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. Alan J.

    There are many other more qualified VP potentials out there. Obama isn't qualified for either slot on the ticket. Just because Obama has hit a nerve with the public doesn't make him qualified to lead the free world. This ain't American Idol, and I wish the media would stop treating it that way.

    March 10, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  2. Anne E.

    I voted for and supported the Clinton administration through the darkest times of the administration. One Clinton in the WH is enough, however, and I support Barack Obama in his bid for the presidency.
    He is still in the lead, and I resent the fact that both Clintons are conveying the notion that Senator Clinton is in the lead.
    I didn't care for her rantings of, "Enough with the speeches and the big rallies," (excuse me, Senator, but what is it YOU'RE doing?); and
    I didn't care for the 3 a.m. ringing phone campaign ad - the fear card being played ad nauseam insults my intelligence, as does this new "dream ticket" tactic.
    Thanks but no thanks - I want Obama for president. I'd sooner take my chances on prudent judgment than experience that really ISN'T experience at all.

    March 10, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  3. Fay (the Texan who voted for Obama)

    Typical Clinton fashion. Can this lady please bow out like a lady? Oh, wait, her lady personality got lost with her pantsuits.

    March 10, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  4. JKD

    I think Billary should be Obama's minister for womens affair. That all I think she is good for right now.

    Go Obama Go

    March 10, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  5. Barb

    It's a low move on the part of the Clintons and extremely arrogant. It shows complete disrespect for a candidate who currently leads this race. Nothing should have ever been suggested publicly without Obama's permission. VP names are never thrown out by prospective presidential nominees until those individuals have been spoken to individually. It's a blantant show of the same ole Washington Clinton politics at play.

    Now Clinton is saying it is too premature to be discussing it. Talk about a flip flop. This is the Clinton strategy put it out there, leave it in the mind of voters and then claim as if you never made the statement. Give me a break. The Clinton campaign seemed respectable at the beginning of the year, but in the past two months it seeps to levels that I can't respect.

    March 10, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  6. texasdem

    Obama won't choose Hillary because she carries too much baggage and reminds too many people of the past, which would hurt his "change" platform.

    Hillary won't choose Obama because she has spent too much of her campaign bashing him. To say so many stabs at a candidate and then admit he's good enough to be your running mate would jeopardize her credibility.

    I think either of them would do well running with Richardson or Biden. I think the nominee should choose Biden.

    March 10, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  7. eq

    The wilder a boxer swings the easier it is to counterpunch. Hillary is desparate.

    March 10, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  8. Red States Won't Go Blue

    Of the eleven core Republican states that have gone to the polls, Sen. Obama has won ten: Utah, Idaho, Nebraska, North Dakota, Alabama, Alaska, Kansas, South Carolina, Georgia, and Louisiana.

    There's NO WAY that Wyoming, Mississippi, and other Red states will vote Democratic in November!

    March 10, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  9. Charlotte

    This was actually brought up by the news media way back. I personally don't like Obama, even as a Vice President. I think the notion that the superdelegates will be deciding this, makes it an option the delegates would like. I don't see Michelle allowing him to do this. She has already stated if he is not the next President she will not do this again. His inclination to dismiss this completely, shows he is not the uniter he professes to be. If he is the nominee, he will not win in November. All those Obamakins he speaks of, will vote different in November. All those RED states he won, will go to Republicians in November. Obama has not won a large BLUE state, Thus the prospects of a win in November will be slim.

    March 10, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  10. JB

    NEVEROBAMA – you realize that Obama has more years of experience as an elected official than does Hillary(12 to 8). This is subtle ageism... Besides, how many years of experience did two of our greatest presidents (Lincoln and Kennedy)have prior to being elected? This is a specious argument as experience is not an indicator of success as a president, judgment is.

    March 10, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  11. Carl S.

    An even better ticket would be Barack Obama and Al Gore. What better combination of experience and forward looking philosophy could there be than having Obama managing the country with Gore at his side providing experienced advise and promoting the projects that this country needs to overcome forty years of republican stagnation.

    March 10, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  12. La Raza

    I do believe Obama is winning? Hello? Hillary is a nut. Her supporters are as nutty as she is.

    March 10, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  13. dsw

    She is trapping herself, she is limiting her ability to use negative attacks, this has been the only tactic that has worked for her. . .

    March 10, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  14. msparvati

    It's just a bit of political maneuvering on Hillarys part here. Obama is the clear front runner and touting him as a possible VP is just her way of trying to put him in a subservient position on national television.

    March 10, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  15. N

    To Cafferty,

    THE MEDIA was the first to keep asking Hillary about this the day after SHE WON TEXAS< OHIO and RHODE ISLAND!!!!!!

    Cafferty just mentioned to WOLF that "SHE" was the first to bring it up"

    March 10, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  16. She's Melting

    As Glenda the good witche said in the Wizard of Oz...

    "Off with you, you have no power here. Now go, before someone drops a house on you".

    March 10, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  17. gerald paddock

    want to talk a joint ticket well until hillary is the nominee she is second now and really cant catch my obama so if he wants to pick her it is up to him sure she wants anything she can get just like bill so unless you win the nominee i think that isnt something you talk about now .

    March 10, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  18. EE

    This is the worst kind of condescending i have ever witnessed in my life. how on earth can a loser become so arrogant to offer the winner the second spot? This is the more reason Hillary will not and should not be the president. someone who thinks she deserves it by right and not by merit. this is pure rubbish! this wo,man should be kicked out by the party elites as fast as possible else i bait you the party is going down in flames.

    March 10, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  19. Carl

    I don't get it.. in terms of real experience, Obama has more. Not only has most of his life been devoted to the services of his fellow citizens, but he served on the state sentate before being elected to the US senate. So, I am a little confused to how Hillary can truely claim he only has a speach. I wish Obama would stress this issue a bit more.

    Obama (as President) in '08

    March 10, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  20. Marc

    Well, let's see here. We have 2 candidates who have tallied up about the same number of votes and the party's now very divided. One of them suggests teaming up, and the other one, the "UNITER", dismisses the idea. Well, I'm glad at least Senator Clinton realizes what's at stake come November.

    March 10, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  21. Armando

    Hilary just needs to stop while shes ahead........oh wait, shes not ahead and I don't think she ever was, ha.

    March 10, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  22. Hillary

    HEY! Kim called me a monster in the above post. Quick , send me lots of money so she will stop it. Hillary

    March 10, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  23. Tito

    We are sick of you Hillary and will never vote for a candidate that is tearing our party (Democratic Party) apart! It is sooooo unbelievable to see Hillary how arrogant and two-faced you are! Are you Hillary aware that the TV cameras record and film all the mud-slinging you throw? Do you suffer from amnesia or have you been brain drained by Martians? Seriously, I feel sorry for you. Please go get some counseling or therapy, you really needed!

    March 10, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  24. Touche

    what can possibly be left in the Clinton Arsenal in it's Quest for Camelot? I mean, hasn't the final spin been spun?

    March 10, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  25. Larry

    Hillary doesn't care if she destroys the Democratic Party or not. Don't you get it, its all about her. I guarantee you that in 4 years Chelsea will be running for Senator of New York and then President.

    March 10, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56