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. Kwame

    Why is it that CNN frequently profiles Hillary Clinton or a representative without offering similar or equal courtesy to the Obama side..
    There seem to be serious bias..

    March 10, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  2. David

    Nice try Hill. The only thing which out weighs your tumerity is your ineptitude. Ready day 1? It's day 400+ since you started the campaign and your still not ready.

    You're an embaressment to the women of the US. Shame on you for not being forthwright re: taxes. Shame on you for not being forthright regardeing the 1990,s White House papers, shame on your secrecy regarding your land deals. Shame on you for being a cad while your husband steps out on you, and it's appears you promote that... If this is what the women of the US want as they're role model and thinks this woman represents thier interests best... then frankly, they deserve you.

    March 10, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  3. Gary

    It suggest to me that she is a very smart and a master of the political system and would make a very strong leader who does not give up even under overwhelming odds.
    "strong leader "
    Yes she should be the one to answer that phone call.

    March 10, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  4. joe tex

    I wish the Obama campaign would stick more to what got them this far, continue with his speeches that inspire the new generation. I too wish he would go negative, but he is too good of canidate to do that . Hilllary will do anything to win the nomination. She complained about Obama's tactics...What about her tactics...People?????

    March 10, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  5. john davis

    Hillary is getting more pathetic and desperate by the day. She's just trying to ride on Obama's wave. But she's in for a Wipeout. hee hee.

    March 10, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  6. Karen

    That shows you how she lies to what suits her. Not long ago. He was not a worthy opponent. Now she wants him as VP. Should we trust her?

    March 10, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  7. bill

    This has all gotten out of hand. Just let the media caucas and let them tell us who wins. They dirty obama's face a bit for a day or two and its back to news as usual. Freedom of speech should mean FAIR and accurate. The news programs should read" Its time for Hillary bashing." Does it matter that we the people should elect a president on truth and percision not the truth as media mogals see it. I for one am sick of it!! Report the news not idiotic things like the child actor voting for obama. I here by challenge the media to report info which helps us vote responsibly. Sorry another deaf ear!!

    March 10, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  8. Gloria Strong

    What the Clinton campaign has doing for the last two months is politics at its worst: it's all spinning, spinning, spinning.

    Let me ask all of you who are not decided yet: what do you think Hillary Clinton's presidency would be like? Do you think she'd be straightforward with the citizens of the United States or more similar to what we have now in the White House?

    March 10, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  9. Theresa



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

    HI SONIA…………



    March 10, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  11. Anton Mitton

    Why should Obama, the one that is winning in the delegate count and in the popular vote, consider the #2 slot? It doesn't make sense, unless you are a Clinton, and you know you have no chance in winning, barring a party coup. There's more than a little of a sense of entitlement from the Clinton camp.

    To 'from Boston', "That may be where this headed, but of course we have to decide who's on top of the ticket," Clinton said Wednesday on CBS The Early Show. "I think people of Ohio very clearly said it should be me."

    To 'Wayne', it's not arrogance when you are number #1.

    March 10, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  12. John Stevens

    Great poiltics on Clinon's part. And the Obama people can not say it's negative.

    If one lesson is to be learned during this primary season – it's that the 'system' is very undemocratic. In Wyoming – just 15% of the registered Democrats 'elected' 12 delegates whereas millions of people in MI and FL will elect 0. Just 10,000 people 'voted' in Wyoming – that 1 delegate for 800. Anmd that from a state that will NEVER vote Democrat .... and will via the Electoral College gives no votes to the Democratic Nominee !!!

    All the states should have primaries – either physical one or mail-in – and only registered Democrats should select the Democratic nominee IMHO.

    March 10, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |

    i am a black man ,,,and i support hillary,,,when we had clintons,,country was doing good,yeah bill did some messing aroud ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,but thats not hillary fault.and hillary is good and she is very forgiving.

    so me and my family will be voting for hillary

    March 10, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  14. Ticket of HOPE: OBAMA AL GORE

    Typical Billary Clintons: Double Speak, Double Speak, POWER, POWER, POWER , NO MATTER WHAT IS THE PRICE AMERICANS ARE PAYING!!!

    March 10, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  15. joe tex

    Obama campaign should continue to let the American people that at the end of the day, Hillary is still part of george bush and same ole Washington politics.

    March 10, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  16. Chris - Hemet. Ca.

    From "Slick Willy" to "Slick Hilly" these people will do ANYTHING for the power of the presidency. If Obama is ahead in seated delegates at the end of this primary and the superdelegates choose Clinton as the nomination this old "boomer" will be sitting home in November. I refuse to vote, once again, for the lesser of two evils!

    March 10, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  17. curtis in WI

    Does Sen Clinton benefit? – not at all. Se only looks disingenuous and desperate since she has made it plain in the past that she has no intention of naming him VP and he has stated repeatedly he has no intention to be her VP.

    She just looks like she is trying to ride his coattails and just squeak past him to win the nomination. And it is so blatantly transparent it is doomed to fail.

    March 10, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  18. Subhash Durlabhji

    I think the basic Clinton attitude is if I'm not going to be nominated, I'll make sure McCain wins so I can win in 2012, McCain will be too old to run again. She does not care about ANYTHING except being President, and it is NOT because she really thinks she's this country's savior. The presidency has sadly become a ticket to riches and fame, who cares about the country's fate? Do you see Bush even for a moment having any regrets about ANYTHING he has done? His oil industry buddies and his defense industry buddies will keep him and the next two generations of Bush well supplied with everything they could ever want. And he has already said he wants to have his term hurry up and end so he can make money writing books (ha!) and giving speeches. There are a handful of politicians who rise above this kind of thing, but Clinton certainly is not one of them. Some even run for president but don't ever get beyond first base. One has gotten to third and the vision of those millions slipping away has the Clintons seeing red.

    Poor Obama. Well, maybe this is good practice for the general election against McCain.

    March 10, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  19. Ray

    I personally will not vote for Obama as president even if Clinton is the VP. If Obama is the Nominee I will be voting Mccain and hoping he wins and trying to talk Hillary into rerunning in 2012. I really don't think at this point that Obama will get the nomination though. If people are smart and have watched the Hannity special I cant see how anyone could vote for him.

    March 10, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  20. dcrep

    Clinton's ploy is especially dishonest because her relentless attacks on Obama's qualifications greatly reduces her value as a VP pick whould he win (and will hurt him in the general in any event). She is deliberately undermining the viability of the "dream team" with him as Pres because she wants it only with her as Pres.

    March 10, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  21. Mike

    Senator Clinton is far more qualified tthan Obama to run this country . Obamas camp states that he is running for President (and not Vice President). Obama is young enough that after considerable experience as VP he could/would run again. If his arrogance does not consider this, the opportunity for a Black candidate (or female for that matter) might not present itself for awhile. Senator Clinton has PROVEN that it is SHE who can win the BIG states!

    Take the offer... Deal vs. No Deal? DEAL!

    March 10, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  22. Ron Malloy

    Too bad. I thought Democrats might see their dream ticket. Of course we all know, even though we don't want it to happen, that an Obama nomination will lead to a "President McCain." OK, I know I know, so many would love to see that. However, the Democratsdo not. They will have a rude awakening if Obama is the nominee. Clinton/Obama might beat McCain; even that leaves room for doubt. Republicans keep outmaneuvering the Democrats. The Obama nomination may prove to be the greatest Rove accomplishment of all times.

    March 10, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |

    wayne.professor obama is a very smart man who graduate magna cum laude from harvard,do you think he is dumb.
    not only is he the smartest candidate,he is teaching us that good really can triumph over evil.david did not have any experience when he went up against goliath,his own brother try to silence him,but he still went ahead and win the many experience did tiger had when he entered professional golf?experience is good but it is limited to you who has it ,insperation and motivation is for everone and that is why obama is winning.he is more credible , people are taugh to speak truth,but the older we get the more we tends to drift away from that,but to the younger folks it is fresh in their mind so obama will continue to win this vote.

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

    Clinton's dismissive tone has been a constant in her campaign and this implication that Obama should accept the VP position from her is no exception. She also said that she and McCain would bring a lifetime of experience to the job but Obama would bring a speech. The only people who are more qualified to be president are ex-presidents, so her argument that she is more experienced is full of holes. Obama brings his own experience and set of skills to the table that are no less valuable than hers.

    This dismissive attitude signifies that if she were to be elected president, she would only listen to the "big" people. She argues that she should be the nominee because she's won the big states. This attitude is extremely disrespectful of the smaller states. Also, she got support for her campaign mostly from big donors and ignored the smaller donors (and yet some people voted for her because they thought she was more for campaign reform than Obama?).

    I was extremely disturbed by her attacks on Obama in the runup to the Ohio and Texas primaries. The attacks were not only damaging to Obama but to the entire Democratic party and show that she is only interested in her candidacy at the expense of everyone else.

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

    I thought Obama was all about uniting the party. Him taking the VP is no way a demeaning job. After some time as VP then he could at least say he has more experience than he has now. It seems it would be good for him.

    When he was elected for office he called Hillary and asked for help. I think she would be good to learn from and he must have felt that way or else he would not have called her to begin with.

    It seems she offered him an olive branch and he rejected it. Hillary was trying to unite the party. I have to give her credit for that.

    Obama says he is in first place, and by his eyes he is. But if you take an electoral vote by the states each have won and count the numbers by each state, meaning the number each state is worth, then Hillary is winning. Don't you think the Democratic Party is going to really look into that.

    Face it, the Democrate party wants to win the Presidents seat so they are going to look at which one will win with the biggest numbers and as that stands right now that would be Hillary. I think Obama made a huge mistake by saying no.

    March 10, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
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