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. I am not American

    I am not from the US but I have had the chance to be here for the 2004 election and this one. For some reason I have been so much interested in this campaign. I follow the campaign every day from various sources,, TV news, blog, newspapers, discussing with American friends,..

    I have analyzed the way the campaign is going and frankly, I found Hillary acting like if she was desperate. She need badly to win this election. And this is not about passion, emotion, personal like she says,.. but it is all about money! It looks like she is desperate to pay back the lobbyist who have funded her campaign,.. and maybe pressure is being put on her to win by those lobbyists. And this is really bad for America if she get elected. What really confirm this is the fact that her husband, former president Bill who I used to like get in this game. He also look desperate for his wife to win not because he feels like she is the best candidate, but because he knows the deal she/they have with the lobbyist.

    if during the campaign, pressure from lobbyist make you cry and go to war with opponent lying, or distorting your opponent comments just to make you look nice, she would do more worse if elected. I understood that what the American people want (at least from discussion on blogs, youtube and colleagues), it is not a cold calculating, fake, untruthful president who tries to make other people think that s/he is perfect. They want not only someone who is inspirational but honest and who can do the job. This seems not to be Hillary from what I saw.

    What I see will happen if Hillary campaign (managed by her self as she seems to be saying now) keeps on using the dirty tricks because they are really afraid of Barack wining, then, they will loose lot of their supporters. People seems to be getting tired of this game. The seems to be afraid of Hillary bring the democrats down because of her dirty tricks.

    I were to vote (which I am not), I would not vote for her. I wish well for the American people and hope that they get well inspired and choose the leader, the president they deserve. As a non-American, I know how the world see America from outside. People think that America (not the American people) doesn't care about others,..,.. is arrogant. By leaving here, I found that this is NOT true for American themselves. But some of their politicians are the one who are making the world think that way! It is time to choose a leader, a president who can make the world see America differently,.. feel america like they feel American.

    January 17, 2008 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  2. JUDIE

    Hillary seems to suggest that with her hands on management things will move pretty well.how wrong, she can organise her desk, do all the filing, and fire some staff to do it herself as she seems to suggest, BUT WITHOUT AVISION THE PEOPLE PERISH.So, no vision, no future however smart you manipulate the beaurocracy and organise your desk with your Hands on attitude.And anyway lets not forget that before Bill showed up on the campaign trail, things didn't seem to go well in the hillary camp, so once voted, we know who is going to do the job for her,.....

    January 17, 2008 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  3. David from Texas

    Go Hillary! You did a great job. I didn't think Obama made the best impression when he made that comment. I would not think that kind of a comment would go over well in an interview. I have two Administrative Assistants that keeps my messy desk clean-however, I would never go to a job interview and reveal this to someone that I wanted to impress. After all, each of these people are interviewing for the top job in our nation. I thought the truce was about race-not about normal campaign "got you" moments.

    I do respect everyones opinion-this campaign is not as important to me as holding my beloved Democratic party together-We are all family with differences. I disagree with my own family on many issues-but in the end we always find common ground that keeps us together. I think any of the top three Democratic candidates would be better than any one of the Republicans. GO DEMOCRATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 17, 2008 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  4. PW Va

    Hillary has no humiltiy about her all...case in point, she started this whole bruhaha concerning Senator Obama invoking the names of Dr. King and President Kennedy into his speech and then when she and her neanderthals (otherwise known as supporters ie: Johnson, Rangel to mention a few) catch heat from their ignorant remarks (1) she doesn't have the common decency to apologize to Senator Obama or the American public and (2) she does not denounce the divisive remarks of her "attack dogs."

    She's no better than a common THUG!!! And we've had it up to here with that mentality coming from the present administration

    January 17, 2008 01:48 am at 1:48 am |
  5. Hope LV,NV

    Proud Florida Democrat do your research John Edwards and Sen. Obama skipped the michigan primaries as they were asked by the National party due to party violations and as a sign of uniformity they withdrew their names. HRC did not. I don't think their intentions were to snub the people of michigan but to enforce fair practices.
    And to John Edwards crew it is so refreshing that even while being in the "third "position and often ignored by HRC you have yet to speak ill of Sen. Obama( who often compliments his fellow dems and I have seen him do so in person on several occasions) or Clinton while when HRCis (allegedly on top) stills slings mud on the little people.

    January 17, 2008 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  6. Charles Martin

    ...just in 2 weeks she has used the emotional card, race card, gender card, offend people of color ( know matter how she explains it) manipulates Obama's words and has her backing union try to sue the Culinary Union in Nevada for votes....come on.....this is all within the last 2 weeks. Then Blames the Obama campaign and the Media because they are trying to distort her image.

    I am so glad that 35 yrs of experience she has found her voice.

    Can you imagine her for the next 8 years....I am tired of it all ready.

    January 17, 2008 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  7. Angela

    Once again people are unable to comment unitelligently and just write offensive remarks.
    Look at the title: According to CNN if Senator Clinton makes remarks about her rivals she is accused of attacking – however if her rivals talk about her they are making a well reasoned point – CNN your coverage is biased especially since this subject was discussed on the ticker yesterday under another title.
    According to some of the people posting here the President of the United States shouldn't be a manager. Okay reality check – hundreds of page of information is put in front of the President every day and he/she should have the ability to be organized and also able to get into the details. Legislation is complicated – the budget was 1000's of pages long alone. A President is supposed to be able to make an informed decision based on the information they receive – not all of it can be provided by briefings from Staff because then you might as well have them be President. The President of the United States is not a figurehead he/she is supposed to be the leader of the worlds remaining superpower.

    January 17, 2008 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  8. Bob, Florida - RFO

    I support Barack Obama even with his less experience compared to Hillary's. Not sure how Rummy and Chaney made so many errors given all the experience they have!

    Never underestimate the "vision" thing! Unless mentioning Obama and Reagan in the same sentence gives the Clinton Tag Team another reason to attack!

    I just hope the GOP don't wise up and run a Mitt/Condi ticket !!!!!

    Go Barack '08

    January 17, 2008 02:01 am at 2:01 am |
  9. me

    Rico – I am a female and should be very offended by your comment, but instead I just laughed so hard I choked on my drink. That was too funny!

    Needless to say, I hate the idea of Hillary as president. I want a woman to be in the White House, but I want it to be a woman who is a POSITIVE role model and one that will pave the way for more women to be the leader of this country. Unfortunately, Hillary is not that woman. She is a lying, scheming, egotistic glory hound that only cares about winning – not about the country or the people she is going door to door to see. I might add the CAREFULLY SCREENED people she is going to see. I am all for media seeing someone go door to door and greet people, but let's do it on the fly where it is not staged.

    I've got an idea...a reality presidentail campaign show...cameras 24/7. I think then you would get an idea of who these people really are and how much scheming goes on. 🙂

    January 17, 2008 02:52 am at 2:52 am |
  10. Ross Lippincott; Davenport Iowa.

    Tom Davie

    Tom and Hillary sittin in a tree K I S S I N G !

    OBAMA / EDWARDS 08!!!!!!!!!!

    January 17, 2008 03:00 am at 3:00 am |
  11. kcee

    Although I am not an American, I can't help but to share my 5 cents worth about the election coz any mistakes in electing the wrong President of the most powerful country in the world would have an untold damage on the rest of the world. Obama continuous emphasis on the message of hope and praying for cure of the all ills that had befallen America, sounds to me too intangible and remote. I would rather stick with somebody who is capable and has the experience, never mind that it's a woman.

    January 17, 2008 03:01 am at 3:01 am |
  12. Adam

    TERRIBLE ARTICLE.

    You should be ashamed of yourself.

    HE SAID THAT WHEN ASKED ON THE DEBATE "What is your greatest strength and what is your greatest weakness" – he was the ONLY ONE who answered HONESTLY while the other two said b.s. like "I care too much" or "I push too hard".

    THE WRITER OF THIS ARTICLE IS A CLINTON SUPPORTER.

    What TERRIBLE journalism.

    I hope you'll still get your checks from the Clinton campaign when she LOSES.

    How do you SLEEP AT NIGHT? SERIOUSLY?

    January 17, 2008 03:06 am at 3:06 am |
  13. Joe

    Right on Powell! I also dont understand why the disenfranchised think Clinton will help them. Take a leap of faith people.

    January 17, 2008 03:12 am at 3:12 am |
  14. Rus, Whitburn

    Traditionally the establishment candidate (Gore, Mondale, etc) has won the Democratic primary over candidates that represented a new direction (Bradley, Hart, etc). However this time the establishment is represented by someone (Hillary) with a very different c.v. The pundits and bloggers hover about the truth, but most recognize that Obama and Hillary have similar backgrounds in government and public service. Gore and Mondale had long, diverse records of experience, and were in that sense the 'safe' choice. Hillary is not a safe choice in the same way, even with Bill as first laddie. The safe choices (e.g. Richardson & Biden) have dropped out – not enough votes. I think the reason is that 8 years later, people are desperate for something new. People know the Clintons, and the Clintons know how to get votes, but they don't represent something new. For that, you need Obama.

    January 17, 2008 03:14 am at 3:14 am |
  15. Joe

    This article twisted a fun comment Obama made about himself, and did not include the rebuttal. I know CNN wants to create good theatre, but this is just poor form. Bad journalism. At least he didn't say, "I just wish I didn't care so much~"

    January 17, 2008 03:15 am at 3:15 am |
  16. MARYLOU JONES

    OMG! THE DUMBING DOWN OF AMERICANS CONTINUES................I CANNOT, OF COURSE, ADDRESS ALL THE FALSE INFORMATION IN THESE POSTS SO I WILL JUST ADDRESS ONE. FOR BRENDA WHO WANTS TO KNOW " OMG wake-up woman-you just AREN'T all that. WHAT D*** experience are you talking about. YOU WERE FIRST LADY. You weren't even the first to hyphenate your last name (Edith Galt-Wilson). There is NOTHING original about you. Just a reminder, YOU DID NOT HAVE SECURITY CLEARANCE TO BE IN MEETINGS. So, what meetings were you at? And, when were you there? And, WHY were you there?" SENATOR HILLARY CLINTON IS A UNITED STATES SENATOR AND HAS BEEN FOR 7 YEARS. ONE OF HER DUTIES AS A MEMBER OF CONGRESS IN WASHINGTON, D.C. IS TO SIT ON THE SENATE'S ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE. ONE OF THEIR DUTIES IS TO LOOK AT "EMERGING THREATS AND CAPABILITIES" AND AS A FORMER FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WORKER, I KNOW SHE SURE HAS A SECURITY CLEARANCE, PROBABLY HIGHER THAN MY TOP SECRET CLEARANCE. IF YOU POSTERS REALLY WANT THE TRUTH, THE FACTS ABOUT SENATOR HILLARY CLINTON, SPEND SOME OF YOUR TIME ON THE SENATE WEB SITE. THEN YOU WOULDN'T HAVE TO SHOW YOUR IGNORANCE TO THE REST OF THE WORLD. OH, JUST ONE MORE THING, SENATOR CLINTON DID NOT, REPEAT NOT, AUTHORIZE GEORGE W. BUSH TO GO TO WAR. LOOK IT UP!!!!!

    January 17, 2008 03:20 am at 3:20 am |
  17. MARYLOU JONES

    OOPS, CAN'T LET TAMIKA JACKSON"S POST GO UN-NOTICED. YOU WOULDN'T BY ANY STRETCH OF THE IMAGINATION BE PLAYING "THE RACE CARD" WOULD YOU??? "ALL MY BLACK BROTHERS AND SISTERS"?????? "WHAT HAS SHE EVER DONE FOR BLACK FOLKS?" , "MORE YOUNG BLACK MEN WENT TO PRISON WHEN HER HUSBAND WAS PRESIDENT", WHAT??????????? ARE YOU REALLY BLAMING BILL CLINTON FOR ALL THE YOUNG BLACK MEN WHO WENT TO PRISION???? WHAT????? THIS SURE SOUNDS LIKE "THE RACE CARD" TAMIKA. DON'T THINK OBAMA WOULD APPROVE OF THIS. TAKE SOME TIME OUT OF YOUR ANGRY RANTINGS AND DO A LITTLE RESEARCH AND YOU WILL FIND THE ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS. IF YOU DON'T KNOW HOW, ASK FOR HELP.

    January 17, 2008 03:27 am at 3:27 am |
  18. JAM, CA

    SHE who shall not be named has the definite aura of a "hands-on, micro-managing negative mother style," which is not what this country needs right now. Her alleged talents would be better utilized in the Senate until her term ends.

    BTW, her attack style, warriorish campaign style manner is really getting old and super negative. I don't see an ounce of leadership quality in her eyes, just a fighter, always fighting something, rarely uniting. Her campaign must be scrambling because she's not the single, clear front runner anymore. Hello to a real race because the American people have awoken from their long, fearful sleep created by the Bush Rove Cheney administration. Bring on November.

    January 17, 2008 03:29 am at 3:29 am |
  19. JAM, CA

    "O" man is an authority on delegating, the number one quality in a great leader.

    January 17, 2008 03:31 am at 3:31 am |
  20. shaun

    hillary clinton and her team of demons are very clever and but so so stupid. There trying there hardest to attack obamas message of hope by presenting a reason to doubt him, but with every new smear tactic she's managing to alienate from her own supporters. I have to believe that the american people are smart, and won't allow this type of politics to sway there vote, but if not we will have to deal with a leader who will not unite the country, but divide it. Republicans are obsessed with power, so when they lose the white house they'll retaliate with absolute partisanship. They want the american public to see a demoratic president fail. They want the dem to make promises to the people, and not be able to deliver, which will set them up for reelection in 2012. This is why we need a uniter like obama which can work across party lines and achieve real change. It's not important that we have the first woman president, or the first african american president, but we need someone that can get stuff done. We need a leader that can broker peace around the world, and has the vision and judgement to make hard decisions in this new world of crisis. Hillary is very smart, and I think she makes a good senator, but she's no president, and if she's given this mantle, we will see the continuation of americas slide into oblivian and a fall from being the super power we've been for the last 100 years

    January 17, 2008 04:05 am at 4:05 am |
  21. lorenzo

    I agree with you Tamika!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 17, 2008 04:32 am at 4:32 am |
  22. Paulo

    That Hillary Clinton is a double-faced diabolical woman can onlybe said tobe truism.Reasons being that she says something and then does another always for Political expediencies at different times and era.These are the hallmarks of a brutal,manipulative person who might be a liability in leadership and the fact that she's gone this far in the presidential race is a wholesale testimony that we Americans are a people of questionable intelligence and character corroded by prejudiced reasoning.Anybody else will do other than Hillary Clinton....there's nothing Hillarious about Hillary.....Let Mrs.Clinton know that Americans want to see an intelligence discourse about how she's gonna manage our country and not these venomous vitriolic comments about other candidates for which she will soon blame the press or other campaigns for characterisations .....all she wants is power by all and any means possible.And if she's run out of brainy intelligence,I believe it's never too late to leave the stage when the ovation is loudest.
    Sadly enough,I can almost tell that this great nation CAN NOT be effectively managed under a polarizing Hillary Clinton and should she be elected .....I can only wish America the best of luck in years ahead.She used to have me and my family but in this she's lost totally

    Thanks.

    January 17, 2008 04:35 am at 4:35 am |
  23. Jada Smith

    All of you on the blog who believe she made a valid argument, lack true 'managerial intelligence!' I have been the CEO of several multimillion dollar corporations which are still in existence, whose revenues rose significantly during my tenure. I am by no means a micro manager nor do I consider myself organized however I can run a business well and make effective change! He was making a joke! Get over yourselves!

    January 17, 2008 04:41 am at 4:41 am |
  24. Obama08

    The question was what is your weakness?

    Clinton and Edward gave dishonest or political answer (One gets angry and the other gets inpatient on behalf off poor people)

    Obama gave honest answer in my opinion.

    January 17, 2008 04:46 am at 4:46 am |
  25. Paulo

    Hillary is just pathetic !!!
    How can a presidential candidate be this obsessed with mudslinging other candidates ? and believe me guys,it's a shame that she
    has gone this far in the entire race and I'm begining to question our corporate intelligence as Americans perhaps we all need to read between the lines and stop being manipulated by HRC.

    May I also challenge Mrs.Clinton to at least leave up to her name,let Hillary be truly Hillarious !
    All we want is an intelligent discourse about how you will manage the humongous affairs of this great country and not pepper-spray.

    Thanks.

    January 17, 2008 05:01 am at 5:01 am |
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