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. Matt, Columbus OH

    Who the hell is this lady and why do we care what she has to say? Remind me please.

    November 16, 2007 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  2. Robb, New York

    Of but of course the article focuses on a potential Clinton supporter. What's the story here? That this is the one person in California supporting Clinton? Was it too easy to find a Democratic voter leaning toward Obama or Edwards? Hmmm...

    Can we get some equal time and have a pro-Obama or a pro-Edwards voter? Maybe if you did that, your critics wouldn't be calling you the Clinton News Network.

    November 16, 2007 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  3. Tired of Corruption LV

    The gut feeling must be indigestion. Clinton has shown nothing but vague answers, many sides to one issues, only making her decision after polls are taken, shady donors, planted questions, being completely disrespectful to an Iowa voter who asked her to explain a vote – just to mention a few.

    November 16, 2007 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  4. BajanLuv, Newport News, VA

    How do we know this story is true? Would you please post information about the PLANT–the young student who asked about diamonds and pearls? She said that her real question was about Yucca Mountain. I am reading about this in all the other networks and print media. Nothing on Clinton News Network. Some audience members were also told when to heckle? Say it ain't so. I really like Anderson Cooper too. We get it–Wolf and/or CNN can't stand Obama/Edwards. Just come right out and say it get it over with, please. Well, it's back to MSNBC(yikes) and FOX (double yikes). All hail Hillary our annointed queen. We have grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory.

    November 16, 2007 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  5. LO, Garland, TX

    So, some random Clinton supporter off the airplane gets published on CNN.

    You guys are becoming shameless.

    November 16, 2007 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  6. TH Binghamton NY

    What a complete waste of type this article was. Nothing of substance; just drivel. But I guess that's what the news services are best at. Now that CNN has formally endorsed Clinton, I'm sure we'll see alot more of this sensational journalism.

    November 16, 2007 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  7. PollM, Dallas Tx

    Seven Democratic presidential hopefuls went head-to-head on the issues Thursday night, with the biggest pressure likely on front-runner Sen. Hillary Clinton.

    Who do you think won the CNN News Las Vegas Democratic Debate at the University of Nevada?



    November 16, 2007 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  8. Lew, Pacific Palisades, California

    And this is newsworthy because.....?????

    November 16, 2007 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  9. U GOT HER, LA.


    November 16, 2007 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  10. Len, Fallbrook, CA

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

    Not a real high standard to beat really..........

    November 16, 2007 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |

    Yes it has come down to this, the choice between a Woman or a Black man. Inexcusability or Inexperience. The Deception or the Dream.

    If her only choices are these two, I think she needs to take another look at the realm of choices. Maybe Kucinich isn't so bad, at least he has a banging hot babe of a wife, and we might get to find out the truth about Area 51 yet!

    November 16, 2007 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  12. Joy, Birmingham AL

    Isn't it funny how everyone talks about how Clinton will make a difference because she's "a woman", but then Clinton is the most hawkish and right-wing of the whole bunch. She's the only Democrat nominee who supports the perpetual war on terror... which will succeed about as well as the war on drugs.

    November 16, 2007 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  13. Jerry Thompson Houston, Texas

    what is this experience she keeps claiming? I have yet to see her in any of the important pictures of the Clinton Administration. Also I don't remember what position she held in that administration and you don't generally get experience by simply having a spouse as the President. Also thank you CNN for asking what Clinton would like more diamonds or pearls. She said both, how telling of all her answers she is ALWAYS sitting on the fence that or greedy. My guess is CNN won't post this, they never post my comments, can't handle negative posts of shrillary and Peter Paul on the Clinton News Network. By the Way I loved all soft ball and planted questions in the "Debate" last night, could you have made it any lamer?

    November 16, 2007 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  14. Jim L., Irmo, SC

    Now lets have a human interest story that is from the point of view of a person who is leaning towards Obama because of his forthrightness and innovative ideas. Or would that be just a little too fair?

    November 16, 2007 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  15. Juanito, Washington, DC

    ""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."

    This woman is confused...Hillary is straighfoward yet evasive?

    With voters like this, now I know why America is in such deep trouble.
    God help us all.

    November 17, 2007 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  16. Shawn Sullivan, San Antonio, TX

    I agree completely with her standpoint at this time. We want answers and hopefully someone will start speaking.

    November 17, 2007 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  17. Jill, NJ

    Well, after reading this article I couldn't say the media isn't biased.

    November 17, 2007 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  18. Jaik , chicago, IL

    what is this a campaign ad for Clinton ? CNN is screwed up

    November 17, 2007 03:51 am at 3:51 am |
  19. Dave, Hilo HI

    "Maybe we haven't gotten some of the answers we should have from her, but she's been pretty straight forward."

    Huh? An oxymoron in sentence form. Too much kool-aid.

    November 17, 2007 06:20 am at 6:20 am |
  20. mark wilkes barre pa

    Next stories from average citizens are as follows,, A sick child who's parents make 80,000 plus a year, A house keeper at the four seasons hotel born outside of our borders,an accident victim hit by a un-insured un licened motorist.

    November 17, 2007 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  21. Christine Bruner Huntington Indiana

    Shame on you CNN This was the most one sided debate I have ever seen...It was clear from the start that whos side CNN is on...Hilary was not ask any hard questions and was allowed to reply without being interupted...It seemed to me that the crowd was also planted being Hilary supporters..I was undecided up untill now ...Now I know who I won't vote for...I can't believe that Cnn took part of this debocle ....Although I am a democrate I would vote the other way now if it comes between Hilary and one of the republicans...Thanks for makeing up my mind ...

    November 17, 2007 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  22. Daniel, Oz, Kansas

    She is full of crap. She is voting for Hillary because she is a woman. How can someone who will unite the republicans against her, be a good president. She will be a lame duck from day 1. Joe Biden has the best chance of accomplishing our goals. which is going to take cooperation from both parties.

    November 17, 2007 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  23. Ron, TX

    ‘The same old experience is not relevant: You can have the right kind of experience and the wrong kind of experience,’

    Bill Clinton said that... in 1992. We need someone who is ready to CHANGE America. Following in Bush's footsteps with secrecy, refusing to be honest with the American people on where you stand, planting fake questions, refusing to talk with foreign leaders, that just doesn't cut it for me.


    November 17, 2007 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  24. Ben, Medford, MA

    "Presidents have to be of a certain age to be successful."

    Yes, that makes a lot of sense!

    JFK – 43
    FDR – 51
    Teddy Roosevelt – 42
    Abraham Lincoln – 52
    Bill Clinton – 46

    Barack Obama – 47 (currently 46)

    So let's see... Teddy, FDR, Lincoln... 3 of the top 5 Presidents according to scholar rankings. Average Age: 48

    I think I agree with that original quote and apparently they have to be YOUNG.

    November 17, 2007 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  25. Jane Monroe NV

    We all agree that Obama sealed his fate, his in-experience and lack of good judgement were cleary shown in vegas debate. He gets less and less electable with each debate...

    He really isnt a public speaker...

    I think its over for Obama, dont waste your votes..

    November 17, 2007 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
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