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. Think Beyond The Obvious

    Hillary and Bill mentioned about the dream team not because of not what the majority of you think the reason is. Hillary and Bill aren't stupid! They both know very well that Barack will flatly reject the idea-and it worked!

    If Hillary becomes the nominee, she is not obligated or pressured to ask Barack as her running mate. She can choose anyone she wants as Barack already rejected the notion of being the V.P. It is not because she wants the black votes.

    You guys are so easily fooled!

    To moderator: I dare you reject my comment

    March 11, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  2. be human


    its funny how politics has so conveniently been labeled a game.... its a race for da precidency, not about who is a better person, or a fit leader. its like being at a store where 2 competetitors, wid thier product being, hilary and obama respectively, are waging marketing wars to da people of america. this so called blog is evidence as to how divided the people are in this counrty. we preach freedom and liberty to the world, yet are unable to to stand next to our fellow man with different opinions. the president only represents wat da people vote for, and our last 2 elections testifies wat kind of gunho soceity we are emerging to be. i think whoever may become president, either hilary or obama, dey wil have a lot on their plates and will have a very difficult time on delivering on promises dey make now. the whole idea of elections, campaigning, and wat not is jus to get votes. and guess wat, regardless of the out come, it will mostly affect the average american families, the people, us. a president doesnt make a nation, we, da people do. and unless we bond togeda, wats da worth of defending this great nation, of the divided........?????

    March 11, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  3. Walter G

    Why has Obama not got anything to say about the Presidency of Bill Clinton?
    Where was Obama during Bill Clinton's presidency?
    What does he have to say about the economic management of the Clinton years?
    Why are the media so mute on all the good benefits that African Americans, and all Americans enjoyed during the Clinton years, but only refer to his failings?
    Why is it that the media show John Kerry endorsement of Obama as a positive when Kerry LOST could not even beat Bush in 2004?
    Is there a possibility that Kerry is supporting a nominee who will lose to McCain?
    Why doesn't Obama specify what changes he would make to back his claim that he would do politics in Washington differently?
    Does Clinton not spell out the changes she would make?
    It was noticed in the debates in Texas and Ohio that instead of outlining the "changes" he would make, he merely agreed with those that Clinton has outlined. Did he copy most of Clkinton's health care proposal, and merely inserted a little twist regarding how people would pay for it? Experience tells people like Canadians and some EU countries that some plans like health care MUST be mandated for all, with government financial support for those who cannot pay.
    INexperience is revealed when one tries to say " yes, I agree with universal coverage, but I don't want to mandate it.
    Well check human nature in the Western world, Mr. O!!!. What would happen if all some state governments governments said " Well, to drive an automobile, drivers' licences are NOT mandatory, you can still drive if you want to - without penalty?

    March 11, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  4. True Democrat

    Hillary's brand of politics is exactly what Obama is campaigning to end... I believe the American people are smarter than to fall for this latest trick from the deceitful and woefully mismanaged Clinton campaign.

    NEVER has the candidate in first place accepted an offer of VP from one of the lesser candidates. Does Hillary somehow think she's ENTITLED to the Presidency? It would seem that way since she's offering positions as though she's clinched the nomination. It's presumptuous, insincere and insulting.

    The simple reality is that Sen. Obama will win this nomination by sea and by air... he will lead her in delegates and the popular vote by the convention, and the Super Delegates will ratify his nomination. Hillary should concede with what dignity she has left and perhaps Obama will see past all the personal attacks she has brought against him and extend her a position in his White House.

    Hope. Change. Strength. The right choice for America!

    OBAMA '08!!!

    March 11, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  5. ralph tyler

    Hillary Clinton is just a pain. I would rather have 4 more years of Bush.

    March 11, 2008 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  6. Ron

    I am dumbfounded that CNN the "Best" has not seen through this Politics 101. The Clintons have you and Ms. Croowley duped. "The Keep them Guessing" strategy works only if you are dumb enough to let it happen or if you are a PARTY to this dumbness. Which one are You? You all have chased this dog enough... Why don't we look under her coat tail a little. She's just standing there waiting for you all to be thrown another bone! Chase this one! Let's get real!
    Barack is the true leader.
    He may have lost Texas in the popular vote, yet won the delegates...Hm!! She has not beaten him by a hughe majority yet. Those states he lost garnered him enough votes, i.e. Texas etc., to easily project that with the votes he will pick up by being the nominee allows him to win the state in November.
    The Hillary and Bill show gets 2 times the coverage Barack does on your show. Rather than showing several live feeds from Barack you show Ms. Crawley talking about what she thinks Barack is saying, yet you show live feeds of Bill and Hillary. Giving them twice as much air time. Come on guys you can be better than that. Do I have to watch MSNBC? You're almost getting to the "Fix News" acclaim.. Only Jack is calling it straight!

    March 11, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  7. Wade Ens

    Hillary wants Obama in the White House to answer the phone for her at 3:00 am in the morning.

    It's too bad Obama told Ohio and Texas he would open up the free Trade deal. But told Canada it was just political campaigning and nothing to it.
    What else did Obama say that was just politicing, personally I think we should be able to trust a leader.

    Time to consider McCain ?

    March 11, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  8. frances elizabeth

    In your dreams, Hillary. Sigh.

    March 11, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  9. Z

    Obama and Clinton a dream ticket??? HAHAHAHAHAH

    You Dems are so funny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 11, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  10. nht

    i'm sick of obama, make him go away, same old, same old speech

    March 11, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  11. Mildred

    Obama is the MAN. Go Obama.

    March 11, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  12. Tom

    Would CNN stop referring to Texas as Hillary's "victory"? Obama won more delegates. CNN is just part of the media spoiling for a fight ... and I am beginning to think 4 more years of Clinton deception, obfuscation, and psycho-drama.

    March 11, 2008 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  13. Lynn in NM

    Obama would be making a big mistake if he lets Hillary be his VP candidate. Of course, he should be "on top" since he has won the majority of the states. This is Hillary's way of trying to wheedle more votes. Be smart. Vote for Obama!

    March 11, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  14. Maryann

    Commenting on the different type of delgates that Hilary said there are.....Is she saying she would ignore any delegates that come from a Caucus as opposed to a Primary? Did she not know that for many many years there are caucus's in specific states? Did Bill not count his delegates from those type of elections when he ran for President. Cannot anyone tell her that she does not reinvent the wheel. She cannot overturn the pledge delegate lead. It has never been done this way before and the world is not made for just her election. The process is the same for all president elect's. Is this a Narsissistic candidate or does she think she runs the way the US votes these days?

    March 11, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  15. Johnny Chan

    The more I look at Obama's response to the possible (note the key word here : possible) ticket with him as the VP, the more I am convinced that he is not in this for the Democratic Party but for the Democratic Party with he himself as the presidential nominee. If he can get a nomination from the Republican, he will. The Democratic Party, esp. the superdelegates, need to think hard and deep who stands a greater chance in the general election. Yes, both candidates have supporters who like and dislike the others. However, do you think the US people are going to elect someone into the highest office who professed a clear "friendship" with terrorists like Aires? Are you kidding me?

    March 11, 2008 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  16. Shayne

    The message that Senator Obama should consider the Vice Presidency sounds very much like Senator Clinton's earlier position that he (Senator Obama) should wait his turn !

    March 11, 2008 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  17. SKH

    I have read threw alot of what has been written and guess its my turn to put my nickle in.
    I remember the Billary years. We were lied to, mis-informed, and as for not being in a war WHY was my daughter who was in the Navy sent to Kosovo? When you get down to it Kosovo was a stepping stone to the middle east.
    HRC might have the experiance in cheating, lieing, munipulating, and double talk but I've seen or heard nothing that has giving her the experiance that would make her any better the OBAMA. Doesn't she realize that if you hang with pigs you get dirty?
    Obama is trying to run a clean campaign by not throwing dirt at her and he has enough that he could. People should respect that.
    As for a dream ticket. NO WAY!!! Not even with Obama as pres.
    How can she be VP to him after all shes said about him? I think hes got more brains then that.

    March 11, 2008 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  18. Susan

    Hillary, for the good of the democratic party...just go away. You are a proven point as to why things don't get the job done, and we the people are sick to death of being ignored. This race is not about you, but it is about WE THE PEOPLE, and not you!!!!!!!!!

    March 11, 2008 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  19. Thomas

    Doesn't matter when all is said and done Obama will stand no chance against McCain in november.

    March 11, 2008 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  20. ATL Republican

    Earl, you think Demos and Repubs agree on something? What planet are you on? Obama is the last person who needs to be in the White House. He will be so over whelmed, all he can do is run. If you love this country then you'll want the best for it. Let me help you out, it's not Obama.

    March 11, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  21. Crowne

    We cannot find a specific news report that indicates that Hillary Clinton has actually offered the VP spot to ANYONE. She was asked by the media and it has been proffered by the media that the "dream team' would be Clinton/Obama...the whole issue is totally absurd.
    We fail as citizens of the United States to see how the candidacy of Pres/VP is some kind of a "dream" team. The positions are REAL jobs with intense job responsibilities, most of which are no DREAM. Please voters...the job is no DREAM!

    March 11, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  22. Texas Democrat

    From what I can tell the Obama supporters are a self-righteous, snooty and hateful bunch. Any gesture from the Clinton Camp will be viewed with cynicism and malevolence. If Obama wins the nomination, I, a Hillary supporter, will make sure to vote for McCain so I won't taint Mr. Holiness Obama.

    March 11, 2008 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  23. ousmane

    I think this is another game been played by the Clintons. These folks calculated everyhing but this time it will not work. Americans underatnd better. They are ready to be double standard as long as the votes are coming. Please stop playing with our mind.


    March 11, 2008 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  24. Tracy

    Her experience is all lies. She claims to have helped Ireland achieve peace, the man who won the nobel peace prize for his work in brokering peace in Ireland refers to Hillary as nothing more than a cheerleader who did nothing but walk around with Bill. Her trip to Bosnia that she claims she had to go on because it was too dangerous for the President? Guess who else went? Sheryl Crow and the comedian, Sinbad ! It was to entertain the troops...A USO trip!!! Who released that today? A former Clinton adviser who supprts Obama.

    Wake up Hillary supporters, you're swallowing the bait hook, line and sinker.

    March 11, 2008 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  25. nora from pittsburgh

    As a Pennsylvania voter, I am sure to be sick to my stomach for the next SEVEN weeks for the way she campaigns.

    Funny story, though. On our evening news, there was a story about HRC visiting Washington & Jefferson College in nearby Washington, PA. The college kid they interviewed said "We really wish Barack was coming but we'll go see Hilary. We hope he comes later. As long as it's not McCain".

    March 11, 2008 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
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