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

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

 Could Clinton and Obama appear on the same ticket? Clinton appears to be fueling the speculation.

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. fred

    Wow that is very interesting. To say hey, "you are not ready for the presidency but you can be next in line". Talk about tryin to manipulate the system. What's funny is that Hillary thinks that people who vote for Obama are dilusional and talked over. Well she obvousily believes that they are delusional if she thinks that they are going to be in line with her and say Hey Obama you can be next. Who's really the delusional one. One comment in on this page said that Obama people were immature and that Hillary is trying to unite the party. That's fine but she has to have the nomination in order to unify the party. Right now she is in second place and doesn't seem likely to get into first place unless she makes a devil with the devil. Also, she needs the superdelegates to go against the people and vote for her. Trust me this is one person who has looked at the facts and chosen Obama, and I am not delusional. I am a college student who along with everyone else can change the world like Obama can. How can you sy that college students are delusional, considering how we are paying thousands of Dollars to get an education? It is a little silly. People just need to face the fact that America needs to change and Hillary cannot give us that change.

    OBAMA 08 YES

    March 10, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  2. Randy - Denver

    Earlier she said that she could ahve him on HER ticket as VP because he could be ready to be C in C by this summer. Sounds good but lets follow this reasoning out... if he is ready to be C in C by this summer he should have no problem, after he gets all the briefings after November, taking over in January... therefore her argument about him being "not ready" is by HER OWN WORDS not an argument and so I should no longer have to listen to her degrade his experiance over hers. Not likely but then again Ms. Clinton has often shown an inability to follow a thought to its logical conclusion.

    Me personally I think a better dream might be say Obama and oh a governor from lets say NM or Kansas or Missoouri.. several good options from those small unimportant states... maybe even a centralist republican....

    March 10, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  3. Caryl S. Foster

    Thank You Senator Obama for clearly stating for all to understand what is nothing but the Clinton's obvious attempt to "hoodwink" and "bamboozle" undecided undiscerning American voters.

    It only remains for you to Thank the Clintons for publicly confirming that you are indeed ready to serve as Commander-in-Chief even if or perhaps because you would only bring a speech to the White House.

    Thanks to the Clintons!

    March 10, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  4. maggie

    No Obama! Hillary can do much better. How 'bout Clinton/Rendell. Now that would be unstoppable!

    March 10, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  5. Ellie

    Where is exactly is her proof of 35 yrs experience? Yes, she was a Governor's wife and she was a "first lady" but all those things she claimed to take owenrship of..please. She is a carpetbagger. If she wanted a senate seat, why didn't stay in Arkansas? Because she knew NY was her ticket into the big league and the voters in NY bought into it. Let's hope the rest of the US does not buy into the Clinton song and dance.

    March 10, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  6. prcleburne

    A man and a woman on the same ticket. Hmmmmm. Clearly the man should be on top. ( Before you ladies go crazy , this a sexy, not a sexist , comment )

    March 10, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  7. Looking 2 or 3 years ahead

    If Obama wants to get to the white house, it will have to be as an apprentice-hands-on-training VP to Hillary Clinton. Trying to do otherwise is just simply not possible anymore. He cannot be allowed to face McCain by himself in November. You can count on it, but, after June, there will be so much dirt flying around, and so many republican attacks that the American people will be CONVINCED that Obama is like an enthusiastic college graduate trying to become the CEO of the most successful organization in the world. It will look simply ridiculous. Next to McCain’ experience, foreign policy knowledge, patriotism, and integrity, Obama will be exposed as that he really is – – an unproven leader who cannot be taken seriously. Can you see the landslide yet? At that point, Democrats will be asking how could such a selection ever been made? Today, Senator Clinton is talking about a joint ticket. If Obama were smart, he would jump on it immediately. He can potentially write history as the first African American to be in power for sixteen years, 8 as a VP, and 8 as the President. Is it not what he wants? That seems a no-brainer to me.

    March 10, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  8. Zach Barker

    Hillary Clinton would contaminate the ticket, that is what the other side is counting on

    March 10, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  9. Michael-Miami Beach

    I am an undecided voter living in FL & my take is that this is an EXCELLENT idea for Clinton. However, for OBAMA this is a very bad idea as he stands for freshness & change. I make no judgement as to the need for such traits....There are many quality people to choose with Bill Richardson being an excellent selection.

    March 10, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  10. We_Are_For_Obama_And_Hate_Clintons

    Question for CNN: (And News Media)

    There are thousands of notes like above about Hillary's fear mongering ads, dirty tactics that she uses to win WhiteHouse at any cost, distroying innocent peoples' lives and tons of other dirty things that she does to win this election; all of those are protrayed on-line.

    Whey does'nt CNN and News Media read these notes (America's Voice) how the country feels about her and think about her?

    March 10, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  11. Mark

    Of course it is ridiculous that Hillary should "offer" Obama the VP slot. He is ahead in this race by every measurable statistic. By the way, did everyone notice that CNN has finally updated the delegate count? Obama now leads in overall delegates by about 115, and in pledged delegates, his lead is almost to 150 (Nearly the TOTAL delegates that Pennsylvania offers...). Hillary is losing, and her desperation would almost be funny if it wasn't so pathetic. Actually, forget that. It IS funny.

    As for the superdelegates- I would venture a guess and say that most of them actually follow politics pretty closely. They are not likely to be hoodwinked and double talked the way the voters in some states (Ohio) are. Hillary's "spin" might work with people who are too lazy to actually read a whole story, but the superdelegates will see through all that crap. They will be paying attention to things like: Who is actually managing their campaign better? Who has the best fund raising capability? Who is ahead in nearly every poll against John McCain? Who is drawing the most new blood to the Democratic party? Who have the people chosen as the Democratic candidate, or who has the lead in PLEDGED delegates? Who is most likely to attract "swing" voters? etc., etc.

    Even if the Republicans try to mess up our primaries by crossing over to vote for Hillary, do you think our superdelegates won't notice?

    March 10, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  12. MCNEIL

    HILARY CLINTON SHOULD PICK JOHN EDWARDS FOR VP AND ONLY HIM.......... FORGET ABOUT OBAMA........

    March 10, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  13. The Objective Observer in NY

    I kept hearing this crazy idea of a Clinton & Obama ticket. Base on the little I know about our politics, Sen. Obama political career would be permanently tarnished should he foolishly decide to join force with any Clinton. Apart from the few fixated fanatics who are unable to think out of the box, most Americans know these Clintons are plitical liabilities. They are the shameless masters of dirty politicking/politricking. Just look at the many spins and distortions they have engineered since these primary elections started

    March 10, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  14. David, Silver Spring, MD

    Why is HRC suggesting a Clinton-Obama ticket?

    1) She knows she can't win without him.
    2) It's the closest she can get to being endorsed by Obama.
    3) She realizes just how qualified he is to step in and be President.
    4) She's trying to keep her name in the news until she starts throwing mud two weeks from the Pennsylvania primary.

    March 10, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  15. Christine

    Hillary should suggest that she, herself, run for VP since she is the one losing in terms of popular votes, delegates AND states.

    March 10, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  16. HeatherDem

    Candy Crowley (a very obviously pro-Obama reporter) can SAY that Clinton's offer of VP is just political maneuvering, but it's also the case that if Obama were to say "yes" then Clinton would have to come through. Therefore, she must also be sincere. I'm so sick and tired of everyone questioning the motives behind everything anyone whose last name is Clinton says or does.

    March 10, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  17. amy

    come on ladies in American do we really want someone that can't keep her word when it benifts her own agenda. She has nothing else to throw at Obama so now she want his voters to think she will ask him to be VP are you kidding. If you don't thinks he has the exprience why would you want him as you pick. than again you don't think your voter are smart enought to get it.shame on you Hilary Clinton

    March 10, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  18. Means and Ends

    Why doesn't Obama more forcefully use this to drive home his own point when he is asked about it, i.e:

    "I think it's a great idea. Frankly I'd be a little concerned about Senator Clinton's ability to govern without polarizing the country into years of gridlock, but I think that with the benefit of a couple years as my number 2 she could likely transition into that kind of leadership should anything happen to me. So yes, I would certainly consider adding her to my ticket if I should win the nomination and if I come to the conclusion that this is the best way to unite our party going forward."

    March 10, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  19. Texas4Obama

    Hillary is it time for you to get a hearing aide!

    Senator Obama said NO to your silly suggestion.

    Get over it and stop trying to fool the uneducated voters!

    Shame on you Billary!

    March 10, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  20. Laura J Walker

    Can you people in the media be any more obtuse?

    The Clintons are masters of the political game - masters! They're showing you and Barack Obama who owns this game. CLUE: It isn't you and it certainly isn't Barack Obama!

    Obama can't stand to be upstaged and he's showing it now. If Hillary Clinton has done anything it is to show how shallow and image-based this man is. His own Senate colleagues have called him a dilletante. Somebody with an ego that huge can't stand being in the shadows - be it the U.S. Senate or the Vice-presidency. So when he sticks it out there with his outraged righteousness ("Don't be hoodwinked"), who wins? C.L.I.N.T.O.N!

    Hillary Clinton learned how to play hardball with three brothers. Believe me, having that as your learning base pays off!

    Clinton is spinning the media and Barack Obama round and round and I love every minute of it!

    March 10, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  21. Louis

    Just so you know, Obama won Texas. by at least 3 delegates and anywhere from 5-20K votes.

    March 10, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  22. maggie

    Hey, bimmer! I agree with everything you said. Too many unanswered questions about Obama. We need to find out everything before we put him in charge of anything!

    March 10, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  23. wendy

    My comment is about Gov. Spitzer. If the leader of my party betrays his marriage vow to his wife ,how can I trust that person to represent me who he doesn't even know? I also didn't like the fact that he dragged his wife to the podium with him to help wash his dirty laundry. I felt so sorry for his wife and children for the negative publicity that they are having to endure.
    Please do the right thing, Gov. Spitzer, and resign immediately.

    March 10, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  24. Randy - Denver

    Jazz please read your US history the qualifications for vice president are EXACTLY the same as for president, and not only that for a long time the loser in the presidential race was the vice president. sheesh folks even the basics are lost now!

    March 10, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  25. Cami

    I could actually go for a Clinton/Obama or Obama/Clinton ticket, if it would put an end to all the internal bickering. If Obama is ahead with delegates, states, and popular vote, though, he should be the nominee.

    March 10, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
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