February 6th, 2008
03:02 PM ET
15 years ago

DNC chair: We may have to broker Clinton-Obama deal

(CNN) - As predictions of a convention floor fight from the campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama continue to mount, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said the party would likely intervene to prevent that scenario.

Dean said Democrats would look to “get the candidates together to make some kind of an arrangement” before the party meets in Denver this August to officially select its nominee.

In an interview on NY1 on Tuesday, before the outcome of the day’s votes was known, Dean said he thought the Democratic Party would have a nominee by mid-March or April.

"The idea that we can afford to have a big fight at the convention and then win the race in the next eight weeks, I think, is not a good scenario,” he said.

If there is no nominee selected by his predicted mid-spring date, or by Puerto Rico's June vote – the last presidential primary on the Democratic calendar – Dean said the party would likely bring both sides together to work out a deal.

“Because I don't think we can afford to have a brokered convention,” he said. “That would not be good news for either party."

–CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. Offbeat Rock

    Make it an Obama – Clinton deal. There is a big difference.

    February 6, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  2. Greg, Phoenix, AZ

    Let's not forget that Dean has absolutely no power.

    February 6, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  3. Fred T. Black

    Who is Dean to decide what is best for Americans?

    February 6, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  4. interesting

    Clinton-Obama is the ticket so Obama will lessen the opportunity to get swiftboated like his pal, John Kerry, in 2004 since he is the most liberal senator of 2007.

    February 6, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  5. Joe, Florida

    The solution is simple, put them together on the ticket.

    February 6, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  6. SecondSage

    What's wrong with a broker convention. It's part of the American Process. Don't worry about it Howard, The Obama Express is Running right theough HillBilly.


    February 6, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  7. Heath

    Let's not jump the gun yet – I think all democrats are sitting on the edge of their chairs today due to the delegate count – however the counting from all Tuesday states is not complete – only about 60 delegates counted for out of the over 400 in California. Looking at Clinton's statistical win in California alone – Clinton may take another 250 of these as yet counted delegates, Obama 150. If this happens the gap will deepen and Clinton's lead will grow to roughly 200 more delegates than Obama...that would be a real lead...It's too early to know anything yet, I just wish California, Missouri, and the other states still counting would get it in gear and give us REAL RESULTS!

    February 6, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  8. Felicia

    Leave the choosing to the people; agreed a broker convention will serve the party well, but it will shortcut the selection process and impose a nominee on the people who will vote come November.

    February 6, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  9. Harriet

    Dr. Mr. Dean.

    Let me be clear. The Democrats have to signal a change in direction. I'm a registered Democrat but I now vote independent in the general election. I WILL vote for John McCain if Hilary is on the top of the ticket. And I know a lot of other Democrats and Independents who feel the same way.

    I'm sorry the party leaders "decided" in advance who our candidate was going to be and I'm sorry that Obama had the audacity to challenge the status quo. But I need for my children to see that you don't have to be a member of a political dynasty to lead the country. The Clinton's had their shot. Let's move on.

    February 6, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  10. Texas

    I think it would be very wise not to put Hillary on the same ticket, because of her past. If it is decided to be done it should be OBAMA-HILLARY.
    I am still betting on Obama winning and picking his own Vice President and it not be Hilliary.

    February 6, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  11. NickNasc

    Deal?? Deal?? We don't want no stinkin DEAL!!! What will they offer? Look Obama...shes OLD and you are so Young...let HER have it now and we will give you YOUR turn after her...C'mon be a Sport!!!

    NO DEALS!!!!!

    February 6, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  12. Janet

    Obama is not going to be anyone's VP. I think when Dean and the DNC gets that through their heads, they will understand that this puppy is going to the convention and there ain't nothing they can do about it.

    OBAMA 08

    February 6, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  13. sean c

    I'm a repub. and enthusiastically back Obama. I will have no part of Hillary. If she is brought forward, Barack will need to go independent. If that does not happen, I will be forced to go back to my old home, which I am not happy about.

    February 6, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  14. Lightning

    NickNasc –
    Great logic. Let the lying, pandering Clinton have it now to lose to McCain. Great plan.

    February 6, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  15. tigerjcs

    Call the party as soon as possible now, rather than wait until March! The candidate needs to start fund raising for the big race. The Republican can start concerntrating on fund raising to beat the Democrat. The Democrate should have let the winner takes all, rather than split on each state. What a dumb strategy. Wasting money. No wonder, the Republicans are smiling now.....

    February 6, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  16. Matthew

    I'm afraid I just don't understand this line of thinking... Why would a contended convention be a bad thing? I, like many in my age group (I'm 32), am sick of conventions that just serve as coronations.

    If the Democrats want to win, they will NOT nominate Hillary Clinton... she will be defeated by the Republican nominee, whomever that might be. I think an Obama/McCain general election just might be the most exciting one in my lifetime!


    February 6, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  17. scott Valentine

    No deal. Hillary all the way!!!

    February 6, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  18. s.positive

    Oh please...

    February 6, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  19. RMCD

    You're right, no deal! We're in it to win it.

    Barack Obama Supporter

    February 6, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  20. Marcelo

    Nick, it's not about age ... its about who the right leader is for the the next four years.... the next four years may be the most critical years of the decade, we will need a president that can unite the country together to combat global warming, create a green economy, broker peace with the middle-east, etc.

    Barack is the best leader for us because he accomplish all those things and bring republicans and independents to the table. Hillary would engender an 'us vs. you' mentality and not accomplish as much during her presidency as Obama would

    February 6, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  21. Adam, LV, NV

    Beginning to sound like Howard Dean is having second thoughts on letting this drag out. At this rate, it seems more and more likely a Clinton/Obama Obama/Clinton ticket. And guessing just by the Dem establishment, it would be Clinton/Obama with some promise that he (Obama) would be the next presidental nominee.

    Now Obama people, don't say I am a hater, I am not. The fact of the matter is that there is no way they could give Hillary that same deal come 8 years from now and they know that. Also they really need to heal the divide between the party and Florida/Michigan. Obama really put off a lot of voters in those states (including ones that voted for him in Florida) by saying the votes did not matter.

    While I would have rather seen Edwards, the fact is he does not want to be the number 2 again. There is a very short list on either side. This makes the most sense to me. Off the top of my head, the only other Democrat that could give a ticket the boost it needs for the midwest/upper south (and let us not lie about this, it is important) is Evan Bayh.

    February 6, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  22. kuhrdan1

    No deal, count the apportioned delegates from Michigan and Florida

    February 6, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  23. Hillary for President '08

    The "deal" will probably be that, since Obama is the "Jr." Senator, they will select Hillary for President and Obama for Vice-President. : )

    Hillary for President
    Obama for Vice-President

    February 6, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  24. Christian, Tampa FL

    I think a "deal" would probably only serve to enrage everyone. Us Obama supporters would be foaming at the mouth if Clinton won this "deal" and Clinton supporters probably wouldn't be too thrilled by the reverse. Meanwhile, McCain will have locked up the nomination and probably silenced a lot of conservative attackers.

    This is definitely a paradox in the making.

    February 6, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  25. II

    too bad–if there is a deal, I think it's the Clintons with their connections and backdoor deals that will win out. Politics as usual!

    February 6, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
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