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. Gary

    I think there is something goin on, I think after PA, it will be a CLINTON/OBAMA ticket! I would love that to happen. There's something that we do not know.....

    March 10, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  2. john thomas

    i jwant to join others in urging senator obama to consider mrs clinton as his running mate. she is bright and competent. it is unfortunate that she has a propensity to cast herself as a victim.

    March 10, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  3. Shawn

    So what will the Democrats do if/when Obama wins the most delegates BUT if Hillary is leading the popular vote? Then they have a quandry – pick the delegate winner or the poular vote winner. Refer to Florida in 2000 regarding their quandry. "Selected not elected"

    March 10, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  4. K Warren

    Is it possible that because Sen. Obama is leading in both the popular vote as well as delegate, he does not want to waste our time talking about taking the number 2 position? Is it also possible that Sen. Clinton is trying to encourage Obama supporters to look more favorably upon her because she "says" she might consider him for the number 2 position?

    I think that there is more arrogance being displayed by the Clinton camp than the Obama camp due to the answers of the above questions.

    Understand the value of such rhetoric, and you will have a much better understanding of the gamemanship being displayed by Hillary. I really prefer to have a grownup (Obama in this case) running the country than someone (H. Clinton) who just wants to fool folks in the same manner as Bush. No thanks to Hillary Clinton.

    March 10, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  5. Kelly, Austin, Tx

    Many people responding to this issue forget that it wasnt either one of the campaigns that initially brought up the thought of the "dream ticket". It was people like you and me, responding to stories brought up by the MEDIA that having both candidates running would be an unstoppable ticket. It appears the MEDIA has also forgotten they fueled this and as is their usual course of action have decided now to blame it on Hillary. During one of the debates in January, each candidate was asked this same question and each candidate said it was too soon to even consider. I also believe that this question was asked during a debate that was sponsored by CNN itself! How outrageous of CNN to now turn it into some kind of of controversy and an evil tactic on Hillary's part to respond to what many of us DO think would be a great ticket. I think it is great that after all of the distortions of fact that the Obama campaign has thrown out there and that the media has all but ignored (NAFTA discussions with the Canadians,flip flop on IRAQI withdrawal with the Scotsman, just to name a few) she has it in her heart to even consider it!

    March 10, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  6. Offbeatrock

    Hillary had one chance to deliver on healthcare, but she did not.
    By now Hillary should have won the nomination due to name recognition. But she has not been able to do it either. It is unlikely that she will be able to deliver on any of her promises because she has not proved herself to be a good manager. On the other hand by a fair comparison Obama has done remarkablky well in his career so far. Obama is a better choice and more than likely to deliver on the promises than Hillary, be it Healthcar, Economy, or Iraq War.

    Last Point – do not listen to Bill Clinton. The man is a liar and has no credibility

    March 10, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  7. Sasha


    God has nothing to do with politics! Please keep ignorant religion out of the mix...............

    March 10, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  8. Alan


    March 10, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |

    Hillary is getting soooo desperate !!! Barack Obama doesn't have to
    "play second fiddle" to anyone...... that's a very old saying.....I hope you
    young uns understand it !!

    March 10, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  10. maya

    Whoops- I meant Independents. Don't want to spoil my point with a spelling error!

    March 10, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  11. AJ

    You people are nuts...
    Clearly Hillary has won the larger states that we are going to win come November. I think Clinton is very smart to talk about the point of a Clinton-Obama ticket, he just shows his inexperience and arrogance even more by saying he will not take VP.

    Hillary Clinton will stand up for Americans and make the changes that we need. We do NOT need Obama's leadership when he has no proven experience... where does that get us? We made a change 8 years ago with Bush – and where did that get us? WAKE UP people, get off your stupid Obama train and realize that Hillary Clinton is the answer to what so many of us have been waiting for.

    His response just makes me not like him even more. His campaign is all about a new direction and change in politics? Yet what about the woman who called Hillary a monster... do you really think that isn't what Obama has said about her?

    March 10, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  12. R

    I would prefer her going for John Edwards, but I'm sure there's no losing with this ticket although I don't think Obama is a good to be at the office

    March 10, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  13. bigben

    Hey Obama , go win some more republican states.

    March 10, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  14. Ram

    Hillary lost my respect, as little Ihad for her ,by playing this game. This is pathetic that she and Bill are stirring up this speculation inorder to try and make people consider that she is "experienced" and that Obama needs "seasoning".

    This very act of Hillary and Bill shows how desperate the Clinton team is and showcases how they'll do "anything" to turn a situation to their benefit.

    What a bunch of LOSERS!!

    March 10, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  15. Aaron

    Obama supporters are sheep! Baaaaaahhhhhh!!!

    March 10, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  16. I've seen it all

    Leopards don't change their spots. For those who were too young to remember the Clinton years or those who are losing their memory – you need to take a walk down memory lane.

    1. They cut 250,000 personnel from the military – ever wonder why so many of your National Guard neighbors are going overseas for a second and third deployment? Thank the Clintons for making those cuts.

    2. Let's see – put together a former Walmart lawyer, a $20 million donation from the Chinese government, normalization of China trade relations, and now you can figure out why HIllary's promising to bring back jobs that started going over there during the Clinton administration.
    What I think would be interesting for CNN to do is to dig up some of those campaign stops the Clintons made in Ohio and Pennsylvania – and replay the promises they made back then – and then measure the promises against the reality.

    3. Johnny Huang, Norman Hsu – just google them – you'll figure out the rest.

    March 10, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  17. spider

    Hillary has no shame and is further alienating the American voters, young and old alike, from voting at all in an election that we had all hoped would bring about the kind of change we need.
    Way to go, Hillary. Your manipulative and transparent power hungry ways will bring on the demise of the Democratic party and we could end up with four more years of war, torture, economic collapse and the further alienation of our youth.

    March 10, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  18. Tom

    I will NOT vote for Clinton. Not for president, not for vice president, not for dog-catcher. I am Dem and want to vote Dem. But if the name Clinton is on the Dem ticket, in ANY capacity, my vote goes to McCain.

    1988 – George H W Bush
    1992 – William Jefferson Clinton
    1996 – William Jefferson Clinton
    2000 – George W Bush
    2004 – George W Bush

    Anybody else see a pattern here????

    No More Clintons, No More Bushes!!!

    March 10, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  19. 4REAL

    Hillary and Spitzer has been drinking some of the damage water. He don't want to leave and neither do Hillary. At least Hillary was rejected by Obama for telling her no way. Now she can't stand to be rejected. Spitzer needs to resign and so do Hillary.

    March 10, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  20. SIMON

    the news people asked clinton in the first place and obama said the same clinton said about the dream ticket in the first obam a and clinton debate

    March 10, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  21. Democrat in CT

    Let's get real. There is no landslide here in any direction. 100 or so delegates are NOTHING. It's still anyone's game. Obama is a charismatic guy with no experience. He would do well to get in as VP and gain some experience for the future, when he would have more qualifications under his belt to be President. The voters need to think about who can beat McCain: If it is an Obama-McCain run, it will be Inexperience vs. Experience and we will end up with another republican in the white house. If it is Clinton-McCain, then we are comparing apples and apples PLUS Clinton's background in the economy (where McCain lacks). She can win against McCain, Obama would have a hard time.

    If I were her, I would choose Edwards or someone other than Obama as her VP should she win the nomination. There's been too much water under the bridge to have it be an amicable team. He clearly has a problem with it, even though she doesn't. He doesn't deserve the opportunity with that attitude, and that is what it would be-an opportunity. He's a young guy, he has time. What there isn't time for is a learning curve–This country is a mess, thanks to our current President.

    I don't expect this will be printed as the editor is extremely biased towards Obama, but I'll send it anyway.

    March 10, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  22. Beverlee

    She would never pick him, this is just a way to suck in more votes....WAKE UP AMERICA!

    March 10, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  23. George the Prognosticator

    Hillary barely won Texas. And she certainly did not win any of the states in a high percentage that she needed to claim a "victory." The fact is that people still do not like Hillary and that Obama will continue to lead her in pledged delegates until the race is over. Then the DNC will need to instruct her to step down to avoid ripping the party to shreds.

    Personally, if Hillary gets the Dem Nom, I will vote Republican out of protest. She hasn't won it by popular vote and if the super delegates hand it to her, the DNC will be facing the downfall of the Democratic party as a whole.

    Thanks for listening!

    March 10, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  24. Polly

    Excellent SEnator Obama , separate your self from dishonesty, lack of integrity and the Iraq war, the old status quo, politics as usual, and specially from the Clintons, thousands and millions are voting for you because you are not part of the status quo nor are you under the spell of the Clinton Clan.

    Yes We Can, we want a different US of AMerica, no more Clintons,
    GREEATT, denounce, denounce and separate yourself as far away as possible from the dishonest Clintons.

    March 10, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  25. RC

    I am not surprised her campaign is the one pushing this. If she does manage to steal the Dem. nomination she will need Obama to win. Otherwise she will indeed lose.
    When I say steal I do mean steal. Seeing here latest comments suggesting that pledged delegates (caucus, primary or otherwise) have freedom to move thus suggesting the will of the public is irrelevant. I cannot believe she can get away with suggesting that and not be punished at the polls. If she manages to get the nomination than no wonder the U.S. is in the state it is in.

    March 10, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
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