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January 23rd, 2008
05:05 PM ET

The Obama-Clinton feud?

 Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Senator Barack Obama exchange words during the Democratic Presidential Primary Debate at the Palace Theater in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Senator Barack Obama exchange words during the Democratic Presidential Primary Debate at the Palace Theater in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It's getting nasty between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and Bill Clinton seems to be enjoying it.

The former president had this to say: "I kind of like seeing Barack and Hillary fight. They're flesh-and-blood people and they have their differences – let' em at it."

But not everyone thinks it's becoming. Several top Democrats are concerned that the gutter politics will end up harming the party's image ahead of the general election.

Senator John Kerry, an Obama backer, wrote in an e-mail to supporters saying: "The truth matters, but how you fight the lies matters even more." Kerry doesn't mention Clinton by name, but says they're fighting back against anonymous e-mails questioning Obama's Christian faith.

Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, another Obama backer, says attacks coming from the Clintons are similar to what he's seen from Republicans and called comments about Obama from former President Clinton "distortions”. Daschle says such bickering ultimately destroys the party and that it will have a "huge lasting effect down the road... if it doesn't stop soon."

On the other hand, Democratic strategist Donna Brazile thinks this "generational fight" will make the party stronger in the end.

Meanwhile, an editorial in today's Wall Street Journal suggests that Obama "seems to be awakening slowly to what everyone else already knows about the Clintons, which is that they will say and do whatever they 'gotta' say or do to win." unquote.

Here’s my question to you: Is the Obama-Clinton feud helpful or hurtful to the democratic process?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


James writes:
As an African American and a Democrat, I am becoming extremely disenchanted with “slash and burn” politics of this campaign. It has become apparent to many that there is a war of personal destruction going on in this campaign and I am shocked at the silence of the Congressional Black Caucus and Democratic National Committee.

Dede writes:
Obama so far has been a one hit wonder: Iowa, that is all. The hard core press is making more of him then he really is. Obama is a great man, just not ready to be president. The media is falling into all the traps that the Obama camp has set for them, he does not really talk in details about the issues, he can not he does not have the experience, in today's America it is easier to slam a woman and take her down than to do it to a minority.

Bill writes:
This feud helps us see “the Clintons" as a continuation of the divisive politics of the past 20 years that have been so destructive to our nation and our people.

Pat writes:
Let them go! If Obama wants to play in the big leagues, then he has to learn to take his lumps as well as give them. The presidency is not for amateurs. I'm sure this is kid's play compared to what the rest of the world will hit him with, if he's elected. Hillary has already proven she can take it.

Bruce writes:
Jack, When the news media are asking questions of President McCain you will have your answer. But the fight isn't going to hurt the Democrats as much as the lies they told in 2006. The war is still going and no troops have come home. Thank you, Nancy Pelosi.

Betty writes:
Bill Cinton's behavior reminds me of over-the-hill actors who you just can't get off the stage: pathetic and, as we say in Texas, tacky. Every time he opens his mouth, you think "Do we really want The Clinton Administration, Part II?”

Dave writes:
Jack, I'm confused, I thought this was the Democratic process.


Filed under: Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton
soundoff (126 Responses)
  1. Julie W.

    The Clintons in their new campaign commercial are clearly provoking the next round in the Clinton v. Obama Saga. They are like bullys inciting a fight on the school yard, just because they can. It reminds me of David v. Goliath. David being Obama , of course.

    This new campaign ad twisting Barack Obama's meaning about Ronald Regan and what he meant about his ideas' comments , is a not-so-clever trick and a malicious attack of the Clintons showing the world that they will do and say anything in order to win. It is unfortunate for this county that Obama must respond DIPLOMATICALLY to these evil and malicious attacks just because he had something nice to say about a former President who some people think was a Great President. It seems the Cllintons do not know the meaning of forgiveness, though they could forgive Bob Johnson!

    At Monday night's debate Barack Obama explained to Hillary Clinton what he meant. However, it is ok for her to take Bob Johnson at his words - but she cannot take Obama at his words and so they further try to incite him and make him look bad by smear and distortion. AND THESE ARE THE KIND OF PEOPLE WE WANT TO RUN THE HIGHEST OFFICE IN THE LAND? They spend more time thinking about how they can distort Obama's records, than how to solve the problems of today.

    We do not need this kind of unethical behavior from our politicians today. We need leaders who will not get down in the gutter: lie, distort, smear, instigate lawsuits in a hope to cause voter suppression and then hope to lead and have the trust and faith of a nation. This kind of behavior is divisive and turn people away from civic duty and should be a thing of the past as we move towards a more inclusive nation of unity and goodwill, that is the only way we will be able to move forward as a society and solve the myriad problems facing us today.

    January 23, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  2. Joshua Johnson

    This fued is ignorant and near sighted. I expect this out of the Clintons and regret that my aspirations for Mr. Obama have been downgraded by this vindicitive and childish game hes been forced to play.

    I think the American people would simply applaud him if he took his precious time during a debate to tell us about himself and his plan for america rather than engaging in unproductive angry banter with that seething liar Mrs. Clinton.

    January 23, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  3. Jimmy V

    the longer this dynamic among candidates survives, the more it becomes like one of these reality tv shows. maybe a presidential bid riddled with drama and overreaction is just what the broader american public wants to see. and who knows, maybe this sort of nonsense will even engender more voters!

    January 23, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  4. Joshua Johnson

    This fued is ignorant and near sighted. I expect this out of the Clintons and regret that my aspirations for Mr. Obama have been downgraded by this vindicitive and childish game hes been forced to play.

    I think the American people would simply applaud him if he took his precious time during a debate to tell us about himself and his plan for America, rather than engaging in unproductive angry banter with that seething liar Mrs. Clinton.

    January 23, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  5. Jorge

    Jack,
    For me this Whole thing have turn me off... I am sick and tired of the Clinton Political Machine, the attacks and the hunger for power. It's clear that they do not care about the American people, they only care about getting back on the white house. what happen with that Bill Clinton that refused that experience was important when he was running for his first term? That's it!
    I am a democrat, and I have voted democrat all my life, but if Hillary Clinton wins the primaries... I will vote Republican or for the third candidate!!
    No more Clintons on the White House!!

    January 23, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  6. Sharon

    Of course this helps the Democratic party! If Hillary had just walked away with the nomination, we wouldn't have known what a fighter she is and how passionate she is about helping America. If Obama had just come in and whisked away the nomination with the word "Change" we would have known absolutely NOTHING about him. Hillary and Barack's feuding is allowing everyone to actually see these candidates for who they are and how much they want this HUGELY important job of running our country. Keep the feud coming...the media isn't asking the tough questions, so the candidates are asking the tough questions of each other!

    January 23, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  7. HAROLD

    It is going to be white against blacks cant you see it coming hate to see it.

    January 23, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  8. Richard Sternagel

    Jack, it is both helpful and hurtful to the democratic process. Helpful because at least Barack Obama won't let some else define him. Hurtful because it can lead to the Democrats cannibalizing themselves and that could result in another Bush type President! After 7 years of Bush who needs that!

    January 23, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  9. Eugene in NorCal

    Jack, the Obama- Clinton feud can be nothing but hurtful, to the democratic party. Unfortunately, Obama must make a stand against the Clinton's well know strategy, of swiftboating cheap shots. They are evil and will use innuendo, misinformation and false information against any rival. I thought voters had their fill, of this crap, when Bill was in office.

    January 23, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  10. Chris

    Ultimately hurtful because Obama has to spend time countering the patently false claims of the Clinton campaign instead of discussing his vision, plans, and policies which ultimately is what the electorate really wants to hear. Unfortunately you have a campaign that is pulling out all the stops to distort the record and it has to be answered.

    January 23, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  11. Patricia

    Why do you think I voted for John Edwards on my mail in ballot.?He has tried to stick to the issues & I don't think he's gotten enough play for trying to stand for some sort of principals.

    January 23, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  12. Anthony Garritano

    Jack:
    Why all the hype? Is this any different when compared to past primaries? Let's be real: Politicians fight all the time, esspecially when the party nomination is up for grabs. In the end both of these candidates will kiss and make up to support the eventual nominee. This is a non-story in my opinion.

    January 23, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  13. michael

    It real good for the process. It teaches us that the system cry's out for a NEW different party to end the feuding and to put America the republic back on her path..... Ron Paul all the way.....................BABY

    January 23, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  14. Lynn Hall

    I'm completely sick of seeing the Clintons and Obama attacking each other. They are each just giving ammo to the Republicans to use against the eventual Democratic nominee in the fall. If we lose this election, we'll know who to blame.

    Whatever happened to the issues? And hope, and change, and all that good stuff?

    In the last two weeks I've gone from being excited about the Dem's prospects, and feeling like any of the top three would be a great choice, to being depressed and pessimistic. And I haven't even gotten to vote yet.

    January 23, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  15. Larry Carr

    The only problem with not having these kind of fights is that it would be unAmerican in todays world. We have and continue to be a very selfish and self-centered society, so Duh. The 3rd graders that I saw on the debates this week certainly did not behave like a president, but then again the past president named Bill never has behaved like a leader so why should he or his wife start now. Have a great day Jack, your my kind of guy in this cynical world.

    Larry from Texas

    January 23, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  16. Rob in Massachusetts

    Jack, the Obama-Clinton feud in my eyes is only hurtful. After the debate the other night that Wolf had to "babysit" I can't see myself voting for either Obama or Clinton this year. And I'm proud to say after watching the two and thanks to Lou Dobbs I'm now a Independent and not a Democrat.

    January 23, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  17. Jeanne Judge

    I think the obama/clinton feud is like grade school children playing one upsmanship. How about informing people what you are goint to do to make our lives better. While your feud is entertaining as hell it has no political redemption.
    John Edwards was the clear winner of the debate, just by keeping his cool and acting like an adult.

    January 23, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  18. excel bueno

    Non-issue.
    Clearly we are already tired of the Bush Years. Even if Pluto runs, so long as the darn dog is a Democrat, he sure is a winner.
    Anyone,anybody for a change. And that is not to lean towards B.O.
    I am a believer in the principle that YOU CANNOT BRING CHANGE IF YOU HAD NOT EXPERIENCED ENOUGH GOVERNING.
    See what happened to King George and the US kingdom after this preppy American C college pe-degreed came to power with no experience basically?
    He could have followed daddy while he was a roving Ambassador then.

    January 23, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  19. Brian Nancoo - Trinidad

    It is very helpful to have this type of feud in the democratic process.Sure,people can use this feud against either person,but this is how you find out everything about the candidate,by getting under their skin and getting responses that weren't scripted,but straight from the heart and mind.And given what the world expects from the next President of the USA,we better get all the info we can get so we can make a better choice than the last time.

    January 23, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  20. Eric

    I'm a registered democrat and I've already pledged not to vote in the upcoming election if HRC gets the nomination. To me, there's no difference if HRC is in office or John McCain or another Republican.
    In my mind, Hillary and Bill are tearing apart the DNC with their attacks on Obama, something that many congressional leaders agree.
    It is amazing to see a democrat going after another democrat rove-like, just trying to get back to the White House. I'm ashamed of the DNC for allowing Hillary to go after another democrat in this fashion. I'm ashamed of Dean, ashamed of the democratic party leaders like Ted Kennedy and Pelosi.

    I am sure that the Republicans are just laughing and watching Hillary go crazy on Obama and watching the DNC fall apart and letting the Republican sneak in there for a win.

    January 23, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  21. grant

    Jack
    I often hear round-table discussions about how the Clintons are in danger of alienating black voters with their negative campaign tactics. What everyone is failing to realize is that Obama is garnering approximately 40 percent of the white vote nationwide; they too may be disenfranchised and/or sufficiently dissappointed and not motivated when November comes if the clintons strong arm their way to the nomination. I am a white person who normally votes with the democrats. I will not vote for the clintons if they win the nomination; notice i said they. There are tens of millions of democratic voters like me in this country,who feel strongly in this manner, and who will not just fall in line, especially if there is a lesson to be taught. The democrats are about to score the winning touchdown…for the other team.

    January 23, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  22. Scott

    absoulutely positive, if they dont want to throw punchs and fight for thier chance at the greatest power trip of all times then they need to do a fred thompson and get the hell out of the race, some things are worth fighting for.
    if this country would have marched on the supreme court and lynched them in 2000 for not keeping thierselves nutral, maybe this nation wouldn't be so f@#%*d
    up now.
    missouri

    January 23, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  23. Victor

    Obama -Clinton feud is unavoidable.As a democrat it is important for me to know the policy differences.I am glad that Obama who has essentially gone unquestioned as the beloved media(especially Chris Matthews) darling is being asked questions now,it is high time someone did that.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  24. Peter, Vancouver BC

    The bickering and personal attacks are disturbing and distasteful. I'm a US citizen living abroad and I do vote, always as a Democrat or Independent. I could probably vote for any Democrat, given the Republican alternative. However, the "Arkansas white-trash" approach of Sen. Clinton to advance her candidacy will have me sit out this election if she is the nominee, or even consider Sen. McCain this time around. Hillary and Bill, please put a cork in it.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  25. Tony Scarano

    Oh it truly hurts the democratic process. But it's typical of the Clintons. After 8 years of Monica, Whtiewater, several planned and executed terrorist attacks, blatant lies, finger wagging and deny deny deny, what else would you expect from a family whose sole purpose in life seems to be hanging onto power and staying on the national stage?

    Someone better get Barack a shovel and hotline to Ross Perot, it's time to clean out the barn.....again!

    January 23, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  26. Ruth

    Mr. Cafferty, Why is it that you always have the Clintons starting a feud. I believe if you replay the Tuesday debate, you will find that Obama started that one. Let's hear it again. I am also sick of hearing about this race issue and the news media egging it on. I would like to hear some good old honest reporting like we had with Walter Cronkite. He did not overstep his boundaries. He reported the debates and elections and kept personal comments to himself and I think that you all need to take lessons from him.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  27. Barry Goz

    I wish that Bill Clinton would shut up. I think that he is doing more damage than good to his wife's campaign. I am angered by the pictures of him and Hillary Clinton standing together and his holding the microphone while she looks on. I used to support her but the sight of Bill Clinton looking into the camera and making stupid, phony statements reminds me of "I did not have sex with that woman" I don't want to spend 8 more years of having Bill Clinton in the White House even if he was orders of magnitude brighter and beneficial than the current occupant of the White House. He has been very effective in making me a supporter of Barack Obama. Get him away from in front of the cameras and let him offer advice from behind the scenes. Every time he opens his mouth Hillary Clinton suffers.
    Barry
    North Carolina

    January 23, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  28. Marlene

    this is not a feud- would u hire someone for the most important job in the world without knowing what they stand for and have to give them on the job training. the media gave GW a pass on everything and look where we are now.NEVER AGAIN.
    hillary is clear, concise and has a tremendous command of the issures facing our country and a focus on how to deliver solutions and results for all the people.
    obama is still trying to figure out the issues, let alone the solutions. now he is memorizing clinton and edwards answers to give a response, obama is just not ready for this job.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  29. Leah DiMarco, TX

    I think the feud is helpful to Senator Obama because it shows how despicable the Clintons really are and the depths they will go to have Bill Clinton back in the White House. Senator Obama is only defending himself from the distortions of Clinton machine and the American people are intelligent enough see through the Clinton shenanigans.

    Leah DiMarco, Houston, Texas

    January 23, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  30. Kevin

    The only one who benefits is Hillary. The Clintontag team takes Barrack off message and slows his momentum. Bill Clinton promised her the Whitehouse after the Monica episode and he is delivering on his promise. Barrack needs to ignore the Clintonspeak and get back to more speeches like the one in Iowa. He has the ability to gather up Republicans and Democrats and maybe unite the country and the government to take us out of this cloud and on to sunny days. This battle can only stall this. Then, muddy,bloody and with tears Hillary will be standing, perhaps alone, but still standing. This will bring four to eight more years of the same old thing.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  31. DP, Jacksonville, FL

    Jack,

    You're an influential reporter and this sort of reporting is pulling down the tone of the campaign. Appreciate your responsibility and act accordingly; stick to the objective facts of the election and don't serve as a divisive agent.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  32. Rob

    All of the news agencies are saying Clinton is not in SC campaigning. This is a slap in the face to the african, white, latino and asian american voters there. Bill is doing her work for her. Is he running for her? Yesterday she was out in California getting the Latino vote. Hmmm. Well its time to split the Democratic party! If Howard Dean sits back and allows race/ gender polarizing politics to happen well he and the Democratic party deserves what it gets in Nov. Just wait and see Howard Dean. You seem to think everyone will just go along with who ever the nominee is because they are a Democrat. HA! I would love to take a picture of his face on Nov. 8th. I would rather vote for Bush before I vote for a Clinton ever again. I used to call myself a strong african American Democrat before this. CLINTON HAS DECIDED TO PUT HER SELF BEFROE WHATS GOOD FOR THIS NATION. CALLING ON ALL DEMOCRATS IT TIME WE SPLIT THE PARTY SHOULD CLINTON WIN!

    January 23, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  33. Matt

    Jack:

    The Clintons are fighting to continue their 16 years of control over the Democratic Party. Ultimately, the super-delegates and DNC leadership will have to take a side. They will either embrace the bright future of a new, expanded Democratic party that Obama can deliver, or they can embrace the partisan past & present that the Clintons feel entitled to control.

    Think of it: An expanded and rebranded Democratic Party with a working majority that can actually deliver the progressive agenda. An administration that can honestly solve some important problems on behalf of the American people.

    It's time for the veteran congressional Democrats to move the party beyond the Clintons. Obama is being torn down by Bill Clinton. He can beat Hillary on his own in a fair campaign, as well as any of the Republicans, but not a former two-term president and de-facto head of the party.

    Time for the veteran congressional leaders to break the Clintons' hold over them.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  34. John

    It's disappointing but hardly surprising. It's not new either.

    In 1992, Jerry Brown called Bill Clinton the "Prince of Sleaze." Clinton won anyway.

    Bush and McCain in 2000 was as bitter as you can imagine, and Bush- well, became President.

    It's not the fighting that bothers me, it's the lies and misleading statements- if Mrs. Clinton wants to say Barack is not experienced- fine. Just don't twist around statements he made or make up numbers like "15 million uninsured" which the New York Times has disputed the accuracy of.

    Fighting is okay- let's play fair though.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  35. Kim Kaiser

    Where has Obama been that last 8 years, that he doesn't know the kind of campaign the Republicans will run? Does he honestly believe that anything will be "off limits" in the run up to the general election, like his errant youth or speeches he has made in the past? Holding your head above the fray may make you sleep better at night, but you won't be sleeping the the White House.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  36. Morpheus

    Jack,

    First, anyone who suggests that this feud is making the Democratic party stronger is either high or incredibly stupid. I have talked with many Obama supporters that are now so disgusted with Hillary's lies that they will either stay home in November or vote Republican if Hillary ends up with the nomination. How is that good for the Democrats?? Bill and Hillary have done AGAIN, what Slick Willy accomplished after his second term, that is, push people into the waiting arms of the Republicans.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  37. Love of myrtle Beach

    The Clinton's have implemented actions that promote the status quo in politics. That is whay they have prepared for. They claim a policy of change – a change from republican to democrat. This is harmful to the Democrratic party. Obama is promoting a change in how politics works, a policy of inclusion, not exclusion as the clinton's are promoting.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  38. ellie tate

    Of course it will Jack, These attacks may sway the older voters who are use to such political blood letting but it will turn off the younger ones. Precisely the voters we will need if we want to put a Democrate in the White House.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  39. C Keiter

    Aloha Jack,

    I think in the long run it will be helpful. I certainly look up all comments in context before I decide who is just spinning. The blogs have some interesting dialogue if you screen out the rage factor. People seem to thinking seriously about what is being said and how it is being said. Am I a bit biased? Sure – Hillary 08!

    January 23, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  40. Janel, St. Paul, MN

    Without a doubt, all this bickering is harmful and sickening.

    I don't have a problem with the candidates debating important issues, but when it is about race, religion and "experience" which Senator Clinton doesn't have any more than Senator Obama. . .it it tiresome! As for her husband - our former president - he is an embarrassment.

    I'm also weary of some political pundits on every cable channel who are licking their chops (oh, they love it!!) when another race issue comes up. I know such reporting increases ratings, but as one viewer looking for intelligent commentary, it insults my intelligence.

    I challenge CNN, FOX, MSNBC to not fuel the fire. We are in one of if not the most important presidential races in history. Take your roles seriously and report ethically and with conscience.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  41. Rachael Allen

    Generally, you expect public squabbles in every election; which is sad really because you're trying to get the message out to everyone that you're qualified to do the job. It's not easy when another opponent tries to hurt your reputation in the process. I'm troubled that the Obama-Clinton elections has to come down to all-out slug fest of words instead of talking about the real issues, as John Edwards so rightfully pointed out during the Democratic debates in South Carolina. They need to be careful; publicly trading insults will turn off voters, and if it does, I will not be surprised if John Edwards ends up getting the Democratic Party's nomination. People are having a hard enough time trying to decide who to vote for; we have more choices than ever in choosing the next President of the United States; to be brutally honest, if one starts insulting the other, do you really think the other person is supposed to take that lying down? Like what Bill Clinton did to Obama a few days ago? Wake up Clinton: this is your wife running for office not you; if you're going to be brutal with words towards ohter candidates, I think it's high time for you, in the words of Clyburn, to CHILL.

    Chapel Hill, North Carolina

    January 23, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  42. C Keiter

    Aloha Jack,

    I think in the long run it will be helpful. I certainly look up all comments in context before I decide who is just spinning. The blogs have some interesting dialogue if you screen out the rage factor. People seem to be thinking seriously about what is being said and how it is being said. Am I a bit biased? Sure – Hillary 08!

    January 23, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  43. barbara

    I wish someone would explain Hillary Clinton's "35 years of experience" to me. At age 25 she was a rabid Republican, not even married to Bill.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  44. W B in Las Vegas

    with Democrates like the Clintons, who needs the Karl Rove Republican fear & smear machine?

    Obama tried for a long time to stay above the mud slinging for quite a long time BUT if we learned ANYTHING from the 2004 election, it's that a LIE that goes UNCHALLENGED becomes the TRUTH in the eyes of the public.

    if this infighting continues, by the time the Democrates select a Candidate, they will be so "comp-Rove-mised" that they once again will have grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory

    (btw, judging from your blog monitors past actions, I doubt that this will make the cut because I stated something critical of the Clintons)

    January 23, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  45. Ellie from Aurora, CO

    It is always hurtful to the entire country when politicians lie. I am inclined to agree with David Geffen when he said the Clintons do it so easily that it is disturbing. I hope the rest of the Dems wake up and realize that this is the damaging behavior that has prevented Washington from doing their job. Do we really thing things will get any less partison with another Clinton in the White House? Blech!

    January 23, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  46. Izzy L.

    In someways its both hurtful and helpful to the democratic process. Its hurtful of course as the whole thing was sparked off by the Clinton's stretching the truth, thus making it more difficult for people to make informed decisions based on the truth. On the flip side, the back and forth does call attention to such tactics, and if Obama can continue to respond strongly against them it will in the long run discourage the use of lies as a means of getting votes. For if a front runner such as Clinton can be called to account by her opponent and the voters for such despicable behavior, then it will send strong signals to those who run in the future that maybe they should run clean campaigns instead of sludge fests. But the key is of course that the Democrats wake up and pay attention to what is actually going on instead of shutting out anything 'nasty' as they always seem to prone to do when the going gets tough. Because maybe it would be nice to have a nominee who's goal isn't politics as usual.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  47. Pete, Pittsburgh

    It is terribly hurtful and here's the evidence: I was devastated when Gore got out-counted in 2000; I was even more devastated when the swift-voters kept Kerry out of the presidency in 2004; but because of Hillary's "Karl Rove" style of politics, I WILL NOT vote for her should she edge out Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination; I will vote for McCain instead. This should scare the hell out of the Democratic Party - they're ruining their best chance in years to recapture the White House.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  48. Karen

    Come on Jack, tell us how you really feel about the Clinton's. I don't think anyone is quite clear on your position.

    Oh BooHoo! He's picking on me. Oh, whine, whine.. She's picking on me.

    It's politics, get over it.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  49. Brenda

    The Clinton's are showing the world who they really are! Yes! I believe the Clinton strategy of personal attack is very harmful to the campaign & to the country. Our country is in deep economic trouble & we need to stay focused on the issues. Barack Obama is being forced to defend his character when he should be focused on addressing the issues that are most important to every American today (our economy).

    January 23, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  50. John from CT

    Others may find it helpful and think that it will make the party stronger, but that display the other night turned this voter off. Did they think they were on the Jerry Springer show? Do you think the two "children" would wake up if John Edwards, a very viable and the only presidential looking candidate on that stage, won South Carolina with 50% or more of the vote?

    January 23, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  51. Karl

    It's more hurtful than helpful Jack. They sound like two children arguing on stage. I'm not a Democrat but John Edwards would get my vote out of those three if I had to choose between them.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  52. Bruce

    One thing is for sure, their fued is hurtful to the Democratic party if not the democratic process. I am a lifelong democrat who has never not voted for the Democrat in a Presidential election... but that might be about to change... especially if Hillary wins.

    But really, neither of them is qualified to be President as neither has any previous executive leadership experience. So with no qualified candidate I then have to look at who would have better judgement, and frankly, Hillary has already displayed her poor sense of judgement in marrying a philandering liar.

    But this fued is painting both Clinton and Obama as dishonest and petty, and, to borrow a phrase from Saturday Night Live, "not ready for prime-time". Obama might be able to get above this image if he wins the nomination (as he is already seen as a uniter and a viable candidate among many Independents and even some Republicans) but if HRC wins the nomination there will a huge backlash against her and she will not be able to win a general election.

    And Donna Brazile, could you please tone down your pro-Clinton rhetoric when acting as a news analyst that is supposed to be unbiased!!!

    January 23, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  53. James Deebo

    I think President Clinton's behavior will hurt whoever wins the democrats' primaries, especially his own wife.

    Try to imagine the following:
    Bill distortions helps Hillary to win the primaries.
    Hillary faces a Republicans in the general elections.
    Durinng campaigning, the Republican decides to play Bill's game by revisiting Whitewater, Monika Lewinsky, and other Clinton weaknesses.

    And imagining this all happening when Obama supporter are so disillusioned by his defeat that they decide to withhold their (Democrat) votes.

    Hillary loses!

    America gets another Republican president for the next 4 years!

    Could this perhaps be Mr. Clinton's hidden agenda? A Republican win?

    January 23, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  54. wendell

    I think it is hurtful to the people of American first and then to the party, I think the Clinton are swift-boating the Obama`s team, but then politic have always been a blood sport. When this started I was a Hillary supporter not any more. I will "not" vote for Hillary and Bill as President and Co-President.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  55. Jon

    John,

    Why is it that Hillary Clinton enjoys so much support when she spews lie after lie about her rivals?? This is so tiresome. We, the American people, deserve better than this type of campaigning. Haven't we had enough of Bill "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" Clinton, yet???? Why put him back in the White House? It is most certainly time for a real uniter, someone who isn't afraid to praise the other party, who understands that only together can we accomplish anything. Hillary is certainly NOT that person.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  56. Jack K.

    It depends on how you look at it.
    I think it helps reveal just how "Presidential" they are.

    After watching them and reanalyzing their agendas...I am more in favor of John Edwards than ever.

    They both allegedly strive for unity...but have created turbulence and literally isolated a large part of the party.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  57. Whiner

    I don't mind the back and forth. What I do mind is the whining 'that's not what I meant' when someone is caught being wishy-washy and then trotting out surrogates to say 'that is not what he meant.'

    January 23, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  58. Angie from Washington State

    The fued between the two reminds me of the fueds in high school I thought you are supposed to have some professional qaulities in the white house but apparently I am wrong. Its like seeing two children fighting over the same toy and at this point I think it is hurting the democratic process we are getting all the news about the fight and none on the policies how are we supposed to get the real news and see where everyone stands on different policy issues. are we supposed to watch the the debates like a blood sport and whoever is still standing wins or are we supposed to actually vote on the issues and where they stand. unfortantely its looking more like a blood sport right now than an election and we don't know even if they are being truthful on where they stand. Edwards is looking mighty good as the other two keep going at it. And Edwards I hope will be on the ballot so I can vote for him.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  59. Michael H. Miller

    The sniping between Senators Clinton and Obama demeans them both, indicates that they have few – if any – substantive differences about actual policy, and underscores the long-standing (at least since 1968) Democratic Party tradition of self-destruction. If the Democratic Party (my party, by the way) had a lick of sense, it would cancel all future "debates," place a moratorium on any further spending on primary campaigns, and simply let the people vote. Everybody knows who Clinton, Obama, and Edwards are by now; the danger is that the people are forgetting who the potential GOP nominees are, and also forgetting the disaster the GOP has been for this country over the past eight years! Enough, already!

    January 23, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  60. Patrick Murray

    Jack,

    It is remarkable and sometimes darn courageous to see Obama take on the Clintons. Obama must understand however that this is the Clintons turf and they want voters to see him like the ordinary politicians they are.

    Obama needs to step up his game and focus on issues, the Clintons had 8 years to fix stuff, they didnt then and wouldnt now even if given the chance. the result – they ( Hillary and Bill ) will spend all their ime fighting with the Republicans and then will turn to their daughter for another term.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  61. Sam

    Jack,

    You quote Donna Brazile saying this "general fight will make the party stronger in the end."

    Clearly she must mean the Independent Party, because my inclination is that a whole lot of people, myself included, will become Independents if Hillary Clinton wins the Democratic nomination.

    The feud is a huge step in the creation of a legitimate third political party in our country!

    ....and this probably puts a huge smile of the face of Lou Dobbs!

    (by the way, I love his new teeth!...and clearly he does too, because he hasn't stopped grinning since he bought them!.)

    January 23, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  62. Hai Nguyen

    This is exactly why the Republicans can still hold onto power even if they're not in the majority: Unity. The Democrats are already dysfunctional and can't get anything done and now Hillary is playing dirty politics that is dividing the Democratic party even more with the help of the former president, whom I've lost tremendous respect for. The narrative is that Hillary is divisive and it's playing out right now. If she's dividing the Democratic party now, what do you think is she going to do to the country if elected president?

    January 23, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  63. Patricia Butler, Wheeling, WV

    Jack,
    It's ridiculous behavior from two supposedly very intelligent people. At the very least, they make themselves look like irresponsible and divisive candidates. The worst outcome of this continued pettiness will be that the Democrats will lose the presidency and a major opportunity to get things done for America. I'm disgusted with both of them. I want to hear what they are going to do for this country, not what they think of each other. My message to both of them is GROW UP! and start accounting for themselves, not for others.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  64. Janet

    I would definitely say hurtful. If they were fighting over who has the better plan for how to fix America I think it would help the party, and we'd end up with a better plan. The mudslinging is way too personal, almost embarrassing to watch. I think it's a turn off for most Americans. I blame the Clintons for taking the fight into the gutter. If Hillary is the Dems nominee I will vote for McCain, vote for Bloomberg, or not vote. I am usually an Independent who votes Democrat.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  65. Dr Jamgbadi

    I am sorely disappointed in the Clintons. I have a sneaky feeling that they care about the Democratic party only to the extent that Hillary clinches the nomination. A clean and fair contest that could throw up an Obama nomination is not attractive to them. Their philosophy : the Democratic party shall be destroyed, if need be, to get Hillary the nomination.
    The end result of their mudslinging tactics : a Republican president in 2009.

    Dr Shola Jamgbadi,
    Abuja, Nigeria

    January 23, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  66. Anne

    It really hurts the democratic process as it takes us off issues. I understand Obama's need to set the record straight as the Clinton's (once again) manipulate the truth to their advantage. but he doesn't owe Hillary any answers . He doesn't owe her anything. He owes answers only to the American people. He should not dignify her slanderous assaults with a response but perhaps respond via news conference or on his website for any and all who have concerns or questions. He can set it straight there without engaging her. Anne H. in Oregon

    January 23, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  67. S. Hunt, Tennessee

    The truth matters, but the way John Kerry fought the lies in his campaign was not successful.

    In the South Carolina debate, Obama was the first one to throw a punch. Hillary defended herself, quite admirably I might add. If Obama seemed a little rattled, well we can mark that down to a lack of experience. The Clinton's have had everything imaginable hurled at them over the years, they are use to being under attack.

    Will it hurt the democratic process? No, I don't think so. You may find even more people willing to become involved and more informed. I can't wait for the next debate.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  68. Kristi from Indiana

    I think the Clinton campaign just doesn't understand the concept of "change" that Americans are looking for. Not only are we sick of the bi-partisan bickering we are disheartened by the attacks on Obama that she considers highlighting and contrasting their differences. Give me a break Hilary! We know dirty politics when we see it. The sad thing is that if Obama doesn't defend each of the attacks it will stick in some people's minds as the truth. It leaves a nasty taste in my mouth but thankfully Obama leaves a fresh, clean taste!

    January 23, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  69. David Edmondson

    If I'm a Republican, I'm in the catbird's seat. For years the GOP has been accused of launching racist attacks at Democratic candidates of color, now they Bill & Hillary doing it for them. It's funny how they were so quick to accuse the GOP of racial insensitivity, but now that Barack Obama is running, they don't know how to come at him. They are in Hillary's words FRUSTRATED. This will Barack should he be the winner of the Democratic ticket, because he will have already withstood these types of attacks thanks to the Clinton campaign. If Hillary should win however, I think this hurt her as, racism has and should never have gotten a place in American Politics.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  70. James E. Elder

    As an African American and a Democrat I am becoming extremely disenchanted with "slash and burn" politics of this campaign. It has become apparent to many that there is a war of personal destruction going on in this campaign and I am shocked at the silence of the Congressional Black Caucus and Demecratic National Commitee. It is not a matter of who wins the primary, both candidates will provide better leadership than the current administration, but, what I and quite a few of us are finding offensive is that the Democratic National Commitee is allowing the first viable African American Presidential candidate to be eviscerated in a campaign not based on policy differences but on the most subtle brand of racism and unnuendo. If the Congressional Black Caucus and Democratic National Commitee is willing to sit idly by and not reign in this behavior then maybe our allegiance to the party and it's representatives is misplaced and we will sit idly by come November.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  71. Tony B.

    Look at what the rich people [Bush, Cheney} did to us! If Obama ends up as the president, he is going to bring his kind [African American] to the satge. By the time they get their pockets filled, the country will be in a worse shape than it is now. Let's vote for a rich person, who at least steals less.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  72. Bridgett

    I think that this is allowing us to see the real Clinton's. I think that she does not care about the American public only the power. I was a Hilary supporter until recently. I think that she is not a uniter. All she says is that she knows how to fight the Republicans. I think that it is not about that it is about coming together.

    I am also tired of hearing her husband speak. I know what he did as president I want to hear her. I want her to stop running on his record. Everything that she states that is her experience is not hers it is his. I am really already tired of the Clintons already and I just can't imagine 4 years of this petty, catty, and silly woman.

    And if she does get the nomination I will not vote for her because I think that she is evil to her core. It showed in that debate. There is just something sedistically wrong about her and her husband. I will either vote for John McCain or if Michael Bloomberg gets in I will vote for him. I think he and Barak would make a good ticket. Or even Barak and John McCain.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  73. Sydney Martindale

    I am in the UK, London but has been following the electoral process in the US. For once the american people have a credible and trust worthy African-American who is like a God-send to help break down political and racial devide in the US and probably the world. The American people need to open their eyes to see the blessings in Obama who is both black and white. This man, in my opinion is the best candidate for the white house because I believe he understands what it is to be white and black and his policy of change and hope will not just benifit America but the whole world. Please don't allow the Clintons the deceive you by telling you lies about Mr Obama. Mr Obama is the best chance you have in gaining the respect you once had on the world stage. God bless Obama and God bless America!!

    January 23, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  74. Anna, IL

    Of course the feud helps the democratic process, however it hurts the Democratic Party, probably beyond repair. I'm an Asian-American in my late thirties who grew up watching Reagan, Bush, Clinton, then Bush. I'm one of those disgusted voters who don't vote for anyone. And this is the first time in my life that I feel compelled to vote. Although I disliked the Clintons, I have been open-minded until now. I hope Obama wins the nomination, or I will be looking for an Independent nominee comparable to Obama or I will stay home, again.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  75. Ralph

    The family feud is a mistake, Clinton risks losing the blacks, and Obama already lost me.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  76. Jenny from New York

    If it was Hillary Clinton vs. Barack Obama, that would be ok. But Hillary's husband, whose coattails she's riding, who just happens to be one of the most popular ex-Presidents among Democrats, is wrong to be her attack dog. We USED to call him "Big Dawg" affectionately, but now he's seen by many of us as the big ATTACK dog and that's not very becoming. Or fair. It's sad to see his legacy get tarnished this way when the irony is he's doing all this to PROTECT his legacy.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  77. Richard Danon

    I believe the Obama-Clinton feud plays to the baser side of people's emotions and
    this kind of in the gutter mud slinging filled with inaccurate accusations and sound bites is not only undignified, but also quite harmful to the Democratic candidates. It also takes the focus away from the important substantive issues, some critically important not only for Americans, but for the future of human society and the health of our planet.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  78. Ashlee

    Although the bickering is petty and rather annoying, it does attract attention. It's kind of like Brittney Spears on the front of a tabloid. If she wasn't doing something stupid, she wouldn't be getting the publicity. As a result of the fighting, the candidates are getting more media coverage...FOR FREE! Consequently, the cost of such hostility and aggression is worth way more then the money it would take to get air time, it's the votes.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  79. John Adkisson

    Jack;

    Calling it a "feud" is misleading. Since Iowa, the Clintons have spent every resource of their campaign to drag Obama off his positive message. Now that he defends his record you call it a "feud" as though both candidates just want to mix it up. This was started by the Clintons and is all about the Clintons wanting to divert attention from Obama's attempt to elevate politics. It is so much fun for journalists, the media probably doesn't even know that it has become part of the Clinton playbook.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  80. Kelly Jon Andereck

    Jack;
    I have finally seen the light.

    For years, I have supported the democratic party both financially and pro bono. I had thought it was because Bill Clinton knew that my issues regarding the environment and its relation to economic growth were being heard and understood by the most powerfull position in the world. I thought that as a democrat, he would strengthen my party and get more done. WRONG

    I now realize that it is about the Clintons and that they will destroy the party to get the power they want.

    I obviously so disappointed that so many of my fellow democrats can not see the difference between destructive, devisive politicing the clintons practice and the "Big Tent" (I AM NOT REPUBLICAN) policies Mr. Obama is trying to exemplify. Unfortunately, tearing apart your enemy to get him off subject and bring him down to your pathetic level is a winning strategy.

    Please congradulate Bill and Hillery for getting rid of a fellow democrat (ME) and sending him and his wife (2 votes) to the independent column.

    Kelly Jon Andereck

    PS Sorry for the misspelling

    January 23, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  81. Anonymous

    Hurtful. Hurtful. Hurtful.

    They are like 2 children fighting over the same toy. But given the Clinton's history, I am not surprised. She is the instigator time and again. I really believe that Barack Obama has really tried to stay above her childish tactics, wild story telling, and name calling – but how long can he let that go on without calling her on it? She has literally forced him down to her level, because she can't run on her own records and accomplishments, so all she can do is attack and smear.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  82. Caimon

    If Obama can't withstand Hillary's little attacks, how would he withstand the Republicans’ attacks? Hillary is the right candidate to withstand Republicans' attacks. Obama is a crybabie. He cries about every statements Hillary makes. Grow up Obama, your mom will come to get Hillary.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  83. E.G

    If Obama faces the Rep nominee he will have to be as strong and as knowledgeable as Hilary is. So it's good practice for him just in case (hope not) he is the Dem. nominee. So it's good.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  84. Ed Reed

    It's hurtful to the democratic process, but it's helpful to the media since conflict draws more viewers than policy discussions. Democracy depends upon an educated electorate and wasting time covering this feud is not educating anyone.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  85. AJ in Illinois

    Mr. Cafferty, I think the "feud", that you refer to, between Obama and the Clintons does a dis-service to not only the Democratic Party but to the American people. I think it is perfectly acceptable to argue or differ on the policy issues relevant to the American people. I don't look at this "back-and-forth" between Obama and the Clintons as a feud, but dirty politics. Bill Clinton's involvement in Hillary's campaign over the last four weeks or so, has been unacceptable and un-becoming of a popular former President. Bill Clinton is in the unique position of using his former presidential popularity and authority to persuade voters with his distortions and lies about Obama's record. Bill Clinton should be telling America why Hillary should be President and offering specific insight into how his Administration utilized Hillary's experience in actual policy-making, and then he should open-up his archives to offer documentation to support his claims. Did George Bush Sr. or Laura Bush attack John McCain's record with distortions and lies back in 2000? The Clintons push to distort Obama's record simple means he has become more competitive and a threat to the Clinton Political Machine than they imagined. People you use to tell as a young boy that a "dog doesn't bark at a parked car"!

    January 23, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  86. LCB

    Jack, Obama needs to grow a back bone and get on with his campaign. His own words,"no ones hands are clean." Clinton is a pit bull and when she bites it's going to hurt. Didn't anyone explain this to Obama? If anything this so-call-feud shows that only Clinton can stand the heat. Obama will not take the Democrats to the White House, he bruises to easily!

    January 23, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  87. Anonymous

    Have you seen this quote from the Clinton Campaign: "Its only illegal if they tell you it is." ???? Yes, its hurtful. After Bush, the Democrats should easily win the presidency. But they are going to beat each other up so bad, they're going to make any Republican look good. They made a pledge not to be negative, but nothing but negativity has come out recently, especially from Clinton.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  88. rick s. wisconsin

    Why should we even be listing to what Bill Clinton saying anyway, this is a president who stood before the nation and lied to us all and not to mention what he put this nation through, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” Obstruction of justice, Whitewater, The Monica Lewinsky scandal, a 22 yr old and not to mention Paula Jones.
    Do Democrats think for a moment that the republicans won’t use this stuff in the general election?? Wake up Dems, the Democrats and the USA need a fresh new begin, Do you wear dirty cloths when when you go to work? Lets have real and honest change we all could live with.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  89. Carol

    There's too much at stake in this election. For the sake of moving forward in this country, I would like to hear what these candidates plan to do and how they are going to do it i.e. pay for it . The bickering accomplishes nothing. It just blows smoke at us and we've had enough of that from the Bush mess!

    January 23, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  90. Ralph

    Clinton and Obama could be an unbeatable team - unfortunately they are becoming laughing stocks throughout the country due to all their bickering. Edwards may not be strong enough to win the Presidency - I hope an Independent will come forward, behind which the country will unite. Please, no more Bushes or Clintons!

    January 23, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  91. Murry

    I think this feud is damaging the Democratic party. I've met a significant number of Democrats (and read from the CNN blogs) that say they'd rather vote Republican than vote for Hillary. The rest, like myself will probably grudgingly give their vote if she is nominated.
    On the otherhand the debate shows that Senator Obama has backbone and Hillary is the not sweet sensitive personality she showed us (all of sudden out of nowhere) in New Hampshire.
    Hillary says she wants to fight. Obama says he wants to unite. I personally think we'd get a lot more accomplished with uniting.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  92. Vince, Los Angeles

    Donna Brazile is ABSOLUTELY incorrect. This fight between Clinton and Obama will have a devastating effect on the Democratic party. I was a huge admirer of Bill Clinton, however, I support the new ideas that Obama will bring and support the idea of fresh blood in the White House. I am disgusted by the attacks coming from the Clinton camp and the fact that they will "say and do whatever they ‘gotta’ say or do to win.” It seems to me that the majority of Clinton's supporters are uneducated, uninformed, uncouth and ignorant. If the Democratic party puts up Hillary Clinton as the nominee, I will not vote for her and will change my party to Independant.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  93. Jean Mattson

    Speaking for myself I think it is harmful especially for Hillary Clinton. I am 80 years old and have always voted for Democratics but if Hillary is the party's choice, I will either vote for an Independent if one runs or stay home. I like Barack Obama and I do not appreciate what she and Bill are doing to him.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  94. jim Scottsdale AZ

    Jack the issue is she said he said. I don't think either of them could have a real discussion about the economy or the constitution. Their solution is to put us deeper in debt. who pays for the bail out?? the 150 billion they want to give away who pays for it???

    Wall Street and Feds let these BAD LOANS (sub prime)happen and said guess what keep the money keep your house for two years flip it keep the profit and no taxes!!! Explain to me why no one is in jail this is fraud Wall Street turns crap loans into securites and sells them around the World. The crap hits the Fan and the Govt bails out Wall Street, didn't we do this for the Savings and Loans, the dot coms. I wonder if these people can read???

    Senator Obama and Clinton do these things for a smoke screen, so they don't have to answer the hard questions. these debates are People Magazine, no value.

    These Moderators are a joke.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  95. June Swederofsky(Central California)

    I say it hurts the democratic process if they keep it up.
    I voted for Hillary on my ballot already but I will not be surprised if John Edwards benefits from it.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  96. Nick E

    It reveals that Hillary is NOT an agent of change as she claims, but just more of the same old political establishment hucksterism that she & Bill are so skilled at. It's helpful because it clarifies the differences between her and Barack, elevating him further as the true, authentic voice for change.

    Nick E, Manhattan, NY

    January 23, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  97. Brian L--Chicago

    The democratic process has been completely polluted by money and ego. Mr. Obama is being chastized for telling the truth and trying to stay above the fray, while Bill and Hillary are rewarded for appealing to the lowest common denominator.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  98. Jonathan

    It's good to see that they have a passion for the issues. A lot of people apparently, don't like it when people argue but I feel I'm getting to know both of them better as a result.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  99. Bob

    I recommend they duel it out. Pistols at one pace.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  100. Pat Golias

    Let Them Go!

    If Obama wants to play in the big leagues, then he has to learn to take his lumps as well as give them. The Presidency is not for amatuers. I'm sure this is kid's play compared to what the rest of the world will hit him with, if he's elected.

    Hillary has already proven she can take it, she's been taking it for many years.

    Pat Golias

    January 23, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  101. Cat, Costa Mesa, CA

    Right now, it's proving hurtful. I find ther constant bickering unbecoming for a future leader of our nation. I fully expect to see hair pulling and nail scratching by Super Tuesday.

    Clinton and Obama need to find a way of getting past this childish he-said, she-said drama or risk ltheir party looking like...gasp!...a republican race!!!

    January 23, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  102. ann

    No more of the Rovian slime tactics.. Enough or America won’t listen to you. Actually were not were watching American Idol. I am voting for Obama because he is not a product of Washington and he is optimistic and but realistic... I am tired of all the (fill in the blank) Gates and the democrat vs. republican food fights. Let's try to have a clean fight for the presidency.. But I sure do miss Joe Biden.. He had a way of telling people to grow up...

    January 23, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  103. Betty OLeary

    Bill Cinton's behavior reminds me of over the hill actors that you just can't get off the stage – pathetic, &, as we say in Texas, "tacky". Everytime he opens his mouth you think " do we really want "The Clinton Administration, Part II?

    January 23, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  104. Diddy

    Can the Clinton's really win a mud slinging contest??? I don't think so, I'm surprised they will even attempt to get dirty. If Hillary has a better record than Obama then she should stand on that record. Obama could easily damage the Clintons by just reminding people of the scandals of the 90's and God forbid the Impeachment. But then Obama would become a Clinton and Barack Clinton doesn't have a nice ring to it.

    Stay Strong Obama and press the issues.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  105. jide

    This dispensation goes beyound Hillary Clinton or barrak Obama, I think is time they both concentrate on their agenda and push their issues to the heart of Americans. If this feud continue the republican will capitalised on it and if the likes of romney should win the ticket democrats will be in big mess.
    The true fact still remains, the worst of Hillary is far better than millions of kerry , Algore or Obama or Edward. I hope the democrats are not going to make mistake this time, is time to put pettyness aside and face the major challenge.
    Jack be concise and factual and see a big picture of this candidates ,you bet ? Hillary is the best .

    January 23, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  106. Robert Reid

    It is truely amazing to see the desparate lengths to which the Clintons will go to reobtain White House power. There was always a feeling that the Clintons were essentially operating from a rulebook that required paybacks and destruction of ones enemies. I once thought that George W. Bush had succeeded them in his partisonship and divisiveness, but am not so sure now. If Hillary received the nomination, I was thinking about holding my nose and voting for her anyway, but now, I simply can not do this. For the first time in my life, I may vote for the Republican candidate.

    As for Barack Obama, he needs to stay on his message and keep his campaign on the high road. If he does not, he will fall as well, and this Country will lose perhaps the best hope it has seen for many years of a true leader. Maybe Obama can join Edwards in the "grown up wing" of the Democratic party and leave Hillary to play alone in her mud pit.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  107. James E. Elder

    As an African American and a Democrat I am becoming extremely disenchanted with “slash and burn” politics of this campaign. It has become apparent to many that there is a war of personal destruction going on in this campaign and I am shocked at the silence of the Congressional Black Caucus and Democratic National Committee. It is not a matter of who wins the primary, both candidates will provide better leadership than the current administration, but, what I and quite a few of us are finding offensive is that the Democratic National Committee is allowing the first viable African American Presidential candidate to be eviscerated in a campaign not based on policy differences but on the most subtle brand of racism and innuendo. If the Congressional Black Caucus and Democratic National Committee are willing to sit idly by and not reign in this behavior then maybe our allegiance to the party and it’s representatives is misplaced and we will sit idly by come November.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  108. Frank Weinberg

    With respect Jack, this is not simply a fight between the Clintons and the Obama. Rather it is a fight between the establishment of the Democratic Party and what Howard Dean called "the democratic wing of the Democratic Party". The Clintons and there estalbishment allies have had a cozy little relationship with the Republican Party that insures their supporters an opportunity to keep their snouts at the trough. This Republicrat establishent does not take kindly to outsiders who would bring REAL change to the society. They are the "syndicate" in Joseph Heller's phrase "Everyone is part of the syndicate and every makes a profit" (I've always thought 22 was a more appropriate number for what's happening than 1984. I mean isn't Bush, with his delusions of adequacy, far more President Milo than some functionally effective dictator.)

    As for the possibility of long term damage to the Party, this can occur but I think the risks are vastly overblown. Only a small persentage of family squabbles lead to divorce. In any event if gets too distructive, the Dems always will have a viable alternative in Al Gore, who all parties could support.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  109. Cat, Costa Mesa, CA

    Right now, it’s proving hurtful. I find their constant bickering unbecoming of a future leader of our nation. I fully expect to see hair pulling and nail scratching by Super Tuesday.

    Clinton and Obama need to find a way of getting past this childish he-said, she-said drama or risk ltheir party looking like…gasp!…a republican race!!!

    January 23, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  110. Samantha

    Watching these two bicker on-stage in front of millions or making comments on the campaign trail isn't truly helping the democratic party or the people who may be looking for the candidate that most represents their interests. Instead of proving why he or she may be the best candidate for the job of President, they only appear to be throwing punches in an attempt to prove why the other candidate is the wrong person for the job. If Clinton and Obama really believe their slogans of "change", they need to inspire it by proving that decency is just as important to them as their political interests.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  111. Douglas V.

    I think the feud between the two of them is unbecoming. Not to long ago, I was able to berate my Republican friends for the embarrassing infighting within their party and in their debates. Now, it is my turn to be embarrassed. I am ashamed that what was once a congenial exchange of ideas between the two of them has degenerated to this.

    If the Democrats want to ruin their chances of winning, tearing each other apart before they even get out of the gate is a good way to do it. They are assuring the destruction of their one advantage: a relatively united party as compared to the current republican mess.

    As a former supporter of Governor Richardson, I was still undecided as to who I was going to support in the remaining Democratic field and the debate two nights ago, along with these recent shamelessly personal attacks, showed me that the only candidate mature enough for the presidency is former Senator Edwards. As he put it, " I belong to the grown-up wing of the Democratic party,' and I would be ashamed to support either Clinton or Obama at this point.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  112. Usman

    This feud is certainly hurting the party's image. But the media needs to go after Hillary's dirty politics just as they would have done if a male candidate was playing such "gutter politics." I think there has been a double standard in terms of how Hillary has been given a free pass for all her doing, and only been called "part of politics." I think we're better than that.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  113. Ebe

    Wonder if there is a perfect human being running for office? Ancient mudslinging and confrontation only invites the same from the opponent. Don't they have the brain and education to refrain from it? Instead we should look at their present performance and how they conduct themselves. Afterall we expect them to have learned from their mistakes and become smarter. Are they delivering what voters like to hear or have they got a realistic platform which can be delivered when they are in office. Quit living in dream world and get real!
    Serve the people in a global economy and encourage initiatives. Look after the voter's welfare, for they are who get you to the office and pay for your job!

    January 23, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  114. Usman

    When would some one finally hold the Clintons accountable for their continuous distortion of the facts?

    January 23, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  115. Steve

    The problem with the Clintons is that they are the Democratic parties version of Richard Nixon. Nixon was a classic – he would stand with a pad of butter on his tongue in public and say he never swore and was upset by Harry Truman's salty language and then swear like a sailor off camera. This is the hipocracy that made the Clintons what and where they are. They say anything that will work for them and deny it later. We see this same behavior in Bush and his ilk. It is time to turn our backs on this bunch and look for some new blood. I hope Obama is it – the maddening part of this is if you call the Clintons on anything they get all huffy and start pontificating. If you don't say anything they just go on with their lies forever . What Obama needs to do is turn his back on them and ignore them – but also have some high profile surogates that will keep up with the Clintons and keep them in check.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  116. anne

    The Clinton's behaviors continue to be a disappointment. I guess thats what 35 years of experience has taught Ms. Clinton, how to win, at any cost. I believe the cost will be a republican president, because who could support someone of this character. How can we as American's have Ms. Clinton represent our country in this world when she and her husband present such a poor example. It is no surprise our country is in the mess it is, based on this type of leadership,

    January 23, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  117. Dave Brooklyn, NY

    I don’t care. Unfortunately the media has chosen these two for their assisted headline generating abilities rather than real candidates of substance like Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich, who might actually help this country out of its near fatal disaster.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  118. Diane D., Queens, New York

    If Obama can't take the Clintons' heat now....what's going to happen if he gets nominated and has to go toe to toe with the Republicans??? Seriously. Obama SHOULD stop crying foul everytime he gets criticized like this. It is part of the game. If Obama can't take the heat, get the heck out of the kitchen!

    January 23, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  119. Alex

    I think it's both. The helpful part is that we can see the picayune differences between Obama and Clinton. At the same time, though, it is hurtful because this is the election where the dems are supposed to slaughter the GOP. They want to see the muddled republican race stay that way. The last thing that they want or need is for themselves to start fighting amongst themselves. I think the party has officially received "Clinton fatigue." I know I have because every debate I watch with them she seems to attack Barack on something. And Bill isn't afraid to throw a couple of jabs either. Either way, whoever comes out of this feud will still be labeled the "socialist candidate" by the GOP. It is a vicious cycle with no end.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  120. Mark

    John Kerry sure no what it meant to be swiftboated, what amazes me is how we seem to forget the past so quickly, current President Bush campaign used the politics of distorting records against John McCain in the Republican primary of 2000, then we saw it used again to promulgate the Iraq war then we pretended we didn't know the Government could do that.

    Americans need to wake up now to see that if any politician used distortion or outright lie to get to the White house they will use the same tactics to stay in the white house.

    I am still waiting for President Clinton what the meaning of "is" is.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  121. Caimon

    Political elections are not about electing a Pope. It's tough a game. If you can't play, get out. Politics is about issues and characters. To me, both candidates need to turn up the heat more. I having been waiting for this until S.C. debate. The Republican started it long long ago, on the issues of immigration, tax cuts, religion, setting a convect free, etc... but people were not paying much attention.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  122. Love of myrtle Beach

    This is harmful to the Democrratic party. The Clinton’s have implemented actions that promote the status quo in politics. That is what they have prepared for. They claim a policy of change – a change from republican to democrat. Obama is promoting a change in how politics works, a policy of inclusion, not exclusion as the clinton’s are promoting.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  123. Rich , McKinney Texas

    Who knows? On one hand they get all this free airtime like today on your show with people talking about them good bad or otherwise. As long as people are talking about them they are not talking about republicans. On the other hand, if they can't solve their differences in a rational manner on stage in front of millions of Americans over petty he said she said hearsay then maybe neither needs to be running a country. Excellent communications skills are a must for a president if they do not display those skills then they shouldn't be running in the first place. Apparently neither of them have heard the words "Prove it" used in conjunction with the word NOW.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  124. Susan in Texas

    No one wants to hear Bill Clinton! Enough already! Makes me remember why I was so happy to see the Clintons leave the White House! Now, as long as he's on the campaign trail, will someone please ask Mr. Clinton if his pardons were for sale?

    January 23, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  125. Greg from PA

    Yes. It will be hurtful and yes, it will be helpful, too. Whatever leads to the truth helps all of us make an informed decision. The way Hillary and Barack squabble, however, makes them both look out of control and very non-presidential. This is not the kind of behavior a successful president would meet an adversary.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  126. BR

    This article tries to magnify intraparty struggles that have been around for a long time. What is different this time is that the media (yes, CNN you too) is intent on using it for their own purposes.

    The headlines on CNN.com seem to be more focused on the so-called fights and not on issues. This is a sick death spiral. Media focuses on the tussles and not genuine policy/ style/ leadership differences and keep feeding the public useless information. As more readers read this useless drivel, it spurs your ratings on and you push more aggressive headlines.

    Also, how about you represent a more neutral and nuanced views that just quoting mouthpieces from campaigns. I also noted by the way, that you have quoted only Sen. Kerry and former Sen. Dascle on your column without any response from Clinton or Edwards campaigns.

    Just report the facts and let the tabloids worry about who is fighting whom.

    January 23, 2008 at 3:54 pm |