by counties. He broke it down by the delegate map but we wanted to take a closer look and really see why did she win, and why was it so close when you can narrow it down to one category? At the end of the night, early morning, it's one category that made all the difference in the world for her. And drum roll, please, what was that category?
WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: We know what it is. It was not the vast majority of voters who are under 65-years- old. That was 86 percent of the voters, almost everybody. They, in Indiana, voted for Barack Obama 53-47. It wasn't them.
Who was it? Let's take a look at seniors, voters 65 and older. They voted 69 percent for Hillary Clinton. Better than 2-1 over Barack Obama. Ladies and gentlemen, the reason Hillary Clinton eked out that narrow squeaker victory in Indiana was seniors. The rest of the state, people under 65, they were Obama voters. It was seniors who delivered this victory for her.
O'BRIEN: And you can literally look through the exit polls and see that is the one category where she knocked the ball out of the park.
BLITZER: That's been consistent in many of these states, Bill, that she does better with older voters than he does.
SCHNEIDER: This is a case where the older voters and the older voters all by themselves delivered her a victory. BLITZER: You can say any of those categories delivered the victory. But in this particular case, those seniors came through for her in Indiana. She desperately needed them, and she managed to squeak out that victory.
SCHNEIDER: They were distinctively different from the rest of the electorate. I mean 69 percent for Clinton. The rest of the electorate was voting 47 percent for Clinton. This was a big shift. She has a real appeal to those seniors who delivered for her big time. A lot of talk about new voters, first-time voters, young voters, but it was the seniors who made the difference.
BLITZER: Historically those seniors they vote in which bigger percentages than younger voters. All right, guys. Thanks very much.
We're going to go back to Anderson Cooper, get more analysis, Anderson, on what has been an important night for both of these candidates.
COOPER: It certainly is. And gosh darn it, we need more analysis because we haven't had enough so far. I know. And I know everyone's bursting out with new information.
BLITZER: We must fill --
COOPER: We're going to fill the analysis. For viewers who want more than just analysis, we'll also be replaying some of what Hillary Clinton had to say as well as some of what Barack Obama had to say. Interesting messages from both candidates. We'll play that for you shortly. Just a little taste of analysis from Gloria Borger.
GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: A little bit more of analysis.
COOPER: A little morsel.
BORGER: One thing, Anderson, in looking, again, through these exit polls, there is a clear correlation between which candidate a voter believed was better on the economy and the candidate they voted for. So if I to bet, I would bet these candidates continuing on, as they both will, no doubt, will be emphasizing economic themes as they head into states like West Virginia.
COOPER: People say that is the number one issue. We heard from Barack Obama tonight --
COOPER: -- the first part of his speech was about the economy.
BORGER: Right. So I don't think we've heard the end of this gas tax argument. And we'll be hearing more arguments about who is best equipped to handle the economy and to help people like you.
COOPER: Earlier Carl Bernstein said he did not think the gas tax argument worked in Clinton's favor. Do you think so, Roland?
ROLAND MARTIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I think it did because first and foremost, you had the back-and-forth between her and Senator Barack Obama in terms of does it hurt? Does it help? It also allowed her to further define him, as she chooses to do so, as an elitist, out of touch. He used the gas tax to his advantage saying she's typical Washington.
This is a dogfight. These are two great candidates who appeal to two different constituencies and they go at them regardless as we move toward. I think we're going to see a tie.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: I think the gas tax was a total bomb for her. I think it was a failure. This is a -- I know. That's why I'm aware of that. Barack Obama had the worst two weeks of his campaign, Reverend Wright, you know, dominating the airwaves. And in spite of that, he comes away with a huge victory in North Carolina, essentially a tie in Indiana when Hillary Clinton devoted her entire campaign to this gas tax thing, and I think it didn't work with voters.
I don't know why it didn't work. Maybe it's the fact that not one economist in the entire United States supported it, which I think is a pretty damning indictment of it. Or maybe Obama --
BORGER: Speaking of, the House didn't support it either.
COOPER: You want to link yourself with economists.
TOOBIN: I don't hold with that book learning anyway.
MARTIN: It allowed her to further solidify herself as being the candidate who is so focused on the economy. OK? She did win Indiana. 22,000 votes, no matter what you say, delegate-wise, it will be a wash. Her response will be we think we're going to win North Carolina.
COOPER: Mark Halperin made the point on my show last night that both campaigns were able to get something out of that gas tax holiday.
BORGER: Absolutely. They both made a great argument. He thinks it's an argument because he's the truth teller. And he's not going to pander to you. And she thinks it's a good argument for her campaign because people understand that she cares about it.
TOOBIN: Well, that's what they said, but look at the results tonight. Tonight is a bad news night for Hillary Clinton. After devoting your entire campaign to the gas tax and then having bad news, that, to me, says it's a bad idea.
COOPER: We are going to take a short break. When we come back, we will have the comments made by Hillary Clinton earlier tonight as well as by Barack Obama. Stay tuned. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
COOPER: And welcome back to our continuing coverage and our coverage continues online, CNNPolitics.com, as always. We want to play large chunks from Barack Obama from earlier tonight as well as from Senator Hillary Clinton. First the comments made by Senator Barack Obama.
Let's listen in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BARACK OBAMA, (D-IL) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Somewhere along the line, between all the bickering and the influenced peddling and the game playing of the last few decades, Washington and Wall Street have lost touch with these core values. These American values. And while I honor John McCain's service to his country, his ideas for America are out of touch with these core values. His plans for the future of continuing a war that has not made us safer, of continuing George Bush's economic policies that he claims have made great progress; these are nothing more than the failed policies of the past.
His plan to win in November appears to come from the very same playbook that his side has used time after time in election after election. Yes, we know what's coming. I'm not naive. We've already seen it. The same names and labels they always pin on everyone who doesn't agree with all their ideas. The same efforts to distract us from the issues that affect our lives by pouncing on every gaffe and association and fake controversy in the hopes that the media will play along. The attempts to play on our fears and exploit our differences to turn us against each other for political gain, to slice and dice this country into red states and blue states, blue collar and white collar, white, black, brown, young, old, rich, poor.
This is the race we expect no matter whether it's myself or Senator Clinton who is the nominee. The question is not what kind of campaign they will run. It's what kind of campaign we will run. It's what we will do to make this year different. You see, I didn't get into this race thinking that I could avoid this kind of politics, but I am running for president because this is the time to end it. We will -- we will end it -- we will end it this time not because I'm perfect. I think we know at this phase of the campaign that I am not.
We will end it this time not by duplicating the same tactics and the same strategies as the other side because that will lead us down the same path of polarization and of gridlock. We will end it by telling the truth. We will end it by telling the truth forcefully, repeatedly, confidently and by trusting that the American people will embrace the need for change, even if it's coming from an imperfect messenger. Because that's how we -- that's -- because that's how we've always changed this country. Not from the top down but from the bottom up.
When you, the American people, decide that the stakes are too high and the challenges are too great, the other side can label and name-call all they want, but I trust the American people to recognize that it is not surrender to end the war in Iraq so that we can rebuild our military and go after al Qaeda's leaders. I trust the American people to understand that it is not weakness but wisdom to talk not just to our friends but to our enemies like Roosevelt did and Kennedy did and Truman did.
I trust the American people to realize that while we don't need big government, we do need a government that stands up for families who are being tricked out of their homes by Wall Street predators, a government who stands up for the middle class by giving them a tax break, a government that ensures that no American will ever lose their life savings just because their child gets sick. Security and opportunity, compassion and prosperity aren't liberal values, they are not conservative values, they are American values, and that is what we are fighting for in this election.
Most of all, I trust the American people's desire to no longer be defined by differences. Because no matter where I've been in this country, whether it was in the cornfields of Iowa or the textile mills of the Carolinas, the streets of San Antonio or the foothills of Georgia, I've found that while we may have different stories, we hold common hopes. We may not look the same or come from the same place, but we want to move in the same direction, towards a better future for our children and our grandchildren. That's why I'm in this race.
I love this country too much to see it divided and distracted at this critical moment in history. I believe in our ability to perfect this nation because it's the only reason I'm standing here today. I know the promise of America because I've lived it. Michelle has lived it. You have lived it. It is the light of opportunity that led my father across an ocean. It's the founding ideals that the flag draped over my father's coffin. It is life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It's the simple truth I learned all those years ago when I worked in the shadow of all those shuttered steel mills on the south side of Chicago.
That in this country, justice can be won against the greatest odds. Hope can find its way back from the darkest of corners. And when we are told that we cannot bring about the change that we seek, we answer with one voice. Yes, we can. So, North Carolina and America, don't ever forget that this election is not about me or any candidate. Don't ever forget that this campaign is about you. It's about your hopes. It's about your dreams. It's about your struggles. It's about your aspirations.
It's about securing your portion of the American dream. Don't ever forget that we have a choice in this country that we can choose not to be divided, that we can choose not to be afraid, that we can still choose this moment to finally come together and solve the problems we've talked about all those other years and all those other elections. This time can be different than all the rest. This time we can face down those who say our road is too long, that our climb is too steep, and that we can no longer achieve the change that we seek.
This is our time to answer the call that so many generations of Americans have answered before, by insisting that by hard work and by sacrifice, the American dream will endure. Thank you. Thank you, North Carolina. May God bless you and the United States of America? Thank you. Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Barack Obama from earlier this evening. We're here with David Gergen and our panel. A very strong speech, no doubt about it, and some new themes, at least new emphasis on themes.
DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Very much so, Anderson.
This is a man, after all, who has not won a major primary in almost two months. And he seemed on the defensive. He has seemed a little stale. This put life back in his campaign.
COOPER: I think earlier you said he found his voice.
GERGEN: He found his voice in this speech again tonight. He had been so much on the defensive. She had the momentum. And this is the first time, you know three or four times she's had to hold off him when he's been charging. This time she was charging at him. And finally he was the one who held her off. And I think that gave him this sense of confidence tonight. He seemed much more himself tonight, much more like the early Obama than the person we've seen here in the last eight weeks or so.
COOPER: Do you agree with that?
ALEX CASTELLANOS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I think you saw a very big Barack Obama, the one we saw earlier in the campaign. You know, it brings you an interesting choice I think that Hillary Clinton had just a few weeks ago when Obama was down, when he was getting hit with Reverend Wright, his lowest moment, she had surged up five points in the polls ahead in Indiana. She had a choice.
She could have done what Obama did tonight. She could have gotten big, more presidential, less political, and she could have said that's wrong what they're doing for Barack Obama. We can't stand for that. Instead she got more political, more aggressive, and I think her instincts led her the wrong way. It may have been the biggest decision of the campaign, and I don't think it worked out for her.
LESLIE SANCHEZ, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Two points, even if you go back to New Hampshire, I think the strategy was high road, long haul. Basically neutralize Barack Obama Super Tuesday. That didn't happen. Showed she had a lot more vulnerabilities than people expected. But people make so much about North Carolina. I mean, we anticipated that Barack Obama, especially because of the large African-American vote, that he would do well there. I don't think you can discount that, especially since --
COOPER: Not that big.
SANCHEZ: Not that big. That is very fair.
GERGEN: That is a couple hundred votes.
SANCHEZ: That's a very fair point, but you can't discount the impact.
COOPER: We've got to take a break. We'll hear from the rest of our panel and also from Senator Clinton, a big chunk from her speech coming up.
COOPER: Just before the break we heard from Senator Barack Obama. Now let's hear from Senator Clinton earlier tonight in Indianapolis.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I know that people -- people are watching this race and they're wondering, I win, he wins, I win, he wins. It's so close. And I think that says a lot about how excited and passionate our supporters are and how intent so many Americans are to really taking their country back. But I can assure you, as I have said on many occasions that no matter what happens, I will work for the nominee of the Democratic Party because we must win in November.
And I know -- I know that Senator Obama feels the same way because we have been on this campaign trail now for a long time. And we know how desperately people want to see a change. And it will not be a change if the Republicans keep the White House. It will be more of the same, something that no one, no matter what political party you may be, can afford. It is time for all of us to recognize what is at stake in this election, not just for Democrats, as we decide who will be our nominee, but for all Americans.
You know, the soldiers and the veterans that I meet, they always say to me, promise you'll take care of my buddies. They rarely ask for themselves. And they need a president who will take care of them. And when I talk with the people who come to rallies and events like this, very often it's with a bit of hesitation that they tell me they've lost their job. They've lost their health care. They can't afford to go to college. And it just breaks my heart because when I think about the America that I grew up in, the future was unlimited.
The potential was there for all of us, if we were willing to work hard and do our part. So this journey that we're on together is one that has been a blessing for me. Because I know what this country has meant to me, and I know what it still means to all of you. It is now our responsibility to ensure that it will always mean the same for our children and our grandchildren. I will never -- I will never give up on you and on your families and on your dreams and on your future. And I want to thank the people of Indiana for your hospitality and your vote of confidence, and I especially want to thank your wonderful Senator Evan Bayh.
Evan is an outstanding leader for this state and for America. He's been your governor. He's now your senator. He's someone whom I look to for advice and counsel. He's worked tirelessly on this campaign. And I am so grateful to him and his wonderful wife, Susan. I also want to thank the people of North Carolina who were so hospitable and gracious to us. And I especially want to thank Mike and Mary Easley for their friendship and support. Governor Easley is a visionary leader for North Carolina, and we had so much fun campaigning in the Tar Heel state.
And while we are celebrating tonight, I would like to take a moment to express my deepest sympathies to the victims of the devastating cyclone in Burma. Our hearts and prayers go out to the people there. And I call upon the junta that has ruled Burma for so many years to please let the rest of the world in to help. This is a time when everyone should be there to lift up those who were affected by this deadly storm.
And I want to thank all of my friends who have worked so hard. I want to thank my friends in labor. I want to thank my staff, my volunteers and my supporters. And I especially want to thank my family for their incredible love and support, Bill and Chelsea. You know, people ask us all the time, well, how do you keep going? We love getting out and meeting people. We love having a chance to be with all of you. And didn't Chelsea do a great job? And I know a lot of people enjoyed seeing my husband again out on the campaign trail.
So now -- now it is on to West Virginia, Kentucky, Oregon and the other states where people are eager to have their voices heard. For too long we've let places like West Virginia and Kentucky slip out of the Democratic column. Well, it's time for that to change. These next primaries are another test. I'm going to work my heart out in West Virginia and Kentucky this month, and I intend to win them in November in the general election.
You know, I want -- I want the people in these upcoming states to know we're going to work hard to reach out to all of you because we want you to know that the Democratic Party is your party. And a Democratic president will be good for you. So please, come join us in our campaign. And I am running to be the president of all of America, north, south, east and west and everywhere in between. That's why it is so important that we count the votes of Florida and Michigan.
You know, it seems it would be a little strange to have a nominee chosen by 48 states. We've got a long road ahead, but we're going to keep fighting on that path for America because America is worth fighting for. And we believe in America's potential and possibility that has so ignited hope and the dreams of people throughout our country and around the world. You know, people who left everything behind in order to on come here and be part of this great experiment in democracy, dissidents and dreamers on every continent who look to us and our ideals for their hope and inspiration.
All those around the world who wept for us and prayed for us on September 11 who laid wreaths and flew flags at half mast and printed that unforgettable headline, "We are all Americans," that is the reach of America's embrace, through time and place and history. And I know we can once again open our arms to the world. We can, once again, be the can-do nation, a nation that defies the odds and greets the future with optimism and hope. There isn't anything America can't do. Once we make up our minds to start acting like Americans again. And that is exactly what we intend to do.
Thank you and God bless you and God blesses America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Senator Hillary Clinton from earlier this evening in Indianapolis.
What did you make of the speech, Carl?
CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I think the world has changed in the faces of Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton all represented that change, that you could see it. And on top of that, underneath is still that determination to fight. And you heard it in Lanny Davis, and you also heard it in Harold Dickey today saying, look, there might be another dark secret in Obama's closet.
And Hillary Clinton is running out of friends. And she has two ways to go in the Democratic Party, and that is to find a way, OK, if I win the votes and I really win, fine. But if she goes through this thing in trench warfare till the very end, there are superdelegates in the leadership of the party that after tonight is ready to shut her down.
GERGEN: I think, Anderson, what we're going to see is the Obama camp will now start bringing out superdelegates. I think they've got a catch of them they've been holding in reserve, waiting for a moment like this. And they'll start hitting tomorrow.
COOPER: The reason to bring them out is --
GERGEN: What they want to do, know that they've got West Virginia, they don't want to have this now depend on West Virginia and Kentucky and the like. What they want to do is create a sense of inevitability about their own candidate. The superdelegates are starting to move. The dam is breaking. No matter what happens in these primaries, much less important the fact that the superdelegates are starting to swing his way, and that, in turn, will try to put pressure on her.
COOPER: So when you say bring out, they're going to have press conferences with superdelegates who have decided for Obama?
GERGEN: Yes. I would assume they'll have three, four, five tomorrow and three, four, five the next day, that kind of thing. They'll then try to break off some of the superdelegates just as they did in Indiana which made a difference, it turned out, I think, and the vote in Indiana to help tighten that up. Get some people to break off. What they want to do, though, is change the narrative away from just the primaries which are likely to split.
There's six left. Change the narrative on he's on the path now. You're already seeing headlines on the blogosphere, presumptive nominee. I think it's within his grasp now. You have journalists talking about that. I think that's their plan now and to focus a little more on Washington and where the superdelegates are or may vote.
COOPER: And if you're Hillary Clinton, do you talk a lot about Michigan, do you talk a lot about Florida, and do you try to hammer that issue?
GERGEN: I think that's the interesting question, how hard is she going to press that case? And if she fails on May 31 to come up with the perfect solution, are they going to be sort of sore losers over that? Are they going to claim, in effect, they were robbed? I think that would not be in her interest to do that, but I am sure there are some people in her camp who will try that. But I do think -- what I think is emerging at the end of the night, and a lot of the reporting now in the newspapers for tomorrow, is the Clinton people around her are expressing disappointment about the night. They had hoped to really win Indiana.
COOPER: Despite what they are saying publicly on television?
GERGEN: Yes. And they had hoped to win big in Indiana and narrow that lead down in North Carolina to maybe five points or so. It came out just the reverse. You know, they know. Again, looking -- just watching Chelsea tonight on the replay, you could see the anguish in her face.
I think the Clinton's need to know the game is almost up. Sure they try to play out, and sure they are going to play it out. And I think she's valiant in the way she stands up. I just can't imagine the intestinal fortitude it took for her to give the kind of speech she gave last night.
But even so, he's now got the momentum back. And what I think he'll try to do is create a momentum through the superdelegates.
COOPER: But no doubt, Alex, in your mind, as a Republican strategist, that it goes out at least through June 3 -- all the primaries.
CASTELLANOS: Ordinarily you would expect that she might take an opportunity for a gracious exit as -- since there really doesn't seem to be a path forward here. And now would be the time to do that. The more time she can give the party nominee to regroup and put the party together, the better off the entire party would be. But I'm not sure that -- that's her decision, to come to terms with it.
Her strength works against her. The woman you saw tonight you have to admire for her strength in adversity to stand there and, you know, keep plowing through it --
BERNSTEIN: She doesn't believe she's lost it, yet. We must keep focused on that.
GERGEN: That very strength keeps her in the race.
BERNSTEIN: It's not there yet. LESLIE SANCHEZ, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: It's admirable. I mean, as a contender, as a political candidate, it's incredibly impressive. There's no doubt about it.
And I do want to go back to one point. I mean, 60 percent of her voters were really concerned about the Reverend Wright issue. That is something that cannot be taken lightly. I think it's -- as we get more into the detail of the northwestern part of the state of Indiana, it's going to be interesting where that breakdown came. And I do thing she's going to have a compelling case she's not going to walk away from.
I tease that it's going to take the jaws of life to get her to quit this campaign, but it's going to be interesting tonight what kind of money she raises. She'd going to try to show she has momentum and is still competitive. She'll win a couple more of those races, and it's hard to say. This could turn all around again.
GERGEN: There are reports that she's lent her campaign more money. And we'll know tomorrow. There are some reports floating around now on the Internet on that.
COOPER: All right. Let's check in with Wolf Blitzer, who's standing by with John King.
BLITZER: All right. Thanks very much, Anderson.
I'm going to just walk over to John, as we take a look at what the impact of what has happened tonight really is, when you start taking a look at the all-important delegate count, right now.
Assuming that Michigan and Florida are not going to be in the equation -- and the Clinton people want Michigan and Florida to be in the equation -- you still need 2025 to be the Democratic presidential nominee. Right now, neither of these candidates has 2025.
KING: They do not. Neither has that magic number, Wolf. That magic number is out here right now, but you can see we haven't allocated all of the delegates tonight, but we're making some progress in doing that. And what we're finding is, based on the results tonight, Barack Obama is inching closer to that finish line.
Let's take a look at this from a different perspective, because this is now very significant: we have about 30 more delegates from tonight to allocate still. Let's, for the sake of argument, split them about evenly. Let's take a few and put them up there -- that's too many -- let's take a couple of those away. And come down here -- they're being a little picky at the moment. We take that back.
So now we're splitting -- now we're at the area -- so more superdelegates than pledged delegates left. So what's going to happen here is, even if they split them, Wolf, the rest of the way out, even if they roughly split the delegates the rest of the way out, this is going to be a decision -- and we've been talking about it a lot -- made by the superdelegates. About 275 of them left. If they roughly split -- I've given Clinton more than half, Obama is still here -- what happens here, now?
We're down to the superdelegates. He won in North Carolina tonight -- Indiana, she wins. Roughly a draw. The debate becomes the superdelegates. David Gergen is right, in the sense, the Obama camp has some still holding on. The Clinton camp has some, but even if they split -- I split the delegates roughly 50 percent -- I actually gave Senator Clinton a little more than that. If they split the superdelegates by that margin, and we do something like this, guess what? She gets closer to the finish line, but by splitting the superdelegates, Barack Obama crosses the finish line.
So if they do 50-50 the rest of the way out, Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee under this math, and all the expectations are that Barack Obama, at this moment, would do better. But the significant point -- I want to go back to where we started, just to go back and show you this number -- come back to the default line and take away all these delegates, take away what still has to happen, the most significant thing going forward, Wolf, is that we now have more superdelegates at play than pledged delegates at play.
So even if Senator Clinton performs well in the remaining primary and contests, she cannot catch up in the pledged delegate math -- big difference right here: Barack Obama is now ahead, a big significant change.
Remember when Hillary Clinton was way ahead among superdelegates early on in this race? Now she has a very slight margin. Barack Obama is catching up. The math more and more tilted in Obama's favor, a very daunting challenge for Senator Clinton.
BLITZER: June 3rd is the last contest, of all of the contests, unless there's some sort of Michigan and Florida compromise that emerges, later down the road, which seems unlikely -- very unlikely -- right now.
But it is theoretically possible that, even if you divide up the superdelegates, neither of these candidates will still have that magic number on June 3rd.
KING: It is possible, if these contests are split by a proportion that leaves them shy of that. But it is very hard to believe that, if you see -- if you look where you are right now, like this -- let's just say, for the sake of argument, Senator Clinton is favored -- she's favored in West Virginia, she's favored in Kentucky -- that's giving her by 55-45. It's a pretty good margin. She hasn't matched that in other places. She's favored down in Puerto Rico; let's give her that, 55-45.
Barack Obama has done well out in this part of the country, you see his colors out here, so let's just assign these states to Barack Obama, 55-45. Now we're done. All the pledged delegates have been allocated. Where are we at that point? Barack Obama right here, Senator Clinton back here -- Barack Obama ever closer to that finish line. And Wolf, it is at that point -- it is at that point that the superdelegates would decide everything, and you would come back over to this scenario, and carry those numbers forward, and again, the superdelegates making the decision in the end.
Can she turn the tide? Yes, she can. She has some time with superdelegates tomorrow, but what is her case, now, to the superdelegates? Barack Obama tonight erased her big gains in the popular vote in Pennsylvania. She won in Indiana, but not by a sizable margin. Her case to the superdelegates did not get any new ammunition tonight. That is what the Clinton campaign needed out of tonight, because in terms of the pledged delegates, the map is overwhelmingly favored to Barack Obama. She can narrow the gap -- very unlikely she can make up this difference right here in the remaining contests.
The question is, how does she sway the superdelegates?
BLITZER: And I thin everybody realizes that it is going to be at least another contest in West Virginia next Tuesday, and she is going to try to make the case, if she does well there, this contest will continue and she's going to hope she gets some political momentum out of that.
It's obviously a very exciting race. Still not over with, by any means. We're going to watch it every step of the way. We're going to rely on you, John, for the math, because this is a mathematical issue and, as some say, a psychological issue as well.
We're going to continue our coverage -- much more coming up. We're watching Indiana, North Carolina -- we know what the results are, but the political fallout is only just beginning.
Our coverage continues.