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. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    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
    How very true California Gary.
    I agree with you.

    September 11, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  2. moonghaelela

    Clinton wants Obama to win making it much easier for a Hillary run in 2016.

    September 11, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  3. normajean @ verizon ,com

    WHY IS THIS SUCH A SURPRISE TO EVERYONE???BILL CLINTON HAS ALWAYS OUTSHOWN ANYONE AROUND HIM...HE IS JUST ONE OF THOSE MAGICAL PERSONALTIES.....JUST HAPPY HE'S ON OUR SIDE.....OUR PRESIDENT DID A FINE JOB BUT HE WOULDN;T KID HIMSELF ABOUT NOT SHINING AS BRIGHTLY AS CLINTON....WHO COULD??.........I do wish you people would get over the idea that Obama wasn't trying to work with the Republicans.,......are you just misinformed or have you already forgotten the MITCH MCCONNELL directive about not working with our president that started with his inauguration???

    September 11, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  4. Ann

    Harry Bradford
    Who cares, as long as the two of them are on the same page?

    What's wrong with you? You forgot 2008 or you are one of the Obamabots? Bill is playing politics now, I don't blame him. But he is not that stupid to believe in Mr. Obama. He didn't 4 years ago, why would he believe now?

    September 11, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  5. insight iowa

    They BOTH are doing a great job. Clinton is defining Obama and his policies to those who are having difficult understanding them and Obama continues to make the policies to protect the middle class and poor of America. Republican/Business Owner/Educated/God Loving voting straight Democratic Ticket 2012.

    September 11, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  6. skytag

    More people thought an old man talking to an empty chair was the highlight than their candidate's speech. How sad is that? I'm sure Clint was very impressive. It takes a lot of courage to pretend you're mocking someone who isn't there to defend himself.

    September 11, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  7. JamesB

    These remembrances are fine and nice, and oh so political. So Ryan saw the smoke, and what did he do about it? Romney wants to embrace the people that have since fought for it's revenge, even if he couldn't find it in his heart to mention them in his RNC acceptance speech.
    For me, it was a little different. I was there, living in Manhattan, when it happened. The worst part of that first week was the fear we had commuting to work, always feeling like the subway might get blown up...that's what shock does to you. The best part was the way we came together as a city. Me, and many of my friends spent weeks working with food banks and making necessary needs for those that had been displaced available. People want to say the best thing we did to react to the attacks was to fight back, and go right at the throat of the problem...Afghanistan or Iraq. But I say the best thing that came out of it was seeing a city step up to help the victims, commemorate the fighters that lost their lives, and to those that didn't, in trying to save what was salvable. And lastly, that we never stopped thinking that, collectively, you can alter our landscape but you can not change our regular lives. By October, NYC was back in full swing, not exactly like "nothing happened," but that we are, and were bigger than any damage you could inflict.

    September 11, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  8. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    He and his 2008 campaign trashed the Clintons, he wouldn't be able to do anything without them, and he is an inspiration?
    Hey Ann, you want an order of fries to go with that whopper? And maybe a large drink to help you swallow it?

    September 11, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Ann wrote:

    oor woman.. you have a problem if you are still inspired by Mr. Obama. The guy needs help to be taken seriously and you find this inspirational? He and his 2008 campaign trashed the Clintons, he wouldn't be able to do anything without them, and he is an inspiration? Your judgement is upside down.
    Actually, Ann, it was the Clintons who threw the first blows below the belt, especially Bill with this derogatory, and YES racist, remark in SC just before the Iowa caucuses. To this day I still believe that Bill is the reason Hillary lost in both Iowa and New Hampshire. Barack Obama didn't force Bill Clinton to make his snide remarks. That was all on Bill, and Hillary forced herself into a no-win scenario where she had to defend him, or try to put some positive spin on it. She would have been better off with a public apology, especially after Bill's 2nd racist remark within a week.

    September 11, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  10. truth hurts

    clinton has substance, he's a leader. obama is an empty suit, with no original ideas, that gives speeches and attacks people. No knows nothing about leading. they aren't in the same universe, let alone league. it is why obama has tried to cling to bill clinton and ride his coatails to re-election hoping voters will mistake clinton's successes for obama's. bottom line: another Obama smoke and mirror show mean't to deceive the American people and distract form the current obama jobs depression.

    September 11, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  11. rosethornne

    At the republican convention, the best speech was given by the empty chair. After that, the Democrats had nowhere to go but up.

    September 11, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  12. Matthew Jones

    Does it really matter? Clinton made a compelling speech about Obama's plight and platform. Which is very similar to Clinton's when he was in office. If anyone is saying, "I'd rather vote for Clinton," you should recognize that it would almost be the same. I think this is visible in the fact that the former President is supporting someone who defeated his wife in the Democratic primary. He wouldn't have done that, if he didn't believe in what Obama was doing.

    September 11, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  13. Zenger Folkman

    "Is former President Bill Clinton overshadowing the current president?" Who cares? Clinton is not running for president and Romney is losing ground with every poll. We are sitting in the catbird seat. Clinton is irrelevant.

    September 11, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  14. Thomas

    Bill is like a loveble ,sometimes craby Grandfather who learned from his mistakes. He's like Carter without hostages !

    A true Southern Gentlemen .

    September 11, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  15. Lynda/Minnesota

    Pander Bear

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

    Apparently CNN is trying to fit itself into the Republican talking point that Mr. Clinton really wasn't (or didn't) endorse President Obama, either in his words, or his nomination of President Obama. Fascinating to read the comments from the right, isn't it?

    Rather fascinating, isn't it?

    @Woman in California

    We have to forgive @Ann her little foibles. In the past three years, she's been for Hillary ... then Gingrich ... then Romney ... and now Bill Clinton.

    September 11, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  16. SomeNameHere

    No problem. Bill Clinton is a good person to have outshine you for a day. Just win the election baby and I don't care.

    September 11, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  17. ep451

    I think there is a difference, being “outshined” by Clinton vs. Eastwood?

    September 11, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  18. lB Colorado

    If Clinton ran, he would win hands down. I think Obama knows that, you have to be a real fool to not see that. I don't see Obama as the "peoples" president, I don't see his outpouring of love of the USA or anything that we stand for. But, I would soooooo invite him to a family bbq, he does have personality plus.

    September 11, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  19. Fast in furious

    Obama is still hiding from Fast in Furious, this will turn out bad for him and his best buddy Eric,

    September 11, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  20. Anthony in California

    Its better to be out-shined by a bright Clinton, then a dull Eastwood.

    I'll take it.
    Whatever helps Obama win in November.

    Then on to 2016 for either Hillary or Warren.
    Republicans better bring that chair, the table, the sink and possibly a sofa next time, they're gonna need it.

    September 11, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  21. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ normajean@verizon.com
    Oh I don't know normajean, you and I are normally in agreement but I respectfully would like to point out that while this was by no means Obama's BEST speech they shouldn't even be compared because they were two different types of speeches.
    The only bar that Obama has to surpass is the one he himself has set when it comes to speeches. Bill Clinton spoke for 48 minutes trying to educate listeners on issues like medicare, and welfare, and the right wing's all consuming hatred of this President at the expense of the country. The President's speech was an acceptace speech where he reflected on his candidacy, confirmed the responsiblities of being president and reminded us of our roles as citizens to commit to and protect the change that we are bringing about as a nation.

    September 11, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  22. ghostriter

    Republicans who have been trashing Clinton for years suddenly have a new found love for him. That is laughable.

    I don't recall much from Clinton's years, but I don't remember hearing about a record number of filibusters taking place. I don't recall all this hubbub over simple, routine appointments. I don't recall republicans being against every single thing Clinton offered up. I'd be willing to bet that the republican congressional voting records would indicate not one republican voted less than 98% of the time against Obama. That 2% involving the tax deal of 2010 and the republican backed debt deal of 2011.

    September 11, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |

    A prevert always out shines a failed community leader among democrats..

    September 11, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  24. simp

    @IB colorado

    I beg the differ. Clinton won before because he got the black vote, not so much this time if he was to run against President Obama, the Prez would crush him with the black vote hands down.

    September 11, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  25. calvin

    if any of you kool aid drinker had a brain cell that work you woulf not reelece any one from both partys.

    September 11, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
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