November 16th, 2007
07:35 PM ET
11 years ago

The view from seat 20B

For one voter, the choice is down to just two candidates.

35,000 FEET OVER THE SOUTH (CNN) – From the middle seat of a cross country flight to Atlanta, Cynthia Oglesby studied a newspaper account of Thursday night's CNN debate in Las Vegas.

A case worker on the graveyard shift outside Los Angeles, she missed the event live because of work, but was eager to see the details.

The 50-year-old mother of two grown children has been closely watching the presidential campaign. She wants to see California make a difference in the February 5 primaries.

"You do your homework, and then you don't lose any sleep over your choice", she said.

Blunt and plain-spoken (she told a reporter on the plane he looked older than his age), Oglesby assessed a race for her that's down to two candidates. She's narrowed her choice to Sen. Hillary Clinton or Sen. Barack Obama.

"I like that lady", she said, pointing to a photograph of Clinton, "and not because she's a woman."

Olgesby said she has followed Clinton since her days as first lady, noting "I know she'd be a better president than her husband."

She cites experience and intelligence, and a "gut feeling" for liking Clinton. "She has the country's best interests at heart. Maybe we haven't gotten some of the answers we should have from her, but she's been pretty straight forward. She's been evasive on some things, but they all have. You're not going to have answers for everthing."

She says she also likes Obama, but "he's got to show me something. I'm not sold on him at this point."

Experience is her main reason for leaning towards Clinton over Obama at this stage. She said, "it's too early. He's too young. That's his biggest downfall. Presidents have to be of a certain age to be successful. He's experienced, but not enough to run the country."

But returning to the gender issue, Oglesby admits it's a factor, for her and for the country. "It's time for a woman to run things", laughing about what "you men" have done.

"As a woman, I'd like to see her win", she adds, saying that will be about 20 percent of her final decision.

Pausing, she questions whether the country is ready for a woman president. "We"ve come a long way, "she said, but said it may not be far enough.

–CNN Political Desk Managing Editor Steve Brusk

soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. Kevin, Port Orange, FL

    Someone should remind this lady of a certain President around Obama's age named John F. Kennedy, and then tell me you have to be a certain age to be President. It's sad that misinformed (because of places like CNN) citizens have the audacity to vote.

    November 17, 2007 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  2. James, Boston, MA

    In the same one hour time frame Clinton denies playing the gender card, and then gives a condescending/scolding/playful comment to Campbell Brown when asked what was meant by a comment about the boys club at a recent appearance. Then Clinton declares that she prefers both diamonds and pearls to another planted question by a college female undecided voter with a serious question. How gender makes you more qualified to run one of the most influential countries in the world is beyond me. Unfortunately, that is all the further most Clinton supporters look into their candidates, resulting in 8 disastrous years for the US worker. CNN is shameful for trying to manipulate the voter instead of just reporting the news.

    November 17, 2007 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  3. Jose Card

    CNN is very selective of the postings people sent in, while will publish everything you post immediately. Why are we wasting our precious time with CNN? If you want to hear what real people have to say, go to and enjoy being an American voter.

    November 17, 2007 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  4. Chris, Chicago, IL

    Someone needs to inform this woman that her vote doesn't count. Hasn't she heard of the election of George W. Bush? OH and the feds are going to be bombing airlines left and right this holiday season so make sure you ship your presents in advance so that way your family memebers will still be able to get them and don't forget, peace on earth.

    P.S. Mr. Bush, Good job with that khadaffi skapegoat. You really planned ahead.

    November 17, 2007 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  5. Jesse, Burnsville, MN

    Does anyone know if it is possible to file a lawsuit against CNN for favoritism of a candidate? I know in the general election, they have to give equal time to each candidate. Is there anything that says that a news source cannot be complete biased in its coverage of a candidate in the primaries?

    I wish a watchdog group would do an analysis of CNN to determine what percentage of positive new stories (or debates) were favored towards Clinton.

    The CNN fix is in.

    November 17, 2007 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  6. Alex, Norfolk, VA

    Thanks CNN...I am completely over your coverage of this election. First you lob softballs for Hillary in the debate, ask her "diamonds or pearls" (the most rediculous question ever in a debate), and then you declare her the winner. I feel like you tore her down for two weeks, then build her up again, just so you could have a news story. I'm undecided, but this kind of stuff makes me sick. This is NOT news and so pro-candidate I can't believe it wasn't written by the Hillary campaign. This is the last time I get my news from CNN. It's clear who you want to be president.

    November 17, 2007 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  7. Kathy Farmer Newnan, Georgia

    Please do not vote for Hillary or Obama. Neither of these people are qualified to even pick up my garbage. Hillary is a self-serving, arrogant, person who can not lead our country anywhere,but into deeper dispair. Obama is a terrorist living among us. Why are the American people so blind to these things? Do not believe the stories that are published by the campaign leaders...they are lies. Please pray to God for leadership in making your decision on who to vote for. He is the only one who knows the truth about our candidates. These two are not capable of running this country!

    November 17, 2007 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  8. Calvin Robinson

    I am disappointed with my favorite political news station (CNN). It is only obvious to anyone who watched the debate that:

    1) The questioning was designed to cast doubt on Obama and Edwards and to give Hillary an opportunityy to redeem herself. That is unfortunate to me when my news station behaves in this way.

    2) That Biden was the only person on the stage who seemed presidential. He expressed clear knowlege on a host of topics and you could tell that he is a hard worker. He speaks as one in authority. Take away hillary's celebrity and all of us know that biden and biden alone will offer this country more REAL opportunity than any of the other candidates ever could.

    CNN had almost cxauseed me to over look him because of the lack of real coverage, but I watched the debate and he is now the MAN!

    November 17, 2007 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  9. RuthieM

    These kinds of comments are so stupid when they say, 'he's got to show me something'. Where have people like this been, sleeping under a rock? And, what in the heck has Hillary shown her that warrants her 'presidential' right now? Gee, the, shortsightedness of Americans.

    November 17, 2007 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  10. jim Nolan, Helena Montana

    first she says she likes clinton "and not because she's a woman" and later states, "as a woman, I'd like to see her win". Huh?

    November 17, 2007 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  11. demwit

    I will vote for the least corrupt dem candidate, which rules Hillary out completely due to CNN openly corrupt news coverage of her...

    November 17, 2007 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  12. S. Pett, St. Petersburg, FL

    I do not believe he is too young. I would point out that Theodore Roosevelt is widely considered one of the best Presidents and he was younger than Obama when he became President. Furthermore another President generally acknowledged as a successful President (at least until his assassination) was President Kennedy and he was the same age as Obama. I agree that he comes off sometimes as inexperienced. I believe my ideal ticket would be Clinton/Obama, but I don't know how realistic that is.

    November 17, 2007 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  13. Juanito, Washington, DC

    Hillary used the debate to spin her platitudes. One of them was a peon against unsafe toys. “We shouldn't permit the import of unsafe toys,” she said in the debate. But her chief strategist, Mark Penn, is the CEO of Burson-Marsteller, the PR company that represents Aquadots, the company that makes the bead toys with an adhesive coating that turns into the date rape drug when children suck on it. Penn is paid by Burson based on a percentage of their profits, and Aquadots is an important contributor to their bottom line. But neither Blitzer nor any of Hillary's Democratic opponents were alert enough to call the conflict into question.

    November 18, 2007 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  14. Anonymous

    Obama's the same age Bill Clinton was, and has more legislative experience than Hillary and Edwards combined.

    Nuff said.

    November 18, 2007 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  15. Anonymous

    and I wonder how many aisles of the plane they had to canvass before they finally hit one that was actually considering Clinton above Obama.

    November 18, 2007 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  16. Bernie Moore-Knowles - Papa'aloa, Hawai'i

    I love this picture of Hillary. Shifty eyes?

    November 18, 2007 03:45 am at 3:45 am |
  17. Jamie, Bedfor, VA

    If women vote for Hillary Clinton just becuase she is a woman, then they deserve what they will get. This is the same woman who dissed people who stay and home and take care of their children and "bake cookies", the same woman who ignored her husbands affairs and blamed the "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy." She is either a dupe or incompetent. Either get what you vote for and just being a woman is not enough. If she is proud of her achievements as first lady, then why not release her files? She can do it, but is hoping she can dupe you!

    November 18, 2007 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  18. Maryann - Orlando, FL

    Where is the campaign ad for Biden? Everyone on that debate panel said "Joe is Right" – I want a BNN (Biden News Network)!

    I thought candidates were supposed to get 'equal time'? No one is talking about Kucinich, Dodd, or any other candidate that is not a 'front-runner'.

    The media is NOT helping America in making an informed
    choice here!

    November 18, 2007 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  19. Corey, Bloomington IN

    Wow. Nice 'undecided' voter there, CNN.

    Stop fitting the election into your stupid narrative and let people decide for themselves.

    November 18, 2007 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  20. Kate, Grand Blanc

    (I wrote this last night but it seems CNN does a little too much editing...)

    Shame on you CNN! It is obvious your leanings...and how is ONE woman's views newsworthy?? You could have interviewed a multitude of others how would have given you completely different opinions!

    This is shameless and disgusting news "coverage."

    OBAMA 08! For a change from the status quo, for honest politics (and a break from CNN's shameless 'news coverage.')

    November 18, 2007 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  21. Steve Blaine Washington

    Why is neither Hillary or Obama campaigning in South Carolina? Hillary resided in the South when her Husband was Governor of Arkansas.
    Are they both writing off the South?

    November 19, 2007 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  22. JJ Jacksonville FL

    This is just another one of the 'Clinton News Network's' attempts of trying to make the nomination a 'two-horse' race and then saying the better of the two horses is Hillary. I hate to say it, but in light of all of your Obama-bashing and Hillary-loving, you guys are turning into FOX News...but not to worry, only smart people figured it out, and you guys should know how few of those there are in this country...

    November 19, 2007 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
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