March 2nd, 2008
12:15 PM ET
7 years ago

Clinton elaborates on handling a late-night, last-minute crisis

Sen. Clinton recently released an ad trumpeting her ability to handle a 3 a.m. phone call if elected to the Oval Office.
Sen. Clinton recently released an ad trumpeting her ability to handle a 3 a.m. phone call if elected to the Oval Office.

WESTERVILLE, Ohio (CNN) - In a high school gym just north of Columbus on Sunday, Hillary Clinton elaborated on just what kind of phone call she is prepared to take at three in the morning.

In tandem with a new campaign ad, Clinton has warned over the last three days that a president needs the right kind of experience to deal with such a phone call, and to make a split-second decision without advisers at her side.

“When those calls come in at 3 a.m. it might be a national security crisis,” she said in a hushed voice. “You know, it could be an economic crisis. The economy is facing some really troubled waters.”

Clinton linked a hypothetical middle-of-the-night economic crisis to terrorism or political upheaval abroad.

“Think about what could happen if there were unrest in Nigeria, or a terrorist act in Saudi Arabia,” she continued. “Oil would shoot to 150 dollars a barrel.”

The crowd applauded as she then criticized the Bush administration for wanting to “hold hands with the Saudis” rather than stand up to them.

In recent days, Clinton has demurred when asked to name a crucial 3 a.m. decision from her own experience.

Related: Dems battle in Texas

– CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby


Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Ohio • Political ads • Texas
soundoff (99 Responses)
  1. Don't think so ....

    Fear mongering ... there she goes from 'funny' Hillary to scary Hillary in less than 12 hours. The many faces of Billary ...

    March 2, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  2. Independent Voter in Texas

    So now she wants to REVISE THE MESSAGE after the message has gone out. And look who is giving her all the free press she could possibly gobbleup.

    Give the voters credit for a little common sense.

    March 2, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  3. John, Las Vegas, NV

    Clinton definition of crucial 3 a.m. call.

    "Honey, this is Bill, could you tell me where the laundry detergent is? I need to get a stain out of some clothes."

    March 2, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  4. Lost in Moderation in Vermont

    So she is ready to answer the phone at 3AM, but she admits that she never has. How is this different from Obama?
    This ad was nothing more than an atempt to strike fear into the hearts of Americans. BTW I would hope that if the phone rang at 3AM, it was answered a lot quicker than in the ad. I don't think it ever was answered, it just kept ringing...
    CNN Please don't leave me in moderation.

    March 2, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  5. OBAMA 08

    CNN: Is Obama still in this race??

    March 2, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  6. Natalie NJ

    I don't think this ad will help her, most people I know all made the same comments we immediately thought of John McCain. Obama's response ad is more effective using the judgment argument.
    I think Hillary should comeout with a powerful econic ad that would have been in tune with the concerns of the people.
    The 3 am ad is an ad that Mc Cain will most likely use and will serve him better than it did Hillary.

    Hillary needs to find one key strenght and stick with it. STOP switching all over the place, it shows weakness and a little desperation.

    March 2, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  7. Manuel TX

    "Hi, this is Barack Obama, I'm not in right now but if you leave a message, someone will call back and answer 'Present'..."

    Thanks BO for the excellent job that you're doing chairing the Senate subcommittee on Europe/NATO dealing with Afghanistan. You've called no meetings in 14 months.

    Words, just words.... :)

    March 2, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  8. John, Las Vegas, NV

    Clinton definition of CRITICAL 3 a.m. call

    "Honey, this is Bill, do you know where my cigars are stashed in the Oval Office?"

    March 2, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  9. Totally for Hillary

    I think it was a brilliant to do that ad. And she has plenty of military experts backing her.

    March 2, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  10. mark

    Hillary, you are bringing shame on you. That is the most ridiculoous ad I could imagine from a democratic candidate. You're trying to scare up people to vote for. If people vote on the basis of that, McCain will be everybody's choice. I hope Bill and you are not suffering from any old age ailments.

    March 2, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  11. John, Las Vegas, NV

    Clinton definition of National Security 3 a.m. call

    "Honey, this is Bill, we have Osama Bin Laden in our sights. Do you think we should shoot at him or send him a note saying "Shame on you, Osama Bin Laden"?

    March 2, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  12. TC

    She needs to get back on her meds. She is the worst kind of delusional if she actually believes people will buy her solving a crisis at 3am on her own...during that crisis and every other she will be rolling over and asking Bill, "what would you do?" ...and then and only then will the sky open up and all be well with the world....LOL

    March 2, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  13. kalliope

    I think an advertisement like this will ultimately help McCain in a run against Obama. It was always my belief that the politics of fear-mongering belonged to the Republicans, but again Hillary disappoints with her tactics and her ever-changing platform. I'm sorry to say that more damage is being done to the Democrats with everyday she remains in the race. She gave it a good try, her message is convoluted, her run is over.

    March 2, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  14. june

    Yes if I had to place a call I would rather it was with Hillary in the White House not Obama.! YES YOU CAN ! YES YOU CAN ! HILLARY FOR PRESIDENT !

    March 2, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  15. Taj

    "She demurred when asked to name a crucial 3 a.m. decision from her own experience."

    Hillary's not trying to say that she has handled a crisis before, but that she is best prepared to do so as President. She has met world leaders and visited more than 80 foreign countries - Obama has little to no experience in this area, and the White House should not be his training wheels.

    March 2, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  16. John, Las Vegas, NV

    So, as I understand it, by Clinton refusing to name any 3 a.m. (oh heck, let's help her out, how about any call between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. to give her more of a window to come up with an answer) call where she had to answer that was critical, is she saying that she will be ready on Day One, but she won't be ready on Day Two at 3 a.m. because she has no experience with that kind of call? I figure Day One is pretty much limited to inaugural balls and dances, so I guess she'll be ready on Day One to party, but not on Day Two to perform.

    March 2, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  17. Sociallly taxed

    FEAR-

    Great candidates we have ourselves. If the Gov't actually did its job, defending the Nation on 911, we would have nothing to fear but fear itself.

    AMERICA- Land of the Sheep, Home of the Afraid.

    March 2, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  18. Closely Watching

    CNN-PLEASE POST THIS IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT EVERYONE RESEARCH THIS STORY...PERHAPS YOU SHOULD LOOK INTO IT.

    I would encourage EVERYONE, but especially women who are supporting Senator Clinton, to get on your search engine of choice and enter 'Clinton IAP campaign contributions' and read the story from msnbc. This is VERY ALARMING and should shed light on the true character of Senator Clinton.

    AGAIN, PLEASE DO THIS ASAP.

    March 2, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  19. Grant

    She will pick up the phone and say "one moment please" and hand it over to Bill........

    March 2, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  20. Hillary Please Stop

    But she demurred when asked to name a crucial 3 a.m. decision from her own experience. LOL!

    Maybe she didn't wan't to answer the quesitons first! I guess at 3 am she'll ask the question; did you call and ask Senator Obama before you called me!

    March 2, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  21. Closely Watching

    SORRY-The initials are IPA, not IAP. My bad.

    March 2, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  22. Hillary Please Stop

    Maybe she didn't wan't to answer the quesitons first! I guess at 3 am she'll ask the question; did you call and ask Senator Obama before you called me!

    March 2, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  23. independent voter

    Come on, Hillary. Where's that experience you speak of? And, where are your tax returns and your First Lady papers?

    March 2, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  24. DSF

    Why does the headline on the facepage read 'Nicholson backs WH hopeful', and not 'Nicholson backs Hillary Clinton'? Why avoid using her name? Obama has never been called a vague 'WH hopeful', like someone who just entered the race...why demean Clinton this way? I love reading CNN online but sometimes you guys are just plain stupid, really...

    March 2, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  25. jd

    So what would Hillary do when she answers the phone at 3.00am? Call Bill? 'Honey, some bad men are doing bad things! Please help me.'. Like she's been doing all this campaign season. Imagine her without the 'Clinton' name. She'd be a multi-millionaire WalMart legal representative nobody today.

    March 2, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
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