January 16th, 2008
03:37 PM ET
15 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. steve wilmington

    Mrs. Clinton, as a wife of a former-president, I hope you took copious notes. You have alot of experience at taking notes and organizing....this is the only "experience" you have.

    January 16, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  2. Mike

    Obama is hanging his hat on his ability to bring people together to solve the problems. Unfortunitely, giving good speeches is not the only quality that we need in this particular job at this time in history. We need a candidate who can dot the i's and cross the t's in his/her plan of attack, as well as drum up support across the asle. That rules out Hillary as well.

    January 16, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  3. Marie

    We need a truthful president who will unite the nation and not a liar and polarizing candidate with all that baggage. (Carpetbagger BillyBoy that is!!!)

    I'm for a new start and a candidate with character. Think that pretty much narrows it down to Obama or Edwawrds wouldn't you?

    January 16, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  4. Elizabeth

    Really, do you think American people are so stupid?

    You state that you didn't vote for the invasion of Iraq; cannot even admit you even read the national security memos but was "briefed" on it. Is that what MANAGEMENT is to you? You didn't even take responsibility for allowing Bob Johnson to act so arrogant at your campaign event. You didn't respect the Dem Party by taking your name off the MI ballot; the list goes on.....

    Cares about the Middle Class? When we lived in your state, Hillary, in upstate NY the economy sucked and there were no good jobs for anyone. The military base my husband was assigned to couldn't even house many of the soldiers' families on base and the local real estate was using military families desperate need for housing to make a huge profit and I saw NO evidence that anyone was stepping in to help out while families stayed separated because they had no where to live. THEY WERE LIVING IN HOTELS. I was lucky to get a decent apartment off base before my husband came back from Iraq.

    "What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say."
    Ralph Waldo Emerson

    May the best candidate win. Goodnight!

    January 16, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  5. Margaux

    And if you still think that Obama is the man than you must still believe in Santa Clause!

    January 16, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  6. K.Chicago

    One more I would like to suggest to the aoutor of the article.
    Please don't make this a fight between the two candidates.
    Mr Obama's statement is to hard to accept and not to react.
    Someone, who is not organized, deteiled and hard working, not placing in to other's hands, very important tasks as well as discrediting himself about important skills in the position as a manager or department head, I feel strong to not let that person to be OUR PRESIDENT !!!!!!!!
    Please !!!!! NO !!!! Mr Obama !!!!!!
    VOTE FOR Mrs HILLARY CLINTON !!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 16, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  7. Tony

    I would rather go with an "unknown" than Clinton. Besides Obama is not an unknown.

    January 16, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  8. Dan

    I am really amazed at how many people really don't research before making comments and rely on heresay.

    Hillary knows the political system and can make changes that are necessary because of the experience being in both the White House as the first lady and being in the senate. Yes, the healthcare plan she had didn't work at it's best; however, we all learn from our mistakes, please name one person out there (especially in Washington) who hasn't.

    I don't think the country can take a risk by putting someone in who has no clear and detailed plans, Obama speaks to generalities.

    Clinton is well rounded, understands how to make change (look at what she has done in NY) and can detail her plans on any topic. Not true with the other two.

    Obama talks about how de voted against the war....NEWSFLASH: HE DIDN'T VOTE ON IT AT ALL! Don't criticize people for making a vote when you weren't even there to do so. There is a lot we don't know about Obama but what he says because he sure does miss a lot going on in the Senate, where he should be getting experience to come back.

    As a person who has continously followed politics, I don't think we can take a risk on a person who has no detailed plans to change the country or someone who lacks experience. We are in desperate need of help and change and there is only ONE clear candidate who can provide that, Hillary Clinton!

    Please research Hillary before making decisions on "likeability"...I want someone who can be firm and strong, not so much likeable. I have friends I can have a beer with, but not many of them could lead a country, just like I feel about Obama.

    Go Clinton!

    January 16, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  9. What you need

    You don't need a dreamer of unity (which will never happen unless there is another disaster). You need someone with a plan. After following the debates Hillary is the only one who has thaught about solutions, economic etc.

    January 16, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  10. Cheryl Moss

    Hillary Clinton, you need to stop the bashing on Senator Obama. You act as though you are GOD"s gift to this Earth. Every word he utters out of his mouth, you turn it around to benefit yourself. You proclaim you have 35 years of political experience, you were born in 1947 so would I be correct to say that you have been in the political field since you were 25 years old? "I think not". Tell the truth Hillary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    One more thing. Mr. Clinton stated that one of your first task if you become president is to send him and Sr. Bush around the world to tell other political heads that the U.S. are open for talk and to fix the mess that Sr. Bush's son has made "How pathetic" of you. When Senator Obama suggested that he would talk to other leaders around the world, YOU CRITICIZED MR. OBAMA for even suggestion that. Senator Clinton you are so plastic.

    January 16, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  11. Abdi Jamal

    The race issue between Hillary and Obama is a serious threat to the democatuc party in the final election in Novermber. If this continues, then the party is likely to loose in the election. People are tied of republican and they need to get rid of them. The media needs to stop exergurating the issue at the compaign site. Why? Because people are getting confused for whom they should vote for. Every American knows that Bill clinton was a good president in his term in office. But the question is, Her husban's remarks in the past, w'll it help Hillary to rule this country? The ans is NO! but she can influence some voters on that. About experience Hillary claims all the time, let me break this one into peices, well, W.Bush was elected and he had expeirence for the job right, so what did he bring to this country other than War? Nothing. where is the expeirence he had? This concludes that having an expeirence does not mean that you w'll do a good job or better. It is time for Americans to stand up and select the best candidate whose words are consistent all the time from one state to another.Americans are ready for change. I don't uderstand why people are not even giving chance for Jorn Edward. He is a good candidate, have good message same as hillary and Obama to the people. For get about Hillary and Obama and vote for Edward instead of loosing to the Republicans. I don't like Republcans.

    January 16, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  12. sick of ignorant remarks

    to proud florida democrat, chaunda, kj matthews and all other posters who are so ignoraant of obama here are SOME OBamaa Facts you need to know.
    1. he has held elected office longer than hrc. 2. a First Lady title in the Governor's House or White House is not political experience, as no one is holding you accountable for leading or helping the country.
    3. Obama has made many sacrifices-financial mainly. For example while HRC didn't have to worry about paying back college loans, Obama was working in a low paying job as an community organizer, to led voter registration efforts in Chicago that led to the largest surge of in Chicago's history, which by the way led to Bill Clinton's win in Illinois presidential race.
    4. Obama is often willing to give up credit for his work in order to get bi-partisan support and effort. If you think HRC could do this, you're NUTS.
    5.HRC is too divisive to move this country forward and unfortunately we still need a few more democrats in Congress, to move against the republicans. This is why BUSH has been able to stop the democrats from passing badly needed legislation. Since we have a snowball chance in hell of getting the right numbers in congress, we at least need a president that can unite all parties. give us a break, check your facts before you post, or at least give something that makes sense to think about..like poster-tamika johnson..Go OBAMA 08

    January 16, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  13. Richard F

    Since when is CONTRAST an attack? Isn't campaigning about presenting your ideas and contrasting yourself with others? Haven't we heard people saying for months that the 2 Democratic front runners are VERY similar? Here we have Hillary showing what just may be the most important difference between herself and Obama and it's labeled an attack? I'm glad to see their managerial styles so well highlighted by the two of them now so that we can get a real idea of what type of president they will be. This is what campaigns are about – lay it out and let the voters decide. Get real Crowley – Read the actual words the candidates say and quit looking for a flashy headline. You're supposed to work for CNN – Not FOX!

    January 16, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  14. DoninVa

    Lets just be real honest here. Obama is very inexperienced and no amount of good wishes or goodwill will make him a strong President. At the same time, Hillary Clinton is known as something of a bully as opposed to the "Strong woman " perception that many cast her as being. Her few experiences that we the public recognize her for..healthcare..etc..were miserable flops. And I for one prefer that presidential spouses do as most Americans prefer ,which is to say they do good will tours ,state dinners,and other supporting functions in that form. We need a candidate in the fashion of Truman,Kennedy,and Reagan.Those were leaders that thru vision and strength of purpose made us a whole nation as opposed to the partisan nation the world percieves of us.

    January 16, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  15. Joe, SoCal

    RockyDude, this was one of the most well-written, logical, and even keeled assesments I've read about Hillary Clinton in a long time. Her popularity still perplexes me– I cannot understand for the life of me why anyone would want to vote for such a power hungry and underhanded woman.

    I can understand the appeal of having the first woman president, however, and that plus the fond memories many have of the Clintons is basically what drives her.

    I will be voting for Obama, though.

    January 16, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  16. David, Dallas Tx

    Gee, I'm so glad she decided to run a no-attack campaign.


    I can't believe Hillary is arguing that her comfort level with bureaucracy is a selling point. I thought she called herself an agent of change? Bureaucracies stifle change, they don't foster it.

    January 16, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  17. Two States

    According the latest Carnival International Poll, Inc. LOL

    Obama will win two states, IA and SC

    January 16, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  18. Running out of Hope, Newport News, Va.

    Thank you RockyDude for your ensight. That would be the question and the physical response will undoubtedly reveal the truth (Body language and the eyes). Would these people die for us? I'm certain of this one fact, and that is that Barack Obama stares death in the face everyday he steps out of the safety of his quarters. Just like Kennedy and King. It has to do with who he is. His passion, his truth, his vision. The possibility of his sudden demise on the campaign trail is very real. I mean after all, this is the United States of America. Obama is the one... He really is.

    January 16, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  19. KMM Grand Rapids MI

    The longer this goes, the more Hillary shows herself to us to be a manipulating, power hungry, calculating, vicious when desparate, claw her way to the top at any expense, human being ....who will do ANYTHING to win. And, the longer this goes, Obama's honor and class will become more and more apparent. We are so hungry for someone we all not just respect, but love to lead us again. That's the truth at the end of the day. Do we really want four, maybe eight more years of truly disliking the leader of our country? Are we all not demoralized from it?

    January 16, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  20. Wake Up

    Let's talk Facts:

    Fact 1: The media is spinning against Hillary at every turn.

    Fact 2: Obama is not as experienced as Hillary

    Fact 3: There is a difference between having a "vision" (obama) and having the ability to execute that vision.

    Fact 4: Bush has the intelligence of a really smart chimpanzee.

    Fact 5: The Clintons have been squarely on the side of blacks and minorities for years. Check your facts if you think otherwise.

    Fact 6: The Clintons left the country in good shape – positive standing in the world and budget surplus.

    Fact 7: The best Washington scandal is a sex scandal!!!

    Fact 8: I'll vote for any Democrat over any Republican until the balance of power in this gov't is re-established.

    Fact 9: I'm a registered Republican

    January 16, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  21. Sam

    Extremely rational Democrats will vote for Clinton, because – agree or disagree – you can't deny her substance and you can't deny Obama's political naivete as a wide open match point for Republicans.

    Extremely emotional Democrats will vote for Obama, because it just feels good.

    Most people are a little of both. The media (CNN, CMNBC, everyone) has been very successful at sniffing out and then amplifying even the slightest negative to activate emotion. So these blogs are obviously dominated by emotional people.

    Will be interesting to see whether the emotional or the rational make it to the voting booths.

    January 16, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  22. Mati

    Don't be stupid, this was a metaphor! Don;t tell me you really imagined that she was talking about filing documents. Many of you like to repeat that 'unite us' stuff. People become united without any effort if life is good, and they will fight one against the other if they have to survive. So, don't play stupid here.. fixing America starts with filling the pockets of middle class and working people, not with Obama's communist 'solidarity'. Read some history.


    January 16, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  23. Wake Up

    Oh, I forgot one thing:
    Fact 10: If Hillary is elected, she will be the 1st Female President of the USA.

    I'm a man and I really want this monopoly of old-white-men running the country to end. Even if Hillary's presidency does nothing more than open the door for candidates of any gender, religion, or race to be president, then it will be well worth it.

    January 16, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  24. Xtina Chicago, IL

    Hillary is so full of it, the more I hear from her, the less I'll vote for her. If Hillary is elected, every voicemail, phone line to the government will be answered by Hillary.

    January 16, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  25. Angela

    Great! Obama admits he can't keep his own desk organized???. that he will lose papers if someone gives it to him too soon???
    He just gave away the keys to his kingdom!!!
    The republicans will bury him with confusion/detail if he gets the nomination. and wins the White House. Obama will be a sitting duck for their diabolical tactics.
    He simply fails to realize what a complicated, demanding job the Presidency is.
    I feel sorry for him if he gets in. He will be overwhelmed and collapse at the immensity of the job.. He will chase his tail and get exhuasted. He will get disallutioned when the Republicans don't play nice , aren't moved by his flowery, windy oratory and, sorry to say, HE will be the one crying.
    Please leave the job to a battle-hardened political warrior like Hillary.
    She has the skill, intelligence and stamina to take on the Republican opposition and clean up the mess.

    GO HILLARY!!!!

    January 16, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
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