November 16th, 2007
06:01 AM ET
5 years ago

A candidate's best friend?

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Diamonds may be a girl's best friend, but don't ask Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York to choose those over pearls.

"I know I'm sometimes accused of not being able to make a choice," Clinton said, laughing. "I want both."

Clinton was asked if she preferred diamonds or pearls during CNN's Democratic debate Thursday night. The first and last questions of the night were directed at her and concerned her ability to make a decision and stick with it.

Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware could be heard in the background saying that he liked diamonds better.

– CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich


Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (199 Responses)
  1. Robb, New York

    Diamonds or pearls? Puhleeze. Let's leave the softball questions to Fox News, okay? The next President of the United States shouldn't be elected based on their preference in sports teams, jewelry, beer, underwear, etc. The next president shouldn't be elected because they look good, tell jokes, have charisma, are young enough, are old enough, etc. The next president shouldn't be elected because of what gender they are, what religion they believe in, who they marry, what their nationality is or what party they belong to.

    The next president should be elected based on their record, based on their intelligence, based on their strengths, based on their ideas and based on their ability to lead. Debate questions—whether they're at the start, middle or end of a debate—should probe those characteristics, not the petty nuances of every candidate.

    Diamonds or pearls? Save that stuff for the Barbara Walters special or Larry King Live, not a debate.

    November 16, 2007 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  2. Amy, Cooper City Florida

    I was undecided until last night. Joe Biden was the only straight talking, confident candidate on that stage that could kick some serious republican ass!Why has the media already made our minds up for us with Hillary. There is no way she will win general election, I don't care what the polls say.

    November 16, 2007 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  3. Max, NYC NY

    I'm glad a few precious moments of airtime were set aside to discuss this essential matter. By not discussing less-interesting items - such as corruption, the debacle in Iraq, national security, the loss of manufacturing jobs, the erosion of long-valued rights like due process and habeas corpus, our broken military, the abysmal treatment of our nations veterans, the looming recession, product safety - we might have all been left without the sense of enlightenment we got from Senator Clinton's answer. Or at least, the enlightenment we might have gotten – if only she'd answered the question.
    (/sarc)

    This question, like the rest of last night's debate and today's coverage of it, was a complete waste of time. What utterly worthless fluff. I don't think this sort of nonsense helps our country in any way. CNN should be ashamed of itself.

    November 16, 2007 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  4. Ms. L, Albany, NY

    "Answer:
    Pearls are modest and symbolize purity from within.
    Diamonds attract too much attention, jagged and they cut."
    Is THAT what that symbolizes? Well, I like both and I don't see what's wrong with anyone else feeling that way. If they wanted Hillary to stick with a decision, they should have asked her to make a RELEVANT decision.

    November 16, 2007 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  5. John T, Omaha, NE

    Come on! Why lob such a softball of a question? If it was for the sake of levity, save it. This was supposed to be a serious political debate. Mrs. Clinton herself has said that her gender is irrelevant in the race for the White House, but this type of question just seems to stereotypically focus in on that fact. Concerning her ability to make a decision and stick to, this is valid in a political debate. But couldn't CNN have chosen a more important issue to illustrate the point then this bit of frivolity?

    November 16, 2007 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  6. Bea, Hoboken, NJ

    Come on ladies, admit it, most of you probably would have given the same answer. I too love pearls and diamonds, and saphires, and rubies, and......

    It was a silly question, but it was the last one of the night and it sure as heck doesn't warrant so many angry responses. Lighten up!

    November 16, 2007 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  7. Mike MD.

    With all of the problems America is facing today,why is that every time I hear these canidates say that when elected President they will have the answers.As members of Congress who bring legistration to make changes,why is it that non of these members of Congress have not submitted any bills.They claim to have the answer to Health Care Reform yet I haven't seen one bill from any of them.Biden claimed last night he had a bill to end the war in Iraq with 75 Republican supporters.How many more men & woman have to give their lives before we hear this great solution? I guess America must wait and suffer.It seems to me that if these people cared about the American people,they would be trying to submitt this legistration to show people that they have the leadership ability to lead this country.But I guess their only objective is to say I am running for the chance to make a difference instead of making one.

    November 16, 2007 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  8. Maryann - Orlando, FL

    I'm sure that the folks who can't afford medical coverage and people losing their homes due to forclosure are just thrilled to know that Hillary wants both diamonds and pearls.

    Sorry, Bea, but the anger for this question is justified in my opinion.

    November 16, 2007 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  9. j-man, chicago Illinois

    I laugh at the people that say Hillary is intelligent and dignified. More like mindless, abrasive, and aloof to the needs and cares of the American people.

    Please, learn how to take off your foggy goggles and properly discern and distinguish people for who they are. You're talking about a woman who touts at campaign rallies how inspired she was seeing a waitress work and how she really wants to help her have a better life while she and her campaign ate a restaurant this woman worked at. THEY DIDN'T EVEN TIP HER!!! Go out and FIND REAL news. Please, do some ACTUAL research.

    This woman is neither dignified or intelligent. She is a self serving ego machine that is tied to the same corporate entities that Bush is. She is divisive and will be, in my opinion, worse than Bush (YES-IT CAN GET WORSE!).

    Please, don't do it just for your own awareness, do it for the sake of the country. America needs a new direction and she is dead end central!

    November 16, 2007 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  10. John, NC

    Hillary dances around the questions to keep from losing votes.

    November 16, 2007 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  11. Amy, Seattle, WA

    "I'm sure that the folks who can't afford medical coverage and people losing their homes due to forclosure are just thrilled to know that Hillary wants both diamonds and pearls.

    Posted By Maryann – Orlando"

    Maryann, rich or poor, all women have some pieces of jewellery they like to wear. It was nothing offensive about the question or the answer, and lets be serious it had nothing to do about choosing either diamonds or pearls. And I loved that Biden, who had an excellent performance at the debate, replied to the funny question.

    November 16, 2007 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  12. Chris, Pensacola FL

    Whatever, you guys that have no problem with this question are probably delusional from a life of ignorance or a voter for Clinton.

    Either way, it's an embarassment to our country and to those who are attempting to decide on a candidate.

    November 16, 2007 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  13. Tina Boughner, LaGrange, KY

    I simply cannot believe that whether or not Senator Clinton prefers diamonds or pearls was even allowed into this debate, let alone reported on the website as the #2 story under the breaking news headline. Isn't CNN supposed to be the more moderate news organization? Diamonds or pearls while people are starving here and dying abroad? Are you sure you're not TMZ in disguise?

    November 16, 2007 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  14. aj huntington ny

    Hilary seems like a cool lady to go out have beer with when she lets her hair down. Too bad her husband treated like crap for pretty much their whole marriage...

    November 16, 2007 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  15. Gary, Hillard, Ohio

    Well...looks like this diamond question was forced by CNN. Check out Diamonds.

    November 16, 2007 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  16. Sophie, Dallas TX

    Superficial if you ask me.

    November 16, 2007 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  17. john williams san diego, ca.

    hillary did not plant that question, according to 'you tube', it was planted by none other than C N N..go figure

    November 16, 2007 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  18. B, Dallas Texas

    Disappointed my Anti Hillary comment last night did not make the postings. ha. No surprise!
    Good night America!

    November 16, 2007 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  19. Michael, Houston, Tx

    So what folks?

    An attempt at levity, big deal, get over it....and for the folks who say, how can they joke about this when people don't have health coverage.

    Well, you all need to turn to that village idiot in the white house, who is more interested in protecting his big biz buddies in the health industry than in helping the common man and woman. THis is the same guy who vetoed SCHIP for his buddies, and screwed children all over the country, with the only advice given as "try again" to lawmakers, nice job George. Turn to the real villains – the folks who have had total control for 6 of the last 7 years – the republicrites!

    And to the folks who can't take a joke, have a nice day :)

    November 16, 2007 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  20. Lost Faith San Diego

    that is so awsome that at a time when 1 in 8 home owners are losing their homes in California and several are losing them in the country that Hillary wants both diamonds and pearls. what a greedy bit@#!

    November 17, 2007 04:03 am at 4:03 am |
  21. El, Ottawa, Ontario

    Now, in the next republican debate, CNN should ask Giuliani which he prefers: wife or mistress.

    Giuliani is known to have mistresses in his two prior marriages.

    November 17, 2007 05:55 am at 5:55 am |
  22. Larry / Covington, Louisiana

    If anyone wants to see how far we have fallen, try to find a replay of the Kennedy/Nixon debates back in the 60's. I heard them at the time, and I saw a replay a few years ago on one of the cable channels. You would be amazed at the hard and specific questions asked of both candidates, and of their precise answers. Granted, Kennedy won the debates more because of his demeanor and style, but both men answered all questions well.

    It is an indictment of all of us that our time can be bought so cheaply. The problem is not one random silly question – we can tolerate that. The problem is unfortunately much more serious.

    November 17, 2007 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  23. from Europe

    For God's sake, it was a 30 sec question to end the debate with a laugh.. they were out of time anyway so CNN couldn't start another round of 'serious' questioning.

    What is so wrong with you Americans??? you are jumping from one extreme to another. Keep some balance in judging. To read all these comments is really scary for an outsider, are you the ones who want to lead the World?

    November 17, 2007 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  24. Marsha, Portland, OR

    Wow...I can't believe people are criticizing this comment are this story. People like to know personal things about their candidates. And a lot of women like diamonds and pearls!! No waffling there – ya like both. That's a straight answer. People on these blogs need to relax on simple issues like this. Jeez.

    November 17, 2007 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
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