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. JJ

    Why would it be disrespectful if Obama doesn't offer her the VP spot? These people act like she is automatically entitled to this position and that Obama must offer it to her. That is bogus!

    I just don't see her as his running mate. There's too much distrust between the two campaigns.

    May 23, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  2. BDN, Chicago

    Isn't this insane? What's with this "consolation prize" nonsense?

    Obama doesn't owe her the vice presidency. She ran for nominee to be POTUS and lost. How anyone can translate that to mean that she is somehow owed an offer at the VP spot is beyond me.

    May 23, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  3. Tammy - KCMO

    Obama should not offer her the position of VP. After all the mud slinging her campaign has done she doesn't deserve the position and I think a majority of people don't trust her including Obama. Clinton has gone too far in her quest. I think she needs a mental evaluation before she is given any position that high up.

    Plus, putting Bill back where he has access to the Oval office leave it wide open for him to have another romp with an intern.

    No more Clintons!

    May 23, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  4. Lara

    I heard her speach on MI and Fl if she felt that punishing them for voting early was not Democratic so why didn't she fight for them when the Democrated party first brought it up. Because she really thought she was going to win this by Feb. 5. Now all of a sudden this is not what Democrates should do. She said that there weren't many differences between her and Obama and even admitted on TV that he could win againt McCain. Now she will tell you she is the only one to win. If she said they wouldn't count and now she said the must count what is going to do if she makes it to the White House. That everyting she promised to do was just politics to get elected.

    May 23, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  5. James Nelson

    Hillary should become Senate Majority leader, a job for which she is infinitely suitable. Retire the ineffectual Harry Reid and hand over the position to someone willing to fight. As such, she would preserve her future options for runs at the White House and be an able legislative partner to President Obama.

    May 23, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  6. Mirko-FL

    Clinton's supporters are creating this atmosphere of insecurity ..... they are creating this false sense of crisis in the DNC so they can get the benefits of having HRC in the ticket. Remember, the Clinton's are hungry, very hungry of power. They tasted once and they don't want to miss the chance that they have again. They know that if Obama is elected and they are not in the ticket or any of their loyal people is part of Obama's goverment, the Clinton era will be over and it will finish with Hillary's dreams of being president in 2012 or 2016. They just don't want to take the chances.....
    Don't believe all that is said here. I would say that even if Obama has no clinton or clinton's person in his goverment, people still will vote for Obama. Why? because Obama's and Hillary's plans are very similar and also, nobody wants 4 more years of Mc Bush. This last reason will convince people to vote for Obama. Unles you live in Kentucky or West Virginia were we have seen that "race" is an issue.

    May 23, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  7. FreedomFromFear-Florida

    YES WE CAN ... HAVE THE AUDACITY OF HOPE!

    ¡SÍ PODER, TENEMOS EL AUDACITY DE LA ESPERANZA!

    May 23, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  8. MizuInOz

    What I find interesting is that a few weeks ago the Clintons suggested that Obama was not Presidential enough, and then they said that he could serve under Hillary as her VP so he could learn from her vast (or is that half vast) knowledge and experience (all the while still not acknowledging that Sen. Obama was qualified to be the President, by the way). Now, they are floating the possibility that Hillary should be his VP. How insulting. How manipulative. How Clintonesque.

    I am hoping that we will see integrity return to the office of the President. How is that possible when you have a pathological mis-speaker as your VP – who truly is not qualified to be the President.

    You know CNN, I have written clear cogent and honest comments and you have never published one. Is it because I am an American living in Australia and my mail in vote doesn't count?

    May 23, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  9. Charlene

    LISTEN UP HILLARY. IT'S OVER!!!

    May 23, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  10. CMitch for Obama

    Hillary needs to exit gracefully, she is staying in to put ideas into the voting public heads to discredit Obama. The way she had handled this election has totally been a bad example for woman. She is selfish, self center and a liar. If she gets the nominee or steal this election, I will not reward her for her wrong doing; write in Obama.
    The DNC should put a stop to this, she is single handing destroying this party. NO she should not be Obama VP cannot be trusted. It is time for a change and she is part of the present and old establishment of washington.

    May 23, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  11. boered1

    How can you people still support clinton??

    SHE CANNOT BEAT MCCAIN EVER!
    THE STRONGER CANDIDATE IS OBAM BY A LARGE MARGIN!!!!
    THE REPUBLICANS HAVE BEEN PLANNING ON RUNNING AGAINST HILLARY SINCE GEORGE FOOLED ALL YOU IDIOTS IN THE LAST CAMPAIGN THEY HAVE BEEN WAITNG AND PRAYING FOR THE DAY THEY RUN AGAINST HER
    MOST NON DEMOCRATS WILOL NEVER VOTE FOR THIS CRAZY WOMAN MOST NON DEMOCRATS DESPISE THIS INSANE EXCUSE FOR A LEADER. MOST INDEPENDANTS WOULD FEEL COMFORATABLE VOTING FOR MCCAIN WE REMEMBER HIM FROM BEFORE BUSH LIED ABOUT HIM AND WE HAVE HOPE HE CAN OVERCOME THE BUSH YEARS AND GROW BACK INTO HIMSELF BUT WE KNOW THAT SHILLARY WILL NEVER BE ANYTHING MORE THAN A PANDERING LIAR!!!

    So go ahead lose this election put hillary on your ticket.. stupid stupid democrats

    odds are the Clinton News Network will not post this but it had to be said!

    May 23, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  12. marcus

    You Dems. that support Hillary are so ridiculous. I am a moderate democrat and I live in a crucial swing state, Missouri, we've not voted against the President in over 100 years. Republicans here can't understand what half of the democratic party is seeing......(the Hillary half). I mean seriously do any of you have televisions? They are laughing their heads off at how stupid we look. They can't believe she's made it this far flip flopping, playing the race card,sexism card, moving the delegate count up and down, sniper fire, Iran, gas tax holidays, bad temper, and this is only what we've seen her campaign to be. Go ahead and don't vote win or lose the Obama Democrats will have done the right thing. And if McCain should win blame yourselves for not losing graciously to a man who is not a divider and who also doesn't budget his campaign like George Bush.

    Obamakins '08 and '12

    May 23, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  13. Tim, Seattle

    All this doom and gloom from the Hillary supporters...what are you going to do in 2 weeks when

    (1) MI and FL are seated and it gives her no meaningful advantage and effectivley shutting off her 'count every vote' argument

    (2) And on June 3, when Montana and SD go for Obama, the race will be over and there will be no more delegates left except the supers and of course Puerto Rico, who cannot vote in the GE.

    (3) On June 4, we will know if she is willing to go all the way to the convention to further diveide the party. If this happens, the 20-30 supers he need to end this will pull the trigger and throw pledge to Obama, giving him the nomination.

    (4) on June 5: Obama will have everything, Pledged delegates, Super delagates, popular vote, most contests won (caucus and Primary) and a huge bankroll funded by his voters.

    (5) ON JUne 6, the Hillary supporters are going to go ballistic when their arguments run out and there is no other illusion or fantasy left and they must accept fail;ure and loss to elect their candidate.
    Get ready for the kitchen sink of hate, impotent thrreats and cowardice from them as they sell there souls to the GOP and McCAin just because there candidate didnt win.

    D-Day JUne 6- The Hillary Clinton campaign is over

    May 23, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  14. disenfranchised

    I think the super delgates should vote the will of the people, that would mean kennedy, kerry should vote the way their states voted, and all the rest she won. Hilary is too intellegent and has too much power and political clout behind her to be v.p. That position would bore her. Besides obama would never let her steal any of his thunder. Shes just too good for that position. He would make a better vp, and then when Hilary is ready to leave office obama would be a shoe in. I beleive this is not his time. Mrs. Clinton was asked to run, the newness of obama will wear off, this is like a cult. If he becomes president it could be another 4 years of learning on the job! Hes very snobbish for a lack of a better word. I think he would make decisions based on proving a point rather than weighing out the wisdom of elders in the senate and house. I dont think we need another my way or the high way president. As for change, talk is cheap. We are talking about hundreds of years of law. He isnt going to change anything. Hilary 08

    May 23, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  15. Fleura

    Why would the Obama Campaign cover her bill, which is something well-within his reach. But considering the vicious campaigning experience this has been...well she needs to lend herself more millions to cover her own bill.

    May 23, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  16. Brad

    Too late for grace, she quit being graceful months ago, instead she has made herself out to be a whisky drinking no holds barred bar brawler, all she is missing to make the picture complete is a big chaw of 'baccy!
    I am glad that she is ruining any future chance to run for president.

    May 23, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  17. Irma in North Carolina

    No, i dont think Hillary should be the vp, if she were and obama didnt run things the clintons way, first thing they would try do is impeach him. She still thinks she is going to get it by buying the rest of the superdelgates over to her side. And how come she scooted to florida so fast and got them going on this lawsuit. Just shows you cant trust the clintons. Obama wouldnt want all the Moncias running around there either. That would be bad.

    May 23, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  18. Yes to Obama

    The solution is simple: DON'T OFFER HER ANYTHING, DON"T BOW TO HER THREATS OF OPEN CIVIL WAR IN THE PARTY.. WILL NOT HAPPEN ....

    May 23, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  19. Jack

    How can anyone say " CONDUCTED A DISGUSTING, DISGRACEFUL
    VILE & REVOLTING CAMPAIGN " ? This is the saddest statement about our democray I have seen in years. The so-called pundits have made all the nasty allegations – completely unfounded – and yet they are not held accountable for it. More Americans have paid attention to the race for the nomination than ever before. Unfortunately, having not paid attention to previous races, they have a tendancy to believe everything the pundits have shamelessly spewed out. The American public has forgotten how to think for itself, and the quote shown above demostrates that to a shocking degree.

    May 23, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  20. Bryan

    I don't want her anywhere NEAR that VP slot, but I understand that Obama needs her support to win over all the Hillbots out there.

    Hopefully they can work out a deal that would make her happy enough to seriously campaign for him . Her supporters need to understand that it would be absolutely idotic to divert to Mccain.

    If they are true supporters of Hillary's policies (thus looking beyond the petty crap), they will support Obama. They may just need a little push from Hillary.

    May 23, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  21. Bob in San Diego

    Wife and I started out as Hillary supporters. Watching the campaign unfold, the lightbulb went off, so to speak. We'll vote for Obama, but if Hillary is on the ticket, we'll vote McCain or sit out. As far as helping with the campaign debt? Don't think so. Its her own decision to play Don Quixote, she has to pay her own debts, just like the rest of us.

    May 23, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  22. DBMilford

    She also has millions of dollars in debt to knock off and she will stay in the race to get as much money from her supporters as she can to get in the black. Send in those checks people. Help her out.

    May 23, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  23. BettiH, Indianapolis, IN.

    I wouldn't merge with the Clintons. Those people are morally bankrupt. ... and completely out of their minds.

    May 23, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  24. Kentucky

    If the Dem force Obama to have Clinton as his vp Millions of people will not vote this fall. After all the trash she has said during this primary about Senator Obama has caused me develope a high level of anti Clinton's(Hillary and Bill).

    She needs to go away

    May 23, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  25. Bebek McGhee

    Obama is the nominee and he has the right to pick someone he can trust and work with on a day to day basis – not a ruthless, ambitious husband/wife team who will have their own agenda.

    May 23, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
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