April 4th, 2008
07:20 AM ET
10 years ago

Superdelegate Tom Harkin says Bill Clinton should 'chill'

As the weather gets warmer, some are calling for a campaign cooldown.

As the weather gets warmer, some are calling for a campaign cooldown.

(CNN) - In a campaign season growing more heated by the day, one word keeps making an appearance: chill.

This morning, Sen. Tom Harkin - an undeclared superdelegate - became the latest politician to call for a cooldown, telling reporters on a conference call reported by Radio Iowa that former President Bill Clinton needs to “chill out.”

A local journalist asked about a report of an alleged Clinton “meltdown” during a private meeting with California superdelegates, and asked whether he was doing his wife Hillary Clinton's campaign more harm than good.

"I'm not going to judge that," responded Harkin. "I did say before he ought to chill out a little bit and from what I've seen I think he has, but again this recent thing in California, I don't know."

Harkin isn't the first congressional Democrat to call for a freeze on tough trail talk. Shortly before the Super Tuesday primary contests, Rep. James Clyburn told CNN the former president should lower the temperature on his campaign rhetoric.

“I think they would say in Gullah-Geechee country, he needs to chill a little bit. I hope he understands what that means,” said Clyburn. “I can understand him wanting to defend his wife's honor and his own record, and that is to be expected. But you can't do that in a way that won't engender the kind of feelings that seem to be bubbling up as a result of this.”

But Clinton himself has called for party leaders to put their worries on ice. "There is somehow the suggestion that because we are having a vigorous debate about who would be the best president, we are going to weaken this party in the fall," he said Sunday at the California Democratic Party convention. "Chill out.

"We're going to win this election if we just chill out and let everybody have their say."

Filed under: Bill Clinton
soundoff (214 Responses)
  1. Steve

    So many inflammatory comments. I don't see how a Clinton supporter would even consider Obama or vice versa. As a "liberal" republican, McCain looks better daily!

    April 3, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  2. Alice

    Coming from an uncommitted superdelegate, maybe the message will have some meaning.

    At least no one can impugn Harkin – saying he's just trying to help Obama by ending the primary prematurely – like they do when other superdelegates tell the Clintons to tone down the rhetoric.

    April 3, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  3. Vig

    No he shouldn't. He has a right to be outraged by the back stabbers. Go Hillary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 3, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  4. eleanor fitzgerald

    Wouldn't you all just love it if Bill Clinton "chilled out" and Hillary withdrew. As for me, I say "Go Hillary". Obama should consider withdrawing. Who ever heard of him prior to this election except in his own state. I am underwhelmed with his national accomplishments? There are other black leaders with more impressive credentials, such as the governor of New Jersey.

    April 3, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  5. Jay (Los Angeles)

    So let it be written, so let it be done

    April 3, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  6. Brian

    Hey Mike look at the recent polls!

    April 3, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  7. Deborah

    Hillary Clinton is not the first woman president i want. I would love to see a woman as president of the USA but NOT Mrs. Clinton. I used to be a Bill Clinton supporter but after seeing the HIllary Clinton campaign in action, I realize that the Republicans were right in their attacks of the Clintons. We cannot deal with four more years of Clinton lies and scandals and the Clinton entitlement factor- hello, Chelsea...the whole family is so annoying. I whole heartedly support Obama- 08

    April 3, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  8. Marcia, MO

    Hill, hon, why don't you put your feet up, have a nice hot toddy, and just relax into a big ole club chair. Yeah, just chill. I know it's been rough, but having a lyin' two-faced husband aint helpin' your cause.

    It's okay, really.

    April 3, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  9. Richard, St. Paul, MN

    Bill Clinton shouldn't "Chill Out," he should "Get Out" of the race that is, and Hillary, the second runner up, should "Get Out" as well. Obama '08!

    April 3, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  10. Taylor

    Who actually believe that whole california democrats thing. I'm not so easily bought by false stories spun by the media that would suggest that Bill Clinton a genius in the world of politics and strategy would ever do somethgin so stupid.

    This is a nonpoint and I feel for the obamacrats that believe it.

    April 3, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  11. linda hemmingsen

    What a bunch of mean spirited people. obama supporters are really showing how there leader will be>do you honestly think that what the media says about the clintons is true. man you guys are really stupid. this is all about swift boating hillary and bill to ruin them completly. obaqma supporters a,the ccn news media have been hammerings away the negative 24-7 and obama gets positive. we canadians are finding it sickening. we at least appreciate the clintons and all the years they have given to your country you really don't deserve it. you have not once looked at obamas record in chicago, all the lies and distortions he has said. or the relationship with tony resko or the other corrupt people who donated for him and got favors. Last i heard that was crooked but oh well he gives a great speech empty but great. you are once again falling for the bush trap of a sweet talker, a liarer and he won't help you at all. but heh! if that is what you want. why do you think everyone is attcking hillary ?because she is strong and she could win but obama he is not. for you to say because bill had a affair she shouldn't be elected, why not he was a great president, ?.

    April 3, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  12. Joe Payne

    Obama is all talk and he is the one that needs to quit.

    Right on Bill, hopefully all the morons in this country will get a clue and vote for the best candidate...instead of a dude who copies other people's speeches!

    April 3, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  13. MD

    I am not sure who, in the Clinton camp, is running for office. Is it Bill (again?), is it Chelsea, or is it Hillary?

    One thing is for sure: Political greed is a family affair in the Clinton household.

    May be there is a silver lining in Monica's aftermath: The Clintons are sure a united family.

    April 3, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  14. Pete

    Bill needs to support his wife in a productive and appropriate way, and preserve his reputation being a past US president. We do not want the reputation of a US president to be tarnished (unfortunately by himself.)

    US is being laughed at the way he behaved.

    April 3, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
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