March 31st, 2008
03:06 PM ET
7 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. JFK

    Frankly, Hillary should get top billing. I could not stomach Obama as the President first. He is smug and arrogant and I am no fan of his behavior. But I would accept this compromise so he could run in 8 years after gaining some experience.

    March 31, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  2. JT in Dallas

    Who cares about this guy either. Is he in the same glee club as 50 pennies?

    She is not dropping out so get over it!

    March 31, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  3. NewPatriot-Arizona

    I agree Ed

    March 31, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  4. Ricardo, Atlanta

    Obama for President. Fight or Die Trying. Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama 2008. The cry of the Young Generation are hear to stay. Finally...Politics that i love....Obama 2008 from ATL to Boston.

    March 31, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  5. CHERYL

    OH NO!

    DO NOT SUGGEST THAT HILLARY RUIN HER GOOD NAME TO TEAM WITH THIS LOW LIFE!!!!!!!

    HE LIES AND MANIPULATES AND PAYS HIS WAY WITH OPRAHS MONEY!!!!!

    HE WILL NEVER GET ELECTED!!!!

    THE GOP WOULD LOVE THAT THEN THEY COULD GET RID OF BOTH OF THEM!!!!!!

    NO WAY HILLARY WOULD EVER USE OBAMA FOR ANYTHING BESIDES A GARDENER!!!!!!!!

    March 31, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  6. CHERYL

    OBAMA IS NOT ELECTABLE NO MATTER WHAT!!!!!!!!!

    March 31, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  7. CHERYL

    WHAT A JOKE!!!!!!!!

    NO OBAMA!!!!!!!!!

    March 31, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  8. E>Dozois

    You may think that obama will make agood president,but the saying
    goes be very careful what you wish for.

    March 31, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  9. Patti

    I would still vote for McCain if Hillary doesn't win, because I don't like the connections Obama has had in his life.

    March 31, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  10. Patti

    Clinton has destroyed Obama. It's Obama's life destroying himself

    March 31, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  11. Cindy,CA

    Hillary can't ever be on an Obama VP slot...She would be blamed for every "boneheaded mistake" Obama makes.

    March 31, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  12. Derek Parker

    In my country (Australia), we have a saying about political parties: 'if you can't govern yourselves, you can't govern the country'. Says it all, really.

    March 31, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  13. Catherine

    This opportunistic chameleon with a hidden agenda –Wright, Farrakhan, etc. needs to be unmasked.

    Long live Hillary!!!!!

    March 31, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  14. BOB

    CUOMO, whom are you supporting? SEEMS TO ME HILLARY.

    NO SIR, THANK YOU

    March 31, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  15. Venus

    It is a much of crap if some supporters of Obama or Hillary say they will vote for McCain. If so, so be it! If they can handle four more years of Bush – so be it. As a supporter for Obama – we will take our chances! Obama would do much better with John Edwards or another southern for his VP-spot. Not Hillary -

    March 31, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  16. TechnoTemplar

    Obama= playing the race card

    Hill-dog= playing the sex/ Bill Clinton ROCKS card

    Both are socialist idiots, I would sooner pledge allegience to a steamed flounder than either one of em.

    March 31, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  17. Veronica in CA

    "We only want Obama" says a poster here. I'm sorry, but half of us Democrats do NOT want your candidate, and most Republicans do NOT want your candidate, either.

    GO HILLARY.

    March 31, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  18. North Carolina

    Funny how you guys always mean the woman should step down. No thanks.

    March 31, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  19. Dave

    Hillary would only be ahead if we counted florida and the other one because Barack was not on the ticket. BUT if they had a revote and barack was on the ticket it would be a lot different.

    March 31, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  20. 2008REFORM

    The party's nominee choses running-mate, an obama-billary WH will be like a triumverate.

    March 31, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  21. Obama Richardson

    Who is this man and how does he matter–what does he know? What he says is total BS and will not be backed by voters.

    March 31, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  22. aware

    Obama will not win the general. He is reaching too high too soon and will just bring the Democratic party down with him. This is a better option than the Obama's in the White House.

    Hillary 08 or McCain! :)

    March 31, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  23. Honeybee

    Send Hillary back to the seat she came from .
    {this is mad cow desease }

    Obama its "Yes We Can."
    Hillary for his Vce President OMG "Just Say No "
    Have had toooo many Clintons and Bushes .

    March 31, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  24. Whotay

    Bad Idea !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 31, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  25. Catherine

    I am a life long Republican, but I'm voting for Obama. If Clinton is on the same ticket with him, I'll be voting for McCain.

    March 31, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
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