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. I Used To Love her, PA

    If anything, as a former fence sitter leaning towards Hillary, now I know Hillary can't be trusted. if you align her Hillary/Obama ticket with what she was saying last week in regards to Obama's experience, now its evident that shes just an empty suit, who lives and dies by the polls. Shes the type of person that has to look at a poll before she makes a decision. That was evident in her vote to go to war in Iraq and i think its evident here, in her "proclomation" to make Obama VP. Its ridiculous, she has an outside chance, at best. So her asking Obama to be VP is completely ludicrous.

    Sorry Hillary. You lost my vote and my support.

    March 10, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  2. Kimberly

    I haven't read any comments yet but I'll bet the "Obama Cult Members" are at it again. .....Okay I read a few of their evil remarks... I was right. Do these "Cult Members" work? Are they out to destroy our country? ...the World?

    March 10, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  3. William

    If this isn't the best evidence that Hillary is divisive and would be divisive to this country – which is exactly what this country doesn't need – I don't know what is.

    It is the ultimate in arrogance and insensitivity to tell a competitor they could be a good second in command to them.

    It's also the ultimate in bad judgement.

    She is proving that she is not qualified to be president. America needs to pay attention.

    March 10, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  4. Mary

    For everyone out there that thinks being first lady for eight year means nothing as experience it would help if you would check with other first ladies and the ones that are deceased check on what they accompolished when they were first lady.
    Hillary Clinton, Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush, Lady Bird Johnson, Jacquline Kennedy, Mayne Eisenhower, Laura Bush and Roselyn Carter and many more first ladies could be mentioned. These ladies were all very worthy of their service to the country.

    I doubt there is a world leader who doesn't identify with Hillary Clinton.

    March 10, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  5. marge

    OMG!!!!! Clinton supporters should be hanging their heads in shame!!!! LOL!LOL!
    Hillary isn't in any position to be talking about her VP....LOL!LOL!LOL!
    For those of you that don't want hill to be Obama on her ticket...LOL!LOL! Don't Fret...LOL!LOL!
    Hillary's isn't going to have a ticket!!!!!! LOL!LOL!LOL!

    March 10, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  6. Kentucky

    The truth of the matter is that although Obama would be a very good president is not the reason we are all voting for him, its because no one can stand THE CLINTONS!!!!!! The country is more intelligent that what we were 20 years ago. NO MORE CLINTONS!!!! We tried to impeach the last one.

    March 10, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  7. NancyD

    Oregon Voter,

    If you read more, you will find out that Obama is in the lead – in both delegates and popular vote...if he's winning, and Clinton is NOT winning, why would he consider being VP? When he is in the LEAD for the presidential nomination?

    March 10, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  8. Ana

    The more I read and hear Obama supporters, the more I realize how fanatic they are, and it is scary. They sound like the far right that gave us Bush and Cheney. They are so unwilling to yield and compromise. the only difference between fanatic ultra right wingers and these Obama supporters is that they are on the other side–ultra left wingers. What happens to the early media reports that said that the Obama supporters were highly educated? Educated people bring reason, knowledge and logic to the argument–these people blogging here just "spit" insults and complaints. A note: If the goal is for the Democrats to win the White House, we must win in Florida and Ohio, which Senator Clinton won by a good margin. Senator Obama has won many small states that never vote Democrat in the general election. (Also, many republican voted for Obama this time, but they will vote for McCain in November–do not fooled). As to why Senator would be best fitted for VP– He should gain the experience needed to be a great president later.

    March 10, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  9. Ted

    Yes Canada is for Obama in the hope of a safer world.

    March 10, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  10. jo.c

    Hillary Clinton is the next President. It is important for everyone to understand that this is where things will land. She does not need Obama. Obama needs Obama; Obama will only serve Obama. He is on an Obama trip. Obviously, he has a lot joining in on his trip. This is a serious matter; that someone that no one knew 6 months ago now thinks he is very popular. What gives?

    March 10, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  11. Dee

    Hillary is open to the possibility of having Obama as her VP should she win. That isnt ASKING Barack, that is called speculating. Obama is NOT open to this idea should he lose. So Obama supporters...who is divise now? Double-speak indeed...he IS the King of it!

    As far as his 'if I'm good enough for VP, I am good enough for President' crap, well..thats not what Clinton is saying: she is saying that should she have to step down as President someday, better Obama in charge, inexperienced as he is, than McCain, mini-Bush that he is.

    Typical Obama sheister-talk...he is finally showing his true colors...

    March 10, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  12. David Murphy

    Oh, so if Barack's a good boy he can be Hillary & Bill's VP? Hahahahaha! Guess what Hillary? The whole world is watching and we're not going to have democracy hijacked this time around.

    March 10, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  13. Enrique

    It's the spring of 2002. It's 3am and the red phone is ringing in Hillary's house. It's George W. Bush. They conference John McCain. The three of them agree that the US should invade Iraq.

    March 10, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  14. Darryl2

    I have to give Mrs. Clinton credit for such a well thought out tactic. I have already voted for Mrs. Clinton. However, I would give the world to go back and change my vote now that her true colors are showing.

    This is underhanded politics at its best. It is quite apparent to the well informed and educated voter what she is doing. However, what we are overlooking is how does this resonate with the misinformed and under-educated.

    My point is there is a bit of prejudice and stereotyping being done here. Hillary is banking on the average African-American voter not being well educated. These comments are merely a tactic to either (1) swing the African-American vote her way or (most probably) keep the African American voter from turing out to vote for Mr. Obama.

    Rumors build in the under-educated portions of the population. That segment of the population does not turn to CNN or read the Political sections of the newpaper on a frequent basis. Mrs. Clinton's statements could easily translate into rumors that Mr. Obama is running as Vice President with Mrs. Clinton. Therefore, a large segment of the "targeted" voters will not show up for future Democratic Primaries and Caucuses.

    Don't get me wrong. I do not believe this tactic will work as the African-American population is more intelligent than many in the Political arena believes. Mrs. Clinton, please campaign on the issues and what is best for this country and leave the negative and sneaky politics out of this.

    This is a message from a once avid Hillary Clinton supporter.

    March 10, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  15. alice2

    Clinton is behind and wants to make people think that she is the front runner and therefore will probable win, so vote for her and she will let Barack be on the ticket as VP. I don't think that will happen. If she does get it, the Republicans will bring out all the dirt on her during the White House years. Bill's sex scandel, Watergate, the way he (Bill) lied to the American people, also there is more corruption that has happened since they left the White House. People did not like the Clinton's when they left the White House. They wanted them OUT, (tried to impeach him) and do not want them back again. Hilary is not trustworthy, too many lies. She needs to turn in her tax returns, and also documents about her accomplishments, her 35 years experience especially the foreign affairs experience. (What a joke) My vote goes to BARACK OBAMA, Change we can believe in.

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

    Personally, I think that the Democratic Party will NOT win the nomination if Obama is the nominee. Many many people will vote for McCain if Obama is the nominee because of too many scandals and past involvments with radical groups and criminal activity. I think that the Clintons know how Obama will be attacked and are actually trying to protect him.

    This is a blessing that President Clinton would suggest this idea.

    Ignorance IS NOT BLISS...its just Ignorance!!!!!! I KNOW the dems will not win if Hillary is the nominee EITHER!!!!! I know many people that will just stay at home....The DNC knows this too!!!!!

    March 10, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  17. s.positive

    Clinton spinning...

    March 10, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |

    Of course Hillary benefits from this ploy. Hillary knows she is
    losing this race and, I believe, that She and Bill dream up these
    plans to do whatever it will take to win. It is a known fact that the
    Clintons think, 'hey will not lose, or that losing this race is NOT
    an option. Therefore, anything goes.

    Bill announced this weekend during his campaigning for Hillary,
    that A Clinton/Obama ticket would be "unstoppable". That may
    be true, but I believe that the trick is to get Hillary the nomination
    by playing on peoples emotions, that the Great American people
    will think they are doing a good thing by voting for Hillary would
    be voting for Obama, too. The problem with that plan, it is a win
    win situation for Hillary. That does not necessarily guarantee
    the American people that she will choose Obama in the end.
    And certainly does not guarantee that Obama would even ever
    want to be Vice Pres. under such an unscrupulous couple.

    Hillary blames others for all of her problems and who is to say
    should Obama ever be V.P, under her, that she wouldn't blame
    him if things would go wrong for her.

    In all actuality, Obama is a very wise and smart man. Too smart
    for the Clinton's I think he has them all figured out. Something
    the Clinton's never counted on.

    OBAMA 2008 for Pres. Never V.P. under Hillary and Bill.

    March 10, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  19. Bill

    Being a Vice President is akin to being the backup Quarterback on a NFL football team. Can you name the backup QB of your favorite team?

    March 10, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  20. Jackie

    Why does CNN continue to suggest that Hillary Clinton "won" Florida and Michigan? For once and for all, the DNC has not recognized the primaries in either state. Therefore, there was no winner. CNNs job is to report the news, not manufacture it. It is clear that your coverage of this affair is one-sided and driven by the Clinton machine. This will be a moot point when Senator Obama wins the Democratic nomination. So stop the double speak, and stick to your journalistic role!

    March 10, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  21. Phillivethedream

    Wow! If she is'nt as slick as old slick Willie; might even be where he got his slickness from. I mean good lord. They, Hillary & Bill know that they have lost. Keep in mind, "The Clinton Machine"! A system by the Clintons to WIN at all cost, by any means. So because they can't win the White House out right, because america has said no, now they come up with the ideal to force Obama to put her on his ticket. They know what they're doing. Just the right amount of pressure and then Obama has to make the call. Yes or no to Hillary on his ticket. Well I for one say hell 2 tha nawl!!! The Clintons are way too power hungry to be that close (Vp Hillary) to just stop there. They would not stop until they win. Got to put em down. Leave no option or no way. Send the Clintons home, and invite them to visit the White House.

    March 10, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  22. Todd Coulter

    CNN= Clinton News Network

    March 10, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  23. Wicca Rich

    I am a white man 37 years old who is registerd as a independent, but I tend to vote republican.
    This will be the first time I have ever voted for a democrat.
    But this so called dream ticket whos dream is it?
    Not my dream more like a night mare.
    If Hillary wins the democratic nomination thin I will vote for McCain.
    If Obama wins and he puts Hillary as his VP thin I will vote for McCain.
    I didn't vote for the Clintons the first time thay ran and I will not vote thim back in.
    Right now my vote is going to Barack Obama but if he goes for this dream ticket that will change.

    March 10, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  24. Paul

    Hillary has basically already lost. Like Huckabee did , she needs a miracle. Hillary supporters should save there breath and go do the math, that is if you know how. You will be greatly disapointed. Even with Michigan and Florida she is finished for the most part.

    YOU LOST, take it like a woman, or man, whatever you are.

    March 10, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  25. bond

    Scoreboard Obama

    March 10, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
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