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. Floridian

    ...Let me repeat myself as an independant to you democrats. Any ticket with Hillary on it means 8 more years of a republican president. End of Story.

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

    The more I look at the response of Obama, the more clear it is that he is in it more for himself (or his race only) than for the Democratic Party. If he can get the nomination from the Republican Party, he will. The hard question for the Democratic voters (and in particular the superdelegates) is who stands a higher chance in the general election? The US people have got to be completely out of their mind if they are going to elect into the highest office someone who has professed a clear and long time "friendship" with well-known terrorists like Aires and racists and anti-semitists like his church reverend who has an unapologetically race (meaning black) agenda.

    March 11, 2008 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  3. Carlos

    Obama/Colin Powell '08!!!

    March 11, 2008 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  4. Patricia

    RealClear politics reports the current popular vote as:
    Obama: 13,025,003 49.4%
    Clinton: 12,421,316 47.1%

    March 11, 2008 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  5. Valmont

    THAT'S JUST ABSURD!

    I think this is her last political move/game/stance, when she lost Pennsylvania, she is GONE !!

    No more cheap politics, no more double standard.

    Viva Obama!

    March 11, 2008 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  6. Jeries

    i hope she doesn't put OBAMA. I would never ever vote for Obama. He lacks experience and his own ideas. He has not accomplished 1 thing for someone to vote for him. False Hope and Speeches are not going to help Hillary. Hillary should pick a better running mate. I believe in Hillary and hate the idea of OBAMA. People should stop judging Hillary because of her husband or prejudged reason but rather on the issues. Hillary is the only candidate who can fight and beat the republicans. She has the strength, ability, and real heart to make it to the WHITE HOUSE. Stop the hate toward the Hillary and open your eyes AMERICA!

    HILLARY IS READY !

    HILLARY '08!

    EXPERIENCE+CHANGE=HILLARY

    March 11, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  7. Sandra

    Obama is arrogant because he doesn't want to be Clinton's (aka The Losing Candidate) vice president? He's not arrogant; he's sane. Having Hillary as your vice president would be like having Lady MacBeth watching your back. Are there enough food tasters in the world to make that work? To say Obama has baggage is nuts. In the interest of party unity he has steered clear of HER scandals ... but the Republicans won't. Hillary would have to defend the debacle of her attempt to reform health care, travel gate, Vince Foster, her amazing investment ability, etc. This kind of "experience" isn't a positive. Even the Republican Chicago papers admit Obama isn't implicated in the Rezko trial - one ill-advised real estate deal and Rezko's contributions donated to charity aren't a smoking gun.

    March 11, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  8. seth, minneapolis

    Hillary wishes she was Barack Obama too.

    March 11, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  9. Jon

    Just a ploy to try and make Obama supporters think they will get something out of defecting.

    March 11, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  10. ROSE

    Somebody needs to tell Senator Obama that winning primaries and caucus's is different then doing the duties of a President.

    March 11, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  11. kiss my grits hillary

    KISS MY GRITS HILLARY YOUR THE AIDE....

    OBAMA IS THE PRESIDENT !!

    March 11, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  12. Jen B.

    It is true that Clinton needs Obama, he does not need her.
    It is true that Hillary needs Bill. At least until this campaign is over.
    I don't see her as strong and independent at all; most woman with far fewer resources would have ditched a spouse like hers a long time ago.
    The respect I had for her and her campaign at the beginning has gone and I am somewhat cynical about anything she has to say now as she travels the country to win voters.

    March 11, 2008 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  13. ddudine

    George Washington wasn't experienced either. Neither was Abraham Lincoln. Nor was John F. Kennedy. But they too were extraordinarily intelligent, and good and honest people. Barack Obama is in good company. He'll be fine. He'll be a breath of fresh air. We need that. The world needs it, too. Hillary Clinton does little more than tell people what she thinks they want to hear. No wonder her campaign people are falling apart.

    March 11, 2008 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  14. Dave

    One thing I can't stand is a person judging another without knowing that person. The Obama supporters always attack Hillary for being divisive, manipulative and stoop to anything. It appears the description fits more for Obama than Hillary. The guy has support of all blacks and pressuring black superdelegates to change over to Obama because he black. Just imagine if Hillary said all white superdelegates vote for me because I am white. Do you think that will go well with media but Obama gets away with it. Lets do this, at the end of primary, whomever garners the most popular votes gets the superdelegates. Lets do away with the delegates and go with the popular votes. I think Obama and his cult followers would scream injustice. The delegate system is old and outdated. Lets go with the popular vote. As a Hillary supporter, I will take that given that we do the primaries over again for Florida and Michigan. How dare the Democratic party to not count the participation of millions of voters. It is undemocratic at best. I hope Obama people are listening. Get your immature, thumb sucking, slime ball to your home and have him stay there. The world doesn't need his kind.

    March 11, 2008 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  15. Sandy M

    Obama will never be president! Mc Caine will crush him like a ant. I wanted Hilary for sure. But i will turn to mccaine if it happens. The heck with change. I want security and safety for our nation. I want peace, but not at the price of being stupid. When Clinton was president i seem to remember the people voting for him for a second term, because he did a excellant job. Those were a great eight years to me. maybe you folks missed it.Hilary has taken all the big and important must win states. Guess you missed that too. If Florida and the other state would have been accepted, she would have won everything.It is amazing to hear people say change. What kind of change?? Change his underwear?? Thats all the man says for pete sakes. I see President McCaine if he gets nominated, you watch.

    March 11, 2008 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  16. Tommy in St. Louis

    There is a lot more to this than what Candy Crowley is saying. The Clintons are playing head games. First, they are trying to dangle this bait in front of Obama, hoping he would be stupid enough to go after it. (Thank God he's not!) Secondly, they are trying to fog up voters' minds, make them think she is the frontrunner, because only a frontrunner could talk like this, when in fact she is not. They are treating Obama and his supporters in a very arrogant and condescending way. But the good nes is, none of this will really benefit her – her campaign is pretty much on its last legs, and Pennsylvania is going to be just another state in which her double-digit lead in the polls disappears, and she will make very little, if any, gain in terms of pledged delegates.

    March 11, 2008 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  17. So Much Vitriol

    Can the Obama supporters be civil and talk about the issues or anything besides just slinging insults at the other side and claiming Clinton is the divisive one? I think it's telling that Clinton is willing to make an overture towards unity (and no, she didn't say that it necessarily meant she was on top of the ticket) and Obama instead flatly denies it and would basically tell 50% of democratic voters that he doesn't care what they think. I can't imagine anything more arrogant and misguided than to tell 50% of your voting base to go take a flying leap. This is just more evidence of Obama's general ill-preparedness to be President. Obama, and his supporters need to grow up, get some real life experience, stop with the hate mongering, and stop claiming the other side is the negative one, as they call their opponent a monster. No one capable of thinking for themselves is buying it.

    March 11, 2008 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  18. floridalove

    I don't Hillary in Obamas' ticket. She is a disgraced to our party. she should however, run with McAngry after she endorsed him, this seems to be the most logical thing to do for her. Ah!, last, she should leave our party and join republicans once and for all.

    March 11, 2008 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  19. Maryann

    I find it odd that Mc Cain is now the Republican Nominee and he himself has not mentioned or inferred who his VP would be.
    Just curious why Hilary is indicating who hers might be when no one does this before they are the official nominee? Is she a bit self serving here?

    March 11, 2008 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  20. Crowne

    Obama could never do a job as Vice President or President....too much blah blah blah, paperwork, actual WORK and long hours...!
    Not too glamourous! He could not do it,,,he has no experience doing it!

    March 11, 2008 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  21. patrick

    im glad barack went after hillary on this vp thing i wish he would go after her on her experience perhaps it might be good to bring up the northern ireland conflict she says she helped resolve but the truth of the matter is she had no part in resolving that conflict that is just one of many lies she has told about her experience

    March 11, 2008 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  22. kelly

    It is not unreasonable that Hillary clinton is preparing for Obama as a VP. She does actually lead in the POPULAR vote by about 50,000

    March 11, 2008 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  23. ROSE

    Senator Hillary Clinton has insights how a President does his duties. Being in The White House for eight years I'm sure she learned alot.

    March 11, 2008 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  24. Kemic - Houston, Texas

    Hillary is posturing as though she were leading but instead, she is losing in all categories...pledged delegates, popular vote and states carried. In fact, she likely won't be able to close the gap before the convention. And last I checked, the team with the most points at the end of the game wins. Period. Using Clinton logic, the New England Patriots should have been awarded the Lombardi Trophy because (as far as the Patriots were concerned) they were the better team. I used to post on these blogs thinking that people cannot possibly be that stupid. But I know better now.

    OBAMA '08

    March 11, 2008 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  25. Hillary-Persistence&Smarts 08

    Obama isn't manipulative? If he isn't, how in the hell has he fooled so many people? After all, he has little or nothing to offer. Ok twin ticket; Hillary and Ron Paul.
    Go HIllary! Sulk and whine Obama. Those are two traits you are really polished at.

    March 11, 2008 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
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