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. Chris, Middletown, CT

    She benefits from weak minded supporters who believe her ever changing positions....I mean....does her healthcare plan support illegal aliens?? (you bet it does) – does she support drivers licenses for illegal aliens? (you bet she does) – will she say anything to get elected – i.e. saying her opponent is not qualified....then lets it leak that she would consider him for VP (wait...I thought he wasn't qualified....) – you bet.....Obama has been him

    March 10, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  2. La Raza

    God Bless Cafferty. He is the only one who tells it like it is.

    March 10, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  3. Speak for yourself!

    Obama does not represent 'the people of American who believe that the government is owned by the people' – most of us I would hope are smarter than that and know he is in it for himself. Period. He is a politician – wake up folks. Great lip service with little to show for performance. Oh – sorry – so the voters in Michigan and Florida think what of Senator Obama's failure to support their votes? Government owned by the people ??? LOL Please do not make blanket statements – they are insulting to the rest of us with a brain.

    Not that the men will care much but women should go and just take a peak at the clinton site. They have an area which describes what her experiences have been overseas on behalf of women. She has cited some of it with her activities in Ireland but there is a tremendous amount of information there.

    I will not be voting 'blue' if Senator Obama is at the top of the ticket. I do not believe nor support anyone who is in favor of nuclear weapons (Senator Obama is) , devisive establishment of healthcare, can't do current duties although the rest of the seasoned Senators seem to be, and is as inexperienced and green as they come. Pie in the sky = McCain in the White House!

    March 10, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  4. Ron

    The math is very simple. Obama is ahead in pledged delegates and the popular vote. He has won more states than Clinton. From what the Clintons are doing to win this election, it is not a hyperbole to call them monsters. What's most puzzling is that the DNC has been bending to the whims of the Clintons. I'm gonna make a prediction, and I hope I'm not wrong. The Clintons will STEAL the nomination, they will pick their vp and the majority of Americans will rather have John Mccain in the White House than the Clintons with their bag of scandals.
    1.All candidates agreed that FL and MI were not gonna count. Clinton flouted the rule and now every one is trying to make amends to accomadate her because SHE MUST WIN.
    2. Michigan which is traditionally a caucus state may now have a primary in the event of a do over, why? because Hilary Clinton does not like caucuses

    March 10, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  5. grow up

    I'm getting a little tired of Hillary supporters saying that barrack Obama isnt ready to be president. There has been only one non encumbent who was ready for the presidency on day 1. that was Cleveland because he had been president four years earlier. Sleeping in the white house and even advising the president dont make you ready to be president. having a former president at your side doesnt make you ready to be president. There is a learning curve, its a complicated job. So you get the smartest and most energetic people you can find and you listen to their advice and make the best decision you can. Obama is just as ready as clinton is.

    March 10, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  6. Mel

    Hillary is the most EXPERIENCED according to Emperors Club!!!!

    March 10, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  7. Nick in Las Vegas

    Hillary is brilliant. She knows exactly what she's doing with this. That is why I voted for and continue to support her. I would love to have a smart President, one who truely understands "the system". This clearly makes Obama look like an ego-maniac. If he drops Clinton's support, then Clinton supporters will likely drop him, myself included.

    **And for the idiots who claim Hillary is loosing, this is still a race too close to call, MI & FL have yet to be counted and pledged Democrats are not the only factor in how the democrats will choose their nominee, besides. GET REAL.

    Hillary all the way!!!

    March 10, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  8. Will

    I find it simply amazing that the Clintons could think the voters to be so, so stupid as to not see past her ploy!

    Not only is it political "gamemanship", but underhanded and sly.

    March 10, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  9. Slick Willy

    This brings up so many memories from the 90's. A powerful male democrat in power sleeping around on the taxpayers dollar.

    Why is so many women out there want to support Hillary and place Bill Clinton back in the White House after he lied to the American people and was impeached by the House?

    March 10, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  10. ORK

    Could some please get this woman diagnosed for sycophantisms! Hurry!

    March 10, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  11. John

    Uh Oh, Hillary.....the truths are becoming more apparent.....time to either A) cry B) claim the media is against you C ) say all the big boys are picking on you, the girl E) push out your lower lip and day, somewhere years from now you might just learn that lies, deceit and fabrications don't work, they come back to haunt totally deserve it, gal

    March 10, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  12. Jose Card - Independent

    Clinton's baggage will become Obama's if he picks Hillary as his V.P.
    Obama is safer inviting Anybody But Hillary to join his ticket.

    Losers have no say. I give Hillary credits for staying upbeat under such challenging times, but she is just as good a liar as Bill Clinton is.

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

    Oh yeah she wishes.

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


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

    everyone watch this video this talks about peter paul and the clintons. This is really who you want to be pesident?

    March 10, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  16. Jane

    How are they going to unite a nation if they can't even get it together in their own party. What a joke. Whether Clinton or Obama wins, I am voting for McCain. Obama only has his silly substanceless speaches and the Clintons are known for being shady. Is this all the party has to offer us? Better luck next time. I'll take my chances with the Republicans.

    March 10, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  17. Brenda in SC

    Weather your red or blue – we are suppose to be Americans voting for the person we think is BEST for the OFFICE of the PRESIDENT of the US, Don't let CNN, MSNBC. FOX NEWs or anyone else decide your vote, listen to what they say, weigh the pros and cons and vote you feel is the best for the job. Stop with the pettiness, call each other liberal or whatever, stop talking about hairdos, pantsuits, and things that don't have anything to do with the job. We need someone to help the economy, get us out of the 12 Billion dollar a month war, create American jobs, freeze the interest rates, put controls on the gas prices and so on and so on. I grew up around DC and I know the press and the dropped messages by parties etc. Also know that the media has to consideration of who can afford ad space, who knows who, who is a friend of whom, etc. If you really want to take back control – vote for yourself, don't let the media or others decide your vote.

    March 10, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  18. A Bag of Chips

    Okay people, THINK!!! Since Hilary "wants to unite the party" , why doesn't she offer to be Barack's Vice-President since she is currently behind?

    March 10, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  19. marla

    Why woul Hillary wants Obama on her ticket?, it would be a training camp, and also no Obama/Hillary , she would do all the work and he would take all the credits like the last two debates.

    March 10, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  20. JoeySky18

    The democrat party is now split in 50/50. No matter what Obama supporters want to believe, Hillary got 50% of the popular vote. The Democrat party need to unit and come up with the winning ticket for general election. And the unity ticket is the most clear way to achieve that.

    Hillary has done her party to unit the party. She recognized that Obama also has 50% support from Democrat voter and deserves to be on the final ticket. Obama did not do his part.

    Instead of touting and mocking Hillary offer, he could have said that "I truly hope that Sen. Clinton would also accept the VP ticket that I will offer". He apparently doesn't have the interest of the Democrat party in mind. He just reject one of the two possibilities to create the winning ticket for Democrat party. And if he did offer her the VP ticket later, I don't think she will take it. And i don't think her supporter will vote for Obama.

    March 10, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  21. richard

    Attention Attention Obmaniacs. If Hillary wins we are almost guaranteed 16 years of Democrat rule. If Obama wins we may only have 4 or 8 years. He is untested and unsure. His wife even declared that he will make mistakes. This is not a position where you can make mistakes. See BUSH

    March 10, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  22. Ravi

    It's pretty rich of the losing candidate to offer the winning candidate second place. Then again I suppose different rules apply to Clinton politics. What's about Hillary's tax and White House records? Are they going to be released anytime soon? Or could it be that she may not have actually saved the world in a fiscally responsible manner?

    March 10, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  23. nicholas

    Hillary is like Stacy from the movie "Waynes World"...

    "If you're not careful, You're gonna lose me!"

    sha right.... you cant get more desperate than this. Give it up.

    March 10, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  24. Simon

    What's all this nonsense about being ready on day one? How many times have we heard that? It's really starting to get on my nerves! She keeps saying that she is ready on day one, and suggesting that Obama is not. Why is she offering him VP if she thinks he's not ready? You have got to be kidding me. Someone is talking before thinking and I think that someone is Hillary. And what's with the whole offering him the VP anyway. She's way behind! Who is she kidding. And what about the changing the rules in the middle of the game!? She is spinning out of control and I really do not hope that she will get anywhere near that presidency. The only thing she is ready for on day one is to screw something up.

    March 10, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |

    I think hillary and bill are going nuts these days,how the hell would they ask BARAK OBAMA to be a vice presidential candidate when he is too far ahead of them these shows how desperate the clintons have become since they thought hillary could get the nomination on a silver platter......SHAME ON YOU HILARY AND BILL OBAMAILL BE OUR NEXT PRESIDENT COME RAIN COME SHINE

    March 10, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
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