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. Danny

    The clinton campaign is insulting to everything intelligent. By the way, I lowercased "clinton" as an act of disrespect. It was not a grammatical error.

    March 10, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  2. maya

    All polls show that the Dems are evenly split between the 2 candidates. And about 62% of Dems state that a "Dream Ticket" would be a good idea. Seems that she is just speaking to-and recognizing-the general feeling. Like the idea or not, don't start bashing her about an idea that fits the polls!!!

    March 10, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  3. Sunshine from University of Florida

    I am wondering something- what is the DEAL with the Clintons saying that they can win the big states. Um, You won 51-49% (TX) and at the end of the day more people voted for clinton AND Obama than mccain- if it is obama vs mccain what makes the clintonistas think obama can't beat McCain. My gosh, these people are cleary delusional.

    March 10, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  4. breh / California

    Point proven... the Clinton's are ruthless and will do anything or say anything to win. Stand strong Senator Obama. We've had enough of those two to last several lifetimes.

    Clinton & McCain = more of the same.

    OBAMA 08!

    March 10, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  5. bimmer

    Smart for Hillary to offer it now, knowing it will be rejected.

    Once she wins PA, Florida and MI, she will be in hte driver seat and DNC cannot force her to accept a liability in OBama who carries a lot of baggage:
    wilting under pressure when asked questions about Ryzko, promising one thing and planning on other about NAFTA and Iraq troop withdrawal, denying his heritage and lifting phrases from others without giving credits.

    March 10, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  6. D R

    I'm with you Karen, I will NOT vote for Hillary, even if she is running for Vice President! I would think the country had enough of the Clinton's when they were almost IMPEACHED! CNN will not let the word impeached go out on any of my comments. CNN's media darling has got friends in high places!

    March 10, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  7. FraninLA

    The bottom line is we cannot win the Whitehouse without both of them. Neither one of them will have enough votes to get the nod, which is why the super delegates are in place. Obama will have the most delegates. It's possible, Hillary may have the most popular votes, so who wins then? Both of them need to sit down and talk like adults, and stop this "he said, she said" stuff. Either one of them is fine with me. And for those who say if their canadate doesn't get the nod, they will vote for McCain or Nader, I think you need to re-think that position. Both Obama and Hillary will push the same policies if they become President, so by not giving your vote to one of them, you might as well say it's okay to have 4 more years of Bush with McCain and that would be a shame. Just because your feelings are hurt and your guy or your girl doesn't get the nod, you turn on your party. That's not right...not right at all.

    March 10, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  8. roger

    this is the reason why I have decided to NOT vote for SEn.Clinton.

    Final decision made for me : I will vote for Sen. McCain if Sen.Clinton is on the ticket . I just about had it with these politics moves.

    I request Sen. Obama to stay at a high ground and just ignore negative ads ALso push the message to voters that they need to ignore these negative ads as well.

    NO matter how aggressive Sen. Obama responds, as long as voters consume the negative ads - it will keep on coming. As long as media outlets can make money, they will air them .

    If the voters reject those ads, it will stop. That is how the system works - we the voters/consumers decide what we need. That is is democracy.

    March 10, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  9. Ross in MD

    If Clinton successfully steals the election, then she would be forced to have Obama as Veep. Obviously, she can't win without him. Trouble is, she can't win even with him (and I don't think he would join anyway). Most Americans see past her fear-mongering, race-baiting, and bogus claims of experience.

    If she cared about the party at all she would have dropped out long ago rather than use such sleazy tactics.

    March 10, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  10. Hank

    WHEN will Hillary stop endorsing McCain? No Republican would ever endorse a Democrat under similar circumstances. With a candidate like Hillary, the Democratic Party doesn't need enemies.

    March 10, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  11. Wayne

    Obama's arrogance is getting more than a bit annoying! First he says he won't run for president again if he doesn't win this time, now its how he won't even consider being vice president. It's he's way or no way (an attitude we've had in the White House for 8 years now already). I begin to see why so many Hillary supporters are saying they would vote for McCain rather than see this arrogant baby in control of the country.

    March 10, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  12. from Boston

    I don't recall Hillary ever saying that she would be in the first position with Barack being the VP. For all the comments out there, unless it came directly from the candidate explicitly saying this, then everything you and the pundits say is just your opinion. Stop twisting things around. I believe Bill and Hillary just echoed what people out there said that it would be a dream ticket.

    March 10, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  13. maynard

    hillary is a loser.the whole clinton team are losers.hillary might have don,t a lot better if she did,nt use the mud slinging techniques that
    she and bill are using and have used.It would have helped out to if the last name was anything but clinton.

    if i were hillary i would stop and look at my political career and do some serious thinking . She might be cutting her own throat witn the help of bill.

    March 10, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  14. JAC465

    Desperate times call for very, very un-presidential, win at all cost desperate measures. I wish Barack went negative but he's too good for that. What else will Hillary come up with sense she can't come up with the big W (win).

    When she loses a state she says its okay we split the delegates but when she wins one even though the result is the same she takes it for all it's worth and makes a big deal about it

    Should she be fighting for all delegates instead of cherry picking states? But then again she is fighting for two states that didn't count to begin with. I wonder would she even care if she was winning????

    March 10, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  15. Jude

    To all the folks who claim Red won't go Blue...stop your stupid analysis....Give people the vote before putting it in the bag. Obviously the Blue will stay blue so all those who voted blue will vote Obama. At least he has a greater shot of getting some of the other Red ones...Hillary has no shot at all....Period!!!

    March 10, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  16. Quinn

    Hillary is a master manipulator. Here is yet another example of how she wants people to think that SHE not Obama is the presumptive nominee.

    The thing I don't like most about Hillary is the sense of entitlement she has about the winning the presidency. Her "35 years of experience" is a crock to everyone (except her supporters). If you thought George W. Bush was arrogant, you ain't seen nothing yet.

    Obama represents the people in America who believe that the government is owned by the people...not the other way around.

    Hillary should stick to letting SNL and Jon Stewart make her case for her. She is just a mess right now.

    March 10, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  17. citizen_c

    There is another myth being propigated by the Clinton campaign ... that a Democratic Presidency is inevitable.

    With Clinton on the ticket, the Republican base would be energized in ways that popping a giat D-cell on McCain's back would not do. She would bring something to the White House that the American people are sick and tired of dealing with ... baggage.

    I'm surprised CNN made no mention of Clinton in their Spitzer article. After all, he is a big supporter of hers. Just goes to show, with friends like that ...

    March 10, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  18. Richard

    The Clintons want so badly to get back in the White House! She would never consider Obama and is willing to lie through her teeth about it.

    March 10, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  19. Steen

    Why are we even having elections in states that Clinton's campaign thinks are unimportant?

    March 10, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  20. LC

    Are the Clintons making these suggestions in PA, or do they just think

    those in Mississippi are stupid enough to fall for this craziness?

    (It smells like more racism to me, or is that just desperation?)

    March 10, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  21. Carrie Pa

    This is a Clinton tactic to get votes from Obama supporters and undecided voters. It doesn't work on me. My vote will go for Obama.

    March 10, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  22. rk

    I thought that OBAMA was all for bringing the party together bring people together. I thought he was all about reaching out for the best of the party. Again all talk and no substance.

    The only thing this shows is that he has no desire to do what is best for the party and lacks the eperience to know better!!!!.

    March 10, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  23. yemiray

    Alan J. unfortunately its neither the media nor an American idol issue..its the American people that has spoken and they prefer Obama as the president. Are you reading the election results upside down?

    There are many other more qualified VP potentials out there. Obama isn't qualified for either slot on the ticket. Just because Obama has hit a nerve with the public doesn't make him qualified to lead the free world. This ain't American Idol, and I wish the media would stop treating it that way

    March 10, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  24. Xyndau

    Ok, Hillary did her part to try and unify the party, now she can get really tough on Obama. He had his chance, and cannot whine when Hillary get tough on him in the coming weeks.

    March 10, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  25. Alice

    Maybe Obama should run Hillary's "generous" offer by Al Gore, who's been there, done that . . . . .

    March 10, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
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