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. Adam

    You so- called Democrats kill me! you say that if Hillary isn't the nominee, then you will vote for McCain. The party doesn't need bandwaggon Democrats. Take your 'sorry excuse for a Democrat' arses to the Republican side because we'd be better without you anyways!!

    Did anybody see where Hillary promised the state of NY 200,000 new jobs and that there's been a total of 33,000 jobs lost??? Talk about empty promises. If she's president, at that rate, half of the country would be unemployed by her first term!!

    Obama 08'

    February 27, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  2. Hillary what did YOU REALLY say yesterday?

    When Hillary was asked about revealing her taxes/income/reports on herself, what did she say?

    Hillary said, can't you see, I am TOO BUSY in a Presidential campaign. I can't be doing all these other things.

    Hillary, every time you try to discredit your opponent, the American people find out that all you were doing is trying to play gotcha. You are not presidential Hillary.

    Another example, why did you say, if you become Senator of NY you will create hundreds of thousand of jobs WHEN YOU CAN'T? You LOST over 30,000 jobs. So how can you be ready on Day 1?

    Oh, and her answer as to why she didn't gain but rather lost jobs for the state was......oh, I thought Gore was going to be President.

    IS THIS THE TYPE OF ANSWER HILLARY WILL GIVE AMERICA WHEN SHE DOESN'T GET THINGS DONE DAY 1?

    I Denounce and Reject Hillary!!!

    Vote OBAMA '08

    February 27, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  3. Scott

    This says it all!! Obama is all talk and no action. ... "too busy campaigning" ... what a cop out.

    February 27, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  4. Manuel TX

    Damon,

    Obama is the chair of the senate subcommittee on Europe.

    He's supposed to call the meetings and set the agenda. It's been over a year and he has yet to do anything!

    Word, just words.

    February 27, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  5. Illinois

    When it comes to the issues, OBAMA has kept silent. So do his supporters. "SHAME ON YOU ALL"

    February 27, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  6. lou or jack

    WHY DO YOU ONLY SHOW NEGATIVE COMMENTS FROM YOUR TV LISTNERS ON HILLARY. I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU HAVEN'T NOTICE THE DEBATES WHEN OBAMA IS READING HIS COMMENTS AND HILLARY IS ACTUALLY TALKING TO THE PUBLIC. EVERYONE WHO IS FOR HER ONLY HAS TO LISTEN TO YOU GUYS TO KNOW THAT YOU FAVOR OBAMA. NO THE MEDIA IS NOT FAIR. I HAVEN'T MADE UP MY MIND YET HOW I WILL VOTE,BUT ITS NOT FOR YOUR PROGRAM. LOU IS A LOT MORE PRECISE THAN YOU ARE ON THE ISSUES. KY. GIRL

    February 27, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  7. Dan

    I honestly don't see what the big deal is, he hasn't held any hearings because he's busy campaigning. He thinks that he can do more good in the white house than in the Senate, otherwise he wouldn't be running for President in the first place.

    February 27, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  8. Russell

    Clinton is desperately grasping for straws.

    February 27, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  9. Darth Vadik, CA

    Was Hillary for NAFTA before she was against it?

    C'mon, her mud throwing just doesn't stick and she seems lost in the wilderness.

    Like a bipolar person, one moment she's nice, the next she goes into a tirrade.

    Anyway...

    February 27, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  10. ochairball

    dolores, the obama people are just tired of the senseless bickering. this isn't even worth the fight. if you're "for hillary," you see it one way, if your "for obama" you see it another way.
    let's go find something more constructive to do with our time.
    calls for obama!

    February 27, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  11. Randy from Canada

    If Obama has been too busy running for office and it is not understandable nor accpetable for him to have a high profile meeting...so is it okay for Hillary to not take the time to release her tax returns because she is too busy running for office. What requires more work and time?

    February 27, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  12. Joey

    Oh come on people. The problems of his term have nothing to do with him being an idiot or not. It has to do with the horrible neocon policies that he endorsed.

    Barack is a smart guy. a graduate level teacher, even. And his policies are sensible, not the counterproductive looting policies of Bush and his cronies. There's no chance that he's going to be "another Bush-thinking person."

    February 27, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  13. Jean Alex

    Dolores, that's why Hillary has less supporters.
    Hillary, you hypocrite supported the war

    Obama 08

    CNN, SHOW MY COMMENT PLEASE

    February 27, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  14. Rgene

    WHY IS OBAMA NOT GETTING THE SAME TREATMENT WHEN IT COMES TO NOT HOLDING MEETINGS ON SOMETHING AS IMPORTANT AS THIS MATTER. IF THIS HAD BEEN HILLARY THE NEWS MEDIA WOULD HAVE TAKEN HER TO THE CLEANERS.

    Obama should be held accountable since he was the Chair and this neglect shows he has no leadership but is self-centered and only concerned about his interest and not the interest of the country. This is just one example of what he would do for Americans so people go out and VOTE for HILLARY.

    February 27, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  15. James

    by the same token, Hillary failed to vote on a ban on the FISA spy bill when she was in the Washington D.C. area...because she was running for president.

    February 27, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  16. jsb

    Good questions, Dolores... I think the Obama people aren't worried about it. We're voting for HIM.. because we trust his judgment and because we think he has the best shot at accomplishing his goals. I don't care about whether he went to any of the meetings of this-or-that committee. I like him. He's a politician, but I trust him more than I've trusted any other one, especially Hillary. The way she tap danced around the tax return question last night sealed it for me. They both have good agendas, I just think Barack will do a better job. If for no other reason, just look at his demeanor. He has hardly flinched or gone off course this whole campaign. He is not perfect, but he's certainly consistant. She's all over the map and has sorely mismanaged her campaign. Not a good start.

    February 27, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  17. John in CA

    Please keep pressing on this issue CNN.

    I agree with Dolores... where are all the Obama people?

    February 27, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  18. Mr. C

    So he has to forget about running office as the president of the USA and hold hearings huh!!! You clinton supporters are the most senseless group of animals i've ever heard speak. So ask yourself, how did he actually get to be the chairman of that committee? I guess by doing nothing? No. he must've been playing an important role in that organisation. You do not expect him to abandon his campaign all because of some hearing.

    February 27, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  19. JustWondering

    Um, didn't Hillary use that same excuse in the debate, "I have been too busy running for president," as an excuse for not having disclosed her tax returns yet?

    February 27, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  20. VRM

    "where are all the Obama people on this one?"

    Obama people are looking at November and McCain. Your girl is irrelevant at this point. She quoted an SNL skit last night for crying out loud. Done.

    February 27, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  21. austine

    Americans are all confused.when a society ignores the voices of its people,for the so caLL EXPERIENCE THAT HAS GOT US NO WHERE,then we can say we are no longer a democray,only vague and empty patiotism is left in us.By the time Hilary change her position again and keep us in Iraq for the next decade,we,ll all start seeking asylum in MEXICO.
    The husband used Our White house as his motel,the clionton family should hide their faces,at list for this generation.

    February 27, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  22. PWhitman

    Just which subcommittees does Hillary Clinton chair and how many meetings has she held since January 2007?

    February 27, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  23. David

    OBAMA is the best leader and president for the country. Hilliary and Bill didn't do much during their present in the white house. we need new change, direction, not same old folk same family and same policy in the white house.

    February 27, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  24. Oregon Voter

    This is exactly the reason he's not ready to be president. He's skated by in the senate with little accomplishments and now he's using the excuse that he was running for the presidency? Sorry, buddy, but you still have a job to do and you're expected to do it. Why haven't you used the power granted to you in the senate to enact change? If change was that important you would have made as much change as you possibly could using your senate seat.

    You need to stay in the senate for the rest of your term, THEN if you win re-election you can think about running for president (and hopefully by then you will have held a meeting with the committee that you chair).

    February 27, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  25. Moke, Mokuleia, Hawai'i Pono'i

    Hmm no Obama supporters? Interesante.......

    February 27, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
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