January 31st, 2008
09:50 PM ET
9 years ago

Schneider: Clinton tackles the First Spouse issue


Former President Clinton campaigned for his wife in New Jersey recently. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Hollywood loves the core of Obama’s answer on the sex and violence in media issue: don’t blame producers, blame the parents. He doesn’t let them off the hook, but he does argue their case somewhat.

Meanwhile, Clinton’s having trouble with a tougher question – and a unique problem for her. Obama doesn’t have to deal with the specter of a former president in the White House alongside the new commander-in-chief. There’s a lot of evasiveness in her response.

Related: Hillary Clinton says she's running for president–not Bill

- CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider

Filed under: Schneider analysis
soundoff (263 Responses)
  1. Kevin

    RE: The answer was great, "it took a Clinton to clean up the first Bush mess and It may take another Clinton to clean up the 2nd"

    What a GREAT Response!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Yeah, I laughed when she said this too, and thought what a good line.

    Then I started to think more clearly and with a good memory. Clinton/Gore didn't really clean up a "mess" left by George I. I didn't vote for the man, but most objective historians put his presidency on the plus side of things. He took us into a war and got us out. The economy tanked a bit under him, and Bill and Al looked really good in 92.

    And then I got to thinking that it was Bill's second-term "mess" that really turned the country toward a bumbling governor from Texas.

    So, it's a great line, but don't let it cloud your judgement, nor your grasp of the recent past.

    January 31, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  2. Rfos

    Hillary clearly feels entitled to this Presidency due to her husband's prior record. The problem is George Bush also felt entitled and look at what he did. Hillary will bring gridlock on the other extreme in Washington DC.

    January 31, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  3. CJ

    I'm willing to bet that if you polled everyone who voted to approve our occupation in Iraq, that Hillary would not be the ONLY one thinking "My God, what did I do?" I hate this war! But had I been in a position of making a decision based solely on the intel that was presented to our senators and congressmen by the liar Bush and his cronies, I too would have supported action. None of us want to face that a maniac like Saddam could possibly have WMD's!

    January 31, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  4. Big'n'Little

    One of these days Hilary is actually going to anwer a question and the sky is going to fall

    January 31, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  5. Scott

    I liked Bill when I was 30. I wasn't thrilled by the dirty deeds done in the White House. Then I liked the Beatle song, "Yesteday, all my troubles seemed so far away"

    Go Obama

    January 31, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  6. Mimi

    If you just pick an average Joe from the street and put him into the white house, and his last name is not clinton, are you happy?

    It is stupid to judge people only by their last names.

    January 31, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  7. Clinton Won

    Clinton beat up on Obama in such a nice way. She clearly won the debate. At the end of the day, Obama is just a novelty. As Bill Clinton said, Jesse Jackson won twice in South Carolina too. The black vote will follow whomever the Democrats nominate. They are like sheep that way.

    January 31, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  8. Doreen Augusta Maine

    I think Clinton is always prepared to answer a question, but the truth is that she and Bill are connected at the hip. They feed off each other and live off each other - period.

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

    Since the Bozo-in-chief took over 7 years ago everything has changed including the media. (Thanks for nothing FOX). The media doesn't just report any longer, they are looking to make their network look good. Edwards would make an excellent President but the only thing the media wants is Hillary and Barack and wasn't going to give Edwards much exposure.

    January 31, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  10. Serg

    This is sad,but CNN become Fox ver 2.0. at Obama point.There is think calls "neutrality" for an honorable media.
    Hillary '08.

    January 31, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  11. Judy

    I am ready to stop watching cnn. I used to call you the "unbiased" channel, but during this primary, you have become so biased–it's nausiating. Wolf Blitzer's remark to Hillary Clinton tonight was so unprofessional, I couldn't believe my ears. If I owned cnn, I'd fire the whole friggin lot of you. You love making Obama look like some kind of god and Clinton, a she devil. Come on guys, I want real broadcasting, not your opinion. Some poor pitiful people may need your input on who is best to run this country, others of us want to just hear it like it is, not like how YOU think it is. I remember a time when you liked George Bush too!!!

    January 31, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  12. holyOK

    I have never heard such daft ideas in my life. Neither candidate knows a thing about economic issues and are in a full out race to bankrupting the country's already nervous economy

    January 31, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  13. Louis

    CNN and other 24-Hour "Infotainments" are unqualified to report on anything much less a Presidential Debate.

    Sorry to break it to you CNN, MSNBC, FOX NEWS... the voters don't need any of your bogus polls and biased pundits to determine who they will vote for.

    The infotainment media needs to stop.

    Here's a question I want to know: If CNN is taking money from corporations to advertie on their network... then why am I paying to watch cable???


    It's time for America to have a woman in charge!

    January 31, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  14. Kathy Jean

    Come On! Bill is never going to change...he can't even keep his mouth shut on the campagin trail...and he has not learned yet to stop wagging his finger at everyone like he is some preached in the pulpit. He'll be lurking around every corner of the White House trying to put his 2 cents in. I think Mr. C. will be a problem if Hillary insists on putting a muffle on him for the rest of the campaign and into the White House. Oh gosh....let's all vote for Obama and hope Edwards gets the VP ticket.

    January 31, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  15. CAT

    looking forward to Obama's talk w/ the healthcare insurance people and ah ha Clinton; who cashed in on this in the past, I mean real cash.............


    January 31, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  16. JohnS

    I GUESS now that Obama has laid out his specific point-by-point policies, the "Doubting Thomas' will appreciate a man of integrity, honesty, and intelligence!!! OBAMA/EDWARDS is a preferred ticket.

    January 31, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  17. linda

    why does Wolfe go after Hillary and not Obama....answer he's a man...Obama couldn't take the heat thrown @ Clinton..Women need to support one of their own...maybe than and only than will we make a dollar to their dollar and not the 77cents we now get. UNITE WOMEN!!!!!!

    January 31, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  18. Marie

    I don't understand how both Bill and Hillary say that he never did a thing without asking her, that is, that they were co-presidents, yet now she says 'oh no, i'll be in charge in the lonely whitehouse.' That is crap.

    January 31, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  19. Tommy

    re Soldierette:

    The vote was for not a Declaration of War. Hillary was correct. The notion that she should say she was wrong, at a time when nearly nobody would personally vote against holding Iraq accountable is crazy – Obama was not in the Senate and he was not there to vote, so he cannot say what he would do, if he had all the facts. Democrats were not for war, but they were in support of threatening Iraq with further action. The legislative action was never done, and Bush used his temporary powers to wage a war – Nobody in Congress voted for that since it was never brought to Congress at that time.

    As for liars, you pointed out Hillary looking downward, but didn't point out the 210 times Obama looked downward during the two hours.

    January 31, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  20. donna

    I thought the question should never have been asked. If Hillary were a man, no one would have dared ask " how u gonna make ur wife behave" And can you imagine asking Barack that question. So Barack gets to answer a no brainer question that any parent with young children would answer and essentially Hillary is aksed about her philandering husband

    January 31, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  21. Dean

    Julian, WI..........what planet are you from? Bush-Cheney are in a world all their own. Every other candidate respects the Constitution and would abide by it. What makes you think that Bill and Hillary would do anything like 'W'. He's picking and choosing what laws he wants to follow.........no Democrat, including Hillary or Barack would be anything like him.

    January 31, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  22. anonymous

    it seemed so obvious to me that Hillary was given harder questions...which i thought she answered very well–with poise, grace AND intelligence. i still haven't really seen Obama hold his own. The questions given at the end were so obviously in favor of Obama, it was nauseating. What is up with that? Is this American Idol? Should we call in Simon Cowell to endorse Obama? It is absurd how much you folks at CNN pick your favorites. This is such a serious time–such an important time. Please be fair–give each candidate equal time and fair questions. We all realize that this election is unprecedented in its choice of candidates. Not only is Hillary Clinton our first potential woman president, she is a former first lady. For crying outloud, her husband was OUR PRESIDENT. CNN, you used to love him–now you are ready to dagger him. et tu?

    January 31, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  23. paul

    Hillary had a funny line about needing another Clinton in the WH to clean up after another Bush. I liked that and so did everyone in the audience.

    What Obama hasn't said yet – and I'll bet this is running through his mind every time this comes up – was how incredibly lucky Bill Clinton was to have been President during the Internet boom years of 1995-2000. To refresh people's memories, Netscape released its Navigator browser in 1995. A couple months later, Bill Gates sent a famous memo to all Microsoft employees that basically said, "Holy crap! There's this thing called the Internet and we're missing it!" and the entire computer industry was off and running. That was a 50-year event, something that happens at most once every 50 years. Remember, the Ken Starr investigation and impeachment proceedings dominated much of Clinton's second term, so he didn't have time to focus on the economy the way he would have liked. But balancing the Federal budget was ridiculously easily during the dot com ear – the issue came down to how to spend or distribute the surplus.

    Most of the people posting on this board would have been remembered as a great President had they been in office at the time. Well, maybe the two current occupants of the White House would've blown it all on some war.

    January 31, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  24. jbentley

    Hillary did address the question of Bill. Will he be allowed to hobnob with Kazakh dictators and facilitate sketchy uranium deals for shady contributors? Also she's very clever and disengenuous when it comes to the question of running on her own record. She says she wants to be judged on her own merits and then spends the rest of the answer touting Bills record.

    January 31, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  25. betty doyle

    i love my comment – what is it you want me to moderate?

    betty doyle
    santa fe, nm

    January 31, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
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