June 8th, 2008
02:53 PM ET
11 years ago

Feinstein: Obama-Clinton meeting was meant to be a secret

Sen. Dianne Feinstein hosted a private meeting for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein hosted a private meeting for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

(CNN) - Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Sunday gave new details about the private meeting Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton held in her home, saying it was “meant to be a secret,” but “it didn’t quite end up like that.”

Clinton and Obama got together privately in Feinstein’s Washington home Thursday. It was their first meeting since Obama became the presumptive Democratic nominee.

Feinstein, D-California, said the session came about after she told Clinton that Obama had said he would meet with her anywhere, anytime.

Clinton told Feinstein she wanted to talk with Obama, but she expressed concern about having to make a press statement about the discussions.

Feinstein said she then offered up her house as a potential meeting place because it would be private. She said Clinton called her around 6 p.m. Thursday, and they scheduled the meeting for 8:30 p.m.

“I thought how wonderful that they had a chance just to be alone, to kind of feel each other out with respect to where they were,” she said Sunday on CNN’s “Late Edition.”

The talks began at 9 p.m. and lasted about an hour, said Feinstein. Feinstein endorsed Clinton’s presidential campaign last summer but she's now standing behind Obama.

A joint statement from the candidates said only that the candidates "had a productive discussion about the important work that needs to be done to succeed in November."

Feinstein said they did not debrief her afterward, but she said both were laughing at the end.

“I thought that was a very good sign,” she said. “And they left. That was it.”

Feinstein said she served them water and worked upstairs as the meeting took place.

soundoff (138 Responses)
  1. Sue in MI

    Just one question: WHO leaked it?

    June 8, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  2. Ray

    "feel each other out"...Mrs Clinton is taking after her husband.
    some role playing...of course professional.

    June 8, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  3. Dawn

    This senator is the real common denominator to the party presently. I thank her tremendously for offering her home and the fact Senator Obama and Senator Clinton met earlier than later.

    June 8, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  4. Leo - Arizona

    Cool. Let's get it done !!!

    I am an adamant Obama supporter. I am impressed that Hillary has made this move and is working toward a Democratic victory.

    Thank you.

    June 8, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  5. sheep

    Theres alot of things i havent liked about this process we just went thru .......That has brought about people not getting along ...both have positives ..Im from a long line of republicans ..who became democrate this year because of these 2 candidates .. My father disowned me we cant talk to each other ,,and i see the same type of childlike behavior written on here ..We are differant , and come from differant backgrounds ,,and its time we showed other countries how to live in peace ? how are we to be an example to countries who hate us when we show hate towards each other ??I also believe there are alot of MCCAIN backers ion here writing stuff like its coming from OBAMA , OR CLINTON supporter and it isnt they want us to fight because they then win we lose much ....GOD BLESS

    June 8, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  6. Vittorio

    Good. Hopefully this is another sign for unity. Maybe a VP if Obama can post Clinton as another candidate for change even though she has old politics experience. He'll have to figure out what to do with Bill too.

    Overall I think Clinton would be a good choice. More pros than cons.

    June 8, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  7. j

    I think it was important that they met before Clinton gave her speech on Saturday. I hope they can mend the fences.

    June 8, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  8. Soji Tx

    It's time to bring America back, stop outsourcing jobs, be the forefront in technology, the innovators that keep jobs here, not moves jobs out because rich ceo's are greedy. Their wealth was built on the backs and from the minds of Americans and those who came to this country for the American dream.

    It's time to get rid of all the Republicans from the government and old generation who don't care about the young. That's you McCain. The young have spoken and your leadership is not what we want.

    For all those who talk about experience, try reading the Constitution, there's a reason the minimum age was set to 35, not 70. It's time to get rid of long seated politics, and refresh the system as it was meant to do, to bring in fresh thinkers, get rid of the old people who are set in their ways.

    Watch out for the Republican trolls on the board who pretend to be for Hillary and who try to cause anger. They are un-American and should be kicked out of this country.

    Go Obama. Make America, America again.

    June 8, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  9. Sebastian

    I was glad to see the press dubbed on this one.

    The press needs to step back and understand that the exhaulted role they like to claim is a privaledge not a right. They do not have the right to know every move that the candidate makes.

    I'll say what Senators' McCain and Obama can't say for political correctness ... THERE ARE SOME THINGS WHICH ARE NOT YOUR BUSINESS! Some meetings will be private and you won't be able to fill the airtime with endless, useless speculation to get the public all worked up over.

    I was repulsed by those reporters aboard Mr. Obama's airplane that seemed to suggest they were entitled to go everywhere with the candidates. Recognize your role, the Constitution DOES NOT grant you access. Cool it.

    I supported this clandestine meeting and I support Cindy McCain's right not to reveal her tax returns.

    June 8, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  10. andy dufrain

    Good job girl!

    you need to get them together.. but just make sure the Bill is not there all the time.. I think Bill has been a good lad but he aught to stary a little distant so as not to take away the focus from Obama.. He didn't really help Hillary and I don't think it will help Obama if he is in the front line at all. I think Hillary could be VB but only if there was a guanrantee that Bill could be kept away.. but that doesn't look likely.

    GoDems! Go!

    June 8, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  11. Mark

    I'm not voting for McCain, I'm not voting for Obama. More of the same from McCain – the unknown from Obama. I voted for Clinton and unless she's on the ticket, I'm staying home in November. I'm not going to contribute to more inexperienced hucksters like GWBush & Obama running this country... look what mess we are in and I don't have any faith that Obama can turn it around. You need someone who has battle scars and can tough it out... that's Hillary Clinton. Those that supported Obama are pie-in-the-sky people that think when Obama sneezes that's a revelation! Get your head out of the mud... politics is rough business, you need someone who can tough it out... who has a proven record of accomplishment as well as toughing it out.... you think the Republicans are going to stand for lefty Obama – they couldn't stand the Clintons...because they were too in the middle and moving into their base. The Republicans are going to go hog wild on Obama and he's not going to know what hit him... then he'll wish he had Bill and Hillary's armor to protect him!

    Fools, fools, fools...

    June 8, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  12. Larry P, Cape Cod

    To CNN:

    I'm an Obama supporter but even I cannot believe the coverage you are giving him on TV. While working out at my gym and watching TV, my estimate is that 90% of the coverage was on Obama, 10% on Hillary. and zero on McCain for the hour I was watching.

    By too much coverage of Obama, and this for the next five months, you will only expose his weaknesses and make people sick and tired of him. Remember what your momma told you about too much of a good thing.

    June 8, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  13. sheep

    please tell me where it says OBAMA was golfing during the CLINTON addressing her supporters . No matter what he was doing someone wouldnt have liked it . Who are people to decide what someone else needs to do ? W e have become so petty . our women and men are overseas dying for our country and were picking each other apart ..W e call ourselves adults but are acting like children .. Most of us need to vollunter some time in helping our service people have something positive happen in there lives ..TODAY

    June 8, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  14. Jean

    Whatever you do Obama, Don't turn your back on her

    June 8, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  15. Watermann

    I am somehow disappointed. Why, the hell, does such a lot of female Clinton supporters now going to vote for a pretty different party or not even vote at all? The primaries are first of all a moment to make your choice of the political direction you are voting for. It seems to me that these women made it a "women`s movement" primary first and not at all a political procedure. This non-logical but emotional behaviour shows to me that these so called "supporters" do not know, or better, are not interested in the future policy of the USA, I really do hope that they come back to reality.

    June 8, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  16. Jean

    Mark...Your the fool!

    June 8, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  17. No for OBama

    I can not, will not vote for Senator Obama. If one researches his background, he is not a democrat but a socialist, marxist, communist, racist. He will bring change but not the kind good for America. I understand Senator Clinton's position since she is being blackmailed by the Democratic Party VIPs. Senator is and hishonest wanna be politician with no actural comphrensive experience.

    Senator McCain is a true American hero and believes in America. Obama just want the power for himself. It is called Black Power. It is called Marxist Power.

    June 8, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  18. Still for Hill but now ONLY for Hill

    Always for Hillary.

    Now no longer for the DEMS.

    Don't gang rape our candidate and the party's best hope.

    June 8, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  19. Independent voter

    Sorry Obama – This is one Hillary supporter that will vote McCain come this November. You will have no one to blame for your your loss in November but yourself, your racist church, your crooked friends AND your nasty juvenile supporters. Go back to Chicago and clean that up before you try to clean up our country. No Obama – NEVER.

    June 8, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  20. Vig

    I have lost confidence in the Democratic party. Hillary Clinton should have been the nominee – she is the more substantive, experienced and genuine candidate to offer to the American people. Obama is inexperienced, patriotically challenged and has become a symbol of change – by his own marketing. I will not vote for Obama. Rather, I will be writing-in Hillary's name on the November ballot and my hope is a nation-wide campaign will begin to let it be known people can write in whomever they want for President – they don't have to go along with any party's puppet.

    June 8, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  21. susie

    If the meeting was so secret why is she talking? After the way the Democrats pushed Obama through I will give my vote to McCain. Obama acts like he is better than thou.

    June 8, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  22. Marty FL

    God bless Hillary Clinton. Even as an Obama supporter, I commend the historical accomplishments of each campaign. Both Obama and Clinton represent a new direction for America with their practically identical policies. I look forward to Clinton working with Obama to ensure we elect a Democrat to the White House at this critical point in our history.

    June 8, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  23. Still for Hill but now ONLY for Hill

    So lets all unite behind the party and the candidate that trashed and bashed and disrespected us AND our candidate.

    Unity is no longer possible. The haters took care of that.

    Obama mocking annie oakley and brushing Hill off his shoulders took care of that.

    Michelle Obama's taped interview where she said she would not vote for Hillary... took care of the loyalty to party and nomiee, argument.

    Obama supporters, YOU cost Obama and the DEMS this election.

    June 8, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  24. CONCERNED DEMOCRATIC VOTER

    WE HAVEN'T BEEN GREATER "FOOLS" THEN PUTTING GEORGE BUSH IN THE WHITE HOUSE FOR 8 YEARS.....MAYBE NEW IS WHAT WE NEED...I HOPE OBAMA TURNS OUT TO BE THE PRESIDENT THAT BRINGS THIS COUNTRY BACK...AND THEN WHAT YOU HATERS ARE GOING TO SAY ABOUT INEXPERIENCE!!!! EXPERIENCE HASN'T BEEN WORKING EITHER....

    MAY GOD BLESS OBAMA WITH THE WISDOM TO HAVE SOUND JUDGEMENT....

    June 8, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  25. Jatovi

    This is pretty crazy. So are the HRC supporters only supporting the candidate or the issues? It seems the obvious answer is that they are only supporting HRC and don't care about the issues at all. Hillary was and still is fighting for the issues. Obama was and is still fighting for those same issues. These two candidates are fighting for the same thing; health care for all, better economy, ending the war, help for people struggling with foreclosure, etc, etc. She is not forced into this. She is doing what needs to be done to help bring about change. If the HRC supporters are so blind that they aren't going to vote or vote for McCain because she didn't win then you definitely don't care about the issues that are plaguing our country at all.

    June 8, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
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