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. Clilntonite

    Obama is not ready for the big leagues. He will get totally sideswiped by the McCain and republican onslaught...

    Hillary has more people coming to vote that don't have cars or phones..They will not show up for Obama..

    Latinos want Hillary Plan and Simple!! We will not settle!!

    Hillary 08

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

    If I were Obama, I wouldn't be so quick in closing the door to the VP post. It might hit him in the back. He is now setting the stage for Hillary choosing someone else since Obama is flatly rejecting the number 2 spot. Careful, you might be sorry.

    Also, why is Obama, who claims to be the all-inclusive candidate, the candidate for all the people, refusing to seat Florida and Michigan and by doing so excluding million of voters? Well, don't tell me. We all know why.

    And one more thing: Obama needs Hillary as much as Hillary needs Obama. He can't win without her supporters on his side. And right now he is alienating her supporters and Hillary is courting his supporters. Now that's inclusivity.

    Hillary for all the people.

    March 10, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  3. HILLLARY 08

    no obama! HILLARY/CLARK 08!

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

    Still trying to pimp the minority Vote

    Shame on who ?

    March 10, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  5. Ilene, Livonia MI

    Sneaky lying Hillary. She wants to steal his votes. She knows only the uneducated like her. She is playing into their stupidity. She would never ask him. She is lying as usual. Her lips are moving and that means she is lying.

    March 10, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  6. K

    NOOBAMA 08


    March 10, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  7. JL From PuertO RicO

    Well I don't see the terror and the bad things from the Clinton's we were much better with Bill as president. The Bill scandal blahhhhhhhh the people that repeat this just doesn't have anything more to say. So what he is a little loose? lol. I don't care about that all I want is a great president to lead the US to were it was 8 years ago, so if that's one of the reasons why people are criticizing Hillary remove it from your list =).

    If she has been reelected with a good margin as a new York senator then something good she most have done there so she isn't useless.
    as Obama approved lots of help and support for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, Hillary approved lots of help and support for the 9/11 event.

    Both are great candidates but I don't want change all I want is someone to fix things back to how they were.

    PR for Hillary!!!!!!!!!!!
    I just hope Hillary wins PR and with us get the little boost she needs to be the candidate for the democrats =).

    March 10, 2008 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  8. tim

    a post-racial candidate should not be using terms from a racially divisive man. .

    When a uniter says things like "THEY Hoodwinked you," I kept asking who is the you?

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

    i tell ya Obama people are scary....

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

    I can't believe Clintonites are seriously chastising Obama's camp for turning down the potential "Dream Ticket". I just can't believe it took Obama so long to shoot down the possibility.

    Also to his stance of not running again or not accepting the VP spot is simple – it gives Hillary's campaign another "out" in that she could then say, hey Obama will run again in four or eight years, this is my last chance – if you like us both, give me the shot now and then Barack next time around.

    It's to they point she is looking for sympathy votes it seems. Hey a vote is a vote right?

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

    Nothing, and I mean nothing, will draw out Republican voters to the polls in November like a Hillary Clinton Democratic Candidacy. And I think about half the Democratic voters fell as though they can never vote for her, either. She is so divisive and evil.

    If she is the Dem Nominee, McCain will win in one of the greatest landslides ever.

    March 10, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  12. Coby Austin, Texas

    America the Beautiful wrote:
    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.

    You are sick. Scandals? What Rezko? Dont forget that the Clintons have a friendship with Mr. Rezko also. The Clinton scandals completely outweigh what people are calling scandals from Obama. Stop falling for these snakes called "The Clintons"

    March 10, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  13. Richard Rodriguez Rivera

    She knows she don't have neither the popular vote nor the delegates, so she is now throwing a smoke curtain to see if she can blind the Obama supporters. But you what, She is behind and is not convincing anyone with her charade. She is down and is gonna stay down. Obama 2008, he is the idoneous commander in cheif, thoughtful and with the best proven judgement. What else is there?

    March 10, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  14. Maestroh

    Just imagine: if a person is THIS arrogant – sitting in second place and offering the silver medal to the leader – as a senator, just IMAGINE how bad she'd be once elected?

    Did we learn nothing from the past 7 years?

    March 10, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  15. Terry, TX


    Obama does not deserve to be Hillary's VP, but Gov. Eliot Spitzer does.

    March 10, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  16. Eli

    Why is that Hillary can say its possible but of course I want the top and people go off on her, I dont see why either candidate can not say that. Obama can say I dont want Hillary on the ticket(VP or not) no where and its ok. I mean these two people have gotten close to the same votes so they would be a dream ticket. Hillary sees that but Obama does not want any part of it because he thinks the people voting for Hillary are true DEMOCRATS and will just switch over to him. WELL HES WRONG. Ive talked to many who will not vote for OBAMA in the fall. Hillary sees that if she gets the nomination to pick Obama would be great but Obama does not see that if he got the nomination he should pick Hillary (WHAT A STUPID MAN)

    March 10, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  17. Jed in Texas

    No.Hillary should just turn out the light and say goodnight.

    March 10, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  18. Noans

    McCain/Clinton 08 – two dividers, not uniters. The economy sucks and more of our brave soldiers are dying because of oil, as Karl Rove finally admitted on FOX "NOISE." But Senator Clintoon avoids discussing these pressing issues for Americans by making the conversation about her and her "moral right" to be the nominee. Senator Clinton voted for this war and the Lieberman amendment to give Bush the same unfettered power to attack Iran whenever he feels like it and she says she has better judgment than Obama, who was AGAINST the war. Senator Clinton supported NAFTA, until she began running for the nomination. The Canadian government apologized to Obama and his campaign and stated it was Senator Clinton's campaign who contacted them and gave them the "wink, wink" comment. So much for change, honesty and trustworthiness from Senator Clinton. Now she is trying to send Obama to the back of the bus by saying a vote for her is a vote for Obama. I don't think so. Why would anyone vote for a candidate who lies to us, refuses to accept the democratic voting process and our votes for the nominee and refuses to accept responsibility for her votes. If Senator Clinton refuses to count and accept my vote, then I will return the favor by not voting unless Obama becomes an independent. Senator Clinton is just like Bush. Remember 2000 AND 2004? Hillary is pulling the same crap. She would rather see a Republican in the White House again rather than unite the party and win the White House by accepting our votes and the fairly elected delegates.

    Obama/Edwards 08, Obama/Richardson 08, Obama/Dodd 08, in other words, Obama and any body else but Senator Clinton.

    March 10, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  19. nikki

    to all of the shrillary supporters, please answer this question how much "experience" did bill have in 92' before he became president? All the fairytales about her 35 years of experience need to be exposed for what they are down right lies!!!!!!!!!...

    OBAMA 08'!!! YES WE CAN!!!

    March 10, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  20. Brian

    Jazz, actually you are completely and utterly wrong.

    The fact is that the Constitution gives the VP two roles: to break ties in the Senate and to be there if the President gets sick or dies. Those are the only two roles of the Vice President.

    I think that being qualified for both if them is absolutely a prerequisite. Anyone who disagrees is a complete moron; sorry to bring the truth.

    March 10, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  21. doug

    Obama is very arrogant to deny VP. Wait and see if he can win in November if he is a democrat nominee. I like Hillary make a offer because she wants to unite the party and wants democrat to govern for 16 years. He is not ready to be a command in chief and he needs to learn more while he is vp. He is smart but he is very arrogant and he might hurt his political career.

    March 10, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  22. cate kennedy

    Obama aka Barry S is not worthy of any office. He's motivated by ego , has little or no experience in politics let alone in running an office for this government, and should be put out to pasture to run an evangelical organization.

    If Obama is on any ticket many of us will jump platforms and vote for McCain. Barry is just too dog gone dangerous and annoying!

    Find another one Hillary!!

    March 10, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  23. yvonne guy

    hillary keep flip, flopping, she cannot make important judgement, because she has no control, over which one of her split personalites will appear & at what time it will appear, i suddenly hope america won,t let it out at 3:00 am

    March 10, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  24. prakash chand for HILLARY

    Obama better takae the offer before he is out of a job.

    He will be good butler.

    March 10, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  25. shawn

    who cares if they dance in the streets . we will dance in the streets too when barack obama is president. I moved from N.Y. to P.A.. Hillary Clinton did nothing for N.Y. then and can't do anything for U.S.A. today

    March 10, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
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