March 31st, 2008
03:06 PM ET
10 years ago

King: Democratic elder statesman warns of potential disaster

Cuomo’s plan is the latest proposal to resolve the Democratic impasse.

Cuomo’s plan is the latest proposal to resolve the Democratic impasse.

(CNN) - Another day, another idea to end the remarkable race for the Democratic presidential nomination - this one from former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo.

In an essay in the Boston Globe, Cuomo warns of a potential disaster for Democrats if the race goes on and either Clinton or Obama supporters become embittered by the eventual outcome.

“Who can solve the problem?” he asks. “Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton by putting aside personal irritations, and to some extent personal aspirations, and agreeing to end the hostilities and form a ticket that gives us both of them, a candidate for President and a candidate for Vice President who is clearly good enough to serve as President, should the occasion arise.”

Funny: he doesn’t suggest which candidate should be the nominee, and which the vice presidential nominee.

And already, he is suggesting there are better odds for an alternative he raised in the essay: continue the nomination fight – but have both candidates commit now that if he or she wins, the other would be the vice presidential choice.

'Thanks, but no thanks' is the reaction of the Clinton and Obama camps. They say it is premature to begin thinking about the No. 2. spot on the ticket. But Cuomo tells us today in The Situation Room that he believes such an arrangement is the best hope for a Democratic Party he believes is losing votes to Republican John McCain “every day.”

It’s an interesting idea - and though it is unlikely to be embraced by camps Clinton and Obama, it is the latest reflection of the worry among some party elder statesmen that the protracted nomination battle is creating wounds that won't heal in time for the November election.

Of course, there are others who dispute that the damage is lasting - they see record Democratic turnout and fund-raising as a sign the protracted race is helping, not hurting. Count former President Bill Clinton among this group, though also be very well aware of his bias. His weekend suggestion - those pushing for a fast resolution to the race should just “chill out” - was the latest proof his wife the candidate is in no mood to listen to those who say she should call it quits for the good of the party.

Still three weeks to Pennsylvania. Plenty of time to chill, or debate the pros and cons of the protracted Democratic battle.

Related video: Watch John King's interview with Mario Cuomo

–CNN Chief National Correspondent John King

Filed under: John King
soundoff (220 Responses)
  1. jane

    And this suggestion is useful ... how?

    March 31, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |

    No, John, we don't want both of them. We only want Obama.
    We are going to have a hard enough job getting the Republican
    And Democratic fat cats liars out. I am not sure that Hillary, after all
    the lies, will even be able to win the voters of New York over for
    her next run. We crave truth. We hate liars. Wonder Why?? My vote
    has been for Obama from Day 1. But, if Hillary is on his ticket, I would
    have a hard time voting for. a Clinton on any ticket. The Clintons have
    shown that they are "the best con artists of our times" and Clinton
    on the ticket will be a vote for a liar. I am firm in my statement.

    March 31, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  3. Daniel

    That's fine, just put Obama at the top.

    March 31, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  4. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    One thing for sure-the Democratic Party is losing voters to John McCain–but the wrangling between Obama and Clinton is ony the sideshow–not the main reason for so many Democrats changing to Indies's or Republican.

    There is a growing segment of responsible Democrats that have now had opportunities to really evaluate the detailed agendas of both Clinton and Obama–and listen to both candidates defend their positions on healthcare, the economy, national defense, foreign/domestic policies. These folks are fully satisfied with what they are seeing.

    The current agenda of the Democratic party is more socialist than ever and has moved way left of center –this disturbs many who consider themselves fiscally conservative. And there is a general perception neither has a grasp of what to do with regards to Iraq and Afghanistan, North Korea, Iran.

    March 31, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  5. Peg

    I'm still mad that Cuomo didn't run for President when he had the chance to. He would have made a wonderful President.

    His suggestion is interesting, but not timely. Unfortunately, most people don't "do the math" and conclude there is no way Hillary can win unless she does the "Tonya Harding" trick to Obama. OR Obama's campaign stumbles big time. People keep thinking it is really close and it isn't. There are only 10 more primaries and even with Michigan and Florida, she can't win. The supers are not going to take it away from the winner....

    She needs to be rational and her husband needs to tell her (as he seems to be the more diplomatic of the two) that it's over.....soon...

    March 31, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |

    I don't ever, ever want to see Hillary, or Bill again. They stand for lies.
    And they think "they deserve". The voters know different. Liars-no
    con artists-NO NO NO.

    Retired Professional White Woman of 63

    March 31, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  7. Really? Really!

    Oh NO HIllary!!!!!!! 50 Cent doesn't back you!?!?! Time to quit!!!
    What a bunch of nonsense. Why did this even hit the airwaves? I am a Barack backer, but I am dumbfounded that a rapper's opinion would get ANY airtime....give me a BREAK.

    March 31, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  8. Jack

    I agree.... Obama should drop out b/c he can't beat McCain in white-dominated Ohio and Pennsylvania

    March 31, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  9. Deb

    I agree with Jane. I am an Obama supporter who in the beginning would have loved an Obama/Clinton ticket however, no more. I would vote Democrat whoever the nominee (hopefully Obama) but would not like to see them on the same ticket.

    March 31, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  10. Jon, PA

    wasn't this suggested, in varying terms, by about 20 other people? What makes this guy so special and why is this still news?

    Obama has, repeated, said that he's not running for VP and I have yet to hear him being interested in the position. I can't see Clinton having any desire to be VP either.

    I also can't believe that A- this is (still) news and B- that somehow 50 Cent's political views trump this in terms of importance...

    March 31, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  11. Jeff in WI

    This suggestion is stupidity. Cuomo is clueless as to what's going on here. People are not clamoring for that tired "dream ticket". Most never were.

    Clinton as Obama's VP would violate the politics that Obama embraces. Clinton is everything that Obama supporters hate about politics.

    I'm a strong Obama supporter, but I wouldn't touch an Obama/Clinton ticket, even with Obama on top, with a ten foot pole.

    Cuomo is a politician from another time. So is Geraldine Ferraro.

    Why their trotting out these fossils is beyond me.

    March 31, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  12. Mkes Sense!

    Clinton/Obama – experience, savy, know how and let Obama learn ... just as he has been doing during the nomination process – learning from Clinton.

    No to Obama/Clinton.......would she get paid extra for teaching him?

    This could nearly secure 16 years of Democrats.........short of this – elect McCain with a majority in the House and Senate of Democrats.

    March 31, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  13. Mary

    Sorry, sir you got the wrong number...

    March 31, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  14. An Agnostic Democrat

    Tell Cuomo to shut up! He's got a bigger mouth than Bill and Hillary combined. Sorry folks, I don't think Hillary deserves to be on any ticket with a 37% positive approval from the public. How low can she go? Another 6% and she'll be in the Bush league. Now that's a real compliment! NOT!

    March 31, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  15. sozzi

    Here we go again, another Hillary supporter trying to put her the ticket.
    Sorry, Mario Coumo, but Hillary is the one who started the smear campaign, and now that she's about done, we shouldn't accomodate her, by putting her the ticket with Mr. Obama. Let's just let Mr. Obama win the nomination after the final ten states so he can pick his own V.P.


    March 31, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  16. Steve

    If they can tear an election apart like this in a few months, what kind of damage can they do to the White House in 4 years?

    Great thinking, Cuomo.

    March 31, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  17. Deb

    Obama is no longer a viable candidate-he can't win in a general election!

    If he loved the country instead of hating it-(he is known by school children as "The Bad man who hates America") he'd drop out!

    We want to hear Hillary's solutions for America!

    We want to have years of Peace and Prosperity!

    No more Republicans, no more Obama-the Anti-American!

    March 31, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  18. Kentucky

    How can you help but be bitter?
    The bias of the media has made me bitter. I can't help but be for the underdog==Hillary Clinton. I never thought that the media could treat anyone like they have Hillary. They are trying to destroy her. I never thought this could happen in America but it has –and it is. Will the media report on the questionnaires Obama completed – one being that he supports taking our guns? I doubt it.

    March 31, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  19. William

    Cuomo is right, a dual ticket between the two democratic candidates is a must in order to win the GE. Of course, those of you who don't think so are entitled to your opinion, as am I.

    All I have to say is that just becuase a newsperson doesn't think it's going to happen, doesn't mean it won't happen.

    Please stick to reporting the news and stop trying to create the news.

    March 31, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  20. Russell

    This coming from a man who spews filthy words through his music? If I was Clinton, I wouldn't want such a person publically supporting me. In fact, this is jut another reason why I will vote McCain if Clinton does not get the Dem. nod.

    March 31, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  21. piano player

    Hilary responded by saying she's surprised by the reversal as she is East Coast and Sen. Obama is not.

    March 31, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  22. lip

    a joint ticket will sure help me decide. Anything that includes Billary will push me over to McCain. Obama is okay without her, but together that tag team won't hunt.
    If Rice runs with McCain, then everything is out the window and I flip a coin

    March 31, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  23. Justin

    forget about the "dream ticket', it would turn out to be a "nightmare ticket", in either way.

    March 31, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  24. Towhappy

    Yea, just chill out and lets continue to see the supers line up for Obama, we got time.

    March 31, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  25. Ex Obama Fan

    Not going to happen. Obama does not play well with "others."

    March 31, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
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