May 23rd, 2008
04:10 PM ET
6 years ago

Sources: Clinton, Obama supporters discussing exit strategies

(CNN) - Several close friends and supporters of Hillary Clinton tell CNN they are pushing for a "graceful exit strategy" that would allow the Clinton and Obama camps to come together, and for the New York senator to save face should she fail to become the Democratic nominee for president.

The discussions are not taking place between the campaigns, but rather among informal campaign advisers on both sides who are trying to actively influence and shape the debate as the competition nears a close June 3.

Bill Burton, national spokesman for front-runner Barack Obama's campaign, said "there are no talks underway between the campaigns," and that any suggestion from Clinton insiders is "unequivocally untrue."

"We are two campaigns, in real competition, not having any such talks about exit strategies," Burton said.

Obama campaign chief strategist David Axelrod said "there have been zero discussions, back channel or otherwise between the campaigns."

Clinton campaign aides also deny that any talks are taking place between the campaigns, emphasizing that the contest is not yet over. Clinton herself said the report was "flatly untrue" during a meeting with the editorial board of a South Dakota paper Friday.

But some Clinton camp insiders and close friends are actively floating three scenarios which they believe will influence whether or how the two teams merge.

Full story

soundoff (1,165 Responses)
  1. corey

    hillbilly as VP? i dont think so ...no more clintons

    May 23, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  2. Ryan

    She's so far past having an opportunity for "a graceful exit strategy" that it's not even funny.

    May 23, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  3. Susan

    Millions would rather Clinton be the nominee.

    May 23, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  4. tidho

    With where Clinton has taken this campaign I'm not sure she has a 'save face' option anymore. Certainly every time she opens her mouth the chances diminish.

    May 23, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  5. The Change Express (Kissimmee, FL)

    She can forget about the VP spot because Barack wont offer it. He knows she embraces too much of the "Washington" ways of politics...furthermore, she's incredibly spiteful. I think the VP spot will go to either Joe Biden, Speaker Pelosi or Bill Richardson.

    GOBAMA 08'/12'

    May 23, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  6. Cammi317

    The supers are not going to let this go past June 3, so either way it will be done in less than 2 weeks.

    May 23, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  7. Colby

    If he does not offer that spot there are going to be a bunch of bitter democrats out there, ....

    Hillary 08'

    May 23, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  8. Marc in Quebec

    Why is it that there need be a "saving face" strategy? Wouldn't it be the right thing, the courageous thing to do – to quit and help the Democratic party win in November?

    I don't understand American politics. She cannot win, she will not win, so therefore, we must make her look like she won in order to let her lose.

    Wow.

    May 23, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  9. fred

    Thats too bad...Hillary sure is going to get Millions of votes this Nov. Obama is going to lose his behind to McCain!!

    Go all the way to the convention Hillary...otherwise the Democrats are going to lose BIGTIME!!

    May 23, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  10. SBAMA

    For all who said Clinton or McCain in '08, my question is, would you vote for a Obama/Clinton ticket?

    May 23, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  11. Mike

    I like the second scenario.

    May 23, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  12. USAF Sr. Airman

    I do NOT want any of my contributions to Obama going to Clinton to help get her out of debt. She mismanaged her campaign, let her use her own personal millions to pay it off.

    In other news: Obama picked up another two delegates today. Two of John Edwards' New Hampshire delegates said they will back Obama.

    May 23, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  13. Walt, Belton,TX

    I wish they would both exit!

    May 23, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  14. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Hillary as the New Cheney is unthinkable, but maybe a Supreme Court seat is possible if she can get through the Senate with those missing Whitewater billing records.

    May 23, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  15. Jackie

    Obama can't win the blue-collar workers. Are you ready for another Republican President. Well, you just gave it to McCain. Thank you Obama supporters.
    Hillary all the way is the only way.

    May 23, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  16. mazola

    Please Obama ...don't make that mistake in offering Hillary any VP Slot.That lady is really dangerous......Pick another VP and you will win no matter what....

    May 23, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  17. EDU from Texas

    In as much as we should respect Clinton's fighting spirit, Obama should NOT put her on the ticket just to get her supporters. He should stand by principal. He is running on a change platform and he should keep it that way.

    If Clinton's supporters don't vote for Obama in Nov if she is not in the ticket, so be it. This is a democracy. Majority of Americans though are intelligent enough to put country before candidate.

    Having Clinton as his running mate is APEASEMENT TO HER SUPPORTERS.

    May 23, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  18. Susan

    Clinton's weakness is showing. Her attempts to hijack Obama's campaign will fall short. She is done.

    May 23, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  19. MAC, STL

    I really do not understand why everyone is "expected" to kiss HRC's rear end – as consolation for a badly ran – managed campaign. The nomination was hers to lose – AND she did. As to her " hardworking White America" vote – this lot was never going to vote for a black candidate – and more importantly, when is the last time the democrats took these state – as to the over 50 female (and I am one0 – go ahead – cut off your noses to spite your face – ask Mcain about his next Supremes!!!! Obama would deserve to "lose' if he got B – slapped by HRC's sore losers including Sir Bill.

    May 23, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  20. Mark

    Hillary should just join the ticket and sew up the Democratic presidency right now.

    May 23, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  21. blgeorgia

    No VP slot for Hillary. Bill would be acting as both President and Vice-President. What a disaster that would be.

    May 23, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  22. Mark

    Clinton camp the best way to explain to her how to exit this mess she has created is to simply STAND UP TO SIT DOWN

    May 23, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  23. mr.dem

    well for her we still need to wait till the 31 for the 2 mil peoples votes in Mi and Fl to be counted or not if they are she wins if not she cant win
    its all in at this point

    May 23, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  24. Dem from Oregon

    Offer her a position on the Supreme Court, That should make her feel important. God Knows we could use a female voiceon the court

    May 23, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  25. bill from pa

    No she should not accept the VP slot if offered. She has proven to be willing to manipulate the rules to suit her needs, much the same as our current president manipulates our nation's rules to suit his needs. The last several weeks of her nonsense has rendered her unelectable.

    May 23, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
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