Hillary Clinton Ad: Haven’t I Heard This Before

George H.W. Bush

Hillary Clinton is out with a new ad that emphasizes her experience should in case of foreign policy or security crisis.

Here is the text of the ad courtesy of the Associated Press. “It’s 3 a.m. and your children are safe asleep. But there’s a phone in the White House and it’s ringing. Something’s happening in the world.” (Sound of a phone ringing.) “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 safely asleep. Who do you want answering the phone?”

The ad sounded familiar. When Bill Clinton, stumping for Hillary Clinton in Portland recently, made a similar appeal, I did some research. George H.W. Bush made the same type of argument in a presidential debate with Ross Perot and Bill Clinton! Here’s what Bush asked: “If in the next 5 minutes a television announcer came on and said, there is a major international crisis — there is a major threat to the world or in this country a major threat — my question is, who, if you were appointed to name 1 of the 3 of us, who would you choose?”

More incredibly, Bush used the same imagery of the phone ringing at night in speeches during his July, 1992 campaign. “”Many times in the White House late at night the phone rings and usually it’s some young aide double-checking on the next day’s schedule,” Bush said according to the Washington Post. “But occasionally, it’s another voice — more serious, more solemn — carrying news of a coup in a powerful country or asking how we should stand up to a bully halfway around the world.”

“The American people need to know that the man who answers that phone has the experience, the seasoning, the guts to do the right thing.”

This appeal, emotional as it is, didn’t work for Bush the Elder. Given the public mood right now, it’s not likely to work for Hillary Clinton.

Barack Obama might have Deval Patrick to crib from, and Hillary Clinton has her husband’s 1992 opponent. Politics makes for strange bedfellows.

3 Responses to “Hillary Clinton Ad: Haven’t I Heard This Before”

  1. Bubba J Says:

    The Republicans have jammed fear down our throats for 8 years, it is why we are at war. It is why Obama is willing to go into Pakistan (if Pakistan won’t do it themselves) without permission to get rid of Al Qaida. It is the reason we have The Patriot Act.

    This message says something different to me.

    When 9-11 happened, Bush didn’t and couldn’t respond right away. When Katrina happened he waited days before making a comment or visiting.

    I FEAR Bush’s lack of response – lack of concern.

    On Super Tuesday, when tornados were hitting the midwest, Clinton responded in her speeches that SAME night. Clinton thanked the voters for battling the storm and gave understanding and sympathy to those who lost homes and loved ones. It took until Wednesday for Obama to notice.

    When the motorcycle driver in Clinton’s motorcade was killed, Clinton stopped campaigning right away to be with his family.


    It isn’t fear that makes me want to know who is answering that call at 3 am. It’s compassion and the belief that America deserves better.

    Have a Heart – Clinton ’08

  2. FactCheck Says:

    To Bubba J,
    Actually Obama did respond to the Hurricanes in the beginning of his acceptance speech Tues night. I didn’t hear any mention of it in Hillary’s speach that night, but I’ll take your word that she must of mentioned it at some point in the evening. Concern isn’t a strong differentiator between them, though it is between them and the republicans candidates.

  3. Commentary » Blog Archive » Shooting Themselves In the Foot Says:

    […] A.M.” advertisement last week. The spot — which, as Seth Gitell of The New York Sun shows, is a rip-off of a 1992 commerical that George H.W. Bush used against Hillary’s husband […]

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