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. Liam

    Sure Hillary's comment its takes a Clinton to clean up after a Bush got a great applause, it was funny – but we don't need another comedian in the White House.
    Obama for change.

    January 31, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  2. wickera

    Wolf is acting like a Republican! Let's treat both candidates fairly. Edge to Wolf/Hillary and he knows it!

    January 31, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  3. ABL

    Bush/Clinton/Bush/Clinton – Hillary's attempt at humor in responding to that question is dynastic and embarrasing in a nation with 300 million people! Obama should have been given an oppotunity to respond and should have said that the Clintons and Bushs have spent decades making political deals and making enemies. These are liabilities that we cannot allow our next President to enter the oval office with. It's time break away from these people.

    January 31, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  4. MAfor Hillary

    Nancy in Minneapolis....
    Maria Shriver's brother is with HILLARY!!!! As are her cousins, Bobby Kennedy Jr., Kathleen Kennedy and Kerry Kennedy.
    Bill – still waiting for you to give Hillary anything close to the constant puffery you give to Barack.

    January 31, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  5. gary barbour

    Wolfe, you're in a tough spot but SHE NEVER ANSWERED YOUR QUESTION ON THE WAR! Don't let her bully you. This is what she'll do with everyone else who doesn't agree with her decisions. The facat is she is criticizing Bush and hiding behind him at the same time. Barrack had a very measured and pointed response by saying, 'who will make the right decision on day one.'. Barrack is winning lots of points here...

    January 31, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  6. Black Women in Florida for Hillary

    I am so impressed with Hillary.
    You Go Girl!

    President Clinton 2008! with Obama as VP will work. He needs more experience.

    January 31, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  7. Marcia

    Too bad Hillary did not permanently keep her name as Hillary Rodham ... then there would be no talk of a "Clinton Dynasty."

    January 31, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  8. Noreen

    Susan "Not the same Barack we saw at any other debate."

    That is because there is one person missing who would press him to give more details of his own and not "borrow" from the candidate that is no longer running a campaign.

    January 31, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  9. Janet

    I think by far Senator Clinton has done the best in the debate tonight. I am a registered Republican.

    January 31, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  10. Mike

    Wolf does appear biased against Hillary, disappointing, I thought he was above that as an independent moderator.

    January 31, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  11. kyderbymom

    I loved Bill Clinton, but I don't think that it would be good for this country to have two families leading this country for so long. I also can't imagine Hillary uniting this country in the way we desperately need to be united. Obama can. He excites me in the same way my mother said Kennedy excited her. He gives me hope like I've never experienced before.

    I only regret that when my primary rolls around, the decision will already have been made for me. We need to fix the primary system!

    January 31, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  12. Noreen

    Right on Day 1. Glad to know Obama is perfect and will never make mistakes.

    January 31, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  13. Misti

    I'd love to see a woman in the White House, but not this one. Everything about her rings false, and she's obviously a frontman for her husband. And that CACKLE – how can were listen to that for four more years?

    January 31, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  14. Nancy

    Best debate yet. It has solidified my belief in Clinton. For my kids sake, I believe in Clinton now, Obama later.

    January 31, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  15. Grace, Overland Park, Kansas

    that line is so old. unfortunately even though a clinton cleaned up after a bush last time, that clinton left a big mess of scandal and corruption that made a perfect opportunity for the "moral values" bush to try to clean up after that clinton. that was a weak albeit brilliantly calculated line that will appeal to those who can't think critically.

    January 31, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  16. sara

    Bill, I love your wit and intelligence but I think you just don't get it. Barack brings a special gift to the Democrat's this year.....authenticity......you just can't fake it.

    January 31, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  17. christopher

    Obama has made inroads on this Republican- This debate compared to last nights has made the choice much easier. Obama is the right person at the right time in history to make the real changes I keep hearing about. Let's not blame the Bush and Clinton families for the short comings of this country of our- We the People are responsible for what is right and wrong about American politics

    January 31, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  18. JCB

    Can anyone out there answer the question why Clinton does not make the point that Obama was never in the position to actually vote on the Iraq war resolution since he was not in the U.S Senate until 2005? The point being is that it is far easier to make a speech opposing the war while you are merely a STATE senator in Illinois and not a U.S Senator answering to a national constituency who was primed for retribution for 911 and led by a president who was grossly disingenuous with his facts and his hidden agenda in going to war.

    January 31, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  19. Rocky2

    Thank goodness we have the Democratic Party!
    I'm not sure which of them I'll vote for, because
    both are excellent. What a difference from last night's
    Republicans!!!

    January 31, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  20. Amy

    As a woman, I am offended by those who insinuate a vote for Obama is an anti-feminist vote. Hillary is a strong woman, but she is not the RIGHT woman. When the RIGHT woman presents- She WILL NOT need her husband's name recognition, nor need her husband to fight her fights, or raise her campaign funds. She is NOT the feminist candidate, she's a dependant woman.

    January 31, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  21. Barbara Kerr

    When the Clintons criticize Obama for eloquence, for lofty words and little substance, I think of FDR whose eloquence and lofty words and remarkably strong outreach to the people whose response was " Yes, we can" to his call to personal involvement, labor, and c ommitment to get the nation successfully World War II.

    January 31, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  22. Mike

    We, me, are members of the Democratic Party, not DemocRATS as the right wing talk show host have been callings us, using subliminal messages. We need to get bac to that

    January 31, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  23. Susan

    What's up with the discussion about the indiscretions of Bill Clinton? She wasn't the one who committed these indiscretions. I will say she reacted in a most dignified way when all those things became public knowledge. I don't think I could have behaved as well in the same situation. How she responded in that situation was nothing less than exceptional

    January 31, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  24. Jake

    Loved Clinton's come back on this question! She's the one that would make Democrats pround, because she a survivor!

    January 31, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  25. Pam

    A ticket to dream for...but if I have to choose, YES WE CAN! Obama takes this one.

    January 31, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
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