Obama and Bill Clinton Respond to Clinton Ad


Barack Obama responded to Hillary Clinton ‘s ad. The video is above and the transcript follows:

I do want to take a moment to respond, because the press is, I’m sure, curious, to an ad that Senator Clinton is apparently running today. It asks a legitimate question. It says, who do you want answering the phone in the White House when it’s 3:00 a.m. and something has happened in the world. It’s a legitimate question. And we’ve seen these ads before. They’re usually the kind that play upon people’s fears and try to scare up votes.

I don’t think these ads will work this time because the question is not about picking up the phone. The question is, what kind of judgment will you exercise when you pick up that phone. In fact, we have had a red phone moment; it was the decision to invade Iraq.

Senator Clinton gave the wrong answer. George Bush gave the wrong answer. John McCain gave the wrong answer. I stood up and I said that a war in Iraq would be unwise. It cost us thousands of lives and billions of dollars. I said that it would distract us from the real threat that we face, and that we should take the fight to al Qaeda in Afghanistan. That’s the judgment I made on the most important foreign policy decision of our generation.

I will never see the threat of terrorism as a way to scare up votes, because it’s a threat that should rally the country around our common enemies. That is the judgment we need at 3:00 a.m., and that’s the judgment that I am running for as president of the United States of America.

Obama wins the exchange on two levels. He debunks the argument of the ad by giving us good reason to hope that if there is such a crisis it is Barack Obama and not Hillary Clinton or John McCain who is making the decisions. Obama also provides another contrast between how he campaigns and how Clinton campaigns.

Hillary Clinton certainly should have known better than to resort to an ad such as this. She should have taken the advice of Bill Clinton while campaigning for John Kerry in 2004:

Now, one of Clinton’s laws of politics is this. If one candidate is trying to scare you and the other one is try get you to think, if one candidate is appealing to your fears and the other one is appealing to your hopes, you better vote for the person who wants you to think and hope.


Many have compared Clinton’s ad to LBJ’s Daisy Ad from 1964 (video above). While there are comparisons, at least I don’t find Clinton’s ad to be as bad as Johnson’s.

Obama Responds to Fear with Judgment


While Hillary Clinton is resorting to fear in her ad, Obama showed who should be answering the phone in a crisis in the ad above ad from last fall.

While Obama has a strong argument based upon judgment based upon his opposition to the war, Clinton’s claims of experience are more questionable. Clinton did not have security clearance, did not attend National Security Council meetings, and as First Lady had limited involvement in national security issues.

The Obama campaign has released the following response to Clinton’s ad:

“We don’t think the ad is going to be effective at all. Senator Clinton already had her red phone moment — to decide whether to allow George Bush to invade Iraq. She answered affirmatively. She did not read the National Intelligence Estimate. She still, curiously, tries to suggest that it wasn’t a vote for war, but it most assuredly was…

“This is about what you say when you answer that phone. What judgment you show…She, John McCain and George Bush gave the wrong answer.”

Related Posts:
Clinton Panders To Fear Once Agan

Obama and Bill Clinton Respond to Clinton Ad

Clinton Panders To Fear Once Agan


Hillary Clinton resorts to pandering to fear once again in the above ad. The text is:

“It’s 3 a.m. and your children are safe and asleep. But there’s a phone in the White House, and it’s ringing. Something’s happened in the world.

Your vote will decide who answers the call. Whether it’s someone who already knows the world’s leaders, knows the military. Someone tested and ready to lead in a dangerous world.

It’s 3 a.m. and your children are safe and asleep. Who do you want answering the phone?”

If we want to vote for politicians who can evoke fear, we might as well stick with the Republicans who are experts on this tactic.

This isn’t the first time Clinton has resorted to this. For example, after losing in Iowa she flew into New Hampshire to give this warning: “We have people who are plotting against us right now, getting ready to repeat the atrocity of Sept 11. We know it, I see the intelligence reports.”

Hillary Clinton is also the one who used the 9/11 attack to justify voting to go to war in Iraq:

And finally, on another personal note, I come to this decision from the perspective of a Senator from New York who has seen all too closely the consequences of last year’s terrible attacks on our nation. In balancing the risks of action versus inaction, I think New Yorkers who have gone through the fires of hell may be more attuned to the risk of not acting. I know that I am.

If that’s how she looks at the world, I’d rather have Barack Obama answering that phone call when something’s happening in the world.

Update: Obama Responds to Fear with Judgment

Update II: Obama and Bill Clinton Respond to Clinton Ad