December 29th, 2007
07:41 AM ET
10 years ago

Dodd: Clinton was sitting on the sidelines

 Dodd had some sharp words for Clinton Friday.

Dodd had some sharp words for Clinton Friday.

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN)Hillary Clinton may tout her 35 years of experience as the principal reason to vote for her, but Chris Dodd says counting her eight years in the White House as First Lady as a qualification “is an exaggeration, in my view. That’s not experience, that’s witnessing experience.”

At the launch of his “Caucus For Results” bus tour, the Connecticut senator told a crowd at his Iowa campaign headquarters that “it’s not just enough sitting on the sidelines and watching your husband deal with problems over the years,” to argue that his 26 years in the Senate are better suited to bring people together and deal with unexpected events like the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Dodd said the New York senator’s claim that her time as First Lady was experience would be like his wife Jackie taking credit for his Family Medical Leave Act, adding, “The experience of having witnessed history is not the same as having helped create it.”

- CNN's Alexander Marquardt

Filed under: Chris Dodd • Hillary Clinton
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. Douglas Roberts

    As a Canadian and unable to vote in the USA I would like to add my two cents worth to this converstation about Bilary. I my considered opinion she is a loud mouthed liar with the manners and mouth of a barn yard goat, as is that creep of that husband of hers. As a former President of the greatest country in the world, he is an international disgrace, intelligence and schooling notwithstanding. But then again, some people will believe anything they hear, not having anything between their ears but cement

    I cannot understand how the American people could have elected such a well known pervert to the highest position in the land, let alone the world.

    Let us hope that this time they get it right, and elect a former hero who gave his all for his country and was tortured beyond belief for his democratic views and allegiance to his country, John McCain.

    December 29, 2007 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  2. Desiree, Queens, New York

    I disagree with Dodd's statement. Both President Bush have said they feel her experience in the White House has made her qualified and everyone knows that Nancy Reagan practically ran the White House when her husband was ill. I feel his statement is a disgrace to women.

    December 29, 2007 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  3. Melvin, Chapel Hill, NC

    Welcome Laura Bush to the presidential arena in 2012.... (she has experience meeting world leaders, talking with the President, and heading initiatives like fighting HIV/AIDS, etc). Most importantly, she hasn't been held accountable for any of it. But I'm sure if Laura Bush had been planning to run for president like Hillary, she, too, would have requested an room in the Oval Office.


    I don't know if anyone noticed the recent articles about Hillary's 1st and 2nd term as First Lady. The underlying message of that story is not what she did or did not do. The message is on how voting for Hillary will be a 3rd term for Bill Clinton. Someone check the 22nd Amendment of the Constitution.... Presidents cannot be elected more than twice. What Hillary is proposing to do is extremely underhanded and objectionable. Voting for Hillary because you'll get Bill too is backward. Any candidate can ask for advisers, which could include Bill. The only difference is that Hillary and Bill have been on the ropes for quite some time now – scandals, sex, infidelity, failures, a troubled marriage, etc. I wonder why she didn't divorce him?

    How does this relate to the Blog?

    Dodd is right. The experience Hillary claims is over the top. I make my case by asking a few questions: where was this experience when she voted to distract our attention from the terrorists in Afghanistan by going into Iraq? Why did she criticize Obama for his position on Pakistan (turns out, had we done what he proposed, today's headlines may have been different). Where was her experience? She didn't read the intelligence reports on Iraq?! Where was her experience? If she truly has what she claims... its the wrong kind. It doesn't fit the times.

    The Clinton's embarrassed this country. Bush wrecked our country. So please, please, please... do not embarrass this country again by sending another Clinton up. This is not the face I want to put on America.


    December 29, 2007 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  4. JFK, Phx AZ

    Unfortunately, the majority do not agree with Dodd. But let Dodd and others keep blowing the hot wind and providing great entertainment!! Experience in AND out of the Whitehouse does qualify her as much as it qualified George W Bush. No one complained about him being just a governor? Whats the difference? Not much except she CAN say nuclear and handle the job.

    But so many are fearful as usual spewing the same ol' Clinton hatred that I wonder what is so bad about her? I just see empty excuses here and in reality what this boils down to is many fear a smart, powerful, articulate woman in office. Thats about it!

    December 29, 2007 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  5. Jennifer

    As a 54-year-old woman who fought the "good fight" for feminism in the 60s and 70s, and who supports women shattering the glass ceiling, I nonetheless do not agree that Sen. Clinton has all the hands-on experience she claims. Yes, she was a much more politically-involved First Lady, but that does not prepare one for the presidency any more than being governor of Texas prepared George W. Bush, the worst president the US has ever had inflicted upon it. When it comes to actual hands-on experience domestically and in foreign policy, it's Biden, Dodd, and McCain. Party partisanship aside, we need someone who's been in the trenches here and abroad for decades, not political poseurs. Sen. Clinton would do much better were she to emphasize her ideas, not experience she doesn't have.

    Arizona Democrat

    December 29, 2007 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  6. June Hilton, Arlington, Texas

    Okay then. Let's take a good hard look at Joe Biden. These good candidates get behind in the polls because they don't have "star power" in the beginning. I want someone who can represent us in the world forum and make them trust us again.
    Biden is forthcoming, and has experience. I would not be afraid to elect him.
    Or Chris Dodd either.

    The true objection to Hillary Clinton is that she is a strong woman – namby pamby women and their insecure husbands can't stand that. Then the whole morality thing about Bill Clinton's behind-doors escapades – stupid, granted – when he is so smart in every other way. Would you have liked her more if she had divorced him? But what is more immoral than Bush and Cheney wantonly causing the deaths of thousands of innocent people, theirs and ours? Where is the outrage there? We are so screwed up. Let's get it right this time!

    December 29, 2007 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  7. Tyler in Raleigh, NC

    If Hillary Clinton gained "experience" from Bill's years as President... more reason NOT to vote for her. I would like her better if she didn't keep sayign she learned a lot from watching her husband Slick Willy lie to her and the American people.

    This is the guy that was unfaithful to her and to his position. "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, I did not inhale, Hillary is a genious". We went from a smooth talking ladies man to a beer drinking cowboy over the last 16 years.... CAN WE PLEASE DO BETTER! Neither of these deserved to set the agenda and image for the United States.

    Hillary did learn a lot while Bill was in the White House. She learned to be fake, lie and cheat to the American people... if it worked for her husband, why not for her?

    December 29, 2007 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  8. Crackpotpress

    I have been getting more and more impressed with Dodd the more I hear about him.

    He may not come out as a Pres candidate.. but he will come out looking good.

    December 29, 2007 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  9. j

    Dodd is a fine man, but this is really unnecessary.

    December 29, 2007 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  10. June Hilton, Arlington, Texas

    Editors: You might omit my last name. Thank you.

    December 29, 2007 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  11. AN, Fairfax, VA

    "But so many are fearful as usual spewing the same ol' Clinton hatred that I wonder what is so bad about her? I just see empty excuses here and in reality what this boils down to is many fear a smart, powerful, articulate woman in office. Thats about it!"


    The same old tired enabling nonsense. No amount of discussion, or otherwise proof will ever open eyes to those blindly supporting the Clintons. Isn't it telling, however, that NOT ONE SINGLE Clinton Administration insider supports Hillary. Perhaps they know her behind closed doors.

    December 29, 2007 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  12. Dee

    Douglas from Canada: You are a disgrace. Canada is, and always has been, the greatest country in the world and your **s-kissing to the Americans is pathetic. Why add your two-cents to a bunch of machine-gun toting hillbillies who probably cant read what you're writing anyways? Do you think they care what you think? WE dont even care what you think...

    December 29, 2007 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  13. Jake, California

    La'Kitgum, Concord, NH

    you are confused like Hillary Clinton herself....
    Why are you attacking Obama for a statement made by Chris Dodd? You Clinton folks like to go on all sorts of WILD GOOSE CHASE.

    And let me remind you that it was Clinton herself who started trying to make gains from Bhutto's death that morning by saying she knew this lady and visited her as first lady and that she is in the position to handle things like this.

    Obama called her gesture one intended to score cheap short term political points and then offered his condolence to the Bhutto family. He then moved on to his speech he had that day.

    I think Clinton's way of thinking has infected most of you who follow her...please look back and you'll see the light!

    December 29, 2007 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  14. Arshad

    If Clinton did more than just a spouse of President and acted "almost" like a President, then Bill Clinton has a bigger problem. The American people elected him to make decisions on their behalf, he was the one who was on ballots. Bill did not appoint her as a secretary of state or any other department that need senate confirmation. She did not have security clearance to get exposure in national security issue. If stiil Hillary claims that she was acting much more than the spouse of a President, then they both are guilty of using power that was not justified by the US constitution or people's mandate. That would be plain, unauthorized exercise and abuse of power.

    December 29, 2007 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  15. JC, OHIO

    So, pray tell, what is wrong with 'witnessing experience'? 'Witnessing experience' is what all male doctors do when treating women, especially in issues like pregnancy and other strictly female areas of medicine, but I would never say that THEY are 'inexperienced' an d therefore unworthy to do their jobs because of this. 'Witnessing experience' is more commonly called 'learning ' Mr. Dodd. Maybe you should do a little yourself....

    December 29, 2007 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  16. AN, Fairfax, VA

    Luis B: So tired of hearing about the "Clinton" if only Clinton was responsible for the stars that were aligned in the 90's to the boom. Shared credit needs to got with the Republican controlled Congress at the time that acted with fiscal responsibility, like they should. I might remind you that Clinton had nothing to do with the dotcom phenonema, nothing to do in inheriting the "peace dividend". This mindless chatter about the "Clinton economy " conveniently forgets about HIllary's social medicine fiasco. If it weren't shot down, what do you suppose would have happened to the deficit, not to mention the economy? The Koolaid drinkers also like to conveniently forget that the economy was slowing significantly in the closing months of Clinton's last term., and it was Bush that gave it the nudge to prop it up again. So yeah, I was a taxpayer in the 90's, in a high tax bracket too (so what!), I also experienced the last time before Clinton when we had a Democrat controlled Congress AND a Democrat WH as a taxpayer......those were the FABULOUS CARTER YEARS. Talk about a lousy President!!!!!!! For those that remember,
    how about those 15% 30 year fixed mortgages, 13% inflation, and high unemployment figures. The Koolaid drinkers like to talk about how bad economy is now, BUT they.obviously forget, or did not experience the latter 70's. Granted there are problems, but to say only CLINTON can save have to be very naive, and impressionable by the political propagandists. God help us if were are left with Reid and Pelosi controlling Congress and Hillary sits in the WH. You want a bad economy? See how additional entitlement programs and higher taxes saps the don't believe it? Look at Europe.

    December 29, 2007 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  17. Tyler in Raleigh, NC

    JC in Ohio – I think doctors more than "witness experience". They go through many years of training, education and practice alongside experienced people.

    If that sort of "experience" is enough for Clinton.... then would it not be enough for Obama to have experienced advisors at his side?

    The problem with Hillary's "experience" is that as a SPOUSE of a President she should NOT have clearence to get the information the President, Senators, Representatives and other ELECTED or APPOINTED officials who are vetted and confirmed get.

    So was Slick Willy filling her in on confidential information and asking her for help? If so, he has a problem there.... If not, then she can't claim she was in the know and got "experience" from it.

    Do we let a doctors wife (or husband) perform surgery because their spouse does? Do we let a lawyers spouse or child practice law becuase their family member talked about their job over work? NO!! So being the spouse of a president qualifies you for NOTHING.

    I disagree with Dodd on a lot, but on this one he is right.

    December 29, 2007 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
1 2 3