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. Billary Huckabee

    Billary, Please!!! He would never lower himself to be on a ticket with you. This is not change, this is needing a "food tester" for eight years!!! To challenge "John I need a Mc Cain" on Iraq and foreign policy...someone like Joe Biden or Chris Dodd would be perfect or one of the many respected "Women Governors" who is not tied to every scandel ot the 90's. Billary is only attempting to tear down the party so in 4 years if the Dems lose, she can say "I told you so". But, she doesn't realize that in 4 one will vote for her again, except the delusional Billary Huckabee supporters!!!

    By June 6th, Billary and the rest of the Clintons will be done...two speeches at the Dem convention and back to New York to carpet bag!!!

    March 10, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  2. Charles

    This is just stupid. Not only has she decided that since Iowa has decided for the rest of the states and that all of the states that went for Obama doesn't matter, she has now decided to declare herself the winner and try to make herself look good by offering the VP position to Obama. Since there seems to be a gigantic disconnect with Clinton and the rest of the Democratic voters we should recap the facts! Obama is winning the popular vote! Obama is winning the most states! Obama has more delegates! Not only does she think that super delegates can over rule the voters, she has decided that she can over rule the voters and the super delegates. This is the lowest of lows and we don't need that kind of politics! We need change! Not the kind of change that shut down the government twice when Bill Clinton was President! Dont get me wrong I have always defended Bill Clinton but that has nothing to do with his wife. The biggest reason I don't like her is because I believe that PACs and lobbyist have corrupted our government and she takes money from the very same people that are charging us $4 for a gallon of gas while Obama doesn't!

    March 10, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  3. Bill

    I think the media is making more of this than there actually is. This is not an new subject and I have not seen anywhere were Clinton has said Obama should be her VP, other than people would like to be able to vote for both of them. She is still in this race and of course has every right to speculate. I see no harm here, only the media and bloggers blowing this out of porportion to create negative news for Clinton.

    I find it funny how the media reports that Obama leads the popular vote, when that is not true.

    Obama over reaction to this story makes him look arrogant, with a swollen head.

    March 10, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  4. JoJo

    Obama didn't sell out the voters in MI and FL. Their state did. The man of integrity was and is just following the rules. I guess the solutions Clinton speaks of is changing the rules so that it fits you. Who cares about the message that this send to our children. If you look at the majority of primary elections, half the country doesn't get a chance to vote anyway. Even Clinton thought this would be over after super Tuesday...that's why she didn't start "caring" about MI and FL until she realized she needed them. Typical Clinton tactic, you're only valuable when she can get something from you.

    March 10, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  5. Franky

    To be honest, I think is too early to talk about it. Who knows, maybe in a couple of months from now it'll probably be different. But I think in some sense is just a way for the Democrats to "re-fuel" their far, they haven't stopped since....

    March 10, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  6. B. Smart

    . . .Wyoming sure didn't fall for it. Hillary Clinton is a con Artist extraordinaire. She starts talking nonsense when she's about to wander into states that
    she thinks consists of less educated people to whom she can pander her
    double speaking lies and distortions. At this point you figure that everyone has caught on to her by now. But she figures that she is
    about to speak to the voting segment that doesn't know that two plus
    two equals four(NAFTA). Since when does the loser tell the winner where he is going to
    be on the ticket?


    March 10, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  7. Time 4 Action

    most states
    most delegates
    most popular votes

    Obama – Next President of the United States of America

    March 10, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  8. Liz T

    Hillary just looks pathetic, inappropriate and increasingly desperate with this ploy. There was a time I would have been happy to see them both on the ticket. Now I don't even want her as VP.


    March 10, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  9. PD from CA

    Is this woman capable of running a campaign that isn't sleazy and underhanded? Is this the kind of President she'd be? Of course it is.

    March 10, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  10. mimi de la cruz for OBAMA

    Senator Obama is beating both Clintons and now they want him to take second place on ticket.Do they have some information we don't about Barack hitting his head on a wall or something. To call these two disingenuous is to insult all the disingenuous people of the world.

    March 10, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  11. Angela

    TEXASDEM – I agree – Biden would be a great VP – Evan Bayh has been mentioned as well –

    Obama supporters are awful

    March 10, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  12. Laura Long

    Mission Accomplished Deja Vu
    This talk by the Clintons begs the question: Does our country need four more years of a leader so detached from reality? The fight for the nomination is not over, the mission is not accomplished and all of Bush's banners and Bill's words will not change that.

    March 10, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  13. Carole in Canada

    Popular Vote

    * Clinton Leads by 245,884

    March 10, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  14. Joseph, LA, CA

    It is at moments like this that we can measure the true character behind people.

    If Mr. Obama's goal were to unite the nation, he has to unite his party first. By refusing the suggestion, he is telling the voters, "Choose Me, or Else!" He could have simply said that it is a consideration given how close the voting has been.

    Mr. Obama forgets he has no mandate. His lead in both the delegate count and the popular vote is slim to say the least. He must show he can unite the party.

    And by claiming he is an agent of change, but when Florida and Michigan comes up, his steadfast insistence of "Playing by the Rules" seems odd. If he wanted to play by the rules, that's Washington without any change. And if he wanted to play by the rules, his argument that the Super Delegates vote the same way as the pledged delegates is nonsense.

    It does not take a deep thinker to sort these facts out. Does Mr. Obama think we are delusional?

    March 10, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  15. jkk

    Wake up Hillary, not gonna happen. Obama will be the nominee and if you want to be part of the train, you better hang on to Obama's tail coat. Or better still, get out of the race if you are too shamed to acknowledge the change that's about to sweep across the country.

    March 10, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  16. Peter

    Clinton supporters need to ask themselves what possible reason the Clintons have for this concerted effort. Clearly there is no benefit to declaring a running mate at this juncture. They are trying to steal Obama's moment simply becasue they failed to destroy it.

    Its really like something out of a movie, where the hero has been beaten by some villain who suddenly changes tone and offers respite and some reward of personal gain if he will only give up fighting the good fight.

    Oh wait, am I allowed to call Hillary a villain? I don't want to make her cry or anything...

    March 10, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  17. DKM

    Either Hilliary is out of touch with reality (like we need more of those) or she is really arrogant to be talking about a VP slot for Obama when he hasn't been consulted on or approved of such a proposal, AND he is the one in lead. Anyway, I am sure her tactic is a bait and switch. (Can Bill be VP?) If Obama suggests putting her on his VP ticket, I will be incredibly disappointed. Hilliary needs to show integrity and campaign with honesty. So many different Hilliary's to choose from...

    March 10, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  18. Observer

    Look at all the comments.. CNN cannot post enough of comments ridiculing Hillary..

    Obama comes across as an egnomaniac..

    Obviosuly he is not prepared.. he could have been gracious and deflected responding to this ... who is playing dirty now???

    March 10, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  19. Goodheart

    No, the Democratic Party benefits because with both of them on the ticket, as Bill Clinton said, they would be unstoppable. Their is no way McCain has a chance if all of those who voted for both Democratic candidates turn up at the polls in November.

    This is key. Despite Obama's campaign talk about all the new voters he's brought in, recent polls show he would lose many white middle aged males who will defect to McCain. It's only smart to have them both on the ticket. Of course, Hillary benefits.

    March 10, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  20. jaymzz

    can 1 really benefit from stupidity the hillary's campaign is showing? 1 day they call obama an inexperienced dreamer, next they offer him a vp spot? r they really as delusional as they successfully present themselves 2 b or simply plain retarded?

    March 10, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  21. David

    She would be the only one who would benefit. She is trying to scam the voters into thinking that if they vote for her, they will also get Obama as her VP. First, he isn't interested in being her VP. Second, there is no guarantee she would even do it. Third, why would he be interested when he leads her in states won, popular vote, as well as the delegate vote. She should be on her knees begging him to ask her to be his VP. It will be the only way she can get back into the White House unless she can pull off a steal in Florida and Michigan. Isn't it amazing how Florida keeps screwing up the elections? Its time they learned a lesson about trying to bend the rules to their will.

    March 10, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  22. Amused, Las Vegas

    Jude March 10th, 2008 6:25 pm ET

    "To all the folks who claim Red won't go Blue…stop your stupid analysis"

    From the item on Rove: 'At one point during the speech, Rove reportedly lashed out at some of the students, saying, "You got a chance to ask your questions later and make your stupid statements, let me make mine." '

    It seems Rove wants to make his own 'stupid statements' first.

    Similarly, you want to make your own 'stupid analysis' and not hear anyone else's.

    How Rovian of you.

    March 10, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  23. RW

    Oh yea... Ron Paul thinks its a good idea and he is going to consider that!!!

    March 10, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  24. caywen

    I think it's an ok strategy that isn't very underhanded. I also think it lacks inspiration and is not very well thought through. It will fail miserably. Democrats are tired and are increasingly willing to extend Obama's lead. And if Hillary pulls out some underhanded delegate snarfing, say hello to President McCain.

    March 10, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  25. Patrick, NYC

    The idea of the #2 offering the Frontrunner the #2 position is laughable... That only shows one thing: desperation.

    March 10, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
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