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. Emmanuel

    You Hillary supporters never fail to amaze me. Laughing my head off seeing you all jumping over this. Has Hillary held any inquiry while campaigning? What is the difference between holding a meeting and conducting an inquiry on europe? What is the present state of Americas relationship with Europe? Did the pollsters say that Hillarys base are mostly uneducated?

    February 27, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  2. Pablo

    When I was younger I would buy the cereal that LOOKED the coolest, only to find out it tasted like all other cereals with no decent flavor or nutrients. That is how Obama is with all the young voters and others in his camp. That is all he is: crappy cereal in a cool box.
    Believe me there is a stock pile of ammo Hillary can use against "free media's" choosen king, but if she even uses it to her advantage she is a cleverly portraid as a b%!@h. CNN focused on racism for a whole freaking mounth, never mentioning sexism.
    Remember folks, black men were given citizenship and the right to vote way before women were even considered.
    I'm with you Hillary and so in Ohio, we look past the box.

    February 27, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  3. Evan in Chicago

    BINGO...We all know it is easier to "critique" than it is to "act"....Barak should finish out his term as IL Senator to take more time to plan and hold the meetings for his current position. Let's not kid ourselves....politics is a game.... and always will be... Let's elect the one who has actually played the game a few times!

    Keep showing America the truth Hillary!

    February 27, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  4. Beth, Seattle WA

    This argument is pretty weak. No, Obama is not an ideal candidate for president, yes the media gives him a free ride, but Hillary doesn't even seem to be able to measure up to her own standards, which makes her hypothetical general election campaign fairly distressing.

    1.) "Barack Obama does not have the experience to run this nation"
    Obama's years in elected office:11+
    Hillary: 7+
    2.) "I will be ready on day one"
    Sorry Hillary, but your election campaign has been the epitome of unpreparedness for the competition.
    3.) "I can go 'toe to toe' with any republican candidate"
    Not according to matchup polls you can't
    4.) "Barack Obama is the king of the 'present' vote"
    Yup, it was a good thing Hillary's been there to vote on all the important bills, like FISA and...oops
    5.) "Barack Obama hasn't fulfilled his duties at a chairman of a senate committee"
    Because you've made so much progress in your committee during the election, right?

    Get a functioning campaign and some arguments that stick and maybe I'll reconsider my vote, ok Hil'?

    February 27, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  5. SJK

    NATO may have some jurisdiction over Afghanistan, however, how many NATO states want to pull out of Afghanistan. Even our fabulous neighbors to the north want to pull out of Afghanistan due to the chaos, and I'd add lack of American focus and directedness in Afghanistan.

    Pointing to Obama's lack of pushing for an increased NATO involvement in Afghanistan does not erase the fact that Hillary has supported major military efforts in Iraq at the expense of Afghanistan. And even though NATO is a force at play, clearly the United States has an obligation as a state alone, to follow through on it's military intervention in Afghanistan, regardless of NATO. And though the subcommittee has jurisdiction over NATO, it does not have jurisdiction over other sovereign NATO states. You can't get blood from a turnip.

    Moreover, we haven't even had an immensely important debate about the existence of NATO and what this means. NATO mandate focused on countering the power of the Soviet Union and protecting Europe from an attack by communist Russia. Well, the Soviet Union fell, it's mandate is fulfilled. I'd like leaders to explain to me the legitimacy of an organization that has "fulfilled" it's mandate. (And yes, I am aware of the realist political rhetoric and US desire for military presence in Europe arguments).

    February 27, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  6. Hillary READ THIS ......

    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.

    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, if you don't mind. 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 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.


    I Denounce and reject Hillary!!!

    Vote OBAMA '08

    February 27, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  7. danny johnson

    HILLARY clinton will be the next best president we ever had she is a fine person we dont need a person like obama for president. hillary will get things done, obama want be able to get things done. so every body vote for one we can trust hillary clinton.

    February 27, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  8. Wow

    It's funny how all the Hillary supporters don't notice when a story is completely one-sided for their candidate. Not one word to explain this from Obama's side. Top notch work CNN.

    February 27, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  9. Jim F

    So what has she done for New York since starting her run for President? What has Hillary done about Afghanistan? And why didn't she run for Senate in her home states of Illinois or Arkansas? Because she's an UNLIKEABLE, POWER-HUNGRY, PHONY, OPPORTUNISTIC CARPETBAGGER.

    February 27, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  10. kevin

    "Obama is the real deal, when he becomes presedent he can make real changes from that position,
    Hilary is all emotions too much of the same old thing lets have real change with Obama our leader,

    February 27, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |

    CNN is now censoring Pro-Obama messages...it is cowering under pressure from the Clinton campaign....

    I know about 50 Obama supporters who posted messages here but only the few chosen HRC supporters messages got approved..

    Great way to live up to your name....Clinton News Network

    February 27, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  12. Mac Ibrahim


    February 27, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  13. Jean, CANADA

    To Mark:

    The usage of Barack's middlle name was only done to be derrogoatory. Do you honestly believe it was well intentioned?? Last time I checked, MOST people go by there first name. The IRRELEVANT fact that he shares a middle name with someone who strikes sensitivity with ceratin people is ludacris!!!!!! If Mr. Cunningham could learn to use the three functioning cells he has left in his neanderthal brain, perhaps he could use it to UNITE people instead of spreading false fears??? Hmmm....what people will do to get there 5 minutes of television space.

    Ps I hear he will now be supporting your candidate.... HRC...

    doesn't surprise me....one and the same.

    February 27, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  14. Mike in Austin, Tx

    Right because instead he is suppose to not campaign so that Hillary can run for President. Nice one....but we're quite aware as to why this is and we're glad he did it considering because of it he will be the next President of the United States of America and can get back to those important issues rather than wasting time on Hillary attacks.

    February 27, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  15. MJC

    Obama has been touting this chairmanship as ACTION in his campaign. Now we hear the reality.

    Washington as usual.

    February 27, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  16. JohnS

    Talk about attending to the needs of the country:

    Hillary CANNOT find the TIME to file her INCOME tax?????? What a joke, it is like the pot calling the kettle black. This woman has no shame.

    The Republicans, the Iranians (who have NO resepct for women leaders) and the Russians will eat this one up as fast as she lifts up her ugly attacks!!!

    February 27, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  17. Sean

    Well, in the same debate, Hillary claimed she's too busy campaigning to find time to release her tax returns, and that she's even too busy campaigning to sleep. How exactly is Obama supposed to create the substantial amount of time it would take to hold formal hearings as the chairman of a Senate subcommitee?

    If this is the best that Clinton's camp can come up with to argue that Obama would be an ineffective president, then they're falling way short of their goal.

    February 27, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  18. w

    CNN, thats what people want –bringing in the issues and facts and not negativity and bashing .. thats what people voting need to take note of ...

    February 27, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  19. Roger

    I would really be curious as to just when Obama joined that committe. I think someone told him to get on it because they knew that he would be pushed on security issues and he needed something on his resume even if just for show. And besides why do you start something knowing full well you don't have the time to do it right. That is why I think it was all for show.

    February 27, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  20. MichaelP

    Get Real Everybody!

    Hillary says she does not even get enough sleep during campaigning, or time to turn in her own taxes!!! And you're all making this out to be a high crime for Obama! Please!

    Why don't you ask Hillary how many hearings she's done in the last year?

    February 27, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  21. Bill

    Yeah, just like Hillary doesn't have time to show her taxes records...wonder why..Hillary isn't a leader she's a cry baby! Along with her lame Health care plan that will penalizes individuals if they can afford it...

    February 27, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  22. Jonathan

    Ok i'll jump in. To be honest i think this tactic is quite shrewd (so applauds), i think that it is petty, and i think that people are no longer blind to underhanded political manuevering.

    This "attack" is indicative of politics and that might never change.

    Our rep around the world will improve "on day one" if we elect Obama.

    Smart people for Obama 08.

    February 27, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  23. Maria

    Oh my God!

    Can it be? Has CNN actually posted something honest, without spinning blame to the Clinton camp, that possibly highlights the "Chosen One"s weaknesses? It must be! Look, he'll walk on water next!

    Hillary 2008

    Here in Houston we vote smart.

    February 27, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  24. EDW

    If she can't control her campaign staff, has to loan herself money, and can't control her cheating husband then how can she run this country???

    February 27, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  25. Texas for Hillary

    Obama is too busy to run for president, he have no time to attend the black union 2008, he is tooo busy for the power.

    Obama, don't forget, black vote you at 90% rate!

    Now, NATO members are not willing fight for the war, because this Chairman don't do the job, he is too busy for the power!

    This is worst person in US election history.

    February 27, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
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