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. JMR

    Hillary and Bill are so self centered that they ignore the fact that the two of them are offending an important base of the Dems. Hillary cannot play games with African Americans about Obama and then think that she can rely on the same base to become the president. Dems cannot win without the majority of African Americans support/vote in November. Therefore, Hillary cannot win in November.
    Only Obama can win for the Dems in November

    January 21, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  2. wara

    John Edwards said the things that resonate with the voters, Obama came thrrough the attacks with a) dignity and b) much more nuanced display when it came to the issues! Hilary must chill on her attack testosterone style because really and truly this race is hers to lose! and Americans want something else!

    January 21, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  3. Christi

    RE: comment by Chris regaring two families being in power for 24 years... Yes! You are soooo right. Other countries look at us and say "Democracy? yeah, right! More like trading bloodline-based monarchies!"

    January 21, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  4. Giri Girishankar

    People at levels and circumstances will not be convinced by the promise of hope alone. The promise has to be backed by a real picture of experience and real accomplishment. Nor , primarily, can the leader's oratorical excellence be the vehicle to carry people over mountains of difficult and complicated problems. Obama has yet to demonstrate his capabilities to accomplish. Among the three contesting now, Hillary has the best chance to defeat the Republican nominee in the General Elections because of her experience, detailed knowledge and thorough understanding of the many issues facing the nation.


    January 21, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  5. Bob, Florida - RFO

    Never underestimate the power of "vision".

    "… leadership is the art of direct and indirect influence … But, above all, it is the art of taking a vision of what must be done, communicating it in a way that the intent is clearly understood, and then being tough enough to ensure its execution." FM 22-103, Gen John A. Wickham, Chief of Staff of the US Army, 1987.

    Those of you who have never lead nor ever followed a real leader will always underestimate the importance of vision, inspiration and motivation!

    Management is not Leadership just as Experience is not mean good Judgment!

    Go Obama '08

    January 21, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  6. Leah DiMarco, TX

    This evening in my opinion Hillary was despicable, disgraceful, deplorable, divisive, and darn right rude!

    I can only hope that some day before I die I will be able to vote for a woman that gets on the ballot on her own merit that has dignity and integrity. This woman running today has neither and that is sad.

    Obama '08

    January 21, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  7. Anti Clintons

    Hitlery has been fighting the republicans for 16 years! is that a fact. This lying witch has been fighting for anything or anyone except her husbnad when he throws the sloppy seconds girlfriends he doesn't want and sends them to her. SSHe can't bring this country together, tonight in the debates she got her fat butt kicked by Obama, he wouldn't back down, good for him!

    No we don't want that same old tune she likes to play with the health care she is so hell bent on. the canadians don't like there health care, learn something from the friends north of us.

    My heavens this Clinton machine is going to throw a rod, then blow up and I can't wait!!

    Go Obama!

    January 21, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  8. Nicole

    Hillary is taking a stand against the Republicans, a clear and decisive one! Many are unhappy with the current state of the country under the GOP. She is speaking for many people Democrat and Republicans alike.

    January 21, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  9. Chuck

    Healthcare from 1993, and a major attitude problem? I don't see how anyone could support her, especially after tonight's debite. She came off looking like nothing more than, well, what republicans make the Clintons out to be.

    January 21, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  10. M. Lloyd

    I think that it is a grand mistake for any democratic candidate to believe that they can effectively make the change that our country is so desperately seeking by maintaining this "us against them" mentality. I think it is absolutely forward thinking and brilliant that Obama has taken a smart approach to appealing to all sides. This is the only way to establish policies without sacrificing the most important and core elements of issues that must be resolved. As a NYC real estate broker, I completely understand the importance of appealing to both sides (buyer and seller) to come to a "meeting of the minds".

    It is one thing to say that you are going to "do everything you can to continue to fight for the rights and issues of Americans", as Senator Clinton did, and another to actually have a real viable strategic plan for getting things done or coming to a "meeting of the minds" from all parties involved. These are the times we are living in today. We are not just electing a president of the United States but we are electing an individual to represent us in the global market place. This takes a very high level of ingenuity, intelligence, innovation and sometimes compromise. These attributes are innate and not necessarily indicative of someone's experience in the "board room".

    These skills come from wisdom, a high moral and intellectual character, patience and an ability to not allow personal emotions to arise during times of pressure or immediacy. What we don't need is someone who "reacts" to issues, but rather is proactive.

    If Senator Clinton felt the need to react (as she said) to every piece of misinformation or quote printed involving Senator Obama, what can we expect from her in the White House? We as Americans need to ask ourselves if this is what we want for our country.

    I get the sense that over the last decade and a half, the majority of the Senate has taken a sort of "follow suite and status quo" approach to voting on issues. Possibly because they did not take the time to review and research thoroughly what they were voting on and the options deduced from their research or perhaps due to the political advantages or disadvantages of doing so.

    I found it very interesting and profound that Senator Obama was able express his ability to be thorough and honest when it comes to voting on issues that will effect us. If voting "present" is better than voting "yes or no" on something that is not clearly and/or effectively presented, then SO BE IT.

    Finally, I think it's unfortunate that the tone of these debates continues to be on the defensive. It is unfair and inappropriate that any candidate feel the need to have to continue to defend their records or positions. If the facts are readily available, then each should already know where the other stands. If incorrect information about candidates is being circulated by any campaigner, that individual, in my opinion, should be asked to step down from the race.

    Thank you,


    January 21, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  11. Bob, Florida - RFO

    "… leadership is the art of direct and indirect influence … But, above all, it is the art of taking a vision of what must be done, communicating it in a way that the intent is clearly understood, and then being tough enough to ensure its execution." FM 22-103, Gen John A. Wickham, Chief of Staff of the US Army, 1987.

    Those of you who have never lead nor ever followed a real leader will always underestimate the importance of vision, inspiration and motivation!

    Management is not Leadership just as

    Experience does not mean good Judgment!

    Go Obama '08

    January 21, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  12. Stan

    One thing is clear and that is the American people want a change and will demand a change in November. I don't see Hillary as a change. Hillary is not change. Edwards, although impressive tonight, is not 'change' either. Both Clinton and Edwards are too connected to Washington. How many times have either one of them said "I know how Washington works" or something close to that? It proves to me that neither of them are the candidate of change.
    I'm not going to say that I support Obama yet, as there is still too much to learn, but he seems to be the candidate who is viewed as the 'change' candidate.

    January 21, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  13. Vanessa

    I think that Hillary will get the votes of the people whom has an us vs. them view and whom are stuck in the old way of pushing their bills through Congress. Obama will get the people whom want to see change from the old political party ways of doing things of democrats vs. republics vs. independents to a more unified approach to tackle the issues that affect all AMERICANS.

    January 21, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  14. JF

    Carole – There's no way that Clinton would pick (or even ask) Edwards to be VP. He would overshadow her because he's a lot brighter.

    If she's the nominee, she'll pick someone who's non-threatening – and a bit of lightweight. Like Richardson.

    And if she's the nominee, she'll lose...

    January 21, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  15. Jack, Greenville, SC

    What is there to "take on", as people say? Everyone is talking about a candidate's ability to "take on" the Republicans; it seems to be Clinton's chorus.

    Does this mean responding to lies? Well, Obama clearly showed himself willing to do so tonight. Does it mean painting a clear difference between the Democratic candidate and the Republican one? Well, Obama seems able to do that as well.

    If it means meeting dirty politics from the right with dirty politics from the left...you're right, Obama does not seem willing to do that. And I, for one, am glad of it.

    January 21, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  16. Yusuf

    In the general election Hilary's partisan views will hurt her miserably. She will only continue to divide this nation and push republicans away.

    You cant win when 50% of the country say they won't vote for you right off the bat.

    January 21, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  17. Jan

    As a white female and a former supporter of the Clinton's, I couldn't be more disappointed in or more ashamed of them for their sleezy tactics. The fact that they are willing to fracture the Democratic Party should be enough for women, blacks, other minorities or anybody to realize that they will do absolutely anything to win. Including whining about the media coverage (which clearly favor Mrs. Clinton), trying to split the blacks, distortion and misrepresenting (commonly referred to as LYING) not only her own resume but the records and positions of her opponents. Apparently Bill is no longer concerned about his legacy... by the way folks... is Hillary running or is Bill? The truth is these two would throw any of us overboard in a heartbeat! Do I feel bad about no longer supporting the Clintons? No! Burn (or Use) me once, shame on you; burn (or USE) me twice, shame on me. The (Rove) campaign the Clintons are running is nothing short of shameful, especially after all the years of fighting that 'vast right wing conspiracy'. No, I'm just sorry it took me so long to realize; but, 'I can see clearly now'.

    January 21, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  18. aj rasaki

    i do think, it fair for clinton to talk about obama record the way he (obama) has been pick and choose about clinton records,obama is a good man but i do think is not ready to be president All he talk is bringing every body together, on issue he is not on detail and if 99% black vote for him in sc then it will confirm that he another black candidate.

    January 21, 2008 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  19. Candi

    This is the problem is that they fight in the office. It is Republican against Democratic they don't agree on anything. After vote in to the office they need to stop fighting parties and come together work on a bill.

    January 21, 2008 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  20. Voter in the General Election

    Hillary is good at whipping up the Democratic base that has supported the Clintons for 15 years. The problem is that McCain is popular with Independents and even some conservative Democrats who have reservations about Hillary. The only way to defeat a McCain is to nominate a candidate like Obama who can fight this battle over the Independents....and WIN.

    January 21, 2008 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  21. baseman

    Once again Obama refuses to pledge allegience to the flag of the United States of America. There are pictures of this with others on stage and he has his back to the flag ,both hands by his side as the others pledge allegience. Think about this............Is this really who you want to lead the greatest nation in the world. Not me. I fought for that flag and Obama denies it. He wont ever get my vote.

    John Edwards is the working mans president. Make it official and elect the man who works for the working man.

    January 21, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  22. tina, minnesota

    Oh and I forgot, I believe that Inspiration is Leadership as it can move one to action.

    January 21, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  23. Tabor

    It looks to me that Sen. Clinton is raring for a fight and more of the divisive and non productive us vs. them politics of the nineties. I think in the general election it means that she consistently attacks and points out how different she is from "them" i.e. republicans, conservatives, evangelicals, what have you and effectively alienatrd at least half of the voting public. It continues the current, highly polarized, political climate we have where nothing gets done because the other side is always wrong whether they offer constructive, valuable ideas or not simply because they are from a different political party. I personally am sick and tired of watching this kind of classic political fight and whether it's realistic or not I would like to see people come together and do what's best for everyone and not just their party.
    Obama is the only one I see who is willing to try and make peace and unify the American people and our broken government. To paraphrase Mrs. Clinton if you don't start out trying you can never get there.

    January 21, 2008 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  24. Jimmy

    A presidential election is NOT about Democrats vs. Republicans, or whites vs. blacks vs. Latinos, a presidential election is about UNIFYING our country.

    The REALITY is that there will always be Republicans in Congress because there will always be conservative views in our nation, and that's good! That's how our system of checks and balances works.

    But in 2008, we need a president who will unify our nation, not just Democrats. We need someone who will cross racial lines, party lines, age lines, sex lines, and unify our country and do what's best for our country as ONE people.

    Sen. Barack Obama is the ONLY candidate that can cross those lines and unify our people. Soon to be President Barack Obama is the ONLY candidate that can work with EVERYONE, Democrats, Republicans and Independents alike, to pass legislation that will benefit ALL.

    Soon to be President Barack Obama is the ONLY candidate and has proven it to be the ONLY candidate to cross those lines. He's the ONLY candidate that has galvanized young people and made them interest in politics again.

    Unfortunately, Sen. Clinton will only divide our party and our nation even further. Her legislation WILL NOT pass if she does not work with Republicans and Independents. Fighting Republicans is NOT what this campaign is about.

    It is about UNIFYING our nation and Sen. Barack Obama is the only candidate that can do that.

    January 21, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  25. M. Overton



    January 21, 2008 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
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