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. David

    Will you, CNN, PLEASE, stop pandering to the Clintons' political machinations by continuing this talk of a dream ticket with Obama as VP. It is preposterous for the second place candidate to deign to accept the leading candidate at her VP choice. It only serves the Clintons' interests. Neither candidate will choose the other; the feelings are becoming much too tense and personal.

    I agree with many of the comments here: the Clintons' are masterful politicians who, I fear, will succeed in bringing down the first real hope for inspiration change that we have seen for many, many years.

    I am glad Hillary is a fighter. If she is nominated as the Democratic candidate that is ALL that she will be doing with the Republicans and conservatives. Hillary's use of the Republican playbook (fear mongering and negative advertising to tear down the opponent) only forshadows the future with Hillary and Bill.

    Hillary's marginal, but evident, victories in Ohio and Texas are victories over inspiration and eloquence. How sad that she had to tear the beauty and value of inspired speaches.

    There must be a better way. I certainly hope that far-sighted people continue to see that way, as I do, in the possibilty of Barak Obama.

    March 10, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  2. Susan Norton

    Does Obama realize that Kennedy and Carter both won the White House without winning the majority of states? If it weren't for the caucuses, Obama wouldn't even be in the race. Hillary is very close in the popular vote (and ahead if one just counts democrats) and if Florida and Michigan were counted or revote, Hillary would be ahead now. Why do you think the Obama supporters don't want those states to count?
    Obama says that he has the judgment to be president because he was opposed to the war from the start and Hillary shouldn't be president because she voted for the resolution. At least she's in some good company with her vote: Kerry and Edwards are two of the many senators who voted for the resolution. According to Obama, they too don't have the judgment to be president.
    I am glad Obama made it clear that he isn't interested in VP. His wife has also said that he won't run again for President.
    Obama is a little too arrogant for my taste.

    March 10, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  3. Mara

    Y'all are behind. See Political Punch. Hillary is apparently unaware that Bill is offering Obama the VP slot. Those Clintons.....

    March 10, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  4. Rosemary Storaska

    Obama has done the last inexcusable thing! Right now on CNN a camp representative is “spinning” the dilemma over Michigan and Florida has a negative thing against Clinton. When asked what “her problem was” over both candidates paying and outside contributors paying so that thousands of people have their votes count, she said, “Obama will do what the party agrees to do” as we follow the rules. Did I not see for myself that Obama ran campaign ads in Florida? When asked how they felt about the people of MI and FL she only responded that Obama cares about them. Hugh? He cares but he does not want to “work together” to resolve it? I thought this is what Mr. Obama stands for, “working together” to resolve problems regardless of party? So yes, Hillary promoting the unity theme only brings out what we now all know—Obama has been riding the tails of money and influential people to get where he wants to go and how he gets there has rarely entered into the equation as long as it is benefiting “HIM”. One word about an Obama nomination will send women and many men in this country into the now forming, “Democrats for McCain” column.

    March 10, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  5. Achille

    A looser saying to a winner, I'll offer you the VP slot.
    It's simply MONSTERIOUS.

    March 10, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  6. Arthur-Texas

    Obama is being given a golden opportunity.He ahould take the offer to be in Hillarys administration.

    March 10, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  7. Malloy

    How sad I feel right now, This is so like George McGovern all over again. A great speaker and superb at getting the non-political wishful thinkers to back him. However, for those of you who are not students of history, George went down in flames; taking the Democrats with him. Yes, I voted for McGovern. So did all the true believers. But politics at this level is not about cheerleaders, If it was simply about getting a bright person with great ideas to lead our party, then we would not have had W destroying our country and the lives of so many people for the last 7 years.

    March 10, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  8. Thomas H.


    March 10, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  9. jr.

    Mr. Obama you say you have always been against the war but you voted for the funding of the war you are eithr againts it or for it. you can not have it both ways. You must think the young people are so naeive.

    March 10, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  10. HCheng

    Obama can turn Hillary's trick on itself.

    How about float the idea of appointing Bill Clinton the Secretary of State to continue his peace effort in the middle East?

    And create a new cabinet position for Women's Afffairs under his presidency and consider Hillary on the short list?

    Obama got more than one million votes than Hillary. Time for him to do some trash talk too!

    March 10, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  11. Sandra from Ohio

    Here we go again Hilliary Clinton one of her superdelegates is involved in illegal sex scam surprise!!! surprise!!! And this is someone that you want as president no one learned any thing from the Clinton era? We need change from the good old boys and girls better wise up America Obama 08

    March 10, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  12. tom

    This is the latest example of Clintons doing whatever they can to win. If she wins the nomination, I will vote Republican even though I'm a life long Democrat. In fact I'll try to start a Democrats for McCain movement. She is a vicious back stabbing almost human being that should consider another line of work.

    March 10, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  13. ml

    maybe Obama was just being tested? And came out as arrogant as always......not the uniter, not democrat, not thinking about the nation, just himself.
    why he thinks he is the one? What is so great on him? What people see in him? I see no leader, just this arrogant, selfish man who does not see people or nation, but himself – his picture in WH, maybe it is his wife push?
    What in Earth makes hi think so overly highly about himself? Some humbleness, and modest would be beneficial to him and his wife.
    It is so much arrogancy in Obama's campaign, how come people do not see it? He is so much power thirsty, so much to be the"one", well, I am afraid he is the "one" history will not be proud of.

    March 10, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  14. J. Wright

    Hillary, give up already, we can see right through you. You are contradicting yourself and making yourself look bad.

    Thank goodness Obama cleared up the V.P. speculation. She is just trying to trick people to vote for her under the falsehood that Obama could be her V.P.

    After the mess this election has become, I don't see them working together in the White House. Furthermore, Hillary does not have the ability to unite the country. Her nomination would be the best thing that could ever happen to McCain.

    March 10, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  15. Wayne

    Nobody wants the VP job with Hillary and Bill. Obama is not the first to shoot it down. Biden shot it down as well.

    March 10, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  16. Nathan Pomeroy

    think Hillary has been damaged by the media. All this talk about Obama being all the hope in the world is highly unlikely. Remember when the Clintons was in Office 8 years ago, job rates were at the highest levels ever and the world a great respect for America. You can talk about race if you would like, but with 90% of African Americans voting for Obama it isn’t because of Hope it is race. If you talk to the people on the streets you will realize that African Americans find that this is their shinning star (Obama) to take over America. If I was a betting man I would bet you that if Obama takes the decratics over Hillary his running mate with be another African American

    March 10, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  17. Bob Stephens

    Hillary, I am convinced after watching your campaign for the last couple of weeks, that you are very sick lady. How anyone could even think about electing you for President, is beyond me. You couldn't string 2 truthful sentences together if your life depended on it.

    Maybe, Barack will give you a job tending the bathrooms in the Whitehouse, so you better start being nice to him.

    March 10, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  18. Arthur-Texas

    Obama is being given a golden opportunity.He ahould take the offer to be in Hillarys administration.
    While there he could observe the intricate details of the white house and learn how to be a good administrator.
    Hillary can teach him how to be a good commander in chief,so when his opportunity to run for president in 8 years he can claim a little experience.

    March 10, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  19. Chris In California

    I do not think Hillary Clinton actually made an offer to Barack Obama asking him to be VP on her ticket when she becomes the nominee. But, I think the fact that she has expressed that it is something she has considered was a very decent gesture by Senator Clinton. Barack Obama has lost his momentum and will certainly not gain it back with Mississippi alone. Next will be Pennsylvania and probably Florida and Michigan. These are states Hillary will likely win to continue her momentum. I believe she will be the Democratic nominee when all is said and done. I think Barack Obama having attacked her as he did about her having said that if she becomes the nominee, a Clinton-Obama ticket would be a consideration and a possibility for her. I think Barack Obama should have been more gracious than he was. He could have taken it as it was meant – in a complimentary way – rather than turning around and attacking her as he did.

    March 10, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  20. Frank, Ft. Lauderdale

    Now the Clinton's are playing the ultimate political game (and they are truly master politicians–just what we don't need running this country any longer). The game is called "Make everyone think your opponent is secondary–tinge of racism??–and that you are the leader and soon all the sheep will follow in your path." I certainly hope that in this day and age that the American people are smart enough to see through this desperation act by the Clintons. Hey Hillary, while you're at it, why don't you hand pick right now which states you would like to President of the United States (because it's obvious that you've written off two thirds of the states (that voted for Barack) because only the one third that voted for you counts). It makes me sick to my stomach that you choose the States that matter (those that delusionally voted for you), while the other States are just swept to the side like foolish, little children.

    March 10, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  21. Grif

    The way I see it, and I guess I also was a dominant father.
    Still Hillary Clinton was born into a Republican Family, who inurn married into a Democratic Family.
    Consequently, say's Hillary carry on, Why? She is running for Office now, William had his chance..

    Hillary also has obligations to her own roots. She want's what best for the World she inherited.
    Don't you dare to blame her, when it's you want control ...

    Well not of Hillary, and the future she wants for her AMERICA!!!!

    I suppose, I should leave my own Signature...... Grif!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 10, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  22. v.ananthan

    WE don^t want OBAMA as vice president for HILLARY...

    We want somebody like Edwards ....

    -Hillary supporter.

    March 10, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  23. Anna D.


    March 10, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  24. California Voter

    I think so; if about 70 percent of a recent poll favored such a ticket. However, neither candidate is in a position to name a VP at this point.

    And Jude, red states and blue states do make a difference in the general election. Remember the democratic primaries and caucuses distribute delegates proportionally. In the general election, it is winner take all. Go to real clear politics and work it out for yourself!

    March 10, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  25. Ron Switzer

    Why can't any of you come up with real questions that make a difference.
    The truth is we are all so alienated that the frustration of common people have no effect on politicians or the news-media at all.
    Fathers who pay child support get no tax relief, the quality of life and the possibility of retirement is just becoming a dream.
    Help is nowhere in sight.
    I can't believe we have no voice.

    March 10, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
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