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. will

    to all dems look at what is happening tonight in New York we do not need that in the white house again. another sex scandal and yes he is a clinton support i am shocked. gov of newyork was client number 9 what client number is pres. bill clinton number 1 i would bet.

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

    'America the Beautiful' is exactly right. If by sheer LUCK, Obama becomes president-The US will wish Bush was back!
    How arrogant of him to shot down a potential VP offer. That's just plain stupid and rude. Thankfully so, because I wouldn't want him as a VP either. I'm a republican and seriously considering voting for Hillary. She talks the talk and can back it up. She's not a quitter-If she were a man, she'd be praised for her determination. This is the kind of leader this country needs. Obama is nothing but a smooth talker and a push over. Convienently absent for votes he fears may shed him in a bad light. He'll needs LOTS of advisors to tell him what to do. I'm sure the middle east can't wait for him to be in office!
    Keep it up Hillary!

    March 10, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  3. D.Casey | Sebastopol, CA

    Of course Clinton benefits by flying the idea of Obama as her VP... it's yet another sad example of how the Clintons will do or say just about anything to win.

    And honestly, all this talk about needing a fighter for President... I'm TIRED of fighters in the White House... I want a President that:

    1) I can trust
    2) who can say "Nuclear" not "Nucular"
    3) is eloquent and able to give a speech that motivates people, including Congress
    4) doesn't have years of debts & baggage from political backroom dealing

    Can you say... Obama? And let's face it... he doesn't NEED her on his ticket. I see Obama picking someone like Biden or Richardson.

    March 10, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  4. Peter

    Hey, Barack, you should not have turned down VP so quickly and so rudely because I think your chances of a cabinet position are pretty slim.

    March 10, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  5. changing times

    Can we say Conflict of Interest. A Vote for McCain is a Vote for Hillary and Vice Versa.

    No wonder the Republicans are now saying I'll vote for Hillary ... Ann Coulter/Cunningham and Hannity Signing On Board.

    Let's say that the Democratic nomination battle had been winnowed down to two candidates, and that one of those two candidates (let's call him Barack Obama) was a huge favorite to win. Meanwhile, the GOP nominee has been all but decided. (We'll call him John McCain.)
    Now let's imagine that Obama's opponent (we'll call her Hillary Clinton) was desperately slinging every piece of mud she could at him without regard to whether or not her attacks would help John McCain.

    Finally, imagine that you found out that Clinton's chief strategist was not only her campaign's leading advocate for these attacks - but was also the CEO of a public affairs firm whose DC-based lobbying subsidiary was headed up by John McCain's top adviser.

    Would you say this posed at least the appearance of a conflict of interest for the strategist in question?
    What would you think if you found out that it's all true? Well it is true

    March 10, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  6. jeff

    I think this will be great the I have a dream ticket,free health care,free college, free everything,free at last free at last thank god free at last. The dam rich people will pay for this,anyone who makes over 25000. a year. Bring all the troops home so we can fight the war here on are own soil. just think of all the oil we will save, we wont have to fly are planes over the ocean, the ships over the sea this will be a perfect world.

    March 10, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  7. Mark

    I think the Clinton campaign created a meme. That would be a self replicating idea. The essence of the idea is that with Obama as VP, Clinton is president and Obama is not.

    The Clintons get style points.

    March 10, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  8. kevin from alaska

    Michigan:Mitt Romney::Texas & Ohio:Hillary Clinton

    It's over folks.

    March 10, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  9. Elizabeth Arnett

    This country was founded on the idea that we can use laws to appeal to reason and create a lasting union. The Democratic party made rules and doled out consequences for its primary elections. Now cry-baby Hillary wants to re-do the elections. She thinks that some states are more important than others.

    Here's Sen. Obama using reason to prove why he deserves the Democratic nomination:

    "I don't know how somebody who's in second place is offering the vice presidency to the person who's in first place."

    "If I'm not ready, how is you think I'd be such a great vice president?"

    Here's Senator Clinton playing dirty:
    "I've got lifetime of experience, Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience, and Senator Obama has a speech he made in 2002."

    I have two questions for you, Hillary:
    1. What have you accomplished, with your lifetime of experience?
    2. Who do you REALLY want to win? The

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

    Its seems some people don't realize this:

    Clinton and Obama splits the Democratic vote evenly.
    Clinton carries the core democratic vote (the ones who will vote blue come the general election).
    Obama carries the independants and Republicans (the ones who normally vote red in the general election).

    Some Obama supporters will not vote for Clinton if she becomes the nominee.
    Some Clinton supports will not vote for Obama if he becomes the nominee (I'm one of them).

    Ok, if Clinton becomes the nominee, the traditional blue states are guaranteed. She might even eek out a win in PA/OH/ or FL (the swing states). However, if Obama becomes the nominee, the democrats may not carry those traditional blue states, and he might not make inroads with PA/OH/ or FL.

    A joint ticket would be great, but only if Clinton is at the top of the ticket. I frankly think she can do better than Obama. He is falling quite flat, kind of reminds me of John Kerry in '04. What a disappointment.

    March 10, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  11. Michigander

    The only thing that will happen if Clinton is on the ticket, either as the presdential or vice-president candidate, is the election will go to Sen. McCain. Why? If Hillary gets the nomination without a majority of the popular vote (sounds like the 2004 presidential race...) but all the superdelegates feel she has "paid her dues," there will be an open revolt in the Democratic Party. The Obama supporters will either stay home or cross over and vote Republican. Many conservative Democrats (yes there are a few of us!) remember Sen. McCain has reached across the aisle, much to the displeasure of his own party.

    This political trick of "offering" the VP spot is the same as the Clinton campaign's refusal to remove Clinton's name from the Michigan primary ballot. Im my opinion the only way she got 50%+ of the vote was primarily by name recognition; note 40% (including yours truly!) voted "uncommitted" just to ensure not all delegates (if they're ever seated much less admitted to the convention) went to her.

    March 10, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  12. Kizeem

    Whoever wants Hillary Clinton as VP is looking to have a prostitution ring operated by Bill Clinton, and Eliot Spitzer as legal adviser in the Whitehouse.

    Americans are not crazy. Hillary and campaign are delusional.

    NO THANKS TO HILLARY CLINTON AS ANYTHING EXCEPT SENATOR, and this is because I don’t live in NY City.

    March 10, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  13. Muzza

    While my respect for BO is very low, I can understand why Clinton would offer him a VP role – she is trying to maximize the likelihood of Democrats voting in November and that's a good thing. Given they have split the popular vote 50/50 it would make sense for them to do a "dream ticket". Ultimately, however, the more senior and experienced candidate should lead and that is Clinton. It's disappointing that Obama, the so-called "unifier" (sarcasm), could not, just for once, put his arrogance aside and show some humility and respect in response to Clinton's offer. He could have politely addressed the issue by returning the statement and saying that he would hope Clinton would be his VP should he win the nomination. No, as always, Mr. Audacity of Arrogance couldn't think beyond his own need for power and adulation. Perhaps Clinton should look elsewhere for a VP...

    March 10, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  14. Donny Ott

    Personally, I think that Hillary can do much better than Obama as VP. The audacity of arrogance, though, to insist on going from a virtual zero to straight to the top with only a few hundred "present" votes on thorny issues in the state senate in between. Truth be told, if Obama is the Democratic nominee, we are likely looking at least another four years of a Republican Administration in the White House.

    Contrary to Jude and others' comments, polls from many of the swing states are already showing that key parts of the Democratic Party (e.g., Latinos and "lunch-bucket" Democrats) would favor McCain over Obama in a General Election - including even in a state as blue as New Jersey. And, if Obama's camp succeeds in disenfranchising Florida voters, you can bet that one will go red as well.


    Hillary for President!

    March 10, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  15. Bagga

    I am rather surprised that Obama haven't went back to basic yet "talking about change."

    March 10, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  16. Liz

    If you look at it fairly; Obama and Clinton are tied. Hillary won Florida- if Obama wanted to have Florida not count then he should have decided to take his name off the ballot. Florida's votes should count toward the popular vote. The delegates should decide based on individual judgement and what they determine are the important factors. Obama won caucuses that favored his base and didn't represent the actual votes of all the citizens of the state. I'm not saying he wouldn't have won, I'm just thinking it is a factor to consider. I give so much credit to Obama for running such a tough race and I like what he has to say about education. I will not vote for him if he wins the nomination and does not offer the vp spot to Clinton. It appears that Hillary offered it knowing that if she wins, she would like to make an effort to unite the party so that the entire democrat base would vote in the General Election. I think it is true most of her supporters will consider voting for Obama, I guess we are behaving like our candidate pick (fair and uniters)- I don't get all the hate, didn't Clinton fight for minority rights and healthcare and weren't the 90's good....Both Clinton and Obama should be able to fight for this important job.

    March 10, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  17. Antoinette

    Go Obama!!!!!!!

    He doesnt need her, she needs him

    March 10, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  18. 7Sisters

    Hillary Clinton is far more qualified than Senator Obama who does not have a good track record in the Illinois state legislature nor as a US Senator. His arrogance in running for the Presidency is astounding after just a year or so in the Senate.

    As a twenty-something year old who has never missed a vote in any state and local primary or general election, I am deeply disappointed in my peers for blindly following this Obama trend as what they perceive as the "cool" thing to do.

    If Clinton does prevail, and she is smarter and more seasoned, her in depth responses to questions (Obama just uses the "ditto" approach and then adopts them as his platform), I hope she picks someone like Joe Biden who is extremely qualified or one of the state's governors. Just not Obama. My gut says he is not to be trusted.

    March 10, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  19. Toe Smashin

    What is wrong with you people?
    The Republicans must certainly be eating this up: Democrats are so split they have resorted to name-calling within the party.

    Please, please, if we really are interested in unity – and we certainly can't win if we are this divided – we have got to stop slamming each other. Disagreeing with you about who is the best candidate does not make a person an idiot.

    Come on, let's pull it together, even if we have to bite our lips to do it. It *IS* our only shot at changing things.

    March 10, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  20. Steve

    I'm gonna laugh when Michigan and Florida become relevant, their delegates get seated, and Hillary becomes the nominee! Nobody gets to 2025 without them!

    March 10, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  21. Rob

    The reality is the Hillary is Bush II. The republicans know McCain's campaign is a joke. They are actually pulling for HIllary. She's as much in the pocket of corporate America as any republicans ever have been. Look at the republican style fear ads put by Hillary. Come on people..don't get fooled AGAIN!!!!

    March 10, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  22. Darlene

    As a Canadian I have been engrossed in the democratic run. It is amazing how the story before the Ohio/Texas primary win regarding meeting with some of our politicians regarding NAFTA were smeared in the states..thanks to the Hillary Campaign. Our news media, and subsequently our government were not only disgusted at this "leak" within the government, but our Prime Minister expressed a sincere apology to the Barack Obama, and ensured that the source of this false story would be's 3:00 in the morning Hillary, and your phone is's the Canadian Government...are you ready to answer?

    March 10, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  23. kcmo

    I think all these CLINTON supporters need to rethink WHY she would say OBAMA is not ready to be president but he can be vice president? This is her last ditch attempt to get the votes that she would otherwise lose.

    If Obama was not ready then why make him #2? THINK AMERICA!

    March 10, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  24. SJ Thornton

    Who does she think Hillary is!?
    1: Hillary insults the voters in "smallers" states.
    2: Hillary compares herself to a Republican and then wonders why people hate her.
    3: Hillary insultes the African- American community.

    What is wrong with her? Don't people see what she is!

    March 10, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  25. robert

    So, Hillary "won" the "big" states, huh. BS. Numbers do not lie! Obama won the popular vote as well as the delegate count!

    Consider the top 9 "big" states that have voted so far
    State . . . . . . . Obama . . . . . . . .Clinton
    California . . .2,126,000 . . . . . . .2,553,000
    Texas . . . . . 1,358,000 . . . . . . .1,459,000
    New York. . . . . 698,000 . . . . . . .1,003,000
    Illinois. . . . 1,302,000 . . . . . . . .662,000
    Ohio . . . . . . 982,000. . . . . . . 1,212,000
    Georgia . . . . . 704,000 . . . . . . . .330,000
    New Jersey. . . . 492,000 . . . . . . . .603,000
    Virginia . . . . 627,000 . . . . . . . .350,000
    Washington . . . 354,000 . . . . . . . .316,000

    Total . . . . . 8,643,000 . . . . . . .8,487,000


    California . . . 167 . . . . . . 203
    Texas . . . . . 99 . . . . 94
    New York. . . . . 93 . . . . 139
    Illinois. . . . 104 . . . 49
    Ohio . . . . . . 66. . . 75
    Georgia . . . . . 60 . . . 27
    New Jersey. . . . 48 . . . . 59
    Virginia . . . . 54 . . . . 29
    Washington . . . 53 . . . 25

    Total . . . . . 744 . . . 700

    March 10, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
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