March 2nd, 2008
12:15 PM ET
10 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. Taruna

    Mr. Wolf , you seem to have been offered some job with the Clintons for sure,
    You sure have made CNN a joke..its just Clinton, Clinton...


    remember Wolf, what goes around comes around.

    March 2, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  2. Florida voter

    Why doesnt Obama want to debate about National Security? If he doesnt want to debate with Hillary, then how is he going to debate with McCain about this, which is his strongest arguement? Only Hillary can defeat John McCain. VOTE HILLARY 08!

    March 2, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  3. Jeremy

    I am surprised CNN has not yet posted an article about the Rezko-Obama scandal.

    And also, how bad has this country gotten into that a mere mention of the word "change" from a political upstart could send a rousing Pavlovian response that is enough to cast the more important issues aside and follow blindly into empty calls for a change? Wake up people– Obama is not your savior. Your eloquent candidate has had a chance to make some changes in the White House for 7 years– and if you are not careful of choosing who will suceed him, you've got only yourselves to blame some years from now.

    March 2, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  4. Deb IL

    If that moment ever happens, I want someone like Hillary Clinton to be there to know how to kick into immediate action. We don't need another George W. Bush who continues reading a children's book instead of knowing how to initiate action based on knowledge and background of a potential situation. This is a very legitimate concern, whether people want to acknowledge it or not. I know from experience it doesn't matter if odds are against something bad happening if the one time it does happen, it happens to you.

    March 2, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  5. Shirley in California

    Is there an unfairness in media? Just count how many articles and photos does CNN online have on each candidates! Quit whinning, Hillary. If the public does not respond to your messages, that is your own problem. You are the cause, not the press!

    March 2, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  6. Ronald, American living abroad

    HRC's ties through her husband to middle east money will more than equip her for any crisis. The call will not be from and Administration official, but from her stock brokers . . . "do you want us to back date a buy order for you?"

    Wow, CNN, you are really upping the HRC Category county today! Well over 125 more than Obama. You would think she is the front runner.

    I bet you don't have the ovum to post this, do you?

    March 2, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  7. Tyler in Raleigh

    Its true... she did mop up for her husband's scandals as well as her own. That does show she is equiped to sweep issues under the rug as President.

    Thank you again for Karl Rove fear-mongering. Scare people into voting for you.... or make them pity you.

    March 2, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  8. doug

    Oh my, the phones ringing in the white house today and it looks like $200 a barrel oil next week. Hope Mr. Bush does'nt mess this one up. At this time we cannot afford another war and definitely ca'nt afford $9 a gallon gasoline. Somethings got to give. Give peace a chance.

    March 2, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  9. Cami

    Sorry, Hillary. You can't scare me into voting for you.

    March 2, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  10. ORK

    Ya, in a "red call" senario she would be pick up the white phone! Incompetence abound! And just like bush she is using fear for votes! Shame on you Hillary, shame on you!

    March 2, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  11. bp

    Pump that fear into the American Public Hillary! That's what we need in America...More fear. You claim to have a ton of experience, but yet you can't answer a simple question on the subject of when you ever had to answer the red phone at 3:00 in the morning.

    Karl Rove tactics = playing on the fear of the American public.

    What kind of change agent are you?

    March 2, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  12. Mike

    Hillary will be able to handle any call anytime.

    Ring, Ring, Ring... "Hello, Madame President Here..."

    Hillary 08!!!

    March 2, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  13. Emily

    You did answer.......with a YES! YES to Bush! Stop with all the experience garbage! You CAN'T count 8 years as the First Lady (I mean 2nd lady) and First Lady of AK (who knows). You made NO decisions! Release your taxes and your papers as First, Second, Third lady.......

    March 2, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  14. Mel

    Experience is not enough, because some folks show that they do not gain wisdom even with much experience. We can tell that it is so when they continue the same unwise behavior. Wisdom to respond to the call is to be preferred over experience alone. We need the wisdom which Senator Obama has shown to bring us together so that all of us can live without dreading that our phones will ring at 3 a.m. That is the wisdom that will deal with the 3 a.m. call in the best interest of all concerned.

    March 2, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  15. Carol

    It's funny how the political strategists had JUST said that HRC should focus on the economy in this commercial...and voila! it appears.

    March 2, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  16. cnn is slipping like hillary


    March 2, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  17. andrea benini

    I love the ad. Go Hillary !!

    March 2, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  18. Tim in Arkansas

    Hillary's phone rings at 3am. A voice on the phone says: "Hillary, do you know where your husband is? Hillary things quickly, but once again she has no idea where Bill is!!! The voice then says: "I know what Bill did Last Summer!" Hillary suddenly realizes: "Oh no another sex scandal!" Hillary acts quickly to try to cover it up, but once again too late for Hillary.

    Moral of this story, The Clintons have No Morals! Plus lock up your daughters after 3am, when a Clinton is around!!!


    March 2, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  19. Fundamental Question

    "Change" Question: What has Obama done while in Senate to bring the Democrats and Republicans together?

    March 2, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  20. E A Bodnar

    NAFTA was originally brought to the public by the Republicans in office pre-Bill Clinton era. Remember???? During the campaign Bill Clinton spoke of being opposed to it and said it would be bad for US business and labor. Later he not only endorsed it; he embraced it. Why doesn't any one remember this and bring this to light?

    Elaine Bodnar, California

    March 2, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  21. LogicVs.Rhetoric

    Hillary has the calm resolve to take on tough decisions and is unflappable under pressure. Would you really want to trust Obama to keep us safe and make tough decisions on the economy? It's easy to use rhetoric like 'lets bring everyone together," "Yes, we can"; Now what has Obama accomplished in the senate? Are we so dumb in the Democratic party to roll the dice on this guy? If we are, we deserve what we get.

    March 2, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  22. hmiya

    Some networks must have retrained their anchors because they've come under fire for being so “yes we can.” But the mindless wave the press fanned is now out of control. How do you talk about issues and national security when people are in a feel-good stupor? Bush was the nice guy who would bring people together, remember? We never expected a 9/11 or Katrina. Were those mere fear cards? If these real issues don’t wake us up, we deserve exactly what we get!

    March 2, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  23. Joanne

    - “You know, no one who hasn’t been president has ever done that,” she told reporters on her campaign plane on Saturday. -

    Wait a minute!! Does she have the experience she claims to have, or doesn't she?

    March 2, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  24. Grif

    Once again. Hillary's Home! Not, sponsored to be manipulated by

    anybody... They said Mr Blair, was George Bush's. Puppet..

    But with all the, so called Sponsors backing Obama lately.

    He's going to have to learn to really dance.

    Yes Hillary's home once again, answering the phone. Nevertheless, it's for you..

    The call is really about!!! Your' own Security at Home!!!

    March 2, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  25. Debbie Delegate

    Her concession speech should include an endorsement of Senator Obama.

    March 2, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
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