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. Drew Rocker

    Hillary must have a humiliation fetish. Barack effectively belittled her over this issue and the press replayed it relenetlessly.

    March 11, 2008 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  2. HC

    Obama is lucky to just be considered for VP.

    Hillary is, by far, more intelligent, more experienced, more capable, more able to deliver, much more hardworking, more qualified to be in the Oval Office, is more about substance than rhetoric, has already achieved so much more ... and the list goes on.

    I will not vote an OBAMA_CLINTON ticket. (Sorry Hillary but you are by far too good to be his VP).
    This is not about race or gender. This is purely about who is ready to be President. I will sooner vote McCain if there is a Obama_Clinton ticket. because Obama does not have the experience to be President and the Oval Office is not training camp.

    I liken Obama's ambition to be President to someone who demands to be conferred a Bachelor's degree without doing the 4 year college.

    March 11, 2008 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  3. Ani

    I have life long been a democrat. I am a woman. I do not struggle with my choice to support Barack until you mention Clinton. The only person other than a republican that I CAN NOT vote for is Clinton. Not for Pres, Vice Pres or my cleaning lady. I have been a delegate for Obama in Nevada and will be forced to vote independent if she should appear on the same ticket as him. We have to stop the same old, good ol' boy politics that epitomizes the Clinton legacy. And that is why I would have to go against my heart and dream for our country and vote against a Clinton/Obama ticket or even Obama/Clinton. I fervently support who he is. I dream of a new day and not more of the same old Day 1 again. I support experience of judgment and not of being a showpiece, or a non-elected co-president, or whatever her experience was all about. She has proven that she is willing to do and say whatever to manipulate people who either don’t care or have time to hear what it is that she is saying. My Grandmother for a time when she was blinded by the idea of a woman as Pres, did for a minute support Hillary. However as her dream of a woman bleed into the dream of the right person, she split from the “easy” and came to her senses and now supports CHANGE!! Our family won’t vote for any Clinton… This is arrogant with a lack of respect, or more of her same.. Shame on you hillary Clinton. You’ll be shocked when America doesn’t support you, especially if you bully your way to this nomination.

    March 11, 2008 01:00 am at 1:00 am |

    Obama wants no part of V.P. talk, because he doesn't care about in uniting the party.
    He will leave a deep scare in Presidential Campaign, like Ralph Nader did. He could get enough experience being V.P and he could build his career further with more dignity!

    March 11, 2008 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  5. rhy

    Hey Mississippi
    Vote for Hillary!!!! if you research obama youll see he shouldnt even be in this race!!!! Please find out who it is your backing before you vote tomorrow!!!!.....I can tell you all after what i have Learned about Obama I would never ever Vote for him.. Sorry but I hope Hillary wins so we can turn things around in this country.. If you research obama youll find out why.. for starters he himself explains why he wont put on a flag pin!!! He wont say the pledge... Watch Fox News People or research Him and his wife She has a lovely paper you should read.. Please dont be stupid all i ask is you find out the truth before you vote!!! Go Hillary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 11, 2008 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  6. Eric Keller, Detroit, Michigan

    I think that this was a strategic move by Hillary which again shows how desperate she is. In my opinion, Hillary already has a candidate to share her ticket with IF she wins the nomination...and I can almost guarentee it is not Obama. I would even go so far as to say that she has probably had a vice president in mind long before the primary elections even began. I doubt she would end up putting him on the ticket anways, which will turn a lot of enthusiastic voters away if they vote for her thinking that they will get Obama to...Remeber not to count your chickens before they hatch. Unless my math is wrong she is in no position to be talking about making Him her Vice President!

    March 11, 2008 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  7. Against the Cult

    CNN please cover the Rezko trial, Obama's name and activities have come up several times now and you are yet to point this out.

    March 11, 2008 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  8. Pon Mao

    Hillary Clinton keeps saying that she's a fighter, who is she fighting against? Is she going to start another civil war? or is she going to start wars with other countries? That's really scary.

    Why can't we have peace on earth? Maybe because we have too many politicians like the Clintons?

    March 11, 2008 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  9. Caryl S. Foster

    Regardless of who you support, on the topic at hand, it is hard for anyone not to admit that it was deceptive for Senator Clinton and her campaign to state that Senator Obama is not ready to be Commander-in-Chief but is ready to be VP given that the single most important criteria in the selection of a VP is that person's readiness to serve as Commander-in-Chief.

    No matter how you spin it, it is a deceptive oxymoron put forth by the Clintons for the sole purpose of attempting to convince undiscerning undecided voters that a vote for Senator Clinton will also get them Senator Obama.

    For all of us discerning decided voters, this is as clear as day.

    So let us all just admit it, chalk one up for Senator Obama for correctly calling Senator Clinton on it, and let's move on to the next topic at hand whatever that may be.

    March 11, 2008 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  10. LaLainKCMO

    Earl, you said it buddy!

    During Bill Clinton's presidency, my father called Hillary the most polarizing person in politics. I thought that was his old-school conservative voice talking, but now I see the man is right!

    But Brian Davey ... what are you talking about? Too soon? You talk like there's a time frame for these kinds of things. The only time frame is the wrong time and the RIGHT TIME.

    This is definitely the RIGHT time for a change in how business/politics are done in DC. Read the chapter on politics in The Audacity of Hope, he's more ready than you think.

    Yes We Can. Si Se Puede.
    Obama 2008

    March 11, 2008 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  11. Robert

    Mr. Obama should be out of the picture! It should be Clinton-Edwards ticket! And will be a sure win!!!

    Clinton – President
    Edwards – Vice President
    Obama – Motivational Speaker

    March 11, 2008 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  12. Kevin

    Every time I watch Hillary on stage, I feel this country have a hope. Every time I watch Obama on stage, I feel G.W. Bush is campaign again. G.W.Bush said he will bring Dem. and Rep. together during his campaign(Obama say the same). G.W.Bush said he will change Washington. Yes, he is (bad way). Obama think he can win the general election without Hillary's supporters, wrong!! Obama think he can win the general election without MI, FL voters, Wrong, wrong!! What's up Obama?

    Go Hillary 08!!!

    March 11, 2008 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  13. go away obama !!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    obama supporters research your canidate he will not put on a flag pin look it up on you tube... He is getting Donations from islam!!! and farrante RESEARCH YOUR SO CALLED CANDATE!!!! OMG I am amazed so many of you Blindly follow someone you know nothing about!!!!!!!! are you serious? Id really Like a dem in the white house but if Obama wins over Hillary Im sorry I will not be voting for Him and I hope Hillary does not put him on her ticket if she wins....
    Hillary 08!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 11, 2008 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  14. Dan Wouk

    The arrogance of the Clinton campaign is mind boggling. Obama has said it best- by drawing attention to the fact that he has won more than double the states she has, has more elected delegates, more total delegates and beats her popular vote count by over 84,000 votes. And that 84,000 vote count includes the irrelevant results of the Florida and Michigan votes which present a distorted and inaccurate picture of these states with Obama not even on the Michigan ballot and many Floridians noting that they didn't vote in the primary because they knew it wouldn't count.

    At one point I might have voted for Clinton had she been the real nominee but now given her nasty campaign rhetoric and tactics, I'll write in Obama if she steals this election.

    March 11, 2008 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  15. Cynthia Cooper

    Obama made a point right on target.Clinton needs Obama to be VP so that she can win General election.It shows confidence of her winning alone.NY People should do better job of electing their representative.NY Governor(Democratic) is in Prostitution Scandal, One of the state rep (Democratic) said Roger Clemens should be let go free and definitely we all know the dirt Hillary clinton brings.

    March 11, 2008 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  16. Mr. From Ohio

    CNN please quote Hillary Clintons own words in January stating that "the number one requirement for the VP is that on day one, he is ready to be president."..Hillary your words just finally caught up with you...Not this time Clintons!!!!

    Obama 08 Change is needed

    March 11, 2008 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  17. Go For REAL Change

    How ironic...The red phone ad implied that Obama was not ready for the Presidium of the USA. Now the VP has to be ready in case the President is not able to fulfill his/her duty. It is total double talk on the part of the Clinton campagn to offer the the VP ticket to Obama. Well...I guess the Clinton's now feel that Obama is ready for the job.

    #2 Clinton (in terms of deligates and popular votes) askes #1 Obama(in terms of deligates and popular votes) to be #2 VP. #1 replies to #2 "THANKS BUT NO THANKS" . Who the heck is Clinton's advisor!? This just sealed the fate of the Clinton campagn...ITS OVER BABY!!

    Obama 08!

    March 11, 2008 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  18. JT

    In the end Hillary will win!! Obama as VP is a bad idea.

    Obama winning all these red states are meaningless in the general election because more than likely they will vote republican.

    Superdelaegates knows that. The purpose of the superdelegates is to make judgement on who is the best candidate to win in the general election. If they are going to simply follow the result of the caucuses then we do not really need superdelegates.

    Hillary should not select Obama as Vice President because he will be so busy explaining about his relationship with Rezko, NAFTA gate and his plan for Iraq (I think his adviser said that what his saying now as a candidate will change when he becomes a President).

    Hillary will win!

    March 11, 2008 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  19. Dan Wouk

    All this talk about lack of experience is simple subtefuge. Who really has experience being a president until they actually are? Given the same condemnation of Obama's experience that Hilary is trying to use to her advantage, she would have disqualified Abraham Lincoln as a presidential possibility. His experience consisted of 1 term in the U.S. House of Representatives and a failed campaign for the U.S. Senate before he was made his party's nominee for President.

    Character, creativity and the ability to include, rather than divide, Senator Clinton, are characteristics that some of us find far more valuable in a President than what you or John McCain seem to have to offer.

    March 11, 2008 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  20. nikki

    Can anyone tell me the name of the US President that did not have to learn on the job? If you are thinking still, I will wait. The answer no one. They all had to learn on the job. That started with G. Washington on down.

    People please tell me how anyone in America has ever gained experienced without getting the job that they are seeking? You get experience from actually doing the job itself. That's it, and nothing else. So that means whoever gets the vote for President in the General Election will be learning on the job, because there is no job that can prepare a person to be President, except being President. I am sick of hearing people saying Hillary has experience. If living in the White House made a person ready to be president, then we could say the driver, the cook/chef also have the experience to be President.

    People research the candidates and stop letting the media spoon feed you untruths!

    March 11, 2008 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  21. Mike

    Why would the Obama or anybody for that matter want to engage in a menage a trois with Hillary & Bill Clinton. She's ready on day one? No wonder she's on the comedy show! She has a profound grasp of the obvious – she is a LOSER and the DNC needs OBAMA. The sooner Hillary smells the coffee, the better the DNC's chances against Senator McCain, an American Hero.

    March 11, 2008 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  22. Trisha, Detroit, Michigan

    Dream Ticket??? I disagree. My dream ticket would not have the last name Clinton on it. Barack Obama would be smart to drop a hint about who he is considering for V.P. though, I think it would help his experience argument, and it may get voters to see out side of the Clinton name being on the ballot at all. Depending on who Obama has in mind, It may help some of the undecided voters swing his way. For example, a ballot with BARACK OBAMA and AL GORE on it would most likley win him the nomination. I think that would be a dream ticket, and it might also satisfy some of Hillary's voters who want another 8 years of the Clinton administration...but do NOT necessarily want a Clinton.
    AL Gore as a Vice President for the second time around may be the key that Barack Obama needs to seal up the nomination and win the general election.

    March 11, 2008 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  23. Pat Va

    Is this woman delusional or what? Who in their right mind would want to be on a ticket with the likes of her!!! Excuse me while I go take a shower...the very thought of this manipultive shrew with her diry politics makes me feel icky!!!!

    March 11, 2008 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  24. Klark

    The Red telephone rings at 3am.

    Ring Ring

    "Hello, this is Hillary"

    "This is an emergency, maam... Mr. Obama has won twice as many states as you. He's won more of the popular vote than you. He has more delegates than you. What are your instructions?

    "Ok, offer Barack the number 2 position"

    "Is that a good decision, maam?"

    "Don't question me. I have years of illogical whitehouse experience!"


    March 11, 2008 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  25. Lynn, Lake City, Michigan

    Clinton- Obama ticket, I doubt it would happen, Obama will not be Second on the ballot, and Hillary despite her words would not put him second. All that her "hints" are leading to is a lot of angry voters who think they are going to get both, when chances are, in the general election rolls around no matter who wins the nomination, both names will Not be on the ballot. The democratic party could lose a lot of support if there are peopl who turn their vote to Clinton actually thinking that she is going to make Obama Vice President.

    March 11, 2008 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
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