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. Ray - NJ

    OMG..CNN calling Obama out and then posting pro Hillary comments.

    THE SKY MUST BE FALLING!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 27, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  2. no obama EVER

    we've seen already how he will put everything aside except his running for the presidency. and then they say Hillary is power monger.

    obama is just for him.

    February 27, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  3. Ken Austin, TX

    I can't believe you people that are actually stating that this is a "good point, Hillary." Are you kidding me? That is a weak argument. Hillary wants to bash Obama for not holding a hearing because he was "too busy running for President", but yet she used the same excuse for not turning over her tax returns. Thank you.

    February 27, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  4. HC GO HOME

    Take a page from a famous actor, and GO HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!WE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!CAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    OBAMA TODAY
    OBAMA TOMORROW
    OBAMA 08

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

    Right here, Dolores. Present and accounted for.

    This stuff is so "inside-baseball", as they say. This is what grasping at straws looks like, folks. I don't dislike Hillary, but her campaigning needs a lot of work.

    It's not good that he hasn't had a hearing, but I'm not so sure this is as big of a deal as the Clinton supporters here seem to think. Also, it's not as if she doesn't have her holes on the legislative front – Obama's legislative accomplishments in his short time in the U.S. Senate are more voluminous and significant than hers have been. (And I voted for her in New York in 2000.)

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

    Damon, you are so wrong on this – check out what some of the European newspapers are saying about this – they are surprised that he hasn't set foot in Europe since he became chairman. This from a man who talks about "healing the world", what a great way to be forging the alliances he would need as President if he is serious about Afghanistan.

    NATO troops serving in Afghanistan are under real pressure. Some countries aren't pulling their weight – USA, Canada and UK troops are taking all the hits, and we need leadership to persuade the other countries to let their soldiers engage against the taliban and to increase their numbers. If Obama is flaky on this, a vital position, it doesn't indicate that he takes the responsibilities he already has very seriously – it certainly shows that we shouldn't be giving him any more. Don't try and excuse the inexcusable.

    February 27, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  7. Gantrick Monday

    When he is elected in November maybe he will offer the chairmanship position to Clinton, since she won't have anything else to do and seems so concerned about it.

    I can't wait until Tuesday when he shuts her down in Ohio and Texas. Polls already show that he is only 6 points behind her in Pennsylvania as of today. Only a couple of weeks ago she was ahead by like 20 points, and he hasn't even set foot in PA yet.

    Sounds like a familiar trend, doesn't it?

    Seriously, who wants to listen to this woman for four whole years every single day whining and complaining? Not this woman, not me.

    Obama 08'

    February 27, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  8. julie

    Wow! Sounds like all you Clintonites are running scared. Give me a list of the things that Hillary has done since she started running for president.

    February 27, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  9. Obama-man

    Sorry Hill, but this approach isn't going to do much for your campaign either. It like he's rubber and you're glue. Bye Hill.

    February 27, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  10. Billary Huckabee

    Care to tell me the last time Senator Clinton attended an Armed Services Committee meeting or where she was on the TelCom vote, when she ran out of town before the vote? Careful Clinton quacks...this is a loaded question!!!

    Next week will not get her fast enough to put an end to the Clinton Silly Season of Politics...Texas and Ohio, please end it for her and send her back to Carpet bag in New York!!!

    These real times require REAL LEADERSHIP AND JUDGEMENT from DAY 1 – VOTE OBAMA!!!

    February 27, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  11. Jackie

    Finally, CNN you see the light!!! There is FINALLY transparency in Barach!!!

    Hillary is the most prepared and a fighter.....for all of us!!

    Thank you CNN.....I have hope for you yet!!

    Cheers to our gal Hillary!! You go girl!

    February 27, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  12. Joanna

    Hillary scored last night and many other times, as an experienced, dedicated candidate but you sure wouldn't know that through the reporting by the media. Meanwhile Obama, neglecting his primary job - that of being a Senator, continues to get rave reviews from the media. Not kosha guys!

    Shame on the media. If you don't think the general public is not aware of what's going on with the media's lopsided support for Obama, you're not very bright. The media is making it very clear who they want for President and in doing so you damage a democratic process which is already fragile.

    Shame on you. What a disservice you do to this country.

    HILLARY - HANG IN THERE NO MATTER WHAT. YOU'VE GOT THE RIGHT STUFF!

    February 27, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  13. JW in Houston

    This is another last ditch effort by Hillary to try to deflect the incompetent campain that she running.

    During the debate Obama responded to that. He stated that he only became chair at the beginning of this presidential campaign. It is not like he was the chair his entire time in the Senate. Hillary knows that and I am sure that Obama will once again reply to her and make it blow up in her face like he always does.

    Some of you Hillary supporter are laughable in your responses. Ignoring all of Hillary's faults. I love how she said in the debate last night how she was always critical of NAFTA and the the truth was revealed and she did not have a response. She was praising it as recent as 2004.

    Stick a fork in her. She is done.

    February 27, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  14. Lena

    Didn't she say that she couldnt release her taxes because she was too busy running for president?

    Yes, she did.

    So if she's too busy to do that, then why isnt his a valid excuse? He has never claimed to have held meetings or dispatched NATO. He has never used his chairmanship as "experience", so I don't see an issue here.

    February 27, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  15. CNNmoderation_post_this_one

    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 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  16. LINDA

    Hillary asked last night at the debate why she is always asked the questions first....MSnbc doesn't understand why!!!! I'll tell you why....Hillary wants the news media to asked him the questions first so America can see Obama can't really answer complicated questions....He needs Hillary to answer first then that gives him feedback as to what to say....He comes back with 'I agree with Hillary" Well I hope the news media looks back at some of the debates and see what we have all been seeing.....Hilllary.... answer the question then Obama knows what to say....HELLO anyone home...GO HILLARY GO

    February 27, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  17. Mike, Cleveland, OH

    I admit I am very excited about the Obama campaign, although, I'm not yet committed to either Dem candidate. Tell me, though, what chairmanships does Hillary hold and what have they accomplished over the same time period, say January 2007? This is an honest question, as I can still be persuaded

    February 27, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  18. madeleine

    There is no doubt and there should be no surprise that presidential candidates have no time to do their job as usual while running for president.
    I wonder how much Clinton has accomplished in the past 12 months. I would venture to say "not much".

    February 27, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  19. Darth Vadik, CA

    "ALL TALK" seems to be the talking point here, I'm guessing a lot of freepers pretending to be for Hillary.

    Let me answer you with this:

    In 8 years in Illinois Senate Obama has sponsored and cosponsored over 820 bills.

    in 4 years in the US Senate Obama has offered 152 bills and has cosponsored 427 bills.

    I would put the detailed bill breakdown, but the darn CNN wont post them. What is up with that.

    February 27, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  20. Lena

    Hold on,

    Didn't she say that she couldnt release her taxes because she was too busy running for president?

    Yes, she did.

    So if she's too busy to do that, then why isnt his a valid excuse? He has never claimed to have held meetings or dispatched NATO. He has never used his chairmanship as "experience", so I don't see an issue here.

    February 27, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  21. sk

    Damon,
    He is the chair and has not held a meeting. Meetings generally do not take place without the head (chair).

    February 27, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  22. Rick

    Damon, the fact is he has convened NO policy hearings since he took over as its chairman last January.

    Obama could have examined a wide variety of urgent matters, from the role of NATO in Afghanistan and Iraq to European energy policy and European responses to climate change - and of course, the undermining of the foundations of the Atlantic alliance by the Bush administration. There is, indeed, almost no issue of current global interest that would have fallen outside the subcommittee's purview.

    I think that this at least points up the conflict between ambition and experience and has raised questions about his candidacy for me.

    February 27, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  23. It Is What It Is ...

    Politics is not Arithmetic ... It's Chemistry.

    Wait Til Obamas' Campaign Report Comes Out This Month ...

    1 , 0 0 0 , 0 0 0 + Donors .......... and the Month is Not Over.

    Maybe Senator Clinton Can Head Up That Committee With All the Free Time She's Going to Have Soon. For 35 Years of Riding On Her Husbands Name ... You'd Think She Would Know How N-O-T to Mis-Manage Funds and Run a Campaign Into the Ground.

    I'm Sure She's Happy to Have You Folks. After All ... Who Else Is Going To D-o-n-a-t-e Their Money So She Can Get Back the Money She L-O-A-N-E-D her Campaign.

    (And Then You Folks Say Obama is the One "Selling a Dream" .... Yea Right ...

    February 27, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  24. Darth Vadik, CA

    "ALL TALK" seems to be the talking point here, I'm guessing a lot of freepers pretending to be for Hillary.

    Just go away freepers.

    February 27, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  25. Lena

    Perhaps we should talk about the fact that she promised to create 200 000 new jobs in Buffalo THREE years ago and has not fulfilled her promise to the extent that there is a net LOSS of 30 000 jobs.

    Yes, let's talk about that promise.

    February 27, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
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