January 16th, 2008
03:37 PM ET
14 years ago

Crowley: Clinton's latest attack on Obama

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/16/art.clinton1.ap.jpg
caption="Clinton is taking aim at Obama’s management ability."]
LAS VEGAS, Nevada (CNN) - The Clinton campaign continued its new line of attack on Barack Obama Wednesday, based on his recent campaign trail admissions that he isn't a details-oriented "chief operating officer."

At an event in Las Vegas, Hillary Clinton warned a group of Nevada voters that if a president does not manage the government bureacracy then "it will manage you."

Obama has made several recent statements highlighting his inexperience in running a bureaucracy, and his lack of organizational skills.

"I ask my staff never to hand me paper until two seconds before I need it, because I will lose it," he said in the Democratic debate Tuesday night. "And my desk in my office doesn't look good. I've got to have somebody around me who is keeping track of that stuff.”

The Illinois senator added that those qualities were not as important in a president as the ability to bring Americans together to make progress on issues stymied for years by partisan struggles.

Clinton challenged Obama's view of the role of a president in last night's debate, and her campaign continues to push the issue in e-mails.

In her comments today, she argued that the Bush era through a "mismanaged war" and the failure to react quickly to Hurricane Katrina has proved that "government by advisor" doesnt work. The country needs, said Clinton, "a hands-on manager."

There is nothing in Clinton's resume suggesting experience in managing a big bureaucracy. Her time heading the Clinton administration's health care reform effort was marked by criticism of her hands-on management style.

The Obama campaign immediately fought back. “Hillary Clinton may believe this is a race for who would make the best Chief of Staff, but Barack Obama believes this country is looking for a president who has the leadership, vision and ability to bring people of differing views together around a common agenda for change,” Obama spokesman Bill Burton said in a statement.

The New York senator's remarks Wednesday came in a roundtable discussion on the 25-year-battle over using a site in Nevada's Yucca Mountain as a repository for nuclear waste. Clinton promised Nevada voters that as president, she will take the Yucca issue off the table "once and for all."

–CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton • Nevada
soundoff (367 Responses)
  1. Dwayne, Pa

    I would love to see all the things Hillary Clinton has accomplished in her 35 YEARS.
    She is constantly bringing up her 35 YEARS, and all she ever mentions is health care and civil rights.
    I have not seen much of a change in health care (other than prices UP, service DOWN).
    I have not seen huge changes in civil rights. Things are about the same as they have been, some areas effected more than others.
    My point is, I have NOT seen a whole lot of good come out of the 35 YEARS we have paid for!
    In 35 YEARS, we ALL should have seen A LOT of improvements in many areas.
    35 YEARS is a very long time!
    But at least SHE KEEPS HER DESK NEAT!

    January 16, 2008 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  2. charlotte

    We know Barry Obama can talk the talk, can he walk the walk?

    January 16, 2008 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  3. concerned citizen, Mesa, Arizona

    Yeah you crazy people vote for Obama since today he compared himself to Reagan and belittled President Clinton in same sentence with President Nixon. He needs to become a Republican if he wants their votes so bad. At least Hillary is a true Democrat. I and my family will not ever vote for him. Today was icing on the cake. I remember days of Reagan. High deficits, high unemployment, housing prices down. Recession! Sound familiar. Is this what Obama wants to bring to democratic party. If so I will become independent.

    January 16, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  4. cadem22

    proud florida democrat,

    i think you copied and pasted that same post on every post that deals with obama and hillary and each time i read it over it continues to grow more and more meaningless and ignorant. If you are such a "proud florida democrat" get over bashing your candidates, build up your party, place your vote for hillary and move on....i think why so many people have been drawn to edwards and obama msg for a new type of politics is because peoples patience towards attitudes like yours have grwon very thin. remember barack and edwards are still dems so stop trying to just tear down whoever you dont support...it gets old

    January 17, 2008 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  5. kuhrdan1

    Thank God for all this nonsense masked as reasoned commentaries. No wonder Americans can not compete intellectually with other nations, because reasoned arguments are nothing but hurling insults prompted by ignorance of the facts or of a honest assesment of the sequence of events.

    January 17, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  6. veronica

    The majority of these comments are laughable, and show a real lack of knowledge of politics in this country.
    Obama will not be the nominee, nor the next president.
    I suggest he clean up his desk, get a few ideas to back up the lofty rhetoric, and come back in 2016.

    January 17, 2008 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  7. Robert

    Hillary need to stop hanging on every little word Obama says, its casting her in a very bad way, just read the majority of these blogs on the net she is turning people off big time.

    Also lets face it only reason why people wants Hillary to win because hopfully it would give Bill Clinton a 3rd term as president.. Do you think Hillary would have been a top tier candidate if wasn't for Bill Clinton?

    January 17, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  8. democracy?

    I am a foreigner and I have been observing the election. I have to say I am much surprised by the kind of irrationality exhibited by many voters–allowing hatred (toward Clinton primariy) to guide their decision. Is this intelligent democracy?

    January 17, 2008 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  9. Powell Michael

    Right on Tamika! Hillary represents more of the same. I don't understand why poor, middle class and ethnic minorities keep voting against their own interests. It's kind of like they fall in line and drink the cool-aid as they are told.

    January 17, 2008 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  10. Veronica

    Will we elect a President AGAIN that we want to have a beer with? Or will we elect a President who is tested and qualified?

    Obama will be great in 8 years. Clinton is ready now. Her answers in the debates are so much more substantive than anyone else's. It's so obvious. What other countries are going to say if Obama is elected is... who is this man? Many world leaders have already met Clinton, and thought highly of Bill. Those relationships are deeply important now. They can't be established overnight. The world is not happy with us, and as they meet with our next leader, they are going to be evaluating experience and ability, not "hope."

    January 17, 2008 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  11. Patrick, New York,Ny

    ummm Crowley where is the attack?

    Your attacking CLinton saying she is attacking Obama when she isnt

    Headline: "Crowley attacks CLinton" is more accurate!!

    January 17, 2008 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  12. henriettap

    Hillary will be chewwed up and spit out by the republicans if she make sit htat far. They are waiting like wolves on the hunt for her to cross their paths.

    January 17, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  13. Skip

    Does anyone remember the last micro managing President we had? He used to maintain the reservation list for the White House tennis court. Jimmy Carter. So Hillary wants to replicate Carter? Tennis anyone?

    January 17, 2008 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  14. Ito, Yokosuka Japan

    There she goes with that finger again, pointing it at everyone but herself. Isn't that what President Bush does?

    For Obama, being candidadly honest when asked to be is a simple and straight forward matter. For HRC, it's a matter of how to lie and make it sound like the truth.

    Do we really want four more years of "more of the same?" C'mon people. HRC is anything but an agent for change. If you believe that then I have some ocean front property in Nevada I will sell you for a good price.

    January 17, 2008 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  15. Thomas - Reno, NV

    Hillary is grasping for anything at this point. Her supporters are suing Nevada for allowing caucuses in casinos, a plan that was approved by ALL of the democrats in March of last year. 2 days after the Culinary Union stood behind Obama, this lawsuit was filed. She is disparaging her opponents, destroying democracy, and her husband admitted that she supports the lawsuit by saying "We didn't know what this meant when it was approved in 2007." PLEASE!!

    Will Howard Dean please wake up and lay down some ground rules for her campaign, or does he even care that she stands to jeopardize any chance we have at taking back this country and getting help to those who need it. The Clinton's will do absolutely anything to keep their LEGACY alive. And her followers are spoon fed, democrats who don't do a single ounce of research about what their candidate is saying or doing.

    And please don't say, "well, she isn't behind the lawsuit." If she wasn't supporting it, she would put a stop to it immediately. These are her supporters, and she can ask them to STOP!!

    January 17, 2008 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  16. Angela

    Wow there is a biased moderator at the helm tonite. Every one of my posts have been deleted. Must be a Republican.
    Scared I made some good points??

    January 17, 2008 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  17. Pasqualato

    We are tired of you HRC.

    Just shut up for a second.

    January 17, 2008 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  18. Ben

    I always used to say that the people who would ACTUALLY BE good candidates for the presidency WOULD NEVER WANT THE JOB. ALL that changed for me with Barack Obama.

    I find this articale to be further proof that UNLIKE Obama, Hillary is willing to do WHATEVER it takes to win.

    ..too bad it's making her look like a cold blooded shark.

    ...even worse? It's probably going to work.


    January 17, 2008 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  19. Kevin, Ca

    Look what has happened to our country with George Bush's management style...so called macro-management.

    It's true that the president doesn't handle things in details, but he/she must understand the bureaucracy to catch and smell the fish. He/she is the decider, alright! but how could one decide when knowing very little on how things work... There is no great scientist w/o knowing how molecules work, no famous musicians w/o understanding and feeling music notes...and do not tell me you could find a great engineer who hates measurement. therefore, there is no great president of United States who hates to find out how governmental agencies of all level operate. President is the CEO of the nation, period..

    I've been watching many debates and it seems to me that Obama, like G. Bush, loves to talk big and talk more on the idea rather than discussing issues for substances. As you all know many media political pundits, so called lazy politicians, who prefer to talk about politics as if they understand very well our country. Talking is naturally enjoyable because it gives them big gratification especially when people listen to them, while thinking and doing is lot harder.

    We need a president who can think and do things, a president who is realistic, sharp, intelligent, hard-working, and strong. That's why my vote is for Hillary even personally I don't like her much ( she smart and picky like my wife, though)

    I like Obama and like to watch his speech b/c he's exciting, and seems honest but sorry can't vote for him.

    January 17, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  20. obaman08

    RockyDude - are you sure you're in the UK because your analysis was SO TRUE

    Few points:
    1) I'm tired of HRC supporters crying about how HRC is being "picked on" because she is a woman. GIVE ME A BREAK. Have you ever stopped to think that maybe the reason why there are so many "clinton attack" stories out there is because that's how she's running her campaign? Attack, attack, attack. Maybe if she would take some clues from the way Barack is running his campaign, she could be looked at in a more favorable light not only with the media but among the American people as well. Start focusing on your own campaign lady!

    2) I do not think that the people that keep asking HOW Barack is planning to change really want to know that answer. IF they did, all it would take is one simple click to barack's WEB SITE where they would get all of his plans laid out and more. And if you don't feel like reading, how about checking out some of the videos he has outlining some of his plans. Sheesh! Stop being lazy people! If you expect to choose your PRESIDENT based on what you see in an 5 minute interview or a debate, then you have serious issues. Those are simply not the outlets to lay out in depth plans, so all you're going to get is high level talk.

    3) Could someone PLEASE show me where Hillary's 35 years of experience comes in? Since there seems to be so many HRC supporters, I'm sure at least one should be able to answer.

    January 17, 2008 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  21. Shell

    Disorganization is not a quality we can stand to have in a president. How many issues do we face? How many things are there to keep straight? You can't even run a household if you don't have some degree of organizational skills. Seriously, how can you organize a cohesive policy that will work and *bring about* the change that's being talked about if you can't be bothered with the details?

    I want order brought back to this country that's been tossed into chaos. Not ideas and dreams backed by nothing. Or is he just the front man for a bunch of other people who are going to do all of the work?

    No thanks. I want someone who can put substance behind what they say.

    Hillary's done a lot more with her life than be first lady. I wish people would check their facts.

    I will gladly vote for Obama if he gets the nom. I am a Democrat, and I believe in the ideals of the party. But, I'm for Hillary at this point. If Obama puts some meat behind what he says, maybe I'll change my mind. I just want what's best for the country and my family.

    January 17, 2008 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  22. Me

    How about we stay focused on the issues at hand and quit digging for something to attack a great man on. If Hillary had more positive things to say about herself she wouldn't have to negatively focus on her competitions filing techniques. Give me a break!!!

    January 17, 2008 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  23. Jake, ATL

    In response to 'democracy?'s' question:

    Your question brings up an interesting observation. Whether or not your predisposition to Hillary is democratic is a moot point because in a democracy, all that matters is you're free to chose whomever you wish.

    Now back on the 'interesting observation': People are very polarized when it comes to Hillary. Either you love her or hate her. I hope those that support her will admit that this is a GLARING issue with her. Do you really want to risk losing to the Republicans? 1/5 of Dems (hardcore Obama and Edwards supporters) will REFUSE to vote for her and at least 1/2 of the Independents would much rather vote for Romney (in sheer spite) or McCain because he has more integrity. The ONLY way the GOP would lose to her is if Huckabee would be the eventual GOP nominee.

    I am one of those people that would never ever vote for Hillary over McCain or Romney. Heck, I'd vote for Ron Paul before I'd vote for her.

    January 17, 2008 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  24. Jacquelyn, Ann Arbor, Mi.

    someone above pointed out Obama can talk the talk. He is one of the best speakers Ive seen in my life, but he started going for Presdent a year into his job as Senator. Does he really have the chops ?

    January 17, 2008 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  25. doro, USA

    Obama obviously understands the difference between LEADERSHIP and MAMAGEMENT. Hillary obviously does not, and she'll have cabinet secretaries, agency heads and federal employees from sr. executives to clerical staff pulling their hair out with her hands-on MANAGERIAL style.

    An effective leader learns from previous mistakes/experiences; and incorporates new information into their thinking and decision-making as he/she goes along. An effective leader takes responsibility and holds himself/herself accountable. Of these two candidates, Obama demonstrates his ability to do these things, and Hillary has not nailed them yet ..... and may or may not 'cause she skates by with dancing around any issue, then move on.

    January 17, 2008 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
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