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. SKC

    Both Senators Obama and Clinton have to be very careful in the VP argument. On one hand, an Obama ticket without Clinton can open up an opportunity for Senator McCain to select a white woman who can attract Hillary's female votes. On the other hand, a Clinton ticket without an Obama could encourage McCain to select an African American VP, even if that choice is Condi. Still, it seems the debate on the Democratic side is more of personalities than issues. Raising taxes on the rich and raising the minimum wage is no serious economic agenda. And surrender from Iraq is equally dumb...but MAC is probably not ready and was actually not expecting to be nominated NOW. May be he, too, can wait till after Chuck Norris?

    March 10, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  2. Jay

    Carole in Canada, if you're including Michigan and Florida in that count, fuhgetaboutit! If those states end up counting, it won't be by January's primaries...they're poisoned.

    March 10, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  3. Bill C

    is it possible that mr. goody-two-shoes Eliot Spitzer is a felon ? He
    ought to fit right in with Billary and the Chicago-mob connections of
    Obama. Pelosi ought to be having tantrums that the dems are now
    the party that is the king (or should I say queen) of sleaze ? Just like
    Geraldine Ferraro's hubbie had ties to the NYC mob. birds of a feather know how to flock together. Time for McCain to find the jugular...

    March 10, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  4. Where is the DNC?

    People – especially Florida and Michigan voters: Did anyone catch Senator McGaskell tonight on CNN? It seems that the defacto position of the Obama campaign is to let the current situation regarding Florida and Michigan stand. They're not taking any active role. They must have done some polling that shows that redos would again favor Clinton. Officially, they'll say that this belongs in the lap of the DNC. The DNC's position is that the candidates and the states need to put together a plan. REMEMBER EVERYONE – Obama's position is to disenfranchise the millions who voted and deny them the opportunity to have their votes counted in a redo.

    p.s., Is she one of the emerging women in the Democratic party? I'm not impressed.

    March 10, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  5. Brian

    Politics is politics... and most politicians are what people would call crooked. Hillary is a politician and her political stunts make sense. If the delegates were switched around the Obama campaign would be doing the exact same.

    I've been a Clinton supporter since John Edwards was out and I will stay with her. I believe that Former Pres. Clinton did wonderful a wonderful job as President and that Hillary can do the same.

    As a Democrat, I have to say that if Obama gets the DEM Nominee there will be a check next to McCain name on the ballot.

    March 10, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  6. A. B. Conacher

    The voting was held and the votes should count as they were taken. Having a revisitation of the original vote would be a ridiculous waste of time and money. Voters in Michigan and Florida should be able to have their voices heard and their votes counted: disenfranchising these people would be unethical and unconscionable.

    March 10, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |

    To those of you die hard Billary supporters who are saying that will vote for McCain if Billary losses.... Well it's totally up to you. No body is stooping it. But just remember what you did to this country and tell your kids about what you did. Hillary is such a double standard in every aspect. I just can't believe people are so simple enough to believe everything Hillary says. I think people with a minimum intelligence could figure out what she said is contradictory.

    If Obama is not ready for the president, how can he be good enough to be the VP? Sometimes, it makes me wonder: Does Hillary really think public are so stupid?

    March 10, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  8. Sorry's time for change

    It is unfortunate that the democratic candidates can not REALLY take the gloves off for the fear of giving the republicans ammo...because honestly....the Clintons have been involved in SCANDALS for years.

    They have already played the Rezko card on Barack and hmmmm... sorry Hillary the only thing you are beating OBAMA in is SCANDAL!!

    The numbers don't lie!

    March 10, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  9. mike

    Although Obama won more state, I think Hillary leads the popular vote if Michigan and Florida counts. Obama is misunderstanding what Hillary mean. Whoever win the DNC nominee, should take the other into VP. Yes we don't know yet who gonna win, it can be Obama-Hillary or vice versa, but if Obama want to take Oprah instead as a VP. He gonna lose it in November.

    March 10, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    Obamah getting to cockey. This is just a beginning , Just like Bush, if he do win he's going to disappoint a lot of people. I can see it coming, my now will go to Hillary.

    Man, he can sell a head off a nickle!

    Benny Brown
    Jacksonville Fla.

    March 10, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  11. Michael, Baghdad

    Hillary can definately do better.

    If she can convince Al Gore to be her VP running mate, that would be an unstoppable ticket!

    If Obama can't win by delegate count before it get to the hands of the DNC, he won't win.

    With the vast experience of Bill clinton backing her, that is a fact that would be extremely hard for the Dems to ignore. Especially if she can convince Al Gore to join her on the ticket.

    That is a triple-threat combination that McCain would not be able to overcome. You can't argue with 24 years of combined White House exerience, versus Obama's none!

    March 10, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  12. James

    Hillary is unliked by most Americans. In fact many just hate the Clintons.

    She thinks she can use Obama's star power and broad appeal to cheat and steal her way to the white house.

    I'm glad Obama said no. He's the DNCs only hope to win against the likable McCain.

    So the DNC superdelegates now have a choice. STEAL the nomination from the voters and give it to 14-state loser Hillary and lose in November to that "Maverick".

    Or give it to Obama and have a good chance of not only winning but winning big around the 50 states.

    Is the DNC stupid/suicidal? We'll see.

    March 10, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  13. We cannot afford 4 more years of G.W.Bush

    A vote for Hillary is a vote for McCain. Hillary is very thirsty but nothing other than power will quench her thirst. She is not a monster. What about a dragon? this one fits better!!!

    Democrats it's time to wake up!! Hillary is leading us to the cliff.

    March 10, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  14. annette

    I am so pleased, this Spitser deal came out just now. How do you deal with this Hilly?
    Mr. Obama, will as usual have the most gentleman way of dealing with this. If it was not Mr. Obama running against what's her face she would be off the agenda by now.

    March 10, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  15. Catrina, Bay Area, CA.

    Talk about arrogant. Who is winning in delegates here? Come on people this is so manipulative and arrogant. Why aren't more people seeing right through her? We don't see Obama pulling stunts like this.
    Oh wait that's right, because he's in this for the RIGHT reasons.

    OBAMA "08

    March 10, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  16. Chris Mannoia

    Obviously, this "dream team" talk is a Clinton campaign move to put the idea of the inevitablity of Hillary Clinton's Presidency.

    Not so; Obama is ahead in delegates, popular vote, and states won; he should be the next President of the United States.

    If HRC wins the nomination, I think that he will come under great pressure from his supporters, the DNC, the Clintons, and black leaders who understand how high the Senator has come, and how far he can still go.

    No matter what happens, Senator Obama has a great future ahead!

    March 10, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  17. AJ, IL

    Obama has to be quick on the draw to rebuke Hillary's brand of politics. First and foremost, Obama is the leader in total delegates, pledged delegates, contests won, and total popular vote. Hillary needs the Obama factor alot more than Obama needs Hillary's baggage. If Obama is the nominee, who would he select as VP? One guess is an older military type such as Virginia Sen. Jim Webb. The other is a woman governor such as Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius. She is an intelligent well-spoken leader with experience running a state. More importantly, she could really solidify the woman vote for Democrats among those women who wanted to see a woman president or vice president.

    Obama / Sebelius in 08!
    Obama / Webb in 08!

    March 10, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  18. Jake

    I disagree with you Jake. You must be a Hillary Supporter who don't realize that the Billary's will do anything they can do to get into the white house, and she is resulting to whatever it takes to do so. How can you trust someone like this. Most people who pay attention this democratic battle, are delusional if they can not see what the clintons are doing.

    Personally I am tired of Hillary and her bickering and she is the one who is destroying the democratic party to the point if she was to win the nomination, 70 % of Obamas backers will not support her even if he was on the ticket with her. She knows this but she don'[t care because she rather tear the party apart rather than build it up.

    Then, Hillary always talking about her experience and what shes done in the white house. If shes done so much why is she holding up the process and blaming the Bush Administration for the hold which after the debate she lied during, the Bush Administration put out the truth. What about the Clintons tax returns they are not release with all the oil money they have made.

    The American people are just ready for change and all the bull crap that Hillary will continue to throw.


    March 10, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  19. Tacheel

    I've been a die-hard Democrat all my life but Obama amazes me. The more he talks the less I like him. Good enough to be President but too good to be Vice-President? Let's just step back and crown you king and let you rule forever . . . maybe THAT would make you happy.

    March 10, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  20. LB


    Hillary is usng Senator Obama to get votes... telling voters if you vote for me first you could get a chance to vote for both of us. Outrageous!!!!
    I have gone beyond losing all respect for Hillary Clinton and will not be voting for any ticket that she is on!!

    March 10, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  21. B Dogg

    You really get to know a candidate when they are campaining. So far we can put together that Hillary will lie, she will belittle Obama. All of this for her political career. I truly don't believe she really cares about all Americans. It's all about her.

    March 10, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  22. D


    March 10, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  23. Jim in FL

    I guess this means that Elliot Spitzer's wife will now run for Governor of New York.

    March 10, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |

    Somebody put these crazy Billaries in their place ... it's insane. Their is the truth and then there is Billary World (and the media lives in Media world, taking their clues from SNL)

    Yeah, I bet ... this is the kind of democracy the world is waiting for.

    Democrazy a la Hil-liar-y Clinton !

    March 10, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  25. Nancy, Oklahoma

    I don't think I have ever been more disgusted in an election than now. Hillary's behavior is disappointing. Is she a Rep or Dem. Honestly I can't tell the difference. Do primary voters find these tactics edificating attributes for President? We need to elect someone to be proud of. I sincerely hope the superdelagates are watching carefully. The Clinton's are trying to steal the nomination. All hell will break loose if they are allowed to do so.

    March 10, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
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