Poll: Clinton outshines Obama?
September 11th, 2012
08:32 AM ET
10 years ago

Poll: Clinton outshines Obama?

(CNN) - Is former President Bill Clinton overshadowing the current president?

According to a new poll, more people say that the former president's speech was the highlight from last week's Democratic convention rather than the acceptance address given by President Barack Obama.

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A Pew Research Center survey indicates that 29% of national adults who watched at least a little coverage of the Charlotte, North Carolina convention said that Clinton's Wednesday night address was the highlight, with 16% saying the same thing about Obama's Thursday night speech and 15% saying that first lady Michelle Obama's Tuesday night address was the highlight.

During his 48-minute long speech, Clinton formally entered Obama's name into nomination.

Obama may be in good company. The poll also indicates that 20% of those who watched at least a little coverage of the Republican convention, held in Tampa, Florida the previous week, said that actor Clint Eastwood's impromptu speech was the highlight, slightly edging out the 17% who said that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's acceptance address was the highlight.

The Pew Research Center poll was conducted Sept. 7-9, with 1,012 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.

- CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this story

soundoff (216 Responses)
  1. Gurgyl

    Well, it is also GOP drama, why is this matter as to who outshine who??? Clinton is a good guy, so is Obama. Obama12.

    September 11, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  2. mlwags

    Who cares if Uncle Bill out shined the POTUS? Whatever it takes to go FORWARD 2012

    September 11, 2012 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  3. yasmine

    former President Clinton deserves a lot of credit...he did not outshine President Obama in my book...but he did his part..and he did it beautifully..

    what makes the GOP nervous is the effectiveness of former President Clinton and his alliance with President Obama..

    Job well done, Mr Clinton!

    September 11, 2012 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  4. Hotdog

    That is the very problem with this country-divisiveness. Both men support the same issues and desire the same results to the issues facing this country. It's very unfortunate that their is a fungus or force amongst us the continually try to divide us. Divisiveness is going to be the thing to destroy this country.

    September 11, 2012 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  5. vic , nashville ,tn

    "If you can't beat Barack Obama with this record, then shut down the party. Shut it down. Start new, with new people."
    Conservative Laura Ingraham

    This comment whispering in my ear past 18 hrs
    Thanks to President Bill Clinton

    September 11, 2012 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  6. Critical Thinking

    Clinton outshines Obama? Everyday and twice on Sunday. Since Presidetn Incomplete doesn't have much of a record to run on, he is trying his best to ride on the success of a former president. But who amongst us are surprised by that. First he blamed Bush and Republicans for his lack of success, now he wants you to believe he is just like Bill Clinton. What a pretneder -in-chief he is..It's time: BO MUST GO !

    September 11, 2012 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  7. onlyfacts

    DNC – optimism, truth, hope. RNC – gloom & doom, lies, boring, weird, robotic, are you kidding me, disrespecful, anger, and on and on and.....

    September 11, 2012 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  8. Facts don't LIE

    I would tend to agree...although Obama gave his typical great speech Bill Clinton hit the GOP on it ALL and was very effective. In a way Clinton had to do that because it Obama had done it the far right would claim he was "whining and blaming Bush again for everything" But no matter how you look at it Obama was NOT outshone by an aging actor talking to an empty chair.

    September 11, 2012 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  9. Ancient Texan

    Bill did spin out a spectacular speech...EGO aflame and 2016 and Hillary as his target.

    September 11, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  10. Lizzie

    So who much did Pres.Clinton get paid for his speech, his charges are from $500000 to $1 million.
    Pres.Obamas speech was the same as in 2008 with just a few words rearranged.

    September 11, 2012 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  11. ugh

    It's prettty hard to NOT outshine Obama!

    September 11, 2012 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  12. commonsense

    So what, Clint Eastwood out shinned Romney.

    September 11, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Clinton speech was extremely crucial and important because Clinton said what the President COULD NOT, WOULD NOT, SHOULD NOT. Primarily, Bill Clinton gave voice to what millions of us are convinced of and that is that the Republican Party hates President Obama, and that their number one goal is NOT to work with him but to "bury" him and make him a one-term President even at the expense of the ENTIRE country.
    So, yeah, Bill's speech was VERY, VERY, important. People needed to hear everything he said. And they did.
    Obama 2012. Period.

    September 11, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  14. Ed1

    Anybody outshines Obama including Carter.

    September 11, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  15. Republican supporter of President Obama

    Clinton is doing what the previous Bush presidents cannot....stand on their record.

    September 11, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  16. Louis in Texas

    There's no question that while Obama is a very good speaker, Clinton is a great one, and was at the top of his game at the convention. That Eastwood's "speech" was considered by many to be a highlight over Romney's seems to indicate that popularity was a key factor. I enjoy Eastwood, and got what he was doing, but it was pretty bumbling. Or perhaps it indicates Romney's speech was lackluster. The post-convention poll results suggest the President will be pleased to have Clinton out-speak him anytime in the next two months: the former President was able to express clearly all that Obama has accomplished better than the President has been able to do.

    September 11, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |

    Clinton: The Explainer In Chief

    Obama: The Motivator in Chief

    September 11, 2012 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  18. Erin

    Of course Clinton's speech outshined Obama's. Clinton sang Obama's praises for the past 4 years, and highlighted his successes, and the failures of the Republicans. "So, basically the GOP is saying, we screwed up for 8 years, but because you couldn't fix it fast enough, go ahead and give power back to us so we can screw it up some more".

    If Obama said those things.. he would be viewed as "egotistical, blaming Bush, etc.". That's why he let's the "Big Attack Dog" Clinton have the fun.. and then he comes in with a great, but more serious speech.

    I think Obama is much happier being "upstaged' by Clinton then Romney is about being "upstaged" by Eastwood.

    September 11, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  19. Evergreen

    All of the speakers delivered but Clinton was at his best.

    September 11, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  20. Rick McDaniel

    Obama is not really doing anything good for the country, but the people WANT to believe he is, and they will vote for him, in spite of the fact there are NO indicators of any improvement in our economy, whatsoever.

    Clinton is still considered to have been President during good economic times, but people are so uninformed, they don't know he had a GOP Congress for most of his years as President, that made him look good. They also don't remember that the economy was already declining in his last 2 yrs.

    They also forget.......he is a total liar.

    The people of America have been brainwashed by the Democratic Party, into believing total fiction.

    September 11, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  21. David Taylor Jr.

    I believe it.... Clinton has way more charisma than the current President.

    September 11, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  22. demwit

    Wasn't that his purpose? HELLO!!

    September 11, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  23. Mikey

    Now that's too funny. More people thought the Eastwood fiasco than Romney's speech?

    As far as Clinton vs. Obama – Who cares? They are on the same team. Clinton builds a case in a speech better than anyone I have seen. Obama is one of the most inspiring speakers of our generation. They are both great speakes in their own way and they are both great men. What may be more telling is that of the 10 best speeches in both conventions, at least eight were at the DNC – a much, much better convention. Better speakers, better ideas, and a better case for America's future.

    September 11, 2012 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  24. Sandy

    Clinton's speech was better and more informative than Obama's, but he did not UPSTAGE Obama. You saw how the crowd reacted to the President. They LOVE him. Republicans are just jealous because they could see the President's supporters LOVE him, but Romney supporters don't love Romney, they just hate the President.

    Jealousy is a terrible thing! LOL

    September 11, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  25. Lynda/Minnesota

    If the media (and Republican pundits) want to keep protecting Mitt Romney, so be it. That the man is dangerously unfit to become President of the United States hasn't escaped the media's attention or a majority of Republicans attention either. Yet, to keep TV ratings up, they (media and Republicans alike) neglect the important issues and push the absurd.

    Polls are useful only if the polls reflect the truth. To lower stats simply to keep ratings going (or push a particular candidate using particular terminology to get a particular result) is an utter disservice to America and it's people.

    Mitt Romney has run a useless and inept campaign. To suggest that he is somehow (having run one the worst of campaigns ever) the best candidate for America is doing more harm than good to America. His campaign alone ought to bring truth to just how unfit the man is in dealing with any number of complicated issues. It is not his surrogates running the show; it is Romney himself running the show ... and doing a very poor job at it, too. How to expect he'd run a country as complicated as America any better than he runs his campaign is beyond comprehension.

    I don't relish a repeat of GW Bush simply to appease the media and it's need for TV ratings.

    September 11, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
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