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. Jeff in Hampshire, IL

    Comments like "I would vote for McCain for security matters" baffle me. Security of our nation should not consider continuing an unjust war in Iraq where thousands of our men and women have been killed or injured, with no exit strategy in sight. Security of our nation does not mean ignoring war veterans and their needs, or voting against bills to offer them something in trade for the courage they gave for our country. Security does not mean to vote for a President who is eager to bomb Iran. Security means finding a way to restore the faith that the world once had in us as friends and partners. Security is a vote for Barack Obama.

    May 23, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  2. herold aubourg/boston/ma

    HOW LONG WILL WE TRY TO FORCE PEOPLE TO DO WHAT THEY DO NOT WANT TO DO. THERE IS NO BARGAIN AND EVEN IF THE WOMEN DO VOTE FOR MCCAIN, OBAMA STILL IS GOING TO WIN. IT WILL SUICIDAL FOR ANYONE IN THIS COUNTRY TO REELECT ANOTHER REPUBLICAN FOR A THIRD TERM.

    HILLARY SHOULD HAVE A BETTER CHANCE IN 2004. 2008 IS AYEAR OF NEW BEGINNING AND THE YOUNG GENERATION HAS SPOKEN AND THEY WANT OBAMA. AWAY WITH THAT OLD PILITICS AND IT WOULD BE A GRAVE MISTAKE IF OBAMA TOOK HILLARY FOR A RUNNING MATE BECAUSE OF THE HOLES AND KACK OF WISDOM. INSTEAD OF GIVING UP AND REUNITE THE PARTY, SHE IS PAVING A WAY FOR OBAMA TO FAIL.

    ANYBODY WHO WANTS TO JUMP SHIPS, START RIGHT NOW BECAUSE YOU ARE GOING TO FEEL SORRY AND HAVE TO DEAL WITH YOUR CONSCIENCE.

    May 23, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  3. Chris, Middletown, CT

    Like she will listen??

    May 23, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  4. Star Chamber

    Obama will sincerely offer Clinton the second seat on the ticket and she will sincerely accept. As has been planned at least since Bill Richardson announced for Obama. I'm not sure why this isn't clear. Richardson didn't just pop out and announce for Obama; he would have called the Clintons and told them first. Everyone is treating this like a sporting event, going in for the big win. Obama can hold a grudge and perhaps win the presidency, and Clinton can snub him and go home, back to her Senate seat. Or Obama can lock election as the next president of the United States, and Clinton can lock election as the first woman in the executive branch. Um, if it were you, what would you do?

    May 23, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  5. James B. New Jersey

    I read the book and it was not his hate he was talking about. If you are going to quote something quote it correctly or don't quote it at all.

    May 23, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  6. Amber

    Man...there is obviously a lot of Obama supporters who do nothing but blog all day. Do you folks have jobs? Oh thats right...you're all rich so you don't have to work, or you're college students who probably work 15 hrs a week, if at all.

    Point is...all this anti Clinton sentiment will NOT help your beloved Obama. If he doesn't offer her the VP slot, he is DOOMED. I repeat...DOOMED! So, like it or not...if you want him to win the presidency, you better get used to Clinton as VP.

    May 23, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  7. Dr.Kothary , Blaine, WA 98230

    pure and simple....it is time to kiss the Clintons a goodbye for good....they are a disgrace to the nation. He in particular is so
    un-presidential in search for power !!

    She is a liar, has not credibility and Obama is exactly the opposite.

    May 23, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  8. Gary for HILLARY

    I cannot believe people in the media is doing this to HILLARY, a strong and smart candidate.

    Obama is weak, inexperienced! How can he lead a nation when he's just in the Senate for 2 yrs? People, wake up??? It is just like entrusting the nation to an Intern! We are in great mess right now, we need a reliable leader. We need HILLARY!

    May 23, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  9. Gram

    Obama is an empty suit. He keeps making gaffes with respect to geography and foreign policy...just recently he said he'd been in 57 states...What country is he running in?
    Hillary is the only one who can turn McCain out to pasture...When will the supers realize that it's Hillary or McCain this year...
    Women over 50 won't vote for him. Geraldine was right!!!

    May 23, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  10. Kit

    Marc in Quebec...thank u if it was Obama do u think they would be saying all this stuff about a graceful exit NO way she should have thought about a graceful exit before thinking how she could tear the democratic party apart. I could less about her graceful exit and it will be a cold day in hell before she is VP.

    May 23, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  11. David Scoven

    "Another source said it would not mean Clinton would not campaign for Obama, she would. But she would do so like Bill Clinton campaigned for Al Gore, "aloof.""

    This is a joke, right?? Bill Clinton was nothing but an albatross around Al Gore's neck. Al Gore needed as much distance from the recently impeeched Bill Clinton as he could get.

    Talk about revisionist history -

    May 23, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  12. JP Peterson Atlanta GA

    If Obama does win this she should concede gracefully and run, not walk away from his nomination as fast as she can. She should make only enough effort on his behalf to be polite. She will not want to be tied to the '08 loser in '12.

    What is so thick about Barack Obama's supporters that they fail to realize many lifelong Democrats will hesitate to vote for him even if he eventually gets the nomination? Who cares what color he is, that's not the issue. The emperor has no clothes and he needs a whole new wardrobe. He calls standard party principles change? Well I guess change from what we've got, but he's sold his flock a bill of goods that he's offering something "new". He's got way to much baggage to just walk in and take this without a fight to the finish

    May 23, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  13. Sue Jones

    And how does Obama win without Clinton on the ticket? He can't. Instead of the scathing comments on Clinton, maybe the writers should take a look at the strengths she brings to our party and would bring to an Obama Clinton ticket. He certainly isn't going to waltz into the job of president without her support.
    He also has a long way to go to convince me to vote for him.

    May 23, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  14. disbelief

    Hillary's exiting ? I'll believe it when I see it.

    May 23, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  15. Ann

    This is not true...just some more mislead reporting. This race is not over by all means....especially when the DNC is going to seat Florida and Michigan. That is why it is so hysterical to hear Obama's people talking about him picking a running mate. Bless his heart. But it's always good to keep your chin up. Perhaps Hillary will consider him being her running mate.

    May 23, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  16. Texas Demo for Obama

    Sen Clinton's tactics have been sleazy, under-handed and despicable. That is the opposite of the principles Sen Obama has established as guidelines for his campaign. Therefore, there is no credible way that Obama can decide to offer Clinton the VP slot. He should check out Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania for VP–he is the ethical Clinton supporter that insisted on firing Mark Penn, a slimy character that should have been let go long ago by the Clintons.
    By the way, more negative fireworks will erupt once the Clintons reveal their list of contributors to the Presidential Library! Sen Obama, you do not want to be a part of that mess!

    May 23, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  17. Shes Not My Role Model

    The only woman Hillary represents is Annie Oakley. She's a gun totin', shot drinkin' saloon girl. Enough said.

    May 23, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  18. Jessica

    please please please obama, please don't offer clinton the veep. the whole changing politics as usual and time for a new leadership ideal would be undercut if she got the nod just because she's got influence in the party.

    May 23, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  19. Lisa F.

    I am confused.....yesterday Hillary said she will go all the way until August???? Now they want an exit strategy???

    She is incredible. GET OUT ASAP

    May 23, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  20. TW

    I really don't understand some of you. Are you that new to elections, or just naive. You claim Clinton has run such a horrible, negative campaign. What planet have you been on the rest of your life? Have you just now discovered politics? This has been a pretty civil campaign. I will support Obama, as will most democrats. Obama supporters need to stop dogging Clinton. It's so close to being over, just relax. He's going to get the nomination. She is not trying to steal it from him. She got ALOT of votes. It has been close. There is no reason for her to get out until it's over. She owes it to her supporters, who you need to give a break as well.

    May 23, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  21. MAW

    Mrs. Clinton is not trustworthy.......she feeds the people that she is talking to what they want to hear.....plus she doesn't want to follow rules that she agreed to which is typical...do what suits Hillary best...that is her only motto...... And I am sick to death of the rolling of her eyes...... she is too emotional........Plus she needs to go back and learn math.

    May 23, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  22. Call it

    Amazing how Clinton supporters, after insulting and mocking Obama and his supporters for months, are upset about how Obama supporters are reacting to their bitterness regarding the campaign.

    For a group of people who once not-so-kindly referred to Obama and his supporters as delusional and in a 'fairy-tale,' I think we are being more than gracious, then and now, in regard to your anger and disillusionment regarding the Democratic nomination.

    That said, we the world-over are tired of hearing you threaten a vote for McCain. That's a divisive, unproductive and delusional way to plan for the future of Democrats and the entire nation.

    Attitude reflects leadership. We see where you're coming from, and none of us want to go there.

    May 23, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  23. deetee

    More from me:

    Give the Clintons and opening and they'll create a giant gapping hole that their egos won't be enough to fill up. In other words, more demands would surely follow - appoint this person for this, that person for that or I'll...(fill in the blank with egomaniacal threats).

    NO OBAMA, DON'T FALL FOR IT. STAY STRONG!!!

    May 23, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  24. Carl

    Susan, you are so right. Millions would rather her be the nominee. But millions plus a few more would rather him be the nominee.

    So what are we going to do about this, Joel?

    May 23, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  25. White middle aged woman for Obama

    A "saving face" strategy ?, I've lost what little respect I had for her in just these past few weeks with the way she has behaved. And now there has to be a certain way for her to bow out gracefully. I think the only way she can possibly regain any respect from most of the public that grew tired of her, is to simply bow out. And then keep her word to fully back the nominee, Obama, as she said she would. That way she won't look like a sore loser as she does now. Sorry folks but she is the one that got herself in this position. She lost fair and square.

    May 23, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
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