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. Kerry

    Experience does little for great leaders. Great leaders are born. You either have it or you don't.

    Hillary has nothing. She is a fabricated. Everything that she has is due to Bill. That is why Bill can be anywhere he wants at 3am.

    To combat McCain's age, Obama will need a man of similar background to McCain. To combat Obama's youth and charisma, McCain will need someone of similar background to Obama.

    So, clearly, Hillary does not match the VP criteria that Obama requires.

    March 11, 2008 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  2. Gavin


    barack would need help to get into the executive branch....


    March 11, 2008 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  3. Joseph Edgecombe


    As Political Pioneer Shirley Chisholm Stated in 1972 Presidential Campaign againsr Richard Nixon, On the News program ISSUES and ANSWERS...Show "Time for Shirley Chisholm" When she would accept The V.P. Position??

    She stated....

    She is running for the Presicidency of the United States...and you can believe that.

    Political Rasism is still alive and we must look to our political LEADER SHIRLEY CHISOLM Who addressed and conqured all of these issues and created much needed change in america so others like Barack Obama could follow in her footsteps.

    Joseph, Boston

    March 11, 2008 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  4. Laughing at all of this...

    The real question each and every one of you should be asking yourselves instead of bickering over Hillary and Obama is: "What am I really contributing to the success of the Democratic Party in November?"

    I mean, really, the real issue is stopping the Republicans from taking office again. Isn't our time better spent forging real plans instead of infighting like a bunch of losers?

    March 11, 2008 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  5. Nana

    Experience? Other than family businesses, how many corporations would hire the wife to do the husband's job? Would you invest if they did? Hillary does not have executive experience, she was a spectator.
    She is shrewd and opportunistic and exactly the kind of politics we should all be sick of by now. My hope is for Obama and Richardson.
    Change is not a slogan, it is a dream for what we could be if we worked together to care for each other and our world. ps. 61, white, female, retired corp vp...

    March 11, 2008 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  6. MAP, Sr...


    Nice Try, HA HA HA HA !!!!!!

    March 11, 2008 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  7. SB

    You have to win to offer the VP position. It's an easy concept if you are educated!

    OBAMA '08

    March 11, 2008 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  8. D

    I do not believe in Democratic party anymore. I am not angry with Hillary- she does not surprise me anymore. But I am angry with the Party. I am angry with Al Gore. Why are they even letting this happen.

    March 11, 2008 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  9. biged55

    this reminds me of the scene in "it's a wonderful life" where Jimmy Stewart is considering working for Mr. Potter, and then he realizes he cannot sacrifice his principles for a cushy job.
    Obama needs to stay on the high moral ground to achieve his goal.

    March 11, 2008 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  10. jack

    how can a second place candidate start making decisions about the VP? Got to love the that scenario. Does she honestly think Obama would want to run with her. He wants to be the PRESIDENT!! and will not stop at anything less. Go Obama!

    March 11, 2008 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  11. DM

    Will a Clinton clan lover please show me all of Bill's experience before running for president besides being governor in the state of Arkansas and a womanizer. It seems to me all the claims the Clinton's are making about Obama's inexperience is about the same as Bill's when he ran for president. Should we find a way to take away Bill's presidency because he was inexperienced at the time he took office. Don't you ever wonder why the Clinton's didn't move back to Arkansas after his presidency? They are all out for themselves. Don't be fooled. FOOL you once shame on them, FOOL you twice, shame on you.

    March 11, 2008 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  12. Joanna Chan

    Read carefully people. Not once does Obama flat out say he would turn down a Clinton offer for VP. All he says is that he is "not running for vice president." He or his staff chose his wording very carefully, everyone else including the media just filled in the blanks. He wouldn't dare make such a definitive statement because you know if Clinton really does win the nomination, he would accept the VP offer in a heartbeat. Otherwise, who knows what the political climate will be or where Obama's status will be in 4-8 years? Running with VP clout can't hurt. You want to see Obama in the White House for 8 years or 12-16? Think about it.

    March 11, 2008 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  13. James M.

    I think Obama makes a great point in reminding us that HRC has said he is not good enough to be president of the US, but somehow he is good enough to be Vice President? She again loses credibility.

    Obama can win both the nom and the general election without her...and he certainly will.

    Obama '08

    March 11, 2008 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  14. Ron

    Dream Ticket ..NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!! Why....
    Hillary has been insulting..Hillary has tried to demean Baracks successes in the smaller states....Hillary has repeatedly said Barack is not qualified to answer that 3:00am phone call...Hillary would try to steal the election with Super Delegates...Hillarys actions during the campaign are a PERFECT example of way American Politics has been the last 12 years and America is really getting tired of it. If Hillary was another male doing the same thing, she would lose about 30% of the women vote she is currently getting. Is she qualified..YES..does she have the right character..ABSOLUTELY NOT!! I want to see a woman become President, but NOT THIS ONE!!!

    March 11, 2008 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  15. Peachy Keen

    Sadly, the Democrats are going to lose in November. If Obama loses, his supporters will vote for McCain. If Hillary loses, her supporters will vote for McCain.

    Any way you look at it, McCain is the big winner in this whole Democratic mess.

    Our society has evolved from people voting for a party to people voting for people.

    March 11, 2008 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  16. Bob

    I believe all three, Obama, Clinton, and McCain are qualified to be the president. However all three display some undesirable traits. McCain has anger management problems, and has the Republican ideology, that I fear will be the ruin of this country. Compairing Obama and Clinton, Clinton is devisive, but has more experience and better work ethic, while Obama is a silver tonged, new blooded, idea man. Personally I'd like to see, Clinton as president, Obama as vice president, Edwards as Attorney General, and McCain as Secretary of Defense. I feel Edwards is well qualified to go after all the illegal, and immoral big business's that have permeated since Bush came into power. My choice of McCain for Secretary of Defense is based on my belief, that our enemies would fear his anger and tanascity, kinda like a bull dog on a leash. I truly believe, if Clinton and Obama were on the same ticket, they would be elected by a very mandating landslide, effecting the total destruction of the republican party for many years to come, that's what would restore this country to it's rightful place in this world.

    March 11, 2008 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  17. AtlantaVoter

    Since Obama is winning so many of the so-called "Republican states" I wonder if Republicans are voting in the Democratic primaries there? I know it's not a new idea but it does make me wonder.

    I'm sure they are just itching to get their claws into him in the General Election.

    They will make his campaign against Hillary look like a walk in the park.

    You Obama kiddos need to wake up. Having no problematic history because you have NO history is not necessarily a good thing. Go back and look at his very brief Senate history and you will see that his major goal has been to stay above the fray - even if meant not getting the work done that he was sent there to do.

    This isn't high school. The goal is not necessarily to get the most friends. It's to get the job done.

    Hillary can get the job done.
    Hillary 2008

    March 11, 2008 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  18. Tasha

    I have to be honest, the thought of another Clinton in the white house truly makes my skin crawl. I just can't get past her fake smiles, empty words and nasty-snide remarks, that make her seem like a 'fighter' to her devout followers. When I listen to her speak most of the time I'm thinking everything thats coming from her mouth is just another manipulative tactic to get what she wants, but she could honestly care less about whats really going on...and I just flat out don't trust a thing the woman says. And as cruel as that may sound I just get the most troubling feeling at the thought of her being in the white house.

    I use to be a supporter of hers, but I just don't think she knows how to lead is down the path of unity...and more than anything we need someone who can pull this country together and stop the Democrat on Republican bickering.

    And I think Obama is the man for the job.

    March 11, 2008 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  19. Rachel P. - CA

    Obama is strong enough on his own – and Clinton is beginning to realize that. If he's not experienced enough or McCain is a better candidate (according to her) – then why would she put him on her imaginary ticket? Oh, that's right. Because this is happening in the alternate universe where she becomes president.

    Obama 08 – working with ALL Americans to get things done (not just blue states)

    March 11, 2008 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  20. Angie

    I guess Hillary supporters really are blind. How can you possibly think this is a "unifying" gesture? She is in 2nd place! This is not unifying, it's insulting to the frontrunner. If she had secured the nomination it would be a unifying gesture. Obama is not arrogant for speaking up on this. He should not let Hillary cast herself as the frontrunner. Secondly, who wants to play 3rd string to Bill? Look at what 3rd string did to Al Gore. I think people forget how all of the scandals from the Clinton years (and I was a Clinton supporter) contributed to the loss of the WH to Bush II. Even if Hillary were to win the nod, Obama shouldn't accept a VP spot from her. When the Clinton's sink, they take everyone down with them.

    March 11, 2008 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  21. L. Tran, TX

    Clinton or Obama alone cannot beat McCain, especially if the democrats got mad and stay home or will vote for McCain.

    With Obama on the Democratic side, if McCain can resist the fundamentalist Republicans, he will get the independents and the centric democrats.

    With Clinton, the fundamentalist Republicans will vote anyway.

    Who's on first...

    March 11, 2008 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  22. John - Spokane, WA

    How come CNN does not report the relationship of Obama and convicted Terrorists Reese & The Woodland Group. The Woodland Group gave Obama money to run for Senator. This story broke on Saturday but CNN hasnt touched it so far. Wont matter, words getting out anyway and they'll be left at the gate.

    March 11, 2008 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  23. barbara

    Hiliary and Obama – a Dream ticket?

    It would be much wiser if a President picked someone they could be civil with.

    There are some other good strong Democrats to choose from.

    March 11, 2008 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  24. Maine-iac

    Oh come now. The dream ticket is McCain and Jeb Bush.... yikes!

    March 11, 2008 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  25. Iceman

    Why wont anyone state the obvious??
    Hillary is telling Obama to go to the back of the bus!! I hope this blows up in her face more than Bill Clinton's remarks in S.C.

    March 11, 2008 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
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