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. franklahai

    It looks like most people post on a blog "without reading" at least 2-3 previous blogs. This is based on my reading of over 15+ comments here: Given that numbers do not lie;
    Here are the numbers:

    Pledged Delegates: Hillary = 1,200; Obama = 1,347 (+147 for Obama)
    SperDel: Hillary = 238 (down from 250; Obama = 206 (up from 50)

    (Note Obama is waiting for Texas Caucaus; he is ahead in large numbers: 2,3918 (vs. Hillary = 18,620; deficit of "5,298)

    Totals: Obama = 1,553; Hillary = 1438
    Deficit for Hillary = 115

    With all the BIG states Hillary has WON, how would she overcome these deficits? She would be lucky to come in 3rd place!

    March 10, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  2. shane

    this chick is crazy

    March 10, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  3. Jenna

    With all due respect, Junior Senator Obama is not able to see that even though he won the states he has, they are not states that will pull in the election and win the Republican party.

    If he is unable to see this equasion, how will he ever run a country...
    If he is VP he can learn and maybe be more electable next time.


    March 10, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  4. maya

    And what's with Obama using the word "hoodwink"? Talk about injecting race into the issue (isn't that Malcolm X?) and talk about negative!

    March 10, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  5. Emilie

    This is obviously a desperate move on the part of Clinton. How can she, being in second place, even suggest such a thing? As for the media, they seem to be going along with these spin tactics. If you shove the idea that you've already won down peoples throats, maybe it will really happen? Is she delusional? What is even scarier, is that some people are jumping on the band wagon! HELLO! Obama has the majority.

    March 10, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  6. Stev

    Let's look at the facts: Hillary is ahead with th epopular vote and the super delegates. She has the most experience, Obama is a first term Junior senator who ranks 99th in the senate as far as senority, it is a joke to think he has the knoledge and experience to be President, Hillary will eb ready on day one and she can get us out of the mess Bush has created. In recent poll eHillary has also been proven to be the one that can beat Mccain NOT Obama. Obama just wants to be President but Hillary wants to make America a better place and she has the ability to do it. If Obama obtains the dem nomination we will see the greates Voter remorse ever for this country. Please America don't be brainwashed by this man who's "star Power" will soon fade away and people will be wondering what on earth they were thinking when they supported him!!!

    March 10, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  7. Larry Hoover

    was Hillary with Bill when he answered the phone when the CIA said they had Ben Laden in their sites and wanted permission to shoot?
    Is this the experience she is talking about?

    March 10, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  8. Dems2008

    Dear America the Beautiful,
    ou are just as delusional as Hillary! WHat scandal? He has not been linked to anything, but your beloved Hillary has many, many scandals under her doo brown pant suits!!

    Get a grip! Vote Obama and stop this madness!!

    March 10, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  9. Texas voter

    why a lot of peoples think OBAMA..BLA.BLA going to get very small ,small changes to win nominee...even him "I'm running for president of the United States of America" HEY stop walking on the sky young going to fall down......heheheh..

    March 10, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  10. Audrey (PA)

    For those people who are dreaming … red states will go blue and blue states will also be blue when Obama is the nominee. 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 nominee, they are likely to go for McCain as he also has accomplished much in his life. Hence, blue state may not be always blue.

    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 nominee.

    3) Some people are just voting for republicans because of lower income tax rate under Republican president. However, income tax will increase drastically if Obama is the president. For instance, Obama is going to give driver license to millions of illegal immigrants.

    4) According to the polls, McCain is more favorable than Obama in economic issues and hence, this time of economic recession condition, people may just not go with Obama.

    5) So far Obama is attracting Independence but they are always changing their mind on different issues. It is just too risky to count on Independents. Also, there are polls that show McCain is attracting Independents.

    6) Hillary is attracting more of the democratic based, such as blue-color workers in most of the states and they may get disappoint at the results and won't just vote if Hillary is not the nominee or not in the joint ticket. If Obama can't gain ground on his owned party voters, can he expect that other party members will vote for him? It is too risky to take.

    March 10, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  11. Brenda in SC

    I think Obama out to say I would consider VP position because he is not going to make President. The newest press release about his terrorist ties, along with his ties to Rev. Wright who speaks non so Christian-like toward white or Jewish Americans as well as his wifes continued disrespectful remarks about America, he better wake up and consider the offer while it is be considered. You see the name Connie Rice being thrown out there now to off-set the African American vote. The press is the one who started this and the Clinton just answered in a polite way. Me ,myself and I don't Obama has the qualifications to be President yet and certainly to win an election against John McCain who does have experience. I am not a John McCain voter but I do respect him. I don't have respect for a couple because you do have to include Michelle Obama in this as you will represent the White House as well that have ties to Resko, the Weatherman, the Trinity Church including Rev. Wright and LF. Michelle Obama doesn't respect Americans or her country. VOTE HILLARY – the best PERSON for the job.

    March 10, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  12. Theresa



    March 10, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  13. Jonny

    Asking Obama to be her Veep is the ultimate insult and illustrates how this woman will stop at nothing to gain power.

    March 10, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  14. Chanda

    I have always thought from the get go that a combine ticket would be whats best for the party and they would make an unstopable team!!!! I do not think he has enough experiance and that as VP he would get that experiance he needs to be president later not now and we would have 2 great presidents for 16 years!!!!!! Its what this country needs I wish they would set their differences aside and realize this is whats best for the country.

    March 10, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    Hillary is so desperate. Obama is winning. He's not stupid. Why stop his lead?

    March 10, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  16. Jenna

    Too all in Despair:

    Unite your party and stop acting like a bunch of hate mongers, do you think that your personalities will change if Obama is elected? I dont think so...


    March 10, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  17. The Great Divide

    It could be debated, but there are many that would be in agreement that Ted Kennedy was not cast in the same mold as Robert. That being stated he did enjoy tremendous support within the Democratic Party. In fact Ted Kennedy held sufficient support to almost guarantee he’d be the nominee of a united Democratic Party, had he made a timely run. As Barack Obama rightly points out, it’s all about fundamental decisions. Ted Kennedy unwisely decided to stake claim to the nomination against the Democratic President seeking a second term. Regardless of the outcome, Ted Kennedy’s decision held no option for the President, Jimmy Carter or Ted Kennedy to move forward with a united Democratic Party. Fast forward to 2007, Hillary Clinton does not run in 2004 but instead she makes a decision to run for the nomination and presidency in 2008. Barack Obama made a very captivating speech at the convention for Kerry. Now examine the options with regard to the maintenance of Democratic Unity the ultimate goal of the party and all its members.

    Clinton decides not to run and Obama throws his name in the hat. The Obama campaign and candidacy would be more defined by the public and media from the perspective of where is HILLARY. The status of the candidate would be cast in the vein of a Kerry and the Republicans would take every advantage. Now, Obama is far more skilled then Kerry, he may win the general election, but the starting point and the preferred position for the Democratic Party is not one where the Republicans are armed with the question of where is your most high profile candidate. Second option Clinton and Obama both run and after a rigorous and divisive campaign, Obama wins and the party is divided moving into the all important election. Third option, Clinton wins and the party is divided moving forward. Fourth option, Obama fades quickly and the party is united behind Clinton. Fifth option Obama decides, that although he has strong support there is no probable scenario where the Democratic Party will be united. He does not run and the party is united behind Clinton.

    If there is another probable option I don’t know what it would be. The most likely outcome of both candidates running is the one we see unfolding at present. In making this fundamental decision the test or standard to be applied is not based on the final outcome. Party politics is ultimately about uniting behind a strong candidate. Obama may win the nomination and go on to win the Presidency but the fundamental decision can not be applauded in light of the divisive outcome that was reasonable and probable with regard to unity and party fortunes.

    There was a political consensus held even by the Obama camp that Clinton would face certain and overwhelming pressures to seek the nomination. In examining this decision you have to step out of the box as it’s not about liking Clinton or Obama. I’m not stating that he won’t win or that he had no right to seek the nomination. I am stating that with regard to fundamental decisions and getting it right from day one, Obama in the vein of TED KENNEDY many years before, got it wrong. The lack or failure to understand the important aspects of unity or the willingness to make judgments from a utilitarian perspective have place America and the world at risk. This decision should never have been about Clinton or Obama but the existing political realities upon which he was expected to grasp and act.

    March 10, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  18. David

    Given her comment last week, Hillary thinks John McCain is ready to be Commander-in-Chief. Hillary should offer the VP job to him. They could announce it on SNL.

    Hillary's problem is she was given a turn-key campaign for NY Senator and really has no idea how to build a campaign organization, unlike Senator Obama who learned the hard way.

    At this point in her campaign, when it comes to discussing VP, she needs to adopt one of Bill's sterling accomplishments as her slogan: Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

    March 10, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  19. bud

    If Clinton somehow steals the nomination through back room dealing with super delegates, which is her only hope at this point, she will absolutely NEED Obama on the ticket. No Obama, no presidency cause the Obama's supporters will flee in droves and want no part of this slimy campaign. The Dem can kiss the presidency goodbye for another 4 years.

    March 10, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  20. Tom Swift

    I am an independant that generally votes for Republicans for president.

    I might vote for Obama this time around.

    I will never, ever, ever vote for a ticket with Hillary on it.


    March 10, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  21. nilla

    Can somebody tell Obama to grow up and stop that bickering.

    March 10, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  22. Jamie

    Bill Clinton didn't have any more experience than Obama when he became president-so let's stop saying that he's not ready. This is Hillary playing low political games to get a vote, it would be career suicide for Obama to team up with the Clinton's-how many presidents do we need in the White House??

    March 10, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  23. Neal C

    I was at a party this weekend when the topic turned to politics, 9 people present. 7 had voted for Obama, 1 for Clinton, and one for McCain during the Texas primary. All said how discusting her latest ploy really is. "You have done so well boy, that I might jus let you be my VP".
    Just remember, she will return to her true colors on Wednesday!

    March 10, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  24. Theresa


    March 10, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  25. Brian

    A blatantly political move by a losing candidate in order to try and sway in indepedents and undecided democrats...With her recent attack ads and this sudden "endorsement" of Obama for VP she is really beginning to personify the "monster" she was characterized as by one of Obama's aides...very pathetic actions on her part and I hope that voters of the remaining primaries realize that...obama and edwards in '08!

    March 10, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
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