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. ross

    Barack is right. Hillary's comment is doublespeak, and it lacks her continious lack of judgement. One minute, she says he doesn't have experience as commander in chief. The next minute, she wants him to be the first in line for the job. Where's her judgement when she makes comment like this?

    March 10, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  2. Joni

    Hillary Clinton is a fraud. She manipulates the poor and uneducated into voting for her. Is anyone curious about the fact that her voters are uninformed and traditionally have access to less information other than what the media tells them. She manipulates the media to manipulate others.

    March 10, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  3. Sante

    Clinton , Like her or not , she is the best solution for now!
    Obama- politician, hwo exploits the most touchy place in peoples soul and very experienced to run from office to office. That what he has done ..
    There are NO doubts , that Clinton is a persistent doer /guess what: she should be condemned for it ??!!/ and he is the gifted calculator: now or never; 1/5 of the democrats hate Clintons, Republicans are not in a winning position, brainwash the youngsters and voiala!!

    March 10, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  4. michael, ny

    First I am inevitable,

    Second I have many firewalls

    Third I can say shame on you

    Fourth I can mock him

    Fifth, I want him my vice president even though I am not the front
    runner. Yeah, I am entitled to the white house and nobody can take it away from me.

    If Obama were down like Hillary is today, the DNC would have kicked him out long time ago. But since it is Hillary, she can say the stupdiest thing and people are going to take it seriously. Yeah, fairness at its best.

    March 10, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  5. Lola

    Could the media PLEASE just come out and say how incredibly arrogant and INSULTING it is for this to even be talked about or reported? It's like a joke - why is this being reported as anything other than an arrogant campaign tactic. She's behind in every way – how can she be so presumptuous?

    She is alienating a lot of people – remember the last time she thought she was the presumptive nominee? December 2007, before Iowa. People don't like this attitude.

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

    I can guarantee you that if Hillary is anywhere near the Democratic ticket, I'll be voting for McCain. Hasn't anyone ever that three's a crowd?
    In New York, Independent voices are never heard. We don't get a chance to vote until the very end, but I can still voice my objection to Billary.

    March 10, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  7. Joseph

    This is just amazing. He not experienced enough to be President but a great Vice President? I think this is a first in any campaign that the person in FAR Second is offering the person in the lead the Second position. Hey, while we are at it why doesn't Ron Paul offer John McCain his VP seat.

    March 10, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  8. Fridith S. Holloway

    Of Course! Why do you think she is parading it around! And quite frankly, she would not be a good number two at all! She can always run for Governor of N.Y though!

    March 10, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  9. Solutions

    It's called reaching out and trying to unite the party you negative immature Obama supporting pin heads.

    March 10, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  10. Betty Collini

    Obama would be a fool to agree to be Clinton's running mate...And he's no fool/. Also regarding his name.........None of us are responsible for the name given to us by our parents. Stop all this rubbish about his middle name. PLEASE.

    March 10, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  11. John

    Did I read the article correctly ".. a trifecta of victories that essentially salvaged her presidential hopes". She is no closer to the nomination now than she was a week ago. She is actually farther behind because she was unable to gain any ground. Come on, get real!

    March 10, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  12. Felly

    Hillary is a fraud. She is running scared. How about Bill Clinton as a VP?

    March 10, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  13. Check Your Facts

    The Clinton camp is truly delusional. He has more of the popular vote; more of delegates and pledged delegates. There is nothing for him to gain. But, everything for Hillary to gain. Incidentally, it has already been reported by the Northern Ireland government that her foreign relations experience is minor, which she stacks so easily as her platform for experience. Gimme a break!

    March 10, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  14. Sara

    She is trying to set the stage, so people will think she is winning. Get this Clinton, Obama ia ahead. OBAMA 08' Go away!

    March 10, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  15. Terry

    Obama is as desperate, he is leading in terms of delegates, but he is playing the same game. If he is the speaker of "hope" and "change", then don't shut out 5 million voters in MI and FL. He doesn't want them to count for a reason! Maybe the first thing he wanna change is to give FL to Mexico and MI to Canada after selling out Ohio.

    March 10, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  16. ANGELA

    hiliary is so desperate til she has lost the fact that this election is not about her but about the people.

    March 10, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  17. Keri-Texas

    I don't want a dream ticket. If Obama gets the nod I am voting McCain. I vote Hillary and Edwards as the dream ticket.

    Obama needs to quit and go be a minister or a motivational speaker or the next American Idol, but commander-in-chief. NO!!!

    March 10, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  18. vote4change

    This is just HRC's way of trying to get Obama to add her to HIS ticket when he wins the nomination and to push the DNC to get him to do so for the sake of the "party." Obama won't go for it, I think he might pick Edwards instead. HRC wouldn't pick Obama either, she's talking out of the other side of her head....lying again and misleading people into thinking she is nice.

    March 10, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  19. HH

    She is not fooling any voters with that bull, but only the media.

    March 10, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  20. SAN fa

    she's trying to speak for the remaining voters. hopefully she will be disappointed. GO OBAMA ALL THE WAY TO THE WHITE HOUSE!

    March 10, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  21. BG - Texas

    I believe everything I see on TV and read in the newspapers and on these blogs. I get all my information from CNN, commentors in these columns and SNL. Think I'll wait until the dust settles and then decide on who to vote for – Clinton, McCain, or Obama.

    March 10, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  22. Terri in Texas

    Oh please. The Billary train wreck is trying to take more prisoners. Obama would be a idiot if he partnered with them. The best thing for America is for the Clintons to go away. Talk about old school Washington, nothing is more old school then the two of them.

    March 10, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  23. VM

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

    March 10, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  24. America the Beautiful

    If Florida and Michigan were in the delegate count, Clinton would be have already been nominated. They will be counted and she will win.
    Two million people are not going to change their mind.

    Stop knocking President Clinton. He really knows what he's talking about. The only thing that I could see why anyone would criticize either President Clinton or Hillary is because they were not aware of how wonderful the country was when President Clinton was in office.

    America had NO debt. People were very positive about our economy. There was no war. The world didn't like the Clintons. They LOVED them.

    Stop supporting inexperience. We really need to get this right this time. We're going down the wrong path with Obama. Let him be VP until he learns the ropes.

    What sucessful businessman would hire anyone to manage his company without experience. Especially if the company was on the verge of bankruptcy.

    Not voting experience is "silly".

    March 10, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  25. Russ

    We need to move away from these shenanigans........The Clintons have and will always do ANYTHING to win. Don't think that every word that comes out of her mouth is not part of a well laid plan to win the presidency by any means. How incredibly arrogant she is! She and her elitist comrades thing that all of us out here in "normal land" are ignorant. We are not.......No more Bushes & no more Clintons.......We have had enough. The Whitehouse needs cleaning out and Senator Obama is up for the job. This Republican and many others will vote for him. Please go home, Hillary.

    March 10, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
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