June 3rd, 2007
10:07 PM ET
7 years ago

Penn: Clinton maintains frontrunner status

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (CNN) - Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign strategist Mark Penn praised her debate performance to CNN's Chief National Correspondent John King and said that besides Clinton, Delaware’s Senator Joe Biden "had a strong night."

"I think the net is she went in a frontrunner and came out a frontrunner," Penn said.

Former President Bill Clinton was mentioned throughout the debate as someone to fill a role in another administration, with Former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson naming possible positions for him if they were elected president. Penn said "dial groups" showed a strong response and said that "may have been the most interesting question of the debate."

Responding to former Sen. John Edwards' criticism of Clinton's approach to her vote on the Iraq supplemental bill, Penn said, "she was able to explain her position and her three point plan to end the war and I think the net of the entire Iraq discussion was that she made her points."

When Sen. Barack Obama charged Edwards for being "late on leadership" for initially voting to authorize the Iraq war, Penn said Clinton "was able to rise above it." Penn said the Obama and Edwards argument was "telling" and that it showed they are fighting to be number two to Clinton.

–CNN’s John King and Lauren Kornreich

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. mel, Tulsa Okla

    Hillary, you looked great! She did a wonderful job and seemed very presidential. I'm so proud! She has my vote already.

    June 3, 2007 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  2. Walter Jenkins, Kansas City KS

    This is sad. The aired format does a disservice to the public. Questions are asked that seem to require black or white responses, when in reality the questions, because of their import require answers that involve a much broader and comprehensive review of the matter to make any true consideration and response to the questions. This "debate" is show business it has nothing to do with a serious debate of the important issues facing the candidates and our republic!

    June 3, 2007 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  3. John, Irvine, CA

    I would like to point out that Obama did not charge Edwards, Edwards charged Obama on his leadership in the war spending bill and in his defense Obama had to point out that if anything Edwards was 4.5 years late in choosing the right position.

    June 3, 2007 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  4. Kris, Rochester, MI

    Everyone, make sure you go to Hillary's web site and review her plans for our nation. This woman is one of the smartest people on the planet... she knows how Washington works, and she knows how to work Washington!
    keep it up, Hill!!

    June 3, 2007 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  5. Robert Tan, University Place, Washington

    Hillary shows herself the most presidential in this debate: calm, witty, to the point, confident, intelligent, powerful voice, declare herself clear and differentiate her mission from the rest. She will definitely get my vote!

    June 3, 2007 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  6. Neville Gabriel Appanna,South Africa

    While the debate was a bit 'shallow' and the answers not too spectacular, I did think that Hillary possessed the most 'presidential' outlook.If her plans include active laws on trade balance,and ensuring that US re-emerges as a manufacturing nation,then issues like taxes,health care,education and related issues will be easier to address.Spiralling illegal immigration is also a critical issue.The Whitehouse is definitely in need of a major reshuffle,and it would be delightful to many to see this huge economy not end up in tatters as so many smaller ones across the globe have already been crushed by bad policy-making by their own govts.
    If she does carry forward B Clintons policies on international trade and unjustified aid to external countries,without modification and adaptation to changing conditions, then US would just be continuing its downward spiral in many sectors of the economy. The current administration doesn't seem to be too active on pressing internal issues,job losses due to unregulated import,and closure of businesses, so I'd believe that a candidate willing to implement tactical and immediate change on these issues can be good for US.I don't believe that telling US businesses to be 'competitive' with Asian/Chinese/Indian markets would come out of the arsenal of a candidate though,because even consideration of such a stance can only contribute to further decline.
    It would be good to see a leader that actually possessed active commonsense.We al know that not everything turns out 'right', but its possible to achieve a higher percentage of it, by effective policy,and law making.

    June 3, 2007 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  7. Gizmo

    Hillary rocked. Not only was she brilliant but she demonstrated her leadership of the Democratic party by uniting the party against the Republicans. She set the tone of civility and respect. Edwards is a weasel.

    June 4, 2007 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  8. Tim Saint Joseph, Michigan

    Two items:
    1. When are politicians going to stop being politicians and start being statesmen? Forget what party you belong to, and party politics; you work for the American people.

    2. I will vote for the first candidate who, when asked a direct and simple question, can give a direct and simple answer. Tonight, NOT one of the candidates was able to give a direct and simple answer. They ALL proved they are great equivocators. Maybe the Republicans will have someone who can answer simply and directly? I won't hold my breath.


    June 4, 2007 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  9. Janet Kenny, Ontario Canada

    Hillary, You where great on the debate. Congratulations! I think the American people need and want change and I think you are the person to do it,somebody has to take charge and make the tough calls but I think some else needs to be in the White House for proper action to be taken. Accountability is a great start. Hillary you are the best start

    June 5, 2007 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |