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. Corey, Maryland

    Hillary, you might be able to pick up a phone at 3 a.m. but that is something most of us regular folk have to do a lot of the time as well. You aren't anything special, and once you answer the phone you would have no clue what to talk about because you have no judgement. Obama is the one that can pick up the phone at even 2 a.m. ( oh yeah i said 2 a.m. start getting impressed everyone) and has the judgement to make the right call.

    Obama Richardson 08!!!

    March 2, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  2. Outside of the box

    And then again, it could just be a misdirected call to the VP, coming in for President Obama... from his drug dealer.

    March 2, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  3. Alex

    President should sleep at 3 a.m. to have her judgement right the next day. Unless, of course, she needs to watch what's her First Lad doing

    March 2, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  4. Ross

    How Hillary would handle just such a call is shown in her grave error by getting us into Iraq–and trying to get us into Iran.

    March 2, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  5. con in PA

    The "ticker" should be changed to the "picklary". (ie: pick hillary!)
    This page has nothing to do with fair coverage of primary elections!
    I'm a democrat...and I do have a mind of my own.
    I read many news pages and articles.
    I have watched all the debates.
    I will make an informed decision when it comes time to MY vote in Pennsylvania.
    I really hope their is a democratic backlash against all cable news networks who have not given fair and equal covereage of BOTH DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES during this whole election.
    This is so un-American!...and why the American people are screaming desperately FOR CHANGE!!!!!!!!

    March 2, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  6. JC, OHIO

    The key words here are "...without advisers". Obama has said over and over that he will be 'RIGHT from day one', but then says in the next breath, that he 'won't always be right'...so he needs good advisers. Make up your mind...seems he is always contradicting imself or copying Hillary at every step...

    March 2, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  7. deebo

    A last minute late night crisis – sounds like a personal issue.

    March 2, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  8. Blackjack

    “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.

    Like she could do something to stop the rise in the price of oil?
    STAND UP TO THEM?? STAND UP TO THEM?? Who ? OPEC?
    Fear mongering and horse puckey of the worst kind. Clinton should get a real life!

    March 2, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  9. Tim

    "A straw! Please...God...someone give me another straw to grasp!"
    I'm desperate here!

    March 2, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  10. Pat M PEI Canada

    I know it's the week-end and things are slow but c'mon is this the best you can do for News?

    There are some of us who enjoy surfing for news on the week-end but very often are disappointed.

    March 2, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  11. dude from germany

    Was it you have taking the calls before or was it mr. bill ,pls give me a brake lady.

    GO OBAMA

    March 2, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  12. B. Smart

    If Hillary is more experienced and ready to take the call(NO ONE USES PRINCESS PHONES ANYMORE), Then why did Colin Powell, Jay Rockefeller, the chairman of the senate INTELLIGENCE committee , and other top military
    personnel endorse Senator Obama?

    YES WE CAN. OBAMA 08.

    March 2, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  13. Michelle

    Since Obama agrees with everything Hillary says after she says it, then I pick the person who says it first.

    HILLARY 2008 YOU GO GIRLFRIEND!!!!

    March 2, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  14. HH

    Shouldn't she be in bed by 3:00am? How did she dress up so quickly on the seventh ring?

    March 2, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  15. Tom Wittmann

    UNFORTUNATELY, SHE HAS NO ACHIEVEMENTs OF HER OWN, at least not on a nation wide level, except to be married to an EX-PRESIDENT and having participated togethe with other senators voting resolutions, IGNORING THE ONES WHICH TODAY SEEM NOT
    COVIENT TO CITE.
    The only one which could have been such, was not BECAUSE IT FAILED (the Health reform of the 90's)

    TOM

    March 2, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  16. Realist

    Obama should run a counter-ad as following:

    "It is 3:00 a.m. - Do you know where Bill is?"

    March 2, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  17. sultan

    Hillay clinton is well qualified and experienced enough to handle the job.be it 3 am in the morning or 12 pm in the afternoon.

    March 2, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  18. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    "Clinton has demurred when asked to name a crucial 3 a.m. decision from her own experience." Such as deciding whether to shoot first or ask if it's just Bill slinking in after a night of "campaigning"?

    March 2, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  19. Dustin

    “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.”...SO, who is sounding more Republican everyday? Why must we resort to scare tactics?I feel that the American people are smart enough to make an informed decision without being "scared" into voting, as the republicans have been doing for years.....Terrorism and loss of oil in one sentence does not sound like the Democratic ideals I hear so many talking about...

    March 2, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  20. Kristin

    I think it is a fair question to ask what 3AM calls has Clinton handled on her own. I am sure McCain will ask in November.

    I like both candidates for different reasons, but this add concerns me because I want to see the Democrats win in November and she can't beat McCain with ads like this. I truly hope we get a nominee soon so both sides can stop feeding the Republicans ammunition like this.

    March 2, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  21. Kirk

    This is a no brainer question . We all know the correct answer to this on . Hillary Clinton

    March 2, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  22. gene

    There is no question as to who should answer the phone. Obama has no experience with any kind of crisis that would require instant judgement. Just watch him and think about in the debates, where he had to go first on a tough question, he strutters, pauses, seaching his mind for some kind of right answers and then reverts to his stump speech answer. There was a very important endorsement yesterday, but not one single mention in the media. General Sheldon,former member of the General Chiefs of staff, endorsed Hillary as the most qualified and experienced to be President.

    March 2, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  23. Independent for Obama

    When the Clinton Camp was asked in a conference call, "What foreign policy moment can Hillary Clinton point to that tested her in a crisis situation?"................

    ............................

    the line went dead silent................................

    flat-lined..................

    Then some grunts and groans.....

    NOW, of course, she is trying to SPIN and CHANGE it, AGAIN.

    Hillary Clinton, you do not have the judgment OR THE EXPERIENCE to hold this nation together in a crisis. Your multiple personalities in this campaign prove that!

    March 2, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  24. Carole Graff

    If she complains about getting first question, how can she handle being President, also she hasn't run a very good campaign, doesn't that say how she will run being President, Also Hillary has not showen her tax information, as I know the others have,does she have somthing to hide? I have had no answer to this question. Thanks

    March 2, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  25. Hulkamania

    "If one candidate’s appealing to your fears, and the other one’s appealing to your hopes, you better vote for the person who wants you to think and hope."
    – Bill Clinton, 2004

    2004 Bill Clinton is endorsing Obama.

    March 2, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
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