January 31st, 2008
08:57 PM ET
6 months ago

Schneider: Careful answers from both candidates

Clinton is smart to steer the blame for immigration woes to employers – it’s a great political strategy for addressing this thorny issue.

The core of the immigration debate is the naturalization process Clinton described tonight – is that amnesty? She’s appealing to emotions; Obama’s going for the logical arguments. It’s tough for Obama to argue to people that they’re not seeing what they think they’re seeing – that immigration itself isn’t the problem.

Obama has a big problem with the Latino vote. The problem isn’t Latino racism – it’s that Latinos have strong ties to the Clintons. This is where his stronger views on the issue – in favor of drivers licenses for illegal immigrants, and other measures – can help him gain credibility with the base on the issue.

Another path to the Latino vote: Ted Kennedy’s support. Obama’s raising Ted Kennedy tonight the same way his Republican counterparts raised Ronald Reagan’s last night – in hopes of roughly the same results.

Obama’s also using the issue to point attention to one of Clinton’s biggest perceived weaknesses: her reputation for political calculation.

Still: they’re spending more time calling attention to their similarities than they are to their dofferences – a huge contrast with the Republican field.

Related: Watch the candidates debate immigration

–CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider


Filed under: Bill Schneider
soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. Otis Richardson

    Clnton she win

    January 31, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  2. crews2me

    Hillary is supposed to have much more experience then Obama but I'm not seeing that. He seems to be a very smart, experienced Senator who has very good judgment. I think the experience issue is now mute!

    January 31, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  3. David

    Obama is a skillful person that says the truth. Looking at Clinton, you can see from her face that all that she's ttrying to say cannot be accomplished in anyway. she's been the senator for 35 years what has she accomplished so far? same old politics if people vote for her. We need new ideas.

    January 31, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  4. Annie

    Clinton is wiping the floor with Obama here; it's clear that she is the best candidate for the job!

    January 31, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  5. Blessed

    I am not suprised to see the candidates working hard to stay grown-up because this election has finally arrived at the crossroads where any slip-up can be irreparable. If that is not enough inscentive to get them play fair, I do not know what can be.....

    January 31, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  6. La'Kitgum

    Clinton is the most specific and clear. Obama is mixing up issues.

    January 31, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  7. Dawn

    On the immigration issue. I hope latino's are following these two candidates positions. As a latina I feel Hillary has a better plan for the immigration issue...She will not solve it but she does have a more humane approach.

    January 31, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  8. evelyn

    Barack needs to count a little more then on Ted Kennedy for the Latino vote. I am for Hillary all the way.

    January 31, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  9. SEF

    They are so incredibly close on almost every issue, I don't see why we can't have a "two-fer". Whoever gets the nomination should invite the other to run on the ticket as Vice. I honestly like them both.

    January 31, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  10. George

    Hillary is definately speaking to Cali voters.. It's very tactical and smart

    January 31, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  11. jonelle

    I totally agree with Mr. Schneider. The Republican's spent more time calling attention to their differences that it really became a circus act. I believe that Americans don't care how long a person spent in the military vs how long the other was a manager. I believe Americans want to hear what we're hearing tonight; economic solutions, health care solutions, and the solution to ending this war.

    January 31, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  12. bpp

    I don't think we will see both of these candidates in the White House. My guess is John Edwards as VP

    January 31, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  13. Bernadette

    I would ask both candidates what they think about the surge having succeeded, when as far as I am concern, no surge would have been necessary if we had not been there in the first place.

    January 31, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  14. rdk4481@fsu.edu

    come on hilary; you want the US to aggressively make the Middle East our source for oi. you are waging war in the Middle East.

    January 31, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  15. Jocelyn Simplice

    May be Senator Mccain was referring to 100 years in regard to his age not to the length of stay of the troops in Iraq.

    January 31, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  16. Sonya

    As a young american I do have many issues with immigration as it stands today. The new president must be able to take immediate action. We are not only loosing blue collar jobs to companies who have moved their manufacturing overseas we are loosing it to illegal immigrants in this country. Where are the children of tomorrow going to work? I am all for people wanting to make a better life for their family here in the USA but it needs to be goverened better. No illegal should be granted a drivers license, this will not increase hit and runs incidents because it happens already, these folks get insurance for one month long enough to get their tags for their car and then cancel.

    January 31, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  17. Robert

    Can someone ask Senator Obama this question: If he is running on the basis of change from the 90's, what part of the 90's and the Clinton Administration does he not agree with.

    January 31, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  18. J

    How can you say that the problem with the latino vote for obama isn't at least partially racially driven? The latino culture discriminates against blacks and native americans in their popular and daily culture.

    Given: Latino proponents of illegal immigration are attempting to ride on the coat tails of the hard won civil rights that women and african americans have fought for.

    However,

    1. Illegal immigration negatively affects african americans first economically. Try to find an economist who says otherwise.

    2. Latinos are also cutting into the political positions and podiums previously held by african american politicians (inner city representation etc).

    3. Latinos for whatever reason, traditionally vote against african american candidates (see results from Florida – doesn't count, and Nevada).

    Conclusion: Sadly, illegal immigrants and their proponents will take african american jobs, take advantage of african american won civil rights platforms, and prevent the first legitimate african american presidential candidate from being elected. What a disgrace.

    January 31, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
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