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. Diane

    What a farce! She can't win based on delegates, the super-delegates are jumping over to Obama and so she starts acting like she already has won. If this is what the Democratic party is allowing to happen I think I'll go Independent or Republican! Someone at the head of the Democratic party had best start reeling in this couple! They are no longer the 'power couple' and Hillary isn't owed the presidential candidate spot just because she stuck with Bill through all his problems. Remember she said that was for love, not politics. Oh, I guess I almost forgot that we couldn't trust anything she says or does!

    March 10, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  2. John

    Obama supporters are so stupid. They said Hillary needs Obama, Obama does not need Hillary. Actually Obama needs Hillary more, the reason is that his background. Hillary win all the big states except IL. If this is republican party, Hillary win the nominate already.

    March 10, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  3. H.Cummings

    Give me a break CNN – this is propaganda from a losing team, quit floating this crap out there, start making less of a deal of this garbage and more of the FACT that Obama is winning in all catagories and if anyone was to be VP, It would be Hillary – But she doesnt qualify!

    Obama-Edwards 08!

    March 10, 2008 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  4. Alex

    The Clintonites are such snobs! You can almost hear them say "flyover country" under their breath. Small states doesn't matter to them. Not big enough for them, you see. Well, isn't that how Democrats lost the general election twice in a row? Wow, what a smart strategy, aren't we all amazed by it the third time around.

    March 10, 2008 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  5. Oh Really

    Sen. Clinton has some **** nerve. You're effectively still in SECOND place, yet you offer second place to the person currently in FIRST. What gall. This isn't a horse race or a game of marbles. This is for the Presidency of the United States. Your utter lack of decorum and respect sickens me. If Sen. Obama were to even entertain such a notion, it would tarnish his credibility and campaign, which is what the intent was. We are not buying what you are selling, Clintons. It is no longer the 90's. We cannot go back in time.

    March 10, 2008 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  6. Teresa W.

    The only way I see Hillary Clinton winning this race is by cheating because even if, she wins any or all states, she will still remain behind by the number of votes. The math is clear, the votes have spoken. The people have spoken that they want Obama and not Hillary. For all the Hillary Clinton supporters, this race is based on ethnicity not the issues. Rather than voting for the qualified person such as Obama for a true political change, you rather place your vote is based on popularity which is common for those whom are uneducated about the Clinton history. If, Obama is nominated for president, the Clinton voters will vote against Obama and vote for McCain whom already knows that the Clinton supporters will based their votes on a certain race to remain in the white house rather than a African American. For 200 years, there has only been a white president in the white house. The government is not about to change a 200 year old tradition. But traditions can be changed. It's time for change people, our government is corrupt/broken, our economy is falling, the healthcare system sucks, our military system is faultering. Please, for once, let's put the right person in the White House. I want our children of American to know that this is a fair and just country of democracy. Not the Tyrants of a corrupt country. We should show the world that we are not indifferemt about race or new frontiers. We are the leaders of democracy.

    March 10, 2008 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  7. G

    I can't figure out why Mr. Obama doesn't suggest that Hillary could be John Edward's VP running mate? :o)

    March 10, 2008 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    dirty politicians

    March 10, 2008 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  9. Esther

    Can Sen. Obama count how many ELECTORAL VOTES in general Election means: Florida, Michigan, California, New York, Ohio, Arizona, Texas, Nevada, New Jersey, MA and the rest states that Hillary Clinton won?????
    Attention Sen. Obama: Could you ask to Al Gore what happen en 2000? or John Kerry in 2004????
    Sen. Obama the red states you won are and will be RED STATES in general election... you will be red or republican votes in November 2008, please don't get ilusion now it is just "game" for republicans!
    Hillary Clinton is the best candidate to win 2008 the general election for the democrat.

    March 10, 2008 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  10. WestCoastMessenger

    HILLARY CLINTON has made a masterful move, as did John Kerry in moving Edwards into the VP slot in the '04 campaign. It may sound distasteful to the junior senator from Illinois, but in the end he gets a promotion, and this is truly a GOLDEN TICKET. Here's what's going to happen: 1) Hillary sweeps Pennsylvania, 2) Hillary sweeps Florida in a re-vote. 3) Hillary will have a substantial lead in the popular vote, 4) SuperDelegates will see the benefit of moving in this direction, based on the Good of the Nation for the Good of the States. The competitor has not been able to close the deal otherwise, this is a grand settlement in compromise.

    March 10, 2008 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |


    March 10, 2008 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  12. W B

    I wonder is it fair that Hillary Clinton and John McCain have tabs to story about them on CNN Politics and Barack Obama doesn't. Only CNN can answer that one, maybe they just overlooked it. But I think it would be more balanced it they take those two off or add him; so people that wants to know about story written about him can be found on their site.

    March 10, 2008 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  13. Terrie in Texas

    Enough already. Honestly, coming together would bring the Democratic Party together. I'd like to see them together, not fighting each other. I'd like to see the Obama voters and Clinton voters come together for the good of their country and kick the Repubicans out of The White House.

    March 10, 2008 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  14. Gene

    Hillary's the BEST!!!!!!!!! GOOOOOOOOOOOOO Hillary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

    March 10, 2008 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  15. sharong

    One last thing before I go to bed . . . "She's melting" I loved your comment and quote from the "wizard of oz"! You are right on!
    You got Hillary in a nutshell!

    March 10, 2008 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  16. sad

    I have waited all my life to vote for a qualified, capable woman to be our next president. I know older women have been quick to jump on this opportunity because we have never had this opportunity in the history of our nation(wow). Why aren't the younger women more attuned to this opportunity?

    March 10, 2008 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |

    She & Bill are desperate. Obama is winning and they will
    do anything to get your vote. They will do anything, at any
    cost to win the nomination. This is just a ploy to get us
    to vote for Hillary, so that if we choose her over Obama,
    the Americans will feel that they are doing the right thing
    for both Obama and Hillary.
    The problem with that is that Hillary and Bill do not keep
    their promises. She would trick us by saying. after she
    would win the nomination, that she changed her mind!!
    Do not put anything past her and her husband, Bill.

    OBAMA for Pres. 2008 Nothing Less.

    March 10, 2008 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  18. bob

    Never in one hundred year

    March 10, 2008 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  19. America4ever

    Me thinks Senator Obama protests too much. And this whole, Obama for VP has been summized by the media and not actually said by the Clintons. Case in point, each newsbroadcast I watched tonight had no footage of either Clinton saying Obama should be VP, but every outlet showed Obama's saying I am not running for VP. This is balanced reporting?

    March 10, 2008 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  20. Karen

    By now I shouldn't be surprised when I read a comment that says: "Obama only hold speeches." Did you listen to the debates???
    Would you call those speeches? Both candidates hold speeches at every rally, or wherever they are, when they talk to potential voters. They are called "stump speeches". So the statements referring to the often made statements that Barrack Obama only hold speeches doesn't hold water.

    March 10, 2008 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  21. dan in MA

    I've been pushing for the Dream Ticket since August...It was so obvious...Hillary and Barak working side by side! Only together could they ensure victory against the Republicans...Now, some Democrats think Obama can go it alone...I disagree...We need real unity...not just hype. I believe Hillary has the better chance against the Republicans in general, and McCain specifically...She's more aggressive and has a record as an agent of change, from the time Jimmy Carter appointed her to work giving legal aid to the poor, to her work getting handicapped children better access to the public school system, to her time as the most progressive First Lady in our nation's history. We all knew she was gonna run this year. This is our chance to make maximum historical impact...She is our best shot at securing the goals that all Dems want.

    March 10, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    I really cannot comprehend all of the hate for Hillary on these forums. Do you guys realize all of the things she's done for our party and America as a whole? It's a much easier life to work a 9-to-5 job and sit at home watching movies with your kids. Hillary spends 12+ hrs/day working for the American ppl and the Dem party. Show some respect please.

    I like Obama and I appreciate that he has never said any of the spiteful things ya'll are saying.

    March 10, 2008 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  23. Louis James

    Saying you won’t take the v.p. spot doesn’t convince anyone of your drive to become president. I feel Obama made a huge political mistake here. Don’t be surprised if Hillary uses this against him. If Obama wants the presidency so much, he should be willing to take a v.p. spot on any presidential ticket. Also, Obama is exhibiting his own hypocrisy here since he campaigns on being the person most able to unite people and America. Yet he can barely bring his own political party together. He is just barely the front runner as the race is essentially tied. Clinton may still win. If the delegates and super-delegates have to elect a the party’s nominee, they may not be so thrilled by Obama’s indignation at the idea of serving the party and America as vice president.

    March 10, 2008 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  24. Gina

    When will this woman give up?! She has no shame and she's delusional.

    March 10, 2008 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  25. Penny Leonard

    1) Hilly Clinton Whined when she felt she was not getting enough CNN air time so Cnn ran scared and gives her Chelsey and Bill and her speaches all the time and longer time and Obama gets only 1 min of free time of talk. 2)She whined when she said at the last debate she ALWAYS gets the first question and she "feels" she is tough and should be the next Commander in Chief !!!3)She yells shame on you Barack Obama on TV!! 4) She goes on SNL and jokes around !!5)She and Bill say Obama could be considered as VP to try to trick the Miss. voters into voting for her!! the old "okie odk" 6)She knows she can not win this primary unless she WHINES about Florida and Michigan votes and the news people cave in to her moods and hormonal swings...The only CHANGE in Hillary is to CHANGE RULES to force news people into talking about this Florida and Michigan.....NO take responsibility Clintons.....Oh and WHERE ARE THOSE TAX RETURNS?????NOW

    March 10, 2008 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
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