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. Joy

    to America the Beautiful-are you kidding? No way Obama can compete with the Clinton's on scandal and sleaze–please educate yourself on this subject.

    March 10, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  2. Jan

    It scares me to think that the same group of people who have run up huge college debts, maxed out their credit cards, thought they were really getting a deal when they bought a home with zero down and a sub-prime rate, think that Obama is the pied piper who will magically make everyone in Washington change and he will do it overnight. Or maybe they think that if you don't have a plan and connections it will all go away! Do you really think that at 12:01 pm January 20, 2009, that all the ladies and gentlemen of the Congress will just lay down and roll over for Obama? Hello! Wake up America. This country is in a recession. But of course GWB isn't going to tell you and many of you just don't want to believe it unless he says it. Wake Up! Hillary and her connections and cohorts are the only ones who will be able to deal with the horrendous mess that GWB ;has created.

    March 10, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  3. BGIV in NC


    I wish someone from the press would really take some time to point out emphatically that BARACK HAS MORE DELEGATES, HILLARY IS IN SECOND PLACE!

    Hillary would make a fine VP, even president of cranium in sphincter.


    March 10, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  4. J. Cavins

    Obama should announce he would like Bill as his VP.

    March 10, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  5. 4Hillary

    Why is BO so afraid of Hillary?? Are you hoodwinking again BO??

    March 10, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  6. GO HILLARY 08 Agatha Kerry, Yorba Linda, CA

    Obama would feel emasculated if Senator Clinton had to help him out. His male ego can not handle a woman VP. That's why we need a woman President. Hillary Clinton is smarter and more experienced and doesn't worry about being emasculated.

    March 10, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  7. anne in wisconsin

    Why do you Obama supporters continue to act like Obama is that far ahead and that Hillary is just a spoiler? It's not over yet and it's likely going to be *very* dangerously close–one large set of supporters–Obama's or Hillary's–may feel disenfranchised if this is not done carefully! Obama will need Hill supporters to win the General–Hill will need Obama supporters–Neither of these candidates is in a sure fire position! There will have to be a compromise of some sort that must take difficult issues into account–there is no "fair and obvious solution". What if he has the popular vote and say, 100 or so more pledged delegates yet he's failed to win any major swing state that Democrats need to win? Get real, do you think Wyoming is going to vote Democrat? Obama over McCain? No. We need the big states AND some of the small states–someway or somehow these two have got to work together OR we should just get Al Gore to run.

    March 10, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  8. Kelly

    Obama has FOUR MORE YEARS of elected office.
    Hillary is a nice wife, but being a wife is not a job.
    Hillary has 8 years in elected office.
    Obama 12 in US and Illinois Senate

    Bill Clinton was a governor with no FP experience and only 12 years in office
    He beat the far more experience Bush Sr.

    March 10, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  9. Randy Porter Mo.

    I don`t think she will gain anything from it. Hillary should keep sticking it to him and keep him on yhe ropes.Her constant offensive moves is what gave her the three victories last week. Obama is a cry baby with thin skin and seems to choke when being attacked, so I don`t know why she would even be so kind as to make the offer. Obama is just going to make her look silly by snubbing the idea of being number two. He sure has no intention of asking Hillary to be his VP. Hillary can`t win anyway, because if it comes down to super delegates, they will go with Obama. They will give in to the fear of racial riot or claims of discrimination, instead of voting the way their heart tells them two. The whole super delegate system should be outlawed. What gives these people the right to cast two votes, when it is illegal for you and I to do the same.

    March 10, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  10. T. Campbell

    Read in between the lines. By saying that Hillary wanted to put it out there she would offer Obama the VP spot. Fishing to see whether he would do the same, because she's thinking about throwing in the towel. Depending on how PA looks for her

    March 10, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  11. Mary

    To the blogger above........the events going on in Puerto Rico (PR) is not fair.

    1) PR recently changed their election from a caucus (which would favor Obama) to a primary (which favors Hillary). Is this fair b/c they know which process favors which candidate and the leaders there are long time Clinton supporters.

    2) PR has 55 delegates, which is more than official states such as Kentucky, Mississippi, Wyoming and the all-mightly New Hampshire. Is this fair?

    3) PR is a "winner take all" primary. Is this fair when the rest of the country is divided proportionally?

    All of these favors the Hillary campiagn and I think real investigative work needs to be done to look into who helped make these rules.

    March 10, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  12. xavier

    To Solutions –

    If you think Clinton is trying to unite the party then you must be one of the uneducated voters that she attracts.

    March 10, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  13. Brenda Waters

    Again, Senator Rodham shows her total arrogance:

    1) HE IS LEADING, DEAR! hadn't you noticed?

    2) Your berate him at every turn for his lack of experience, judgement, etc., and then offer him your Second-in-Command??????????
    Surely, a contridiction, and BAD JUDGEMENT.

    3) With your staff-turnover and reputation as ' rather stressful to work FOR (NEVER WITH – I' am Clinton) – you will find it hard to get anyone to sigh up with you – the White House staff will flee in terror (before you fire them as was your wont when the Clinton First Lady arrived).

    4) Always the 'Clinton', when are you going to stand alone?

    5) DREAM TICKET – CLINTON & VP former Pres CLINTON – it was always what you really wanted since Hillary Rodham got lucky way back in College and hooked a dreamticket to the White House, once, but twice, mmm – bad judgement in thinking a rookie would be a push-over. We wil see how 'ugly it will get out there' when Senator Rodham Clinton lets her present highly-restraigned guard down, and the REAL HILLARY COMES OUT!!!!!!!!!!!

    Brenda Elizabeth Waters-Cowley

    March 10, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  14. BobC

    "maya March 10th, 2008 6:23 pm ET

    All polls show that the Dems are evenly split between the 2 candidates. And about 62% of Dems state that a "Dream Ticket" would be a good idea. Seems that she is just speaking to-and recognizing-the general feeling. Like the idea or not, don't start bashing her about an idea that fits the polls!!!"

    The real problem isn't the democrats. The key is the independents. If 62% of democrats think it's a good idea, then are 38% that don't, plus all the Republicans and Independents that want nothing to do with Hillary. Sounds like a formula for losing, to me.

    March 10, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  15. Tehran

    Maybe Clinton dont understand how the government works. Offering Obama VP means if anythings happens to her then he would be President. If she had the interest of the country at heart, why would you want so one so inexperienced to be in that position either. This dirty political games are getting tiresome with the Clintons.

    March 10, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  16. Lance

    The only way Obama will ever get my vote is if he is running as Hillary's VP. If he gets the nomination I'll be voting republican for the first time in my life. Obama is a pompous jerk.

    March 10, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  17. CZ

    As an Obama supporter, I actually admire how cunning this move it on the Clintons' part. It's by far the most coniving thing they've done, way more so than the 3am ad or the SC race-baiting. This is nearly a move to set up a checkmate as far as publicity is concerned:

    – By saying this, you're essentially criticizing your opponent, yet doing so under the guise of "unity"
    – By doing this, you put the pressure on Obama: you can take away his "uniter" label (I'm actually willing to bet money she'll do this in the next debate) becuase a) you came up with the idea, and b) when he rejects it, you come out smelling like roses.
    – If he were stupid enough to even admit that he would entertain the idea, it's a wrap. Many of the people who support him either couldn't stand Clinton before all this, can't stand her after her "win at all cost tactics", or can't stand her because most of her supporters are insufferable. He'd lose support by the truckload.
    – You also get some of your more fanatic supporters to buy into it, since they're fine with Obama being a token but not being the man in charge. So you have them put pressure on the aforementioned Obama supporters.
    – You make people forget the fact that you've basically run your entire campaign on this silly notion that you're more "experienced" because you were married to the president before.

    Touche indeed.

    March 10, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  18. Sean

    Hilary you say that Obama does not have enough experence to be President, yet he has enough experence to be the V.P. Where do you come up with this junk. The only reason you want Obama on the ticket with you, is because you know that you can't win without him. Also you are not even in the lead when it comes to the delegates so why are you deciding who is the V.P is. Don't you think you are getting a little ahead of yourself. The person who is leading should be picking a V.P and you are not in the lead. Obama will win in November and will become the next President. Without you Hilary!

    Obama Edwards 08

    March 10, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  19. Lisa Salt Lake City, Utah

    Are you sure that she doesn't want a McCain/Clinton ticket? She has been so complimentary of McCain's attributes while tearing apart Obama's.

    March 10, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  20. Grif

    Why comment!!! When they are ignored.. not worth the INK!

    March 10, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  21. genbeg

    First she pretended to cry (well sob) on national television. Then she appeared on SNL and Jon Stewart. Now she's offering Obama a VP nomination after talking and running negative ads about his lack of experience? What a mess.

    Hillary is extremely desperate and this is definitely a testament to her shady Washington bureaucracy. Talk about a hypocrite.

    March 10, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  22. Greg

    Given that she has to either: 1) attempt to convince the Superdelegates to overturn the will of the people due to the fact that Obama has an insurmountable lead in pledged delegates (which anyone with a pulse realizes that this would end any serious chances for the Democrats to win a general election in November); OR 2) attempt to use her political machine to force Florida and Michigan into spending a ton of money to re-stage the primaries even though they clearly broke the rules (wonder if they would be pushing this hard for a re-vote if they didn't come out ahead in the unchallenged voting), I would say that she is in absolutely no position to suggest that Obama should be her VP candidate.

    At this point, it is looking like the Democratic nomination is his to lose and it goes without saying that he would not offer the VP post to her. She would be nothing but a drag on the ticket and, even worse for the Democrats, she would help mobilize Republuican voters who want to see her political life extinguished.

    March 10, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  23. BL-NYC

    Quite honestly, this could be Senator Obamas chance to actually get some experience!
    He is not ready to Govern our Nation, not even remotely ready!!!
    He did mention that "this is the kind of doublespeak, double-talk that Washington is very good at." That funny... He does that EVERY SPEACH!
    And... Why does he keep putting down our Nation, our Government, he has no pride at all when it comes to our country... Seriously!!!

    March 10, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  24. Kiki

    Obama is ahead in delegates for the democratic convention. Hillary is far ahesd in delegates for the presidential election...Something like 260 for hillary and 199 for Obama. These are the really important numbers.

    March 10, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  25. Audrey

    For those people who are dreaming ... red states will go blue and blue states will also be blue when Obama is the norminee. I don't think so. Here is why...

    1) Nearly 70% of senior citizens are voting for Hillary because of her maturity and her fine record of service in the senate and washington. If Hillary is not the norminee, they are likely go for McCain as he also has accomplished much in his life.

    2) Most Republicans are conservative and Obama was named the most liberal senator last year. Hence, these republicans will never vote for Obama and hence, red states will never go blue when Obama is the norminee.

    March 10, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
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