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. tmike

    WE don't need another bush in the White House.

    Please Hillary ..........go away

    March 10, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  2. Ted

    Hi Guys – love from Canada

    Obama – you have won! Hillary is nothing without your backing. Look at the facts. You have at least 50% of the democratic people and likely more.
    A good number of republicans will stay home as they will have a hard time supporting a man with an adult diaper on. You also have many republicans that will vote for you as they are basically tired of the same old and won’t vote for Hillary as they hate Bill. Many won’t vote at all!
    If by chance you don’t win the democratic nomination, run as a third party candidate. Dispel the notion of the donkey or elephant symbols of the old regime and aspire for something new. Make the new symbol the American flag (no animals) Take the high road and do not stoop to the old politics. Focus on the people, their respect and their dignity and they will take you all the way.

    No one expects you to solve all the problems but to give them a fighting chance so that they can once again respect and support their government and their nation.

    As I said, mathematically you have already won with or without the democratic ticket.

    Best wishes from a 50 plus, white Canadian citizen.

    Bring back world respect to North America. Canadians are behind you!

    March 10, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  3. E Popp

    He's gonna be sorrryyy...when John Edwards joins Hillary for a ticket that can't be beat!

    March 10, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  4. Whuzi

    Is it being mean if I say she has more "less educated" people voting for her. Thats what the polls say, so I'm just reading from that. If people are so uneducated that they fall into that slot, I don't see them being educated enough to understand something as complicated as politics. Maybe thats why these people are so easily fooled by the Clintons. Thats probably why they come on CNN blogs and TYPE IN ALL CAPS because they can't figure out how to turn off the CAPLOCKS.

    March 10, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  5. Timo

    A joined ticket, HRC, you make me laugh again. What a desaster ... What about this one ?? Edwards is endorsing Obama, add his 26 Delegates and just seat Florida and Michigan as voted in January. In both states around 50/50 then and it doesn't cost any money at all ...
    Doing then, what has the Clinton camapaign to say then ?? Vote again ?? Early vote invalid, another flip flop ??
    No, seriously, I don't understand WHY so many superdelegates are still keeping their endorsements silent ??
    EDWARDS, GORE, RICHARDSSON etc, a solution is up to you !!!!!!!
    What are you waiting for ?? Are you scared you may endorse the wrong candidate ?? Are you scared about your own political career ??
    Especially GORE, because he has nothing to loose ....
    Timo, foreigner residing in Taiwan, quite amused, what is going on in your country. You faiuled with Kathrina and you even cannot organise an election ??
    No problem to revote FL and MI, but where would a punishment will be ?? Don't even consider to halfe the delegates like the republicans did ?? Oh, nono, Clinton campaign would not tolerate this ...

    March 10, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  6. JimP

    I don't care if God is VP; if Hillary is anywhere on the ticket then I'm voting Republican.

    March 10, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  7. Speak for yourself!!!!!

    Obama does not represent 'the people of America who believe that the government is owned by the people'. He is a politician. Do you really think the people of Florida – who he is NOT supporting feel that they own the government? Duh! Please do not make such blanket statements, they reinforce how naive you are.

    A new SurveyUSA poll has Hillary up by 37 over Sen. McCain among Latinos in Florida (67-30). The poll has Sen. Obama down by 7 to Sen. McCain among Latinos in the general election swing state (42-49).

    This is really no claim – I can just say the I will NOT vote Blue is Senator Obama is the top of the ticket. Period. Not an opinion....just fact! I oppose nuclear weapons, Senator Obama is pro nuclear weapons, and I do not support devisive healthcare proposals, or someone who can do no better than to parrot what Senator Clinton has said and essentially copied 2 specific areas of her economic plans and ideas. Read the history and time frame of both. Or don't and be blind. Senator Obama is not a Democratic Team participant and that is a shame. He cannot take the White House alone!

    A vote for Senator Obama = Senator McCain in the White House.

    March 10, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  8. leslie

    The wave of the future for the democratic party is a 50 state strategy. The old big state strategy has cost us 2 past elections. We need every state. Obama realizes that....any democratic candiate will carry NY, NJ, CA etc.... Hillary has no gold hold on these states if she lost her bid as the candiate for november....this is all pure spin from the clinton campaign. Secondly, I don't know why CNN keeps refering to this story about the VP....Obama is ahead by every measurement right now. He has run a good positive campaign.

    March 10, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  9. Grant

    Just another diversion to fool voters, especially the ones lower down the social economic scale which the Clintons prey about desparate, in any other country, this candidate would be laughed out of the room, but in America, that type of comment is given about ultimate power.....too bad for Obama, you can never win with the Clintons...

    March 10, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  10. Mike in NYC

    Jude said:


    He has no shot at the red states in November.

    So what if he won most red states by a double digit margin - those were Democrats, and the liberal wing of the party to boot.

    Most voters in those states are Republicans, and they aren't voting Obama in the general election.

    Then again, they won't be voting Clinton either, which is why McCain will win in the end. Not something I'm looking forward to, but that's the way it is, kids.

    March 10, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  11. Creshia Foote

    Why in the world would Barack Obama want to tie himself to the Clinton legacy? And if he is not competent enough to be president what changed?

    Besides isn't the Clinton trial in California tied to felon Mr Paul due to start in October this year? Oh I forgot the MSM is not reporting on that!!

    Also please tell Campbell Brown to chill out! I live in Michigan and we dont want any re do where Clinton backers are doing the funding.

    March 10, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  12. Texan

    Obama leads in delegates, popular votes and he's taking some of Hillary's super delegates. Go figure. She better worry if he wants her as his VP. I wouldn't want a snake in the ground behind me.

    Jon Stewart and SNL are looking for ratings. They will have them for awhile.

    March 10, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  13. A Bag of Chips

    This reminds me of two people playing chess. One is clearly behind but they are offering a draw!!!

    March 10, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  14. Jeff, Huntington Beach, CA


    I have to wonder if some of you folks are for real.
    Get real... Seriously.

    March 10, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  15. linda hemmingsen

    hillary has never thought she was intiled to be president the media started saying it and you foolish people believe everything they say. it is up to you who you vote for but mark my words obama will never be president all the independents and republicans who have sided with him did it for his nomination he has already shown he is weak when confronted on something he doesn't like he runs off the stage. the republicans say they have voted this way so he would win you reap what you sow another opportunity down the drain.

    March 10, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  16. Diana

    Obama will be the Democrat Nominee for sure. Hill can try all she want to; the people has spoken and they love Obama for their president.

    I was watching Campbell Brown's show on Monday and was disgusted to see Campbell's bias-ness towards Obama. She interviewed two people and each time the questions were stared to criticize Obama and to put up Hillary.

    Campbell, if you cannot control your bias attitude towards Obama; get off the show and do some background work. American wants to see fair and plain politics; not you hidden agenda.

    March 10, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  17. WY

    Hey CNN,

    Guess what? The caucuses (the 2nd half of the "two-step") make Texas a draw.

    Anytime someone can blow a 20 point lead, yeah, it's a loss.

    Hillary is seriously grasping at straws if she thinks Obama would ever consider the 2nd spot.

    She will self-destruct and take the Democratic Party with her if she gets the nomination.

    March 10, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  18. Summer

    I would love to hear what a hard core Hillary fan thinks of this.

    If she were my candidate and she just finished telling me how horrible Obama is and in the next breath said oh by the way lets join forces I would be irate.

    -Anyone but Hillary 08

    March 10, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  19. Beverly

    Jack please visit youtube and ta ke a look at the video that Hillary Clinton does not want you to see

    March 10, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  20. Pon Mao

    Only a Clinton can make a loser appears to be a winner! The Clintons really know NO SHAME !

    March 10, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  21. p

    I'm an independent moderate. I like Obama but am willing to consider McCain. If Hillary is anywhere on the Democratic ticket, that makes my vote easy. Obama/ that's compelling. Here's a good way to put my feelings about the Clintons – I would vote for George W. before I vote for Hillary. Clear enough?

    March 10, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  22. Tech Recruiter

    Hillary is once again being hypocritical. If Obama is so inexperienced, why in the world would she want him as her VP?

    March 10, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  23. linda hemmingsen

    answer all the questions about resko obama how did you get the money for your house if he was bankrup as the media states?????????his wife didn't have money so with all the lawsuits after resko who gave you the money?

    March 10, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  24. Andy

    Obama is an arrogant. He is not prepared for anything so vice-presidency would be a gift. Of course you can be a great vice-president without being ready to be president. He is given the chance to learn. The fact that 18-24 years old voted for him, says nothing about his ability to lead. Those kids would vote anybody who is giving a dance on the stage and is reciting some slogans. Obama cannot win the nomination, none of them can win it. There is a limit of how much arrogance is acceptable from this guy. At least half of the Democrats will not vote in November or will vote McCain.

    March 10, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  25. Paula, Farmington New Hampshire

    I am a woman of a certain age, a devout NON Republican. I just want to say that Hillary Clinton has so turned me off (and I had been an admirer earlier) that I am tempted to stay home in Nov if she "wins" the nomination. She is such a "bamboozleer" and outright lying politician (which I am so fed up with) that her mere voice or image on tv or radio makes me turn it off (as I do with Bush-–too painful) God forbid that this country falls under her self-serving sway for power. She is a baddie in disguise

    March 10, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
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