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. Elizabeth

    What is the problem with American that talking the issues and being a "politician" have become taboo only for the candidate that wants to focus on the issues. The media is very one sided and it is an insult to those of us who want to hear what Obama actually has done or is doing to deserve the highest office in our nation. Resume for resume, solution for solution, he is an under achiever. Hillary needs to pull a Ross Perot and pull out the resume chart, he simply isn't qualified and right now we need solutions.

    February 27, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  2. JH

    The Obama people see this as stupid. I'm sure Clinton hasn't missed a thing in the senate this past year. Oh that FISA vote....

    February 27, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  3. HJB

    Just in case anyone is wondering, this is a tactic by Clinton to avoid her incredibly shady past. Suspiciously dead collegues, voting for bills because it was "the best she could get" instead of just voting no, shady supporters conveniently showing up in Mexican prisons when she doesn't want anyone to know about them. These are all things that have been conveniently swept under the carpet.
    Do your research BEFORE you blindly support this woman.

    February 27, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  4. Cindy

    How many subcommittee meetings have other presidential hopefuls run since announcing their bid for the Whitehouse?

    February 27, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  5. Dave

    Dolores asks where are the Obama people on this one?

    We are here, but CNN deletes our posts so that they can continue to try to stilt this contest which ever way they feel like leaning today.

    February 27, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  6. Tony in Chicago

    How ridiculous.... How much "Senate Related" work do you think Hillary has done since the campaign has started. I will answer that for her - NONE. This is true for all candidates who are running full-time for office in tough campaigns. She said in the debate she only gets a couple of hours of sleep, which is probably true for him. This is actually Silly...

    February 27, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  7. TED

    I can't believe this were are his supporters? sometimes i think i'm going crazy the media choses to forget that over ten million democrats voted for hillary. Last night was the last straw you had to be blind not to realize she nailed and commanded the debate who cares about smiles and stupid talk our economy is failing what we need is a brilliant fighter and no one is better than hillary ! but of course the media keeps saying she didn't knock it out! what did they want her to do punch obama or tell him you anwser the question on russia and then she'd be called some other nasty thing.
    c'mon let's help her voice be heard let's be clear no one can accuse hillary of being weak he agrees with everything she says copies all her policies and yet he gets the good grade from tim russet seriously?> am i just plain crazy or are they seriously sinking her minute by minute????????????????

    February 27, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  8. rob from Ohio

    Chairperson has a nice ring.....a perfect job for Hillary once she loses . NEW LEADERSHIP! It can't be stopped fellow Dems.

    February 27, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  9. Mario

    A good point, except he does have a valid excuse. Running for President is much more time consuming than any of us know, way more than a 9-5 job. I doubt anybody would be able to hold any meetings given that grueling travel schedule, etc. Anyways, I am sure that Hillary has some similar situations.

    February 27, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  10. Randy - Denver

    Do ANY of you honestly believe that ANYTHING said in a committee meeting will change things? Resident Bush has stated again and again that HE IS THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF and WILL NOT TAKE ORDERS FROM CONGRESS so other than GRANDSTANDING, which Ms. Clinton thinks is action, what do you think could be accomplished??? of course as has happened to my last five post on this subject it will dissappear into the nothingness of "in moderation" and than poof it will be gone never to see the light of day as CNN continues their unabashed support of Ms. Clinton during this campaign

    February 27, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  11. Keisha Thompson

    If Obama wins the nomination, I'll vote for McCain. I am a democrat and I am Black. However, I don't think that Obama is ready to be the president. This country has so many problems that need to be addressed and I don't think that Obama is ready. If he had Hillary's experience, then I'd vote for him. But, he's not ready to take on what will probably be the hardest presidency in many years. No amount of touchy feely pep talk is going to change that. We should be voting for the most qualified person and it's just that simple. I've always thought McCain was an okay guy. Yes, he's Republican, but he's an Arizona republican, which is pretty moderate. I'm a pretty moderate democrat and so I don't think we differ that much. Most importantly, the democrats lost the last two elections to a guy that is totally incompetent. I do not want the first Black president to fail. Not to mention, I don't want the next democratic president to fail because if she/he does, then we'll never get the office back because Republicans will go on and on about how it's the democrats fault for all the problems. I'd rather suffer for four more years and get a chance at another qualified candidate.

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

    You know what? You win!
    Obama didn't hold an inquiry into Afganistan while he was a chair on this committee, and by definition (sarcasm in case you didn't get it) he would lead the country into the dirt because he can only talk and not deliver.

    I think I captured the gist of what you are saying. But really.
    What does Hillary have to show for herself over the last 18 months or so? not much
    What is the difference between thier issues? not much
    What is the difference between how they act? TONS!!

    February 27, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  13. PJ

    Clinton has shown too much erratic behavior (outbursts against Obama during her rallies but nice and calm during debates) where as observing Obama, he maintains a calm demeanor during his rallies and during the debate. Another point – experience in the govt. is not necessarily the best indicator of success, a calm head is needed during these times. Observe Clinton as this race continues and I'd wager that her demeanor deteriorates. If she can't handle the stress of running for President, who says she can handle the stress of being President. More importantly, make sound judgements that will bring us out of the various messes we are in.

    February 27, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  14. Don, Rochester, NY

    Amazing, only ONE comment from an Obama supporter and he doesn't even make a good case. Obama needs to be continually called out on this sort of thing. "Too busy running for the Presidency" is not a good excuse. If you were "too busy running for re-election" when a terrorist attack happened, would you just leave it to others to deal with?

    February 27, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  15. Stop the bickering!

    has your opponent Hillary learned anything from the last two debates. She got booed not once, but twice. That should tell you people something.

    I would like to pose this question:

    Has anyone stop to think how two people can divide a nation? I'll tell you why. If this race would have stayed positve -we would all be cheering on our candidate and not doing all this bickering. BUT, thanks to Sillary Hillary, she just can run a positve campaing based on her record. If she has so much eperience, why doesn't she just talk about that. Why does she fell the need to be petty all the time.

    This would fall into the category of- THings that make you go HMMMM.

    HILLARY RELEASE YOUR TAX RETURNS!

    February 27, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  16. Robert Bauer

    My goodness, it looks like all of the Hillary supporters are about to start stomping their little feet, and holding their collective breath 'til they all turn blue. But, it will all be to no avail. Hillary Clinton represents an age and a style of politics that's being swept into the trash can where it belongs. Her most recent display of grasping at straws, is merely part of the death rattle of her misguided campaign. The failure of these sorts of campaign tactics proves that she, and her remaining supporters have completely missed the point. She hasn't got a clue what Americans are yearning for, and she fails to see that it's exactly her type of "experience" that has no place in the future.

    February 27, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  17. JC

    All this talk about Hillary being so great and nothing to back it up with. Pot calling the kettle.

    February 27, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  18. Jean, CANADA

    Hillary.....Time for a nap!!!!! You have yet to choose what personality you will show up with!! GET REAL!!!

    You are far from being presidential; Your knowledge on foreign relations is minimal at best and what little you do you have has accomplished what???

    Why don't you stick to the issues.....better yet just keep doing what your doing by pestering Barack with your childish and non substansive comments...you'll find what your looking for....a front row seat at President Barack Obama's inauguration.

    OBAMA 08/12

    February 27, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  19. Fay

    All the Obama people (such as myself) are tired of responding to the petty things the Ms. Clinton always focuses on. I figured she would start grasping at something else. I'm through with talking about a Kindergarten 60 year old woman.

    February 27, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  20. BG - Texas

    This is very old news. So why didn't HRC pounce on BO from day 1 of the campaign. One would think that 'making/influencing' change is more important than just talking about it. If HRC loses, it certainly won't be because she wasn't qualified. Worst job of campaign managing I've ever seen in my 65 years of life. Hope we won't regret it like we did with Gore and say that HRC would have made a great president years from now.

    February 27, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  21. Karen in CO

    Amazing criticism from a woman who is apparently too busy running for President to have time to find her tax return and release it...

    February 27, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  22. Jessi, Fl

    Hillary said in the same debate she's too busy campaigning to release her own tax information, or other documents from her time as First Lady. She knows how wrapped up a person can get in the campaign. And obviously they should both place their Senate commitments as top priorities, but it doesn't appear either one is doing that. Hillary has missed important Senate business while on the campaign trail, too.

    February 27, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  23. Darren P

    And yet she couldn't even bother to stop campaigning to return to Washington and vote for removing the telecom immunity language from a bill. If that's not enough, she's currently too busy to release income tax returns. This sounds more than slightly hypocritical.

    February 27, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  24. Beverly

    Obama wanted to beef up his resume without doing the work.
    I call this more hot air.

    February 27, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  25. GO LOU

    Way to go Lou Dobbs! Just heard a minute or so blurb from you about this! I know I'll be watching at 7:00! Sen. Obama needs to answer this question, along with many others that haven't been approached with yet. You know, he DOES need to be handled with kid gloves.

    And FINALLY... Lou Dobbs validates the fact that Hillary Clinton got the short end of the stick at the debate last night.

    Take that all you Hillary haters who seem to be pretty slim on this post. Wonder why?

    February 27, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
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