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. Ed K.

    I think Hillary would be foolish to have him on the ticket. Electing a women will be hard but electing a women and a Black man would be impossible. The country is getting there but it has a ways to go.

    March 10, 2008 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  2. Ray Rheaume

    Hillary's offering "2 for Tuesdays" starting on March 11th.

    Does this mean we get 'double coupon days" in November?

    March 10, 2008 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  3. Mary Mittelsted

    Hillary is showing how desperate she really is. She knows that she will not win the nomination fairly, so she and her husband will try anything and do anything and say anything to win. If they do somehow cheat and win the nomination, I will vote for McCain. For the sake of the democratic party and the country she should suspend her candidacy. But that is the problem, it is not about the country or the party, it is about her and her husband's legacy.

    March 10, 2008 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  4. Ozz

    There is also a problem with the way the MEDIA say thing too about these officials running to be the next president of this country.

    We all know that the MEDIA have to make money from advertisment from these candidates when they run a commercial, but they the MEDIA need to be more open minded as well. I see a lot of BIASNESS a lot of times which is bad for one candidate or another...

    Think about what i'm saying? You know who you are.

    LA, CA....

    March 10, 2008 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  5. Cruiser66

    This is just plain stupidity from the Clintons. Obama has more pledged delegates. He has more popular votes. My logic is not the greatest, but how can the loser suggest that she should be first and he second. I think it was a ploy that backfired. I also think that the Clintons will do and say whatever they think my work. Moreover, if anyone believes that Hillary would actually be the "REAL" President if she should become president is living on Mars. BILL will be president again.

    March 10, 2008 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  6. TJ Earle

    Hillary Clinton like her husband are frauds. Like the rest of them including George Bush they think the American people are ignorant, naive, and intellectually lazy, every nation on this planet is working towards change but this country. It is not that we the people don't want it but we have people in power who are trying to keep us where they want us. It is time to rise up and demand more and get results. Go Obama.

    March 10, 2008 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  7. Jean

    Hillary is just being gracious to Obama, as if to say IF the super delegates make her the Demo candidate, trying to soften the blow and disappointment, there might be a place for Obama as VP.......but Barrack has said before "it's NOW or never for him to be President....Michelle has said he will not run again....he is trying to create some urgency for HIM to be the candidate now,....OR he'll just go home......I've always said.....Obama is ADHD...unless he can travel the world as President, he has no interest in sitting in the oval office, alone, with no audience to cheer him on......he is not party loyal, Michelle is not proud to be an American --- I love it that the Clintons are finally snaking out the TRUTH about Obama, so his supporters can think this is for sure the super delegates will look at the much bigger picture.......Hillary 08

    March 10, 2008 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  8. Justjean

    Come on Mississippi. Show us all what you think of this person's arrogance...offering the front runner the second position, then saying today what Obama had the wisdom to say all is too early to be talking about VP candidates.

    March 10, 2008 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  9. Kurt

    Vote Hillary! She is WAY more qualified and not only has the experience but more importantly has the KNOWLEDGE to be president.
    Obama will LOSE to McCain. Obama is the next McGovern

    March 10, 2008 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  10. How I See It!

    Reality is setting in with Senator Clinton. She knows that she has fallen behind, and the best thing for her to do is come up with an inclusive plan to attract Senator Obama's supporters.

    Give it up Hillary! That is so low. If you can't win people honestly, just go sit down.

    She can't win by herself and she can't win with Obama.

    In her heart she knows it's over, but I guess she is trying to keep her dream alive. Well, keep dreaming, but it's time for her to take it somewhere else.

    March 10, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  11. Terry

    The only dream ticket is Hillary and Bill minus Obama.

    March 10, 2008 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  12. Dayahka

    No more Maui Wowee for you, Bill...This is not a dream ticket, it would be a nightmare ticket for Obama to select Hillary as his VP.

    March 10, 2008 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  13. Samuel from Texas

    Hillary would not make a good vice president. She would stab obama in the back

    March 10, 2008 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  14. Debbie

    Clinton offering the VP position to Obama is not hers to offer, Hello, he's the front runner, he has more votes, won more states. Bill may have been able to blow smoke in your face but that no reason to be delusional. Nobody in the Clinton camp want to admit that Obama has won more states and the majority of states that he lost to Clinton in is not by a wide margin. a 51% – 48% victory in Texas is as close to a tie as anything. And all this talk of corruption, oh I'm sorry I meant experience is overrated.

    March 10, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  15. Dayahka

    Presumably then, JFK at 44 should have been Johnson's VP? And pray tell, Hillary, was JFK too young to be C-in-C?

    March 10, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  16. Voter


    March 10, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  17. Z

    Another Democrat circus act!!!!!!!!! HAHA

    Thank God for Republicans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    McCain 2008

    March 10, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  18. Huh?

    I thought Hillary had campaigned for McGovern against Nixon. So why is she trying to pull a Hubert Humphrey and cripple the front-running Democrat for the general election? On reflection had she decided the Nixon presidency wasn't so bad?

    March 10, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  19. Marcie Bodeaux

    It is not all that far-fetched to suggest a Clinton/Obama ticket when they BOTH carry over 13 million votes! If Clinton wins the nomination, it would be a good to include the other half of the party. Let’s be inclusive, why not?

    As of 3/8/08 the popular vote total looks like this: Obama has 13,025,003 votes (49.40%) to Clinton’s 12,421,316 votes (47.10%)

    But with Florida and Michigan thrown in, Clinton flips to the top with 13,620,611 votes (47.40%) to Obama’s 13,601,217 votes (47.30%)

    This is a close race folks. But you would not know it if you listen to those who say Clinton should step aside and let the Democratic Party prepare for the general election. No way. Why do you think Michigan and Florida bucked the party? They wanted to have a say in the selection of a candidate. So, now just keep your socks on and let all of the states vote. Let’s see who comes out on top when all states have voted.

    March 10, 2008 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  20. G.N. Penley

    The Clintons are great at double-speak, mudslinging, and lying, lying, lying. And neither of them can imagine losing to anyone. We've all known that for decades. So what's new?

    March 10, 2008 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  21. Maria Avare Florida

    A Vice President does not have to be ready on day one, Only the
    President has to be. Ideally Obama, second on the ticket, could learn
    on the job, during Clintons 4 year Presidency. Then later become a
    great leader more ready to respond to that red phone call! The vice president is a helpmate, not the decider. The chance that Hillary wouldn't survive is slim to none! Still, its safe for Hillary to choose him, because Obama is a fast learner and he would follow her lead.

    March 10, 2008 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  22. Texas Voter

    Obama can't win the states necessary to win in November. Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, etc. If he couldn't win those swing states he he can't win in November. Obama '08 will end up with a Republican in the White House again.

    March 10, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  23. ABC=Anybody But Clinton

    Ummm...has anyone told Hillary that she is LOSING the race?

    March 10, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  24. MujerPorHillary

    I honestly think it would be good for Obama to be vice President and Hillary Clinton the President. Think about it, after more experience, Obama could run for president in the future. I know he knows she's a great candidate. Consider it Obama.
    I know if he runs for President in the future, he'll get elected. But Hillary through her experience would be the best president now.
    I wish Obama was more humble to accept Vice Presidency if Hillary gets nominated. I'm sure Hillary would accept Vice Presidency if he gets nominated.

    March 11, 2008 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  25. Liz

    Candy Crowley should go back to writing about municipal politics. A serious political analyst/reporter she is not. (Nor are any of the rest of the pack). She is so biased toward favoring the Obama camp that she makes a mockery of journalism. When I turn on CNN I expect to hear unbiased commentary and facts, not the consistently skewed reportage that we are subjected too. Goodnight and goodbye CNN.

    March 11, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
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