March 11th, 2008
09:50 AM ET
12 years ago

Does Clinton benefit from so-called 'dream ticket' talk?

 Could Clinton and Obama appear on the same ticket? Clinton appears to be fueling the speculation.

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. Truth

    For all you Hillary cronies Obama is 46 even if for some odd reason he doesn't get the nod he can run on his own again in 4 or 8 years without being VP he doesn't need Hillary.

    March 10, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  2. Jeff

    If Barack Obama were to somehow, miraculously not win the nomination and decide to be Clinton's runningmate, his presence would offset a portion of the extra Republicans who would turn out of Election Day.

    The Dream Ticket is the one poll after poll keeps showing will trounce John McCain. Its the Obama / NotClinton ticket.

    Vote for the frontrunner with 11 years of experience, not the divider with 7 years. Vote for Barack Obama!

    March 10, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  3. Amanda

    This idea nauseates me! Why can't Clinton attempt to win on her own merits and not game playing and cheating to win? Doesn't she have any pride? Her behavior is becoming downright despicable!
    How anyone can support her is beyond me...

    March 10, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  4. Tom Overberg

    Watching Anderson cooper- Again CNN fails to tell the world that the NY goveror is a Democrate. Another exampleof double standards in the media. Why CNN is is not D for Democrate behild the name of the NY govenor?

    March 10, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  5. Coline

    No, I don't think it helps her. I think that Americans have seen how fake she is and realize that she is just doing what she cans to win. She is playing the dirty politics game. Obama on the other hand isn't going for it. There is a video of him responding to that "dream ticket" idea that is floatin around. Watching the video clears everything up, and everything he says is very true!

    March 10, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  6. hilarious

    hillary acts as if the presidency is her birthright. and what is the whole point of that 3AM ad? what is she doing answering calls? shouldn't she be working? we need a president, not a receptionist.

    March 10, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  7. Jeanne

    Obama could only wish he could have a mentor like Hillary. I wish she would quit talking about him being her VP. I want her to win the nomination, but I don't want him involved in her administration at all. I know she is just trying to be nice, but the longer this goes on, the less I like him and the more you see his many faces. He needs to just sit back and watch the process for a few years...well, 8 of Hillary's presidency.

    March 10, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  8. Sheila

    Can Hillary supporters get any more negative? She is behind in the popular vote, the delegate vote and states won..What audacity that any of you would expect a front runner to agree to a deal to be VP. Would you expect Obama to do that had Hillary been front runner? Sorry Hillary supporters, like it or not, if Hillary wins the nomination, she will need every Obama supporter vote she can get.. This isn't a very good way to unite the party..If anything, it's destroying the party..Maybe that is the plan?

    March 10, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  9. NYC, NY, New Yorker

    C. Wilson
    I second that

    Go Clinton/Powell'08

    March 10, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  10. NC

    Please remember hillary is doing because the media has sold the idea that her supporters are uneducated. That means this is something they would fall for but the Obama supporters or people with a hint of decency would not.

    March 10, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  11. dprichardson

    i truely don't think either one would make a wonderful prseident but if worst comes to worst i'd rather it be hillary thom obama i believe we will be in for trouble we haven't ever seen if he gets into the white house

    March 10, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  12. BNS

    People need to read the NYT article on Obama's record in Congress. They also have to read the article on Obama's record in the Illinois legislature.

    After that, if they still think Obama is the person to lead this country, then they need to seek out a good shrink and see him/her at least once a week for the next 4 years.

    If Obama is actually elected, then they will need to increase their visits to twice a week.

    March 10, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  13. American living in Canada

    America the Beautiful: don't be so naive!!! It's Hillary and her husband who have the criminal activity in their pasts!! Obama has never been convicted of any criminal activity or affiliated with any radical groups. Get your facts straight!!!

    Obama 08!!

    March 10, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  14. Kathy

    Good Idea for Clinton/Obama, not the other way around.
    Experience is knowledge and better results.

    March 10, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  15. Lbrte

    When will everyone out there understand what the clinton's really are now? For the Hillary fans out there, are you beggining to understand who or what you are supporting. She is willing to make Obama her vice president. After all the effort her supporters have put into her campaign, the time involved typing your comments on your disapprovals for Obama. She wants to now put him on the ticket with her. I hope all of you can now understand how wishy washy she really is. Hillary has proven herself to be the person Obama supporters have tried to make you understand all along. Do what ever it takes to win, even if it means letting down her own supporters. She ( Hillary) will go to any extreme level to try and win. She has just solidified the reason why I am for Obama.I see Obama as the one with consistancy, good judgement, unwavering, and committed to his country and all people. what he says is what he means, bottom line. I trust Obama to make the right choices for America.

    March 10, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  16. keegan

    The audacity of the Clinton's to even suggest something like this. She sure does benefit from it because what they really was suggesting was that they would be willing to take a back seat to him because they felt that they could eventually undermind his endeavours as President, Plus it would keep her in position for 2016 front runner position. They realize that they have no possible way of beating him so they are willing to settlte and wait. But you guys in the media are giving her hope when there really is none and making implications on her behalf. Oh The Audacity Of Hope.

    March 10, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  17. Donald

    Obama hurts himself and our country by running for President before he got experience. His and Hillary's ticketsare so similar, it pains me to see them destroy our party's chance to change the world. We know from history, when one runs for himself, what he wins is for himself. Successful Politics is about hope, new ideas, & our nation's future. Our country is so in need of unselfish people right now, we're almost bankrupt. The Iraq war harms us physically, emotionally, spiritiually, and financially. With the war and the economy together, we're really hurting. China, Muslins and many other former allies are preparing to dance in the streets. How can anyone put self above country–if Obama does not yield, McCain will keep us in Iraq for the next century.

    Obama, please, don't be an opportunist when you can be so much more. Give our country and all of us a chance. Join Hillary. Be the
    dream team.

    March 10, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  18. Shawn

    Hillary Clinton is one of the most self-serving conniving politicians that I have ever seen. If she wins the nomination, consider me an "ex-Democrat" !

    March 10, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  19. Alex

    I hate this political gamesmanship on Hillary's part. She is causing the Democratic Party to turn on itself and become divided. The Republicans are laughing at us, because they have rallied behind McCain...while we spend millions on millions to try to win the nomination. I truly don't believe Hillary is in this for the "Greater Good" but for her "Greater Good." I hope we can rally behind one candidate soon, or we will hand over the Presidency to McCain over our petty politics.

    March 10, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  20. Dian Mo

    Yes. The reason that Clinton benefited from so-called 'dream ticket' talk is that Obama responded in an elegant way, which reflects that he is inexperienced the politician.

    The 'dream ticket' question brought out by CNN's Wolf Blitzer. Clinton did good reply and she put Obama in the VP position immediately in the interview. Obama only said that the 'dream ticket' is different comparing with his single ticket. Now, he is constantly emphasizing that he is running for the president and not for VP.

    If Obama made his version of so-called 'dream ticket', the answer to this question could be different.

    March 10, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  21. Paul

    She has less than one term in the Senate over Obama for experience. He's been in elected office four years longer than her. He has the kind of vision that she will never have. Oh yeah... and he's winning. I think we can safely bag the VP talk.

    Obama '08

    March 10, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  22. Elizabeth

    Hey, CNN, why don't you post the story about what Clinton backer Geraldine Ferraro said today about Barack? Oh yeah, that's right, you're station has no courage.

    March 10, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  23. segun

    how ironic how dubius and power hungry hillary will offer someone who you think is not ready and leading in delegate vp what a joke. shameless hillary do your math.

    March 10, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  24. keeping obama honest

    why does obama's website show him wining nevada and texas? he lost both in terms of popular vote. seems like hes lying pretty blatentely on his website.

    March 10, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  25. Bobby

    NO NO NO!. Hillary, go home! No more Clintons. Obama has the lead and Hil is just desperate to latch onto this star.

    March 10, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
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