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. GGamma

    Forget about join ticket or dream ticket, whatever you call!..just let see who will be in the finish-line of this MARATHON including bill!!

    March 10, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  2. Cindy

    The inflamatory remarks resolve nothing. Having worked in a precinct that voted 90% Obama in Texas , the people on the streets understand the power of both of these candidates beiing on the same ticket. The vast majority approved and encourgaged this move. For a campaign that talks about unity, bringing all together, being inclusive, pride seems to be getting in the way of sanity.

    Whether it is Clinton/Obama or Obama/ Clinton this is the right move for the Democratic Party and America. The first step in bring hope for the future to reality.

    March 10, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  3. Edgar

    Ed – the Obama supporters are the ones who had to many kool aid drinks.

    How well do the Obama supporters know him and his political views! Get ready because the Republicans will turn every stone to find out who he really is even go to the extreme can call him the Anti-Christ!!!

    Wake up – Liberal democrats this could back fire huge!!!!

    March 10, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  4. Bill Zitterkopf

    The comment has been analyzed as one that is gaming or strategic against Obama. I don't believe that it was meant to be strategically against him, instead, it is ultimately significant when democrates look at defeating republicans, particularly John McCain. The combined ticket with Hillary as the President will result in a win, the other may not.

    March 10, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  5. SG

    I think Obama is doing well to point out the hypocrisy of Clinton's suggestion, and the presumptive arrogance of subordinating the leader to the number 2 position. I hope he, or his surrogates, go further to point out that it is 1) a purely political ploy to woo his supporters (youth, blacks, high-earners and educated) whom she can't get on her own; and 2) intended to change public (and accurate) perceptions that he is the front-runner. If he already has decided that he would not accept a VP offer (and I hope that he wouldn't), he should tell voters in no uncertain terms: "you can't get 2-for-1 by voting Clinton. If you want me, I need your vote NOW."

    March 10, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  6. Pennsylvania for Obama

    I don't think this is playing out too well for Hillary and Bill. It was a good tactic but didn't pan out for them thus far. They will say and do anything to be in the White House. Most Americans do not trust the Clintons, which is mostly due to them lying to us in the 1990's.

    March 10, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  7. keith


    Please stop begging Hillary. You're disrespecting yourself.

    BTW...where are your papers that document your real wages and real proof about your "35 years of experience".

    We're waiting for the real story.

    Client 9 needs your help though.

    March 10, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  8. Edgar

    Jay and Ed – please get real because your hatred of the Clintons is beyond basic political science studies.

    Know more about you candidate before you talk bad about the Clintons!!!

    March 10, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  9. caldreamin

    This Blog is overwelmingly bias for Obama. Obama needs to not burn bridges. If Hillary gets MI & FL scheduled for a re-vote, she gets a mandatory 50+ superdelagates before results of the election are final. If Obama was a better politician, he would have not painted himself into a box today. He just looks petty. He has fallen for Hillary's trap and he is the one who can't be magnanimous and gracefully concede that unity is the way to win an election. It sounds like a continuation of politics of the past and he is a hypocrite!

    March 10, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  10. Pennsylvania for Obama

    Everytime I see Lanny Davis or that lady Kiki on cable news, I am going to donate $1 to the Obama campaign. I want other Obama supporters to also do the same. YES WE CAN!

    March 10, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  11. Donna R.

    After reading so many of these comments I see just how this election has divided this country. Hillary Clinton's statement was to let the country know that she is open to having the "Dream Ticket" that most of the country would like to see. But after Barack Obama's statement today I see his willingness to divide this country to achieve his goal. I thought he represented change and of bringing this country back together again. I thought that he wanted what is positive for this country, and yet he is showing a side of himself that represents more of the same. He should have kept people guessing on where he stood.

    March 10, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  12. vicky staggs

    I am a Republican who appreciates the high road that Barack Obama has taken thru all of this. I am not sure if I am going to vote for John McCain or Barack Obama: but I am not voting for Hillary Clinton. How can anyone in their right mind not see thru Bill or Hillary? How dense can a person become? Vicky

    March 10, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  13. Melissa Atlanta, GA

    This strategy on the part of Clinton machine is not only smart it demonstrates just how savvy they are and exposes just how naive Obama is. Clinton has been hinting at a joint ticket for a couple of weeks now and this has helped her in OH and TX. Voters are thinking "well, I like them both, they are both mostly the same; if I choose Hilary, she will get Obama as VP." So voters are thinking they can have their cake and eat it too. And only now is Obama reacting to this saying that he is not running for VP. Obama needs to win some of Clinton's campaign advisers to his side.

    March 10, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  14. Britt

    Hilary is out of control. Why would the person that is in the lead, Obama, bow down and agree to be her VP. How can the person that is in second place approach the person that is in second place and offer them the "chance" to be their standin. If anything she should be his VP. She clearly thinks that she is more deserving of the nomination but it is obvious that we the American people do not agree.
    I am so sick of the Clintons and their high and mighty attitude. As a young black woman this is one of the many, many, many reasons why I will not be voting for Hilary. At this point the only way that she can secure the nomination is to cheat (and I don't put anything past she and HONEST Bill). If they allow the delegates from FL and MI to count I will change my party affiliation.

    March 10, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  15. Marie H.

    Sorry folks!!!! Presently the race is about tied. Neither one can make it to the nomination. It is really sickening to hear Obama followers telling Clinton to quit!!!!! How about Obama quitting and going back to wherever he came from. Open your eyes you Democrats. Just maybe when the REAL Obama finally steps to the plate, he will make Bush look good. Bits and pieces are beginning to unravel and it can be practically guaranteed, there is more to follow. At this time he is a bad choice for anything. Hillary should not even conside him as a running mate, nor should she consider being his running mate, IF he continues to mislead you Hillary "basher" into believing he is something he is not, thereby getting the nomination. Heaven help us!!! The only solution at this time is Hillary Clinton!!!!

    March 10, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  16. maya

    Uh, Jude, with all due respect, how can you possibly say that all states that voted blue will be blue in the general? It's more the big swing states such as Ohio, New Jersey, New York, Florida, etc that are the key. They are called swing states for a reason- and Obama has not shown up to this point that he can capture them. Very concerning esp since we will be running against a moderate Republican (McCain) who will attract many moderate Dems and Independents.

    March 10, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  17. Michael Kelow

    I'm tired of Hillary playing these little nasty political stunts. This is a new day and the American people are not dumb. What experience does she have at commander in chief. None! Let's check her record. She couldn't construct the health care coverage for all Americans when her husband was president. Remember she was over that, that failed. She also voted for the war in Iraq. Another mistake in judgement. Then She claims to bring the soliders home from Iraq in 60 days, but she can't even bring Bill home a night. We don't need all this drama over again in the White House.

    March 10, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  18. Janel, St. Paul, MN

    I believe for most Obama supporters that the thought he would agree to a VP position is unthinkable!

    We've supported him because of his leadership, his vision and his desire to change Washington. Should he become a VP candidate, his supporters would become most terrificly disappointed and many, I believe, would not vote for a Clinton-Obama ticket.

    This woman–Clinton–will stop at nothing. She is disgusting!!

    March 10, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  19. beachnan

    What's the matter CNN-can't put something on that is pro-Hillary. You do put a lot of nasty comments by the Obamanites, who by the way, are being divisive, by their usual personal insults. Please post my comments about the votes. The young and obviously inexperienced backers of Obama need to realize that the elections are all about the electoral college, and Hillary's wins reflect a much stronger candidacy than her opponent. For all their blustering, you would think their candidate was ahead by millions of votes-not so. Grow up.

    March 10, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  20. Mandy

    CNN stop moderating the blogs that question Mr. Obama!! Boy this really shows how biased you really are!!!

    March 10, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  21. Francesca

    You have to go back to the start of this. Hillary had just beaten Barack up badly – and she was asked by CBS whether she'd consider him for vice president. If you listen to her answer, and how she's been speaking on this, she was cornered and she was afraid of coming off too mean and nasty as the gracious victor of the Ohio primary if she dismissed or didn't answer this question. So she said it could happen as long as she was on the top of the ticket. Her answers ever since have been always been conditional. She was never serious about it. Now she's caught and she has to spin her way out of it. Bill's been slightly more serious but that's only to play mindgames with the public to get them to see Barack more as a veep than a president. Barack should ignore this and get back to his uplifting, hopeful message.

    March 10, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  22. Lora B.

    Well, I don't think Obama is ready to be president, although he would make a good vice president.

    Obama spoke out against the war, however, we don't know how he would have voted on the issue since he wasn't in the senate at the time.

    Maybe Obama would have gone on vacation to Hawaii when it came time to vote to give Bush the authority to use force against Saddam, just like he did when it was time to vote on important gun legislation as a state senator. Or, perhaps he would have voted "present" like he did the other 112 times as a senator.

    As vice president, Obama would get lots of on-the-job training on how to make really difficult decisions on really important issues since he appears to be decision-challenged.

    March 10, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  23. Karen, NJ


    Democrats Obama-Clinton Spread

    Total Delegates 1589 – 1470 Obama + 119
    Pledged Delegates 1378 – 1223 Obama + 155
    Popular Vote 49.4 – 47.1 Obama +2.3
    Popular Vote (w/FL) 48.3 – 47.2 Obama +1.1
    Nat'l RCP Average 47.5 – 43.8 Obama +3.7
    Pennsylvania 35.8 – 47.5 Clinton +11.7
    North Carolina 47.3 – 38.5 Obama +8.8

    General Election McCain-Obama McCain-Clinton
    National Obama +5.0 Clinton +2.0
    Pennsylvania Obama +2.0 McCain +0.3
    Ohio Obama +0.2 Clinton +0.5
    Florida McCain +9.3 McCain +5.6

    More General Election Polls | Charts | Latest Polls

    So.... who's leading again? And what about FL? Obama does MUCH better than McCain in FL... a win? Yep! Remember, FL is GOP Land... or IS IT!?

    March 10, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  24. bochk

    Obama is just no different from other politician. He is certainly exploiting his star power. He has no experience or qualification whatsoever. He is not even qualified for the VP job. Clinton should choose John Edwards instead.

    March 10, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  25. Matt

    "t's called reaching out and trying to unite the party you negative immature Obama supporting pin heads."

    Umm, no. If the witch wanted to unite the party, she should drop out...

    March 10, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
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