Strategy ’08

Obama vs. the other guy, 2008

Another hack quote job – this one by CBS

Media Matters is breaking the story that CBS hacked up Bill Clinton’s response to the Is Barack Obama ready question. The bold part is what actually aired, but check out the entirety of Clinton’s answer:

SNOW: Is he ready to be president?

CLINTON: Well, in the — you could argue that no one is ever ready to be president. I mean, I certainly learned a lot about the job in my first year. He’s shown a keen strategic sense and his ability to run an effective campaign. He clearly can inspire people and motivate people and energize them, which is a very important part of being president, and he’s smart as a whip so there’s nothing he can’t learn.

Of course, Bill Clinton should have known better than to give a long, thoughtful answer to any question from a reporter. But this really takes the cake.

And remember, this is how the question was contextualized:

GREENFIELD: And despite the image of unity, some Clinton supporters are still wounded, apparently including former President Clinton, who offered a decidedly lukewarm endorsement of Obama’s credentials.

[begin video clip]

SNOW: Is he ready to be president?

BILL CLINTON: Well, in the — you could argue that no one’s ever ready to be president.

[end video clip]

GREENFIELD: And while poll numbers suggest that Obama has won the backing of some six in 10 Clinton supporters, that leaves a whole lot more of her backers who have yet to be persuaded.

Lukewarm? Bill Clinton said Obama:

  • is “smart as a whip”
  • has “a keen strategic sense”
  • can “clearly can inspire and motivate people:

CBS – will you correct your irresponsible reporting?

Contact them NOW at

Or call: (212) 975-3247

This is a story that should have never aired.


August 6, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. I’m going to do that Zen, I’m with you 100%. But having said all that, Bill really should keep his mouth shut.

    Comment by dansac | August 6, 2008 | Reply

  2. I have to side with CBS here. What was newsworthy was Bill’s initial waffle on the question, not his subsequent recovery as he realized that he should be praising Obama rather than letting more of his bitterness show through.

    Comment by GDH | August 6, 2008 | Reply

  3. Clearly CBS had fun with the editing here. However, has Bill Clinton ever heard of a simple 1 word answer to “Is he ready to be president?” How about a short and sweet, “Yes.” or how about “Absolutely.”

    Comment by Marcee | August 7, 2008 | Reply

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