February 20th, 2009
01:06 PM ET

How helpful is Bill Clinton’s advice to Pres. Obama?



From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

It didn't take long at all for Bill Clinton to get in on the act. A month after his wife was sworn in as Secretary of State, the former president is out with some advice on how President Obama should handle his job.

In an interview with ABC News Clinton gives the new president an "A" for his first month in office yet says he should put on a more positive face when talking about the economy. Clinton says he likes the fact that Mr. Obama didn't come out with a bunch of "happy talk" about the economic crisis. He added, "I just want the American people to know that he's confident that we are gonna get out of this and he feels good about the long run."

And he had more pearls of wisdom. Clinton went on to say that President Obama should talk to the public in greater depth about the economic crisis, saying he should lay out the full scope of what's going on but end by saying he's "hopeful and completely convinced" that we'll make it out okay.

Here's the issue: this is exactly what many Obama supporters feared would happen if he brought Hillary Clinton on board as vice president, or in any cabinet position for that matter. It's the old "two for the price of one", and it's probably just about the last thing Barack Obama needs right now.

Here’s my question to you: How helpful is it for Bill Clinton to publicly give President Obama advice on how to do his job?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Doug in Bloomington, Indiana writes:
Past presidents are a valuable and unique source of insight, advice and wisdom. If I were elected president, I would invite those guys over for a beer on a regular basis. So unless Obama is a bigger egomaniac than he is wiling to admit, this won't be a problem for him.

Michael writes:
Jack, Bill Clinton is the guy who retires from a company after 20 years of service, but still shows up every day just to let people know he can't be replaced. Bill, we get it, you were a great president, now can we get back to work!

Carol from Butte, Montana writes:
Well, it can't hurt to put on a more positive face, especially if his own attorney general persists in upbraiding Americans as "cowards".

Richard from Kalamazoo, Michigan writes:
The president already has enough trouble on his hands wondering what Biden will blurt out next. He doesn't need double trouble, which Clinton might give him at any time. Clinton's time has come and gone. Anything he has to say should be kept private.

Christopher writes:
Since Clinton was the last successful president of the United States, of course Obama should take advice from him.

Mark writes:
Bill just can't help himself. He has to be the center of attention. If he wants to help President Obama, pass the advice privately. I'm sure Hillary will take his call if he can't get Barack's blackberry number. There is a reason we only have one president at a time. The job of ex-presidents is to go to funerals when the VP isn't available. Earth to Bill, shut up and go home.

Will from California
Jack, How helpful would you find it if Wolf started telling you how to do your job?

E. writes:
Jack Cafferty is dumb and ignorant. He is so fascinated by Bill and Hillary Clinton that he loses his mind. CNN: Please fire Jack Cafferty. He makes your network stink!

soundoff (150 Responses)
  1. Bruce from florida

    I think Mr. Clinton speaks from experience and Mr. Obama is intelligent enough to listen....unlike the last admisistration, it is refreshing to have intelligence back in the White house!

    February 20, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  2. Tom in Dubuque Iowa

    Butt out Bill; we already have a President!

    February 20, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  3. Richard

    President Clinton should know that an Elder Statesman acts that way and provides feedback face to face not face to camera. You dont get points trying to setup your spouse for a 2012 run..

    Richard Delray Beach

    February 20, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  4. LM from Fayetteville, NC

    ONLY two people know that, the Pres and the EX. As long as they don't talk about cigars, the Pres can probably learn a lot. They are both exceptionally smart, intelligent men. That doesn't mean either of them can resolve the financial problems we have today: too much hidden and done covertly because of greed. But I would love to be a fly on the wall because they both know what we are facing and IF it can be resolved completely or resolved to the point we can live with it. They both seem pretty knowledgable about the importance of the internet today and probably forever at least for this century AND they both seem to understand the financial problems we are in – that doesn't mean they know how to solve them. Things got too rotten and covert and paying for our sins may be the only solution but they could certainly try to do it. I would think they are talking a lot these days and at least they haven't had any shoes thrown at them.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  5. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: How helpful is Bill Clinton's advice on Obama on how to do his job?-I'm sure after Obama listens to what Clinton has to say-–he will surely know what not to do.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  6. Terry from North Carolina

    Different times Jack, Bill Clinton should learn to call bingo at the old folks home in Chappaqua.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  7. Allen L Wenger

    I think President Clinton is a good source of information for President Obama. He did a great job as president, his only failing was his social indiscretion. I don't know of a better source to use for advise on how to run the country.

    Mountain Home ID

    February 20, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  8. Greg, Ontario

    I doubt very much that Mr. Clinton would be privy to any information that President Obama isn't. His advise could only be vague at best. Mr. Clinton was liked around the world but nothing like President Obama. I don't think the Pope would have gotten the media attention lavished on President Obama in Ottawa.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  9. Soula

    Bill Clinton is palying a good PR role, and I seriously doubt that he would be talking to the media about Obama if it were not something the new President approved of. After all, with his wife in the spotlight too, his goal is to preserve his legacy, and the legacy of his wife under this administration. No one should forget that he is still very popular in the US, and when he speaks, people do listen.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  10. Will from San Jose

    Jack how helpful would you find it if Wolf started telling you how to do your job?

    February 20, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  11. Christopher Buckley

    Having been the last succesful president of the United States, of course he should take advice from him.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  12. Pablo in Tejas


    As my grampa used to tell me, "Free advice is worth every penny you pay for it."

    Arlington, Texas

    February 20, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  13. Jay Tee

    Even though Bill Clinton wanted his wife to be the President. I truly believe that his advice to President Obama is genuinely helpful. reason being, I know Clinton don't want this country to fail.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  14. MARCUS123 Flanders

    Bill is correct ; Obama went from hope to being a prophet of doom;

    February 20, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  15. DPZ

    Well advice from the experienced is better than no advice at all. President Clinton is better experienced so he can offer all the help to President Obama who is still learning the ropes of politics and policies.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  16. Craig in Palm Springs

    Bill Clinton is very bright and his advice and insight will be invaluable.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  17. Lisa Shaw

    Bill Clinton is an American citizen with an opinion. Like everyone else in this beautiful country he has a voice that should be heard. Clinton is only giving President Obama advice, leave it to the media to twist the minds of the American people. Clinton and President Obama will be forever held under a microscope.... give a rest

    February 20, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  18. Sandy

    It is not helpful. Obama got elected without Clinton's advise and he doesn't need it now. Cliton didn't have half of the problems that Obama has so how can he tell him what he thinks on what he should do. Thank heavens he didn't become first man.


    February 20, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  19. Doug from Bloomington IN

    Past presidents are a valuable and unique source of insight and advise and wisdom. If I were elected president, I would invite those guys over for a beer on a regular basis.

    So unless Obama is a bigger ego-maniac than he is wiling to admit, this won't be a problem for him.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  20. Pat Howells

    Well Clinton's correct in advising Obama to be more positive about the economy. But, one key factor that no one discusses is our trade agreements. We have literally sold our jobs, and middleclass to these agreements, and now we owe China. Good-bye middleclass, and American companies. Years ago I voted for Perot. Our two parties disgust me. We will have another Perot, and this time he or she will win.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  21. Richard

    The Prez already has enough trouble on his hands wondering; what will Biden blurt out next. He doesn't need double trouble, which Clinton might give him at any time.
    Clinton's time has come and gone. Anything he has to say, should be kept private.

    Kalamazoo, Mi.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  22. Allison

    Although the advice may not be welcomed, there is a lot that can be gained from the former President's advice. The truth is that at this time, the country is afraid of its future, afraid to spend. With a stimulus bill the size of this one, and constantly being told that the world as we've known it is in peril, our citizens need to be assured that their new commander in chief is confident in the outcome of our nation. He needs to assure the country that this great crisis can be overcome in time. After all, the rhetoric worked in the Reagan years.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  23. David Gerstenfeld Las Vegas

    Why not? Bill Clinton is a well informed, experienced American citizen. I'm sure President Obama would rather hear Clintons' comments then Biden's.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  24. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    Considering that the eight years of the Bill Clinton presidency were the absolute best, economy wise, that I can remember, I think that ANY advise given to President Obama should be welcomed and paid attention to. Bill Clinton was one of the better statesmen of his time in office and his advise and opinions should be taken seriously.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  25. Don in Fort Gratiot MI

    About as helpful as me suggesting to you what questions you should ask in this blog Jack. Clinton likes to yak, and yak..
    His interviews are interesting, but I doubt Obama is listening very hard.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  26. Robert from Marquette, Mi

    Bill has been there, he helped to create a budget surplus, he was an amazing president. To suggest that he has no right to give the new president advice is insane.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  27. Tina

    I agree with Clinton, even though the country is going through tough times, Obama has nothing but negative and hopeless comments to make. This hurts consumer confidence and the economy.

    What happened to the 'Hope' and 'Change' person that the American people put into office? He did not make these comments before he got elected. Now he presents himself as someone who can not help the country.

    A real leader leads and giveS direction, confidence and hope. Obama has not done that since he became president. Was it a mistake to elect him?

    February 20, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  28. Joe (Tyler, Texas)

    If he wants to give Obama helpful advice, that's great. But doing it in public is not. This is our president, not a little kid.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  29. John from Alabama

    Jack: If there are the same set of circumstances that Mr. Clinton experienced, and Mr Obama is going through the same cricumstances it is could for Mr. Clinton to give advice. Mr. Obama is a thoughtful person, and will listen to advice which might be helpful for doing his job better. Mr. Obama will listen to others who have opinions that may differ with his thinking. The last administration did not want to hear others opinions, and see what mess it has put this nation into today.

    John from Alabama

    February 20, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  30. Will

    Jack, give it a rest will ya,with trying to demonize Bill, because under his administration we had a good and robust economy. And whether his wife is on Obama's cabinet or not, he will always be in the political spotlight and people will always value or ridicule his insights. Isn't it clear, by how you guys follow him around in the media for interviews and the cash he rakes in from speaking engagements and book sales, that he is here to stay? We need to stop hating on someone because of some personal, misguided vendetta we may harbor.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:06 pm |
  31. Bill


    If anybody can fix the economy is President Bill Clinton. President Obama should head the advise of a former President. President Obama should also ask President Clinton to join him as and Economic Advisor too.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:11 pm |
  32. Bob D of Morristown, NJ

    Clinton giving advice is certainly no worse than McCain and his fellow Republicretins badmouthing Obama's recovery effort because it isn't theirs. I think Bill Clinton would be doing the interviews etc. with advice whether or not Hillary had joined the administration.

    As to his specific "advice" it seems to ignore the fact that because of the Repub party contra rants, Obama had to stress the urgency of implementing the stimulus package to at least neutralize those rants, and gain some public support.

    Clinton is right in the long run, that optimism will be a necessary ingredient of any recovery, and I know Obama realizes this as well, but he had to first get the stimulus package passed while minimizing the buyers remorse the Republicretins were working to instill.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  33. Agnes from Scottsdale, AZ

    Jack: It doesn't really matter. Bill Clinton wants to make sure his name continues to appear on the front pages. Barack Obama has a high tolerance for Bill's ego. It's all politics and gives us somethinig to talk about!

    February 20, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  34. Tim Hutchins - FL

    Bill is publicly supporting Obama because he wants him to continue making stupid mistakes so Hillary can rip him apart when she runs for Prez next cycle.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  35. Bill Suver

    Clinton's comments do not matter. Anyone who is really listening to President Obama knows that he is in this battle to win it. I would rather hear the truth, from someone who has the intellect and drive to address the problems, than to have the constant upbeat blather from President Bush that only HID the true problems.

    Powell, Ohio

    February 20, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  36. Mallik

    Iselin NJ.

    It does not matter if Hillary is in the administration or not, people are going to ask Bill Clinton what he thinks and he for one is not let go an opportunity to give public piece of his mind.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  37. Tired O'Jack


    Bill Clinton is a former President, he can offer his advice and perspective. He served as President for 8 year so unlike you, he has the experience and unique opportunity to give a reflection on what the President is doing. Besides, what did he say that's wrong? Nothing. He praises Obama and you can't just let it stay at that, you and the rest of the elite media have to find a way to insult or bring Bill Clinton down no matter what he does. Give it a rest or get a life – whichever comes first.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  38. Cindy Nusbaum

    Whether or not Hillary is Secretary of State or not, Bill Clinton will be offering advise or commenting on the present establishment. It seems all previous presidents seem to do this. It's just the hatred some people have for the Clintons. I miss the days of Clinton's administration. When we had a balanced budget, good paying jobs and weren't involved in 2 wars.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  39. Larry in Houston

    Clinton is a masterful politician. He provides sound counsel.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  40. Grace Needed

    From Albany, NY – Former President Clinton can't help himself. He's a smart guy and is always thinking how he would do things in a similar situation. He probably feels more freedom now that there is a Democrat in the White House, where he had to bite his tongue more the past 8 years, with his wife thinking of running for the office too! I suppose as long as he is positive it can't do any harm, but beware of loose lips, they can sink ships or so I've heard. Maybe if Pres. Obama had monthly sessions with him he would feel more included and wouldn't be spouting off where he shouldn't. I'm sure he has intelligent advice and Pres. Obama is always open to good ideas.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  41. political girl

    Former President Clinton, had his turn, now he needs to step back and let Secretary Clinton and President Obama, have theirs. I know it will be hard for someone who loves the spotlight. I watched one of his interviews this week and before every pearl of wisdom, came " when I was President I did it this way or that, again former President Clinton, that was 16 years ago, let's live in the present not the past.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  42. Jake, Oregon

    Publicly, it is more important to Bill Clinton than to Pres. Obama. BC has an image to restore after the quirky stuff he pulled whole campaigning for Hillary and for the President. Mr Clinton still thinks he created the financial boom of the 90's. It was the other Bill, Bill Gates, who in the cyberworld inspired literally thousands of new businesses, corporations and jobs. Wall Street invested wildly through IPO's. (Initial Public Offerings).
    Today The new investment area is green, or seeking a goal of removing entirely, dependence on OPEC for energy. In a few years, It will easily match and likely exceed the boom of the 90's. Look out Hugo.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  43. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    I don't think that it's helpful at all. He shouldn't be out there publicly second-guessing the president. If he has advice to give President Obama, he should meet or talk with him privately.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  44. louis germano

    Dear Jack,

    I think that all former presidents should never be allowed to retire. These men held the position once and should be the first cabinet of the presiding president. With all these men working together, just maybe history would not repeat itself that the current administration spends so much time trying to undue what the others have done. This is the only way partianship will cease to exist.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  45. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    Bill was correct in his assessment and the advise is excellent and especially from a person who has the experience and knowledge like he has. Obama needs all of the good input he can get to help us tackle this issue and I truly hope he listens to it.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  46. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Former President Bill Clinton is doing what he does best, being helpful and mischievous. I guess Hillary will need to tone Bill down again because she sure can't put a muzzle on him.

    February 20, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  47. Judy, Exeter, Calif,

    I don't think it serves Obama as well as Clinton himself for whatever reason. Advice given in a public forum is highly suspect. Why doesn't he just make an appointment to give his advice privately?

    February 20, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  48. Marie

    Everybody does why not him? Who is more qualified and has more experience and success than him? Obama can listen to his advice and make his own mind.

    February 20, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  49. Jay

    Obama knows the easiest way to exceed expectations is to lower them. Clinton knows that too but doesn't care.

    February 20, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  50. Curt

    I don't see anything wrong with President Clinton voicing his opinion and giving advice. Being the president of the United States is a tough and taxing job even under flourishing circumstances. With all of the foreign and domestic issues facing President Obama, I think any advice should be welcomed with the mindset that it's just that, advice. It doesn't matter where the advice is coming from, as long as the advice taken is thoroughly thought about and only used if it fits with what President Obama thinks is the best choice. One last thing, if the choice of Hillary as Secretary of State was in fact a two for one deal, great. President Clinton is still well liked not only here in the US but abroad. He has done some great work since his stay in the White House and will continue. I'd be proud to have him on my side in these trying times.

    February 20, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  51. What's New?

    Was there ever a doubt in anyone's mind that this would happen? I didn't see a lot of "advice" being given in this article...but come on, people. With Hillary where she is, and promises made by Obama's campaign before his Immaculate Inauguration, what did you expect? I'm not even a Republican, and I think this is absolutely hilarious!!

    February 20, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  52. Mike


    Bill Clinton is going to do more harm than good if he doesn't stop trying to steal the limelight. Bill has already had a turn at being president, and he was never as good as he thinks he was. The great economy that he gladly takes credit for was fueled by the dot.com bubble, which was well on its way to bursting when George W. took over. If Bill gives advice, he should do so privately. When Bill gives advice publicly, it appears that he is trying to lead the country from the sidelines. It's Barak's turn, for better or worse.

    Mike, Pueblo CO

    February 20, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  53. Pam Riley

    I don't think he's giving advice, I think he's giving his opinion and as any other American Citizen, he has the right to do that. He has the advantage of having been there so why should he keep silent? Would you be questioning an opinion if it came from Jimmy Carter or George H. W. Bush? I don't think so!

    February 20, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  54. mayaka From Bloomington MN

    Jack! During Clinton's time the economy was booming unlike George Bush's time. Clinton is more than qualified to advice him.

    February 20, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  55. AndyZ Lynn, MA

    Very valuable. I'd gladly go back to the Clinton years anytime. It was a lot better than the morass that is sucking us into being a third world country today.

    February 20, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  56. Louise in North Carolina

    It didn't help President Bush to talk positive about the economy–that is the reason we are in the shape we are in now! I know Wall Street is important for judging how well the economy is OR SUPPOSE TO BE–remember how they closed out high over a year ago and this is when the economy was on it's way down. I believe in telling it like is–then you can start working to fix it.

    February 20, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  57. Joe

    As a former President, who left office with a record surplus, he is ideally suited to offer Obama advice. Especially since Obama has virtually no experience in the Federal government in any capacity.
    Let's be realistic...this would not be an issue if Hillary was just a former first lady.
    Joe from Long Island

    February 20, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  58. Perry McLeod-Shabogesic

    I believe Bill Clinton is still very relevant and useful to President Obama. His experience and knowledge can help the new president. The trouble is he (Obama) can only tug on the leash of Joe Biden when he barks too much or dumps in the neighbors yard. He will have to really on his Foreign Affairs Secretary Hillary Clinton to yank Bill's chain and bring him in when he strays to far... from the White House!

    February 20, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  59. Justin, Alexandria VA

    Very, for once. First of all, the publicity of the advice has nothing to do with Hillary – Bill Clinton will gladly publicly advise anyone on anything, anytime, anywhere. More importantly, I'm glad someone said it. It's good that President Obama is being straightforward with what we are facing as a nation. It's important because it shows he understands the gravity of the situation (it's way better than W telling everyone to go shopping after September 11). But historically it has helped to use words of encouragement to balance out reprobation and alarm. During World War II, Winston Churchill never understated the magnitude of the crisis the world faced, but he also never stopped reminding people to be hopeful and secure in the knowledge that they would prevail. It's all the more important that President Obama do it in this case, where our economic situation is directly exacerbated by low morale.

    February 20, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  60. Spencer, Virginia

    I don't see anything wrong with it. Both men want what is best for the country. If Bubba feels that he has advice that will be beneficial to the President, he should feel free to express his opinion, but realize the decision is ultimately President Obama's.

    February 20, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  61. Dianne

    I think Clinton is offering wonderful advice. I also think the media could present the economy issue in a more positive light. instead of having ECONOMY IN CRISIS accross the screen, perhaps Economy in Recovery or just Economy Update. With the negative tone, how will consumer confidence ever improve?

    February 20, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  62. Ann from Hampton, New Jersey

    Hillary has nothing to do with it. The media is to blame. If reporters are going to be going to him with questions about how the President is doing, he will be giving his opinion. If George Bush was a Democrat, he would probably have done the same thing.

    February 20, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  63. tommy

    At least clinton was positive, obama is too negative

    February 20, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  64. Larry, Ohio

    Jack,some one should be giving President Obama advice,I mean,after all, look at all the missteps during the cabinet selection,should it be Bill Clinton?,I really doubt it,after all didn't he pick Monica,that really shows a monumental lack of judgement!!!!

    February 20, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  65. Grace, Florida

    Bill Clinton is premature in offering his advice to Obama. It's almost like micromanaging for him to think that Obama needs his input this early in his tenure. Furthermore, Clinton should have his hands full with his own affairs and keeping Hillary company on her junkets.

    Thanks Bill, but no thanks. Obama is the president of HOPE and that has not changed!

    February 20, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  66. Kelly, PA

    I saw the interview and generally thought his comments were favorable toward President Obama. I happened to agree with the former president. As the market dips with no sign of change, the stimulus package coupled with optimistic messages can go a long way, especially since Americans will soon receive their tax refunds with extra money to burn. I just received mine and have held on to it with a kung fu grip. If Obama asked me to trust the market, I just might ease up a little.

    February 20, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  67. Betty, San Diego, Ca.

    Bill Clinton should stop making public comments about President Obama and impart his words of wisdom behind closed doors. I would rather hear what the real dire economic situation is and the plan for our recovery. If you listen to President Obama's speeches, this es exactly what is being conveyed. People want to hear the truth. This is not the time to put lipstick on a pig. The President inherited this mess. People are losing their jobs and their homes. It is intuitively obvious, if you look around, that the economic situation is grim.

    February 20, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  68. V.K. Raman, Sparks

    Bill Clinton is a master politician. Our President should be surrounded by masters in all fields so those masters can guide and help the President to resurrect this country from the present economic condition.

    February 20, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  69. Ronald Holst

    Jack who would you Have Him Take advice From, Bush?

    February 20, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  70. Bill in NC

    Helpful maybe not, but let's face it, it's part of the fun. Right now, I'll take all of the free fun I can get.

    February 20, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  71. Muriel Kangas

    People need to get over the fact that Bill Clinton is married to Hillary and yes, he does come with the territory. When we were in the best financial shape during the Clinton administration, why wouldn't Obama want some advice from him? Do you honestly think he would ask one of the Bushes for advice? So, why not Clinton? It doesn't sound to me like he's treading where he doesn't belong, he was asked what he thought about Obama's first month in office and he answered with his words of wisdom. Leave the man alone already and stop beating up on the Clintons who were a godsend to us during those 8 years.

    February 20, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  72. md

    Don't ask Bubba and he won't tell. Keep him off the air, so that he won't get off about himself.

    February 20, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  73. John in Arizona

    Jack, it's about as helpful as your father giving you dating advice – in front of your new girlfriend.

    February 20, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  74. Steven

    After Bill Clinton stated President Obama should be "hopefull and completely convinced" that we'll make it out of this okay, he was asked on a scale of 1-10 how sure he was we'd make it out okay- he gave a 9. I think he should have said a 10, especially because he's complaining about obama not saying that he's completely convinced we'll make it out okay.

    February 20, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  75. Irv Lilley

    Jack, If Clinton could leave the WH with an apperoval rating that twas just about twice as high as GW bush, he must know some good things to pass on to Obama. So why don't you guys in the media
    just let Obama handle Clinton. Obama seems to be able to handle
    mosst other people's advice.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  76. Valerie

    He should call up his wife and get the hook up .and then give it to him in private ..

    February 20, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  77. Eleanora Feucht, Mt. Laurel, N.J.

    When you used the words "PEARLS OF WISDOM" you were exacty right. Bill Clinton is the most intelligent president we have ever had. He changed the large deficit he inherited from Reagan and Bush into a sizeable syurplus. Pres. obama could d worse than take the advice of this Rhodes Scholar, especially with the economy such as it is. Also, he was very generous in working to get Pres. Obama elected president and he was very generous in saying that e gave Obama a A in what he's done so fay

    February 20, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  78. Evan

    I think that it is actually helpful, in this instance, for former President Clinton to share his current views on how President Obama is doing. The majority of what we hear is Democrats praising Obama and his plans, while Republicans are bashing everything Obama. The partisanship in Washington is still so deep that it is hard for the average American to get a clear picture on the realities of this difficult situation. Former President Clinton provides an experienced, respected perspective that is seemingly above the divisiveness of Washington partisanship.

    Evan, Valdosta, GA

    February 20, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  79. Jon in Virginia

    Bill can't stand the sideline. His wife is getting press and he cant help but create a sound bite. Obama doesnt need his advice anymore than an intern does. Bill... go home!

    February 20, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  80. Ken in NC

    I think it is nice of former President Clinton to offer free advice to President Obama but it appears he is doing pretty good on his own right now. He has a lot of smart people around him now. Most are from the Clinton White House.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  81. NH David

    Jack, it depends on what the definition of "helpful" is.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  82. Peter Oneill

    Bill Clinton, as declasse as ever! When will this hick ever learn to leave the stage gracefully? This man must be one of the most dysfunctionally needy persons in the country, not content be out of the limelight for an instant. And can you imagine how much worse it would have been if Hillary had won the White House? Yikes!
    Peter O'Neill, New Cumberland, PA

    February 20, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  83. Ralph Nelson

    Doesn't bother me, Obama is just being honest. Clinton can be one of his greatest supporters. It's Biden that who has the golden foot. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  84. Catherine Butterfield

    This is a non-issue. The man said glowing things and you pick out the little quibbles. Look for a more interesting question.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  85. Ken in NC

    Former President Clinton is a private citizen. Let him blog his advice here in your room like the rest of us do Jack.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  86. Frank, Florida

    A lot more helpful than Dick Cheney and company's criticism. Obama inherited a mess. He deserves more than wishes that he and his efforts fail.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  87. Allen S. Gray

    Here's what Bill Clinton should do:

    Shut Up!

    February 20, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  88. Greg Hodges

    I really don`t understand where Bill Clinton is coming from these days. Does he really think "Happy Talk" is going to solve the myriad of problems left on Barack Obama`s doorstep; by 8 years of insane waste by Bush?! Pres. Obama is optimistic by nature (Audacity Of Hope); but you can`t sugarcoat the fact that the U.S. is in a total mess right now. At least the current President is not living in some fantasy world, where Wall Street and greed can solve everything.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  89. bulldog4obama

    Hey, the Billary had us in the black. Financially, he's good to listen to, but good God help us if he starts offering moral advice!

    February 20, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  90. Linda Burke

    Bill Clinton can't get out of his own way. It's time for him to sit back and do his own thing. President Obama is doing just fine on his own, thank you very much.

    New York City

    February 20, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  91. Lilarose in Bandon, Oregon

    Anything Bill Clinton has to day or do in these terrible economic times is welcome for me.

    My finances and job were the very best I ever had in my life when Clinton was president.

    He is very smart and he is a citizen of this country and has as much right to express himself about any topic as does Mr. Cafferty.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  92. Norma


    I listened to the whole interview. Bill did not make the comment in a
    derogatory way. The news is jumping on a one liner and making it
    into a big story. He was not talking out of ego. He was very complimentory about our President.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:12 pm |

    I don't think Bill Clinton went too far with advice to Obama. I didn't view at any differently than I would when Carter has commented on Clinton, or advice from Bush to Obama, for that matter. That Clinton made his comments public–it's Bill Clinton–what do you expect? I don't see any harm done in what Clinton said, and I, for one, would appreciate a more indepth discussion of what's going on. People in the media has called Obama "professorial." I would appreciate a little professorial application to a speech about what's going on, where we started, where we are now, what's the next benchmark, etc. Bill's OK on this for me.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  94. Bernadette Loesch

    Dear Jack, While I agree with you most all of the time, this is the one question that I take issue with concerning former Pres. Bill Clinton and his so called advice to Pres. Obama. In our past history most former presidents have been asked for their advice ad in nauseum. Why should this situation be any different? Former Pres. Clinton is a brilliant man, we should listen to his advice. On the other hand, if former Pres. George W. Bush was consulted and gave advice I would choke!

    February 20, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  95. S Powell

    Clinton had his chance & blew it. Maybe if Bill hadn't repealed the Glass-Stegall Act, we wouldn't be so deeply embedded in this economic mess in the first place, among other things.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  96. Qwick from Tamp FL

    Bill Clinton's mouth sank his wife's bid for the precendency and he won;t be happy until he takes Obama under also – maybe even the whole Democratic Party! Loose lips sinks ships!!

    February 20, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  97. Nathan Hobson

    Bill Clinton is a former president of the United States. He would be called upon to comment on Obama's performance and other major issues whether Hillary was in the cabinet or not. You seem to be putting him in a negative position when as a former president he will be called upon and has a right to comment.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  98. V. Williams

    President Clinton needs to realize his time to guide the economy has passed. His unsolicited advice for the new president is best delivered via private channels.
    I really hope this does not become a habit (as feared by many, many folk during the primaries).

    February 20, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  99. Joan Basso

    Does Bill Clinton realize he IS NOT the President any longer?
    His comments via the public forum serve only to feed his ego again.
    When President Obama wants his advice, he will ask for it...or not!
    j in FL

    February 20, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  100. Michael from Greenfield, Wi.

    I don't think that Hillary has anything to do with whether President Clinton speaks, what he has to say, or who he says it to. Any time a living President has anything to say, they will be heard. Proof in point, and as it should be. It's just that Clinton will always be the most vocal of all of the Presidents, helpful or not.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  101. Deb from NYC

    Oh please Jack, if they give you time to share your opinions...Clinton definately has a right (and should use it) to share his advice. And what's wrong with getting the 2-for-1 Clinton buy – sounds like a good deal to me!

    February 20, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  102. Qwick from Tampa FL

    Bill Clinton’s mouth sank his wife’s bid for the White House and he won't be happy until he takes Obama under also – maybe even the whole Democratic Party! Loose lips sinks ships!!

    February 20, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  103. Heyne Ampuero

    Helpful as long as he does not give advice about how to deal with interns.

    Fairfax Station, Virginia

    February 20, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  104. Mike from Brooklyn, NY

    I hope you will be just as perturbed the next time CNN decides to interview Bill Clinton.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  105. John

    Clinton shamed the Presidency; I wouldn't let him run my vaccum cleaner.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  106. Jay Hubelbank

    I believe that ex-President Clinton was a great President and I supported him, I also believes that current-President Obama can also be a great President. But ex-President Clinton must not distract the public, media and others with his opinions.

    He writes in "My Life" that there is one President at a time, he must walk-the-walk as well as talk-the-talk. Any advise he gives should be private not public.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  107. Margaret Davis

    Clinton's public advice will be used by naysayers to take potshots at the current administration; therefore, any advice offered should be in private. Bill Clinton's ego is so large, however, that this was inevitable. He would have opened his mouth even if Hillary Clinton wasn't chosen to be Secretary of State. He seems unable to practice self control. Hawaii observer.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  108. Bill Roecker

    Absolutely! The best president since FDR can be a great assistance to the first black president. We just hope he listens.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  109. Jan Coleman

    Jack, So now Bill Clinton is the expert on how to inform the American public about a crisis? My memory says he lied to us about his crisis so I think since Pres. Obama is telling us the truth about the seriousness of our economical situation he should shut his mouth and back off.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  110. Ove Klykken

    Bill Clinton is free to express his opinion all he wants, the First Amendment also covers ex Presidents.

    The Clintons should also know that President Obama is free to find another Secretary of State that does not have a spouse that publicly tells the President how to do his job.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  111. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    Obama should listen to the advice of Clinton and Carter. They are both very intelligent and competent men who can advise Obama through these difficult times. Just ignore the bush's. They are the ones that got us into this mess through their laissez-faire attitude toward government and regulation.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  112. Joe Unger, San Francisco

    Another nothing story on an apparently slow day. Past presidents have always given advice. But the Clintons are spicy; Jimmy Carter is not. Therefore we get this story but no ragging on Jimmy.
    I believe Obama said he welcomes all the advice he gets; it's up to him to decide to ignore it or use it or a combination.
    Just giving advice by itself is not hurtful. The only ones fearful of this, and that's the wrong word unless the Obamaniacs are paranoid of a coup d'etat, are the Clinton haters. They despise any mention of Bill Clinton and will always, with your encouragement, throw out negative and hateful rhetoric.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  113. Nick in Houston

    That depends on what you mean by the word "is."

    February 20, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  114. j/NJ

    How helpful is it for Bill Clinton to publicly give President Obama advice on how to do his job?

    Not sure if Clinton's advice conveyed publicly will help but privately it could depending on the issue...what after all is wrong with listening and/or soliciting advice from an ex CIC?...Obama has stated repeatedly he is open to other points of view among otrher things so why the media twist?...indeed potential advice offered by the former president has nothing whatsoever to do with celebrity or control issues...

    February 20, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  115. Sherri Illinois

    The voice of EXPERIENCE! You bet what he says count & will be heeded respectfully by President Obama. President Clinton inherited a mild economic mess from Daddy Bush and he was villified by the Republicans when HE introduced a SPENDING bill of which by the end of his 2nd term he had created 20 MILLION jobs and left President George W. Bush with a SURPLUS!!!.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  116. Allan G. Hanson Placerville, Ca.

    I know you hate the Clintons, I do not agree with you. Bill Clinton has much knowlege to impart to Obama, and he should . It has nothing to do with Hillary . I do not understand why people disliked the prosperity we enjoyed during the Clinton Presidency, and still think the last 8 years were anything but a total disaster.
    Obama should use all that Clinton has to offer.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  117. Chapman (Portland, OR)

    Look Jack,
    The way I see it this was more or less a "chin up kid" statement & really neither hurt or helped. I guarantee you the "advice" he's giving is way more in depth than that statement, but we'll never hear it. Presidents should have the freedom to speak in confidence to one another.
    This is nothing...

    February 20, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  118. Sue Ventura

    make suggestions in private.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  119. Anita

    I looked at Bill Clinton's comments as opinions more so than as advice. After all, your entire station's cohorts all do the same on the other programs; so I ask, are they giving advice or opinions?

    February 20, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  120. Task

    Well I think he should heed Clinton's advice. The problem is that rather than encourage the American people, he's playing the doom and gloom card so he can continue to blame Bush for the next four years. People don't want to hear Obama playing the blame game, they want to hear that there is hope. That's what Obama promised and it's time he deliver.

    The fear card and the blame game get old real fast after the election's over.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  121. Joan Chambers

    Jack, I love you – BUT – get off hammering Bill Clinton about every word that comes out of his mouth. With or without Hillary, he would still be out there making statements. I don't think it offends Obama because he (Obama) wants to hear other people's opinions, in fact he asks for them. Every time Bill Clinton makes a statement the news media jumps all over whatever he says. He's an ex-president for goodness sake, he's going to be making speeches-statements etc. Separate the Hillary and Bill thing and this attitude that Bill doesn't have the right to state his opinion because Hillary is now Sec. of State.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  122. Charlotte from CT

    Well, I think President Obama should be happy that anyone is giving him positive praise, especially a former President. I think the media and if need be, our current President need to remove their egos and let the people who know how to run a country help them out.
    Come on, can President Obama really do worse than Bush? Nope, the Republicans don't have control this time.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  123. Don in Albuquerque

    This is just another exhibition of the Clinton narcissism. He has been quiet for some weeks, but now that Hillary is involved in an important trip to Asia, he is unable to bear the spotlight being on her rather than himself.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  124. Mayom

    Jack, I don't see anything wrong with what Clinton has said. He was once a president and knows what he is taking about. What would you say about Rush Limbaugh who thinks he could run the United States of America because he is the great thinker of the GOP?

    February 20, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  125. Jesse from NYC

    Your Clinton Bashing is beyond tiring and old Cafferty.

    Find a bone with more meat to pick and maybe you can keep your day job! Ratings too low for you lately so you try to sensationalize something trivial.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  126. Gary - Cincinnati, OH

    Bill Clinton giving anyone advice is laughable. His lack of good judgement is impeachable!

    February 20, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  127. Joan: Burlington, VT

    I think the media is making "much to do about nothing"!! Obama needs and looks for adivce from many quarters and former Pres. Bill Clinton is one of Pres. Obama's best resources. Get over it!

    February 20, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  128. Ricky Ryan

    Advice from Clinton? give me a break, this is the biggest fairy tale, EVER

    February 20, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  129. Arcy


    The American people know we're in the financial 'sewer'. Instead of reminding us of how bad it stinks and pointing at the flies, what we need to hear from Obama is that he is leaving to get the ladder! Great leaders focus on the solution instead of dwelling on the problem. I don't agree with Bill Clinton very often; however, Obama would do well to hear what Bill is saying – this time.

    Atlanta, GA.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  130. Rob from IA

    Bill Clinton handled his own economic problems in 1992 and brought us out with flying colors. What is your problem with the Clintons, Jack? We are all in this together.

    What we don't need right now is your rhetoric.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  131. Danni

    You said it Jack, Ego. I was always a diehard Clinton supporter, but what he did during that interview was definitely uncalled for. Seems that the Clintons, either one of them that is, always want to be in the spot light. I really don’t expect Bill to disappear anytime soon, so I guess we will have to get used to his comments.

    Upland Ca

    February 20, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  132. Mike S., New Orleans

    I'm not sure why Clinton's right to free speech is questionable. I don't recall former Presidents Reagan, Bush, Carter or Ford being questioned for commenting on their predecessors' administrations. Maybe it just gives the deflated Right Wing Nut Media something else to whine about.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  133. Matt

    President Clinton has been offering unsolicited advice for the last 8 years. Why should he stop now?

    February 20, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  134. Nathan

    I agree with Richard. Elder statesmen should offer advise to seated presidents, but it should be private. President Clinton should know better than to put his face in front of cameras while he's giving President Obama advise. This doesn't help Obama, it weighs him down because it makes it look to the public as though the Clintons are fastening puppet strings on his shoulders.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  135. Sawyer

    Go Bill go!

    February 20, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  136. Karl

    I think it is GREAT. These are obviously the two smartest, best presidents in U.S. history. This can only be good for America.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  137. Carla A

    Jack, I appreciate your comments, however advice is never bad unless it is from former President Bush. Yes, it probably should have been said in private.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  138. Charles

    Of course it is helpful...what kind of question is that?

    February 20, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  139. Jen Lee

    I though Clinton was very gracious and said many flattering things about Obama. If Obama isn't too arrogant, he'll take the advice because Clinton is correct. Obama is scaring everyone. Every time I turn on the news he's giving a speech about what a catastrophe our economy is in. And why is everyone so critical of the Clinton's since Obama came on the scene? They use to be the "Golden Children"!

    February 20, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  140. JD

    That's one thing that Clinton did well during his administration....gloss over reality and put on a smiley face regardless of reality (remember the USS Cole bombing, embassy bombings, etc. by al-qaeda).

    February 20, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  141. Kal Venkataraman

    Bill Clinton can definitely give good advice to President Obama; but not through media. Even in this instance, his advice to Obama asking him to be positive about the economy should have been given privately. By communicating this message through media, it gives an appearance of interference in the Presidential affairs which is uncalled for. I think Bill Clinton still keeps the grudge against President Obama due to latter's huge popularity in the Presidential elections. By providing such advice in public, Bill Clinton is trying to belittle the President. It is not good for the democratic party to have infighting. People elected President Obama and democratic congress to avoid grid lock and perhaps in future, it may be better for Bill Clinton to express his views in private to President Obama.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  142. Steve Steinberg

    C'mon Bill. Bill Clinton's ability to speak out when he wants and say what he wants has nothing to do with Hilary being the Secretary of State. He is given a forum by the media because he is a good story, a good interviewee, and a former President. Don't blame it on Hilary. If you want to shut him down, take away the mics.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  143. Peter

    I know Bill gives good advice but there is a better way to do it without cameras which will be very much appriciated unless you also want to score political points.

    West Des Moines

    February 20, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  144. beevee, MIcigan

    I don't think Bill Clinton's advice or pearls of wisdom are out of line.He is only suggesting what a lot of Americans have thought about – getting more details of Obama's stimulus and other plans. I think the president should also sound more hopeful in describing the country's crisis and the plans he has to get us out of trouble. A perinneal optimist would do that.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  145. GeeCogs

    Obama is getting advice from Bill's advisors (including Hillary and others on his staff) and I believe they are a large part of why Bill was such a great administrator. Bill should have a lot of great encouragement about what not to do, too.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  146. Norma

    I believe that the American people are sick and tired of a president who feels he has to distort the truth and act like he is talking to a bunch of first graders. At the end of the day the record will speak for it's self. Bush's rating to me is like saying "here's your sign".

    February 20, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  147. Marty

    slick willie is, and always has been, a man in search of a spotlight. I wish he would start chasing bimbos again so it would at least be entertaining when we have to hear about what the buffon is doing.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  148. Maryann

    My feeling is that President Obama is confident of the Stimulus Plan. The fact that he is taking the time to present it to the general public is indication that he believes in the plan----he could have used the Bush approach and just tell the public what he thinks they should know, like it or not. Bill just had to say something and I am glad that he thinks the President is worthy of an A.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  149. Lee broadway Sr

    Jack, President Obama and the Clinton's or all on the same side.
    Former president Clinton Knows the score, I don't think he is trying to upstage President Obama.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  150. Brian Wicks-Woodland Hills

    Very helpful. After all he had almost the highest rating ever for "Job Performance". Now, advice from Bush is another story!!

    February 20, 2009 at 4:58 pm |