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. mike kaplan

    First, this is a minor criticism. But more to the point, why does CNN need to run two essentially identical stories on the same page about the fact that one candidate politely criticized another? CNN is seriously biased against Hillary for some reason.

    And all you people on the blogs here, both Hillary and Obama supporters, really need to CALM DOWN!!!!! The enemy wants us to fight, and you're giving them what they want. And by "the enemy", I mean the Republicans. I'm not sure whether I'll vote Hillary or Obama, but I know that I'll support either one of them against any of the Republicans. Hillary and Obama are much closer in their positions to each other than they are to the other side, which has done horrible damage to our country in more ways than I can count.

    Let's stay focused, people. We need a Democrat in 2008, and we can't afford to let this campaign get ugly.

    January 17, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  2. Dwayne, Pa

    Still NO ONE has been able to inform me on all the "accomplishments" Hillary has achieved in 35 YEARS!
    Can any of you Hillary supporters give me details of what the heck she has done in 35 YEARS?
    I expect the list will be a mile long since she's been "working for us" for 35 YEARS!

    January 17, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  3. Ndulue Lloyd

    Hilary is the most experienced American woman...Unfortunately, this experience is all about keeping on keeping on...even when your husband sees no reason to be faithful....

    thats a very nice credential...isn`t it?

    January 17, 2008 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  4. Curious George

    Candy Crowley,

    Your job is to provide the public with fair and balanced reporting without prejudice to any candidate. It is not the journalist's job to select who they think is the best candidate by brainwashing the public your ideas and beliefs. Your job is to report to the public the accurate facts in order for the public to decide who they think is the best candidate who can govern this great country.

    January 17, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  5. larry buchas, new britain, ct

    That question during the debate was to state a major strength and weakness of each candidate. Barack was the only on e to answer it with honesty.

    Hillary claims her weakness is "growing impatient" when good things are not happening. She could never admit to anything she's done wrong which puts her in the same boat as George W. Bush. I find her "growing impatient" equivalent to her flying off the handle and isolating herself from discussions.

    Perhaps that's a weakness she needs to clarify.

    January 17, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  6. MJ North Mississippi

    Okay, according to Obama all we have to do is get together and have a great big group hug and all the worlds problems will disappear. Gee I wonder what would happen if someone had a cold. Two seconds to make some of the decisions that could ultimately change our way of living. Sounds like he has a mind of a two year old.

    January 17, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  7. Chaunda,IN

    Ron S.

    I don't have to go back to two hundred years to draw my comparisions. Obama is using the same campaign Bush did 8 years ago. And now he is drawing comparision between himself and Reagan. I am not reading a sound bite, I actually watched the interview.
    Now here is the part that will draw out the hatemongers. Obama is always comparing himself to historical figures (MLK,JFK, now Reagan) because he has no viable history of his own. No one is saying ( or at least I am not saying) he is a bad guy but the speech does not make the man. And you can call him the Great Uniter all you want but the fact is those same republicans who praise his speechs of hope and change are the same ones will then go vote republican.
    People, at least those of you who are really Democrats debate the candidates that's fine but do not use the republican talking points when talking of your own party members.

    January 17, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  8. Joe, Boston

    Why is this considered an "attack"? He is the one who confessed to not being organized. Why is the media always calling legitimate issue differences "attacks"?

    January 17, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  9. matchu

    How disgustingly sneaky of her. He used this as one of his weaknesses at the debate where it was a "polite and calm" atmosphere....as if. Another lame attempt at the Clinton campaign to sling mud at anyone she can lay her hands on and claim shes "the innocent one."

    January 17, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  10. Once again...

    I will vote for no one BUT ABC.
    And I believe caring too much is a weakness. This whole campaigning thing is not exactly peaceful, especially for Hillary Clinton, so it must take great caring to run for president. After all, if all Clinton really cares about is power and wealth, she could have gone into another field.

    January 17, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  11. J. McKinney SW MO

    I am getting a real kick out of these comments that excuse all Obama's faults and lacks by saying he was "Honest about it". Does that fix everything?
    He did drugs as a young person. Hopefully he has matured beyond that, but is something to question his judgement about. BUT HE WAS HONEST ABOUT IT.
    He's very disorganized–he says not to hand him a paper as he will lose it. That doesn't sound very good, BUT HE WAS HONEST ABOUT IT. Does being honest fix everything? I think it is good that he is at least honest, but honest doesn't fix everything and make it right. And it isn't the only criteria for being a good leader of the US. He needs more experience.
    Take a person who has murdered someone. If he admits it, and is HONEST ABOUT IT should that get him off the hook, or is he still a murderer?
    Take a person who has stolen a car, for instance. If he admits he stole it, AND IS HONEST ABOUT IT, does that let him off the hook? I don't think so.
    We need Hillary, she has the experience we need to run the country.

    January 17, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  12. TJ WILLIAMS, Los Angeles, CA

    My question is...if she's so experienced and good at attention to detail...
    HOW DID SHE MISS ALL THE WOMANIZING BILL DID RIGHT UNDER HER NOSE? if she has sooo much experience why didn't she see an intern was maintaining an intimate relationship with her husband right there in the Whitehouse? It's time to take off the gloves and ask Hillary Clinton "why didn't you see what was right infront of your face...especially since this was not the first time?

    January 17, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  13. Ms.Daisy

    This really is a sad day. People are clueless if they think by putting the
    Clintons back in the White House things will be better–trust me it will be
    worst. This was the plan all along – Bill Clinton wanted to be known as "the
    first black president" However Clinton was NOT and never will be the first black
    president– PERIOD. He wiggled his way through the black community to get what
    he/she are looking for today– YOUR VOTE– and it looks like its working.
    That's why she hung in there with him, its called pay back. Listen my people of
    all races– we can do this- reach across the table with Obama and move the
    table. Love will conquer ( EVERYONE)!!! Hate will keep us divided.

    January 17, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  14. Wilhemina

    President Obama should appoint Hillary to manage something (not near his office, some foreign embassy), I think that is what she is hinting. Notice that her attention seeking behavior is directed towards Obama, and only Obama. I wonder what Edwards most think to be discounted by her like that. Obama constantly acknowledging and pulling Edwards into the debate on Tuesday. Hillary intentionally acted as though she only had eyes for Obama, she watched him exit during each commercial break, and at the closing when he got up to shake hands she turned towards him, but he went around her and stood between Edwards and her, and congradulated them both. She did not noticably congrat Edwards. The Clinton's are a public embarrassment and they do not care.

    January 17, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  15. Once again...

    I will vote for NOT vote for ABC.
    And I believe caring too much is a weakness. This whole campaigning thing is not exactly peaceful, especially for Hillary Clinton, so it must take great caring to run for president. After all, if all Clinton really cares about is power and wealth, she could have gone into another field.

    January 17, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  16. Shirley

    Is Hillary incompetent? It would appear so!!!!! Every time something doesn't go the way of the Clintons', Bill has to go before the press and stand up for Hillary. GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If she can't stand up for herself in the issues that come up in this election period, how in the world is she supposed to be competent enough to deal with all the really important and life changing issues for this country that will come up as President of the United States?

    January 17, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  17. Gil - California

    This is why the Democrats will lose the White House this election. Folks like me who hate Hillary will never vote for her if she wins the primary. We'll either sit it out or vote Republican. Folks who hate Obama will never vot for him if he wins the primary. They will either sit it out or vote Republican.

    In the end there will be a Republican in the White House and I'll be wondering why I wasted so much energy and emotion on a losing team.

    January 17, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  18. vee

    I don't think she has any track record to show that she can manage anything except to run negative stuff about others. She's nothing but fluff!

    January 17, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  19. Lisa Gross

    Whenever I hear a speech by Hillary I stop listening, whenever I see Hillary on television I turn the channel. I no longer find her credible and I don't need the stress of trying to figure out just what she is really trying to say! I'm always left feeling confused and manipulated!!!!!!!!

    January 17, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |

    This political race has fallen to shambles....The Clintons are bringing durty politics into the mix of things, and the media is exposing it all because people like dirt. I'm really concerned with our country and the issues, and it seems as if this campain it drawiing away from that. I had a lot of respect for the Clinton's, but this behavior is copmpletely immature ans unessasarry...you dont have to lash out at someone and try to make them look bad in order to get America's vote...It's simple...just keep it real with yoourself. Focus on what YOU are going to do to make this countyry a better place. I dont want to hear about disorganization and "hand-on" managing, and "I did this" "I did that"....lets talk about now. Borak Obama is not perfect, and he expresses that, thats why I respect his camapin. He's human...I want a President who can

    January 17, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  21. Dan, USA

    As a Republican for McCain I have to laugh at all the bickering on the dem side. I especially find it funny that the Hillary supports tell Obama to come back in 2016 after Hillary's 8 years. What makes you people think that (1)Hillary as the most polarizing figure in US politics EVER would win a national election against anyone, and (2) even if that happened and the country really saw her "vast" experience come into play (meaning she will divide the country even more) that she could win a second term? LAUGHABLE!!!!! People who think with Hillary and Obama the dems have the next 16 years locked up as President are smoking the same stuff Bill Clinton and Obama did in their youth!

    January 17, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |

    This campain has fallen to shambles....And the media is eating it up and serving it to us on a plate....All these dirty politics, and poiting the finger has totally took this campain into another direction. I had a lot of respect for the Clinton's, but all of these alligations and things have come up attaking Obama is unessasarry....If you want Americas vote, just keep it real with yourself....focus on your campaign and let voter decided without the finger point and what not. Thats one of the reasons American isn't United right now. Make an example out of yourself, and worry about YOU....when you start putting the spotlight on someone else (Obama) they are getting more attention, and you look like a tattle-tale and "the bad guy"...and people dont like that....Obama has taken the high road and when he does comment on his rival hes not pointing the finger. I dont think that is his concern. His concern is to get our country together. Hes not perfect, who cares? I dont want that in a President. Iwant a president who is human, who we can relate to and who has hope. Not someone who braggs about the past and trys to play dirty for their own personal gain. It seems as if Hillary has shown her true colors, and her concern has drawn away from the people. Shes focused on herself, and Mr.Clinton needs to step back because it seems like he wants to run the show and she'll be a puppet...I know a lot of you say Obama is inexperienced, but i dont think so...Hillary has a lot of lobbist insiders who are part of the reason of this economy, and foreign affairs. Washingtnon need to clean house, and get all of those rats out of there....I encourage people to vote for who they are going to vote for, and dont let the media influence your choice. Watch the debates, listen to talk radio...all of the cantidates are trying to sell their ideas to us and what they will do....the question is who seems more ginuine abput their claims? Which cantidate will include the American people and let us know whats REALLY going on...I dont want to be shut out anymore. I know where I stand on this.

    January 17, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  23. jyfranca

    There is no difference between bush and clinton.in 2000 voters were disenfranchized.in 2008 Hillary and Bill clinton want to disenfranchize Nevada caucus goers.In 2004 Bush said if voters were not going to reelect him there would be a great incident of terror than sept 11.and he warned to vote for democrat would welcome al Qaeda.In 2008 Hillary says ske is experienced and voting for Obama or edward will welcome terrorist threat in a country and also she is the only one who can fight terror.In 2008 Hillary uses economy to fear the voters that if they do not vote for her there would be a major blow in economy,recession.Clinton has received lots of donation in her compaign from lobbysts than any candidate in 2008 race.Clinton use race as the way to win nomination.she is desperate until she cries after seeing she was losing.Also Clinton use tactic of divide and rule.he uses her puppet Johnson to attack obama.Clinton is leading in attack.they call obama moslem,drug dealer.If clinton is nowstrting to divide people on racial,gender,how will she do when she is president,more polarization.

    January 17, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  24. Sam - MI

    Well Hillary, I got to say you are lying if you claim that you will be able to look at each and every paper that will walk through white house. lets not go upto white house but rather look at your campaign management. Yours campaign team is the one that has forwarded most abusive and non-sense materials against your rival Obama and you have been on the records many time apologizing for this. You can not even control your own campaign team at the moment. How can you claim that you will be able to go through all the details of every issue that will be in the white house? I think Mr. Bill Clinton (and his team) should be ready for a full time job on sharing your job as president. Come on Hillary. Start making some sense out of your comments and attack on Obama.

    January 17, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  25. Paul Williamson

    I don't pay any attention to the political bloggers because it is apparent they are not very important, they have a lot of time on their hands to write the drivel they write-they are either in school, unemployed, or if employed, wasting their time at work. The real contributors to the economy and the country are busy at work instead of wasting their time on this crap.

    January 17, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
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