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. Phil Newton Murphy, Oregon

    #2 Clinton offering #2 to #1 Obama? Obama should give that #2 all the attention it deserves: None.

    Only in Clintonville do we witness the mysterious alchemy of turning #2 into political gold. But it's still just a lot of #2 in my book.

    March 10, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  2. Geoff, NH

    Neither will ever run as the other's VP.
    For the sake of argument, lets disregard the delegate counts here. Suppose Clinton was to get the nomination, and offer Obama VP. He would be a fool to accept, because he would alienate every voter who has respected him as the new future of America by allying himself with one of the embodiments of all that is wrong with our government, a political dynasty. He would not be able to garner the support neccesary in 4 years (people seem to forget, noone ever said it was an 8 year job..,, Carter,,, Bush Sr) to win. On the other had, were Obama to get the nomination, Clinton would never accept VP because shes too proud. So, why anyone has speculated about this possibility, i don't know.

    March 10, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  3. Jean

    If this is such a novel idea, why doesn't Hilly go for VP with Obama as President.

    March 10, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  4. John Q

    This whole thing is like the scene in Empire Strikes Back – Hillary is Vader and Obama is Luke....

    Hillary – "Join me! With our combined strength, we can end this destructive conflict and bring order to the galaxy!"

    Obama – "I'll never join you!"

    March 10, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  5. KS

    from Boston : "I don't recall Hillary ever saying that she would be in the first position with Barack being the VP. For all the comments out there, unless it came directly from the candidate explicitly saying this, then everything you and the pundits say is just your opinion. Stop twisting things around. I believe Bill and Hillary just echoed what people out there said that it would be a dream ticket."

    Hello, she said that the people of Ohio have voted that they wanted her on top.

    March 10, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  6. doublepromo

    VM today at March 10th, 2008 6:15 pm ET wrote:

    "She is just pulling trick after trick out of that old tired bag of hers."


    The weathered Jack Palance-looking saddlebag one she wears on her head? Oh, wait a minute, that is her face! Shrillary looks like the Trix wabbit.

    March 10, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  7. Vikki, Tennessee

    Hillary Clinton for PRESIDENT!

    I'm for Clinton/Edwards – If I had to I'd vote for Clinton/Obama but that guy just really irks me.

    March 10, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  8. scott

    She can do better. its a joke how he claims he cant do his ral job because hes campaining I hope Missipppi remembers ttuesday he didn't have the time to go to the state of black america conv. in New Oreleans. this year because he was busy, Hillary showed up and gave a war plan speech at here real job also that same week makes you think who really is working for the people and a change?

    March 10, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  9. Chicagoway

    For the good of the democratic party, there should never be this so called dream ticket. Because of the incessant bickering between the two candidates, the dream ticket actually will help the republicans in the general election. I can just see McCain bringing up qoute after quote from the candidates attacking each other and using that against them. All the republicans can do in this election is attack the democratic candidates. They cannot successfully debate the issues so why give them something they can use. STOP the dream ticket talk.

    Also, I am starting to get Hillary confused with a republican with the way she attacks like a rabid dog.

    March 10, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  10. Chris

    The dumbing down of America. Orwell continues to roll over in his grave!

    March 10, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  11. greg

    I have learned a lot about Hillary in these past two weeks, because when times are tough a politician shows his/her true character.

    Hillary will say or do anything to get elected, including using the Republican strategy (from Karl Rove) of destroying the credentials of your opponent rather than building yourself up. Her recent behavior is exactly what I am sick of – divisive, smear politics. It is especially revulsive to see her use these tactics against a fellow Democrat.

    If you like the way politics has become divisive and ugly, then vote for Hillary. She clearly represents "more of the same".

    I have switched my support to Obama, who has shown himself to be a quality person whose behavior I respect. With Obama we have at least the hope of change.

    March 10, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  12. GO HILLARY 08 Agatha Kerry, Yorba Linda, CA

    Listen Up
    Obama's speak in Canton, MS praised all the 'big wigs' first....the ones giving him money and voting for the audience.

    He talked in general terms of how he was going to save the people in Mississippi from being poor, etc...:that's why he moved to Chicago???" I wonder what the Mississippians thought about that comment. It made so sense to the poor people in Mississippi.

    Obama's celestial speeches are not reaching the people who want real answers. The poor people already pray for someone to help them, not someone to pray for them.

    March 10, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  13. Tanya

    Clinton seems to be grasping at straws and will likely do just about anything (no wait, she will do anything) to win this nomination. Next up, there will be more talk from the Clinton campaign about going after pledged delegates. She mentioned in a speech yesterday that pledged delegates don't always have to remain "pledged" to the same person – they can switch to apparently! Is this the kind of person we want running our country??

    March 10, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  14. mamady sylla (london)

    My estime to Hillary has vanished when she said her and mc cain are ready to govern not Obama and only 1 speech( in 2002) is Obama's record. I can' t believe Hillary went that far! Going for your rival against your partner?
    So how can these 2 work together?
    My understanding is that hillary will destroy the democraty party if she is the nominee.

    March 10, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  15. PCS / North Carolina

    Wayne wrote March 10th, 2008 6:24 pm ET

    "I begin to see why so many Hillary supporters are saying they would vote for McCain rather than see this arrogant baby in control of the country."

    You can tell the difference between Obama and Hilary supporters in these blogs. Obama suppoerters are sincere and talk to the point. Where as, Hillary supporters talk trash, and make acrimonious personal attacks.

    Some of these are sarcastic and derogatory, and some are pure racism: "fairy tale", "Slum lord", "king Obama", "Hot air" "Obama supporters are sheep / pathetic " Obama Zombies….pathetic, "Rock star", "Obama supporters are cult members / sheep ", “king obama”, “Obama go back to Kenya” "Do you know why it is called White House" "Arrogant baby" are only a few of those.

    THIS SHOWS HOW MUCH HATEFUL WE ARE AS A NATION.Towards another person of different color, religion, or nationality, but maybe even of the same ethnicity.

    It's a shame to see people get so ugly and make such desperate attacks against each other when in disagreement, but then again, this is the politics that we have had since the 1980's, so many people don't know any better. Shame on anyone who personally attacks a person or a candidate, simply because they want "their" side to win. I mean, sure, anonymity on the Internet brings out courage in many. However, is that really courage? What does all this say about America? Come on folks! Wake up! World is watching us, they may think this is South Africa in the 1980's.

    March 10, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  16. Jane

    I am loving the division in the Democratic party. Ah behold the great uniters!! How are they going to unite a nation if they can't even get it together in their own party.

    March 10, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  17. Shana

    Could someone please tell me about Hillary Clinton's experience? I researched this and couldn't find that she has any experience that is superior to that of her opponent. Thank you!

    Chicago, IL

    March 10, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  18. FTS

    why obama said he won more popular vote? most of his win are from caucus which invovles much much less people than primary. it appears to me that in number, there are more people vote for hilary than obama.

    btw, caucus is not democratic at tall, it bias people who do not have time, or needs to look after the kids, or do not have a reliable transportation. why not get rid of caucus for next election.

    March 10, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  19. citizen3591

    Hillary Clinton is vile. Catty. Artificial. Illogical.

    And by saying that Barack's ready to be VP, which is the same as ready to be president, she is also showing the hypocrisy of her "kitchen sink" attacks.

    Hillary stinks.

    March 10, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  20. Willard

    Who wrote this story? is CNN now the official spokesperson for Barack Obama? Why? he can't defend himself from a woman? How is he gonna defend himself from Ahmadenajad? It's obvious that you are supporting Obama, everybody can tell. This is a democracy and I would like to remind you that while you might be getting hyped by your superstar, there are people here in America who are voting for Hillary and that their vote must count as well regardless of how you guys feel about her. Have you no shame CNN? Since when did you decide to join FOX News? Is that it then? If you can't beat them join them? Shame on you for going that low!

    March 10, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |


    March 10, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  22. Percy F. Lage, Oklahoma

    "Maybe the first thing he wanna change is to give FL to Mexico and MI to Canada after selling out Ohio."===============

    Why would Obama want to reward FL and MI? If you put it to a vote, both states would go in a heartbeat! But I'm not sure Mexico would want a state that wasn't smart enough to know "how" to vote. And Canada would probably require MI to clean up the rust and pollution first. As for Ohio, nobody's buying.

    March 10, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  23. Jane

    I am loving the division in the Democratic party. Ah behold the great uniters!! How are they going to unite a nation if they can't even get it together in their own party. What a joke.

    March 10, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  24. Teresa

    In today's New York Daily News, columnist Michael Goodwin writes: "It's a dream team all right, as in dream on. It's a fantasy because, in the Clintons' pitch, naturally, she is on top of the ticket and Obama is her No. 2. That's rich of her, considering that Obama leads in both the delegate race and the popular vote. Forget those pesky voters – Hillary has declared herself the winner!"

    Goodwin calls it a sign of desperation on Clinton's part and compares her to a con artist trying to sell a house she doesn't own. He says the joint ticket offer looks like an olive branch, when it's really a knife aimed at cutting Obama down to size.

    March 10, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  25. karen

    come june there will be a lot of people left with their mouth hanging open, let me school you younguns every move by the Clintons is a well thought out strategic move, these are two highly intelligent people you will all be eating crow in the next few months, you obama supprorters are so gullible it's like taking milk from a baby, you won't even see it coming, by the way I have never seen such a nastier more hateful group of people and you claim to be the followers of a uniter.

    March 10, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
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