March 31st, 2008
03:06 PM ET
6 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. Anonymous

    Maybe Mario needs to consult with 50 Cent.

    March 31, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  2. karen

    I think it would be a useful suggestion if the candidates weren't so different. Their policies and ideas are similar, yes, but they are extremely different individuals with disparate personal values and visions of how they want to see the political arena change, or not, in order to best serve the American people.

    Obama would be much better served choosing a running mate who will share his vision and work to implement more transparency into the system, with full disclosure of earmarks. I see him with Gore or my personal favorite... Mark Warner.

    March 31, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  3. debra

    At the end of this race we will still be the same. One or the other will be in the lead but we will still be divided almost equally. The super delegates come in and disinfrrancise the other half of the party and as angry as both sides are, the other half will not support the nominated delegate. It doesn't even take that many people to insure that McCain wins. None of us will win because we are to stuborn and selfish to compromise. This would be a win win. We all would get what we want. The person on top gets to be president and the person who comes in second would be vice president. A whole lot less upset people. The fact this race is so close needs to be a wake up call. We need to have both on the ticket or a lot of people are going to be upset either way.

    March 31, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  4. Veterans love Obama

    Lets let Obama pick who HE wants for his VP. Hillary has been too nasty to be his #2.

    March 31, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  5. No Obama

    John,

    We don't want Obama to be on the ticket. This will dimish the chance of Hilary winning the election in Nov. We cannot trust Obama. We do not know much about this guy. "So we prefer a no devil to an unknown angel".

    Hilary 2008

    March 31, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  6. Floyd

    Former New York Governor Cuomo not pitching Hillary as the presidential half of the ticket speaks volumes.

    Obama is in!

    March 31, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  7. Terry

    A election is same as baseball game...you start it at the beginning and end it at the last man out....you don't stop the game in the 7th just because the other team is ahead a little..you finish it....I wouldn't like it if the did that at a game I was looking out and the same goes for a election...it seems like if the other team leading did that..it would be they are afraid they might lose...........that would be like watching a good movie and left before the end because it was to long....

    March 31, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  8. Texican

    America is waking up to reality. Why? Because the Horse is out of the barn. Can't put it back. Democrats are stuck with Obama and all the garbage he brings with him. Time to put up or shut up. No more pretty phrases. As Carville said yeserday. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall and all the Kings men couldn't put Humpty Dumpty together again. Hillary is the only chance and the party leaders don't see it.

    March 31, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  9. Mari Barosay

    God forbid that Obama choose Hillary as a vice president. I have come to disdain the Clintons and plus he should know, if he gets Hillary, he gets Bill too!! NO more Clintons! Enough, already!

    March 31, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  10. C. Vivaldi, NC

    . . .Mario Cuomo should go back to recording records . . .OOps that was
    Perry wasn't it.

    March 31, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  11. A. Burke NYC

    Between this and 50 Cent no longer supporting Clinton, CNN you are really scraping the bottom of the barrel for news in an other wise slow cycle.

    March 31, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  12. Bayou Joe

    Both of them together don't equal one McCain. Enough said.

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

    Mario,

    You mean well, but you're misguided. Hillary supporters don't like Obama. Obama supporters don't like Hillary. Many of Hillary's supporters will vote for McCain if Obama's the nominee, and vice versa. If you put them together, maybe all their supporters will vote for McCain.

    March 31, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  14. Tex

    John King, your article quoting Governor Cuomo lacks originality.

    There is plenty of time for Hillary's campaign to self destruct before all our eyes as we are "chilling" and that’s a good thing.

    Everyone, but Bill, Hillary and Chelsea, sees what is happening to her campaign efforts...they are in serious melt-down mode. Obama is going to win and placing Hillary as his VP reduces Osama’s chances with the American people. The idea is to win and beat McBush. There are far too many better Democrats out there to enhance the ticket. Hillary is not one of them.

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

    No way obama should have Hillary as his vice president. He is against every thing she stands for. I hate to this another clinton in the white house enough of their lies. I did not have sexual relationship with that women monika he lied under oath. Hillary lied to us about her to trip to bosnia, her vote for NAFTA I can go on and on.

    March 31, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  16. SD

    So much for obama being transparent.. Hillary stay in the race.
    Regarding Pastor Wright and Obama where he denied being present when pastor made his headline-making sermons. I read where Jim Davis a reporter for NewsMaxx magazine says "he saw the would-be President at one of them last July 22, when the pastor blamed the "white arrogance" of America for the world's suffering and more bs.

    March 31, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  17. cheater

    I have tried to be patient with the Obama supporters.

    1. The PEOPLE of Fl and Mi did not agree to anything- much less to be disenfranchised – and they are the ones that matter, not any politician.

    2. Obama's rock star status gave him name recognition. Oprah held his hand everywhere.

    3. Obama was the ONLY one to break the rules and campaigned in Florida via his very expensive TV ads- and Hillary still won.

    4. A re-vote is exactly that- a re-vote and it gives Obama the edge since supposedly he improves with time, like a fine wine.

    5. Hillary did NOT campaign anywhere. Obama ran ads in Fl and told people to vote uncommitted in Mi. Kind of like his "present" votes in the Senate.

    6. Punish the democratic voters in 2 very important states and you can kiss the election goodbye in Nov.

    7. Look up the role of superdelegates for yourselves... otherwise they will close this post before I can educate all of you.

    March 31, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  18. Mike

    I think it will be ok. Sure there is bitterness.

    Hillary people feel a vote for Obama in light of his church's stance on anti-American and 9/11 sentiments is a slap in the face to the victims of 9/11.

    Obama people are religious about putting him in office no matter what controversies are out there on him.

    But I think no matter what, we can come together and back the nominee.

    There have been bitter rivalries before and it came out ok.

    March 31, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  19. Charles Hardeman

    BOLLOCKS!

    March 31, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  20. KC

    I'm an Obama supporter and even I am with Mr. Clinton, "CHILL OUT" the race will resolve itself. we will be united as long as the person who does not win the nomination looses with grace and dignity and with total support of the nominee then things will be fine. They worry for nothing, this is a good thing look how interested everyone is in the process, and states that usually don't get to vote, GET TO VOTE, so let them. This is their chance too.

    March 31, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  21. FELICIA

    EITHER WAS IT GO BOTH DEMOCRATIC NOMINEES WILL BE MAKING HISTORY IF ELECTED. I BELIEVE THERE IS VERY LITTLE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN OBAMA AND CLINTON; SO I BELIEVE IT WOULD BE SMARTER IF THEY BOTH GOT ON THE SAME TICKET INSTEAD OF SEPERATING THE DEMOCRATIC VOTE. IF WE ARE SEPERATED AS DEMOCRATES WE MAY LOSE THE RACE ONCE AGAIN. I FEEL LIKE BOTH CANINDATES ARE EQUALKLY CAPABLE OF RUNNING THE WHITE HOUSE AND I THINK HILLARY SHOULD BE VICE PRESIDENT WHILE BARACK LEADS OUR COUNTRY TO A BETTER WORLD.

    March 31, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  22. demwit

    It's time for Obama to drop out, for the good of the party..

    March 31, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  23. Stacy Clarks,

    NO WAY!!!! THESE PARTY ELDERS EITHER NEED TO ENDORSE SOMEONE, OR KEEP THEIR OPINIONS TO THEMSELVES!!!!

    AND WHEN THEY ENDORSE, NO NEED TELLING THE OTHER PERSON TO LEAVE, BUT JUST TO KEEP THE FIGHT FAIR, AND POSITIVE!!!

    OBAMA 08!!!!!!

    March 31, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  24. jdona

    Never fear Cuomo. Hillary's supporters have a secret weapon. We are mounting a nationwide campaign to write her in on the ticket in November, so we won't have to vote for John McCain. Then again, we are not going to vote for Barack Obama either. Its Hillary all the way!

    March 31, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  25. Interesting

    This is just another Clintonista ploy to throw chaos into the process. More chaos makes Obamas lead look less decisive.

    If any of these people had any integrity, it would continue without any more discussion of popular vote or elective colleges.

    At some point, the dems need to give some one some power in their party to avoid this appearance of disorganization.

    March 31, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
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