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. Jeff

    You dont want both of them, but 28% of Democrats will not vote for Obama alone and I am one of them. Its either take her along or loose.
    And yes Obama is very truthful and honest. Ask Resko!!!!

    March 31, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  2. Joe G

    Anyone but Obama. The man gives me the creeps.

    March 31, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  3. blair

    I would have said yes I agree. BUT not Now. I do not want Berry Obama on any party ticket as president or vice president.
    If Obama is on a ticket as president I will not vote that ticket.
    If Obama is on a ticket as vice president I will not vote that ticket.
    I am a Democrat and for anyone to say I don't deserve to vote because I will not vote for Berry Obama, is the one that needs to get a reality check. McCain is not my choice but I will do nothing to help put Berry Obama in the White House. This is the First time I have been totally against someone. This Berry Obama has torn the democratic party apart, what would he do in the White House. I will vote for McCain to save the United States from total destruction he would bring.

    March 31, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  4. Neutral

    The GOP is salivating, an Obama nomination is LANDSLIDE WIN for JOHN McCain. Independent voters is the KEY CONSTITUENTS of McCain. Key constituents of Hillary Clinton is the base of the democratic party; that leave Obama scraping bottom of a barrel. AT LEAST 28% of registered democrats will not vote Obama according to the poll, but the number is much higher in my opinion. The base of the democratic party is willing to SACRIFICE 4 years under McCain if Obama is the nominee for their party.

    March 31, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  5. Gerald F.

    If you really get Senator Clinton to quit right now as everyone seems to be crying out for. Before any other state left to vote gets to vote. Do you people really believe THAT is going to make this election any more a legit nomination? With a few million people not being allowed to get to vote OTHER than Michigan and Florida? Come on! Think about it. Since when is an election legal when nearly or just over half of the nation is told they need not vote? I guess you never heard of word:
    Revolution. It happens. Hate to see it happen over this.

    March 31, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  6. Deb

    NO! NO! NO! Obama has a right to CHOOSE who he wants as a running mate and Hillary IS NOT the one. Obama will have a running mate who will also inspire the country to unite – BELIEVE ME! ONE WHO IS WELL KNOWN AND LIKED! He doesn't have to go with Hillary, people need to stop with the mess. Like Pelosi said – that's not going to happen – it will be a disaster.

    March 31, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  7. Ex-Hillary supporter

    Bad idea, having Clinton on the ticket. I would not be voting Democrat if that were the case.
    Her credibility was shot to hell after regaling the world with her sniper dodging story.

    March 31, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  8. for freedom

    I will embrace the anarchy of freedom any day... over installing a nominee based on American idol criteria over credentials.

    March 31, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  9. Lori

    I don't want either of the Clintons anywhere near the White House, or it's silverware. Hillary would make a horrible VP for anyone because she can't be trusted. I can imagine her behind the scene always scheming to make herself relevant, at the expense of the President, the country or anyone who stood in her way. She scares me.

    March 31, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  10. Mischelle from Illinois

    John King,
    I just watched your piece on this topic and I very much agree with Mario Cuomo. This would end the temptation for the "death of a thousand cuts" as every one points out about the Democrats.

    But JOHN, in the piece following that report you were commenting about certain polls and just your incinuations (or more specifically, the way in which you reported the "results") shows your true bias! Your viewers can see it, hear it, and feel it. CNN better "knock it off" or come Novemeber no one will be watching you for the results of the general election. After that last piece, I switched FOX News.

    March 31, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  11. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Democrats do need to chill out, we will all get a piece of the pie either way it goes as long as we stop hating and thinking with our heads. Democrats needs to stop acting like "little red riding hood" and recognize the republican party as the big bad wolf. Think democrat party first at all cost.

    March 31, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  12. Concerned Citizen

    Count me in that group. I am a Hillary supporter who will definitely vote for McCain if she is not on the ticket. Contrary to the media's attempt to push him down our throat and the belief by many of his supporters that he is God's gift to the universe, I will never vote for him. Hillary supporters, believe it are not, are not invisible. Our votes count, too.

    March 31, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  13. ariel

    Cuomo should stop wringing his hands and relax.A fine book is out this week by Amy Sullivan of Time, Inc . She writes brilliantly in "The Party Faithful" how the Democratic party can sucessfully find moral meeting ground with the religious voters who have traditionally voted for-and been exploited by-the Republican party, A great read for all thinking Democrats.

    March 31, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  14. Iamwmd

    Typical Clinton supporter trying to spin reality. Obama doesn't need Clinton to win the Democratic nomination or the General Election.

    There will be more than enough Independents and cross over Republicans voting for Obama in the General election to make up for the few hardcore bitter Clinton backers.

    Why would Obam want Clinton on the ticket when this lady owes far too many lobbyist supporters. The many scandals in her past would be a recipe for disaster. That's the reason the Republicans are crossing over in PA and other states in an attempt to vote Hillary in the Democratic nomination process so that they can destroy her in the fall.

    March 31, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  15. Jon

    Well this would work just fine for Hillary who would benefit from having Barack as her #2. I think it's completely different the other way around. Hillary would only weigh down Barack's candidacy. She's got way too much baggage and as we are seeing now...despite Hillary's claims otherwise...there is still much Clinton dirt to be drug through the media in days to come.

    Obama / Richardson 08 !!!!!

    March 31, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  16. Arnold, WV

    As I have said before ,the democratic party was so sure that Clinton would have it wrapped up by Super Tuesday.The voters had a different idea.I really don't know what her backers hope to gain.It appears they can only lose .If she somehow steals the nomination she would not have a prayer in Nov.

    March 31, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  17. for freedom

    Richardson once said..." since when did experience become some kind of leper?"

    Now he changes his tune.

    That is his privilege- even as a superdelegate. So lets give all the voters the "privilege" of voting... now that it is no longer our right.

    Let the DNC and party leaders rule out all our other rights as well.

    March 31, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  18. Paige, Raleigh, NC

    I appreciate your sentiments but I don't ever want to see another Clinton again after finding out how they continue to lie about one thing after another and running such a pathetic campaign. I used to really respect Hillary but as this race has gone on and now the 'true facts' are coming out about her I will never vote for a Clinton. Ever. She and Bill deserve each other. Obama has run a very worthy and decent campaign and he doesn't need Hillary or Bill.

    March 31, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  19. Superdelegate

    No Clinton, anywhere on the ticket.

    March 31, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  20. Deb, Texas

    NO! NO! NO! Obama has the RIGHT to CHOOSE whomever he wants. By the way, he has a running mate whom the country will LOVE and who is well known and loved. It would be a disaster if he chooses Hillary. You people need to stop with that idea of a mistake.

    March 31, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  21. April in Texas

    Well I dont want both as that would e a nightmare ticket not a dream ticket. The math just isnt on Hillarys side. This is as bad as the second suggesting the first be the VP. She can stay in but after the primarys she should determine its time to conceed if the math is still for Obama's favor. Taking it all the way to the convention would destroy the party IMO.

    Obama 08

    March 31, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  22. Dave

    Edwards to endorse Obama after Penn.

    March 31, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  23. Jean

    "...continue the nomination fight – but have both candidates commit now that if he or she wins, the other would be the vice presidential choice." TOTALLY AGREE! That's going to be a happy ending.

    Those "elder statesmen" should think of this for the sake of the party!

    March 31, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  24. Mick

    If these two could ever get over themselves and work together as a team, then we would finally have a decent chance of real positive change in this country, because they both talk a good game and may actually believe in most of it.

    Unfortunately, neither Obama or Hillary is willing to do that. They are both too full of themselves to ever consider a compromise. I wish we could throw them both out for that reason alone.

    Do we really want a leader whose first priority is their own career? These two are making McCain look better every week, and that's scary and sad on a level we haven't seen in decades.

    March 31, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  25. The Game

    my prediction is if Hillary takes this all the way to the floor of the convenstion to fight.....she will lose her political credibility. People will be turned off.

    March 31, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
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