Clinton praises Cheney's political prowess
September 18th, 2011
01:24 PM ET
10 years ago

Clinton praises Cheney's political prowess

(CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton said former Vice President Dick Cheney was playing politics when he suggested Secretary of State Hillary Clinton run for president in 2012 against President Barack Obama.

“I'm very proud of her. And so I'm always gratified whenever anyone says anything nice about her. And I very much agree that she's done a good job,” Clinton, a Democrat, said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “But I also have a high regard for Vice President Cheney's political skills. And I think one of those great skills is sowing discord among the opposition.”

Cheney, a Republican, floated the idea during interviews to promote his memoir, “In My Time,” when he praised the former New York senator and encouraged a primary contest on the other side of the aisle.

But Clinton said his wife, who lost the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination to then-Sen. Obama, is committed to her position in the Obama administration and doing a “heck of a job.”

“I think he, by saying something nice about her and the way he did it, knew that it might cause a little trouble,” Clinton said. “I don’t want to help him succeed in his political strategy, but I admire the fact that he’s still out there hitting the ball.”

Cheney, who appeared on the CBS program after Clinton, said he was not trying to stir discord with his remarks.

“I just thought … that the Democrats ought to have as much fun on their side of the aisle as we’re having on our side in figuring out who is going to run,” Cheney said.

Hillary Clinton has repeatedly shot down speculation that she may run for elected office after four years at the State Department, despite a recent poll showing her as the most popular politician in the United States.

Bill Clinton said the polls are simply an example of the political climate.

“She’d be the first to tell you that, you know, the further you get out of the line of fire, the more popular you’re likely to be,” Clinton said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I don’t think you can take that seriously. She’s secretary of state, she’s not president.”

Filed under: 2012 • Bill Clinton • Dick Cheney • Hillary Clinton
soundoff (145 Responses)
  1. FM

    I fully agree with Pres. Clinton. Cheney is playing the game of "divide and conquer" by injecting the psychology effect in Dems mind. Fortunately, Dems are smarter than Cheney thinks!

    September 18, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  2. ja

    Hitler had political prowess also, but what was he according to history

    September 18, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  3. Tom

    I think Hillary Clinton would make a great running mate for Obama in 2012.

    September 18, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  4. NVa Native

    Cheney deserves only scorn and rejection by all Americans – no matter who you are.

    September 18, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  5. jk

    ...That's what republicans do best: divide.

    September 18, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  6. Charlie from the North

    That's not really praise. I admire Karl Roves political skills but I still don't think his contribution to our nation amounts to a bucket of warm spit.

    September 18, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  7. Billy

    If the Democrats are smart, they will encourage VP Biden to step aside and allow Hillary to run as VP. Then in 2016 she will run for President and keep the Democrats in power until 2024.

    September 18, 2011 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  8. skarphace

    It is moderates and Independents who will choose our next President. However, it is Republicans who will choose who faces Obama. It is this decision that will affect the decision from moderates and Independents. Nominate anybody but Ron Paul and it will be 4 more years of Obama, regardless of those Republicans trying to 'sow discord' by claiming (falsely) that they support Hillary Clinton.

    Ron Paul 2012.

    September 18, 2011 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  9. Chipster

    Clinton has done a great job as Sect. of State but, as President, the GOP marketing machine would have done the same to her that they do to all of their enemies. Yes, I said enemies because that is how they very anyone who disagrees with them. Clinton would have be given the same mass email attacks – filled with misinformation, insinuations, and outright lies. Email servers are clogged with all the ridiculous false accusations from the GOP. Has anyone noticed that they all come from the right? I've seen no such emails from the Democratic side, certainly nothing to match the idiotic birther emails, outrageous accusations about vacation costs to taxpayers, & transfer of unpopular Bush policies to Obama (i.e. Bush's YR2008 bailouts). There is nothing too extreme for the far right to accept without question. I only wish the Democrats would spread the truth as effectively as the GOP has been at spreading the lies.

    September 18, 2011 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  10. Scott S.

    Maybe HIllary Clinton would've been tougher, but I don't know that things would've been any different. She had the idea from the start to go to a universal healthcare system. She ran on that back in 2008. President Obama enacted a health care act that doesn't come anywhere near a universal system and it's labeled "socialist" and "unconstitutional." I'm convinced, especially after running on jobs, jobs, jobs and presenting NO jobs bill, that conservatives have one goal, and that's power. Their goal is to regain the offices of Washington, not to solve our problems. Obama's hands have been tied since the moment he took the oath of office.

    September 18, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  11. ThinkAgain

    "Hillary Clinton is a Democrat and I can promise you that if she had won instead of Barack Obama, nothing would have changed."

    BINGO! Republicans hate Democrats and Democratic policies because they favor long-term growth, investment in our country and her people, and promote the general welfare, not just the welfare of the rich.

    September 18, 2011 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  12. The Greedy Old Pigs have lost their minds!

    Clinton may have a point. Cheney convinced the GOBPbagger cult that deficits don't matter, at least for as long as the crazy GOBP cult is responsible for creating those deficits. That's some pretty heavy-duty mind mojo there. Or maybe it just happened because the cultists are so brainwashed they've become mental and emotional toddlers with the intellectual development of a small rodent. Caring for the greedy and not the needy is not the basis for a viable political platform.

    September 18, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  13. N&W 1000

    Preach it Brother Cheney! Amen! Draft Hillary now.
    The only thing you did NOT say was...
    Barack Obama is a clueless, incompetent, BOOB!!!!

    September 18, 2011 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  14. ThinkAgain

    "Caring for the greedy and not the needy is not the basis for a viable political platform."


    September 18, 2011 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  15. L0GIC

    Run Hillary Run........Obama is causing so much discord and strife with his class warfare.

    September 18, 2011 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  16. Larry L

    Dick Cheney is the last person on Earth I would trust to say or do anything honorable. In a just world he would be in prison. He is an elitist corporate facist trying to operate in a democracy.

    September 18, 2011 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  17. Veteran

    More proof of the minuscule difference between the Democrat and Republican parties.

    September 18, 2011 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  18. ThinkAgain

    Even if you're unhappy with President Obama, consider this when you vote this November 2012:

    Whomever is elected POTUS will nominate 1 or more Supreme Court justices. Right now, we've got John Roberts who brought the Citizens United case before the court (highly irregular) which gives corporations and foreign entities the opportunity to give unlimited and undisclosed amounts of money to influence US elections.

    Also on the court is Clarence Thomas, whose interpretation of the Constitution is based on the times in which the founders wrote it. Repeat: He is looking at our century through the lens of the mid- to late 1700s.

    He calls this being a "strict Constitutionalist." I call it ignoring precedence and being an activist judge, intent on turning the clock back on our country. (Not to mention being incredibly egocentric, to think that his interpretation is the correct one, 100s of years of rulings notwithstanding.)

    So ask yourself when you vote: Do you want to go forward as a nation or backward? Do you want to turn our country over to anti-science, fundamentalists who worship money over everything, who think all our government should do is pay for defense and all other services should be priced based on supply and demand, to heck with those in need, without a sense of community, taking the "united" out of the "United States"?

    Because that's what our choice is: Forward (Democrats) or backward (Republicans).

    September 18, 2011 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  19. Bob

    President Obama is horrendously bad...and I voted for him in 2008. In retrospect the Democrats should have done the responsible thing and nominated Hillary in the first place. Just no substance, experience or staff support there. Chicago impostors in way over their heads. Will probably vote for Romney this time around. Oh well...

    September 18, 2011 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  20. DENNA

    @Four and The Door – So the Democrats are stuck trying to run Obama again in 2012? Seriously, they can do better than that. I am of course not a Democrat because I disagree with their party philosophies about how things work, but there are so many Democrats who could make a better showing than Obama right now. Certainly someone can step up and at least give them a fighting chance of getting a few electoral votes in 2012.
    Four and the Door, why don't YOU run for president. You are so full of snarkey remarks and criticism of President Obama that I assume that you would be able to do much better. In fact, I assume that you would have the entire country up and running in two years or less. Since you are obviously a conservative, why don't you get on the Rethugs in Congress to pass a jobs bill so that this country can get moving. If we had more working people paying taxes, the deficit would be a lot lower. Come on, run for president, please.

    September 18, 2011 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  21. chuck

    IF Hillary ran she would win.

    September 18, 2011 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  22. Rod from Indy

    So it wasn't really praise. It was more like saying Darth Vader was good at killing somebody. Oh, I forgot. Cheney IS Vader.

    September 18, 2011 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  23. Sam

    As always, Clinton is very eloquent! I really love Slick Willy!

    September 18, 2011 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  24. SecedingfromTexas

    @Thi;nk again:
    Amen to that. Sadly, none of the tea partiers know how to think. They just know how to sign pledges and applaud

    September 18, 2011 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  25. DJ

    Divide and conquer! Lies and fear! The Republican way!

    September 18, 2011 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
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