February 27th, 2008
04:30 PM ET
15 years ago

Clinton camps highlights Obama's chairmanship

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/02/26/art.debate2.ap.jpg caption=" Clinton raised Obama's subcommittee chairmanship at Tuesday's debate."] WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign Wednesday pounced on Sen. Barack Obama's acknowledgment that he has yet to hold a substantive hearing since becoming chairman of a Senate subcommittee on Europe.

The admission during Tuesday night's Democratic debate offered a "glimpse of the real Barack Obama," and was emblematic of the Illinois senator's light record of results, the Clinton camp said in an e-mail.

Obama "did not hold a single oversight hearing because he was too busy running for president; the Barack Obama who spends his time talking about change you can believe in instead of change you actually can count on," the e-mail stated.

Clinton herself raised the issue at the debate in Cleveland.

'"He chairs the subcommittee on Europe. It has jurisdiction over NATO. NATO is critical to our mission in Afghanistan," she said. "He's held not one substantive hearing to do oversight, to figure out what we can do to actually have a stronger presence with NATO in Afghanistan."

In response, Obama noted he has only served as the committee's chairman since January of 2007, just when his presidential campaign was beginning - a fact the Clinton campaign's memo also highlighted.

"But by his own admission, he was too busy running for president to conduct a single substantive hearing of the committee he chairs," the memo stated. "So he would rather talk about what he would do rather than do it through the responsibility he had.”

For the record, Obama has held two hearings on ambassadorial nominations, but no oversight hearings.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (451 Responses)
  1. AD

    It is unfortunate that so many folks detest Hillary. Though she can be divisive and calculating, the level that this hate exists is undeserved. She truly has command of the issues. Obama is an intelligent person whos time would undoubtedly come, but it does seem premature. However, he does seem to be winning over so many. I have always voted democrat but will truly have to consider McCain if Obama is the nominee. Yes, Obama is a great speaker and obviously continues to inspire. Yet, is that enough to truly change hard core principals of the opposition? McCain has paid his dues and understands the issues in great detail, especially foreign policy. Recent polls show that McCain does better on almost all issues than Obama (except HealthCare I believe), including the Economy. However, Hillary scores higher than McCain on the Economy. With $100 oil, the EURO at an all time high vs. the dollar, the housing slump, and gas creeping up to $4/gallon, it may indeed again be the economy stupid. Be careful democrats....the strength of McCain vs. Obama in the General is starting to show its head. Unless McCain truly screws up – I think Dems may be in trouble with Obama or Hillary....but likely more so with Obama.

    February 27, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  2. Jude

    Look people...running for president is no easy task and certainly a time consuming one. Of course it makes sense that since he's been running for president he hasn't had the time. What's the big deal. I'm sure hill hasn't done squat since she's been on the trail either. Exactly my point! Is so dumb to judge him on this one point. Hill supposedly has had over 35 years of experience and what has she done? Squat!!! Exactly

    February 27, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  3. Lostfigs

    I gotta hand it to ya' you Republicans are SLICK! You're playin' Obama
    like a cheap guitar! He touts how he has the support of thousands of
    "Obamicans" (Repentant republicans). They are helping him rob Hillary
    of the nomination just like they did with Nader in 2000. They are so
    afraid of running against Hillary that they are supporting Obama to get
    the nomination but once the general elections come around, McCain will
    whistle for them and they'll all go running back. Obama is so naive
    that he actually believes that he can just "hug" Republicans into
    changing their core beliefs. One thing about Republicans is that they
    are not some sort of "crazies" who just need someone to read them some
    poetry and they'll give up on Abortion rights, Capitol punishment,
    Immigration, Gun control, etc.

    February 27, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  4. mariposa for life

    CNN won't post this because it's not pro Clinton!!

    You Obama haters have a lot of chat! Where was Clinton when they were voting to tap my phone or throw YOU in Guantanamo for no reason. Obama voted, even McCain voted. Oh that's right Clinton WAS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT!!!!! That's why she didn't vote.

    Pot, meet Kettle!!!

    Hillary is not perfect.

    February 27, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  5. Rosemarie

    By the way, Hillary was not whining about being first to answer questions, she was trying to get you all to see how biased everyone is.
    Have you never noticed when she answers the questions and tells how she will do it, up pops the rock star and says, "I agree with Hillary", or as Hillary says........for God's sake wake up you silly people he is stealing the ideas of her..........let her speak and I can figure it out from her she is so clear minded.........Wake up before it is too late.

    February 27, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  6. HLB

    dallasiteforhillary–I'm glad I wasn't the only one that caught that Obama has been campaigning for the past 2 years. We need real change, real experience, and someone with real solutions...GO HILLARY!

    February 27, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  7. Vote for Barack Obama

    Dear CNN,

    I think that Hillary is just looking for ways to slow Barack Obama's momentum. Obama has laid off the attacks and Hillary is desperately searching for momentum of her own. I think that the democrats need to back Barack Obama because he is ready to bring a superior change to Washington. Hillary needs to stop attacking people because she is not so perfect herself and she is digging herself in a very deep hole. One point that Hillary has brought up is that she has a lot more experience than Barack Obama (which is true), but she also says that she has the right experience over Obama to bring 21st century solutions. The only thing wrong about that is that she and Obama have had the same experience in the 21st century.

    My vote is for BARACK OBAMA!

    February 27, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  8. Natasha M. in KY

    At this point Billary is so desperate. She is willing to focus on Obama when she needs to focus on her mess of a campaign. I'm tired of her not focusing on herself...

    Obama 08

    February 27, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  9. Dave Froyalde/Washington

    This what I have been saying all along. Where is the beef Senator Obama I am really scared what will happen to our country if he becomes the president. As I watch his speches, its all rhetoric and no substance. I hope it is not too late for this Obama supporters to re think their position and make Hillary Clinton the democratic nominee of the democratic party.

    February 27, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  10. shakaib

    oh god...hillary plz plz stop finger pointing..you are hurting all of us...
    its not a geme...im sorry it looks like you are going to lose hillary over your negative atticks, so i dont wana waste my vote...im vote for obama now...demo for 08.

    February 27, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  11. Kevin

    Hillary is the best. Obama too novice.

    February 27, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  12. kay

    So, experienced Hillary is that she drove her her campaign to lose 7.2 million dollars in January! This is after her personal 5 million dollars injection to the campaign! Don't get me started with her tax returns......
    Chaos at her campaign; 2 resignations of her campaign manager and deputy. 1 co-chair stepped down and 2 other top officials because of inappropriate campaign behavior.
    Oh, over hundred thousands of donor money spent on the Belagio hotel and thousands more on dunkin donuts, other luxeries, etc and she ran her 105 million dollar campaign to bankruptcy. Then her staffers opted to go without pay. But that got bad media publicity, so then they decided to get paid.
    She can't even manage her presidential campaign; how do we expect her to run a country, much less balance the budget and run the economy??
    Oh, and also the politics of arrogance: no political strategy beyond Feb 5. So, can we rely on Hillary's experience for good judgment. Each time she needs to show good judgment, she fails. Even when running her own campaign.
    On the other hand, Obama, is running a far more organized and fiscally responsible campaign. Both made the same amount of money but instead of losing 7 mill like Hillary, they made a profit of 17 million dollars. Thats the kind of campaign and leadership u expect from a future president. ANd the right kind of team and human capaital.
    Use that as a bench mark and not the "35" yrs of experience. Lets see where she stood where it matters. She now regrets her Iraq vote. We knew all along it was a mistkae; Edwards, Chris Dodd, etc had the political courage and judgment to express that way ahead in the game but her stuborrnness and arrogoance gets in the way of judgment.
    End of discussion.

    February 27, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  13. marq

    Hillary's doing what? She's campaigning and nothing else... just as Obama's doing. She brought that up because she's about to lose and she's desperate. She's lame, and her divisive ways are not wanted in the White House.

    February 27, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  14. Megan

    What has Hillary been neglecting since she began to run for president? Hm? To suggest that Obama should be spending more time having oversight hearings when he could be the President of the United States is ridiculous. I'm sure he didn't take the job knowing he would be running a campaign. How much has Hillary been doing for New York since she started running? What about her other responsibilities? Why aren't we expecting her to be handling these things as well? It's a double standard. All politicians have to sacrifice their "normal" duties when they make this run for the presidency. It comes with the territory. It does not reflect Senator Obama's feelings or knowledge about foreign policy.

    February 27, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  15. Simmons

    When will Ted Kennedy & John Kerry switch and vote for Senator Clinton? If Mr.Lewis feels it is fair to switch loyalties because of the popular vote then I think it is incumbent of them to do the same. I also believe your commentator Campbell Brown is showing a bias to O'Bama. Tonight she equated Senator Clinton's question about being always asked the first question in debates (which was true) with her political capability. Anyone knows it is much easier to go second in a debate.

    February 27, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  16. Andrew Kenneth

    Hillary supporters are used to her being molly coddled by CNN in their lopsided debates,
    I found the questions on msnbc to be objective and fair,
    hence it was a better debate.
    The writing is on the wall, i think she should fire Penn

    February 27, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  17. Ms.D in Texas

    I am one voter who have had enough of both the Bush's and Clinton's in the White House. Hillary had the best chance of any to bring about healthcare reforms. After all, her husband (Democrat) was president and... leading both sides of the aisles were also democrats. Yet, she couldn't do it? Why? Because she lacks the type of leadership skills and experience of bringing people together to solve a common issue or problem. She is offensive in America among both political parties, genders and people of color. I think it's time for her to really and sincerely find her voice. We have seen so many faces its hard to tell who will show up. Will the real Hillary please stand up and be counted? Hillary should be truthful to herself before anyone can ever believe in her! It's time for a change! I hope Americans will stand up and stop Hillary and Bill Clinton!

    February 27, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  18. Rosemarie

    David Paul from Canada.

    I can't believe these voters, Hillary is definitely the best candidate, and the media have been anything but fair to her.

    Why do they call her so many names, are they afraid of this brilliant woman. If they think they are going to have a great time if Obama gets in (which I doubt after McCain gets through with him) they can think again, because he will be too busy finding the money to pay for all the little favours that people have been doing for him.

    Wake up Americans

    February 27, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  19. Chris, Silicon Valley, CA, USA

    Question for all the Obama supporters: On what issue has he taken a substantive "change" stand? For all the talk of "hope" and "change", he is a very "safe", "blah", status-quo candidate. It's all talk and image.

    I challenge anyone to repudiate this with facts.

    February 27, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  20. Bradley

    How many hearings has Hillary held this year? We already know she couldn't bother to go vote on telecom immunity, so I doubt she, her campaign, and her supporters aren't n the position to throw stones.

    February 27, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  21. Observation

    These blogs are telling. The Dems are really split. That will only help McCain. I am an Obama supporter. And I hope every Hillary supporter realizes that there's nothing to gain by slamming Obama. Both candidates are smart, accomplished and admired by many of their colleagues. They have different approaches and leadership capabilities and that's what people are deciding on (they are very close on the issues). It's okay not to like him. It's okay for those of us who support Obama to disagree that Hillary (and Bill) would a good thing for the White House. Let's respect each others differences. And if you decide to vote McCain if Obama gets the nomination, well, that definitely supports what I've felt for the past decade. The Republicans are loyal to their "party" and Dems are loyal to their candidate. That is why Republicans win and keep winning despite great odds. Think about it long and hard, if Obama is to win the nomination, before you cast your vote for McCain. Remember, Democrats have CORE VALUES too and we should reach across the line - with Obama and Hillary - to stand together in November, not divide to let the Republicans stay in the White House. Obama 08.

    February 27, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  22. Roger

    Again, the question needs to be asked and CNN should answer, what was Hillary doing/neglecting while she's been on the campaign trail?

    February 27, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  23. john

    what has hillary done? I'm pretty confident she's not doing much during the campaign season either. Welcome to politics. Empty claims. Hypocrisy. and all of your responses are equally naseauting.

    February 27, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  24. Victoria Hussein in Virginia

    Oh, come on! The American people are NOT going to be duped again...Hillary and McCain are grasping at straws because Senator Obama is the real deal and they can't attack him with anything that isn't made up or a distortion of the truth.

    OBAMA '08

    February 27, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  25. ndlily

    Okay, it was a European subcommittee. How often did it meet? What can it really do? And does it matter at all? You need to ask these questions because you go off like he is leader of the equivalent of the House Ways and Means committee and hasn't shown up, so the entire government is shutting down. Government is loaded with subcommittees, some which hardly meet at all. Get a grip.

    February 27, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
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