January 21st, 2008
09:46 PM ET
14 years ago

Schneider: Hillary speaks partisan language

MYRTLE BEACH, South Carolina (CNN) -
Hillary Clinton constantly speaks in partisan terms - that she knows how to "fight" the Republicans - she's been doing it "for 16 years." It's very different from Obama, and it's a tone that is very appealing to many partisan Democrats that make up the majority of primary voters - but how will it play in a general election match up?

- CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider

Filed under: Bill Schneider
soundoff (486 Responses)
  1. Candy

    Clinton supporters are throwing smoke all over the place. The chance that a Republican will win in the general election is, at least right now, small. So trying at this point to nominate based on who can beat who is the wrong thing to do. Also, how is it that McCain will eat Obama alive and not Hillary? Is it because, AGAIN, McCain is white and Obama is not? Secondly, Obama is the only candidate who can become a uniter for the country. Hillary will definitely NOT. Thirdly, If Hillary is elected president, it'll definitely be business as usual. If Obama is elected, at least America has a chance to come out of the current miserable status quo.

    January 21, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  2. Alicia

    Let's start with her own morality and I'm not even going to touch her husband (no pun intended) with a ten foot pole. She lacks the morality that women, young democrats regardless of their gender, and people can believe in. No one involved in the conflicts in the Middle East will be willing to deal with her with that double-speak, partisan talk. She lacks the ability to debate with regard to the economy or things that matter- our own country's defense or illegal immigration. She does a wonderful job; however, at throwing her "sixteen years of experience" in our face. I just wonder how much of that time was spent cleaning the oval office.
    As a young, republican woman, I can honestly say that she lacks the luster or wherewithall for our country, she lacks the knowledge and experience we need to lead this country.
    Without her "experience" in health- care/ the Childrens' Defense Fund, would she have a place in this election??? As an educator and a believe in human rights, I say, stop taking votes away from Obama. If Democrats/ women/ Latinos want someone to believe in then their best bet is with Obama. If I were a Democrat, my vote would be with him, but McCain will eat BILLARY ALIVE. Leave the drama for your mama and vote Obama!

    January 21, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  3. Bruce Ross

    Obama should have hit her on selling the Lincoln bedroom and the fact that some of her financial supporters are in Jail, but either way, this was a great debate.

    January 21, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  4. Karen

    She is tough! I like it.

    January 21, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  5. Joan

    The Republican party is salivating in anticipation for Hillary to win the Democratic Primary.

    I listened last week to Progressive Talk Radio with Ed Schultz.. I forgot the name of the Republican Strategist, but, Ed Schultz asked him the following question: Who would the Republicans want to run against for the Presidency?. His response was " I ashamed to say this, but, it would be Hillary Clinton". He then proceeded to explain that Hillary has a track record that the Republicans will use to galvanize their constituency against her. He stated that Obama does not have the history and length of time in politics that would allow the Republicans to use it against him.

    I want someone in this office who is thorough, thoughtful, intelligent and willing to go across the aisle to get things done in this country. I believe there are many Republicans in this country who love it like the rest of us. I believe they also want us to compromise and unify to strengthen our country at home and abroad.

    January 21, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  6. Jules

    The question that you've asked is exactly why americans consistently view Hillary as a very DEVISIVE person, and it's also why many of the especially independents will either stay out of the general election, or vote republicans, if she wins. Thee very opposite will happen if a bridge builder like Sen Obama gets the nomination.

    January 21, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  7. kjmatthews

    The problem with Obama's approach is that saying, "we need to unify and get things done" by bringing in Republicans and Independents is that he is counting on their forgetting about the very important issues on which parties differ – they are going to be saying, "Hey the dems have the house and senate and then the presidency, uh oh!" It is going to be a divided electorate. This thought that somehow Obama will change the face of politics from now until November is misconceived. People talk about the Clinton machine, but the nominee must face the Republican machine and it will bury him. If McCain is the nominee it will be a fight for any of the Dems so we have to figure out who will fight best.

    Hillary 08
    Obama 16

    January 21, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  8. Paul J

    Yes fight the fight but do it with class. Such as Edwards has. I my book she needs to get out and let others that have an Idea how to fix instead of saying 35 years and Day one is not what American needs it needs to know how they are going to fix the prooooooblem. She needs to take responsiblity for her roll in the 8 years that Bil was in. She could not get health care in place still does not tell her plan and who supports her on the other side.

    January 21, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  9. JuanGrain

    I think that if Hillary wins the nomination she will have her work cut out, not only to win the Presidency but to govern effectively.

    I have followed her campaign and even supported her, but I will say that while I recognize her experience of being near the Presidency for eight years and her many years of service, my support was/is because I always felt that President Bill Clinton would be there to assist and give guidance. I know many of you have felt the same way.

    I appreciate President Clinton working hand in hand in the past with President Bush Senior, that is the kind of leadership that I can be proud of, Bravo to the two Presidents, this grain of sand noticed

    But as we moved thru the Campaign, something happened in my thought process. In watching Senator Obama, in contrast to Hillary, I started seeing and understanding that what I want is a "party blind" President.

    This is tough to do, our culture has us putting people in boxes from an early age, we cloud and taint issues because as soon as we find out that someone fits in one of our little boxes, race, religion, gender, party, class, etc… we subconsciously and even consciously make adjustments to our thinking, we pollute the potential. It is an ignorant and dysfunctional way to think, and I too am guilty.

    What I am re-training myself to do is to cut through it and focus on the issues. It is not easy, but not to, is ignorance. Ignore…ance Ignore the facts.

    I Want a President that when he/she looks into the Congress, she/he sees American Congress people, not party. It is a tall order, but I am convinced that if our country does not unite as Americans first, then we will have more of the same grid-lock. The rest of the world will enjoy passing us as we fight within our own family.

    Party is fine, when at the party, but when you are with the country then the country comes first, and that to me means looking thru the bias and looking at the issues together.

    We all work in various businesses that require that we work with people from many different backgrounds. The ones that succeed are the ones that stretch their sincere hand out to all their team mates and solve problems by inclusion and consensus. I commend those in office that reach across party lines. That is what represents the majority of our country. I want a President that refuses to recognize a member of congress by their party, but to recognize him or her by their first name. That is what we do in our jobs, and it brings us closer.

    If I am the leader in my household and I resolve my issues, but some of my family members suffer from unresolved issues, have I really gained, am I really happy, and most importantly have I governed effectively?

    So If I get my issues addressed to favor me, but half of my country suffers, do I even have a country, a strong "United" States of America. I know that this thinking is an extremely tall order, and that is why we should strive to it.

    Like many people, I have changed in life, I would like to think that life's experiences have done this. Nothing is more important than Wisdom, with it we can solve almost anything. Experience without it, is a loosing proposition. Frankly it is better to not have experience and to have wisdom, the ability to see the big picture and make good decisions.

    My BIG CONCERNS with Senator Clinton at this point is that I sense that she has anger in her heart from the partisan battles of the past, and probably rightly so. But I believe it is difficult at best to stretch your hand out for unity, while angry at the same time. It is evident by the tone, zingers and darts that fly from her mouth to the Republicans. That is not a sign of strength, great leadership and strength controls the thoughts and finds common ground with a kind heart where possible.

    I am not suggesting that she roll-over. I am clarifying what I perceive as true leadership, and what will work best for the good of the entire family (The Untitled States of America). She must release this animosity yesterday and honestly reach across the isle far and wide if she wants to fix America.

    Yes we all have our issues from left to right from Black to White from Religion to Science, Woman to Man and Child to Adult. But I know that what our family wants our elected officials to do, is to save our family first, that is the first issue, Unity of America. Otherwise we will not have a family/country to resolve the other issues about.

    This ability to see in color/party blind and see where most people are coming from is what I currently believe is one of Obama's gifts, this to me is a uniting factor. Someone once told me you can teach people techniques but you cannot teach them talent, it comes from within.

    I love my fellow Americans, and with you will continue to watch, keep an open mind and hope that the folks that are running for President will grow in wisdom.

    It will play out, and we Americans will choose the right person to lead our family, the "United" States of America regardless of party or any other box.

    January 21, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  10. Butch Dillon

    Fighting the republicans will be as counter productive a way of running the government next year and the years after as it has been since Bill Clinton was elected in 1992. As a nation, we have problems to be solved and none of them will be resolved if the central strategy of any future White House is to fight the other party. The way of tomorrow is not 8 more years of combative Billary, we deserve Obama's formula. There is something subliminal behind both Hillary and Obama's messages: Clinton assumes her arch enemies will be seated in the same levels of power as they are today, Obama clearly envisions a better class of legislators after this year's election.

    January 21, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  11. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Hillary is speaking in the same old White House republican language which isn't about change, just more of the same. She is not progressive enough for my vote and I don't need a nurse who will nurse the same old system.

    January 21, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  12. Jeremy

    You are all right. Hillary has the experience to take on the Republican machine. And of course Bill will be there to help her, just like she was there for him when he ran. Clinton has what it takes to take on McCain and their value system. For Obama to think he can bridge gaps with the conservatives who do not like social progression and shows inexperience. We don't want a president who offers an elequent utopia but cannot deliver. I believe Americans want a leader who can lead on day one. Clinton 08!

    January 21, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  13. Linda

    Out with the old: the Clintons and in with the new: Obama!

    January 21, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  14. Anne

    To win the election decisively, we need more than to just fight against Republicans. That's old politics, and it has not worked for the Democrats in the last 8 years. What we need to do is ENGAGE republicans, the ones who are disillusioned with how their party has failed in terms of the economy, the war, healthcare, and other issues. These republicans are already voting in Democratic primaries, and they are the key to winning the presidency. Moreover, bipartisanship is essential to getting anything done in our country....gridlock has gotten us nowhere!! We are one nation, and we will not continue to grow and evolve as such if we continue to reinforce divisions that have become almost tribal in nature.

    Obama-Edwards 08

    January 21, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  15. Bobby L

    Obama clearly lost the SC debate. He fumbled around badly on most of the Questions and definately lied when he said he didn't praise Ronald Reagan. I've seen that quote played and replayed and Obama did praise the republicans and Ronald Reagan. Sen Clinton's Reference to Tony Rezco who is a key Obama supporter who is now facing an indictment on money laundering among other things, was a comment and an issue that will dog Obama even more now that sen. Clinton raised this issue publically.
    The right-wing spinners are clearly spinning that Hillary lost. but that was just not true. Hillary kicked Obama hard with the Rezco reference and that will raise the question nationally. Ultimately that will hurt Obama as people examine the issue with respect to Obama's character.

    January 21, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  16. Danielle

    Hillary is right, no matter how wonderful and happy Obama wants to make things sound, the Dems will always be the Dems and the GOP will always be the GOP. It will be and always has been a FIGHT. And if Obama were to get the nomination he would FIGHT with the GOP candidate as much as Hillary would. So this non-partisan rubbish is just an example of Barack Obama's useless rhetoric.

    Hillary Clinton has it right. She knows there'll be a fight, she knows how to take them on, she's done it before and she's willing to do it again.

    HILLARY '08

    You know this CNN, you know she won this debate and I think a lot of people would appreciate of this political ticker was not so anti-Clinton lately.

    I don't want to have to do the unthinkable. I'm not prepared to go to Fox for my news just yet!

    A lot of people are trying to still like you CNN, be fair. Obama doesn't have a halo above his head!

    January 21, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  17. Tom (Independent)

    In a time when America really needs "fixed". I just cannot see why so many of you support Hilary, a divider. What about the future? Do we just want another politician who can play the "game" of politics? She will not get my caucus vote. Obama gets my support!

    January 21, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  18. Joe Shields, Pittsburgh PA

    If Obama is not the Democratic nominee and McCain is the Republican nominee and picks a good running mate, say Lindsey Graham or even Joe Lieberman, I would vote Republican. I would only vote for Hillary if the Republicans put up somebody ridiculous like Huckabee or Guiliani.

    January 21, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  19. Glen

    I disagree with the view that there will not be republicans voting for Obama. I would have tended to vote Republican in this campaign except if not for the fact that I am persuaded that Obama is not a partisan gamesman. Hillary obviously parses the partisan corridor. With a cleaver.

    I believe that a vote for Hillary is a vote for Bill, who is genetically incapable of restraining himself. If Hillary gets in office, so is Bill. This would galvanize republicans, of that there is no doubt. This will turn off those independents who do not want to see Bill return to 'office'.

    Furthermore, there are very real considerations that Obama may present at least a perceptual difference in so far as the Middle East is concerned.

    January 21, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  20. Bryan

    I'm a Reagan Democrat. Yes, we still exist. Ronald Reagan came into our lives when we needed a leader like him, especially to stand firm against Communism and bring down the Berlin Wall. Ronald Reagan unified this country with his words among Republicans, Democrats, & Independents. Bill Clinton had it easy coming in as President, especially with Ross Perot in the picture. Though the Republicans took Congress in 1996, the Clinton Administration had so much of an opportunity to lead our country and the world into an entirely new direction that could not have resulted in September 11th. The scandals and accusations that divided the country from 1997 to 2000 was unbearable for this country. It resulted in polarizing our country into red and blue, and both parties (Republican and Democrat) focused on tearing each other down to the detriment of our standing as the United States in this world. The political machines in both parties, with their connections to corporations and energy companies, has realigned the power centers of the world toward the European Union and China. As voters, we have a decision to make as to whether we take our country further down the path of purgatory for our country or learn a new way to approach the new world order that shows the people of the world that the United States of America can be the beacon of light, hope, and unification for our next destiny in life which is the vast universe. Maybe it will be the Independent voters of this country who will determine our fate for the forseeable future.

    January 21, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  21. Valerie

    The mentality of "fighting the Republicans" is exactly what people are sick of. THAT'S why they like Obama because he presents himself as above that. Why do you think everyone is so game-on when it comes to change? Because they don't want the same story to unfold. I do like a lot of what Hillary stands for, but she's going to be pummeled by the Repubs from the second she receives the nomination. Barack has actually drawn quite a bit of support from Republicans and Independents, so while Hillary's defending what Bill did 12 years ago, Barack doesn't have as much baggage which is why his inexperience (and steady stance on bipartisanship) works with him.

    Hillary keeps saying she's "been through this for 16 years" and she can "handle" everything. Well, great. 16 years of polarization and partisanship.

    January 21, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  22. Diana Penix

    Which candidate will address these issues? My doctor once explained to me that you cannot take care of your family if you do not first take care of yourself. This also is so true for America. We are not taking care of our own and this is a shameful disgrace. Look at New Orleans for example yet we run to give our much needed help to other nations. So very many of our people make minimum wage which is so low that working two and three jobs still is not enough to get out of poverty which also is too low I am talking about young parents, the elderly, some college educated persons, and almost anyone who could not afford to go to college, which should be a given for everyone of even just average intelligence. American and not able to go to a doctor! Americans are no longer proud and for a good reason.

    January 21, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  23. Caren

    To win in the general election you need crossover appeal, which is why I can't justify voting for Hillary. She has high negatives within her own party and she is polarizing to the general electorate. No republican that I have spoken to would even consider voting for her and far too many democrats would break ranks with the party if she were the nominee. Others would simply sit this one out. Again. I'm horrified by the prospect that the democrats are looking at a scenario in which the white house should be a slam dunk and they may throw it all away.

    January 21, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  24. Robert Bell

    In the general election, in order to WIN, Hillary will need those Republican voters she so clearly despises. She cannot win without some crossover voters.

    Saying things tonight like she is totally anti-Republican (not true) and is "fighting Republicans" all her life, only serve to divide the country, not unite it.

    Unfortunately, Obama fell into the trap. He should have said, "Well, Hillary, it's that sort of tone that the people of the USA are sick of" and left it at that.

    Instead he tried to out-nasty Hillary. And that just ain't possible!

    January 21, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  25. corky

    HIllary is right. Anyone knows the Republicans want Obama as the nominee because they do believe they can beat him with no problem. Republicans feel threathened by Hillary not Obama. If Obma wins nomination get ready for another Republican President.

    January 21, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
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