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. David-Paul Niner

    Barb Canada - you are absolutely correct. Obama is coming across as narcissistic. He seems to honestly believe that his complete lack of experience makes him the better candidate. He's looking more and more like a cult of personality rather than an over-zealous candidate.

    The reality of the situation is that if Obama wins the nomination he will lose the general election. The Republicans will eat him alive. Clinton, despite her foolish campaign decisions, will be much harder to beat. Also, people don't dislike Bill Clinton as much as the media would have us believe, and he will be a powerful companion in the general.

    February 27, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  2. Jim

    And is our friend Hillary busily doing Senate-related duties during her campaign? Oh, wait, she's too busy trying to jump on her opponent for every single litte thing. My mistake!

    And remember kids, Mr. Clinton and several other presidents have been governors before this, or senators who have not chaired committees, etc! AND THE EARTH DID NOT CRASH INTO THE SUN.

    February 27, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  3. Randy - Denver

    Doing her JOB!?! Where was she during the FISA vote.. oh yeah out campaigning in one of the "important" states (Texas while the results from the Potomac Primaries rolled in showing her defeat...

    February 27, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  4. MB

    Am I the only one who sees Obama's newness to politics as a good thing? I know experience is great, but doesn't this give him less time to have been corrupted by Washington? Also, it seems like Hillary is pulling out all the stops to find things wrong with Obama. As her position gets weaker, the negativity gets stronger. Aren't her own qualities good enough to campaign on, or does she have to keep bashing Obama?

    February 27, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  5. slax

    it's impossible to know where obama really stands because he has nothing to show. i for one do not trust him and his arrogance irks me. i like people who are honest and straightforward; i have no use for smooth-talkers. we don't need another do-nothing president people!!! one more reason to vote mccain in the general.

    February 27, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  6. IL VOTERS !!!!!

    The most perfect Candidate is HILLARY !!!!!!!
    HILLARY has deep feelings for Americans, peoples life, strugle, many issues related to today economy.
    Health Care Universal is the most important to provide for everyone, dosn't matter if you're rich or poor !!!!!
    I know, that women is more serious, more qualified, strong and smart, to solve many problems.
    Obama told to the media, at the beginning, that he need somone to keep his paper in order !!!!!, he may loose it if secretary won't help him to keep in order or to hand him in the time when he needs them!!!!!
    Poor organizational skills. NO !!!!!!OBAMA !!!!!!!

    HILLARY 2008

    February 27, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  7. GBB

    This is Obama's biggest weakness, he deflects and avoids, just like he said in his last question in the Ohio debate, he didn't take action & stand up on congressional involvement in the Terry Schiavo case. I fear this is what we can expect from him, indecisiveness, not acting even when he knows, "like he said", that it's the right thing to do. Will he be weak and slow to make a decision when we need him to most because he wants to be liked and wants everyone to get along, boo hoo, fact is everyone's never going to get along. I'd just as soon Russia, N. Korea, China and others take our leader seriously and not think we're a pushover just because he wants "to get along with everyone". Also, his great oratory skills sure don't show up in the debates do they, another weakness, he can't inspire people unless he's giving speeches. Where's the consistency, with Hillary she is what we see in rallies and debates and no doubt leaders of other countries would take her seriously, that's why white men in this country don't want to vote for her, they say, I'm afraid of Hillary – why? because she means what she says, maybe that's why we need someone like her. Most mod liberals I talk to won't vote Obama, they will go McCain. I'm very liberal, won't vote Obama-I'll always give my vote to Hillary, I won't give up on her because I've never seen her give up on anything, healthcare or her marriage.

    February 27, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  8. Thall999

    Hillary can't get disclose her taxes because she says she doesn't have time to call an accountant due to her running for President. But you wantt Barack to hold sSentate meetings while running. Shame on all you you! This goes to show why Hillary campaign is a such mess. 35 years of experience and no time to have an accountant or Bill Clinton to make sure their taxes are disclosed. Amazing!!!!!!!!

    February 27, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  9. Jack

    So what will he ignore if he is elected. Just because you run for President doesn't mean you should not do the first job you were elected for.

    Obama has a lot to answer for. He has not and no one seems to want to ask.

    Like her or not, Hillary Clinto has a proven record and clear policy to move America forward. Since when did the President of the United States become like a cheap rip off of American Idol. We need a leader, not a performer.

    February 27, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  10. Randy - Denver

    Dolores i have written several post they are all in moderation and then just dissappear.. guess CNN wants to appease the Clintonistas more than they want a true discussion

    February 27, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  11. Donna

    I knew it all along, Obama does not have the goods to be president. He talks about we should have never been in a war in Iraq and this is correct. But the war we should have been in and are in Afghanistan,"He heads a commitee that has oversight of that war and he does nothing. This is a outrage! Down with Obama

    February 27, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  12. Obamacan!

    The Hillary camp just doesn't get tired of going negative, does it? How much has Clinton kept up with her duties after starting her campaign. It just happened that Obama was elected on the Chair when he was on the campaign trail – so Hillary: OBVIOUSLY he didn't hold a hearing. Stop limping around and go home.

    Obama '08

    February 27, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  13. Obama is the truth

    The man has had to put his whole life on hold to run againest the Clinton Machine ..no one would have time when you start off fighting an uphill battle againest one of the most popular last names in politcs...you clinton supporters are patathic at best ..your reaching for straws trying to find any way possible to cast shade on Obama...you still haven't learned that Hilary is unelectable she is no better then John McCain...how you gonna autorize a war then turn around talking about you didn't want to...Hilary Clinton is a non factor in this elction right now..had this been Obama people would have been screaming for him to drop out when he lost his 11th in a row....all you Clinton fools are 2 faced....

    February 27, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  14. John, Las Vegas, NV

    Hmmmm, maybe, just maybe, there was nothing worth meeting about related to Europe. Let's face it, they don't help us nearly as much as we help them.

    February 27, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  15. Josh

    This is laughable considering Hillary has been in the Senate for a full term plus a couple of more years, and what has she accomplished?

    as President Sen. Obama would obviously have much more leeway to bring about REAL change in Afghanistan then chairing a meeting.

    Obama 08

    February 27, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  16. Chris from Ohio

    You can't have it both ways. You say he's all talk. Meetings are about talk. His role is to tell Pres. Bush what he should be doing. He did that and Bush ain't listening. Therefore, Obama decided to take some ACTION and run for President. Just like everyone is holding meetings and waiting for numbers to come in to let us know if the economy is bad. Duh...the economy is bad. We don't need no stinkin meeting to know this. This just shows how bad things have gotten for the Clinton team. Her argument is he shouldn't be President because he didn't hold meetings. There wouldn't be a need for the meeting if Clinton and people like her would not have voted for this war. Obama knows what is going on in Afghanistan.

    February 27, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  17. Voice of Reason

    Wow, lots of Clinton supporters on this thread. I have to say, this doesn't seem like a big deal to me at all; I think chairing an oversight meeting is far less important than, say, voting on the FISA bill, which Hillary failed to carve time into her schedule for.

    If you don't think a presidential campaign is pretty consuming, you should really fault Hillary for failing to release her tax returns before the primary. Releasing things isn't that hard.

    But, I suppose most people's minds are already made up, and if they're Hillary supporters, they'll take whatever they can get.

    February 27, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  18. James

    Didn't Hillary say in this same debate that she was too busy running for president to release her tax return? A tax return that has more importance in light of the fact that a.) she shares finances with Bill Clinton, b.) she lent her campaign $5 million, and c.) Bill received some money through his work in Europe getting mining rights for a supporter.

    I think it is a case of pot and kettle. Especially since it's not like she's been doing anything but running for President either.

    February 27, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  19. Arturo Roque

    You people are ignorant if you believe that Clinton would make a better president than Obama. You complain about politicians being corrupt and always taking money from the special interests and when something fresh and real like Obama comes along you go to the name that you are more familiar which is Clinton. Obama is being attacked on petty things. Things that hold no purpose in attacking. He has been chairman for just 2 months. I take it back..there is a purpose in attacking him on petty things. It is the only things that the Clinton campaign is able to attack!!!!!! I might not know a lot about Obama but I know enough to know that I would choose him over a power hungry politician who would do anything to get into the presidency including faking a tear on camera!!!!!!....How is that for integrity!

    February 27, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  20. kris_TEXAN_democrat

    IT'S A BULL'S EYE MADAME PRESIDENT...if he is really COMMITTED in pursuing a HIGHER office or the HIGHEST OFFICE in the WORLD, he should finish all the works first before leaving them behind...so that in the future when things get WORST he could defend his STAND on an ISSUE and not make any more ALIBIS...God Bless AMERICA and God Bless Her Excellency HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON...(i hope this will be posted)

    Kris – A Proud Democrat

    February 27, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  21. Christina

    Isn't there something seem kind of odd about that commitee? Since there is no officail meeting one would probably think they have no kind of power anyway. Hillary is all talk behind people's back but when she see people face to face she talk all nice wow she is brave.

    February 27, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  22. Frank

    If Obama is the president of the United States, would he spend another one and half year in campaining for next term without doing anything? Oh Yeah, Maybe!!! We do not need this absent president.
    I am in Ohio, I will no way to vote for him

    February 27, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  23. Barack Supporter

    Wow. Its amazing that Billary Clinton is so desperate to get some type of leverage in an obviously one sided election that she could find somethign as menial as this. Answer this question. What has Clinton done during her WHOLE presidential campaign towards the good of the american people? or is she just focusing on the campaign herself? or her thought of taking over the world! seems absurd, but if she's anything, thats it. LOL

    YES WE CAN!!!!
    YES WE CAN!!!!!
    YES WE CAN!!!!!!

    REMEMEBR, TAKE CARE OF YOUROWN HOUSE BEFORE YOU TRY TO TAKE CARE OF THE WHITE HOUSE!

    February 27, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  24. Obama is the one!

    For the love of God Hillary, how will Obama not holding a hearing make *you* a better President? I am tired of your whining. Is that what you'll do against foreign countries if you are (which is highly unlikely) the President?

    Go Home.

    February 27, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  25. Bill Jay

    Love Hillary.......................................................

    February 27, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
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