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. Joe

    This is really hard to comprehend.. the Clintons must really think that Democrats are idiots..

    If Obama is not fit, according to the Clintons, to be the Commander-in-Chief, Obama is fit to a heart beat away from the presidency on day one.. after all, that's what the criteria for vice president is..

    Now go figure...

    May God take the Clintons away from the American political scene.. go away Clintons... enough insulting the intelligence of Americans... shame and REALLY shame on you.. no one can pull you out of gutter.. you belong in the gutter..

    March 10, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  2. denise

    It seems to me like the Clinton's are desperate...I'm wondering why are they so desperate? Why is it that some people never change? Only someone that does not look at a person as an equal human being would suggest that Obama be a VP running mate. Hopefully, this will show those that are stuck in yesterday or stuck on stupid that Hiliary Clinton has no respect for those who don't look like her. By the way, America we need to see those tax returns....I think she has something to hide......

    March 10, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  3. METhinks

    I wonder what kind of help you have in your company? We the people, are the ceo's of our vote. Now the executive. the Congress, and Senate are our employees. Therefore how do we select as an employer, the right person to represent us best? Do as any good business CEO would do, get their resume and see which one can fill the job requirements best. No doubt I would choose Hillary. We need someone that is well known and respected by the world leaders. The leaders are not going to bow down to someone they know only by name. We cannot afford on the job training. It would take some time for the leaders to gain confidence on a new face. The world has attitude changed negative against us due to the decider. We can't afford to blow this!

    March 10, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  4. xyndau

    Senator Clinton tried to hold out hope of unifying the party after the primaries are completed. At no time, and I went back and looked at the transcripts of her comments, did she "offer" the VP slot to Obama, but rather implied – in the context of understanding that voters had a tough choice and wanted both choices, when only one could be made – that sometime down the road maybe something could happen. Bill Clinton also did not imply that an offer was being extended to Obama, but rather Bill Clinton was reflecting out loud the obvious that were, in fact, both Hillary and Obama on the same ticket, they would be unstoppable.

    It is the MSM that took Hillary and Bill's comments and parsed them into a conclusion that Hillary was offering the VP slot to Obama. That was not the case. Instead, Hillary and Bill were leaving that door open for future consideration. Perhaps its time for the MSM to start parsing Obama's every word in the manner it does the Clinton's. The MSM can start by looking at the last year of the West Wing TV series, and in particular the episode where Jimmy Smitts was at the convention addressing the delegates – compare Smitts "convention speech" to Obama's recent speech and you might be surprised (and for that matter, look at many of the speeches in the West Wing series for rather remarkable similarities in Obama's "prose" and his stump speeches). But of course, that would mean that the MSM would actually have to say something critical of Obama (the MSM doesn't mind repeating Hillary's or other parties criticism of Obama, but has demonstrated an inability to be critical on its own initiative).

    March 10, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  5. Helena Montana

    No thank you! I don't want Hillary Clinton on any ticket! She's not even in the lead in the delegate count. How can she presume such a notion? Thank goodness Senator Obama has spoken out.

    Barack Obama for President 2008!!!

    March 10, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  6. Franklin

    It 's come to the point that I am more disgusted with the political coverage in America than the politics, and that is saying a lot. The motives behind Mrs. Clintons statements are obvious, and yet you ask us, "Does Clinton benefit from so-called 'dream ticket' talk?" Why not frame the question,"What is the reason for Mrs. Clinton suggesting the 'dream ticket'?". Please, for the sake of America, start asking the tough, meaningful questions of all the candidates as well the current office holders. In my opinion, we desperately need a new direction from the leadership of this great country as well as the coverage of the people we have entrusted to run it. Please do your part, for the good of us all.

    March 10, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  7. Matt

    I am very proud that Mr. Obama said that he in not running for vp. Clinton is a political prostitute and she must win any way she can because she is bought and paid for by the lobbyists in Washington DC. This will make our country bought and paid for by the lobbyists as long as she is in office. If she is on the ticket with Obama anywhere I will vote for McCain! I just prey that Obama does not choose her for his vp, They said that they can teach him how to be a corrupt politician Like Hill and Billy “HILLBILLY” by August!
    She is only trying to steal this nomination because she will never get more pledged delegates than Obama! She must also need help with arithmetic!

    March 10, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  8. Dustin

    Deb, you are the one who is ignorant. Last time I checked terms for president are 4 years not 8. "HIllary – 2008 and 2016" Your lack of even the most basic knowledge in the American Government is frightening. I hope other Hillary supporters aren't as uneducated as you.

    March 10, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  9. Gregory

    Why is CNN giving this crap the light of day? Does anything the Clinton's say automatically turn into headlines. The person in second place in a two person race offers the leader the number two position. That's senseless. I guess this is "the silly season of politics."

    After Hillary gets pummeled in Mississippi, I wonder how long it will take you to start talking about Pennsylvania.

    Are you aware that a Hillary Clinton supporter, superdelegate is about to be indicted for being a part of a prostitution ring? How does that compare to Rezko, who by the way gave money to Clinton's national co-chair that wasn't given to charity. Run tel dat!!!

    March 10, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  10. Jake, California

    This woman is truly a Monster.

    She's a a witness in the Paul vs Clinton case and in that case she lied earlier about a lot of things too that she'll have to talk about in court.

    There's no way she can be the democratic nominee when she's going to be serving jail terms like Martha Stewart!

    Please don't listen to this monstrously woman America, she's a total destruction.

    Mississippi, North Carolina, Oregon, Virgin Island, South Dakota etc will say no to her. I don't know what Pennsylvania is thinking...PA please save America and say no to this woman. Puerto Rico you should do same...

    March 10, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  11. Monique from NC

    It makes perfect sense. Hillary is ready on day one – Barack has about 8 more years before he's ready. What a great ticket they would make!

    March 10, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Hillary is proving that she is a cheap politician and has learned nothing but cheper mentality in 35 years in politics..she is a fraud and people should teach her a lesson..she is good for nothing..urghhh

    March 10, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  13. Tony, Enterprise, Alabama

    She may have benefited from the possibility in the beginning, but not now.

    He has demonstrated such complete arrogance toward Senator Clinton, President Clinton and all of Hillary's supporters that he would no longer be accepted on the ticket.

    Let the Independents and Republicans that voted for him elect him President. NEWSFLASH...they will be voting for John McCain on Election Day.

    This Democrat is confident that Senator Clinton will win the nomination. Failing that, I will be writing her name in on my ballot in November.

    I will never vote for Barack Obama, the pretender to the Presidency.

    We cannot afford another Bush.

    March 10, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  14. Mark

    I think Obama's excellent reply pointing out Hillary's hypocrisy on this issue says all we need to know. Why would Hillary want a VP who, according to her previous claims, isn't qualified to be president?

    (... unless, of course, Obama actually *IS* more than qualified, with more actual legislative experience than Hillary has.)

    It's much to Obama's credit that he didn't offer her the VP slot, especially when there are so many far more experienced, positive, charismatic candidates for him to choose from, such as Al Gore, Bill Richardson, Federico Pena... people who actually served more than tea in the White House.

    How arrogant do you have to be to offer the clear front runner in the race a seat on the back of the bus anyway?! Hillary Clinton's campaign is increasingly running against political reality.

    She's only saying what she's saying because she's trying to bamboozle people into believing that she's even remotely close in this race, and that voters can get a "two-for-one" deal.

    (This offer not valid in the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, and any other U.S.-held territories.)

    Let's face it. She's desperate. Soon enough, she'll be suggesting that *SHE* should be Vice President. I hope Obama shoots that suggestion down too, because Hillary Clinton is the opposite of change.

    March 10, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    shame on you hillary & bill

    March 10, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  16. julie, ca

    Last time we all checked, Barack Obama was in the lead.

    Again, I'm offended by the Clinton arrogance that I've seen throughout this campaign.

    March 10, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  17. Jack

    Obama/Rezko '08: "Change without experience"

    March 10, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  18. VP

    This wouldn't surprise me at all.

    Which woman in her right mind would support her husband in infidelity besides her political ambitions. So if she doesn't win the nomination, she would be much more humiliated for her support for her husband.

    I think this is a good lesson for people who doesn't have the self esteem to show what they are beside their personal ambitions.

    March 10, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  19. Pia

    More spin from the desperate Clintons. If Obama does give the VP to Hillary, he had better get himself a food taster.

    March 10, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  20. Ada

    I just talk to someone about this, and he said the Clintons must think they are more stupid people than wise people in this country. My response was, maybe they are more stupid people in this country. I mean the Democrats.

    March 10, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  21. Paula Miller

    Dream Ticket? I call it my worst nightmare ticket. I am so worried that Hillary will do something so" out of site" to get the win. She is ruthless. I was considering her nomination at first, but she is not the one to run our country. She is trying to destroy Obama. We should stand up for him and not let this happen. Obama wants to run a clean campaign. He is being knocked for what he stands for -CHANGE in politics. He will not stoop to Hillary's level. If she wins the democratic primary, I know a lot of people, beside myself, that will not vote for her.

    Paula CA

    March 10, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  22. Rebecca

    Experience for President is not having tea and cookies in China and vacationing on 80 other countries.

    Experience for President is not waking up Bill on the couch at 3 am to tell him the phones for him.

    Experience for President is not being a radical feminist.

    Experience for President is not being a bully and yelling at people when they don't agree with you.

    Experience for President is not the ability to escape scandals.

    Experience for President is not keeping secrets that you claim are part of your crucial experience.

    Experience for President is not being corrupt, mean, dirty, hateful and so on.

    Please tell us what other crucial experience you have Hillary, because so far we have not heard or seen any that pertains to your job application.

    March 10, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  23. Jake

    Let's discuss the Superdelegates. They were created to give the party a say in the nomination process. They have a responsibility to do what they feel is best for the Democratic party and to help select a candidate who a) has the best chance of winning and b) will better serve this country. I have far more faith in them than the American people, a lot of whom I would argue don't even vote based on the issues. How else do you explain the fact that Hillary is voted as significantly stronger on the economy and yet those same people aren't voting for her, despite citing it as THE most important issue? I will tell you this as someone who was in his 20's a short while ago, most young people follow trends more than they follow the issues. And voting for Obama is the trendy thing to do.
    People need to just let the Superdelegates do their job and stop telling them how they should vote. It's in their best interest to pick the most electable and best President.
    We gave the American people a voice in 2004 and they choose Bush. Nuff said.

    March 10, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  24. Mary

    Hillary Clinton is quite capable of winning the White House without Obama on the ticket. Hillary and Bill both were asked about this dream ticket. I thought they handle it nicely by not putting Obama down in any way. Neither of them appoarched the subject of Obama being VP, so he doesn't need to get so arrogrant about Hillary. He has always been rude if he was asked about Hillary being VP. Personally I don't think they are the dream team. Obama doesn't like Hillary and he has always protrayed that.

    Dan Abrams we know that MSNBC is againt Hillary as a Presidental candidate so your facts shoot down on her just adds to biased journalism.

    March 10, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  25. ben


    March 10, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
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