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. Pon Mao

    Only a Clinton can make a loser appears to be a winner! I just wish the Clintons know something called human decency!

    March 10, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  2. crazy

    All of this stuff about Hiliary doing anything to win, blah, blah blah isn't making me want to vote for Obama, it is actually making me want to vote for Hiliary. I want a President that is going to stand up for our country.

    He claims our government is corrupt, well he is part of this government that he is calling corrupt. He claims that he didn't vote for war..but i don't remember seeing him in the Senate at that time..I could be wrong.

    Anyway, I don't want another 4 years of this BS so my vote is for Hiliary

    March 10, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  3. Karen

    It's true. Hillary will stoop to ANYTHING. She's now lying about not knowing about the coverup prostitute ring story which broke today about her NY Gov. Spitzer. Voters please, end her candidacy!!!

    March 10, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  4. cwu

    Clinton's offer of VP to Obama is another way to emphasize Obama's major weakness on experience. Hillary is signing that were Obama to win the nomination he will eventually need an experienced VP, older and wiser. Which lead us back to the choices of either Obama with his lack of experience or the fear that Obama's VP will be some potential nightmare, such as, Dick Cheney. Funny thing the media and the "experts" can't even follow Bill's strategy!

    March 10, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  5. Elois Rice

    The American People have decided that Senator Obama should be the next Commander in Chief. He has shown himself to be a leader, he uses good judgment and he thinks before he speaks. Hillary can be Vice-President as long as Obama is there to keep her in check.

    March 10, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  6. Character Counts

    Don't you read your own headlines – "Obama Rejects Clinton's VP Offer"?

    March 10, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  7. Rattler

    It's a sign of defeat from both Clintons. Yeah, they need Obama. And Obama and America don't need them period.

    March 10, 2008 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  8. joedee

    Hillary will go to ANY length to win. Including looking her supporters and the world in the eye and lying through her teeth. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see what game-player she is.

    Whomever she would choose as a VP would be 3rd in command right behing Bill Clinton and then Hillary.

    Why would Obama sully his reputation by even considering being Hills' VP?

    March 10, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  9. Lynn D

    Senator Obama is sly politician despite what he and his campaign say. Senator Clinton has more experience and is modest about her accomplishments. Senator Obama should step aside and have respect for Senator Clinton's senority. His chance may come in the future. The time now is hers. And as for Michigan and Florida why is a redo needed when the voters have already spoken? If the table was turned, how many people would be pushing for a revote? Senator Obama was on both ballots and the voters spoke. He was on the Michigan ballot as uncommitted. His name was on the Florida ballot. If Howard Dean is out there reading this, I suggest to him that he release the delegates for Michigan and Florida. Mr. Dean, a redo would be unfair to Senator Clinton. She didn't campaign in either state and she won. She left her name on both ballots. Senator Obama could have done the same. Let's all stop the unfair treatment of Senator Clinton. Stop wasting money and let the votes from Michigan and Florida stand. And finally, CNN has been bias, too. Someone once told me they didn't watch CNN because it was "Clinton News Network". What happened to you CNN? You know Senator Clinton would be the best president. Let Senator Clinton have her well deserved time as President of the United States.

    March 10, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  10. Kerry

    Bill, your judgment on a presidential candidate is as bad as your facts about who leads in the popular vote. Actually, OBAMA is leading in the Popular Vote, Delegates and States. Do a fact check.

    March 10, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  11. Carl

    Anyone else sick of hearing about Boeing and their complaining right now? Protesting the contract? Are you serious? This is a competitive market and capitalism. I work for an engineering firm, and we go after contracts against other firms. The one that presents themselves the best and shows they can do the job right gets the contract.

    Instead of asking "why didn't we get it"... they are throwing a sick tantrum and blaming our own government. Last time I checked, foreign cars are kicking our rear ends in the market... I guess planes are next.

    Boeing, grow up and stop complaining.

    March 10, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  12. linda

    hilllary,, its time to stand up and face the issues here ,, not think of ways to back-stab,, dirty play is just that,, dirty,, we dont need that,, someone whos goin to get things done the way it should be done,,,, GO ABAMA,,,, by the way hillary,, tell bill to stand back,, hes had his turn,,(OUCH)

    March 10, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  13. Tom in NC

    We will never vote for Hillary and politics as usual. You Hillary supporters are to arragant for your own good. You are dividers.

    March 10, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  14. speakkup

    Go Obama!!! The Clintons are desperate and deceptive!!! And Hillary seems bi-polar in her behavoir. The American people are tired of the Clintons still playing the same old game of politics – divisive and negative!!!

    Obama has shown an even-tempered personality throughout the campaign – he has stayed above the cut and run negative politics!

    Hillary Clinton has shown a spectrum of irrational behaviors throughout the campaign – from a misty-eyed, desperate candidate in NH to a scolding school MOM in OH, to a consillatory candidate at the debates, to an arrogrant candiate at her much needed winning in TX and OH, to again a desperate candadiate in MS speaking on adding Obama as VP. I don't know about most people but clearly to me she seems to borderline bi-polar in personaltiies. Or maybe it's just the timing of the month which I can somewhat understand for most women but not for a commander of chief potential!

    March 10, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  15. VP

    Hillary... you are Hillarious!!!

    March 10, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  16. bruno, switzerland

    we're watching this with great interest over here. it's amazing how the clintons can tear down obama as totally inexperiened and then suggest he be her vice-president? it's like with one mouth they say he can't do the job of being president, with the other mouth they say he should be her vice-president, just so she can get all the voters back that she lost to him. if she were ever to get the nomination who would be left to vote for her after such dirty deeds. oh yeah, she will still have those clinton fans that swallow all this dirty politics and dirty deeds and dishonest politics. thank god even more and more hillary supporters wake up and see what she is really like. a lot of us over here really think that her negativity looks so grim compared to obamas message of hope. her negative campaign really sticks out compared to his and we're wondering how come some people still support her?

    March 10, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  17. Republican Joe

    Having voted republican the last three elections, I would only consider voting dem without Hillary on the ticket. For what's worth, I am not the only one that feels this way - having talked to a dozen of my friends/colleagues, all have agreed they are "likely" (including myself) to vote for Obama, but never Hillary. Dems best shot at winning this election is to nominate Obama.

    BTW, all this talk of "experience" is complete BS - what has this great wisdom (gov't in general, including Hillary) brought us - debt, rising healthcare, irresponsible fiscal spending, etc. It's time for leadership not ONLY wisdom.

    Peace out

    March 10, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  18. VP

    Hillary.. you think you are ready to serve the day one.

    The truth is... the rest of us do not!!!

    March 10, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  19. Trista

    Hillary is such a joke. Thank goodness that Obama has the sense to nip this one in the bud. AUGH! At one point, I considered voting for Hillary, but her typical Washington political ways make me ill.

    OBAMA minus Hillary is the way to go!!

    March 10, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  20. Angela

    I need to say this because this is whats going to happen you watch and 1992 in Colorado Amendment Two appeared that it was going to be defeated by a large margin. All our polls told us it was so. We in the Lesbian and Gay community were over confident like Mambo Obama's supporters are...........we were high fiving and planned victory celebration (but we weren't mean spirited towards our oppenents like Obama's supporters are towards Hillary.....................well we lost by a big margin. People in polls said they were going to vote a certain way...Our way ..........we Lesbians and Gays were so full of faith and hope..........people didn't vote the way we thought they were going to vote. People said one thing and on election night voted opposite of what they said they were going to vote. Obama is in this race for his own ambition. He really thinks he is going to win. Blind ambition. Everyone is afraid to speak the truth for fear of appearing bigoted or racist. Come election night if he is the candidate............he will not win. Vote Clinton 2008 Viva Clinton Viva the only Democratic candidate who will win. Paz en el mundo

    March 10, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  21. Mike

    The arrogance and self-centeredness of the Clintons is breathtaking. It appears that the "vast right wing conspiracy" might have been right about some of the stuff they threw at the Clintons back in the 90's.

    March 10, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  22. Erin

    I hope that the voters can see through this and vote for Obama.

    March 10, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  23. Hope In Action

    Co-presidents Hillary and Bill, with Obama as number three? That's not a dream ticket, that's Nightmare on Pennsylvania Avenue. I get the feeling Obama will maintain his integrity. The arrogance of her to "offer" him a VP position. I can't believe it. And, if this country decides to go back to the past with the Clintons, we will have missed a superb opportunity to take our country upward and onward. They told MLK it wasn't the time, that the civil rights movement was going too fast, that it was too idealistic, that the country just wasn't ready yet to stop lynching people and oppressing people. But, the time for justice is always "right now", it is always ASAP. I wonder if these Hillary supporters think the freedom riders were idealistic and brainwashed? Standing for change and standing for justice always has a sense of urgency. We have a chance at our very fingertips right now to get on the road to the future. In fact, it is long overdue that we take steps in that direction. Let's not miss that chance. I've been exposed to enough Hillary supporters now to see how they operate from a position of fear and identity politics. They refuse to see Obama for the incredible INDIVIDUAL he is. Instead, they stereotype him. I can't believe some of these posts that are so insulting. I just pray the people in this country with sense will outnumber those who are stuck in the past. Going backwards to the Clintons would truly be a disaster for us and the world.

    March 10, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  24. Alex Mackin

    CHANGE... to what??? Utopia according to barack obama? And UNITE... unite who exactly????

    It's been cute so far i must admit, BUT the world hasn't changed in the last year for barack obama, and nor will it. Can you think of anyone who's proclaimed themselves an american messiah and managed to do anything about it?

    He's a man with a microphone on an ego-trip, but disguises it by trying to make it sound like its all about 'us'; when its perfectly clear it is all about HIM. His goals add up to an impossible transformation of politcs itself..... i can see him a few years from now, taking all the heat in the world when everyone else realises he is just a clever POLTICIAN who could sculpt his voice like a preacher and criticize like a backseat driver.

    March 10, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  25. Amy

    If Obama were her VP, I would fear for his life.

    March 10, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
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