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. Yes, DM again Arlington, TX

    New York Gov. Mario Cuomo,

    Since, Senator Hillary Clinton, is one of yours can you ask her to show use the taxes and come clean on her experience or lack of.

    Can you tell us why Maggie William one of the souce of the Housing Foreclosure sources is on her is heading her campaign and she not paying her bills?

    March 31, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  2. AA For Change

    Obama/White 08..... Its time we charge a head tax

    March 31, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  3. donnajp

    When will America and the Obama supporters realize – we are behind Hillary Clinton all the way and we are becoming very disinterested in any way having Barack Obama on the ticket with Hillary. She doesn't need him. We would rather have Harold Ford, Jr. on the ticket because we like and respect him. Hillary 08

    March 31, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  4. Paul

    We don't want the Clinton's anywhere near the ticket. They have trouble written all over them.

    March 31, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  5. NickNasc



    March 31, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  6. goodcitized

    Hillary/Obama 08; Obama later on!

    March 31, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  7. vic nashville,Tn

    Hi John Why these old people including Jack jealous when young people enjoy their life
    they enjoyed let us enjoy

    March 31, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  8. Clinton or McCain 08 !!!!

    Sorry, might have been a good idea early on, but it's too late now and there is no way I will vote for a ticket with Obama anywhere on it.

    March 31, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  9. KC

    Love the idea! Hillary is a liar – she'll fit right in. Obama has no clue (what change is he talking about specifically????) and moreover, why does he waffle so darn much? He says one thing one day – and another the next. I think it will be a match made in heaven. Go Hillary/Obama – that's the dream ticket!

    March 31, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  10. Not as stupid as you!

    YES thats IT. Be as STUPID as a HillaryBot and ask the guy who is leading in ALL AREAS AND COUNTS! To take a BACKSEAT to a Candidate whos approval numbers are very close to BUSH!! YEA Thats the way to go!!!

    See how stupid you sound?

    March 31, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  11. Larry Buchas

    Sorry, I was for this idea before I was against it.

    Hillary's Great Bosnia Adventure ruined that. I say Obama/Webb, Obama/Edwards, Obama/Warner, Obama/Hagel or Obama/Bloomburg.

    The only Clinton with a political future would be Chelsea.

    March 31, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  12. Ben Mo

    No Obama please , we need some democrat who can fight Republican and do some good. ENOUGH HOT AIR.

    March 31, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  13. teresa c

    Hillary will be the next president of these United States, and all of you who just can't seem to see it coming, well then keep dreaming of Obama.. Go Hillary!!!

    March 31, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  14. anonymous

    Why doesn't someone ask Obama to back out? Why can't he be VP? Too many promises for the wrong people! Obama is not the answer.

    March 31, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  15. Matthew

    It's the only way I would even consider voting for Obama.

    March 31, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  16. John Kay

    She had that chance squandered; and now, no way, except for McCain VP.

    March 31, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  17. Fred

    I thought Mario was a Democrat. His prescription is a poison pill for whoever wins. It would lead to disaster rather than a coherent approach. Let the candidates run with their own choice rather than a shot-gun choice. Like Bill says, Chill out Governor.

    March 31, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  18. Brent

    Clinton on the democratic ticket would be a 'poison pill' for independent voters and would kill the possibility of broad support from Reagan Democrats, Perot Independants, or the like.

    March 31, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  19. Ralph

    The only disater is if Obama keeps staying in the race, and refusing to support Hillary ,who is clearly the right as well as best choice to be president of this great nation. We don't reed to go backward ,which is what would happen if the racist Obama became president. We need a leader with vision for Americas future. HILLARY, THE RIGHT, AND ONLY ONE.

    March 31, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  20. 2008 Hillary! Go

    Come on! Any one but Obama can be president or VP!

    No Obama!

    Hillary 2008

    March 31, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  21. Gary Mitchell

    Mr Cuomo's remarks show how out of touch he is with the point of this campaign. Obama's campaign is funded by "We the People" and HRC's is funded by the "$20 million plus club". It is critical that the control of the lobbyists and PAC's over the legislative agenda is brought to an end. There can be no compromise and no joint ticket. HRC is the problem that Obama has the solution for.

    March 31, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  22. Sinbad

    Clinton on any ticket is for crack smokers. Obama is winning. You Hill people are crazy as loons.

    March 31, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  23. Robu desu

    Hillary represents all that is wrong with America. We are racist, stupid, and broke. Want to turn this country around, then vote OBAMA!

    March 31, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  24. JS

    Obama can't win the presidential election – and he knows it but he doesn't care. HE SHOULD QUIT FOR THE GOOD OF THE PARTY!!!

    March 31, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  25. Matt

    I would not recommend for Hillary to endorse Obama if she wants to win against president Mccain in 2012.

    March 31, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
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