June 8th, 2008
02:53 PM ET
12 years ago

Feinstein: Obama-Clinton meeting was meant to be a secret

Sen. Dianne Feinstein hosted a private meeting for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein hosted a private meeting for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

(CNN) - Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Sunday gave new details about the private meeting Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton held in her home, saying it was “meant to be a secret,” but “it didn’t quite end up like that.”

Clinton and Obama got together privately in Feinstein’s Washington home Thursday. It was their first meeting since Obama became the presumptive Democratic nominee.

Feinstein, D-California, said the session came about after she told Clinton that Obama had said he would meet with her anywhere, anytime.

Clinton told Feinstein she wanted to talk with Obama, but she expressed concern about having to make a press statement about the discussions.

Feinstein said she then offered up her house as a potential meeting place because it would be private. She said Clinton called her around 6 p.m. Thursday, and they scheduled the meeting for 8:30 p.m.

“I thought how wonderful that they had a chance just to be alone, to kind of feel each other out with respect to where they were,” she said Sunday on CNN’s “Late Edition.”

The talks began at 9 p.m. and lasted about an hour, said Feinstein. Feinstein endorsed Clinton’s presidential campaign last summer but she's now standing behind Obama.

A joint statement from the candidates said only that the candidates "had a productive discussion about the important work that needs to be done to succeed in November."

Feinstein said they did not debrief her afterward, but she said both were laughing at the end.

“I thought that was a very good sign,” she said. “And they left. That was it.”

Feinstein said she served them water and worked upstairs as the meeting took place.

soundoff (138 Responses)
  1. Asian4Hillary



    June 8, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  2. Reg

    Mark, I have to disagree. The fact that Obama's campaign ran circles around Hillary's, that he and his team developed a winning strategy that they stuck to throughout the campaign, and that Obama held fast and strong through everything the Clinton Machine (and in later months, the republicans) could throw at him; proves that he has the ability to succeed in the rough business of politics at its highest level and at its most fierce and viscious. Its about time we had someone to vote for who provides leadership rooted in those lofty ideals that this country was founded upon.

    June 8, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  3. Ovid

    rethink the hate – you say, "check your rabid hate and your, vile, filthly name-calling insults at the door"...maybe you should take some of your own advice.

    June 8, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  4. Robert

    First I watched Bob Casey just do a horrible job defending Obama then I watched Dianne Feinstein have a crack at it and I was very impressed. She's a really soft spoken, gentle lady but she really knows how to get her point across. I'm going to break with conventional wisdom here and say she should be considered for VP.

    June 8, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  5. Sebastian

    The Obama campaign showed ZERO disrespect to Mrs. Clinton as a woman during this contest. To those real Hillary supporters that believe this, I ask you to take a week, cool off, and then relook at everything Mr. Obama has ever said or done towards her.

    Mrs. Clinton, in listening to Terry McCaullife and Howard Wolfson, played rough. As a result, she said and insinuated things designed to pull voters to her. Unfortunately some of those were highly charged emotional appeals to red meat topics. It will be difficult for Hillary to un-ring these bells; not because they are true or false but rather because they were "gut level" appeals to our fears instead of our hopes.

    Her words on Saturday were an excellent START. But this is not a "one and done" situation. Ultimately, Hillary's legacy and stature in the Democratic party will be determined by how well Mr. Obama does in this fall's presidential campaign with what has been identified as Senator Clinton's core constiuencies. Hillary will have to campaign in Appalachia for 4 months this summer to help "un-ring" the bell.

    As the nominee goes, so goes Senator Clinton's political fortunes. He can not loose in November and she come out ahead. If he does, she will forever be looked upon with a skeptical eye by many millions of people around the world.

    June 8, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |

    Mark, how you stay at home and not vote. Look at the Economy and our Military in Iraq. That is two reasons to vote.

    Please reconsider. You have time to decide. This is also for the 17% that said they aren't going to vote.

    I'm a 60 yr old Republican w/female voting for Barack Obama. He will select the right VP. Maybe it will be Hillary.

    God Bless America

    June 8, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  7. Curliss

    I still believe that Hillary is the right candidate for 2008. I really was turned off to Obama supporters, and they way they degraded Hillary and her campaign. Because, of this I will be voting McCain (like the other 30-40%), to teach them a lesson. I rather have 4 more years of a republican administration (how really bad can it get, pehaps another tax cut ?) then have Obama stuff down my throat by hillary haters.

    If Hillary is on the ticket, I may reconsider ...

    June 8, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  8. obvious

    yes how great, meeting in secrecy where the bilderberg were taking thier meeting 15 minutes away from where the plane was located.. just a coincidence!

    i mean right on CNN for being such intelligent reporters by not being able to figure this out when i have no journalist experience and know about the secret new world order bilderberg meeting going on. i mean they even released a press release and i guess the only way you didnt mention it is because you were told not to...

    what else is new!! just another cover up!

    June 8, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  9. Crush Rush

    The Republicans have been spying on them with the help of the telecoms and secret service.

    June 8, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  10. Kris

    I think Obama and Hillary will be a good combination and will be the most single factor that can unite the Democratic Party. If Hillary is not on the ticket for any reason, the Republicans stand to gain and might even win the White House. I for myself would vote for the Democratic ticket only and only if it includes Hillary. No Hillary, No vote in the general election. just stay at home.

    June 8, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  11. SUE

    I can create a list of first term presidents that were relatively unknown. McCain, Obama both will be amongst them.

    I strongly believe that we need a president that isnt tainted by Washington at this time.

    I am appalled that ANYONE would sit home because their candidate did not make it.

    June 8, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  12. GAE

    Wolf, this was a wonderful conversation this morning with Senator Feinstein and Senator Hutchinson. Two intelligent and strong female senators who are articulate, issue oriented and leaders in their political parties.

    The meeting between Senator Clinton and Senator Obama should have been private. As a strong supporter of Senator Clinton, I too would like to support Senator Obama. To be perfectly honest with you, as one of the 18 million supporters of Senator Clinton, Senator Obama will have to earn my vote just like Senator Clinton did. I TAKE MY VOTE VERY SERIOUSLY. I WILL LET NO ONE TAKE MY VOTE FOR GRANTED.

    Thank You,

    June 8, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  13. MG1220

    As we pursue change in America, let us start by changing from the old way of condoning internal partisanship towards the new way of harnessing diversity towards partnership. Let us work for change not by breaking from the past but by blending what's brilliant in it to what's transformational in the future. Let us effect change not with fear and suspicion but with confidence and reconciliation. Let change start with us Democrats and America will follow. And so today, I set the tone for inclusive change and real unity in my choice for vice president - Hillary Rodham Clinton.

    June 8, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  14. D- Nice




    June 8, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  15. joel

    If Clinton supporters are convinced that they can win the white hiuse without the Black vote, then go ahead and Support McCain or stay home, because if Obama loses this election due to the Clinton Supporters, the Democratic party can forget the Black vote. We also will support McCain in his second term, and if not start our own party, go into the Republican party and build up the moderate wing... as we do have to wonder about the Clinton Democrats; If they dont support Obama, it will be another 50 years before a Democrat ever get into the white house

    June 8, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  16. Tejano

    Sounds like a conspiracy to me. The game is over and the opponents now decide that what was said is between them only and not the American Public.

    Sorry folks, Hillary opened my eyes to Obama and with or without her,
    he does not deserve me vote.

    The liberal media decided very early that Barak would be the candidate and they did everything in their power to hide his agenda and his followers. Too bad Hillary exposed him and now the Republicans will opoen the door even wider. The Ameican Public will not be fooled into opening the whitehouse to the Islamic Terrorists and our domestic terrorists.

    McCain will prevail in November. Middle America will make sure of that.

    June 8, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  17. gina

    Hey Folks,

    Mark is a repub. troll attempting to stir up trouble. Just ignore him!!

    June 8, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  18. Connie

    I was thrilled to see them get the press out of the way. It was so funny to see the media out side of Clinton home waiting and waiting for a story. Every thing is not for the media to report. Hope they learn a lesson.

    June 8, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  19. YES HR-2003

    I am Obama's supporter.

    Obama+Clinton=strong Democratic force against McCain.

    Yes We Can !!!

    June 8, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  20. McCain=the draft

    I don't know how anyone can go from voting for Hillary, to voting for McCain, unless race or emotion is playing a part.
    Hillary and Obama are polar opposites from McCain on the issues.
    In the end, it's the issues that matter!

    June 8, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  21. B. Churchill

    God save our nation from the spiteful ignoramuses who spew in these comments – its hard enough work for caring, involved citizens trying to improve our security and prosperity without having to tiptoe through the minefield of their hatred. Their mommas must be so proud...

    June 8, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  22. Mark

    True Democrats realize that the hate being spewed toward Obama is the product of the Republican dirty tricks machine.

    Pay attention. The Republicans will spew hatred toward any Democrat who is seeking to move this county forward.

    If Hillary were the nominee, the Internet would be filled with hatred toward the Clintons, supposedly authored by Obama supporters who are in reality tools of the Republican hate machine.

    Anyone who supports Hillary will work for a Democratic victory in November. Period.

    June 8, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    For those HIllary supporters, the way to truly sabotage everything she stood for and gained in this campaign is to either stay home or vote for McCain. Why on earth would you want to do that to her?

    June 8, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  24. YES WE CAN

    I believe alot of nasty, mad, angry posting are Rush Limbaugh Republicans trying to divide the Democratic Party.

    Please don't let the Republican's continue to ruin the country and the Democratic Party.

    A 60 yr. old Republican w/female voting for Barack Obama.


    June 8, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  25. RSP

    this Hillary supporter can't wait to vote for McCain in November. If the Democratic Party thinks it can treat women and Hillary like they have and we'll just fall in line behind Obama, they are crazy. Not going to happen. Hillary is just being politically correct to support Obama. She does not respect him, and neither do 6 million Hillaryites.

    June 8, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
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