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. ella

    Well lets stop the bickering and head to the polls on March 4th, if you are a HRC supporter you vote for her and if you are an Obama supporter you vote for him. Even if Obama had all the credentials in the world people would still of complained. The question we need to ask is how much experience does one need to run the white house. If you are comfortable voting for HRC then go ahead, if you want Obama vote for him. Lets just keep this civil and then unite

    February 27, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  2. Obama 08

    I am tired of democrats saying "I will vote for McCain if Hillary isn't the nominee". Obama and Hillary overlap on majority of their issues. And do you even know McCain's agenda?? Bombing Iran, staying 100 years in Iraq, no knowledge of the economy so a sure recession, wishing leaders of other countries die and I could go on and on – Is that what you want?

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


    February 27, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  4. Obama Supporter

    Now that we have had all the posting from the Clinton campaign. Lets ask how much has Hill done in the past 6 or 7 months I have looked and its a lot of "hat and no cattle". A vote for Hillary is a vote for the same old thing! Give dream a chance VOTE OBAMA!!!!!!

    February 27, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  5. sam

    running for president does take a lot of time and he has only been the chairman for a year so why are people surprised?

    OBAMA 08!!!!!

    February 27, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  6. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Who cares about a meeting about a meeting.

    February 27, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  7. Santayana2008

    All hat...no cattle... SHAME ON YOU, BARACK OBAMA

    February 27, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  8. TED

    i was choking on laughter??????????? when the question regarding russia came up the guy had no clue which by the way is not the end of the world because they barely have time to sleep. But what was sad was that he pretended to have known even though his eyes begged her to anwser . He nicely agrees as he usually does and then adds another bush jab which automatically makes everyone happy.
    I've given up on the media for awhile now I too watched every moment of each debate and for someone not to realize that it would be inhumane for hillary not to be frustrated is simply naive.

    I have no problem with obama as a human being or race issue he seems like a good guy my problem with him is much more serious.
    He's saying i'm superior to all of you my politics are new and we don't do sleazy. The clinton campaign has pointlessly pointed out that he flip flops and is all talk and very little substance but instead of being examined they get criticized and clinton degraded.

    February 27, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  9. Thomas For Hillary

    Damon please, regardless of his running for president, he still has responsibilities. Hillary is still doing her job, why can't her? More and more he is showing he is all talk and no action, that is a form of action to take to back up his talk, but he hasn't done it.

    I am praying for you Hillary, cause if Obama gets the nod, we are in trouble.

    February 27, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  10. Linda Montgomery

    Why don't we see how much Clinton has accomplished in the Senate in the last year? Obama has done more in his tenure than she has. He also served two terms in the Illinois state Senate and accomplished much there. His has been able to bring transparency to government and has beefed up ethics. He voted on the very important telecommunications bill while campaigning and Hillary was in Washington on that day but didn't show up to vote. I think he can bring about more change by becoming President. Also, you don't know what plans he has for this when he does have more power.

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

    Look who's talking!!
    Yesterday during the debate u stated being too busy with your campaign is on the reasons why u don't release your tax return yet !!! r u kidding us?
    so u do know something about campaign business !!!
    Nobody is perfect, I am not disapproving anything this article is saying about Obama. However, he's definitely more trustful and sincere than u, u and dirty politics are synonym.
    Dear Hillary, you'd rather win Texas and Ohio next week otherwise u are done !!!

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

    One of the reasons I support Obama is his principle that "He will not engage in dirty politics."

    All Hillary can do is try to produce negative images of Obama, and it's not going to work. Barrack will stay true to focusing on the people of the United States need in a president.

    As Obama says, "It's silly season in politics now."

    Keep up with the negative campaign, Hillary, it's not going to work.

    February 27, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  13. Obama supporter

    I am black and Obama supporter but I find it very offensive for the way Obama supporters plus the medis especially CNN has manipulated to damage what the Clintons have done for this country and as that matter black.
    Let's be frank, I won't like to have a president, who will abandon his duty for the country because he has to be on the road to campaign for re-election.
    Obama has to get his act together and do the right thing for the country rather than making unnecessary excusses for everything he does or he will lose my vote.

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

    What has Hillary done?

    Obama has often used full committee hearings to express his opposition to the Iraq war or his concern about the Bush administration's policy toward Iran.

    In January 2007, he sharply questioned Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on why the U.S. wouldn't consider a drawing down U.S. troops if inaction by the Iraqi government continued. Later that month, he voted for a committee proposal to condemn President Bush's plans to increase troops strength in Iraq as "not in the national interest."

    "We are past the point where we can simply take it on good faith from the president that this will work," he said of the president's troop buildup.

    He proposed separate legislation that would have required troop withdrawals to begin that spring. Later that year, he introduced a measure intended to prevent a potential conflict with Iran. But like many of the anti-war proposals on Capitol Hill, neither measure received a vote.

    In another committee hearing, Obama voiced skepticism about Biden's suggestion that the Baghdad government could achieve peace by giving more autonomy to its provinces, which are divided along sectarian lines.

    The question is whether "we should be initiating (strategy), as opposed to letting that unfold as a consequence of us putting more pressure on the Iraqis to figure out their problems," Obama said.

    February 27, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  15. M Cecil

    Sen. Clinton is chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Superfund and Environmental Health. She took that over in January 2007, the same time that Obama took over the European Subcommittee.

    So, how many hearings has Sen. Clinton's subcommittee held? Three. Two of them called by Wingnut Jim Inhofe. How many of those three hearings in 13 months has Sen. Clinton attended? One.

    Perhaps she's been busy running for President...

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

    Dear Obama...go run a meeting, if you can handle that, maybe I'll vote for you.

    If not, GO HILLARY!

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

    Look again at Hilleray Clinton's character. See how many faces she shows. , if you trust her, you can not be serious!!

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

    The media is having a love affair with Obama. They ask tough, critical questions of other candidates and almost stir things up to make them look worse. On the other hand, they jump to Obama's aid when anyone says anything against him.

    Hillary has highlighted MAJOR differences in their plans, policies and proven record of accomplishments. Now, she has provided information regarding Obama's do-nothing activity on his actual job in the Senate. His excuse that he has ONLY been chair of the committee since January 2007 is lame. That is OVER a year ago. He is about getting IN to office, not about doing the job.

    Hillary waited, when she had an opportunity to run in 2004 because she had committed to completing that first term in office. She did, and was re-elected. She is the one who honors commitments.

    When the smoke and mirrors are lifted, will we have "elected" just an ordinary person who looks pretty and talks nicely?

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

    He started chairing that committee in January of 2007, right when he started his campaign. He will do more for NATO and Afganistan when he becomes President. If Hillary drops out a race she won't win he can take some time to hold a meeting while gearing up for McCain.

    February 27, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  20. 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.

    Dolores – caught in moderation purgatory.

    February 27, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  21. Mary

    Didn't Hillary fail to appear for the FISA vote? Whereas Obama made time to go vote on it?

    What else has Hillary been neglecting on Capitol Hill while she's been out stumping the vote?

    February 27, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  22. JOEY D


    February 27, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  23. Teresa C

    Thank You LOU DOBBS!!!! At least someone in CNN can see how the media has been so unfair to Hillary.. I have been posting comment after comment about Media bias. I will say though that msnbc has really been worse than others. Shame, shame ,shame, doesn't the media realise Hillary does have supporters

    February 27, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  24. Kthegreat

    To Dolores, the Obama people are out on the campaign trail! I will NEVER vote for clinton but i have to say she has a point here. I would just like to know how many oversights/accomplishments she has made on the arms services committee since january of 2007. and while u are at it, can you name any of her accomplishments as a senator.

    I am not for Obama either, just an indepenent who wanted Edwards to win. PLEASE CNN, POST THIS.

    February 27, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |

    The media has refused to tell Americans who Barak Obama is and what he has done that would make Americans believe he would bring the change Americans are looking for. The media wants to nominate and elect Obama at the expense American people. If Obama wins the nomination, i will vote for Ralph Nader in general election. No Hillary no democrat in the white house come 2009. Go Hillary. You are the solution.

    February 27, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
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