January 26th, 2008
03:29 PM ET
9 years ago

Clinton, Obama teams meet unexpectedly on the trail


Watch Clinton stop by a CNN table at a South Carolina restaurant.

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - Today’s the Super Bowl of Democratic politics in South Carolina – and this afternoon, the top teams found themselves in some pretty close quarters.

This afternoon, Barack Obama staffers and reporters following the Illinois senator’s campaign made a stop at the Liberty Tap Room & Grill, a Columbia watering hole and dining establishment, where several CNN-ers, including myself, were having a peaceful lunch.

About halfway through my bowl of chili, men in earpieces began sweeping the restaurant. Then Hillary Clinton’s press pool showed up, followed by her handlers and finally, the candidate herself along with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton. They worked the room, shaking hands and encouraging diners to vote.

Finally, Hillary Clinton herself stopped to greet our table - our first encounter with the New York senator since we were berated by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, at a campaign stop earlier this week. (It was a brief, pleasant exchange - so brief, in fact, we didn't get a chance to ask her to pass a message on to her husband: We swear, we don't live to "hurt the people of South Carolina.")

The surprise Clinton-Obama campaign meeting had the two sides shoulder-to-shoulder in the suddenly-cramped restaurant - but unlike Monday night's CNN showdown, there were no fireworks.

–CNN’s Carey Bodenheimer

Filed under: South Carolina primary
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. peter oriavwote

    That action of Hillary has simply shown that she could easily unite the party and the country when the chips are down. No querrels, simply put, politics is a game- you have to win first, then carry every one along thereafter.

    January 26, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  2. London

    Did you expect Hillary & Obama to start throwing blows in the middle of the restaurant? rotfl.

    January 26, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  3. AnnAloha, PA Independent Thinker

    Now that's the Democratic Way!!!
    Congrats to both campaign teams...Here Here!!!
    Keeping It Real as so they should...

    January 26, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  4. Amy

    Hillary's slash and burn win at any cost actions from the 90's will not work now. We are in crisis mode in America and we need a leader with the judgement and consensus of Obama who can really get the job done. Hillary's polarizing methods will not work to move this country forward.

    January 26, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  5. Staman

    It is good thing for both Hillary and Obama. It also a good sin that any one of them can unite the party and the country as well.

    January 26, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  6. Chris Custer

    That scene says everything we need to see. The two candidates actually like and respect one another. The media is what ignites most of the seemingly nasty back and forth atttacks, but to the candidates themselves: "Politics is a game we all have to play if we are ever gonna get to a place where we can help our country best."

    January 26, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  7. wale azeez

    peter you are as divisive as your mouth....I will join ann and staman in saying kudos!!! to both candidates let's leave the fireworks for the republicans we'll need the energy!!!

    January 26, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  8. koko

    America ha ha ha ,
    Am not suprised after the Clintons are back in the white house probably for 2 terms, it will then be the turn for Mrs Laura Bush, which will possibly be 2 terms too.Leaving enough space for Clintons Daughter to mature enough and be the next contenter for white house after Laura, there after will come one of the 2daughters from Mr Bush!
    Even though this seems to be democracy, does America not have any other persons who can qualify for the post?By the way who will be then running the affairs of the white house?He-bill or She-hillary? Wake up Americans, stop sleeping and being foolled,each of your daughters and sons deserve the right of being elected in this powerful post. Let your status quo not determine your destiny! Don't you all dreams,wishes for yourselves and families?

    January 26, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  9. Jude Nkama

    Nonsense. Clinton continues to throw up race into the campaign and then decides to back off after the damage is done. Bill Clinton slowed Senator Obama down but cannnot bring him down. bill does not have the Moral impetus to do so!!

    It is unfortunate!! There will be no third term for Bill. It is a fairy tale, the greatest of all times.

    January 26, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  10. Jim

    Ms. Bodenheimer needs to realize that, as a reporter who supposedly asks the hard questions, she is going to take some heat. And if she can't be gracious and manage to keep her personal issues out of it, i don't think cnn ought to use her articles. Please just REPORT the news–try not to add your editorial comments until you have earned the position of editor and have identified your comments as editorial in nature.

    January 26, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  11. jmaya, iowa

    I have met Hillary in person, as people think she is not horrible. I am her dauthter's age and i found her as a mother, mentor, a strong and intelligent lady who cares her party and people a lot. I bet she will be better president than Bill Clinton. She is a gifted organizer ,listener and advocate for women and children.

    Please stop hating her.

    January 26, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  12. John, Milwaukee, WI

    Amy January 26, 2008 5:22 pm ET

    Hillary's slash and burn win at any cost actions from the 90's will not work now. We are in crisis mode in America and we need a leader with the judgement and consensus of Obama who can really get the job done. Hillary's polarizing methods will not work to move this country forward.

    Amy you really need to get back on your MEDS!

    Surely there must be something POSITIVE you might do with your days... unless, of course, you think hating the Clintons 24/7 is POSITIVE?

    January 26, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  13. hillabeans

    Politics is NOT a game Elmo!Did the last 7rs seem like a game?If you think it is a game YOU shouldnt be voting!

    January 26, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  14. shaun

    Cnn is a joke...They turned this election into a race war, and because of it the best candidate will not win..but mind you,, hillary will not win in the general...the republicans will keep the white house.

    January 26, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  15. Benjamin

    To any who believe the Clintons can unite the country, please take pause.

    The Clintons have always operated on an "us vs them" mentality. They skillfully draw lines in the sand and force people to take sides. A vast right wing conspiracy is to blame for all the Clintons' past troubles. And today it is the press (shame on them) who are to blame.

    Uniting the country under the Clintons is indeed a fairy tale.

    The Clintons; perfecting winning by a polarizing 51%.

    January 26, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  16. Dominique

    The "win at all cost" philosophy Hillary is being credited for introducing is a result of political and media creativity. The media would have you believe that Hillary and her family are going around slinging mudd at innocent people. That couldn't be farther from the truth. I hope that people on both sides will open their eyes to a political game that is both above and beneath the American voter! Its also a political strategy to get you to ignore the issues! This is what happens when writers go on strike! We create our own movies!

    January 26, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  17. Jonathan Rodriguez

    I find it funny how everyone is talking about the Clintons trying to make this a "race" election and as a Latino all I have to say is that everyone needs to stop listening to what others say and look to the facts themselves, the only candidate I have seen make "race" related comments has been Obama, in fact last Debate on CNN he frequently played the "White Man" race card on Edwards many times, if you watch the debate and look closely you will even see Edwards comment on it and say "you know it is funny how I am suddenly the White Guy on this Race" so people stop the insanity and look close and well into things before making claims and please inform yourselves well before voting, if you miss these things then your not looking well into the candidates.

    Jonathan Rodriguez

    January 26, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  18. Andy

    I am glad that they are starting to understand that they will need eachother to win. Clinton will need Obama to win. I don't think she can win without him. If she wins the Primary and does not pick Obama to run with her, she can't win. I hope that both of them stick to the issues and keep the race clean from here on out!

    January 26, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  19. John

    Amy i am sorry you are wrong 300% it is other way around Hillary best for the Job and the whole world knows it and her track record show as well. Obama is too early to run as president, he has not gone through real politics which let us know he could come out as a winner, just jumping to the top dont cut it. He can do the smooth karimatic talk, but deleivery is questionable and the republican will have him for lunch, if Obama win the democrat leadership, you will see a republican president again that is 500%.

    January 26, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  20. robertsc

    Unbelievably disgusting. You are all sheep following your master to the slaughter. Laugh at me now, but when the economy collapses, and it will, your beloved president whoever it may be will declare ALL of you enemy domestic combatants. America is OVER!!!!!!!

    January 26, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  21. AtlantaVoter

    "We swear, we don't live to hurt the people of South Carolina." ???

    What journalism school did these people go to? A line like that - well, the whole paragraph for that matter - does not belong in a news story. I don't know if these people need better writers or just an editor.

    Guess they were afraid we might MOVE ON to something worthwhile.....

    Hillary Clinton 2008

    January 26, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  22. CLinton

    More pandering. This candidate has already shown her true colors people.

    January 26, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  23. Austin

    I don't understand how meeting by accident at a restaurant shows that anyone can "unite the party." It shows only that they can meet at a restaurant, Come on, people... this is the most trivial of news

    January 26, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  24. independent thinker

    What do you think would happen at the restuarant? Are the two teams going to start throwing their food at each other? Are they going to start yelling in a restuarant where they are trying to gain voters?

    No they would not. You know it and I know it. Just because Hillary was cordial dosen't mean that she can work with her party and unite the Democrats and America.

    The only reason she didn't start to attack Obama and his teams is that it would not be the smart thing to do, and Hillary is out to win at all costs. She will act nice if she thinks it will help her, and she will act mean if she thinks that will help her.

    Because of this, it dosen't mean anything that no blowup occured in a restaurant.


    January 26, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  25. matthew

    Wow CNN, you had to work that into the story didn't you.

    Just admit it, you guys messed up! Stop creating issues the voters don't care about. You're as bad as Fox News is!

    January 26, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
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