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. Karen Lawrence

    Everytime I see or hear anything about Hillary I lose faith in the democratic process. She makes me ashamed to be a woman and she is killing the progress for women after her. I am truly ready for this to be over. I know enough now to know that Hillary is not my choice.

    March 10, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  2. Jen, Gainesville

    Another dirty trick of the Clintons. The Party and the country are better off without them.

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

    more of the same from the clintons, and still some people can't see through it. i am a Obama Sspporter, but i will not vote for in the fall if she is anywhere on the ticket. besides she already has a v.p. I can't stomach voting republican, so i will sit this one out. Obama And Edwards '08.

    Yes we can!!!!!

    March 10, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  4. Dre

    I just want to know why is it that Hillary's "35 Years" of experience isn't being examined. I've heard various reports from officials as well as citizens of some of the foreign countries (like Ireland) in which she visited or as she put it "worked" as the First Lady that claim she had nothing at all to do with any treaties made or conflicts resolved. As a news organization it is your responsibility CNN to investigate and report such claims. You can do a side by side comparison piece if nothing else. I just think with the latest load of crap released Hillary has pulled up her skirt, bent over and showed her tail to the American people with the same arrogance Bush had when he won his second term.

    March 10, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  5. Yvonne

    I will not vote for any ticket that has Hillary Clinton on it. John McCain will get this Democrat's vote over Hillary Clinton (and Bill). We need someone in the White House who knows how to treat people in a respectful way. The Clintons have respect only for themselves and "temporarily" for those who may vote for them (and it is a 'them', not 'her).
    Any intelligent world leader will see through Hillary's facade and see her for the selfish and power hungry individual she is. Bottom line is SHE IS NOT A GOOD PERSON. I would not choose her as a friend, nor will I vote for her on any ticket.

    Barack Obama is a respectful and honorable person who will make a remarkable world leader and gain the respect of other world leaders through discussion and problem solving. He will also be ready to make difficult decisions taking into consideration others' points of view. He will get my vote as long as Hillary is not on the ticket with him. She is way too devisive and there are too many people who truly dislike her as a person.

    March 10, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  6. David

    So much for the whining that the media is pandering to Obama. Did the evening news tonight lead with Obama's win in Wyoming, that he is poised to win again, and win more delegates in Mississippi, and that over the weekend, in a special election, Senator Obama helped a first-time U.S. Congressional candidate win election in a heavily Republican Congressional district, and that Senator McCain campaigned for the Republican candidate who lost in that election?

    Heavens no. Three more demonstrations of Obama's strength? The Clintons got the media diverted to focus on the VP issue.

    March 10, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  7. 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 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  8. Rose

    All, I can say is that her campaign has hit a new level of Audacity!!! She's not even ahead to make such a comment...If which I doubt she becomes the nominee I with others I spoke to we will vote for McCain

    Riverview, Fl

    March 10, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  9. Rick

    Hillary is amazing, saying that Obama lacks experience. Correct me if I am wrong, but aren't they both 2 term Senators? Hillary talks about her time as first lady being experience, what a crock. Does that mean Laura Bush is qualified to run the country. First lady makes apperances and goes to dinner they have nothing to do with policy.

    March 10, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  10. Dawn

    It's exactly what the DEM party needs so we can move on and sail to victory in November.

    Clinton should be at the top of the ticket for the following reasons:

    1. She has broader support (whites, women, white men, latinos, elderly people).

    2. She has more experience and that WILL matter both in terms of winning against McCain AND once she actually gets to the whitehouse.

    3. According to SUSA polls she already has 271 electoral votes which neither McCain nor Obama have. She puts into play bigger states (electorally) that Obama shows losing to McCain: FL, Tennessee, Arkansas, New Jersey, PA and West Virgina.

    4. To seal the nomination, Hillary should demand that caucuses don't count (since they disenfranchise so many voters), demand FL/MI be seated, and count only DEMOCRATS who voted in the primary (not Republicans or Independents).

    March 10, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  11. Shirley in California

    The Clintons are just out there to say anything, do anything to get political advantages for themselves! I have no reason to believe the Clintons meant what they said. Just watch them twist and turn everything to benefit themselves only!

    March 10, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  12. eye opener-open your eyes America-PA

    Excuse the Clintons, they're ignorant, arrogant, cocky, deceptive. obnoxious-(throat gagging), cut throat, among everything else that you can think of that is contrary to any thing positive, but most of all desperately wicked. Like President Obama said, he's running for President of the United States, and He not playing politics as usual or that same-old, same olddddddddd.
    He doesn't need her all like that, she needs him. The 27 states that Obama has won whether Primary/Cacauses, big/small, doesn't matter; that she discount so much. Believe me, if she were to win which she's not, she will need those states in the GE. What she fails to realize is that, that Obama has won half the states, which to my knowledge no canidate has ever done in history(correct me if i'm wrong-anybody). But my point is what i said, above. HE DOES NOT NEED HER, SHE KNOWS SHE NEEDS HIM AND DESPERATELY, WHETHER SHE WINS OR SHE ACCEPTS VP.

    March 10, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  13. JBL

    Hillary, you can do sooooooooo much better than Obama! WHEN you win the nomination, a better choice for VP would be Edwards or Gore. Obama clearly doesn't know what he's doing. Not only is he not ready for the presidency, he's not ready for the vice-presidency either. A year in the US Senate does not a president make (or VP for that matter). I'm voting for Hillary either way, but I hope she is careful with her decision for running mate.

    March 10, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  14. Jeff - Michigan

    It seems to me that Obama is simply saying. "I'm winning! that's what really matters. Political unity doesn't matter in one of the most important elections in history."

    Clinton did not offer Obama the vice president spot, as the Obama campaign is spinning the issue. Hillary has simply left open the option of political unity. Obama has ruled out the idea of political unity during a very close race which has a very real possibility of splitting the Democratic party and allowing the republican candidate to take the general election.

    Sometimes a compromise for political unity is more productive in the real world than a stubborn political ego.

    March 10, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  15. Peter in Canada

    Sorry to butt-in with my 2 cents...but politics is politics is politics.
    This is a cheap political trap by Hillary. If he says that he would even consider her proposal it destroys his credibility as the "candidate of change" and would be seen by most as a defacto admission on the "experience" issue. It also misleads voters into believing that this is somehow a possibility, so a vote for her is really a vote for Obama as well.
    A big part of "Change" involves changing out career politicians such as the Clintons...that's "Change you Can Believe In".
    Any acceptance of a VP slot by him would virtually END his political forget the dreaming folks!
    If by some catastrophe he loses this thing, look for him to exit Washington politics ASAP!

    March 10, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  16. Anna, Las Vegas

    Hillary Clinton seems to want to make the case that "so many people" like BOTH Clinton and Obama to the point that they cannot make up their mind to vote for either one of them. I don't know who she's talking to, but quite opposite, it seems like a lot of voters only want their candidate. And let's face it. A lot of people that voted for Obama, republicans and independents alike, would never vote for Clinton.

    This whole "dream ticket" thing is just pure political strategy for the Clinton camp. They are so good at the politicizing. It is kind of sad that Hillary Clinton can't talk about just the issues, but always needs to be on the attack in one way or the other.

    March 10, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  17. Bewitched

    You can check out both of the canidates and find out the whats what on these two canidates at Wikipedia.... This told me multitudes about the two and who has what experience.... I think you'll find it very enteresting...

    March 10, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  18. scbrown

    Obama is running a mississippi ad about a comment that Hillary clinton made, which she later apologies.

    What if Hillary ran a radio ad about the OBama " wasted soldier" comment that he later apologies for?

    The media would have slam Hillary for doing this.

    I believe Mississippi people will remember his comment as well.

    March 10, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  19. changing times

    Funny how Clinton supporters, blindly follow and even endorse Hillary's ridiculous campaign antics. You can't tell me this is really how they believe someone should behave. It's a disgrace and everybody knows it.

    I respect Obama's stance to try to stay as positve as possible, but she is really pushing it. I admire his self-control and discipline.

    Obama for President of the United States of America!

    March 10, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  20. Grif

    My Dear Claire Mccaskille, I would run for cover, if I were you!

    ' Borack Obama? I don't know who you mean? I don';t know the guy..

    Yes run for cover, because you will in the near future.....

    Still that's just one, of my many: Predictions........ in 2009

    March 10, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  21. Patricia in NH

    Hillary's ploy to plant a seed in the minds of 'some' has backfired.... Hey Hill.... There may be an opening for Gov. of NY..... go for it... on second thought, I wouldn't wish that on the citizens of that great State... so Hillary, just go home.

    March 10, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  22. Liz Foster

    I would like to speak for myself, since certain political analyst feel that they speak on behalf of the "wishes" of most democrats... IDO NOT "WISH" to "HAVE BOTH" on the Democratic Ticket. I strongly support Sen. Obama, and have no confidence whatsoever in Sen. Clinton's ability to lead this country properly. I would not vote for Hillary Clinton in "any" position on the democratic ticket. Let me add that I support Sen. Obama. NOT BECAUSE HE IS AFRICAN AMERICAN, but rather because HE IS QUALIFIED, DEDICATED TO THE CAUSE, AND CAN GET THE JOB DONE WELL! By the way, I am PROUD that he happens to be African American.

    March 10, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  23. Brian

    Clinton will not win look at the delegates 1,553 to 1,438 (is this counting the Texas Caucus?) The race is over Clinton CANNOT overcome this lead. She will need to dominate all remaining elections by like 65% (won't happen). Contest is over let Obama pick Richardson as VP and lets move on to defeat McSame!

    March 10, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  24. Iggy, Maryland

    Hillary and Bill Clinton are desperate right now. They're under-siege. You folks know what desperate people this case, the Clinton strategy is to change the tone of manipulation tactics.

    Folks, beaware of the Clintons, they are clear cut dangerous creatures from a different planet. The Clintons don't care about the welfare of the Democratic Party. They care about their dynastic control. They're determined to derail the Democratic Primary to their oon advantage. Listen to what the governor of New Jesersy and PA have to say on the evening News "We support the Clintons and we will make sure she wins the revote primaries in Florida and Michingan". Folks these governors from these two states are idiots and are the one destroying our Democratic Party Systems in America today. They sound like corrupt officials with no moral authoriy. How can they know that she is going to win the revotes? Have they been corrupted by the Clintons? I don't think they're worth being governors. They act like bunch of idiots. All the care is Hillary the Greedy Woman.

    I truly believe that the Clintons and their THAGS who support them are in the high gear of stealing the nominee from OBAMA in order to advance the STUPID AND IDIOT CLINTONIAN DYNASTY.
    People if you love Democracy, don't vote fro these thugs of Hillary. Cast your vote for OBAMA tomorrow and April 22. Can't you see that Hillary Clinton and her Husband Bill are liars. The have lied to you before and you want to believe them again. Don't vote for her.


    March 10, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  25. bimmer

    Obama is a loser, an impersonator, a plagiarist, a flip-flopper and the most liberal in the senate.

    How long can he fool others?

    March 10, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
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