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. OLIVIA

    Im catholic, if Hillary loses, ill vote for mccain. Who cares about cheap talk.

    March 10, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  2. borrega

    Obama gives a good speech and I admire his effort...however, Hillary is a stronger candidate and a natural leader. Obama gives a good presentation and means well but I could not sleep at night if he would win the nomination...I truely believe that if Obama wins the nomination the democrat party will not win the election...because if the ballot is Obama vs. Mccain.... unfortunately the republican party will win. I believe the republican's are supporting Obama more than Hillary because they know that it will be easier to win at the end. If Obama wins the nomination I will have to go to the republican side.

    March 10, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  3. Karen

    Obama a uniter???
    Obama does not want politics as usual?

    Obama has inspired bitterness on the internet
    I've never seen or heard or read before.

    Obama supporters read what you're writing.

    My vote just switched. I don't want to be in company
    with such bitter, complaining people.

    March 10, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    There are no better people at political spin than the Clintons. I can't help but think that making history is at the heart of their rlelentless banter. While I admire Bill Clinton, (now that he is an ex-President) I think that Hillary Clinton is an egomaniacal person who is ruthless and untrustworthy. She does not have the temperament that we need in the White House at this time.

    Would both of you PLEASE go back into private life and be do-gooders like the Carters. We have had enough of Clinton-esque. We are tired of dynasties (Kennedys, Bushes, Clintons). History has shown us that vision often times means more than experience.

    We want change...not more Clintons.

    March 10, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  5. Lilly

    Please see some great videos about Obama to support why he would be a great president. He has been saying what he is saying today for years. It is definitely refreshing.........for a politician in this century. NO SPIN.....

    March 10, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  6. Young Rep

    Obama's reponse is pretty weak and he needs to be stronger aganist Clinton's attacks if he is going to stand up aganist the Republications... Personally Obama ran 8 years to soon IMHO.. he would be a shoe-in if he ran in 2012 or 2016. I find it crazy that Obama who's part of the Congressional Black Caucus(CDC) doesn't have a single leadership roll. He's the only Senator and he's running for President. That doesn't make sense but maybe someone could give me a reason for this. I like the way Obama has gotten so many people involved in the election process even though I don't agree with him on several issues. And please, I don't want to hear any Obama supporters bashing on McCain cause your not going to change my vote. I've already done more homework then most people and I tend to see alot of Obama supports being very rude to people who don't like or won't vote for him.

    March 10, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  7. John B of Dallas

    Listen up, everyone! It's time to do some thinking and searching for yourself. Hillary is just using manipulation to spread negative thoughts, doubts and simple phrase sound bites. Any you know what? It's working! So, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE get a true perspective on these candidates. Where are those web sites that do "fact checks"? The simple statement is that NO CANDIDATE has experience at being president, unless someone's running for re-election. George Bush has experience at being president. This idea about being ready on day one is just nonsense. NO ONE could be ready on day one to be president!

    March 10, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  8. KE

    Why America always demonized by some and even Sen. Hillary Clinton? They stick their heads out and some people would love to use it for their political gain. If you ask common people on the street why they don't like Amarica or even Hillary Clinton, I bet they have heard time answering why.

    Sen. Clinton gave people benefit of doubt about possibilities of working with Sen. Obama. I think it's a good gesture than saying flat "no" to the question. Now we know that won't work so it's a good thing.

    Somebody wrote here that how Sen. Obama has stolen the election. Funny that's how I felt from the beginning although it's hard to point out why.

    I remember I was surprised when Sen. Obama was invited by Black Union he didn't attend because he was too busy campaigning in Ohio.

    March 10, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  9. KAY

    There are several differences in Obama and Billary....for all you Hillary supporters...she has her husband and daughter out there stumping for her, because BILL was a president and not a good one (don't make me go there....he CLOSED military bases all over the US); I digress....

    One thing Obama can do that Hillary can't is FILL at 20,000 arena with voters, with more outside listening over an intercom. Hilllary can pull maybe 2,500. TOPS. AMERICA HAS THEIR NUMBER and it isn't Hillary 2008!

    We are looking for freshness in this party and you will not get that with Hillary....

    IF by chance she pulls this off with the super delegates; then every person in the United States that voted for Obama and the super delegates took it away from him....America should be screaming fraud and get Hillary out of the whitehouse immediately.

    For you Hillary voters...she could care less about you...you are a HEADCOUNT...NO A PERSON – JUST A VOTE....she is evil and feels it is her god given right to the CIC. The world is watching Obama and they are happy to see someone new for this world...and it ain't BILLARY (remember .. you get THEM BOTH AND THAT SCARES THE HELL OUT OF ME AND SHOULD SCARE YOU TOO.

    March 10, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  10. Dominique Bera

    For many months, I was okay with a Clinton-Obama or an Obama-Clinton ticket as I was very proud of the Democratic party and both Hillary and Barack for the civil way they were conducting themselves. But ever since Hillary got up and starting screaming, "Shame on you Barack!" I have been just apalled at her negativity. I hope she loses and loses bad! Barack Obama shouldn't even consider Clinton for a running mate. She would stab him in the back to take him down. That's just who she is. She will try to win this election at any cost. I can't believe she's comparing herself to, of all people, John McCain when it comes to "experience!" How absurd! Obama has no more or less experience than Bill Clinton had, and his presidency turned out just fine. Obama will make a fine president. Hillary Clinton will make neither a fine president or vice president. She's ripping our party apart for her own advancement. Her divisive, self-serving tactics are appalling. If she wins the nomination (God forbid) I will vote Green!

    Obama all the way!!

    March 10, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  11. Jacque Bauer

    IN THEIR DREAMS!

    March 10, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  12. Texas

    Someone please remind Hillary that Texas is a "red" state! She keeps saying that Obama only wins the small states that are "red" and she's won all of the big ones. Yes, Texas is big and red! She narrowly won the popular votes (not delegates) because Republicans here want her and not Obama. Obama does not ever need Hillary! Give me a break........

    March 10, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  13. vicky staggs

    In response to the person who said if Obama wins the nomination, "I will become a McCain Ocrat: " Many many more people will become McCainoCrats if Hillary wins the nomination. Most of my fellow Republicans can't wait – Hillary has been despised for so long (even by many yellow dog Democrats) around here, everyone knows it's going to be a vote against Hillary instead of a vote for McCain if she wins the nomination. In Obama's case, a lot of Republicans like him as a person, but don't agree with his policies – he's seen as a more competitive opponent because he's so likeable. Let's face it...Hillary looks like the textbook example of the word for female dog. vs

    March 10, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  14. Charlie Tree & Mr. Hsu

    IN THEIR DREAMS!!

    March 10, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  15. V. Sheldon

    Hillary's tactics are to cloud the real issues at hand, sow discorrd and
    fear,confuse and spin the issues. This is nothing more than another spin cycle from the Clinton's and their operatives and it will come back to haunt them. They are banking on the ignorance of the electorate and their fears. In this they are no better than GW Bush and Karl Rove. It is time to categorically reject these fear tactics and have some sort of substantive discussions. Unfortunately, get Bill and Hill together and the issues just naturally cloud, and the political lies begin. I hope this whole tactic comes back to bite Her.
    Reject these spin tactics, America!

    March 10, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  16. Dave

    CNN: Please stop reporting that Clinton won Texas! When the caucus votes are finally done being counted Obama will receive the most delegates from that state!

    March 10, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  17. Valerie Lucious

    Anyone with any sense can see what Hillary is doing. I had great respect for her before this race. Seeing the tactics she uses makes me wonder how any woman can vote for her. We just don't operate or think like that.

    March 10, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  18. Mark

    Once Obama gets the VP experience, he will be the part of the establishment and later, he will not be able to claim that he is an agent of change. As Hillary P, Bill will be the high profile diguised VP or chief adviser to P.

    Clinton/Obama or Obama/Clinton ticket will be long term disaster for the country. Because though both of them are democrats, they are fundamentally different. Clinton is the opportunist who used all her links to grab the power. And Obama is a self made person who came to this far using his own talent.

    March 10, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  19. Matt

    Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton need to move to Asia and leave the rest of the country alone. Politics don't need them. The country doesn't need them. She needs to realize she is not destined to win and just drop out. She is losing big, and Pennslyvania isn't going to close the gap one bit unless she wins by like 80 points.

    I saw someone say "Obama wants to leave 5 million out in MI and FL" WRONG! Obama actually supports finding a way to redo the vote. Considering Obama wasn't even on the MI ballot, and didn't campaign in Florida, how is it fair to just give those states to Hillary?! In Florida, they voted on namesake alone, which is exactly why Clinton lead in every poll from the beginning of her campaign until January, people didn't know Obama! I have no problem witha woman being the President, but not this woman.

    Clinton supporters need to quit whinning and Clinton needs to do whats right if she wants a Democrat to win in November. She is tearing down Obama and ruining his chances in November. All she is doing is hurting her chances for 2016...

    OBAMA 08!

    March 10, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  20. Joann Kujawa--MN

    I have previously always supported the Clintons. Not anymore. Hillary is being arrogant and ruthless and is trying to destroy the Democratic Party with her antics. Superdelegates, take note!!! She stepped over the line when she said Obama wasn't qualified to be President. He's held elective office longer than she has and has more national security experience than Bill Clinton did when he ran and Bill did well in that area. I had been feeling so positive and hopeful about America with an Obama wins. Now Hillary has turned this in to something cynical and sleazy–like it's a big game. I feel deflated.

    March 10, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  21. Akua

    I pray for Obama and God will take him to the finish line....ahead of Hilary and MCcain eventually

    March 10, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  22. Brian

    Barack is wrong about one thing, this is not same old Washington politics. This is a new level of trickery and deception that she's sunk to...

    March 10, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  23. Byron in CA

    I understand it's much more entertaining for CNN to spin this in a negative light at Mrs. Clinton, but in fairness to each candidate, why don't I see the other side of the coin in a positive way for Mrs. Clinton if the report is to be really valid. You know, perspective!

    March 10, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  24. m.procope

    Obama should ask Bill Clinton to be his running mate.
    merv

    March 10, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  25. Michele

    I am so glad that all of the Obama supporters are so well educated. I have a headache from reading all of the broken English coming from these young, educated people. Take your above $50,000 income and buy yourselves a better education!

    March 10, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
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