March 11th, 2008
09:50 AM ET
15 years ago

Does Clinton benefit from so-called 'dream ticket' talk?

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Could Clinton and Obama appear on the same ticket? Clinton appears to be fueling the speculation."](CNN) - It's an idea that's increasingly getting kicked around, especially by one campaign in particular.

The prospect of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama running on the same ticket has long been the subject of speculation, even before voters started weighing in at the polls earlier this year.

But following Clinton's wins in Texas, Ohio, and Rhode Island last week - a trifecta of victories that essentially salvaged her presidential hopes - the New York senator and her surrogates have repeatedly raised the issue themselves; raised it so often, in fact, that Obama made sure to shoot down the idea at a campaign event in Mississippi Monday.

"I want everybody to be absolutely clear," he said. "I'm not running for vice president. I'm running for president of the United States of America."

"This kind of gamesmanship, talking about me as VP but not ready for commander-in-chief, that's exactly the kind of doublespeak, double-talk that Washington is very good at," Obama added.

Obama isn't the only one who thinks Clinton has something up her sleeve when she raises the issue. CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley says the Illinois senator's campaign clearly recognizes its rival benefits from the increased speculation of a joint ticket.

"They understand that this is a way for the Clinton campaign to play some politics here," Crowley said. "If you suggest to voters, who might have some question about Barack Obama's experience, but they like his message of hope and change, that they could have both, and that maybe he could get eight years of seasoning, that's the suggestion here."(Watch Candy Crowley's analysis of Dem dream ticket talk)

Obama's comments Monday followed a week in which the prospect of a joint ticket was pushed by Clinton or a member of her campaign on at least four different occasions. Clinton herself raised the issue twice - once with a CBS interviewer on the morning after her March 4 primary wins, and on Friday during a campaign stop in Mississippi.

"I've had people say, 'Well I wish I could vote for both of you,'" she said. "Well, that might be possible some day. But first I need your vote on Tuesday."

Former President Bill Clinton also weighed in on the possibility over the weekend, calling the possible ticket 'unstoppable.'

"I know that she has always been open to it, because she believes that if you can unite the energy and the new people that he's brought in and the people in these vast swaths of small town and rural America that she's carried overwhelmingly, if you had those two things together she thinks it'd be hard to beat," he said in Mississippi Saturday.

And Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, a fervent supporter of Clinton's, said on two different occasions he thinks whoever wins the Democratic race should offer the vice presidency to the other.

Gloria Borger, a senior political analyst for CNN, called the comments a Clinton "talking point."

"They're trying to say to people, you know 'wink, wink, if you make Hillary Clinton the nominee, she'll bring Barack Obama along.' It's a talking point, which is that with Hillary you get two for the price of one—if she is at the top of the ticket."

But there's no denying the Clintons recognize the strength Obama would bring to a presidential ticket. Each has attracted a distinct segment of the Democratic electorate: He consistently does well with upscale voters, independents, and African-Americans while she has performed well among women, older voters, and members of the working class.

"Thee Clintons clearly believe that Obama on the ticket would both unify the party and be a draw, particularly to those African-American voters who have been flocking to him. There is clearly some sense it would cement a Democratic victory."

So would Clinton herself accept the No. 2 slot should Obama finish the race on top?

"I don't make any predictions," Borger said.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

UPDATE: Clinton said Monday all the V.P. speculation has taken on a life of its own:

"This thing has really been given a life of its own. A lot of Democrats like us both and have been very hopeful that they wouldn't have to make a choice, but obviously democrats have to make a choice, and I'm looking for to getting the nomination and it's preliminary to talk about whoever might be on whose ticket," she said while campaigning in Pennsylvania. "But I believe I am ready to serve on day one."

soundoff (1,377 Responses)
  1. Bukky, Baltimore

    "This kind of gamesmanship, talking about me as VP but not ready for commander-in-chief, that's exactly the kind of doublespeak, double-talk that Washington is very good at," Obama added.

    Exactly... and the thing is that he CANT really say that SHE should be VP under him because his supporters would crucify him as not going for change.

    Hillary knows how to play the "game" to bad this has become a game

    March 10, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  2. Darryl

    No Way!!!!!

    Hillary and Bill Clinton

    Governor ELiot Spitzer and Bill Clinton, can Hillary call Mrs. Spitzer and giver her some advice......

    March 10, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  3. Go Away Hillary

    Who in their right mind wants to strangle their career by partnering with Hillary?

    Read our lips Hill, you need someone diabolical on your ticket. Oh, what about Bill?

    Save your energy–Barack will be our candidate.

    P.S. Tell Saturday Not Live to recommend someone for your VP, maybe they can ask Chevy Chase.

    March 10, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |

    I think Hillary can do better! I myself do not like the fact that Obama would be on the ticket. Our whole point is that he is inexperienced. I think her match up with John Edwards would be unstoppable! All my best to Hillary!



    March 10, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  5. LC







    March 10, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  6. Cindy

    This call for unity from Clinton... will probably end on Tuesday night. She doen't want a backlash from Mississippi voters like she got in South Carolina.

    After Tuesday, its back to negative, as she courts Pennsylvania the same way she courted Ohio...

    March 10, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  7. Connie, Louisville, Tn.

    Of course she does. She is getting desparate. Obama has never said he would be on the ticket as Vice President. Hillary thinks she can get Obama supporters now but she is just going to destroy the Democrat party.

    March 10, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |

    I think Hillary can do better! I myself do not like the fact that Obama would be on the ticket. Our whole point is that he is inexperienced. I think her match up with John Edwards would be unstoppable! All my best to Hillary!



    March 10, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  9. America the Beautiful

    Personally, I think that the Democratic Party will NOT win the nomination if Obama is the nominee. Many many people will vote for McCain if Obama is the nominee because of too many scandals and past involvments with radical groups and criminal activity. I think that the Clintons know how Obama will be attacked and are actually trying to protect him.

    This is a blessing that President Clinton would suggest this idea.

    March 10, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  10. Nobama

    Why does Obama always complain that it is the same old politics. Such a whiner. Seriously.

    March 10, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  11. Kevin

    Clearly. She knows exactly what she's doing. At once this makes me admire her (for her sharp political acumen) and despise her (for obviously trying to manipulate things.)

    This takes Obama off his message. It makes him sound like he's in it for himself (notice she didn't say, that she thinks a Clinton/Obama ticket would be great.) and that he's not interested in uniting the party.

    It's not very subtle and quite transparent.

    March 10, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  12. CG

    Amazing. She really is as shameless and self-serving as Bill…and she really believes in the cliche that “you can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time…”

    I used to be a Clinton supporter and I am deeply disappointed in her lack of scruples in pulling out all of the stops to not only unfairly alter perception but to utilize any means necessary to circumvent the system in order to secure the nomination. There’s something very Nixon-ish and/or Bush II about it all. At least to me, she’s exposed herself as a fraud who cares only about winning and shedding any inconvenient principles in the process.

    March 10, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  13. Hillary unsensord visit youtube. get the picturte yourself.

    It is coup on America demoracy, and a coup on millions of voters whom have chosen Obama to be their nominee. The world will be shocked to hear that a coup is going on in US if they succeeded.
    They are working behind close door planning this coup, but it won't work for the Clintons this time.

    Obama will never work with Hillary who has scandal corruption business dealing with Paul.
    Jack visit youtube/hillary unsensord to feed your eyes.

    March 10, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  14. Brian - Trinidad

    The difference in Obama's and Clinton's stance on this subject gives an indication as to what is the primary objective of each.Obama sounds like his is getting the nomination.Clinton sounds like her's is winning the White House.

    March 10, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  15. Tito

    Billary, voters are not stupid!! Just like playing the race card in the south to scare off voters this will not work either! You can’t have it both ways! Billary is an example of everything we DONT WANT our children to be like when they grow up! Return some decency to the position of the presidency! We don’t want a Billary chameleon in the White House!

    March 10, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  16. Corey, Maryland

    I think it did a little at first, but now being the genius that he is, Obama starting bringing up the conversation about, if he is not ready, why do you want him as your V.P. which now leans it in his favor, which is fine by me. I think the "dream" ticket is nothing more than that, and I would never plan to vote on anything that had the name Clinton on it.

    Obama Richardson 08!!!!

    March 10, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  17. LC

    Are the Clintons making these suggestions in PA, or do they just think

    those in Mississippi are stupid enough to fall for this craziness?

    (It smells like more racism to me, or is that just desperation?)

    March 10, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  18. Jazz4111

    The response to how can Obama be designated as Vice President if he's not ready to be president, seems ludicrously elementary to me. Unless we all expect the person we vote for to drop dead on "day one," the vice presidency is an ideal learning experience for a prospective president-in-waiting. The qualifications for a vice president are not now, nor have they ever been the same as the qualifications for president. Senator Clinton emphasizes "day one" for a very good reason. She's ready the minute she walks in the door, he's not, but being at her right hand will some day – maybe some day soon, help him enormously to become ready "on day one." I fully support and hope for a Clinton/Obama ticket, and I know a lot of Democrats who feel the same.

    March 10, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  19. Billy

    Obama will be the Democratic Candidate for President and he would never ever consider even for a nano second to have Hillary as his Veep. She has consistently shown that she lacks the character, integrity and moral ethics to hold national office.

    Since Hillary claims all of Bill's accomplishments, she needs to accept his defeats and disgraces, for instance, his impeachment and his betrayal of trust to the nation for what he did in the Oval Office with that woman.

    Hillary is a joke. She is in last place and will be in last place in June. She will be sitting the race out in November unless she runs for Governor of New York.

    March 10, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  20. REAL

    Barrack is the leader in all the categories, except this mythical notion that the person who wins the big states should have the nomination. Its always something with those people. Having the Clintons back in the White House will be like having the Bushs back, but only with no Karl Rove to foul things up.

    Obamites and like minded individuals, don't be deceived into the swendles of the Clinton machine. Its all about winning to them. Not about America. If it were about America, she would have bowed out a long time ago.

    Now thats REAL

    March 10, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  21. Trev

    It would be the best of both. Democrats could control the whitehouse for 16 years.

    Hillary 08

    March 10, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  22. DA

    Yes she would benefit. Because she needs him, he don't need her. I'm so glad he put a stop to her political notion on this issue. She and Bill were only putting this out so that, voters leaning toward Obama would vote for her and there by not feeling guilty if end the end they would get him too. HRC is so slick she is worst than her husband!!!

    March 10, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  23. ms

    Since Hillary obviously can’t make it on her own, she has to attach herself to someone with promise — first Bill, now Obama. The fact is she sees the numbers and knows she can’t make it — so now they spin. Obama is not a token candidate but a real one — one that is connecting to voters in a meaningful way. He does not need to take second place and the Clintons are arrogant to suggest it.

    March 10, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  24. Karen

    I will NOT vote on a ticket that has Clintons' name anywhere on it. This is no dream in a ticket. The longer she stays in the race, continues to try to knock down her competitor; the less I like or respect her.

    March 10, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  25. Leaving On A Jet Plane

    Cry me a river. The only ticket Hillary needs is a ticket back to New York. Hey Big Apple, take her back, please–she's not ready for prime time.

    Isn't there something you can do to keep her away from a camera? If I hear her voice one more time I'm going to move to Canada.

    Who cares about Hillary–let's move forward. This country needs someone who will bring us change. Hillary is old news.

    March 10, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
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