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. noemi

    Jay – are you serious Obama would pick up CA & Texas! Have you not read the results on who they voted for Hillary!

    Wake up and see who won those states. If Hillary is not the nominee her supporters would run to McCain as well as vice versa!

    They both need each other and whoever is on top it will keep the party united! This is the real test to see if Obama is a uniter any other VP would not unite the party or country.

    Get real please!

    March 10, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  2. Pia

    I can see you are still delusional that your gal Hillary can win. I'm so sorry you have been brainwashed or as Obama put it today in Miss. ,'bamboozled' by the Clintons. There is hope, though, you can always get de-programmed.

    March 10, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  3. Gerry - former republican

    Brian – Trinidad is righit.

    Clinton is interested in the Democrates winning the White House.

    Obama is interested in Obama getting the nomination.

    Go Hillary!

    March 10, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  4. Democrat in Houston


    March 10, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  5. To America the Beautiful

    America the Beautiful

    Where did you learn math, George Bush?

    Even if Hillary got all of Michigan and Florida's delegates she still wouldn't win the nomination. In fact if she wan 100% of Michigan and Florida delegates she would still be over 600 delegates short of the magic number.

    She currently needs an average of 60% of the remaining state delegates and superdelegates the rest of the way, even if you include Michigan and Florida. The magic number of delegates is 2025 without Michigan and Florida and 2208 if Michigan and Florida end up revoting. Do your research before spouting your mouth off.

    March 10, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  6. Ethel

    What is this? Only accepting comments from Obama supporters? You're only displaying comments condemning and ridiculing Hillary and Bill Clinton? That's been done before, and it did not succeed, and the voters will speak for themselves. We don't need help making our decision who to vote for.

    March 10, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  7. jujub

    I can't believe this…why on earth would Barack Obama want to be within 100 feet of Hillary Clinton any time in the future?

    She has spent months bashing his his religion (he's Christian not Muslim), his Church (what about the priests who abused children folks or McCain's buddy who is an Anti-Semite), his patriotism (he was singing the National Anthem not saying the Pledge of Allegiance), his drug use (fully disclosed in a book he wrote years ago), his middle name (means Beautiful not Terrorist) ; his voting "present" as an Illinois Senator (something that is a political vote, not an absentee vote), his experience (he has 3 more years in an elected judicial position), his position of NAFTA (his other book wrote of his position and the Clintons did the wink wink to Canada), his Senate bills and record (far more substantive bills and resolutions than HRC); his absence after his announced his presidency (she has voted less than him and has also been absent); his purported plagiarism (while she plagiarizes his words); his lead in the race for the nomination (she is behind folks)….need I say more. Hillary: You and your supporters are truly delusional.

    March 10, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  8. Ron

    This entire situation is ridicous. If Obama was behind in delegates like Clinton, he would be talked about more neagatively. It's about DOI me standards, race and ignorance. Sen. Clinton isn't the type of person I would vote for in any situation. Now that I know how she works! Unfortunately there are many voters who have the same mindset as he Clintons. Nothing will change and people will continue to complain about the same people they keep electing.

    March 10, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  9. noemi

    To answer the title of this article the answer is yes, Hillary benefits from it because she is trying to unite and Obama is being arrogant on the eve of MS primary.

    MS please see who he really is before you vote for him!

    March 10, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  10. Ken Wright, Portland, OR.

    The height audacity! The height of arrogance!

    The height of overconfidence! The height of self-importance!

    Hillary is no dream for Senator Obama to have on a ticket!

    Hillary is no dream for the Democrats to have on a ticket.

    She and Bill are tearing the party apart.

    Hillary is no dream on a ticket because you get Bill with her.

    Those two politicians with the least amount of veracity in politics do not, with anyone, a dream ticket make.

    Even though I won’t vote for you because of the mess the party is in, with that Screamer Howard Dean at the helm, and no clear cut resolution to hold to the party rules to keep the unseated Michigan and Florida delegates off of the convention floor, I believe, Senator Obama is head and shoulders the better candidate.

    Disorganization and incompetence produce my resolve that no Democrat candidate gets my vote.

    I’m disgusted with the shenanigans.

    March 10, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  11. ahna


    March 10, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  12. Robin

    Obama has said it all! He wants no part of their outfit and I do not blame him. He is ahead and has popular vote. Why should he settle? Hillary Clinton just cannot deal with the fact that she is no longer top dog. It is she who should ask that is beg for the # 2 spot!

    March 10, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  13. simple thought ?

    EXSPERINCE, without it we are confused.

    March 10, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  14. Mike

    It's a little more complicated than what Obama is saying. Yes, he is in the lead with delegates and states (popular vote is virtually tied), but its not always about who the best candidate is, but its also about who will win the presidency. Remeber, winning the democratic primary doesn't guarantee the presidency, there's a whole half of the country that has to decide as well.

    Yes, Obama is leading in polls against McCain, but that is just a snapshot of things to come. I truly believ that given time for the Republicans to hone their attack, Obama has a lot that's yet to be revealed. He has so much running against him, and I can see a lot of democrats, especially Clinton supporters, defecting to McCain's side, especially if the democratic position doesn't get resolved soon.

    But it is important to note that Obama seems overconfident to the point of arrogance. If he doesn't take this "deal," and ends up losing the nomination, he will be seen as an extremely divisive figure that hastened the democratic process and gave the republicans a lot of ammunition. There's a good chance that if that situation occurs, and Hillary doesn't pick him as the nominee, he could very well be finished in politics.

    He needs to be objective, take things into consideration, and come up with a valid, well thought out decision on this. That's the sign of a good leader that is concerned about what's best for our country, not one that's out to win a race and has his own best interests in mind.

    As for delusional comments: Not being able to name Obama's accomplishments but still supporting him is delusional. Cheering loudly while he blows his nose is delusional. Handing over a child for him to kiss while sick is delusional. Seeing huge partisanship when it comes to his supporters is delusional. Ignoring controversies without even considering them or self-educating on them is delusional.

    People, do some true, unbiased research on Obama. Really look at him, his actions, and his professional history. Ignore the "messages of hope and change," and seek out substance. Look at his voting records, and people he's worked with. There's no way you'd vote for him if you did that. Try naming five things about him you DON'T like. If you can't do that, you are delusional. Don't be blind.

    March 10, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  15. VA

    MICHIGAN POPULATION....9,938,444..VOTERS...593,837

    March 10, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  16. Bertha - old democrat

    March 10th, 2008 6:50 pm ET
    Joanne said it so much better than I can.
    So, I quote her:

    "A perfect case for cynicism! Human conduct is wholly motivated by self-interest. Obama, without a political trail by which the measure of the man may be taken is just an opportunist , politicians of his caliber are a dime a dozen, witness today's news on New York's governor. Nonetheless, those so easily fooled by politicians will keep on swallowing the bs handed out. Once these people are in office, they do whatever darn they please….thanks to those voters who put them in office who lacked the tools by which to analyze the candidates."

    March 10, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  17. John, Brookline, MA

    Hillary and the talk of Obama as a vice presidential candidate reminds me of the Bolsheviks and the Menshiviks. 'Bolshevik' means majority, and 'Menshivik' minority. The Bolsheviks were the minority, but called themselves the majority, and the majority let them get away with it, There is Hillary, like the Lenin, like the Bush administration, creating her own reality. Keep point out that she is losing, Barack.

    March 10, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  18. Lisa

    Once again you people have to have something to complain about at this point you want the democrats to get back into the white house then you fuss about him and complain about her it does not matter which one is the head or tale as long as it one or the other.and if it don't go your way about whichever one your voting for you are going to vote for mcclain go ahead 99.9% of you probably voted republican anyway and now you are feeling the stiffness just as everyone else or more so,now you say you will vote for mcclain it really don't make a difference until it 's on paper and mcclain gets in there and thats a very big IF now . and the only thing we all will have to do is shall out is more money except if you are rich as cream,so to tell you the truth I'm really tired of hearing and reading all of this stuff and they obama and hillary fighting each other,and the republicains are loving this kind of media fighting it's so sad that neither will have enough delgates by august it will come down to the superdelgates to pick then thats another problem as well ,so who is standing on the side of UNITED WE STAND? DIVIDED WE FALL? this is what the democratic side has done it's time for UNITY,people get real.

    March 10, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  19. OBAMA 08!!!

    No to Hillary...Yes to Edwards as VP and CNN's John King is HOT!

    March 10, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  20. La Raza

    Irritated in Cali

    Si se puede. Hillary needs Obama, Obama does not need Hillary my friend. I mean my punk friend.

    March 10, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  21. Lisa

    Why is the standard line that Clinton won Texas? Once both primary and caucus votes were counted, Obama netted 99 delegates to Clinton's 94. Hmm, that sounds like an Obama win.

    March 10, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  22. To Joanna

    Obama not only leads by over 150 delegates but also over 600.000 popular votes. No way for Clinton supporters to spin these numbers, they are losing, period.

    March 10, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  23. C00Smith

    I used to think Hillary had simply been immersed in politics for so long that she couldn't understand that this kind of political posturing and gamesmanship, rather than Republican dirty tricks, was the reason she was so disliked. I have come to think that she actually understands it all quite well. She is perfectly happy with her small inner circle of friends and advisers who admire this kind of behavior. The public just exists to be manipulated and made a fool of. She is an excellent politician; not such a great person.

    March 10, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  24. Andrew

    i have noticed that people seem to be fairly negative to Hillary for no appernt reason other then the fact that she was part of the 'horrible' 90's. i am not saying i voted for her or that i didn't vote for her it is just dissapointing to see people jump to conclusions. i do beleive Obama will bring change to politics- he already has short term wise, by revamping the Democratic Primary. however i do not beleive he can change politics for long term. Go as far back in history you want-FDR, Washington, Scipio, Pericles, even to the Sumerian empire with the election of the Ensi and Lugal; its all the same politics sling mud, make false images, and make promises they can't keep. I am not trying to be cynical but in running for any office all you can really offer is your word, and make sure that the other person won't keep his. Besides the Primary is not about the people it is about the party. This is not a general election. It is fallacy to think that the person with the most popular votes should win by default. Let the party deceide between Hillary and Obama for which one would benefit the party the most and be able to win among Dems, Reps, and Ind.

    March 10, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  25. Kim, Los Angeles, CA


    March 10, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
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