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. WB

    hillary clinton is naive


    January 31, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |

    I like Obama on this one, Hitley, same old tune.


    January 31, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  3. Chris

    "She laughed a little too loudly on this one. Seemed nervous. And then her typically rambling answer went off topic."


    January 31, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  4. Kathy

    Hillary clearly won the debate. Way more applause for her then him. Gotta love and respect her.

    January 31, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  5. Cha

    Bill Schneider,

    Did we watch the same debate by any chance? I think you are too biased.

    January 31, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  6. Anna

    All I want to say is "It did take a Clinton to clean after the first Bush, and I think it might take another one to clean up after the second!"-Hillary Clinton.

    Clinton-Obama 2008!!

    January 31, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  7. linda

    I want a woman for president....I want Hillary...and I am so tired of Hillary getting the tougher of questions while Obama waves that finger in the air and looks down his nose @ her...I don't think Obama could take the amount of heat Hillary has had to take from the news media

    January 31, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  8. ASOK

    Hilary was more concise on issues. It clearly showed she is more prepared. I give her a thumsup.

    January 31, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  9. Manuela

    You go Hillary!! It is your turn now to be in power and please make Bill your sex slave!!!
    I love you Hillary! You are a smart woman and I am proud to be a woman who believes in you!

    January 31, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  10. ei

    I think that Barack Obama will be a great president! Enough of Bush, Clinton, Bush,Clinton!
    We need a new fresh face with a lot of good idea.
    Go Barack!!!

    January 31, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  11. Kerry

    Right on. This audience is ridiculously elitist.
    How am I supposed to take audience responses to issues of low-income healthcare and education improvements seriously when half the audience are multi-millionaires. This is just wrong.

    January 31, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  12. Bill

    It cracks me up to read the anti Hillary comments. I bet not a single one of you liked her before this debate. Cant we be a little more open minded. What are you folks so afraid of?

    Everyone keeps talking about bringing the country together but Politics has become to much a sport and people blindly follow their team no matter what they do. This will be our undoing. Closed minds dont solve anything.

    I will take either Obama or Hillary over McCain and Romney......

    Did anyone watch the dial testing??? Who had higher marks?

    January 31, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  13. Ike

    Bill, please try to maintain your neutrality, I believe both candidates did well. Great night for all progressive minded people.

    Great debate

    January 31, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  14. Julian, WI

    This is a serious problem if Hillary is nominated.

    When I read the headline of this article: "Clinton tackles the First Spouse issue" I was sure they were talking about BILL Clinton responding to the question in another forum.

    It is a serious problem for this country that we could truly end up with a Bush-Cheney-like co-presidency. And not only that, but what does it say about our electorate if we are willing to grant an unconstitutional "third term" to the Clintons.

    January 31, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  15. Michael

    I thought she was fine with the answer. After all, the man is an ex President? Shouldn't a current President listen to the advice of an ex??? Come on. I am sure no one will ask tis soon to be. It isn't her fault her husband was a GREAT President.

    January 31, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  16. Grady

    She can say what she wants for the clinton fans she can do no wrong and they seem to follow without any objection. No matter what her response tonight there is no doubt that her and her campaign has failed to control Bill Clinton for the past couple of weeks, it's either that or they gave him the task of making statements they wanted out but did not want the candidate to take credit for. You can't have it both ways.

    January 31, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  17. Alabama

    I think her response was genuine... She will be in charge period... controlling his mouth now is difficult but in the white house it will be her in charge and her only. And with her experience I believe there will be CHANGE and not just because shes a woman.

    January 31, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  18. tony

    tough call. i give hillary the edge overall. her strong point-competence & firmness his strong point-charm & gift of tongues. HILLARY-P OBAMA-VP.

    January 31, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  19. Jeanette J

    I used to think CNN was unbiased. You are so obviously for Obama. Let democrats decide who they want, without biased commentators, such as yourself.

    January 31, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  20. Vince

    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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 31, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  21. Tobi

    So this campaign is close? WHY is it close? She is "experienced", she has worked for "35 years", she has been the First Lady, she did Healthcare....So, why is the first term Senator from Illinois even in the running? Why isn't all her "stuff" good enough? She is only a second term Senator from a remote-but-voted-for-her-anyway-state..The very fact that Obama is completely equal, and eloquent, polished, succinct, effective.....at this stage PROVES he is far ahead of her so-called "history"..The fact that is is more than comeptition is EVIDENCE that she isn't ahead at ALL.

    January 31, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  22. European

    something that is striking is that obama talk more about what they don't like about hillary then hillary supporters how more take about their leader.

    I hope the democratic party will win in noverber how is in the white house for the party is not the most important. but I think hillary would make a beter president because she is more about the issues and obama say more the word change. also I think hillary is better in beating a republican because the republicans play realy dirty. but to all of you no republicans any more the destroyed USA.

    January 31, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  23. Joseph

    Both Hillary and Barack did well. Would they considered joining forces and become the President and Vice-President on the same ticket ?

    January 31, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  24. Jose Cruz

    I just witnessed what CNNcalls a debate. This was a Democratic love fest between two liberals pandering to their California supporters. The questions were soft and cordial, neither candidate can handle the issues. They speak in platitudes and feel good politics. Neither one of them was asked how and why they are qualifed to be president of this Great Nation. Nor whether they would bring different policies to the Presidency and how they would protect the American people from terrorists. Shame on you for putting this charade on National TV.

    January 31, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  25. Marc

    Now wait a second Bill. Hillary's response to the question about Bill was one of her best tonight! I think it is clear who you want to be nominated. She said that SHE is running the campaign, NOT her husband. Obviously he will give her advice, and I don't see how that is a bad thing. He was a good president. People need to stop judging these candidates on their spouses, race, and gender and just look at the people and their positions. I am sick of this.

    Hillary for 08. Let Obama be Vice President and get some real experience under his belt, then he can be my president! 🙂

    January 31, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
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