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. joe dokes

    In the end, the Republicans are searching for any cold water to throw on the Dems. This is just one example. As usual, the repubs who jump on this bandwagon, or the "We Build It" nonsense, are simply fooling themselves. Suggestion: come up with a candidate in 2016 who isn't a multi-multi millionaire and who also doesn't cater to the Tea Party at all. Is that even possible anymore?

    September 11, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  2. Judi

    What is wrong with people. President Clinton is an orator on a different level from most people. President Obama showed his respect and admiration for the senior statesman. The former President did his job. He outlined all of the issues of this election and he did it with class. He didn't even do it with all of the animosity that seems to be in this campaign.

    September 11, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  3. scieng1

    It is sad that someone who was disbarred for lying to Congress, Impeached, and who has a long record of abusing women was the major speaker at any political party, much less one that espouses human rights. It is no wonder that he upstaged Obama, whose record of corruption is worse than Clinton's. At least Clinton promoted a healthy economy.

    September 11, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  4. ghostriter

    I would much rather be outshined by a former president than a former actor.

    If these walls could talk, Clint would hold a conversation with them.

    September 11, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  5. Bill

    Who cares if Bill Clinton "outshone" President Obama at the convention? It is what Clinton said in his speech, about the fundamental differences between the practices and philosophy of the Democratic Party versus those of the Republican Party, that truly matter. His main theme will resonate well with most Americans: do you want to try to make it solely on your own, or should we go forward as a nation TOGETHER? Personally, I think working together to achieve something greater than an individual goal is the American way.

    September 11, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  6. Mike H.

    Bill outshines Barack?
    It's called Charisma.

    September 11, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    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.
    Quite true Lynda.
    Romney has run one of the worst campaigns in modern history. The pundits are wont to say that the way the candidate runs his campaign is a very good indicator of how he'll govern. We are then to conclude that Romney will govern from a place of instability, and ies. His inability to commit to a stance or an issue has been setting off alarms not only amongst Independents but among Republicans as well. His willingness to lie and stick to his lie in spite of facts to the contrary makes him dangerous. It also makes me wary of any negotiations he would have with world leaders, and of our safety as a nation under a Romney presidency.
    While "misspeaking" and "equivocating" while at Bain may have proved to be financially rewarding for Romney and other individuals, said behaviour can have DIRE consequences for the leader of a nation and the naiton itself. Indeed it would most certainly put the nation, and it's security at great peril.
    Obama 2012. Seriously Americans.

    September 11, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  8. truth hurts

    no great accomplishment by clinton. after 4 years of obama failure, a 15 watt bulb could out shine obama.

    September 11, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  9. lou

    I get the feeling Obama could care less. He seems to like to work behind the scenes anyway.

    September 11, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  10. tom wittmann

    There is not a slightest doubt that Bill Clinton's speech was by far better than Obama's, especially by exposing the situation versus the GOP clearly, which the outrageous incapable Mr. AXELROD and Ms.STEPHANY CUTTER, which the President should have fired long time ago, were and are not capable to do.

    But by doing so, he cut away the best high points which otherwise would be included in Obama's speech, which the latter now was not able to do, as it would have been a repetition

    In my opinion, Clinton should have spoken immediately before Obama (instead of BIDEN), forming a sole unit, and Obama should have begun his speech ""I will not repeat here what Bill just so brillantly and clearky told you....""

    Anyway: compared with what ROMNEY and RYAN performed (which have no Bill, only Clint!!) , the results were more than satisfactory

    September 11, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  11. RudyG

    Clinton is a better speaker, a better negotiator, a better president! If Clinton were president we would not have the economic stagnation we have right now. He understood the importance of the private sector, while Obama alienates it and attacks it. I'm an independent who voted for Obama, but give me a choice between the two in an election, and it's no contest. And yes, throw in Romney and he would come in second. We need someone who understands ALL of the facets of economic stimulation.

    September 11, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  12. DJ

    I don't give a hoot as long as BC is telling folks what they need to know so that they can understand the better vote to keep moving forward!!

    September 11, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  13. California Gary

    What it says is that Obama is not afraid to surround himself with the best and the brightest......I like that in my president. Some politicians try to ensure that nobody in the room or on the stage is brighter than they are......it's an ego thing. Obama wants the best available in the room or on the stage with him.......that's a good thing.

    September 11, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  14. Steve

    I'm not sure what your point is – clearly a sitting President needs to give a speech that is 'Presidential', which would make it much less rhetorical than one that a former President would give. I think they set it up perfectly...

    September 11, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  15. Name miss di

    Nope! He did what he's great at! That is all!

    September 11, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  16. ghostriter

    scieng1, can you tell us why congress was so interested in who Clinton was doing? And is it really a stretch to find out that a man lied about cheating on his wife? I know Newt immediately came forward after he did so. Both times. But the question remains.....If Clinton broke no laws, why was there an investigation?

    September 11, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  17. ll

    Bill had his day, and a good one it was. But his job now is a very effective statesman. America realizes that.

    September 11, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  18. Packman 1001

    @scieng1 Who really cares that he had an affair? He wasn't the first and he won't be the last. However, look at George W. Bush. He may have been loyal to his wife....maybe, but he wrecked the economy. The GOP likes to say that they are all about personal freedoms, but if they are, why are they always trying to get into everyone's bedroom? Hypocrites much!

    September 11, 2012 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  19. Canuck

    The Repubs should be ashamed and embarassed that they do not have a former President with the stature and popularity of Clinton, they hide their's away and hope everyone has a short memory!!!!

    September 11, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  20. Pander Bear

    Uh, Clinton's speech was pretty much one long compliment about Obama, his philosophy and his policies. So this is 'controversial' why?

    September 11, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  21. Ancient Texan

    Obama hasn't ANYTHING he can run on and Clinton isn't running, so what did this bit of smoke and mirrors accomplish? If Obama can't see that the $6 trillion that he spent in 3 1/2 yrs did nothing to help the economy or jobs ., then I'd say it's the DIMS that have a math problem

    September 11, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  22. Doreen Johnson

    Obama/Bill – the one-two punch. Dems another 4 years, Republicans? Zero. They are a great team!!

    September 11, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  23. larry

    Clinton will take all the votes away from Obama as a write in even though he can't be elected again. LOL

    September 11, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  24. Timothy

    Obama needed Clinton to speak on his behalf because his record the last 4 years is terrible. Romney/Ryan 2012

    September 11, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  25. cjg

    If I had someone on my side like Clinton (either) I wouild say shine on and do not hide it under a bushel! I have a feeling Pres Obama is quite happy to have Bill Clinton to shine so brightly!

    September 11, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
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