The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


Ad Watch

Clinton as Commander in Chief

By Howard Kurtz
The Ad: It's 3 a.m. and your children are safe and asleep. But there's a phone in the White House and it's ringing. Something's happening in the world. Your vote will decide who answers that call. Whether it's someone who already knows the world's leaders, knows the military -- someone tested and ready to lead in a dangerous world. It's 3 a.m. and your children are safe and asleep. Who do you want answering the phone?

Analysis: This is a classic, fear-stirring incumbent's ad in which, without mentioning his name, Hillary Clinton strongly suggests that Barack Obama is not prepared to be commander in chief.

What is unusual is that Clinton, although she is a former president's wife, is not the incumbent and lacks military experience. Beyond that, her only current edge over Obama is that she serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

With its portentious music, darkened shots of sleeping children and closing shot of Clinton, in glasses, answering the phone, the spot strikes the same emotional chord as Lyndon Johnson's infamous 1964 "daisy" ad against Barry Goldwater, which ended with a nuclear explosion. In 1984, Ronald Reagan used footage of a bear that some say is "vicious and dangerous" as a metaphor for the Soviet threat. In 1992, running against Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush talked about "times of crisis" and said "we simply cannot put America's future at risk with a person who is wrong for the job."

But perhaps its closest cousin is the 1984 "red phone" ad that Walter Mondale ran against his primary opponent Gary Hart: "The most awesome, powerful responsibility in the world lies in the hand that picks up this phone. The idea of an unsure, unsteady, untested hand is something to really think about." That ad was made by media adviser Roy Spence, who now works for the Clinton campaign.

For Clinton to indirectly raise the specter of a terrorist attack underscores the stakes in Tuesday's Ohio and Texas primaries. Obama said today the ad is of "the kind that play on people's fears to scare up votes."

Posted at 11:34 AM ET on Feb 29, 2008  | Category:  Ad Watch
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Mark Penn suggested today that the ad has created momentum for Hillary Clinton. But so far all the comments I have read in this post are poking fun of the ad. I will not call that momentum. Looks like Mark Penn considers any talk about the ad as a good thing for Hillary. She had been completely shut out the whole of February. Now she is craving that people talk about her and her ad even though it is negative publicity. That I call pathetic not momentum.

Posted by: smilingwolf | March 3, 2008 11:07 PM

Most countries around the world today have leaders who know how to take care of their own problems without calling a new president on day one at 3:00am in the white house.

Now having said that if there are countries there who have presidents who are not capable of taking care of their countries problems, then US should seriously think about distancing ourselves from them. We do not want our tax payer money going into training the heads of states of other countries at 3:00am.

Our white house and our presidency can not become the de facto call center to solve problems around the world.

The ad conveys the feeling that Hillary is still in the thought process of wining and dining with foreign leaders. The presidency should concentrate on internal problems first.

Hillary is living a self centered power hungry life, where she is more interested in projecting an image that she somehow has gained all these knowledge about solving problems, that nobody else is capable of.

In reality Hillary has not been able to control her own campaign spiraling down to the ground, let alone solve problems of this country.

If any foreign leader is expecting the US president to keep awake all night like a security guard at the lobby of a business, we have a big problem in our hand and Hillary is not the person to solve such a problem.

Posted by: maureen1980 | March 3, 2008 10:26 PM


Your question is very legitimate. But it is very hard to pose that question or to answer such a question and be 'politically correct' or be 'gender unbiased' at the same time.

So here is one scenario that comes to mind. Hillary's ad poses the question who should answer the phone. It is unclear from that question whether it was posed by Bill Clinton or Hillary Clinton. If the originality of the idea (it is hardly 'original') came from Bill, then we have the answer right away. The Clintons have sublimally and literally engaged the people of this country in selling ther co-presidency. So definitely the 3:00am phone call was meant to be answered by Bill and not Hillary.

As far as we know there are no published reports of Hillary talking to any world leader on critical issues during the first Clinton administration. Therefore we can not expect her to answer the phone any more than expecting Obama answering the phone. Therefore the ad conveys the message that co-president Bill will be there to answer that phone call.

Now the question we have to ask is, if Hillary gets elected will they build a second oval office in the white house for the co-presidency.

Now back to th question of mood swings, if we for the sake of this argument keep the political correctness and gender bias issues out of the picture, the answer would be that the other world leader will hear Hillary weeping on the phone as she clearly demonstrated in New Hampshire for a question as simple as 'how do you wake up in the morning and keep going?'.

Posted by: ChunkyMonkey1 | March 3, 2008 12:26 PM

Not to seem politcally incorrect,but what happens if the phone rings at 3:00 AM and Hilary is in the middle of a mood swing???

Posted by: robertsgt401 | March 3, 2008 11:37 AM

It is only 2:30 am on Day One in the White House. Obama has already retired for the night. He hears a sound and wakes up. He walks into the oval office. He steps on a cigar as he walks in. He turns on the light. He finds Bill sitting at the desk.

Obama to Bill: Hey Bill, what are you doing here in the middle of the night?

Bill: Hillary was concerned that world leaders will be calling at 3:00am. She asked me to answer the red phone when it rings.

Obama to Bill: Bill, don't worry. I am the president now. I have people to take care of it.

Bill to Obama: Just this one time, please, please.

Obama to Bill: Bill, we don't use this red phone anymore. It is just for decoration. All the new world leaders use facebook and iphone. No more phones of the 90s.

Posted by: BarrySilverman | March 2, 2008 8:48 AM

It is 3am on day one in the white house.

The red phone rings. ring, ring

Obama picks up the phone on the second ring instead of the normal 4 rings Hillary would have waited for.

Obama: Who is it?

Hillary on the other end: I have a crisis. I can't find Bill. Could you please check with the interns whether they know where he is.

Posted by: MaryHiggins1 | March 2, 2008 3:46 AM

Amazing number of responses above with distortions and misperceptions, to wit:

* The phone is normal WHITE, not alert RED.
* There is NO apparent desperation.
* There's NO appeal to fear here, rather a presentation of reality and a valid question posed: Who is best qualified to respond to crisis -- who has the already established worldwide relationships and experiential knowledge that will facilitate resolving problems before they have a chance to effect our peaceful sleep.

But so much commentary is pointedly sexist and misogynistic. Those pathological biases and distortions coupled with "seeing red" where none exists suggests emotional/mental disorders -- which may explain the delusional belief in a Messianic Obama suffered by some most bamboozled fervent followers. That, or they are just your ordinary men-afraid-of-women trolling blogs to find where they can beat them up, the little cyber-bullies. Clinton is in the real; these afeared guys are all made up. Boo! I said: Boo!

Posted by: naumann14 | March 2, 2008 2:53 AM

Day One

Bill: Hillary, its 3am. Go to bed.

Hillary: No, I am reading. I am also expecting a phone call.

Bill: What are you reading?

Hillary: The Karl Rowe playbook.

Bill: I thought you already read that book.

Hillary: No this is the latest new and improved Karl Rowe playbook. It has all the answers to how to deal with a world leaders phone crisis phone call at 3am on day one.

Posted by: ChunkyMonkey1 | February 29, 2008 11:25 PM

It is day one 3:00am at the white house.
Hillary answering the red phone.

Hillary: Hell o, Hill here.

Al Gore: Hello, is it Hillary? I thought Bill will answer the phone?

Hillary: Okay, I'll give the phone to Bill.

Bill: What do you want Al? Is hell freezing over?

Al Gore: No. The artic ice is melting. Please send more cold ice immediately.

Bill: Okay, I will send Hillary over.

Posted by: JohnMcCormick | February 29, 2008 10:41 PM

"...any crisis would have been adverted before the president retires for the night..."
lkiefer1: Do you realize that when it's 3am in D.C., it's 3pm somewhere else in the world? Do you really believe Obama can get the whole world to operate on one time zone, so the world retires for the night exactly in sync with the U.S. President? Maybe you believe Obama can prevent the San Andreas Fault from breaking at an inconvenient time (we all know your ilk believe Obama can control the weather and put an end to Hurricanes).
lkiefer1's comment (above) really points out the irrational naiveté of Obama supporters. This is not unexpected because exploiting their supporter's naiveté is the Democrat's only real strategy. Clinton is really pissed because Obama has been beating her at her own party's only game. Now she's just playing harder.
Also, do you really believe that the party fighting to require the CIA to get a court warrant before gathering foreign intelligence will somehow yield better intelligence? There is no end to your ilk's naiveté!

Posted by: bejnk | February 29, 2008 10:18 PM

"'It's 3 a.m., and your children are safe and asleep, but there's a phone in the White House and it's ringing,' says the narrator in Clinton's ad.

"Something's happening in the world. Your vote will decide who answers that call, whether it's someone who already knows the world's leaders, knows the military -- someone tested and ready to lead in a dangerous world.

"'Hello, White House?'"


"'Who is this, please?'

"'Monica ...'


"'Monica ...'


"'Yes, remember me?'"


Posted by: Martinedwinandersen | February 29, 2008 8:53 PM

It is 2:55am on Day One at the white house. All around the world, the world leaders are scrambling to get to their phones. All those leaders want to call the white house at 3:00am and ask for advice from Hillary about their problems and crisis.

Hillary wakes Bill up and asks him. Whose call should I take first? Who gave our campaign the most money?

Bill answers. Hillary don't worry. All our red phone calls are answered by a call center in India. We outsourced it.

Posted by: MaryHiggins1 | February 29, 2008 8:16 PM

It is DAY ONE at the white house. 2:55am.

Hillary wakes up. Runs to the next room. Peeps in through the glass door. Finds her kid, Chelsea fast asleep. She goes and wears her ncklace and glasses. Runs to the oval office. Sits in front of the table and moves the Red phone to the middle of the table.

waits. Nothing happens. Getting nervous. Gets up paces back and forth and then sits down again.

It is 3:05am already. She thinks to herself. 'where are all the world leaders? Why hasn't anybody called yet?'

It is 3:10am. She hears some sound. She runs to pick up the phone. But the red phone was not ringing. Runs to the next room and finds Bill sleeping on the sofa and snoring.

Hillary wakes Bill up. 'Bill, stop snoring, I can't hear the phone ring.' Then she goes back to her room to sleep.

Bill walks into the oval office uses the red phone and places a call to a number he found on myspace. Hillary walks in all furious.

Hillary to Bill: 'Get off the red phone. I am waiting for an important call from a world leader on a crisis.'

Bill to Hillary: 'I did not have sex with that woman. It is just phone sex.'

Posted by: ChunkyMonkey1 | February 29, 2008 7:37 PM

Day one 3am: Hillary wakes up all startled. Calls Madeline Albright, and asks her "Where is the red phone? I heard it ring".

Finally Hillary finds the red phone, which Bush had asked Karl Rowe to install in the wrong room to play a prank on Hillary.

Hillary picks up the phone and goes: Which world leader are you? What is the problem?

The voice at the other end: This is AT&T. You have a collect call.

Hillary goes: Put it through.

Voice at the other end: This is Norman Hsu calling from prison. Can you pardon me?

Posted by: JohnMcCormick | February 29, 2008 6:29 PM

The 3 AM call was from Bill. He lost his pants with his wallet and keys and cellphone when he was rolled by some, um, pickpocketing lobbyists and corporations. Luckily he knew the red phone number and you can get through without a quarter.

Posted by: landsend | February 29, 2008 5:45 PM

Day 1:

phone rings exactly at 3:00am as Hillary predicted. Hillary wakes up Bill and asks him to answer the phone. Bill tells Hillary 'you said you are ready on day one'. Hillary goes 'That does not count nights, only daytime'. Finally Bill answers the phone.

Bill: who is it?
The voice at the other end: Bill, its Monica Lewinsky, president of Kosovo. We have a crisis.

Bill wears his yellow tie and gets on a plane and goes to Kosovo.

Hillary wakes up and does not find Bill. She screams 'where is my co-president?'

Hillary jumps out of bed and decides to invade Kosovo. Calls Norman Hsu who is next room in the Lincoln bedroom and asks him to look after the white house while sh is gone. Gets on airforce one and heads for Kosovo with Madeline Albright and piloted by retired general Wessley Clark. Asks Clark to bomb away Kosovo.

Posted by: ChunkyMonkey1 | February 29, 2008 4:37 PM

"It's 3 am and Mrs Clinton is already dressed nicely and with a necklace? Which brain created that ad? These guys are really desperate."

No, we want an ad where she's answering the phone, dressed in a babydoll nightie... Oh... God... I gotta go poke my eyes out now...

More experienced? She was the first lady... her husband was President, or was supposed to be when not sharing cigars with the interns. Every time I see her on tv I cringe, thinking there actually could be enough nuts out there to vote her into office.

Posted by: dmorris9 | February 29, 2008 4:21 PM

Other than Hillary trying to characterize her opponent as less competent, I don't see anything in this. I don't listen to an opponent's portrayal to make up my mind - they are trying to sell me something, so I do my own digging and my own thinking. Having done that, I see no reason to believe that Hillary would be any more competent than Obama. She's gotten where she is by riding on her 2-term President husband's coat tails, and that's hardly a testimony to competence. She's also the one getting her butt kicked and has her campaign in disarray due to poor planning, strategy, and mismanagement. "Ready On Day One" has to be more than a picture you paint with a slogan - how about something to back that up??? So far what I've seen in demonstrated performance suggests the opposite.

Posted by: b_wythoff | February 29, 2008 4:07 PM

I just don't get it. First, whatever happened to an honest and creditable campaign? Second, why don't the candidates just keep their campaign fortunes and save us all the grief. And finally in reference to the above comments if "we the people" remove all of these dangerous toys (guns, tanks, cluster bombs, Nucs), from this government then we could probably remove the "hot" line as well and sleep a little more tidy at nights.

Posted by: PatCroft | February 29, 2008 3:58 PM

"WHAT?, NO! I am NOT going to put "Bill" on the phone! I'M the President! They said so!...

Hello? Hellllloooooo?..."

LOL! ;~)

Posted by: rat-the | February 29, 2008 3:37 PM

Mrs. Clinton?? Good evening, it the New York Times calling for a comment. Comment on what? Are you serious? look out the White House window--do you see those tanks? Those are american military tanks--seems some generals felt the time was right to take over the country. Any comment??

Posted by: DennisMC | February 29, 2008 3:34 PM, if this call is so important - why does she wait until about the fourth ring to answer? And what happened to the last 15 seconds of this ad - the part where we hear Bill on the other end, telling Hil' he's locked out?

Posted by: svin62 | February 29, 2008 3:19 PM

We are all witnesses to candidates' scandalous attacks on each other. But Hillary's insinuations about people that have a dream are not surprising, after she lost her dreams following the scandals and lies of her husband. The fish starts to stink from the head. Look at the current state of the nation. It doesn't need more hardened politicians and liars, nor trigger happy faces looking for more guns. We hope Obama continues to dream and talk more folks off other candidates' drum wagons. We all need to have a dream.

Posted by: paperless | February 29, 2008 3:05 PM

Phone rings at 3AM.

"Hi, I'd like to order a pizza to go with no anchovies"?

"No anchovies? I spell my name DANGER!"

Posted by: thebobbob | February 29, 2008 3:02 PM

A legitimate issue of discussion. Interesting that Barack doesn't remind people of this 2004 statement he made: "On Iraq, on paper, there's not as much difference, I think, between the Bush administration and a Kerry administration as there would have been a year ago. There's NOT MUCH DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MY POSITION AND GEORGE BUSH'S POSITION at this stage."

It says a lot about his character and his contempt for the American public's intelligence when, in spite of his recorded statement and nearly identical voting record, he shamelessly anchors his drive for power on attacking Hillary for her war vote.

There is nothing fearful about the ad--expect maybe to the Barack worshipers.

Posted by: JamesFoster2 | February 29, 2008 2:59 PM

These Obama supporters make me sick! Every time there is an article, the first thing I see on the bottom of the page is these Obama supporters doing personal attack and intimidating other voters. Shame on you! You classless bunch!

No one will call on you! or your candidate! I will never vote for Obama in this election to certain extent because of you! I will vote for Mccain if Hillary loses to Obama!

How can I vote for Obama when this guy used drug, allegedly dealt drug? How can I vote for Obama when he refused to pay over a dozen parking tickets in the City of Cambridge where he was studying law? he only paid them off 15 years later he need to run for president? How can I vote for a man who showed the lack of judgement when conveniently borrowed a line from his friend but decided not to credit it to him? Where is his judgement? How can I vote for him it he does not "Reject and Denounce" these dirty, personal attacking supporters soiling all Internet articles with classless claims?

Posted by: hao | February 29, 2008 2:54 PM

Bill Clinton 2004:

"Now one of Clinton's Laws of Politics is this: If one candidate is trying to scare you and the other is trying to get you to think; if one candidate is appealing to your fears and the other is appealing to your hopes, you better vote for the candidate that asks you to think and hope."

Hillary, your no Bill Clinton.

Posted by: dcwsano | February 29, 2008 2:44 PM

For those Hussein Obama's web writers,

How much did Obama pay you? I will double your pay for shutting up your mouths. Do NOT play Karl Rove's tricks any more.

Posted by: hgogo | February 29, 2008 2:44 PM

I will have to take Bill's advice on this one and vote Obama.

Clinton's Rules of Politics (Philadelphia 2000)

"Clinton's rules of politics" when he said, "If one candidate is trying to scare you, and the other's trying to get you to think; if one is appealing to your fears, and the other is appealing to your hopes -- it seems to me you ought to vote for the person who wants you to think and hope."

Posted by: IndependenceEveWonderlandBallroom | February 29, 2008 2:40 PM


After "35 years" you'd think that Hilary, the one who coined the phrase "vast right wing conspiracy" would be a little more skeptical of Bush's motives and not give him what he wanted. (To go to Iraq.)

Remember when the Neo-Cons tried to get Bill Clinton to go into Iraq also, for the same "energy security" and "Israel policy" reasons? And when these Neo-Cons got into the Whitehouse with Bush (Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, et. all), and continued to pursue their Iraq plan at the first convenient opportunity, how did her previous experience factor into her decision?

She voted for war.

I think her "experience" should be held against her in this case. She knew what the Republicans had on their agenda, she knew what they were capable of. She should've know better, Bill Clinton did...

But then again, she's no Bill Clinton.

Posted by: coco_dtd | February 29, 2008 2:37 PM

Phone rings, HRC answers, listens, hands phone to Bill, "It's for you".

Posted by: LaceCurtainIrish | February 29, 2008 2:36 PM

The game has changed, become more dangerous, and more deceptive. The players have become extreme and willing to take this Earth with them on the way out without second guessing. Values and morals are corrupted and the people of the United States have become targets. Our excessive lifestyles, ignorance, and media saturated culture have stollen the essence that once was this great nation. I am afraid to think of what more will come if we elect someone who does not have the EXPERIENCE to deal with our nation and world at hand. I do not want my next President to use the current state of the nation and the world as his training ground while reading PRESIDENTS FOR DUMMIES. We have to chose someone who is well versed in the ways of the world, and someone who understands Washington. It is easy for anyone to say they will change something that has been long standing for ages. But the actual function and course of change is much harder to achieve and maintain. I have never heard of Obama before this election began. He has done nothing to make waves during his career and that shows me the level of his work and expertise. Not enough. I trust Hillary and I am voting for her. Too bad for all those who think that words will mend hundreds of years of ups and downs. It takes more than that don't you think?

Posted by: ashim32 | February 29, 2008 2:25 PM

Can you imagine if this is about Hussein Obama?
"Hello, this is Hussein Obama."
"Who did that? My muslim brothers? Oh, Allah, what am I gonna do? Hey Michelle, wake up.."

Michelle: "Oh Barry, this is really an Ultimate Fear Bomb!"

Posted by: hgogo | February 29, 2008 2:24 PM

Adrienne, she DIDN'T READ THE NIE, she just pandered to the right so she wouldn't be considered weak. She didn't exercise any critical thought other than her own political self-preservation. And now thousands of lives are destroyed - by death, by maiming, by the psychological scars - and not only of soldiers but their families and friends, who have to pick up the pieces. It was irresponsible. And now we are billions of dollars in the hole on top of it.

Judgment matters. Vote Obama!

Posted by: Charlene-K | February 29, 2008 2:24 PM

I believe that Bill Clinton would take issues with using fear to drive voting preference:

Posted by: mccrackentimnc | February 29, 2008 2:18 PM

The truth is I will be so glad to have Hillary Clinton on the end of the phone when a true emergency does arise. I still don't understand why people question her decisions on the Iraq war. I myself am opposed to the war but during the time she was faced with the question she voted in favor of caution. Obama wasn't even part of that decision or vote. He didn't have the same "faulty" documents that Hillary had when pressed to make such an important decision. She saw through the deception soon enough and her votes have always been the same as Obama's since that first vote. I prefer caution to simple INACTION. In a true emergency Obama will be like a deer in the headlights. This is where experience does make a difference.

Posted by: adrienneforest | February 29, 2008 2:14 PM

Ring, Ring, Ring, Ring, Ring, Ring, Ring, Ring, Ring, Ring, Ring...


Oh, Hillary. Could you put Bill on, THIS is serious! ;~)

What? You can't find Bill? Again!

Have you looked in the Oral Office? ;~)


He takes relief in knowing it is all just a bad Nightmare!

McRomney is in the House! :-)

Johnny, Sic-Em! ;~)

Posted by: rat-the | February 29, 2008 2:14 PM

Nothing new here. Remember LBJ's ads against Goldwater back in 1964 -- most particularly the "daisy" ad?

It worked then; it won't now.

Posted by: Alb3 | February 29, 2008 1:57 PM

I think HRC has BIPOLAR disorder.

Posted by: arvkumar | February 29, 2008 1:56 PM

Obama adviser Richard Danzig suggests we should all call Hillary Clinton at 3 AM on March 5th and see how she responds to crisis.

Posted by: benvos329 | February 29, 2008 1:55 PM

Hillary likes the boogeyman. Her ads will not only scare the kids but also the parents of the kids. If our kids are asleep and everybody except the president is asleep, I would let the white house phone ring or have them put the message in the answering machine. But if she thinks the president's job at 2 o'clock at night is to answer the phone, Hillary either hasn't read he job description manual or our forefathers didn't do a good job in defining what a president is supposed to do. The only calls I get at the middle of the night are crank calls. I let them go to the answering machine. Now if she is expecting other world leaders to call her at 3:00am when Bill is sleeping, then that should be just between her and the other world leader, and the kids should not be told about it until they are 18.

Now to something more serious: The Hillary camp has been calling people in the middle of the night and asking for votes and money. This is troublesome. Why can't they persuade people during day time instead of midnight? Aren't there campaign laws and regulations that they should follow?

Posted by: MaryHiggins1 | February 29, 2008 1:52 PM

Obama should really held ONE hearing as he is the chairman in the senate. I feel really sorry for him because he is really BUSY for campaign TALKING about stopping war all the time.

Posted by: rachelzyz | February 29, 2008 1:45 PM

I don't think the AD scares people. It just tell people the truth. They need choose from talk and action.

Posted by: rachelzyz | February 29, 2008 1:43 PM

Howard the K (POST)is right on the mark again. If Hillary keeps this up, the Democratic Party will be in shambles. America could be shafted again !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: gamma64 | February 29, 2008 1:40 PM

"Obama will stop the back room decisions and kick the pickpocketing Lobbiests and Corporations OUT of our politicians decisionmaking process."

Posted by: frillymail1017 | February 29, 2008 12:01 PM

Reminds me of the episode where Jesus chased the moneylenders out of the Temple.

Posted by: PakKarim | February 29, 2008 1:40 PM

The ad worked for friends of mine in Texas. They snapped out of the Obama haze. This ad coupled with Barack's flimsy defense on why he held no meetings of the Sub-Committee on Europe (with jurisdiction over NATO/Afghanistan) for 15 MONTHS. Hey, he was busy campaigning. That galled them enough to research Barack a bit more. And scared them. He is NOT READY. He is a media creation. He is bamboozling you. And the media just goes along.

Posted by: lchrism | February 29, 2008 1:36 PM

Hillary to Obama this past week:
"This is a tactic right out of Karl Rove's playbook."

Take a look in the mirror, sister.

Posted by: hipchick | February 29, 2008 1:35 PM

McCain's "experience." Spent 6 years in the Hanoi Hilton, was broken both physically and mentally by torture- and after coming back home and finding out that the U.S. killed over a million Vietnamese in another misguided war, still believes that we could have "won" there." We were wrong in ever leaving Viet-Nam." Won what? What was the goal there?
America does not have to be the policeman of the world and the protector of Big Oil. We are not a safer country because we insist on bombing others into "Democracy."

Remember, we once financed Bin Laden against the Russians who were fighting against our "friends" at the time- The Taliban. McCain and his ilk are nothing more than misguided and dangerous old men.

Posted by: Luke2 | February 29, 2008 1:34 PM

Stick a fork in Hillary - she's done! Just too polarizing a figure - the last thing America needs after 8 years of the most incompetent President in American history...

Posted by: jmgreene83 | February 29, 2008 1:34 PM

This ad smacks of desperation, but unfortunately, it might work on some people in Ohio (no offense, really). Clinton's base is the uneducated and the older folks. This is the type of thing that will work for her base in Ohio, but anyone with half a brain will see right through it. She is DESPERATE. She will do anything to win at this point. I don't think we've seen the end of what she'd bee willing to do over the next few days. One thing you have to get her credit for... the cojones to pretend that she has red phone experience. Everyone knows she does not!

Posted by: ersheido | February 29, 2008 1:31 PM

This is going to be the end of Hillary's
run for the White House. This ad is
a travesty. Essentially, the message is that she's more of a man then Obama. It would have been better if they just showed actual footage of Hillary visiting Iraq and Afghanistan showing she cares and she takes risk. It would have been better having her sitting in the Oval office and making decisions that Bush couldn't/wouldn't make.
The tone of the commercial is insulting. Her campaign for the White House is over.

Posted by: blakesouthwood | February 29, 2008 1:30 PM

All - I sense that some of these ridiculous posts are not from Democrat supporters. So I would ignore them. It sees as if McCain's supporters are afraid of losing in the Fall and they are banking on a democratic split down the middle to ensure we don't have enough votes to win the elections. Don't fall for it.

Posted by: dotheresearch | February 29, 2008 1:28 PM

My unfortunate, silly, and easily misguided Anti-Iraq-War slaves of the American media - please take note of the following:

Everyone agrees Iran is our #1 Enemy. Period. NO questions asked, right? Anti-Bush fans say the War in Iraq is a the biggest military blunder / mistake ever, right? Well...take some time and look at a map of the Middle East. What country is IN BETWEEN Iraq and Afghanistan?


We have troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The war in Iraq makes perfect sense strategically as we have our #1 Enemey completely surrounded. You Anti-Iraq-War slaves of the American Media have it all wrong. The War makes just hate the idea of what it adds up to.

Posted by: jmicrodoc | February 29, 2008 1:27 PM

I was going to post a snark but I realized that this doesn't deserve it. This is so pathetic that it defies words.

Posted by: mrhamham | February 29, 2008 1:26 PM

Yes, Mrs. Clinton looks splendid for a 3 a.m. phone call. Also wondering about the safety considerations of having basically an all-glass door on a child's bedroom. The door and most kids probably wouldn't last too long.

Posted by: pgolkin | February 29, 2008 1:24 PM

"Commander in Chief?" The President is not OUR Commander in Cieif.

But only, and when surrounded by advisors, of the US Military.

There is no Commander in Chief of the US Populace. We are not (yet) in a police state. But with ads like this, and slowly brainwashing Americans to think that the President is THEIR COMMANDER we are on the way.

BTW, this one of the most pathetic political ads I've ever seen. Sad, really.

Posted by: elainetlong | February 29, 2008 1:23 PM

HELLO, YES THIS IS HILLARY, SHAME ON YOU for bothering me this time of night. So what do you want Me to do about it? Oh God, this is just so Hard. It's just so Personal. Let me check with the military contractors in the morning. Oh God, I cut the military in half. I'm not ready for this. I'm just not ready damn it!!

Posted by: Marnie42 | February 29, 2008 1:22 PM

Hillary parece estar siempre enojada. No me gusta. Obama realmente me inspira esperanza y un cambio para bien. Yo votaré a Obama.

Posted by: ericamekan | February 29, 2008 1:22 PM

Phone rings at 3 AM in the White House: "Hello Mrs. President?"
"Will you send someone down to Stetson's? Bill has had a few too many and his girlfriend doesn't want to drive him home."

Please no more Clintons in the White House. We don't need the drama that they would inevitably create. Bill will get bored and no telling what he will do to embarrass us once again.
Bad experience is not "experience" that necessarily qualifies one as President

Posted by: Luke2 | February 29, 2008 1:18 PM

It's 3 am and Mrs Clinton is already dressed nicely and with a necklace? Which brain created that ad? These guys are really desperate.

Posted by: ericamekan | February 29, 2008 1:15 PM

Hillary Clinton and John McCain both disqualified themselves for the job of Commander-in-Chief when they voted for the worst military blunder in modern American history. End of story.

Except for this: John McCain is still participating in misleading the American people regarding Iraq and what it means for America's security. In response to Obama's comments during the recent debate, McCain actually had the Bush League-ness to assert that if we left Iraq, Al Qaida would take over the country. There's not a serious military analyst around who agrees with him. AQ is a tiny sliver of the insurgency, IS ONLY THERE BECAUSE WE ARE, has little (and declining) support among the civilian population, and has no chance of taking over Iraq.

McCain's shameful fearmongering is more dishonest garbage reminiscent of the man currently in office. No mas, America, no mas. We've disrespected ourselves enough.

Posted by: B2O2 | February 29, 2008 1:09 PM

Dear Howard Kutlz:

You really gee this story a lot of thought! Before the ink was dry you quickly formulate another anti HRC opinion. I am just glad to know that you will be there to write about what went wrong when the response to the red phone call by Obama goes all wrong!

Posted by: politicalobserver1 | February 29, 2008 1:08 PM

I was going to vote for Obama, but after watching this ad I would be afraid to have him answer the phone. So I guess I will vote for HRC. Just kidding.

Posted by: rayjbuccino | February 29, 2008 1:08 PM

Perhaps you can cite an instance of Barack HUSSEIN Obama being more "calm under pressure" than John SIDNEY McCain landing a fighter jet on an aircraft carrier? That, at least, counts for the "military experience" part, right?
JakeD, Again with the middle names! The innuendo that Barack Obama somehow is a Muslim only works with bigots and idiots. If you think that's who your audience is when you post, then be my guest, but I believe that anyone with any intelligence is wise to this tactic by now. It has been posted enough times and even John McCain himself has condemned it. Don't you listen to any of his speeches? Get smart and realize that you're not doing your candidate any favors.

Posted by: lhummer | February 29, 2008 1:04 PM

JakeD: "Wouldn't this be a better ad from John SIDNEY McCain?"

That should be John "Panama Jack" McCain.

See "McCain's Panama birth prompts eligibility probe by his campaign" at

Posted by: egc52556 | February 29, 2008 1:02 PM

We would hope that the next president would go to bed with accurate intelligence, that any crisis would have been adverted before the president retires for the night , and that well thought out contingency plans would have been devised. If so, there should be no surprise phone call at 3 a.m.
However, based on McCain and Clinton's inability to see beyond the present crop (or election poll)I would prefer that the phone not ring rather than either McCain or Clinton answer it.

Posted by: lkiefer1 | February 29, 2008 1:02 PM

Hillary, why don't you put a helmut on and get in a tank??

Posted by: Billy7 | February 29, 2008 1:01 PM

John SIDNEY McCain, who is a great patriot that I admire, did manage to crash his plane a couple of times before being shot down while dumping napalm over Hanoi. One of his bombs also torched his own aircraft carrier, though it wasn't his fault.
It takes a different type of military experience to run a country as opposed to flying your own plane. As much as I like the cranky, stubborn and sometimes angry old man, those are not qualities to be desired in someone with his hands on the Button.

Posted by: quatzecoutl | February 29, 2008 1:01 PM


Posted by: madison7 | February 29, 2008 12:58 PM


How many jets has McCain crashed?

Posted by: crazyitalianchef | February 29, 2008 12:58 PM

Karl are u partying with Hillary again ?

Posted by: soflindie | February 29, 2008 12:58 PM

The phone rings and it's the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs telling President HRC that satellite intelligence reveals that China is about to invade Taiwan. He asks, "What do we do?" President HRC grimaces and says, "HOW COME I ALWAYS GET THIS FIRST QUESTION!!! IT"S SO UNFAIR!!! DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND HOW HARD IT IS FOR ME TO BE THE FIRST WOMAN IN THIS POSITION, WITHOUT ALL THE ADVANTAGES THAT *EVERY* MAN HAS???" This goes on for twenty minutes. China takes Taiwan.

Posted by: joejohnson52 | February 29, 2008 12:57 PM

Congratulations, Midwestreader. I'm also on the "facts before spin and emotion" side of things.*sigh* I'm so tired of the spin.

JakeD - your rants are neither informative or funny. Or interesting. Please get a life (or a job) and stop trying to get attention online from people who want to discuss their views. If you were six you would be in time out by now.

Posted by: ttucker | February 29, 2008 12:54 PM


It depends what your definition of "is" is. :)


Posted by: bob | February 29, 2008 12:52 PM


RED PHONE RINGS...hrc says, "WHAT!!! OMG....NUKE THEM , NUKE THEM." hrc hangs us...thinks to self .'DID I TAKE MY PROSAC YESTERDAY"

Posted by: leledyer | February 29, 2008 12:52 PM

Ok, it's a cheesy ad. I'm so glad that I don't have to rely on ads to make my decisions, that I learned to read instead.

Posted by: Midwestreader1 | February 29, 2008 12:36 PM

5.5 million in lobby money for her campaign tells me she is in the pocket of the lobbiests and the back room dealings during Bill's 8 years was one reason why HE LOST THE DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS HE INHERITED. Sure, vote for Billary and then take a number to get your turn with the cigar in the lincoln bedroom...yes, I want the wife of a disbarred, lying, adulterer running my country, The same woman who told a grand jury 58 times, "I don't recall" or "I can't remember". The voters in our country have a very short memory. I want the candidate of the people not the party to win the nomination and it surely is not THAT WOMAN!

Posted by: frillymail1017 | February 29, 2008 12:30 PM


Perhaps you can cite an instance of Barack HUSSEIN Obama being more "calm under pressure" than John SIDNEY McCain landing a fighter jet on an aircraft carrier? That, at least, counts for the "military experience" part, right?

Posted by: JakeD | February 29, 2008 12:18 PM

As usual, Howie has this story pegged right. Note him saying above, " What is unusual is that Clinton, although she is a former president's wife, is not the incumbent and lacks military experience."

Truth is neither of them -- nor McCain for that matter -- has red phone experience.

I'd argue that calm under pressure and judgement are the only relevant criteria in this case. Obama definitely gets the nod on those two counts

Posted by: bdfroms | February 29, 2008 12:12 PM


"Obama will stop the back room decisions and kick the pickpocketing Lobbiests and Corporations OUT of our politicians decisionmaking process."

You should Google: Obama & Exelon : )

Posted by: JakeD | February 29, 2008 12:09 PM

Hello, Bills not here, stop calling here!

Posted by: J_thinks | February 29, 2008 12:05 PM

Wouldn't this be a better ad from John SIDNEY McCain?

Posted by: JakeD | February 29, 2008 12:01 PM

Like Putin or his new lacky Melvedev (sic) would EVER even want to talk to her? This is the sign of a desperate woman on a desperate mission. I cannot imagine what is in the minds of the people who support her. Now we hear the back room, win at all costs Clintonistas are threatening to take the Texans to court if she doesn't win. When will the "other half" of this country realize she is the candidate of the party, not the candidate of the people. Come on Texas and Ohio don't you "get it?" Obama is going to get the job done. He's going to make the GOVT transparent and we get to choose who stays in Washington and who goes. For the first time in our history, we will be able to watch our elected officials and see who is willing to compromise and who isn't. Obama will stop the back room decisions and kick the pickpocketing Lobbiests and Corporations OUT of our politicians decisionmaking process. If SHE is nominated Nothing will change...

Posted by: frillymail1017 | February 29, 2008 12:01 PM

Has Hillary hired the same folks that in 2004 used fear based ads to scare the voters to support GWBush and GOP-Republican incumbents during war time? Take a step back and remember that we have a costly war in Iraq that Hillary and John McCain gave us, gift wrapped with the revenge of 911 and a view that pro-war is pro-American. Power in the wrong hands and the boondoggle called Iraq is what results. Vote for the candidate that got Iraq right, not the candidate that was wrong. When someone has decades of experience and continues to get it wrong, it's time for change. When you get it wrong, you can't claim experience as a strength.
Obama '08

Posted by: dionc9 | February 29, 2008 11:57 AM


Posted by: RollaMO | February 29, 2008 11:50 AM

and the Obama response...

"Obama, calling it "a legitimate question'' yet accusing the Clinton campaign of using "fear'' tactics, had this to say about the ad this morning:

"I don't think these ads will work.... The qeustion is not picking up the phone. The question is what kind of judgment will you exercise when oyou pick up that phone. In fact we have had a red phone moment. It was the decision to invade Iraq. President Bush gave the wrong answer. Sen. Clinton agve the wrong answer... Sen. McCain gave the wrong answer.''

Obama, saying he "exercised the right judgment,'' said that is what he will bring to the White House. ""I will never use the threat of terrorism to scare up votes.. Tthat is the judgment we need at 3 a.m.''"

Posted by: IndependenceEveWonderlandBallroom | February 29, 2008 11:45 AM

"Madame President? Umm, this is Agent Spence with the Secret Service. I'm down in the first-floor secretaries' lounge and I think you need to get down here. Bill's been playing with the cigars again..."

Posted by: whatmeregister | February 29, 2008 11:45 AM

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