June 7th, 2009
09:45 AM ET
13 years ago

Clinton: Obama has 'absolutely' passed '3 a.m.' test

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/07/art.bohrc0607.gi.jpg caption=" Secretary of State Clinton described the president as strong, thoughtful, and decisive in an interview that aired Sunday.]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says President Obama has answered the central question that she raised about him when she was his chief rival for the Democratic presidential nomination.

In an interview with ABC's "This Week" broadcast Sunday, Clinton was asked about her famous "3 a.m." ad last year, which questioned whether Obama was the right candidate to handle a middle-of-the-night international crisis.

"Has the president answered it for you?" host George Stephanopoulos asked.

"Absolutely," Clinton replied. "And, you know, the president, in his public actions and demeanor, and certainly in private with me and with the national security team, has been strong, thoughtful, decisive, I think he is doing a terrific job. And it's an honor to serve with him."

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. kim

    Hillary I absolutely respect you, you are doing a great job, but we all know that you can't say what you really want to.

    June 7, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  2. Meredith

    3 a.m. test? What national crisis have we had at 3 a.m.? Anybody know? I don't like my time wasted by politicians playing politicis. If President Obama has "sailed through" a national crisis at 3 a.m. and done a great job, as Secretary of State Clinton is saying, then say what it was for goodness sakes. Otherwise, stop trying to act like he has done something that makes this newsworthy. This is just PR plain and simple. But I'm wondering why she felt the need to try and "improve" his image this way. Is his ratings falling?

    June 7, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  3. CTR

    B.O.'s handlers called this one right. Brought her in close and totally muzzled her and made her somewhat inconsequential. She wasn’t my favorite, but of the two, I would have voted for her instead of him. She is little more than a wall ornament, speaking the party line when her cord is pulled.

    June 7, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  4. Steph I. From Boston

    Well humility seems to have caught up with some people eh?

    June 7, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  5. Michele

    I love Hillary! I think she is a wonderful Secretary of State, and I have to wonder if the critics on the right don't wish it were SHE in the White House now that they did so much to keep her out. Would the word 'socialist" be on all their talking points papers?

    June 7, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  6. Sean

    I don't fault her for the way she answered, I fault George for even asking it. It was a softball that he knew would allow Hillary to talk up all the great things she(supposedly) see's in Obama and repeat White House talking points. Which I'm sure George knows given his daily strategy briefs with Rahm, Carville, and Begala.

    June 7, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  7. Meka

    Mrs. Clinton, is becoming a very smart and wise Sec. of State!

    June 7, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  8. Yes we did

    How about this, her ad was meant to scare and divide American's, just like the ads that were played by conservatives since the 60's. It had no validity then and it has none now. What we want and what we voted for was a President with wisdom, vision, leadership skills, and the intelligence to do the right thing whether it's 3:00 am or 3:00 pm.

    June 7, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  9. Paige

    Hillary is smart and knows what she has to say publicly, but I would love to be a fly on the wall to hear what she says about BO when she comes home at night.

    June 7, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  10. Sam

    The once mighty Clinton's nothing but little KAs now.....what the quest for power will do to people.

    June 7, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  11. Jonathan

    Well ... she's right. She was right to question him in the campaign, because she did have much more experience. And, she's right in that so far, he has proven his competence.

    June 7, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  12. maurice from ontario

    During the campaign in 2008, there were lots of thing said in order to "tilt the advantage" toward the person who expressed them. Many times, these things were often based on conjecture, rather than fact. There is no doubt that either Barack Obama or Hilary Clinton would be able to lead this country back closer to its values and place in the world. History will show that Barack Obama managed to win his party's nomination and was then elected POTUS.

    I am proud of Hilary Clinton, not only for the campaign she ran at the time, but for her integrity in supporting Barack Obama,once he had won the Democrats' nomination. I am even more proud of her for her acceptance to serve as one of the most influential people in the President's Cabinet. As Secretary of State, she comes up front and personal with all major dilemmas and decisions. It is beautiful to see the teamwork that exists in this Cabinet and to witness the friendship between Hilary and POTUS>

    June 7, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  13. shirley.roybal

    hillary has my respect always, can she tell me why he hasn't yet answered the call on the housing crisis or why banks are not helping people to refinance.

    June 7, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  14. Olivia

    I was not the biggest fan of her during the primary but she doing an awesome job and I wish she will make a run for Prez.

    June 7, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  15. csh

    There is nobody who is smarter, more well-informed or stronger than Hillary Clinton.

    We are lucky to have her serving the public in any capacity.

    She is the anti-Sarah Palin!

    June 7, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  16. katiec

    What a great team we have. President Obama and Sec of State Hillary Clinton have the same goals, lead, honor and protect the future of our great nation. With the issues she faces, Hillary has no time for the pettiness and the intelligence to know our country is more important. We have representatives that not only listen, but HEAR what other have to say.
    What a welcome and needed change.

    June 7, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  17. Dawn in Pa

    President Obama is a very smart man. He picked Hillary to be his SOS. She was First Lady and she knew alot of the leaders and even though I felt she might not have been ready to be POTUS, but in time she could be. She is still young enough and she is quite smart.and in my book she is making a big difference in the Obama administration.

    As for the 3 AM call, he has had many, and he is handling it, he is not calling forth the nukes to bomb North Korea, he is doing things the way a President is suppose to act!

    June 7, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  18. vegage

    That's my girls in action, I just love her. So happy she is doing a marvelous job showing the world what truly United States is about. Definitely United States is back in town as a good neighbor working with it's partners, not lecturing them.

    June 7, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  19. Mark

    Just another politically motivated statement from the "evil step-mother". I just wonder how long it will take for people to realize it is all about the power with this person. She would sell everything down the river to get a chance at being top dog....

    June 7, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  20. She landed in Bosnia under fire

    We're never going to end these wars. These 2 are more worried about what type of clothes they are wearing and our troops keep getting pushed into impossible situations.

    This isn't news. Obama flipped on war, torture, spying, spending, bailouts, etc.

    We need to have an open public discussion about our foreign policy. The people need to decide if our country is going to be ran by corrupt, incompetent mouth pieces who put our children in harm's way or by a defend the U.S. borders policy.

    June 7, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  21. Ted van Tol

    A great woman and a great President.
    America, count your blessings.
    I predicted he would be President 5 years ago and
    that he would be respected all over the world. Now he
    is, I am afraid because I also predicted he would be not safe
    in his own country and that he will be killed by a right wing extremist.
    I pray, and hope that this predicton will never come true.
    I realy love your President and so are millions all over the world.
    To all the haters I say, I am so sorry you cannot enjoy this once in
    your life time President.

    Now CNN, please post my comment for once!

    Ted van Tol
    The Netherlands

    June 7, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  22. Marcus Tate

    Still cannot stand Hillary Clinton. She is a proven liar, a known thief, and a weasel who will say whatever she has to to get what she wants. She cannot be trusted. I am sorry Obama made her Secretary of State. She does no belong in this Administration – she is a product of the days gone by. She would have fit in better in the Bush Administration. I absolutely hate her.

    June 7, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  23. Kevin B

    Those vested in ensuring fear and divisivness the world will keep fighting this administration's pragmatism and progress on the international front.

    These parties are the right wing of the GOP and thier millionaire "radio host" and the Islamic etxremist"

    The similarities between the GOP wing nuts and Al Queada are uncanny.

    June 7, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  24. hn

    While Hillary is terrific, she showed her weakness during the election which caused her the nomination. She did not prepare well or correctly and she miscalculated. These are extremely important deficiencies which a president cannot possess.

    Think about this:
    She did not know the demo. primary election rules for California going into the elections. She did not know the Texas cacuss rules. She also showed her lack of knowledge of the south asian continent in some of her off the cuff remarks. But she is smart, competent and will do a great job when directed well.

    June 7, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  25. Scott

    not bashing Hil, but this is what is disgusting about politics....either she was campaigning and not being honest, or she is now publicly lying about her opinion about BO. In politics, power and title are more important than integrity.

    June 7, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
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