February 21st, 2008
09:27 PM ET
13 years ago

Schneider: Clinton backs off the readiness question

AUSTIN, Texas (CNN) - Clinton appears to only want to draw distinctions on the healthcare issue.When asked if she thinks Obama is ready to be commander-in-chief, Clinton avoided answering it directly. Instead, she gave her standard line: she is ready to lead from Day One.Meanwhile, when Obama was posed the question, he returned to his initial opposition to the war in Iraq - an issue he has raised at least three times tonight. It’s the cornerstone to his argument that he has better judgment than Clinton.

- CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider

Filed under: Bill Schneider
soundoff (186 Responses)
  1. Jason

    like her husband was ready? please...all new presidents have to lean on advisors and the generals and the system that is always in place...the bureacracy.

    February 21, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  2. kitty lacrosse

    His "opposition" to the war seems disingenuous to me. He wasn't in the Senate when the vote was taken. He's shown over and over again since entering the Senate that he makes very much the same choices as Senator Clinton. Who knows what he would have done if presented with the same information that she and the rest of the Senate were faced with? It's easy when you can say "present" instead of having to lay it on the line.

    February 21, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  3. loco_moco

    Is it just me, or is this debate's sponsorship by a coal-lobbying organization rather ironic. Anyone else see a slight cognitive disconnect here?

    I wonder if there'll be any questions on global warming or other environmental issues?!

    February 21, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  4. Tamareal

    She backs off because she won't be ready on Day one and she will give into the reform of George W. Bush and John McCain if elected President, because she will see it as, there is no other choice, but for us to remain in Iraq to make sure Iraq is secure; the same argument Americans have been given since the beginnign of this war.

    February 21, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  5. Lynn In St. Louis

    I don't believe there is anyone who really knows what they will do on Day 1, so that's pretty much a hypothetical question

    However, between BO and HC, I'd go with HC all the time!

    February 21, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  6. Hadley

    Why is it that only Hillary is being called on her statements against Obama in the past week or two?

    He has certainly made plenty about her as well.

    I thought her answer about her readiness and preparation was excellent. She has the experience.

    February 21, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  7. Casey

    Clinton's strategy is "knick him, but don't cut him. " She slugged him in the nose with her "Xerox" fastball and probably figures she doesn't want to attack too much for fear she will turn off the squeamish who still may otherwise vote for her. Remember, most people don't like needles, but sometimes they are necessary.

    February 21, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |

    boring line always puts ..,
    she is ready to lead from Day One

    February 21, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  9. Lisa in Houston, Tx

    Senator Obama was not in the Senator and thus could not vote for or against the war in Iraq. I'm not willing to take the senator on his word that he would have voted no. That is easy enough to say now, but when you are the senator from NY and your city and people have just been attacked you don't have the comfort of waiting and then taking the "appropriate" side. Plus, if he is so anti-war why did he continuously vote to fund the very same war which he says he would not have voted for?

    February 21, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  10. Voter

    Barack showed the wisdom, foresight and intelligence to oppose the war on Iraq from day one. Imagine if either of them were president now. With Barack we wouldn't be in Iraq and with Clinton we'd be in the same situation we are in now. READY FROM DAY ONE? To do what? Make more poor decisions!

    February 21, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  11. Jim

    The July 27, 2004, Tribune article quoted Obama as saying: "There's not that much difference between my position and George Bush's position at this stage" [emphasis added]. The article went on to note that Obama "opposed the Iraq invasion before the war. But he now believes U.S. forces must remain to stabilize the war-ravaged nation — a policy not dissimilar to the current approach of the Bush administration."

    How can you say he had a real stance. He did not have to vote so he can and will say anything that makes him look good after the fact.

    February 21, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  12. Murry

    Someone should point out that Clinton mismanaged her campaign budget and staff from day one. What does that say about her ability to be commander-in-chief?

    February 21, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |


    February 21, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  14. hsm

    The Iraq War is the wrong war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time... Obama deserves great credit in realizing this at the very beginning...

    February 21, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  15. Robert Murphy

    Bill – don't you find that Campbell Brown is unfairly moderating in Obama's favor? She let's him wax poetic while cutting Clinton off.

    February 21, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  16. P.

    OK, the once State Senator had the judgment to oppose the war, when his opposition or approval of the war was completely inconsequential (he wasn't a a U.S. Senator back then). ...

    ... Does that necessarily make him a stronger leader to solve the CURRENT situation in Iraq??? Honestly, I don't see the connection here.

    February 21, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  17. Tom Brucia

    Hillary seems to be getting more and more 'rattled' as the 'debate' goes on and on... It doesn't make her look 'Presidential'... her body language and rising vocal range seem to say, 'I'm losing... don't pay any attention to him!'

    February 21, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  18. Glenn

    We need someone who is RIGHT on day one. There is only one candidate who will be....BARACK OBAMA. Why will she not explain her support for the war, or admit she made a mistake????

    February 21, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  19. priscilla

    Sorry Hillary we just dont buy it!

    February 21, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  20. phil Geffen

    It is hard for her to come across as a leader based on her decision to vote for the iraq war. That all by itself cripples her – votes bring risk. and leadership is a lonely place.

    She went along – so how can she justify the billions spent in iraq? He went the other way – a lonely position... and shows strength. this is one area where Obama will be very very strong against McCain.

    John McCain will ask Hillary is she supported the way and her answer "was" yes. She might not support it now – but that is political convenience. she supported the war and lives with the consequence. How can she look a wounded soldier in the eye?

    Obama is strong in this debate and it will show in less than 2 weeks,

    February 21, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  21. Nick, Brit in Pittsburgh

    Until half time it was a draw. As soon as Hillary went negative, she started to lose the debate. It has become clearer than ever that while she is an ambitious politician hungry for power, Barack Obama is a true statesman.

    February 21, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  22. Marlo

    Obama did answer the question. He said he wouldn't be running for president if he didn't think he would be ready.

    February 21, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  23. Roger

    But his opposition was when he was not in the Senate being fed all the bad intelligence by the Pentagon and the CIA. Why is it that nobody calls him on his attempt to play Monday morning quarterback. He did it again tonight by saying Hillary went about the 1993 healthcare reform effort the wrong way............oh, really. How intelligent you are? Where was he in '93.........................that should be the rallying call of the Clinton campaign.............how dare he? And why don't you guys in the media ask that hard question?

    February 21, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  24. wasim

    I like people being honest,it tells you,how scare she is can not face the reality. I do not want my commander-in-chief to be run away from the real debate.

    February 21, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  25. Donna

    Yeah, she should have said maybe he was ready, but nowhere near as ready as she is, or something like that. He needs to drop the Iraq thing, we've all heard it before and it's a huge issue but we can't change it now.

    February 21, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
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