February 21st, 2008
08:47 PM ET
6 years ago

Schneider: Clinton, Obama back away from border fence

AUSTIN, Texas (CNN) - CNN's John King asked Clinton about a Senate vote that isn't likely to play well with the Latino community: her support for a border fence between the United States and Mexico.

But Clinton quickly reminded voters Obama also voted for the fence. She doesn't want to be on the losing end of this issue.

Does she still continue to support a boarder fence? Clinton didn't really say: her position seems to be that after a careful review, it may work in some places. She is clearly backing away from this vote.

Meanwhile Obama quickly said he agrees with Clinton on this issue, and that fences may work in some areas.

Neither candidate wants to be on the wrong end of this hot issue in the Latino community.

Related: Watch Clinton and Obama discuss a potential border fence

– CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider


Filed under: Bill Schneider
February 21st, 2008
08:39 PM ET
6 years ago

Schneider: Immigration reform not a risk in the fall

AUSTIN, Texas (CNN) - Clinton and Obama are calling for a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants and comprehensive immigration reform. This will play well with the Latinos voters they are courting, and it isn't likely to pose much of a risk in the general election.

Why? John McCain was a chief sponsor of comprehensive immigration reform legislation. He will have a hard time using this issue against either candidate.

Related: Watch Obama and Clinton debate immigration reform

– CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider


Filed under: Bill Schneider
February 21st, 2008
08:36 PM ET
6 years ago

Schneider: Clinton, Obama not drawing contrasts

AUSTIN, Texas (CNN) - On the question about handling the economy, Barack Obama is clearly trying to minimize his policy differences with Hillary Clinton. Instead, he is trying to make the point he differences with her on style – where he has the advantage – by pointing to his ability to form bipartisan coalitions and reach across the aisle.

Clinton, meanwhile, has yet to engage Obama: When asked about the economy and how she would handle it differently than Obama, she talked about how her approach would differ with President Bush's. She needs to start drawing contrasts with Obama directly.

–CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider


Filed under: Bill Schneider
February 21st, 2008
08:35 PM ET
6 years ago

CNN=Politics Daily

CNN=Politics Daily is The Best Political Podcast from the Best Political Team.

CNN=Politics Daily is The Best Political Podcast from the Best Political Team.

(CNN)—Fallout from the New York Times article suggesting Republican John McCain had inappropriate relations with a female lobbyist dominated the political scene Thursday.

In the latest installment of CNN=Politics Daily, Dana Bash takes a deeper look into John McCain’s past. McCain’s lawyer Bob Bennett compares the accusations to a piece of cotton candy, saying “there’s not much there.”

Meanwhile, the Democratic candidates headed into Thursday’s CNN/Univision debate looking to pick up support in Texas and throughout the country. Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley lays out what’s at stake for Sens. Clinton and Obama.

Finally, CNN’s Josh Rubin gives you an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the CNN/Univision Debate, and what it takes to get it on air.

Click here to subscribe to CNN=Politics Daily

–CNN’s Emily Sherman

February 21st, 2008
08:28 PM ET
6 years ago

Schneider: Past debate moment comes up

AUSTIN, Texas (CNN) - The first question dealt with the issue of the day: Cuba.

Clinton made the argument she has made before - that she would not meet with Raul Castro without preconditions. In doing so, she is subtly reminding the audience of what was largely viewed as a misstep by Obama at summer debate: when he said he would meet with some of the world's worst dictators without preconditions. Clinton later called that answer naïve.

CNN's Campbell Brown quickly pressed Obama on that argument; he said he would meet Raul Castro too, but not before groundwork had been laid - a fuzzier answer than he gave over the summer. Clinton is also hedging, saying she would pursue "vigorous diplomacy" with America's enemies.

On this issue, the two seem to be moving toward each other - and to the extent they do that, it's to Obama's advantage, because he was clearly seen as the loser of this issue debate earlier in the campaign.

– CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider


Filed under: Bill Schneider
February 21st, 2008
08:19 PM ET
6 years ago

Schneider: Obama quickly highlights Iraq

Schneider: It didn't take long for Obama to raise the issue of Iraq.
Schneider: It didn't take long for Obama to raise the issue of Iraq.

AUSTIN, Texas (CNN) - It didn’t take long for Barack Obama to get to the Iraq issue: In his opening statement, he alluded to the fact he was against it from the start. This has long been one of his most chief arguments against Hillary Clinton: she voted to authorize it. Iraq is no longer the most important issue for most Democrats, but it is still a very effective talking point for Obama.

– CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider


Filed under: Bill Schneider • Candidate Barack Obama • Iraq
February 21st, 2008
08:11 PM ET
6 years ago

Schneider: Clinton stresses connection to Latinos

AUSTIN, Texas (CNN) - Hillary Clinton used her opening statement to immediately stress her roots in South Texas - the stronghold of the state’s Latino community. She spent time there after college in a voter registration effort - and she wants Latino voters watching tonight to remember this. She clearly has a target audience tonight.

– CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider


Filed under: Bill Schneider • Hillary Clinton
February 21st, 2008
08:07 PM ET
6 years ago

Schneider: Clinton, Obama share stage, but no embrace

Sens. Obama and Clinton greet the audience before Thursday night's debate.
Sens. Obama and Clinton greet the audience before Thursday night's debate.

AUSTIN, Texas (CNN) - Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama just took the debate stage and the two barely acknowledged each other. I didn’t even see them shake hands. It's a far cry from the Los Angeles debate when the two held a long embrace. Is this a sign of what's to come?

We'll find out.

– CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider


Filed under: Bill Schneider
February 21st, 2008
07:47 PM ET
6 years ago

Schneider: Clinton has a harder task than Obama

The stage is set for tonight's debate.
The stage is set for tonight's debate.

AUSTIN, Texas (CNN) - The Democratic debate here in Austin, Texas begins in about 15 minutes. The questions remain secret and no one is quite sure what will happen tonight. But one thing is clear: Hillary Clinton has a much tougher task ahead of her than Barack Obama.

Clinton has got to be the candidate of change tonight - she needs to change the race. Obama has won 10 straight contests (11 if you count today's "global primary"), and the momentum is clearly on his side. The pressure is on the New York senator to have a defining moment that changes how voters view her – and how they view Obama.

But can she stop his momentum without harming herself? She clearly needs to draw distinctions with Obama and knock him off stride - without appearing overly negative. That’s because Obama thrives on her negativism - it boosts his argument that he is a different type of politician, the candidate that can change the highly-partisan tone of Washington.

Clinton also needs to get voters to see her in a different light. Bill Clinton has talked recently about his wife's ability to empower people - if she can convey this message tonight, she will likely be well-received. But it’s a tall order.

Obama's task, on the other hand, is easier. He merely needs to avoid a big slip up, and fend off anything Clinton throws at him with a smile while calling her out on her attacks.

He also needs to introduce himself to Texas' Latino electorate. Hispanic voters are expected to play a key role in the state's March 4 primary, and many here still don't really know who he is. They know the Clintons well - and the New York senator is banking on their support to carry her to victory.

But tonight's debate is co-sponsored by Univision, and will be broadcast in Spanish, giving many of these voters their first opportunity to get a long look at Obama. If they warm to him, Clinton is in trouble on March 4.

Let the debate begin!

–CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider

February 21st, 2008
04:48 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama wins Democrats Abroad contest

An American living in Berlin votes in the Democrats Abroad primary on Super Tuesday.
An American living in Berlin votes in the Democrats Abroad primary on Super Tuesday.

(CNN) - Barack Obama has won the Democrats Abroad Global Primary, according to the International Chair for the Democrats Abroad, Christine Marques.

Marques tells CNN the results of the week-long vote were:

Barack Obama – 65 percent, Hillary Clinton – 32 percent, with the rest of the candidates pulling in less than 1 percent of the vote each.

Democrats Abroad will send 22 delegates to the Democratic Convention, with half a vote each, carrying a total of 11 votes.

According to Democrats Abroad UK Chairman Bill Barnard, eight of the 22 will be superdelegates: two of those have said they will support Clinton, two have said they will support Obama, and four are undecided. Fourteen of the 22 will be pledged delegates.

Voting in the Democrats Abroad Global Primary began on Super Tuesday, February 5 and continued through February 12. Voting centers were set up in 33 countries, including the UK, France, Germany, Mexico, Canada, Italy, Japan, Hong Kong and new chapters in Istanbul, Ukraine, Russia and Indonesia - the highest number of voting centers in the primary's history.

This was the first cycle that Democrats Abroad enabled those who live in countries without voting centers to vote by mail, fax or Internet.

Democrats Abroad will not release its membership numbers, but the largest communities of U.S. expatriates live in Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom.

–CNN's Jonathan Wald

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