January 31st, 2008
09:18 PM ET
2 years ago

Schneider: Not making the choice any easier

Former presidents Bush and Clinton attended the funeral of former Russian president Boris Yeltsin together in 2007.
Former presidents Bush and Clinton attended the funeral of former Russian president Boris Yeltsin together in 2007.

The question of the past vs. the future keeps raising its head – this time in a question that raises the dynastic concerns in the minds of many Americans: nearly three straight decades of a Bush or a Clinton on the presidential ballot.

Clinton turns the question on its head, repeating a pithy campaign trail formulation that always resonates with Democratic audiences: it takes a Clinton to clean up after a Bush.

The happiest man this evening? Howard Dean. So far tonight, the Democratic party is the big winner. This debate clearly beats last night’s debate. But if you’re trying to use the forum to decide which candidate to support, you might come away more uncertain than ever.

Related: Watch Hillary Clinton take a dig at President Bush

–CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider


Filed under: Bill Schneider
soundoff (160 Responses)
  1. Parag

    This debate is the best we so far had making choice difficult, hence advantage to Hillary..She would continue lead and get dem ticket...No doubt.

    January 31, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  2. Chelle

    I'm all for OBAMA but I must say that this is the best I've seen Clinton. Regardless of her prior offenses, she is doing well tonight. However, Obama is realistic and can easily poke holes in her policy choices. Tough decision for those on the fence...

    January 31, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  3. Di

    Loved the "it takes a Clinton to clean up after a Bush" line. This woman is amazing polished, prepared, nuanced and smart.

    January 31, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  4. Laura

    It is obvious to me that it has already been decided that there will be a Clinton/Obama dem. ticket.
    This is not a "debate" - this is a lovefest. It has been agree that neither will inflict any kind of mortal blow on the other. They are ready for the general election.

    January 31, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  5. William-Jose Velez

    How can I ask for CNN to ask about the Puerto Rico status issue?

    January 31, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  6. Richy

    Yes very much so. Its the Democrats' night for sure but don't you think Clinton has a slight edge so far?

    January 31, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  7. John Reineck

    I think Republicans like myself watch the debate because we want to understand how these two democrates plan to do what they promise to do. What I have learn so far tonight is that I will pay more taxes, I will get less health care, the government will take more control over more areas of my life and I might not be as safe tomorrow as I am today.

    January 31, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    What will Bill Clinton's role be in the White House if Hillary is elected? She played a large role in his administration....are we electing just Hillary or do we need to consider whether or not we do want President Clinton back in the oval office?

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

    I disagree with Hilary Clinton. If the first Clinton cleaned up after the first Bush, how did the second Bush get into the white house? Also, she mentioned that a woman as US President would be the greatest example of change in America and the world. I would like to point out that the US is now playing catch up to many countries who have already had female leaders and so this is a phenomenon in the US, not the world.

    January 31, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  10. Karen

    the best ever soundbite! It took a clinton to repair the country from the first bush and it will take a clinton to fix the problems of the sedcond bush!
    What a HIT! You go girl! You won my vote!

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

    I couldn't agree with you more. I'm getting a headache by concentrating so hard to spot the differences between these two.

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

    A full withdrawl from Iraq would result in failure. Failure on the war in terror, and also failure to the Iraqi people. We messed up by going there. We made things better, but it's not exactly perfect, and probably never will be. If we pull out immediately and have no occupancy there, the country will go down and the established government will fail and we as a country and as a power would be under attack again.

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

    I know, both are impressing me, I was for Edwards, leaning towards Hillary but Barak is impressive.

    January 31, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  14. frank

    this not a debate its a political speech affair. no controversy. its a love affair

    January 31, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  15. Susan

    Barack is amazing. He is doing so great. Not the same Barack we saw at any other debate.

    Clinton has no credibility and is trying too hard.

    January 31, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  16. Sharon

    Go Hillary! She sounds awesome! And I love the Clinton cleaning up after the Bush comment!

    January 31, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  17. Joseph Davidson, San Diego, California

    Wolf rides again! His bias towards Hillary is sick!!!!!!

    January 31, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  18. Diane Ward

    As a woman CEO I wonder who has been coaching Hillary on the "laugh" issue. To be taken seriously in power sitautions she is going to need to get rid of the laugh...how can she be taken serious when she is front of a world leader – gets nervous and starts with that nervous laugh? How will she change that behavior if she is president.

    January 31, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  19. paul

    obama should add the positive effect his consistent position on iraq will have on negotiations with neighbors of Iraq, contrary to hillary's. why doesnt he do this?

    January 31, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  20. Maureen

    It really isn't that hard to decide....who can beat the republican candidate? Hillary is who the republicans want to go up against because they know they can beat her. Obama can beat any of the republicans!

    January 31, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  21. njeri

    It is hard to make a choice. They are being so civil and nice to each other. I am a Black woman and I will most definitely vote for Hillary Clinton without hesitating.

    January 31, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  22. Rad

    Why Wolf Blitzer so pro Clinton. How come he find its imperative to point out "swipes". This debate appears to be loaded in Clinton's favor to begin with.

    January 31, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  23. Justin McKamey

    A full withdrawal from Iraq would result in failure. Failure on the war in terror, and also failure to the Iraqi people. We messed up by going there. We made things better, but it's not exactly perfect, and probably never will be. If we pull out immediately and have no occupancy there, the country will go down and the established government will fail and we as a country and as a power would be under attack again.

    January 31, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  24. keith landreth

    Why should Democrats or Republicans Vote For a man That Will Not Salute TheFlag Of the United States

    January 31, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  25. Barb in Dallas

    The Democratic party AND civility are the big winners tonight! It is very refreshing.

    January 31, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
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