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. Jack

    Yes she does, some politicians always benefitted from blantant hypocrisy and do whatever it takes, some politicians controlling and power comes before their party and their country. They deal with devil if required. I hope CNN also stops this rediculous headlines about clinton obam ticket, clinon obama, obama no 2 etc etc. Who you fooling?

    March 10, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  2. fuzzi

    Barack Obama is 220 Second to none nice try Hillary.

    March 10, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  3. Judge

    US has enough from unexprienced presidents. Let's acknowledge that we need somebody with making well thought decisions for US. Let's also acknowledge that Obama is better on rhetorics. Finally, who are we going to elect for President of USA – A qualified person or a public speaker? You like both? Let's set the right priorities...qualification #1, speaker #2. Thanks.

    March 10, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  4. Florence

    Bill Clinton failed to heed his own counsel when president, and if he has played a role in his wife's campaign, that too has been a failure, judging by the chaotic ups and downs she has suffered. He has armed her by putting his foot in his mouth on many occasions, and their sense of entitlement appears to be their biggest downfall.

    The comparisons between the two candidates have been astounding.
    Hillary has been shrill, Sen. Obama has been composed.
    Where Hillary's temper has been all over the map with her crying and screaming, he has maintained his dignity.
    She called attention to her lack of shame when she said shame on him. As an ex-president, Bill has more than abased himself and the post he held by insulting Sen. Obama.
    It seems that Sen. Obama has proven already that he might be in a better position to teach them both, while Hillary and Bill just cannot do anything right.

    March 10, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  5. raj

    What happen to hillary??? She don't want to answer night call anymore????

    March 10, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  6. hillary 08:

    Hillary can do better than to put a fraud on the ticket. People only vote for obama because they are mad at the Clintons. He is boring, lame and a crock. My vote is for her, will stay with her! PERIOD!

    March 10, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  7. Black Man in Dixie

    And I was told that the "intellectual" crowd was voting for Obama? Wouldn't know it by seeing the tone of most of the post for him here.

    The republicans still have plenty of tricks (terrorist, gay marriage, taxes, etc...) up their sleeves folks. If we dont' have a darn good ticket, we'll lose in November.

    March 10, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  8. Kevin

    She is really awful.

    And it Time. For Her. To Go.

    March 10, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  9. Sunny

    Hillary knows how to get what she wants.She scheme and manipulate the voters to vote for her.I hope they see it and vote for OBAMA because his real deal.Bring hope and real change the people.If somehow shes become nominee we will vote for Mc Caine because he has best expreiece compare her.

    March 10, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  10. Where is the DNC?

    Obama knows what the super delegates know – you can't win in the general election unless you win the reliably Blue states – those that Clinton has won. Obama can play it anyway he wants but the reality is his states – caucuses mostly – are reliably RED states that republicans always win. Democrats are headed for a train wreck if the popular vote remains split. It made sense for Clinton to extend this offer. When voters wake up to the obscene amount of money already poured into this race and the millions for Florida and Michigan to redo their votes, they will be understandably exasperated with the DNC – WHERE ARE THEY!!!

    Finally, if Clinton were a man, we'd be ready to coronate her. If Obama were a woman, he never would have made it past the first debate.

    March 10, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  11. jr.

    Wemon of America you'll can make Histori this election the first women president fo the U.S.A. and realy chage the world.

    March 10, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  12. Adam in Pittsburg

    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 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  13. Ed

    Somebody help me please! Is there a school of presidential experience in America that those aspiring to be president would have to go through before becoming president? While I am still on this, I hear Hillary talk about her experience every other time and one example she talks about is her participation in the women's event in 1997 in China. Americans should know the truth. The women conference brought together women from all walks of life. Uganda for example had a woman vice president, the Irish republic president at the time was also a woman. In protocal therefore a wife of a president in Hillary who would have been representing women of America would be way down the line.

    In Northern Ireland, her privilledged position was what was keeping her close to the peace process. Helping mobilize the women is not any diplomatic duties at all. Women emancipation didn't start with Hillary Clinton and she shouldn't be telling Americans the importance of her role in mobilizing that many women around the world do. George's Bush's wife has and still does this from time to time around the world like wise the likes of Tony Blairs wife who has delivered so many intellectual speeches on international stage. It doesn't make any of them experienced in presidential affairs because neither of these work do subject them to the fragile decision making situations great presidents and leaders of the world go through. If Hillary can be so experienced because of her spouse's position, what would we then say about a wife of a man like Nelson Mandella? Winnie has herself struggled against all evils of appathide while herself going through the pains of living without a husband who was incarsurated for 27years.

    Americans should demand real substance from a presidential candidate and not some cheap politicking Hillary is touting.

    London, UK

    March 10, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  14. HILLLARY 08

    How long are you going to leave my comments on moderation CNN? not enough obama supporters on here for you?

    March 10, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  15. Christian Detres

    I personally resent the tabloid "Spy vs. Spy" campaign coverage CNN is indulging in. Obama clearly said he is not RUNNING for the VP, saying he is in this race to win it. He did NOT say that he would not accept the position if it was rightfully offered in the event of Hillary gaining the nomination. There are a lot of people out there that believe in the possibility of this ticket – and look forward to it. Of course, there are many that don't. To Obama supporters that don't, I clearly understand the umbrage you take at such hubris on Hillary's part. The offer is ill-timed (at least in the sense of fair-play) and clearly politically motivated. She is saying what a lot of people are thinking though, and Bill's "unstoppable" comment is, for better or worse, absolutely true. So I call on Democrats – and more importantly on those that would do anything to keep another Republican out of office – to give the idea some thought. I think you'll find it to be an intelligent decision for the party and for this country.

    March 10, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  16. Cathy

    Hillary realizes the ONLY way many of us would hold our noses and vote for her is if Obama was also on the ticket. But, Obama won't hold his nose and run with her - he knows that she is a HUGE liability to his presidency and would be the fastest way of ensuring the Republicans keep the White House.

    Hillary wins Republican votes because of "the plot" to have her run against McCain - no matter who wins the election, they win.

    Obama wins Republican votes because they're sick of the petty divisiveness of the two-party system and want to move away from voting for a party to voting for a candidate instead.

    See the difference? Obama doesn't just unite Democrats, he unites Americans.

    March 10, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  17. Politix88

    Hillary Clinton can't win the nomination on her own. This is why she's pushing the idea of a joint ticket that has no basis in reality. If you were in first place during a contest, would you tell the second place finisher that you'd be happy to take second place instead? If you said someone's terrible for a job, why would you hire them as a back-up? Come on – now, this is a fairy tale!

    It's too bad Hillary Clinton doesn't think she has what it takes to win the nomination on her own. Maybe that's a self-esteem issue she should work on, while she remains the junior Senator from the State of NY. It just doesn't sound like she has the confidence to be the President right now. Maybe she should wait 8 more years.

    March 10, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  18. KC, Texas

    I don't like the "dream ticket" idea, 'cause Obama has too many unknown issues with Tony Rezko, Illinois heath board corruption, and he said one thing about NAFTA and Iraq war and then told foreign officials that it's just "polictical positioning".

    Obama is not qualified for VP.

    March 10, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  19. scbrown

    Didn't the Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick endorse OBama.

    Detroit Mayor refuses to resign because of his current sex scandal and alleged illegal acts.

    I believe he is a superdelegate. Michigan delegates don't count, maybe this is the reason why the obama camp dont want them to count.

    March 10, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  20. Susan

    People are obsessed with the fact that Obama has 99 more delegates at this point than Clinton but COME ON GUYS, do the math: THAT IS A DIFFERENCE OF LESS THAN 1% IN THE NUMBER OF DELEGATES BETWEEN THEM.

    The fact of the matter is, Obama has not reached the number of delegates required for the nomination and when Pennsylvania, Florida and Michigan get to weigh in, he is going to see his slight lead disappear. So, I think it would be best if he checked his arrogance at the door and refrained from counting anything out at this time.

    March 10, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  21. Jim Williams

    Actual Texas Results give Obama 6 delegate win!

    Obama Total Earned Delegates 99
    Caucus Delegates 38 Primary Delegates 61

    Clinton Total Earned Delegates 94
    Caucus Delegates 29 Primary Delegates 65

    Actually, if you include both the caucus vote and the primary vote together, Mr. Obama not only wins the delegate math, but also the popular vote in Texas. Obama won by tens of thousands of votes cast. If you have a problem with counting the caucus vote in the popular total, then you have a problem with the sate democratic party.

    The American Voice

    March 10, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  22. Andrea

    I am very disturbed at the nasty, vicious rhetoric that I see coming from Obama supporters every day. For supporters of someone who supposedly stands for unity, you sure do a hell of a job representing your case to the other half of the party. I know it just drives you wild but half of this party supports Senator Clinton. She is a fine candidate, with many years in public policy and public service. Senator Obama is also a good candidate. A joint ticket would unite the party and make us unstoppable in November.

    If I have to hear much more of this misogynistic, whiny crap, I do not think I will be able to bring myself to vote for Senator Obama should he become the nominee.

    March 10, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  23. Bill

    When you look at the current state of affairs anyone with any common sense would realize that experience is not getting the job done. Our economy is in shambles; Americans are losing jobs; illegal immigration is out of control and is a major drain on our economy etc. Additionally, Hillary has demonstrated that the only thing important in this race is preserving her own self interests. The tactics that she is employing against Obama are without merit and lack any real substance and is viewed as very divisive to the Democratic party that is the best position to get us out of this fiasco created by the current administration. Further, when Florida and Michigan moved their primaries up their administration knew or should have known of the consequences of that decision. The only reason Hillary want to seat the delegates is because she believe those states have the swing votes to propel her into the oval office. Hillary represents the old guard and it is time for real change. Vote with your conscience or we will all be doomed if we are not willing to act and think outside the box. We need politicians that represent the American people and not their own self interests.

    March 10, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  24. ct

    I agree with Wayne -well put.
    "Obama's arrogance is getting more than a bit annoying! First he says he won't run for president again if he doesn't win this time, now its how he won't even consider being vice president. It's he's way or no way (an attitude we've had in the White House for 8 years now already). I begin to see why so many Hillary supporters are saying they would vote for McCain rather .................."

    this is how he cares for poeple and this country? Translation: if he will not get elected, he will just forget it all... we do not want someone like this to be a president. How arrogant, how rude to people.

    And Clintons just go from what people say.

    I do feel this crazy push to vote for Obama – or..... or what?

    March 10, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  25. priscilla



    March 10, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
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