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 Black

    Hillary has floated this idea time and time again during her campaign.

    It is an effective way of neutering Barack Obama – by implying that he is Vice-Presidential material only, and also by implying that a vote for Hillary is a vote for Obama.

    Obama and Hillary are offering two distinct choices this year, and they do not converge.

    Obama stands for honesty and integrity, while Hillary represents the "old school" anything-for-a-buck anything-to-win mentaltiy.

    Hillary chastizes Obama for taking $16,000 from a developer, while at the same time she made $11 MILLION DOLLARS last year from her Husband's friends.

    Who are Hillary's 11 Milion Dollar friends? We don't know all their names – yet. But we do know it includes Vin Gupta, Norman Hsu and the goverment of Dubai (the same guys who wanted to control our ports).

    Unfortunately, if Hillary wins the nomination, this data will come out in the general election, and McCain will make mincemeat of her.

    Which is OK by me. Obama or McCain – both are honest, decent people who do not take huge sums of money from bad people.

    March 10, 2008 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  2. Lily

    Shame on you BILLARY!! Thats not gonna happen!!

    March 10, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  3. John

    IT is good for Obama be the VP, he will get 8 years of traning and be ready late on. When people gets sick, they are looking for the most experienced doctor, so does a country. Hillary is the one qualified for president or else McMcan.

    March 10, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  4. rw in ct

    I do not believe Clinton wants this man on her ticket. From ABC News, Mar. 5th:

    Accused Illinois fixer Antoin "Tony" Rezko is in debt by $50 million and relies on "family" handouts of $7,500 a month to pay monthly costs, according to a previously sealed court transcript reviewed by ABC News.

    Rezko's bleak financial picture raises the question of how the Rezkos were able to buy a vacant lot adjoining the home of Sen. Barack Obama in 2005, at a time Rezko says he was already in deep debt.

    March 10, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  5. Brian of florida

    It dont matter who is running as what or who is on top.They are both enemies of america.All of you loud mouth libs better watch yourselves.I know you think your views are the views of all americans about these clowns because of the liberal media.But understand this there are many of us who will never accept or swear allegience to either of these traitors.We hear you talk of acceptance and free speech but you supress any you disagree with.It is on your head libs what is comming if you elect either of them.We will not let you hide behind democracy in order to subvert it.You better be ready to fight and not with words.GOD BLESS AMERICA

    March 10, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  6. denise

    Matt–Obama has just as much experience or more than Bill Clinton. Besides, anyone who teams up with the Clinton's are ruined forever. Any politician who owes the Clinton's favors can never pay them back. It is best to stay away from them.

    March 10, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  7. JCH

    Why are Obama supporter so angry, vicious and cynical??? What happened to the talk that these are both good candidates, and we would be happy with either??? I feel that the liberals are wratching up the nasty rhetoric against a woman (such as calling her a "monster"), whom only a year ago supported and four years ago begged to run against Bush, and it is REALLY turning off moderate, normal dems. After all, isn't the guy their supporting supposed to be about getting past negative, divisive politics. The more that liberals take this scorched-earth approach against one of their own; the more and more I think that Senator McCain (who seems to be a moderate and a good man) wouldn't be a bad choise in November if, at a minimum, as a way to put it back in the face of these ultra liberals hijacking our party.

    March 10, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  8. Sue

    Maybe Hilliary has already set her sight on Elliot Spitzer's position as Governor of NY!

    March 10, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  9. kevin

    Sorry this might be the wrong forum for this but I can not seem to get a response from CNN, so I guess I have to blog it. Obama leads Clinton 1,347 to 1,200 in pledged delagates according to the summary page of CNN's political ticker. However, if you go into each state individually on the site his lead in pledged delegates is only 1,287 to 1,172. In other words, Obama leads Clinton by 115 pledged delegates instead of the 147 being reported, which amounts to a 28% overstatement. I sent CNN an e-mail offering to send my Excel adding up their State by State numbers but they only auto responded to me. I'm not saying that this is some vast conspiracy, but come on CNN your numbers should add up.

    March 10, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  10. Mary

    Mississippi. please consider Hillary when you cast your vote Tuesday. We belive that Hillary would be a great President for all of America.

    March 10, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  11. Christine

    She is just trying to unite the democratic party. And she isn't far behind in the race. She will get Pennsylvania which has much more delegates than Mississippi. Don't forget, she won Ohio, and there hasn't been a democratic nominee elected for president that didn't win Ohio in the primaries in over 100 years. I will not vote for Obama if he becomes the nominee.

    HILLARY '08

    March 10, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  12. Jay

    All the people who will vote for McCain if they don't get their precious (that's a laugh) Hillary don't deserve to have a Democrat in the White House anyways.

    March 10, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  13. AnneinPA

    Where or when has Obama said directly " I will not be the Vice Presidential candidate?" He hasn't ! I have to laugh at Hillary's boldness and challenge. With neither one able to get to the magic
    number 2025, if he refuses to unite the Democrats with a joint ticket
    he looks like a divider not a uniter.

    Hillary '08!!!!!!!!!!

    March 10, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  14. noemi

    all I read is Obama is in the lead, Obama is # 1, yet he has not been able to win 1 big state. How is he going to win the election if he can't win CA, NY, NJ, Ohio, Texas or even Florida!

    Please people get some reasoning behind your Obama fever! Take a look at who he really is before you annointed him the savor of America.

    How much has he done for America besides preach and preach about change and a new way of doing things!

    Put America first and not your hatred of the Clintons who by the way already provided on their promises = peace and prosperity!!!!

    March 10, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  15. Kinkan

    Dear everybody, don't be fooled by the way the Clintons playing this game. It's one of many they have been trying to trick our mind. If you're smart enough you see immediately what they're doing. We know what we need for the next leader, don't we?

    March 10, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  16. person

    Well, does experience as a First Lady count? Clinton supporters, name one time when Hillary Clinton responded to a moment of crisis like 9/11? If she is making that argument, then only one person can be and should be president again–good old George Bush! Also, although the U.S. economy was better when Bill was pres., Bill Clinton did not have to deal with an economy in recession. Any candidate who becomes president will have to deal with an economy in recession, the exorbitant costs of a prolonged and unnecessary war, a huge debt, a weakening dollar, and with an America that has lost its reputation for the virtues that we celebrate as part of our Constitution. So, we need a professor of Constitutional Law, a great speechmaker, and a person who can gather all of the help we can get from the Republican and Democratic party in order to turn this country around. Guess who? Barack Obama. By the way, when a talented basketball player joins the NBA, he might play better than older, veteran basketball players simply because of his talent. Barack Obama may not have the same experience as Hillary Clinton, but he has enormous talent–which would last the two terms he will be President after he wins the 2008 election.

    March 10, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  17. kmiller

    NO WAY !!! Obama should connect himself with the Clintons.

    He should not sully himslf with thier con acts.

    The only ticket needed is one way back to NY.

    scary scary stuff to think they can geta free ride from Obama.

    Get real folks !! We really dont need this kind of BS when it comes down to doing business with other countrys.

    March 10, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  18. Obama

    "My name is Barack Obama, and, as you may have heard, I’m running for

    I would like to speak today about Michigan and Florida.

    I want to take you all back to last New Year’s Eve in Iowa. I said to folks
    then that Al Gore lost in 2000 because he was a divisive candidate. His way
    , I say to you, was the politics of the past.

    Al Gore wanted every vote in Florida counted. I say to you, that’s the
    politics of the past.

    And now, in 2008, Hillary Clinton wants the January vote in Michigan and
    Florida counted. That’s the politics of the past.

    If they can’t be counted, she says, there should be a re-vote in new
    primaries. With secret ballots. And no on-site campaigning. The politics of
    the past.

    She wants all police officers to have the chance to vote. All the
    firefighters. All the nurses and factory workers and supermarket cashiers.
    All the young parents and handicapped and elderly.

    Definitely the politics of the past.

    Now I say we can have a re-vote. Certainly.

    In a caucus.

    A caucus. Where we can postpone voting until we sway all those not with us.
    Yes, we can.

    A caucus. Where we can bully and intimidate all those not with us. Call them
    racists and bigots until they change their minds. Yes, we can.

    A caucus. Where we can lock out all those not with us and vote without them.
    Yes, we can.

    A caucus. Something we can have to ourselves.

    Yes, we can.

    We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

    March 10, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  19. Will

    Why does the mainstream media continue to perpetuate the illusion that somehow Hillary Clinton still has a shot at securing the Democratic nomination?


    Once again the media will sell out its integrity for the sake of ratings and trivial non-stories that are positioned as facts and real news.

    March 10, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  20. VA

    Hillary is one of the most corrupt politicians of our time. If she's on the ticket, I'm voting for Nader. Obama is our best hope for uniting this country, His experience is real – not like Hillary's – he wasn't just married to the president or governor of Arkansas for 16 years

    March 10, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  21. Mary


    HILLARY hurt the party by running, period. The country doesn't need a redux of the scandal-plagued Clinton years.

    March 10, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  22. Lee

    This article contains an error in the statement: "But following Clinton's wins in Texas, Ohio, and Rhode Island last week — a trifecta of victories that essentially salvaged her presidential hopes." It now appears that after the caucus votes are added in, Barack Obama won Texas. This fact needs to get more attention.

    March 10, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  23. Drew

    You idiots who keep calling Obama supporters "delusional" and "crazy", or even a "cult", need to shut up and watch as the YOUTH change America. I am tired of listening to middle-aged white women rant about Hillary and her so-called "experience" when they really know nothing about her. Its the same thing over and over: "she's got the experience and the solutions to be the commander in chief." Ha. Get a clue. She is once again deceiving all of you as she has done many times before. She is a liar, a cheater, and a crybaby. I will not be called an ignorant "punk" and a "delusional" young voter by these arrogant older people. Look you've had your chance but your generation has put this country into such a big mess that it will be very hard to get out of. This is not a cult, this is excitement. Why? Because somebody who represents US is here, and that somebody is Barack Obama. Before you criticize this man, do your research. Read his book. Watch his documentary. You will find that he is a great American, and his life has not been nearly as littered with controversy and lies as Hillary Rodham Clinton's.
    Obama-AnybodybutHillary '08

    March 10, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  24. p denton

    The Clinton/ Obama ticket works for me-pd

    March 10, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  25. Tricia

    Hmm...didn't Eliot Spitzer make a big deal during his campaign about what he was going to do in office starting on day one too?

    March 10, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
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