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. Michael Guinn Ventura, CA

    This latest ploy of the Rove, I mean Wolfson... I mean Clinton campaign is being called "smart" by her supporters, "pretentious" by most of we Obama supporters, and several things by Keith Olberman of MSNBC--none of them nice. (Way to go Keith!)
    Obama is AHEAD in STATES
    Obama is AHEAD in DELEGATES
    Obama is AHEAD in POPULAR VOTE
    OBAMA IS THE FRONT RUNNER!
    With 35 years of experience in politics, one would think one would KNOW that.

    March 11, 2008 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  2. J. Wong

    I was glad that Obama addressed this speculation. A ticket with Hillary, in either position, means my vote goes to McCain.

    March 11, 2008 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  3. bettyc, Havre de Grace, MD

    I am one of those female senior citizen Democrats that Clinton thinks she can depend on. Where the cable people and the pollsters get there numbers is beyond me. I do not know a single soul in my age group who supports her. The opposite is true. We learned long ago what is, is. We do not want a totallly corrupt, unprincipled person in the White House. Enough of the Bush Clinton musical chairs. Look what has happened to this country in the last twsenty years. If Clinton manages to steal the nomination, I will be changing my registration, and voting for McCain. I will not waste my vote on Clinton, either as president or vice president.

    March 11, 2008 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  4. Joseph Edgecombe

    Shirley Chisholm for President....not Vice Presidemt.

    Shirley Chisholm revolutionized America and became a revolutionary woman known around the world as one of the top 10 most important women in the world which dismissed all negative notions of the potential of black America, as she constructed the foundation for a renewed and revolutionized American society.

    TODAY....

    Today barack obama has been accepted/adopted and popularized by white American media and society far ahead of getting any concrete facts and information of is presidential run.
    American society has turned him into a pop-star (idiot) instead of a serious political candidate like Shirley Chisholm .

    Hillary Clinton is a woman candidate who of course brings the potential of a woman candidate to the presidency of the USA, who naturally brings issues of black America to the presidency because of the shared black America and women’s movements together because of the Shirley Chisholm presidential Campaign era of the early-mid. 70's, where she carried the needs of everyone in the country.

    March 11, 2008 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  5. JohnSmith

    Those with (a) a brain bigger than a bird, and (b) are learned, can allow the facts (the real numbers) to stand. Given that hard numbers do not lie, here are the facts:

    Pledged delegates: Obama = 1,347; Hillary = 1,200 (+147 for Obama)

    SuperDelegates: Obama = 206 (up from a low 90); Hillary = 238 (down from a high 250). Net gain for Obama, deficit for Hillary

    Total numbers: Obama = 1,553; Hillary = 1,438 (+115 for Obama)

    Texas Caucus (still counting) Obama = 23,918; Hillary = 18,620 (+5,298 for Obama). This will give more delegates to Obama, showing that he won Texas!

    So, even if Hillary wins PA, MI, FL, and the rest of the remaining states (let us grant her this) there is NO way she can overcome the deficits to Obama.

    Major reason: Regardless of her wins, delegates are given "proportionally." So, people need to deal with these numbers and chill it for goodness sake!!! Hillary is out of a place to go or hide; the remaining superdelegates know these numbers and they are giving Hillary plenty of tome to "hang herself!!!

    March 11, 2008 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  6. Nanthu

    Gold medalist is asked to accept a Silver and give the Gold to the looser.

    hahahahaa

    March 11, 2008 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  7. Mike

    Why does it take sooo long to get anything posted here?

    Are you biased, Why can't Senator Clintons supporters have a say?

    March 11, 2008 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  8. Michael, North Carolina

    If Sen. Obama ends up with more pledged delegates, and popular vote, and Sen. Clinton still ends up getting the nomination, then I believe most of the supporters of Sen. Obama should vote independent, or should vote for Sen. McCain. Sen. Obama has done more to earn the nomination than she has. Sen. Obama can bring in new and younger voter's. He also has more crossover appeal by being able to turn a red state into a blue state. Sen. Clinton cannot do this. Sen. Obama is all about the furture of this nation. Sen. Clinton is about the past. SEN. CLINTON ALSO NEEDS TO RELEASE HER TAX RETURNS.

    YES WE CAN
    OBAMA/EDWARDS '08

    March 11, 2008 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  9. Lynn, Lake City, Michigan

    Obama-Clinton or Clinton – Obama; I don't think either is a good combonation, there are a lot of supporters that only support one candidate or the other, I think the democrats have the general election already wrapped up not matter who wins, and once again Hillary's comment would come back to haunt her if she were the nominee. Anyone that votes for her and they think they are getting both will likely not support her when she reveals her real choice for V.P. and I would bet it is not Obama...I think bringing somone else in who has stayed outside of the bickering would be the most beneficial, I personally like the buzz about there being an Obama-Gore ticket!

    March 11, 2008 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  10. Michael Guinn Ventura, CA

    Dear "Solutions"– Hillary is the one who has caused all this DIVISION in the Democratic Party! Barack Obama is the FRONT RUNNER and all you Clinton Cling-ons need to learn to count or play a little nicer! We're supposed to be on the same team- But the most polarizing woman in politics won't stop with her Karl Rove tactics and you people just go on and on about Barack not be worthy to even be on the ticket with her--ONCE AGAIN–OBAMA HAS THE LEAD!
    And no- I'm not in college- just a college graduate. I've been a Democrat for over 40 years and this whole thing has become sickening to many of us.

    March 11, 2008 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  11. Franklin

    Need a cure for all this Billary/Obama nonesense? Vote McCain.

    March 11, 2008 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  12. nikki

    I do think the Democratic party needs to be united come November. We can not afford another 4-8 years of Bush/McCain. Remember everyone thought Dubya was going to be a one-term President, and look what happened?

    I don't like the idea of an Obama/Clinton and I don't like the idea of a Clinton/Obama ticket. There are too many other choices that could unify the party better!

    Personally I think Obama would do well to ask Edwards to be his running mate. Richardson or Biden would also be good choices I am an Houstonian, so I also think the Mayor of Houston would be a good running mate. Mayor White showed remarkable leadership and humanity after Hurricane Katrina! Or Mayor Villagrosa from Los Angeles would be a great choice too! I am not impressed with the way Clinton has ran her campaign, but make no mistake I will vote for her over Bush-McCain any day of the week. The stakes are simply too high not to vote for whomever is on the Democratic ticket!

    March 11, 2008 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  13. Rod

    Senator Barack Obama has won twice as many contests, leads in delegate count, and holds a lead in popular vote.
    Clearly we can win without Hillary.

    March 11, 2008 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  14. Californiajon

    This behavior clearly demonstrates the total lack of character in Hillary Clinton. She clearly lacks any scruples, decency, or sense of fair play. It is precisely this kind of behavior that has made our country hated by others around the globe. Barack Obama is a brilliant man who can lead this country well into the 21st century. He shows the morals and decency that would make us hold our head high in the world community. No president is capable on day one – but he will certainly be the quickest to learn in decades!

    March 11, 2008 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  15. barack08

    question,
    Is obama competing with Bill and Hilary Clinton, I thought there was not a third term for any American President. when did the constitution change? This is the kind of dictatorship America as the LAST HOPE should not accept. 16 yrs of Clinton as president would be boring and full of sex scandals. I am also hearing that Bill and Eliot are peers often meeting and going out for Darts.

    March 11, 2008 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  16. John White, Texas

    Sen. Clinton is using a low down and dirty tactic to gain an advantage in this race. She will not win because she is just not good for this country and for the Democratic Party.

    March 11, 2008 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  17. Trang, Fremont, CA

    Obama would help Clinton on the ticket, but Hillary would be a liability on the ticket.

    They might have similar stand on issues, but their character is different.

    March 11, 2008 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  18. shaun

    There's no way in hell I'd ever vote for hillary. She is the very reason why obama's campaign is geared towards change and unity, and to all those who've been blinded by the true character of this beast I'd like to say wake up. It's this kind of blatent deception that's riddled this country for 8 long years, and to think that there's still some americans who fall for it is a discredit to everyone else who see's the light. You people make us look bad to the world and if it doesn't stop, america will be in twice the trouble we're in now.

    March 11, 2008 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  19. FrankSmith

    Those with (a) a brain bigger than a bird, and (b) are learned, can allow the facts (the real numbers) to stand. Given that hard numbers do not lie, here are the facts:

    Pledged delegates: Obama = 1,347; Hillary = 1,200 (+147 for Obama)

    SuperDelegates: Obama = 206 (up from a low 90); Hillary = 238 (down from a high 250). Net gain for Obama, deficit for Hillary

    Total numbers: Obama = 1,553; Hillary = 1,438 (+115 for Obama)

    Texas Caucus (still counting) Obama = 23,918; Hillary = 18,620 (+5,298 for Obama). This will give more delegates to Obama, showing that he won Texas!

    So, even if Hillary wins PA, MI, FL, and the rest of the remaining states (let us grant her this) there is NO way she can overcome the deficits to Obama.

    Major reason: Regardless of her wins, delegates are given "proportionally." So, people need to deal with these numbers and chill it for goodness sake!!! Hillary is out of a place to go or hide; the remaining superdelegates know these numbers and they are giving Hillary plenty of tome to "hang herself!!!

    March 11, 2008 01:50 am at 1:50 am |
  20. blindman

    Terry March 10 6:14 pm. Obama has no say so about Fl. or Mi. it is the
    D.N.C. that will not set the delegates of those states to imply that Obama has the last say about it is really funny. But I hope there is a re-vote so that those delegates will be given to the right canidates in the right way and not the way someone like u thinks they should be given
    out. Remeber that Clinton was the only canidate that didnt take her name off the ballet like the other people did. Lets even the playing field and after a re-vote if she wins those states then more power to her. But let it be fair.

    d.n.c

    March 11, 2008 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  21. Women's History Month

    NO TKO's Obama as Michigan and Florida will be counted and you got trouble as you can't carry the "Big Delegate States and I for one have had no one tell me what is exactly your problem there but obviously with Rezo's trail things could get really bad fast for you if its your home state Republicans with the plan Right?
    HillaryClinton.com Volunteer to win the remaing states starting with Mississippi tomoroow Make those Calls Guys and Girls Your Future Depends on It....Give Hillary your time just go to her website and events and call call call Mississippi then its on to Pennsylvania Go Hillary Go!!!Come Let's Make History Girly Style for our celbrating Month of Women's History We are writing the Book right Now this Moment and Travel to see the History in the Makin

    March 11, 2008 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  22. Bill

    "If we really don't want change, and prefer four more years of the
    same, then our choices are Mrs. Bill Clinton or John McCain.

    March 11, 2008 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
  23. Crystal in CA

    Obama doesn't want no part of Billary and their gaggle of scandals. He knows that there will be more scandals involving the Clintons because they are too secretive about things.

    Hillary is a piece of work. She is definitely in her own world...delusional as they come.

    March 11, 2008 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
  24. Democrat for McCain

    NObama. I am voting for McCain. An Occidental College graduate will never be my President.

    March 11, 2008 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  25. troy

    well the truth is that Hillary has to understand that she and Bill are saying that Obama is not good enough to be president but that he is good enough to be her vice,

    somehow I had this foolish notion that the vice president had to be ready at all times to be the president, but you see, because she will try anything to get the votes of the people, she will say anything, no matter how dumb it sounds,

    not to mention the racial overtones that it implies. He is good enough to be second but not first. if she has not notice she is behind. Hillary you should pretent that it is day one, pratice saying, Mr. President Obama, again, again, now that was not so bad, good girl.

    March 11, 2008 01:58 am at 1:58 am |
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