March 2nd, 2008
12:15 PM ET
13 years ago

Clinton elaborates on handling a late-night, last-minute crisis

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sen. Clinton recently released an ad trumpeting her ability to handle a 3 a.m. phone call if elected to the Oval Office."]
WESTERVILLE, Ohio (CNN) - In a high school gym just north of Columbus on Sunday, Hillary Clinton elaborated on just what kind of phone call she is prepared to take at three in the morning.

In tandem with a new campaign ad, Clinton has warned over the last three days that a president needs the right kind of experience to deal with such a phone call, and to make a split-second decision without advisers at her side.

“When those calls come in at 3 a.m. it might be a national security crisis,” she said in a hushed voice. “You know, it could be an economic crisis. The economy is facing some really troubled waters.”

Clinton linked a hypothetical middle-of-the-night economic crisis to terrorism or political upheaval abroad.

“Think about what could happen if there were unrest in Nigeria, or a terrorist act in Saudi Arabia,” she continued. “Oil would shoot to 150 dollars a barrel.”

The crowd applauded as she then criticized the Bush administration for wanting to “hold hands with the Saudis” rather than stand up to them.

In recent days, Clinton has demurred when asked to name a crucial 3 a.m. decision from her own experience.

Related: Dems battle in Texas

- CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Ohio • Political ads • Texas
soundoff (99 Responses)
  1. Mary

    I have watced all of the debates for the past year. Hillary Clinton is solid on what she would need to do. If Obama answered the phone at 3 am, he would have to call Hillary so that he could say, "I agree with Hillary".

    March 2, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  2. Reality check

    I have noticed that although you are putting some Hillary articles on the ticker, you are very, very slow to post the replys. Did you fire all the moderators or is this a tactic of yours?

    March 2, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  3. Zia

    “Now, one of Clinton’s laws of politics is this. If one candidate is trying to scare you and the other one is try get you to think, if one candidate is appealing to your fears and the other one is appealing to your hopes, you better vote for the person who wants you to think and hope.”
    -Bill Clinton, 2004

    March 2, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  4. James

    Pleas Ohio, Texas, Vermont, and Rhode Island Reject the Politics of Fear. Reject Hillary Clinton's use of Rovian tactics against another Democrat.

    As for the phone call, Hillary was asked by reporters when she ever answered such a phone call, guess what silence followed by nothing.

    As for the thirty five years of experience, Hillary graduated from school at 25 and is now 60, so she must be counting all her time as a corporate lawyer for Walmart. Yeah, another Clinton lying/stretching the truth.

    Please send this individual packing.

    March 2, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  5. Thea

    Who's Rovian now?

    March 2, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  6. marge

    I'm glad "somebody" asked her What that was about!!!!!

    March 2, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  7. MikeinOhio

    I'll bet that phone call was from one of the perverts conquests.

    March 2, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  8. Gary Mitchell

    Yes you can make a case for Hillary:

    It's 3:00 am and the phone in the White House rings.

    Hello, this is the President.

    Yes Madam President. This is the DC Police calling.

    Yes. How may I help you?

    Well, we hate to bother you, but weve got Bill down here again.

    I'll send someone right over.

    March 2, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  9. justobserve

    Hillary said: "The question is, what have you done over the course of a lifetime to equip you for that moment?”
    The answer is: John McCain!
    A first lady doesn't have that kind of experience anyway. Bill's experience was not Hillary's unless she now admit that Bill will be an unelected co-president.

    March 2, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  10. Christopher

    Clinton your time is over, sorry.
    Obama 2008

    March 2, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  11. alg

    The best man for this job (President of the United States) is a woMAN!

    March 2, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  12. beckstone

    And you've done what again? Ah yes, first lady tour to over 80 countries. An ever so important mission in foreign policy that fully prepared you for the tough challenges in congress like giving GWB the authority to go to war in Iraq and voting again, years after you should have learned your lesson, to allow him to take us to Iran if he so desires.
    Hillary '08
    The experience to lead. The judgement to follow.

    March 2, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  13. mili vanili

    At 3am I think she would be goggy headed, with no mental clarity to make any sound judgement. I think she would have a shoot first ask questions later mentality just to prove she is a commander & cheif.

    How does' she know what she would do, untill that moment arrives.
    I feel she would make the wrong decision once again.

    March 2, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  14. peter

    Since when any woman answers the phone at 3 am in the morning with lipsticks and nice dress? Hillary is so fake...

    I am not sure what qualifies her to answer the national security crisis call. If you vote for her after seeing this ad, you are lower than G.Bush in the intellectual scale.

    March 2, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  15. Hal Lee-Toeshus

    Please stop the insanity. Concede now before you lose 13 in a row Billary. You're already the Guiliani of the Democratic party. Don't make things worse by making your legacy a mockery. Bow out gracefully and call it a day. You still have a job in New York.

    Mr. Toeshus
    Columbus, OH

    March 2, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  16. Join Senator Rockefeller on March 4th

    SNL is for comedy, a great place for the comical Hillary campaign. What a joke.

    March 2, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  17. jc

    "no one who hasn’t been president has ever [made a crucial 3 a.m. decision]"

    How naive are you, Hillary? Parents get woken up at 3am all the time to face decisions about children who are in the hospital either because of a car accident or some serious illness and they need to make potentially life-saving decisions about their child's care. Or how about getting woken up by the police at 3am because your spouse or child is in jail? Do you bail them out? Leave them there? Or what about the millions of people who go home at 3am after working an 8-10 hour shift and may have to make some critical decision while exhausted.

    This proves to me that she ISN'T ready to take that call. She has put this idea forward as a metaphor for her presidency, but she has never had to do it herself, so how does she even know? Did she even wake up when the phone rang during Bill's presidency?

    March 2, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  18. MIwatch

    I hope she can win all the Tuesday primaries. May God bless America.

    March 2, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  19. Raine

    I thought about this ad last night as I was falling asleep....effective ad...I just really felt better thinking that Hillary would answer the phone instead of Obama. I pictured Obama answering it, and then turning to Michelle to decide what to do. I think it's natural in an emergency to turn to your spouse. I guess I thought that Hillary would know what to do herself and what decision to make, and that even if she had to turn to Bill I would trust him to help her decide. I just didn't feel like Obama could make a decision and that if Michelle were there to talk to him at 3am she wouldn't know what to do either. It made me feel uneasy, because we know there will be issues to face in the long 4 years of the next Presidency!

    March 2, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  20. Zia

    She couldnt even run a campaign against Obama and she accuses him of not being ready. Mrs. Bill Clinton, when you have squandered our nations wealth, will you loan us $5million as well. 35 years of experience and still nothing to show for it....
    I voted against the war before I voted for it.
    I praised Nafta before I condemned it
    I was running on Experience, before I started running for change
    I was proud of Obama before I became ashamed of him.

    Boy she is a real hypocrite.

    March 2, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  21. michael

    no comment ..........................................................................

    March 2, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  22. von Stein, the seasonal archaeologist

    I want to vote for hillary to help her out. Even though she doesn't have what it takes, I feel sorry for her. When I saw her on TV I noticed the heavy bags under her eyes. It's as if she hasn't slept in a while. Hopefully, she can sleep well after March 4th when she returns to her job in New York.

    March 2, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  23. Maira Juarez-Ramirez

    She's too old. She should quit.

    March 2, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  24. sally Worthington of El Paso, TX

    Hillary has the same haircut as the poolboy that cleans our pool. Everytime I see her on TV, I think of our little poolboy.

    March 2, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
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