Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

Clinton to Obama--"Can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen." Obama pushback.


RADNOR, PA.—Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) is continuing to needle—maybe even mock-- since this is the second time Friday she has chided Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) for complaining about his grilling in the Wednesday debate. She just used the Truman line, “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”

She is jabbing Obama here in a packed gym at Radnor High School in a Philadelphia suburb. In the few hours that has elapsed since Clinton started on Obama complaining about the debate, the Obama rapid response team jumped all over it. Obama spokesmen Bill Burton and Tommy Vietor are reminding all that it was Clinton awhile back who was grumbling about getting the first question at debates and harder ones at that. Vietor quickly assembled a “flashback” video clip packet of Clinton groaning about her treatment at debates.

With all this coming early Friday, there is plenty of time for Saturday Night Live writers to absorb, reflect and turn into a cutting political skit.

At the top of her talk her, Clinton mentioned that Obama was “kind of complaining about the hard questions.’’

“Well, having been in the White House for eight years, and seeing what happens in terms of the pressures and the stresses on a president, that was nothing.

“I’m with Harry Truman on this. “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Just speaking for myself, I’m very comfortable in the kitchen. So if the heat goes up its okay with me, because we’ve got a lot of tough problems.’’

Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton said, “considering the fact that Senator Clinton sat on stage at the last debate and complained to all of America that she always gets the first question, her blatant hypocrisy here is stunning. But if she'd rather spend her time talking about the same distractions and divisions that Washington is obsessed with, that's her business. Barack Obama believes the American people deserve a real debate issues that actually matter like health care, the economy, bringing this war to an end.”

from the Obama campaign.
FLASHBACK: Senator Clinton complains about always getting the first question LINK
ABC - Complainin' Clintons Fault Obama for Complaining
April 18, 2008 10:14 AM
Saira Anees
--The former first couple is amused with the fact that Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, and his supporters were chagrined at the line of questions coming his way during Wednesday night's debate.

On Fox 29 in Philadelphia this morning, ABC News' Eloise Harper reports, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, said of Obama, "I know he spent all day yesterday complaining about the hard questions he was asked. Being asked tough questions in a debate is nothing like the pressures you face inside the White House. In fact, when the going gets tough, you just can’t walk away because we’re going to have some very tough decisions that we have to make. I think we need a president who can take whatever comes your way. ...When the going gets tough you can’t run away."

And ABC News' Sarah Amos reports that from front porch of an American Legion Hall in St. Mary's, Penn., Thursday, former President Bill Clinton said, "When I watched that debate last night, I got kinda tickled when the other guy's – after the [debate], her opponents', oh, the people working were saying, 'Oh this is so negative, why are they doing this.' Well they've been beatin' up on her for 15 months. I didn't hear her whining when he said she was untruthful in Iowa."

If you haven't heard whining from your wife or from the Clinton campaign, Mr. President, then with all due respect, you haven't been paying attention.

The Clintons and the Clinton campaign have been complaining about the media and tough questions and the like for months. It's one of their talking points, for the love of Pete.

After a November debate when Clinton -- then the clear frontrunner -- was attacked by the many other Democrats on stage, the Clinton campaign even put together a youtube video complaining of the "Politics of Pile-on."

And at the Cleveland debate seven weeks ago, Clinton complained that she always got the first question, and about the media coverage in general.

Bill Clinton has whined about the media coverage so much and often it would be difficult to list every example. In a February interview with WMAL radio in Washington DC, the former president griped that "the political press has avowedly played a role in this election. I've never seen this before...they’ve been active participants in this election, and you know what the objective studies done."


The media reform movement and 'anti war' movements are on the verge of doing themselves great harm by jumping on the ABC debate as 'jumping' on Obama.
Hilary handled trivial attacks throughout the long campaign season.
And she weathered them.
With class.
Not so the whiney Obama.
Question: If he can't take the heat now, what's he gonna do in office?
Flip off Bani Sadr?
Where's the link to the flip off video? (both of them--he did this TWICE yesterday in different venues).
It's frat boy antics. He says her name, pauses

Here's the difference: This was the first debate where Obama got the tougher questions, even though he's been the frontrunner for months. That was why Hillary was incredulous at the Feb. 26 debate on MSNBC, because, for all the talk that she couldn't win and should drop out of the race, she was getting all the scrutiny, and Obama was sliding by with puffball questions. And, if that Feb. debate was the only time she took most of the hammering, it would have seemed less egregious and SHE, like Obama now, would have seemed like a crybaby; but she has taken the brunt of questions at nearly all the debates, particularly those hosted by MSNBC. So, fair is fair. Obama is the new-politics guy, so surely, if this were an important principle for him, he would extend his call for more civil and issue-oriented debates -- forums that are not slanted against one candidate and filled with slander, innuendo and hype -- to Hillary too.

Is this the same Hillary that wined about the media picking on her,compliained that she always got the first question in debates, served on the board for Wal-Mart, lied about being shot at in Bosnia. Hillary, if i was you, I wouldn't worry about the heat in the kitchen, I would worry about that glass house you're living in. Becareful, with all those rocks you are throwing, your house is sure to break

Look, Hillary is a lot better than Obama at taking heat, let's face it. And god knows, she's had practice:

- Preparing for the Chinagate lawsuit and the stress of having Bill's own Administration's Commerce Secretary, Ron Brown, identify uHillary under oath that as the architect of the fundraising scheme which sold official US trade mission seats!

-Having her close friend, Johnny Chung, identify her role in Chinagate - the transfer of sensitive US nuclear missile & satellite technology to China

-Being identified in judicial Watch lawsuit as the mastermind behind the FBI Filegate scandal, and all the work required to use the confidential info against her opponents

-Surviving a Justice Dept. criminal investigation into her underreporting campaign funds by a mere $2,000,000

-Being forced by a US Senate Ethics Complaint to return to the White House, the items she stole from there on Jan 20, 2001

-Being rudely identified as an accomplice of Bill Clintons in the defamation and intimidation assaults on Kathleen Willey

Mrs. Clinton is right. You have to be TOUGH to get yourself into and out of such events!


In 1949 Harry Truman, after becoming president, when warning his staff not to concern themselves over criticism about their appointments:

Truman is quoted saying:
"I'll stand by [you] but if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen."

The spirit of the idiom is of support. Truman said this to not only support but also to motivate his Democartic colleagues.

In her lust for power, Hillary has twisted the statement and used it to divide the Democratic party.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on April 18, 2008 11:46 AM.

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