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. Tony-Jean

    Bush/Clinton dynasties: The American people must be extremely lucky because those two families love us so much that they'll stop at nothing to "lead" America in the "right" direction. How very nice, thoughtful and unselfish of them. Who cares if they give us wars, scandals, and the only impeached president in our history...after all they love us so so much.
    Why should we choose someone who's not a member of the Bush/Clinton dynasties? After all these years, we've been institutionalized, we've learned to love them. They bring us wars, controversies, sex scandals, lies (while pointing to cameras with the index finger), impeachment, internet bubbles.. ingredients that are much needed in a society like ours. We love them, as they love us. They shed tears for us because they don't want us to fall back. So we can all kiss and forget.
    Why risk changing the pattern now, we've gone that long and we're still here alive. Why chance change? It might bring about the end of the world, or worse: proves us wrong in thinking no other names/families can lead this nation. We've been in our comfort zone for decades now. We don't need change. It might come with hard work, even if it doesn't come after decades of hard work. But like I said before, we don't need it. We fear it...to be honest.
    We, the American people, need those two dynasties to survive, just as much as they need us. We need each other...for better or worse.
    Well, maybe we can switch it up a little: Laura Bush in 20012, and yes.....she will have plenty of "experience" by then. But the again, what do I know? God bless American, the land of the free.

    January 17, 2008 05:02 am at 5:02 am |
  2. chuks

    In the begining my head was with the clintons while my heart was with obama. I was really in a fix as to who to support until I made the following startling discoveries:
    1, Obama is a leader while clinton is a manager.
    2, Obama is a motivator while clinton is a demotivator.
    3,Clinton is perhaps better experienced but obama has a better sense of judgement.
    4, obama has vision, clinton has division.
    5, obama inspires, clinton expires
    IN conclusion, obama is the kind of leader I can die for. I am so sorry but I cant do the same for the clintons.

    January 17, 2008 05:32 am at 5:32 am |
  3. Funsho

    I'm sick and tired of the politics of attacks that the Clintons often play.
    Bill and Hillary probably need to grow-up and quit all this whining and warping whenever things don;t go their way.
    The task of a leader far transcends paperwork as it involves deep-seated thinking and the ability to effectively engage in logical and analytical reasoning.I doubt if Mrs.Clinton truly possesses a quantum of this virtues,there is more to politics than attacks.Mrs.Clinton lays claim to experience and organisational skills but how do we as Americans reconcile the fact that she voted for this war in Iraq in 2002 plunging thousands of families into untold agonies for a most unnecessary war and again gave Bush the blank check on Iran in 2007-declaring the Army of a sovereign Islamic nation as a terrorist organisation. Or on what basis does she call Bush pathetic ?....am almost sure she will make a worse president compared to President Bush.A good leader must first rule his or her own emotions before ruling the affairs of a nation.I can only hope that Americans especially the women folk will learn to read beyond just gender camaraderie because of challenging times ahead.Let's all bear in mind that thousands of mothers are now mourning the tragic loss of their Sons and daughters all over this country for an ill-advised war....Ladies please be careful who you vote into the most sacred office in the land...this is serious business and I believe you are smart enough to make the right judgement.
    God bless America!!!

    January 17, 2008 05:41 am at 5:41 am |
  4. BCNU purple state, usa

    She reminds me so much of a Commander I had in a small unit in Turkey while I was in the Air Force. The "I'm a woman and am the big cheese here!" type. She had no idea of the technical work we were doing, and wasn't nearly as intelligent as most of our group, yet, had to try and micromanage everything we did. There were things we did on a daily basis and had ALL of the procedures streamlined and things running as smoothly as possible, but she always wanted to change the way we did things so she could show her influence on the unit and score points to achieve higher rank.

    Things were incredibly miserable. There were times we found her wanting us to skirt around proper procedure to suit her urgent needs, yet we all had to conform to procedures she put in place that made our work less efficient. A couple of times these 'favors' for her were actually breaches in security, and when advised of the fact, she would tell us "I'm the commander, I make that decision!"

    Sorry, sister, you DON'T make that decision. Of course, anyone standing up to her (even though they were correct) would suffer incredible wrath and anger.

    She had an incredible temper most times, but every now and then, when you'd expect to someone get railed for something they'd done, they would come out of her office as if just leaving grandma's house and having milk and cookies.

    The end result was she got 'reassigned' after the IG came for a visit and saw what was going on.

    I see so many parallels between her and Hillary that it actually scares me!

    January 17, 2008 06:11 am at 6:11 am |
  5. AnaHadWolves

    Wow...all these poor and deluded people are willing to vote for Barack Obama simply because he is a "brothah"? Yeah, that's right, go ahead and exclude competency in favor of skin-tone. Barack Obama...since he eschews "details" such as business-management ability and a clear, cogent and focused mind...is just George W. Bush with a better tan. His lack of management ability is a legitimate area for discussion. Dubya has the exact same problem.

    Those who slam Hillary while touting Barack simply play into the hands of the Republicans. Matter of fact, dividing the party and causing infighting between two strong candidates sounds very familiar: Karl Rove (remember the evil garbage thrown at John McCain in South Carolina in 2000?) and the late, un-lamented Lee Atwater (remember the Willie Horton ads of 1988?) and their egregious tactics are seemingly at work.

    Matter of fact, I wouldn't be surprised if this entire imbroglio weren't a product of the Republican slime machine, led by Karl Rove, designed purely to divide...and, conquer.

    The fetid fingerprints of that pudgy, pink, pile of poo known as Karl Rove are all over this one.

    January 17, 2008 06:14 am at 6:14 am |
  6. Smartie

    This comment and a couple of others from the Clintons are true reflection of what kind of service or disservice they will be to America.
    I hope Americans,both the people and the press ,will awake from their intellectual slumber....and bring back the good old days of sound reasoning and analytical thinking.No wonder we are being laughed at by the outsideworld as being incapable of sustaining an intelligent discourse.This kind of unprintable insults in a presidential debate are not only an unfortunate diversion from reasoning,but also a misrepresentation of the American spirit ,hope there's still one.It begs my imagination that Mrs.Clinton's campaign can degenerate so low to this pitiable level of ideologic poverty .I only hope she's not gonna accuse the press and the Obama campaign for characterisation,as she normally does.It's time we realised that the American nation is at the edge of another intellectual blunder should Mrs.Clinton be elected.
    I can only hope that the women folk will reason with me.I believe that there are millions of bright and brilliant women out there rather than this kind of pettiness.

    Thanks.

    January 17, 2008 06:21 am at 6:21 am |
  7. Funsho

    I'm sick and tired of the politics of attacks that the Clintons often play.
    Bill and Hillary probably need to grow-up and quit all this whining and warping whenever things don;t go their way.
    The task of a leader far transcends paperwork as it involves deep-seated thinking and the ability to effectively engage in logical and analytical reasoning.I doubt if Mrs.Clinton truly possesses a quantum of this virtues,there is more to politics than attacks.Mrs.Clinton lays claim to experience and organisational skills but how do we as Americans reconcile the fact that she voted for this war in Iraq in 2002 plunging thousands of families into untold agonies for a most unnecessary war and again gave Bush the blank check on Iran in 2007-declaring the Army of a sovereign Islamic nation as a terrorist organisation. Or on what basis does she call Bush pathetic ?....am almost sure she will make a worse president compared to President Bush.A good leader must first rule his or her own emotions before ruling the affairs of a nation.I can only hope that Americans especially the women folk will learn to read beyond just gender camaraderie because of challenging times ahead.Let's all bear in mind that thousands of mothers are now mourning the tragic loss of their Sons and daughters all over this country for an ill-advised war....Ladies please be careful who you vote into the most sacred office in the land...this is serious business and I believe you are smart enough to make the right judgement. And if theDemocrats are so unfortunate that they nominate Hillary,then 45% of the democrats opposed to her will swing into the Republican Party,regardless of their candidate in general election.
    God bless America!!!

    January 17, 2008 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  8. Hillarylover in Texas

    Hispanics love and support Clinton. Read about this incredible woman. She has done everything to try and make things better in this country. She is by far the best candidate. Our country is probably at its most vulnerable since its history. We need strength. We need Clinton.

    January 17, 2008 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  9. Susan

    Give me a break Hillary ....get real....Obama is the only candidate that had the courage enough to answer the question truthfully....I admire someone who can really take his or her own personal inventory....I would gladly vote for someone who truly knows and is aware of all their faults and weaknesses....All human beings have weaknesses and faults...and after all we are voting for a human being for our next president not a God.....The truly frightening thing is to have a president who is blind to his or her weaknesses like our current President Bush........LISTEN UP FOLKS...DO WE WANT A PRESIDENT WHO IS TRUTHFUL AND HONEST ??????????? VOTE OBAMA 08

    January 17, 2008 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  10. Nando

    Hillary will get you a 20% discount at OFFICE MAX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! if you vote for her and the SECs CLUB!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 17, 2008 06:40 am at 6:40 am |
  11. Tim Calhoun '08, Moreno Valley, CA

    Curious in Charleston is absolutely right. WHERE is the concrete evidence of Hillary's "35 years of experience/change"? Just because a candidate says something...and says it...and says it doesn't make it true. Her supporters have a clear case of echolalia: she makes a claim and they repeat it like a mantra without even researching it.

    As for the issue of a president's managerial skills...George W. Bush has transformed the presidency in the past seven years and has done everything he can to try and turn it into a benevolent dictatorship, where he has unilateral power over the other branches. Nothing Hillary Clinton has said during her campaign has convinced me she would choose to reverse that.

    She dismisses Bush's "politics of fear"...then turns around minutes later and says we need a leader who can handle a terrorist attack on day one.

    How anyone can trust this woman–let alone with the presidency–is beyond me.

    January 17, 2008 06:45 am at 6:45 am |
  12. charlotte

    I'm sure Barrack Hussien Obamas' name will evoke something. what kind of allies remains to be seen, first he has to win. We sure know what the name Bush evokes around the world. My beloved country, the USA, is suffering a lot of anti-everything. We have lost so much respect, can anyone get it back. It will take a long time and a President who can get it done. Action speak louder then words. We don't need a silver tongue that talks and talks. Can Obama walk the walk.

    January 17, 2008 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  13. Michael, MN

    Cant you people see that this country needs BARACK OBAMA!!
    Enough with the same old politics...lets have the courage to try something new!!

    January 17, 2008 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  14. Diane

    Maybe I've missed something, but isn't this the pot calling the kettle black?

    Exactly what management experience does Mrs Clinton have? Oh, that's right, NONE!!

    She also shows how naive she is about what COOs and CEOs do, and how that might relate to the role of President. No CEO I know or have worked with managed the bureacracy – that's why they have a PA, Chief of Staff, and management team. The CEO works with the Board to set the vision and strategy and ensure that the systems and people are in place to execute. The role is much more about stakeholder management than micromanagement, something Mr Obama can deliver much more effectively than Mrs Clinton.

    January 17, 2008 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  15. William

    Harem days are back again. Prosperity days are back again. Everybody drinking Cool-aid and electing HillyBilly – two for the price of one as President.

    Go HillyBilly 2008

    January 17, 2008 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  16. Barbara

    People need to take a quantum leap
    forward with a new President and First Lady Obama and his
    dedicated wife Michelle are ready to fulfil that responsibility now. We need fresh ideas for our young people the Clinton's have already had their turn need we delve into their past once more. I hear young people of all races wishing for change in their lives not to mention their children's future is seriously at stake.
    Michelle Obama is hot she is standing by Barack against the Clinton's
    big money and political background that takes tremendous heart and trust with her own desire to see effective change in America. I feel with Michelle as First Lady she has much to offer our youth and adult female voters. We need to listen
    carefully to Obama and give Michelle a chance too if we are truly working
    towards the same goals.
    The Obama's are fired up and ready to go !

    January 17, 2008 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  17. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    Obama said "I ask my staff never to hand me paper until two seconds before I need it, because I will lose it,"

    Wow – qualities that we are looking for in the person entrusted to run the nation, right. I bet G. W. Bush says the same thing....

    January 17, 2008 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  18. Renee

    Some talk about Obama not being organize with paper on his desk or experience.. This have nothing to do with becoming a wonderful President because take President Bush for example the people said he have experience and his former master mind Karl Rove look at this country it is in a mess with all thier experience.. Obama has tap into something on running this country and it is for the good. If you listen to Obama he cares about the people bring people together for the common good. Hilliary Clinton on the debate she was wrong when she was speaking about different issues and downing President Bush for going over to the Middle East she talked about doing the same things.and also the White house speaker shown by Fox News said that HIlliary Clinton is so eager to be elected that she would say anything.

    January 17, 2008 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  19. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    Tamika Jackson posted:

    "I find it sickening that any of my black brothers and sisters would vote for Hillary Clinton. "

    You know what TAMIKA, I find racist trash like you to be sickening. You and your ilk run around screaming and moaning and pulling your hair and calling every white prson you see "racist" but can hardly restrain your own hatred for white people. And people dont think that this campaign is all about race..
    Anyone want to take wagers on how bad the riots are if Obama does not win??

    January 17, 2008 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  20. rmsk

    Obama as a president??????? the nation will not vote for him. Hillary can win the nation election. We do not want AL Gore 2.

    January 17, 2008 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  21. Bimmer

    This is outrageous that the moderators letd the profanity by Rico Deezay directed towards the Clintons be published but they are yet to publish the following comments by me:

    "Obama's confession about his poor organizational skills and losing papers unless handed in two second before he needs it explain why he is so great when he gives speeches but seems unprepared in the debate.

    In each deabte, he is being beaten by Clinton on substance. He scores a point here and there for style.

    He will be a good motivational speaker, perhaps for Annex Learning but a questionable choice for the Presidency of the most powerful nation on earth."

    Who are these moderators? What's their motives?

    January 17, 2008 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  22. Bimmer

    Candy Crowley stating what the other person confessed in great details in National TV is not attacking the person.

    How can anyone trust her reporting if she distort sand sensationalizes the facts we know?

    Pathetic is the word to describe CNN's bias towards one candidate.

    The unbiased title should be "Obama is disorganized and loses important papers."

    January 17, 2008 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  23. Nowhere Man

    Yeah, like Bill was a "hands-on" manager too. He had his hands on everyone but Hillary.

    January 17, 2008 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  24. Sara M

    Dear God,

    While I understand that everyone has the right the thier opinion, would it be too much to ask that cheerleaders stop to think for themselves instead of having a mob mentality that blindly follows whoever looks pretty and talks big?

    I mean...Doesn't content, accountability and actual works mean ANYTHING anymore? Is it really a show of integrity to make promises you don't even have the power TO KEEP, but make people think you could?

    Is it really a sign of equality to belong to a church that celebrates a race over an actual god? Is it really equal to pledge BLIND DEVOTION to another country? Especially when that country played just as big a part of selling slaves as other countries did in buying them? Especially when Blind Devotion to Another Country means that you consider a country that is NOT the united states to be your home, but then claim you want to be President?

    I thought home was where you lived...Does that mean my home is really somewhere in Poland or Sweden? Maybe it's Ireland, I have some of that too.

    Also, I can't help but wonder if it's fair to say someone isn't racsist when the church they belong to boldly defines itself by RACE?! I thought Church was supposed to be about you, God...so why would it be about Race and Countries?

    And God, one more thing...if you don't mind?

    I'm really confused about how someone can say they are pro-life but then praise the death penalty, and not regret the actions of War. Isn't War supposed to be one of those last resort things? Why do we keep rushing into it as if we have to measure what might be in someone's pants? I understand that sometimes, people have to do things they don't want to do, but it makes me really nervous when some people use it as if it were a Sports Car.

    So, if I vote for a woman, who if she were a man, would be seen as powerful, (instead of an expletive starting with a B) than I am a fem-nazi, and if I speak out against a black man running for president, (Even if he reminds me of a used-car-salesman who doesn't realize that the cars he is selling don't belong to him) than I'm in danger of being considered predjudice; Does this mean that I have to be black to speak out against a black, and a man to approve of a woman?

    I didn't think that race or gender had anything to do with my vote, but I can't help but think we're all idiots if we can claim that there aren't predjudice people, (and not just white people) or chauvenist pigs, (And not just men) who keep trying to back up thier claim by saying that black people this, or woman that. (Can I say idiots? Or am I going to risk being called a bigot for being judgemental against stupid people? It's hard to tell these days, because -everything- is something to protest..(which makes me wonder if people even care what they are protesting against as long as someone else is doing it with them and it looks important?)

    I'm told that I'm a liberal scum person because I believe we shouldn't let our children starve and grow up ignorant; and others call me conservative scum because I think that it's wrong to be selfish by killing children just so you don't have to acknowledge another life by claiming there isn't one if you don't see it.

    And God? Everyone seems to get pissy when I say that I Don't believe in Gay Marriage, but that I think Civil Unions should be what decides a tax break and not marriage...and that EVERYONE has a right to that, not just straight people.
    (I mean, what right do we have to give people a tax break based on religion anyway...you never did like taxes, so isn't that sort of an insult?)

    So does that make me a conserva-liber-independ-demo-repub-soc-ican?

    If you could answer these questions, I'd feel a whole lot less dissappointed with the human race...especially the portion of it that lives in the infant country that seems to have forgotten that just because it's been a few hundred years, doesn't suddenly make us older than everyone else. (or wiser)...or less broke!

    Thanks you!

    A very confused American.

    January 17, 2008 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  25. Casey

    Yeah, and how about we don't hand you the Presidency until two seconds before you're ready- in 2016! You need some more training my man!

    Obama 2016!

    HILLARY 2008!

    January 17, 2008 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
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