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February 21st, 2008
03:26 PM ET

Clinton in the crosshairs in Austin, Texas?

ALT TEXT

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Hillary Clinton has debated Barack Obama 18 times so far but arguably none is as important as tonight.

Obama's on a roll, beating Clinton the last 11 contests in a row. She has to win the upcoming races in Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania – and she has to win them big – if she wants to stay in this thing. Tonight's debate could help her do that.

As one expert tells the Wall Street Journal, "Clinton doesn't have any extra opportunities. If Obama skates by and everyone says they both did well, it's over. That means he's won."

Some early indication of what we may hear from Clinton tonight comes from her spokesman who predicts a "civil" debate, while also calling Obama "a candidate who 36 short months ago was in the state legislature." Clinton also points to Obama as a risky choice, untested by international crises and the GOP attack machine. On the other hand, Obama could say to Clinton, "Yeah, but I'm ahead."

Analysts say the challenge will be to create a sound bite that will spread like wildfire across the Internet and negatively define the other candidate's campaign... kind of like 1984 when Walter Mondale took out his opponent Gary Hart by asking "Where's the beef?" Or when Lloyd Bensten slammed Dan Quayle's image with this zinger: " I knew Jack Kennedy, Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine, and Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy."

Meanwhile, tonight's debate is one hot ticket: 43,000 Texans entered a lottery to try and get one of the 100 available tickets.

Here’s my question to you: What does Hillary Clinton have to do at tonight's debate to try to turn the tide?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Barbara from Warner Robins, Georgia writes:
Hillary Clinton could prove that the experience she claims for herself was not gained by osmosis from Bill Clinton. Then when she starts belittling Obama with coy remarks about his lack of experience, she might appear more credible. Borrowing the words from an Ernest Tubb recording, I think Obama is going to “Waltz Across Texas” between now and March the fifth.

Steve writes:
Hillary has to show she's better prepared than Obama, to show that Obama has great lofty goals, but Hillary has solutions. While experience may not have been a major factor in previous administrations (Bush is living proof), the next president steps into a multi-nation, global war on terror, an economic recession, total lack of trust in government...

Shannon from Bigfoot, Texas writes:
She had better "get real" with all the Texans who have no interest in protecting illegal aliens and their illegal activities and tell us what she is going to do to stop the influx, immediately! Both candidates have totally ignored these issues so far. The Texas/Mexico border and illegal immigration situations have nearly reached the point of all-out war in this state.

Lorry from New York City writes:
Jack, what does Hillary Clinton have to do to turn the tide? Well, get misty eyed, of course!

Jen writes:
First of all, Hillary has always used the word "I" very frequently in her speeches. To the American public, she appears to be self-centered, not referring to others who helped her achieve the goals which she did attain. On the other hand, Barack is a common user of the word "we", and to the American people, that shows inclusion. People are hungry to be included in the political process.

Darren from Trenton, Michigan writes:
Outside of Obama getting caught on Dateline's "To Catch a Predator", Clinton's campaign is already doomed.

Casey from Tennessee writes:
Turn the tide? Didn't that whole lunar eclipse thing do that last night, Jack?

soundoff (120 Responses)
  1. Michael "C" in Lorton, Virginia

    I think that she has reached a point of "political critically" that it will make not difference as to what she says or promises. What she should have done in the initial phase of her campaign was to shed her old line, arrogant and authoritarian style and appeal to the voters. She need to reassure the voters that she would abide by the "will" of the voters, instead she threaten and is still threatening to cast aside the will of what the American people and claiming a coast to coast victory by the entitled superdelegates. She keeps making the same mistake expecting different resutls by deferring to Obama as the candidate who makes speeches, while she is the one who provides answers and solutions. SHe really doesn't have a great record of either solutions or answers, but rather prefers to attack Obama of having less. Its is over for Hillary and she is in denial.

    February 21, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  2. Chuck B Coastal NC

    I don't believe that the tide can be turned. Nor do I beleive that the majority of the people want it too.

    February 21, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  3. marie Mtl Can.

    A tear in the corner of her eye!!!!!!!

    February 21, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  4. Matt K.

    Jack, she needs to plagarize Deval Patrick.

    Pittsburgh, PA

    February 21, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  5. rachelle Sheely, phd

    She has to make voters see that she's found her voice while workin the night shift as she breaks through the glass ceiling.

    Rachelle
    Houston Texas

    February 21, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  6. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Cry more like she did before to get peoples sympathy. It's the only thing that has worked for her.

    February 21, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  7. Diana McLaughlin

    Dear Jack,

    Hilary needs to stop talking about experience, being Bill's wife does not count. Living with my husband an electrical engineer does not make me experienced in engineering. She needs to stop steeling Obama's slogans and find her own. By the way she needs to fire her speech writer.
    Also everyone keeps talking about foreign policy experience. Bush before he became president had zero. Obama wanting to speak to enemies is good because my grandmother and I am sure yours always said, Keep your friends close and your Enemies even closer.
    Thank you
    Diana

    February 21, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  8. Scott

    bate obama to shed light on his plan for america,
    or the lack there of.
    obamamania is a fad, and by november the fad will be over.
    check mate, mccain the war hero wins.

    bowling green, mo.

    February 21, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  9. Patricia

    Sen. Clinton needs to stick to the issues & not personally attack Sen. Obama. She needs to outline what are 5 things she can change in her 1st year in office that can help Americans, without having to beg for Congress' help.

    Patricia,
    Palmdale, Ca.

    February 21, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  10. Roger

    HILLARY NEEDS TO ASK OBAMA TO EXPAIN WHAT HE HAS DONE TO TRY AND END THE WAR AFTER HE GOT IN THE SENATE,ANYONE THAT WAS OPOSED TO A WAR AS HE IS SHOULD HAVE DONE A LOT TO END IT BESIDES TALK WITHOUT LEGISTION,THINK ABOUT THAT JACK,

    February 21, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  11. Rex in Portland, Ore.

    She has almost the same chance as Moses' army did at the Sea of Reeds, my friend. Her best hope is to get Huckaberry Mike's prayer group down there praying for a miracle. She done met her Santa Ana.

    Not even Crockett and Bowie can save her now. Ain't no heroics big enough, ain't no miracles a-comin' – ain't nothin' left but to take a deep breath and hold it 'til her blood turns blue.

    GRACEFULLY.

    February 21, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  12. Don MacNeill

    St. George , Ontario, Canada

    Hillary MIGHT [but I doubt it] turn the tide, by perhaps trying to be a little NICE for a change, and not sniping at everybody. So far, I notice that Barack Obama has chosen the high road. I hope he stays there. There are more important things in this election than what somebody did or didn't do 30 years ago. More honest discussion of the issues that will have an effect on Americans and the world, rather than statements about the others' inadequacy, which don't affect things.

    February 21, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  13. Ron Richmond, VA

    Just push the fact that Obama has done "Nothing"! Good intentions will not get things done in Washington! If the American people can't get their heads around that and ignore her experience, then they deserve what they will get, a disappointment that will fall flat on his face!

    February 21, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  14. Sam

    Convince the American people that if, indeed, Mr. Obama is no more than glitter and shine, glitter and shine alone have no god given ability to govern; particularly in the stressed economic and geopolitical times we live in. Hard to do in the age of Paris Hilton and Britney Spears.

    February 21, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  15. David P

    The only thing she can do at this point is to demonstrate her mastery of the technical details relating to the economy, security and other areas. At the same time she can cross her fingers and hope Obama stumbles when addressing these issues.

    February 21, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  16. Dave Pasley, Iowa City, Iowa

    Jack,

    I don't think there is anything Hillary can do tonight to turn the tide. I think everything is currently going Obama's way and here only hope is for him to make a mistake. She has tried the nice debate and has gone to negative campaigning, neither has worked. She will be good in tonight’s debate she has been in the others; however, I don't believe she has the ability to turn things around without a mistake by Obama. She is in a must win state, one of three, and I think if she loses in any of these remaining big three her chance at the nomination is basically zero.

    February 21, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  17. Tom

    Hillary has to prove to the people that she's in this by herself and her ideas and solutions are her's.....not Bill's. That she has her own fresh faces of consultants, not old DC croonies, or Bill's old faithful. She probably would be the lead candidate if she would have divorced the ex-President after he left office. That would show she could stand on her own. She's got too much baggage and it's weighing her down. There's nothing she can do to push back the Obama Tsunami. Have heart Hillary. It just wasn't her time to bask in the oval office.......but she will give hope to others who will be sure to pursue this path in the future.

    February 21, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  18. Bob C , St. Petersburg, FL

    Jack, I believe Hillary should appeal to the white males who are not ready to have a woman run our country. She should remind them that it was their mother who was taking care of the family, cooking, cleaning and probably taking care of the books and making sure there was enough left over to feed everyone while the "male figure" was out making a living. Since a woman took care of this house (and many others), I believe a woman who is smart enough to do all of this AND carry on the business of the US Senate for the state of New York is qualified to do the job at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

    February 21, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  19. Jeff, West Palm Beach

    At the very least, Mrs. Clinton should gracefully acknowledge to Mr. Obama the butt-whoopin' that he's given her since Super Tuesday. I guarantee that if she gets rattled and raises her voice, it will turn off voters. Obama has shown coolness under fire, and if he keeps his cool, then Mrs. Clinton might want to start campaigning in Vermont.

    February 21, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  20. Tony,.......Lou, Ky.

    She "could" oppose this "North American Union" crap on national tv!
    She "could" support the pardon of those Border Agents unjustly put in prison for defending our country!
    She "could" support the suspension of federal funding to "sanctuary cities", since sanctuary cities are illegal.
    She "could" explain what she's going to do about the tainted products from China.
    She "could" explain what she's going to do about the price of gas, and the GZILLIONS of dollars the oil companies are making off of us!
    She "could" explain why she constantly supports our laws to be broken, and then in a town hall mtg in Nashville, she states that her D.O.J. will ENFORCE our laws!

    But these are too much to ask from a politician!

    February 21, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  21. Scott

    Be strong and challenge Obama on what he would do on certain situations. This is still a close race and if he can get him to slip up – the ponies will run another day

    February 21, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  22. Kedrick from Mississippi

    Jack,

    Honestly, I don't believe there is anything she can do to "turn the tide." I have a friend who lives in Houston, TX. He told me that early voting in the last election produced only 1300 voters in two weeks. The first day of early voting this week produced 12,000...the first day. I just can't believe that all of those people are sending in early votes for Sen. Clinton.

    February 21, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  23. Justin W.J. in Phoenix

    Jack,

    She needs to get nasty and attack! The problem with that is that every time she does it, it gets an unpopular response from the CNN focus groups. She has to combine a positive message with an attack; disguise the attack as something the people want to hear.

    February 21, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  24. Keith

    I doubt one debate could turn the tide for her, Jack. Barack would have to just lay down for the next two weeks to give Hillary any real chance of winning the nomination now, and that won't happen.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  25. MIKE in Arizona

    Here's what Hillary should say if the question comes up again about her 'judgment' to vote for the resolution to use force in Iraq: "Mr. Obama did not make a "'judgment' when he decided to make his anti-war speech at that anti-war rally, because he did not weigh even one piece of actual military intelligence, or hear one expert witness' opinion before he made it.

    And, to be fair he couldn't weigh any real evidence because he wasn't a member of Congress at the time.

    So to compare his comfortable decision to make a speech and my difficult judgment to cast a vote as a Senator from New York is both unfair and dishonest."

    Jack - what's it called when someone makes a decision after not considering any evidence? Isn't it called making a 'guess?'

    Mike in AZ

    February 21, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  26. MIKE ADKINS,CHARLOTTE,NC

    hillary needs appeal to the latino voters and express plans to deal with immigation. middle class issues such as the economy, health care and education are part of the problem and iraq another, but the voters in texas will be largely latino.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  27. Eugene Womack Northern California

    Tonight Hllary will have to walk a very dificult political tightrope. If she attacks, to hard people will say, there she goes again. If she's not tough enough, she'll be perceived, as weak. With "Obamamania" sweeping the masses, I think Hillary's fighting a loosing battle, from here, on out.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  28. Terry, Chandler AZ

    To win in the debate tonight she needs to take command brom the opening statement and get stronger as the 'game' continues. She can't get into that snooty mode she sometimes exhibits. She must answer all questions directly and completly, no dancing around with her answers. Since she is incapeable of doing any of these, victory tonight will add fule to the Obamaramma Express.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  29. Nicki, Detroit

    Jack,
    She should say stuff I’ve read in the newspapers:
    1) Her comprehensive health care plan will cost $1700 less than Obama's plan. His doesn't cover everyone and hers will. She's already given us SCHIP, and it works so well there is bipartisan support to expand it–she has credibility on health care.
    2) He suddenly dislikes NAFTA, but he's voted to accept two international trade agreements. Is he's really going to do anything about it, or is he just trying to win votes?
    3) Obama has moved left of center, and she’s more of a moderate. I’d like to know what those differences are.
    Enquiring voters want to know.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  30. Jeff in E. Lyme, CT

    Jack, there's no question that Hillary is a better salesman than Barack Obama, however the American people overwhelmingly see through her pitch. Just like a salesman, she's in it for the winning, not for the best interest of the customer. She's done.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  31. Mary F.

    Hillary needs to become a natural born leader, ala Obama in order for her to overcome her recent defeats. He has the qualities that can't be taught, and for all her experience Hillary will never have them. He is a race-horse, and she is a "mudder."

    February 21, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  32. Ed in MA

    Jack,

    She needs to pray that Campbell or someone in the audience asks her about her running mate. Then explain to Obama how her 35 years of political resume makes her qualified for the VP slot in spite of her husband's eating and dating habits. 😉

    February 21, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  33. Sheila from NC

    I think she said actions and solutions are what are better than words. Maybe she can explain how she has run her campaign proves that point. Maybe she can explain how not having a campaign to win makes her more qualified.

    Her campaign reminds me of Bush, he had a plan to start the war but stop short of a plan to win. He just thought we would be greeted as the great liberators and it would be over. Just as she thought she would have the nomination tied up on Feb. 5th. Both of them forgot one important thing, the people did not agree with either of them.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  34. Louis

    In all honesty Jack I'm not sure there's anything she can do. If she talks policy she wont be able to highlight many differences since both Obama and Clinton have very simular policy proposals. If she stays positive she changes nothing about Obama's rising momentum. If she goes negative, well, we all saw what happened in South Carolina.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  35. W B in Las Vegas

    it will be interesting to see if she "plays nice" or "throws mud". I think either way she still can't overcome Obama's momentum BUT with "plays nice" she and Bill at least avoid becoming pariahs to Democrates. "throws mud" would probably not only NOT work, but blowback at her just like what happened after South Carolina.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  36. Dave Brooklyn, NY

    She will have to overwhelmingly cream Obama. At least she has a chance at that, given his limited debating skills.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  37. Donna Richardson

    If God is on our side, Hillary will win the nomination. If not, I'm staying home on election day.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  38. David A. Morse, Stoneham, MA

    Jack:

    She needs to STOP talking about experiece. She has NO experiece. Being the wife of a past President does NOT count as experience.

    Just as plans don't count as solutions until they are passed and signed into law. Unti either Clinton or Obama become President, all their proposals are just promises.

    Inspiration is just as important as plans. Because in order to pass a plan through Congress, the President needs the American people to pressure an obstructionist Congress to approve their proposals.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  39. Anita

    Here are the stats on Clinton and Obama. Clinton has been more successful with her sponsored bills as a senator (13.2% of hers made it out of committee vs. 6.9% of his). She was more successful than Obama throughout her time as a senator. She missed 6.3% of the votes since she became a senator, while he missed 16.8% since he became a senator. She has been a more effective senator and has been more responsible and dedicated to her work. Who can you depend on to deliver results vs. rhetoric? Look at the record (below):

    Clinton Obama
    Been in office since: 1/22/01 1/6/05
    Total Bills Sponsored
    (over entire term): 354 129
    Total sponsored bills
    that made it out of committee
    over entire term
    (% of total sponsored): 47 (13.2%) 9 (6.9%)
    Bills sponsored since
    democrats took over the
    senate (Jan 2007): 94 59
    Sponsored bills that made
    it out of committee since
    Jan 2007
    (% of total sponsored): 7 (7.4%) 3 (5%)
    Total votes in congress
    since entering office: 2406 1098
    Votes missed (% of Total) 152 (6.3%) 185 (16.8%)

    Maybe she should point this out.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  40. MICHAEL BURNETT L.I.N.Y.

    JACK' if she do have not a smoking bullet secret on Obama then I feel that this book is in history is all but over. If she gets ugly then I feel that the people will start to see her for just that 'UGLY'! Let's face it Hillary mis-handled her own campaign, and by doing so the people of this country are say'in if she can not even handle this how can she handle being President? I mean top camp personal drop outs, mis-use of money, sopredelecates switching sides, what else do you need? Hillary I feel you need a little more seasoning! See you in (8) year's!!!

    February 21, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  41. Danny -- Collinsville, Ok

    I would like for someone to ask of each candidate about the following:

    I would mention 3 names and ask them to react with their thoughts on the subjects and when or if they would do anything. The names are Camion, Ramos, and Johnny Sutton. Let's see what they would say in front of the Hispanics of Texas.

    Get off the 'Hope' and 'Experience' kick and talk about specific issues and their solutions.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  42. Rohit

    Hi jack all i want to say is THERE IS NOTHIGN SHE CAN DO TO WIN and emphasis on nothing. America is not ready for a women president much less a Hilary Clinton. Shes too emotional. I support Barack all the way. He has the right Idea lets just hope he delivers on it. Thank you Jack for this question waiting on this for a long time.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  43. Brian From Fort Mill, S.C.

    As far as tonight's debate is concerned, I hope Hillary really comes out swinging with everything she's got. I hope she shreds him on issues such as "talk vs. action", plaigarism, and that Rezco guy. I hope she nails him on all the times he voted "present" while in the state senate. I hope she slams him on the fact that his middle name is Hussein.

    I'm sure you've figured out by now that I'm supporting Obama!

    February 21, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  44. Cee

    It's ironic that the aura of inevitability Hillary tried to project now rests with Obama. It's too late. Clinton's own ineffective campaign strategy of ignoring caucus states, not planning beyond super Tuesday, and not reigning in Bill, sunk her. She can't stem the tide. She should acknowlege it and withdraw.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  45. Jim Galvin

    Use the debate as a platform to announce her support for Obama and then they both can use the remaining time to discuss what the party will do, cooperatively, after the take office.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  46. SC voter

    Jack,
    As a woman - as every working woman knows - she has to work HARDER than a MAN to get the SAME job, or the SAME paycheck or COMPARABLE praise.

    And SHE WILL......

    VOTERS: Give her a chance!

    February 21, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  47. Rex in Portland, Ore.

    [rachelle Sheely, phd February 21st, 2008 2:38 pm ET

    "She has to make voters see that she’s found her voice while workin the night shift as she breaks through the glass ceiling."

    Rachelle
    Houston Texas]

    Damn, girl, them's just words.
    Rex

    February 21, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  48. Terry North Carolina

    Jack
    Unless Barack Obama stumbles badly tonight, for all practical purposes Hillary is done. She will no doubt get very imotional and possibly shed a couple of tears however, after tonight her and Bill can take a long vacation if not together, seperately.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  49. bnthdntht

    She has to let it all go if their is dirt out there on Obama she has to bring it.

    L.M.,Arizona

    February 21, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  50. Karen, Texas

    Hillary needs to remind our "redneck" men here in Texas, that this is not a "racial" or "sexist" race. The men in Texas need to quit trying to redeem themselves from past racial acts and vote by using their brains. This can be a new generation, with open minds and new ideas by electing a female into the White House.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  51. Ben from D.C.

    Many supporters of Hillary switched sides when they see how vile she can be. Hillary needs to realize that she is loosing her support. She needs to realize that America isn't some statistic that stays the same. America can think and change its mind. All she can do right now is talk about her issues and not attack Obama.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  52. Joe

    She needs to pray that Obama doesn't show up. Only chance she has.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  53. Linda (Maryland)

    What she needs to do tonight: Announce to the nation that she's ending her candidacy for U.S. President and pledge her support to Barack Obama. The Republicans have chosen their candidate. It's time to unite the party and get behind the Obama change-wagon, and embrace the idea that the American people aren't interested in politics as usual in Washington anymore. We've seen where that's gotten us. Her time for the presidency has passed. Let it go, already, Hil. Give us what we're asking for.. and just say, YES, WE CAN.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  54. Vinnie Vino

    Jack,
    Hillary has tried to turn the tide in this race on Obama and the only thing that worked for her is when she got emotional in the dinner. So she can cry or tear up again in tonight's debate in order to turn the tide. This is her last chance to win over voters in must win states if it worked for her before...

    C.I., New York

    February 21, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  55. Dalton

    Hillary needs to put an emphasis on her experience and how she knows what the country needs for change. The last thing she needs to do is put the focus on the young people, where it is clear that Obama already has their vote. She may also want to focus on her health care plan, which she says covers everybody, which is another growing issue. The final thing she needs to do is continue to emphasize her middle class lifestyle, if she can relate to voters, they'll feel more confident to vote for her, if she can get the middle class, she's got this state locked up, if not, she's out.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  56. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Hillary shouldn't use this debate as an attack Obama debate, she spent too much time and money doing that and it hasn't worked for her. She should be engaging with Obama and her audience and talk about her strengths and accomplishments, and not Bills. I'm an Obama supporter and not because I dislike Hillary but sometimes she presents herself as fake.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  57. Richard Texas

    There is nothing Hillary Clinton can do in Texas to change her and Bills past. Your remember the story of Br'er Rabbit Jack? Well Bill is Hillary's Tar Baby and no matter how hard she tries to throw him away what he did still sticks on her and all over her. Maybe Obama will be kind and throw her into the briar patch instead of roasting her on the fire tonight.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  58. Richard Sternagel

    Jack, Hillary Clinton is going up against a charismatic candidate who has been very positive in his campaign! For her to attack him would risk political suicide.She can not trump her experience as a factor because he has the heart of the electorate which is why she lost 10 in a row! Go Obama!

    February 21, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  59. Michael M Phx AZ

    If Clinton attacks Obama like she did a couple debates ago, before John Edwards broke in and became the adult, it's probably all over for her. Bill certainly hasn't helped much lately either due some of his "antics" like the perported slapping of someone in the crowd or receiving line.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  60. James-Miami, Ok.

    Many act like it`s all but over for Hillary Clinton, but don`t count the Clintons out yet.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  61. Aisha (I-Sha),KY

    Maybe she could tell us, why her actions have indicated that her campaign has only focused on larger delegate states.
    But that will not change my vote for Obama- I am filled with too much HOPE to do something like that.

    -Aisha
    Louisville, KY

    February 21, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  62. Rob in CA

    The balance shifted 11 contests ago. If she could have shut Bill up, if she could have stopped slinging silly mud, if she could have admitted she made a mistake, and if she had campaigned to all of America instead of certain demographics, it might have been different, but now we'll never know.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  63. marcus mt.olive

    SHE MUST DESTORY OBAMA

    February 21, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  64. Vickie

    I think there should be some hard core question tonight on the debate.not the same old ones that you all have been asking and not the same old answers. Ask Obama what legislation he has sponsered to end the War since he has been in the Senate concidering he has been opposed to it.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  65. Deborah-Grant, Michigan

    It is too late. The Clinton negativity against Obama Killed her chances. Surely, they could have just raun a campaign on the issues and remembered that when it comes to baggage, she had more that enough that most people have not forgotten. Bill is hardly one to criticize another candidate and she should have made him stay home/

    February 21, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  66. Tom, Avon, Maine, The heart of Democracy

    She needs to get in a time machine; go back and reverse her gullible believe in George Bush over Iran, her belief in Bush over Iraq, her belief in the old school policy of no talks until they are post war peace talks. Is her new campaign manager H. G. Wells?

    February 21, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  67. Doug from Bloomington IN

    I'm not sure there's much that Hillary can do to turn the tide. She'll need to back up her "substance vs. style" arguement by forcing Obama to get down to the specifics of how he plans to bring change and define his proposals.
    But it could all backfire on her. Obama might just show up with all sorts of details that sound good and viable, Then Hillary will be sunk. If she relies on "my details are better than his details", then she simply won't get anywhere. She needs to make Obama look like an idiot. Sheesh....good luck with THAT!

    February 21, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  68. Karl in CA

    Hillary Clinton is just another Old School politician. She has all the answers for day one and that's that, blah, blah, blah. Well, we American people have had it with "Old School" after 8 years of it's worst example in our history. George Washington was an excellent President and had no real experience at all in government. We need to go back to square one and restart our government. It has become horribly derailed and needs someone with a vision to the future to get it back on track. That isn't Hillary. The wheels have fallen off her campaign and she needs to announce she is stepping aside and let the American people prevail.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  69. earl illingsworth

    #1) Ellaborate on the," health care issue",offer to bring Micheal Moore on board as a consultant. #2) Fix the energy program in this country ,(build more nuke's,less federal regulation). #3) Ask the auto industry to proto-type (general motors) , the Electrie/Battery Vehicle, it's time, and it's doable with todays technology,(what they lose on individual unit pricing,they will quadruple on volume,ie.sales) for EV's to get 200 miles plus. #4) Let's level the playing field for the "American Middle Class ",their jobs are literally flying out the country on a one way ticket ,impose harsher imports tarriffs where applicable. Wow ,I hope Hillary picks up one of thes issues and runs with it!!!

    February 21, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  70. Jed from Chico, CA

    Hillary will succeed tonight in turning the tide – towards Obama. She'll dredge up some out-of-context comments he made three years ago about NAFTA, or some issue he voted present on six years ago in Illinois. She'll talk about how he's afraid to debate. She'll draw her tired contrasts of experience, substance and specificty. She'll call him a plagiarist and question the very fiber of his campaign. And then she'll raise her voice in an accussatory tone when he calmly, quietly and intelligently defends himself and succinctly points to her own shortcomings. Bottomline, she will bring a negative, accusatory and desperate tone to the debate which will bring her nothing but bad karma with the American people. Can she win tonight's debate? Sure. But it will backfire if she erodes her creditability a good standing by resorting to attack politics.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  71. Larry Klein from California

    The news people should not be putting Hilary down so much, she won CA, NY, FL,MI and these biggies are important in the General Election!

    February 21, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  72. Bob from Rome NY

    She always talks about Solutions vs Rhetoric. She needs to detail her plans to solve the issues she is always jawing about.. At the same time asking Obama if he has any real solutions. Personally I would like to see someone elected that could actually bring about change. So often politicians campaign and promise the moon but once in office do not deliver. Business as usual is not what the people of this country want. Never have.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  73. Arlene from New York

    There are 4 things she should do. #1. Stay focused on the issues, presenting very solid solutions. #2.Do not make negative remarks about Obama. #3. Should Obama make even the slightest negative remark about her, she should state to him that it's uncalled for and that he should be focused only on the issues. #4. She should leave Bill at home in NY. Then again, perhaps this should be the #1 thing she should do.

    February 21, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  74. Sharon

    I hope she throws out the advice of her consultants and connects with the voters by expressing what she truly believes and feels. For all the criticism leveled at her campaign, I think the manner in which she was treated by the main stream media is what turned the tables on her. The nonstop coverage of the Kennedy endorsements and the polls showing Senator Obama out performing Senator McCain in the general is what most likely hurt her the most prior to Super Tuesday.

    My true fear at this point, is do we really know all we need to know about Senator Obama? We are a nation comprised of people holding beliefs at various points along the political spectrum from far left liberal to ultra conservative, with a majority somewhere in between. Do we all have a clear picture of where Senator Obama wants to lead the country? Or, have many just bought into his life story, claims of change, and the electability argument?

    February 21, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  75. Robin , Henderson, NV

    For all the Obama Supporters and Clinton Supporters, remember the prize is in November, Clinton is better in Debates, Obama is better on the Stump, expect Clinton to Win the debate, however we as democrats should demand that the Ticket for November includes Both of them, regardless of whom is the nominee. The Last thing we need is a old grumpy Republican with allegations hanging over their headin the White House

    February 21, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  76. Victoria Anne

    In all of the prior debates she has taken command of the stage–as a president would when meeting with her Cabinet, advisors and others. I would be proud to have her as our president because she also has command of all the issues and solutions. She should cast her aura out to everyone with its texture and colors of compassion and love. Before Jesus died on the cross, didn't he say, "God forgive them for they know not what they do?"

    February 21, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  77. Carol Quinley

    Well, she could try to take off the mask and show who she really is.
    She seems a little cold and calculating up until now except for the two times she tried the tears ,,with good results, maybe she should cry alot. Sympathy works for her.
    Carol Q.
    Michigan

    February 21, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  78. Mary Jo in Illinois

    I am confident that Senator Clinton will do very well tonight because of her credentials, her command of all the issues, and her supurb debating skills.
    Mary Jo in Chicago, Illinois

    February 21, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  79. Sharon

    There is nothing she can do. Based on how she managed her campaign needs to consider quitting and enrolling at Wharton School of Business.

    Sharon

    February 21, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  80. LC MN

    She needs to talk to America about solutions from the past 7 years of disaster.....and Mc is just more of the same.

    Obama..I like you also, but start talking to us instead of preaching to us. Your talking qualities are much more appealing.

    Watching CNN news..why does Mc have a hard time facing the camera directly when talking about todays news story?????

    February 21, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  81. Chris

    She has to hope that Obama's motorcade gets lost in route. Perhaps he'll get locked in the hotel bathroom, maybe abducted by aliens.
    Seriously, she has no shot. The Obama machine is going full speed downhill, jumping in front in an effort to stop it is nothing short of suicide.

    Rockford, IL

    February 21, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  82. Dave McDougal

    She needs to attack Obama on his voting record in the senate. She also needs to get tough on his inexperience on the economy and foreign affairs.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  83. William

    Jack, I am a young voter and this will be my first chance to vote in a Presidential Primary. Since I am in North Carolina and we have such a late primary (even though we hold a high number of DNC delegates) my vote may not make much difference after Ohio and Texas. I am so far undecided as to whom I would support since Edwards has dropped out of the race. Clearly the Clinton campaign has been grasping at straws. The fact that their attacks on Obama are not working hasn't sunk in. I think the only thing that she can do at this point is to hope that there is crack in his facade tonight. If she can't find a chink in his armor and exploit it, without getting nasty, then I don't think that she has a chance.

    Will, NC

    February 21, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  84. Jennifer -- Austin, Texas

    I cannot imagine what she can can do to win.

    At best, she needs to play defense. If she attacks, it all comes back on her — especially her new $10 million 527 “Swift Boat” group.

    She needs to conduct herself graciously, since this will be the penultimate time she will be seen by the nation in this presidential race.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  85. rbrannan

    Since Obambies (that is Obama zombies like Halle Berry who follow Obama in a trance and say they'll do anything he asks) have taken over the media, at the debate tonight Hillary has to ask the American voters to ask themselves this: If Obama was a black female Senator Obama, and if she, Clinton, were a white male Senator Clinton, and they both still had their same strengths and weakness as they do now as Presidential candidates, who would you vote for? If she asked Americans to do this, I think Americans , especially white and black 'male' voters, would come to their senses and understand that sexism nor racism should be a deciding factor in their vote.
    Rose from PA

    February 21, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  86. Bruce St Paul MN

    Senator Clinton's options will be limited. Everyone knows her positions, Everyone knows his positions. They are pretty much the same.If she tries to pick on the subtle differences, it will seem like sniping. If she again attacks his lack of experience, she will only be inviting him to admit that he has never been a First Lady. I think her only chance is to publicy offer him his choice of cabinet posts and hope he accepts.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  87. Mark-Michigan

    Does it really matter what she does or doesn't do, says or doesn't say? The pundits will turn it all around, debate it to death and those who obviosuly lean towards Obama, like you Jack, will do and say whatever necessary to make her look bad. How about sticking to just reporting the new and not commenting on it to death!

    February 21, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  88. Ron Kepics

    Hi Jack:

    She should set herself apart from the poitics as usual culture the country is expecting. Mrs. Clinton can make a real difference if she is more detailed about her plans to fix some of the problems in this country. For example how would she help the victims of hurricane Katrina who lost their homes. Allot of those people from the lower ninth ward still have no home to go back to. How would she help the poor people in this country. It is sad to see a young family rasing thier children living in a car because they lost their jobs. The unemployment compensation wouldn't pay the rent. So they have no home. These are real issues that need attention. How would she fix this crisis? I think if she is more detailed about how she is going to address these issues, she will give herself a better chance at victory. Hang in there Mrs. Clinton, it isn't over until it's over. You have a long road before November.

    God Bless to All,
    Ron K. – San Diego

    February 21, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  89. Larry

    Larry
    Macon,GA

    Jack,

    First, Hillary has to point out that her experience involves having the necessary relationships to get her policies passed. Obama forgets that those same status quo politicans he is calling out and embarrassing are necessary to help him get his policies passed. Therefore, his complaining about them is counterproductive and he is only making an argument against himself.

    Second, she simply has to use the three letters "H-O-W" when Obama is asked a question and goes into his "time for change/turn the page" spill. After several repeats of the same rhetorical answers she then only needs to use the three words "WHERES-THE-BEEF"?

    February 21, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  90. Bob in Rochester, NY

    What can Hillary do to turn the tide? Nothing. She can read the writing on the wall and go home. That's what she should have done after getting walloped in Wisconsin.

    If she decides to go with a scorched earth policy and attack, which is about all that's left in the bag of tricks, it will do nothing but hurt the chances of the Democratic party in November.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  91. Isaiah

    She will need to appeal to pity, Jack.
    When my 5-year-old niece throws a tantrum but still fails to get her way, she cries.
    So expect a lot of tears.

    Isaiah

    Miami, FL.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  92. abroo,MO

    Mke him look bad and incompetent...........impossible

    February 21, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  93. Tammie

    The time to turn the tide is long gone. She just needs to show a nice human side rather than desperate anger, at least enough to save face.
    The tide sunk her when her & Bill went negative a long time ago.

    Tammie MI

    February 21, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  94. Jan Davis, Knoxville, TN

    I think it is probably too late for her to turn the tide. However, to ensure she has some credibility in future contests she may want to contend for, I suggest she not be rude and negative or gloat too much about her "experience". Americans are tired of meanness and negativity in politics. Being nice and courteous is what has helped Obama get where he is today. He obviously is well-educated and highly articulate, exudes hope for the future and for PEACE–that is what people are looking for this year.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  95. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    She can't do anything. As long as Obama doesn't make any gaffes, she may as well try to take the position of McCain's VP. After all, they're "good friends" and she's been on his side regarding attacks on Obama.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  96. paul W.Dc

    Jack,

    its simple. She has to take her chair over to him, stand on it and give him a right upper cut to the jaw. If he goes down..... he's gone. If he stays standing but looks dazed.....he'll be gone in a couple of days. If he just stands there and crys.......he's gone. If he fights back .......he's gone. If she swings and misses........she's gone. My advice to Hillary...........dont miss.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  97. sid

    Dear Hillary,

    You became too complacent and took it for granted that all struggling blacks, Latinos and whites were in your back pocket and journey to White House would be a cakewalk. You ignored the small states and laughed off Obama, as only a little ripple in the ocean. That ripple has gained momentum and is giving hope, inspiration, confidence, and showing the pathway to a new future to millions of Americans across the board.
    Now that little ripple has become a Tsunami, coming at you... Run if you can…. and forget about the debates....

    New York

    February 21, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  98. MaMa4OBAMA Springfield, VA

    Hillary needs to "get real" and get out of deniel
    Obama and will be the next President of the USA!

    February 21, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  99. Stephen

    Hillary needs a big prayer rug tonight. She can make or break her bid for the white house. If she attacks Obama, people will see through it immediately. If she stays on the issues, she may do OK.

    OR – she could concede the nomination to Obama. Wouldn't that be a hoot!!

    February 21, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  100. snoopy

    She just needs to be "intelligent self" answer the questions without hesitation as she always does and not hem haw around like obama does. There is no comparison to how she answers questions on the issues and how he does so she just needs to do what she does best and give her honest answers to the questions on issues and let him hang himself by not knowing the answers.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  101. Mike, Decatur, Ga

    Don't say "ready to lead on day one."

    Repeating something to make it come true has only worked one time as far as I know. "There's no place like home...There's no place like home."

    February 21, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  102. snoopy

    How could anyone say she went negative in Wisconsin when all she did was point out their differences on health care. I thought candidates were suppose to point out the differences between themselves and the other candidate.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  103. craig in palm springs, calif.

    Hillary should hope that the media goes away for a while as they so favor Obama!

    February 21, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  104. NelsonR truckee

    Now that she has enriched herself within the Washington beltway which includes the ability the give her campaign personanally, five million dollars what more prerequisite is there for her to attain? Like most politicians they go to Washington with little and leave empowered and rich.

    Retire Hillary and allow fresh blood to reinvigorate our society, you can say or do nothing to persuade most Americans. They see the past and desire "Change".

    February 21, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  105. Ann, Newton, New Jersey

    Make it like a fireside chat. I noticed in her last speech she had toned down her voice instead of yelling. Explain in detail what it is she will do for our country, especially the middle class. Give specifics on what will she do to help our economy and amnesty for illegals. Will she listen to the will of the people and not have her own agenda? These are things we are waiting to hear.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  106. Terry Davies

    She just need to add style and be inspiring. It is difficult not to follow inspiration.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  107. Jim Hoffman

    Hillary Clinton can still pull it off. Debates are her Forte. Obama could slip up even this late in the campaign or old closets could still be opened. Look at McCain who has a household of closets, Jack.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  108. Michael, NY

    Jack, there is nothing she can do to turn the tide. She is down by 150 pledged delegates, meaning she will have to win 65% of the vote in every remaining state to catch Obama. She can spin all she want but MI and FL are not going to be counted and the superdelegates will not overturn the people's choice. This debate is irrelevant – she is done.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  109. Kevin McHugh

    This might or might not be the right spot for this:

    $162,000,000. One-hundred-sixty-two-million-dollers. For 2007, for one campaign.

    $50,000,000 for another campaign, one that appears to be poised to win the opposing party's nomination.

    A true visionary, a truly inspirational human being, a person promising real change in politics would have demanded that their donors give one-half of their donation to charity. To feed hungry children. To help the people of the Gulf coast.

    And that candidate would still have had $81,000,000 to use to run for President - $1.33 for every $1.00 their opponent could raise.

    Had Mr. Obama done that, I would have followed him into the grave. Instead, he has been a shining example – the brightest example in my lifetime – of old-style politics as usual.

    Sure has a nice voice, and says good things, but he still does exactly what everyone else does - exactly what everyone in national politics has always done.

    This is not vision. This is not change, neither real change or imaginary change. This is same-old politics as usual.

    A pox on all of their houses.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  110. Damian Taylor

    Hillary will need to stop trying to paint Obama as an uneducated lame with no experience that can speak well. She will start smart with being kind and polite but true to form she will digress back to her attack mode to make him look bad. PS Hillary that helps him .

    February 21, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  111. Michael, NY

    She needs to stop pretending like Barack Obama is speeches and no substance, and actually debate the substance with him. Barack Obama has 11 years of legislative experience to her 8. He has passed more bills through the US Sentate in 3 years than she has in 5. He has a policy position on every issue she has one for – and his are more complete, and more transparent. If she wants to stand a chance she has to be willing to debate the issues – not keep lying and saying Obama has no substance. The American people aren't buying it.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  112. Pamela from Wausau, WI

    This is going to be exciting to watch – Obama cementing his front runner status. If Hillary, or her hit man Bill, has any form of attack on Obama, the people will see this as an act of desperation.

    I want her to end this tonight and give the nomination to Obama – he's earned it!!

    February 21, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  113. Michael, NY

    Speaking for herself and not listening to Howard Wolfson and Mark Penn would be a start. Doesn't anyone else realize that these guys are destroying her campaign?

    February 21, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  114. Mary Kish

    She has to hope that he shows that he has no substance...nail him down to explaining his plans for all the things he has promised..how he plans to get it done and better yet how he plans to pay for it...if a man can't even use his own words to get people excited..than he isn't smart enough to get the things he has promised done..dreams and hopes are wonderful...but we could wake up after this election with a nightmare instead of a dream.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  115. M.E. Knapp, A True Texan

    Hillary Clinton can only win if she keeps her mouth shut, focus on other things than her typical health care issue (she always fall back on it when topics get tough- to avoid answering the real questions). Stay of the defensive. I was bored to death after the last debate because she just rattled on and on and on......Also, she needs to quit using Texas phrases "all hat and no cattle", please. It's one thing when we say them, they come off really phony from non Texans–just listen the Connecticut Kid- George Bush.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  116. Dolma

    I think she should remind people of the great Clinton era at the White House from 1992 to 2000.

    February 21, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  117. linda des moines Iowa

    Hillary needs to get the peoples voice back and I think the men in this country have a serious ego problem with women still today as it was and has been for many years. Women need to be themselves and get with the program that it is no longer stand by your man because the men don't have a clue how to stand by their women.

    Linda

    February 21, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  118. Gary Tobon

    The last time I saw a clear cut choice for a candidate was in the early sixties when JFK was the new arival. Today, I see the new candidate opposed by a group of geriatrics that have, by the very nature of their failures and thieir feeble appearance have abolutely no chance of winning anything. This is a new era.
    Respectfully,
    Gary Tobon

    February 21, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  119. Jerry Wilson

    The so called "tide" doesn't exist. Obama's win in one large blue state does not a winner make. So until he proves he can win in the big blues, lets call the tide, the ripple.

    Jerry Wilson

    February 21, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  120. stuart

    Clinton has to continually reinforce her experience vs the lack of Obama’s. Her expierence spans decades, his spans only as far as a 21 year old can see and the irrational can feel. She needs to hammer home her lifetime of accomplishments against the sound of his empty drum. Then he will be left playing defense all night long trying to learn The Texas Two Step as most beginners do.

    Stuart
    Florida

    February 21, 2008 at 4:36 pm |