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. Frances

    Obama responded like a jerk to the idea of being on the ticket with Hillary! Suppose she responded in such a manner if he considered her for V.P.! The media has coddled him so much that he feels he is entitled to special treatment and that he is the heir apparent to the presidency of this country!

    March 11, 2008 03:21 am at 3:21 am |
  2. David

    This is Hillary just playing the game again, desperate to win and at any cost. Just like her stealing all the delegates in FL and MI by saying they should be reseated without a new ballot. Under no interpretation is that fair.

    To those who suggest it, Bill cannot be VP. Read the constitution and ammendments 15 and 22 closely. And that's coming from a Brit who appears to know more than some of the Americans posting here!

    March 11, 2008 03:21 am at 3:21 am |
  3. Hillary said...

    "Obama's arrogance is getting more than a bit annoying! First he says he won't run for president again if he doesn't win this time, now its how he won't even consider being vice president. It's he's way or no way (an attitude we've had in the White House for 8 years now already). I begin to see why so many Hillary supporters are saying they would vote for McCain rather than see this arrogant baby in control of the country."

    Do you think that the emotional and physical effort it takes to run for President of the United states is akin to a walk in the park? If Obama says he will not run again, that is his prerogative. The Road to the White House is a long and arduous one...many of us could not even do it ONCE!!. And why should he consider being subject, as Vice President, to Hillary's whims after all of the criticism and insults that she has heaped on him...? I, frankly, find you arrogant for making statements based on silly suppositions, and not thinking through your statements with any clarity of judgment.

    March 11, 2008 03:23 am at 3:23 am |
  4. Nic

    BOOOOOOOOOOOOOH CLINTONS:::::::::::First your campain add with a Obama supporter at sleep.Sure she will want Obama to pick up the phone when it rings.That helped you get along in Ohoi ,Texans took their time.Now you wanna use another tactice with Obama as your VP?That grid you have for the white house please let it go.I know Chealse will one day be running for president too..This is not a your Family house.Who on this great Nation will want thier kids to be corrupt the way you and your campain board has been.Going around and deciving old minds and those who don,t have any knowledge of the things and happenings around them.
    If it were you on Senator Obama,s shoes will you take his call for you as VP?Don,t forget we are still waiting for your Tax cut returns so the American people can know were your money is coming from.Pennslyvania is Obamas.You missed it all.Instead of asking for a dream ticket better take a Bus ar Train ticket to NY and help out your freind.Stop disgracing this great Nation.

    March 11, 2008 03:24 am at 3:24 am |
  5. averagejoe

    I have to agree with Matt that bringing this VP issue out is simply brilliant for several reasons. First, by merely being open to and echoing the sentiments of a majority of democrats of the possibility of a "dream ticket", BO's true colors were exposed. He's become so arrogant now (Bush-like) that he's so blinded by his personal ambition and forgets about party unity (rk, Xyndau, rowena, and Oregon voter discussed this thoroughly). Loyal dems will find this very disturbing and will exhaust more efforts to stop him from achieving his selfish goal. Second, this issue may be viewed as a gambit which BO naively took. By dismissing the hopes of the democratic base for a "dream ticket", he voluntarily removed himself from the VP short list (good riddance!). When HC's momentum continues to grow up to the time PA, KY, IN, WV, MI, and FL vote (or re-vote), superdelegates will realize who's the clear party champion and affix their blessings to her party nomination. They will not question her decision should she pick a different VP other than BO. They will also recognize that BO's version of "playing by the rules" (i.e. disenfranchising MI and FL voters and forcing superdelegates to his side up to the point of totally disregarding their independence and political wisdom) is simply self-serving and anti-party base (thanks, Joseph of LA, CA!). Lastly, has anyone noticed the sound of desperation (even perhaps fear) from BO's camp that they're now clamoring for HC to drop out of the race? Even though they won't admit it, it's clear that time is not on their side and inevitably, HC will be nominated by the democratic majority by the time the dust has settled. It's just like selling the stocks while the market price is higher and cashing in with a higher return now; they don't expect a favorable return in the days (and weeks) ahead because they're spiraling downwards and probably mimicking the economic recession.

    March 11, 2008 03:26 am at 3:26 am |
  6. Norm

    I'm a registered Republican, but I haven't voted for one in eight years. My vote will go to whichever Dem gets the nod. However, for some of you to say that you won't vote if Obama is on the ticket, and others to say they won't vote if Hillary is one the ticket, is simply hypocritical. Wait, scratch that, it just plain stupid. You realize, of course, that John McCain is just G.W. Bush in sheep's clothing, don't you?

    In case you haven't noticed, our country is heading downhill fast. Enough non-votes by Democrats will guarantee at least four more years of the same.

    Think about it.

    March 11, 2008 03:33 am at 3:33 am |
  7. Randy

    It's 0300am and the Red phone rings, who is going to answer it? Hillary does; "Bill it's for you"!

    March 11, 2008 03:35 am at 3:35 am |
  8. Lynne

    OBAMA tells the TRUTH! All he has to do is to continue to tell the truth and take the high ground and ONLY RESPOND TO THEIR LIES by TELLING THE TRUTH and then MOVE ON TO WHAT HE CAN AND WILL DO as PRESIDENT of the USA.

    SHE IS A MESS and I HOPE CNN continues to point out all the ways she plays SILLY games while the IMPORTANCE of OUR COUNTRY will go to the person people believe to be BEST QUALIFIED, MOST TRUSTWORTY, and HONEST.

    HILLARY and BILL (the IMPEACHED team) continue to SHAME THE FACE of this COUNTRY by their actions. It is TIME for OBAMA who will, and YES WE CAN, turn this country back towards the COUNTRY WE LOVE and HONOR. GO BARACK and MICHELLE!!!!

    March 11, 2008 03:38 am at 3:38 am |
  9. Jenan

    Thankyou Obama for your Clarity on this matter. Obama made it very clear as to his position on this notion that has been floated about by the Clinton Campaign. One only has to look a t how she has run her campaign, to know , " She is not about Change" , in Washington. The idea of a joint ticket , regardless of the nominee, is impossible. She does not have the values or character of Obama, C'mon folks , Who would want to be a VP attached to Billary , I can't imagine anyone wanting to accept that ticket, it would be political suicide.

    signed ..A Canadian supporting Obama '08

    March 11, 2008 03:41 am at 3:41 am |
  10. Brenda Waters

    Apart of the condescending arrogance of Senator Clinton, it shows her total LACK OF JUDGEMENT AND EXPERIENCE – a VP is also supposed to be 'ready-on-day one', should something happen to the President. Senator Obama would never make the reverse'coalition'- he has better judgement and grasp of the position of President – not for his personal ego and ambition – but what is best for his country and the Democratic Party.

    BIG DIFFERENCE – your choice America – you don't have room to make another mistake – the now expanding world is seriously questioning your credibility. This time your choice must reflect
    CHANGE, if you are to regain your status on the World Stage.

    Brenda Elizabeth Cowley-Waters

    March 11, 2008 03:41 am at 3:41 am |

    Obama is fending off attacks from Hillary, Bill, Chelsea and the Republicans and yet he has come thus far.
    Notice that Hillary is yet to return any monies gotten from any of her contributors of questionable character, unlike Obama...and there are indeed too many of them.
    Hillary herself did confess in their debate in Texas that it was an honor for her to be in the presence of Obama so why should Obama now play second fiddle to her? Why didn't she talk about the joint ticket in Ohio and Texas? She has been campaiging already in Pennsylvania, but she will not mention the joint ticket gimmick there because it is not to her advantage.
    The name Clinton is synonymous with scandal...there seem to always be some kinda scandal about them wherever they go and Obama does not need that in his political life...may be that is the experience Hillary means that Obama doesn't have.
    Right now, too many wars have been fought and the world is uneasy too: The one true person or personality the world doesn't need right now is Hillary as we are all witnesses to her antics and ethics in this campaign. She could never unite anybody and always after her own personal interests no matter who gets hurt in the process.

    March 11, 2008 03:42 am at 3:42 am |
  12. Epluribusunum

    For it to work, a "dream team" has to be mutually compatible. Are Obama and Clinton compatible at the core level?

    One summons our better angels by articulating an audacious vision that we can be the change that we aspire to. - Yes, we can! The other derides and despises "the vision thing", and appeals to people's baser instincts through Rovian electoral dirty tricks.

    One wisely and presciently warned Congress and the nation against the folly of the Iraq misadventure. The other cynically triangulates for personal political gains by blithely subscribing to not ONE, but TWO war authorizations!

    Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew were a compatible team. So are Bush and Cheney. Contrariwise, FDR and Truman were a positive compatible team. But JFK and LBJ were a tragic mismatch, on a personal and national level.

    At the core level, Obama and Hillary Clinton appear to have nothing in common. How can they be "a dream team", other than just for the sake of getting more votes in November 2008?

    March 11, 2008 03:43 am at 3:43 am |
  13. rusty

    The Clinton's are delusional, manipulative, and dishonest. Their campaign has been a disaster, and it is now beginning to hurt the Democratic party, and its chances in the general election. They represent old politics, and the whole world is seeing how superficial it is. Obama is right in denouncing, and rejecting this new tactic of theirs. Seeing all of the different tacts the Clinton's have taken in these past few weeks, it amazes me that there are still people out there who would prefer those two back in the White House.

    March 11, 2008 03:47 am at 3:47 am |
  14. MikeinOhio

    I hope the people in Mississippi who are voting today are not dumb enough to fall for this new Clinton ploy. They only want votes so she can say she won the popular vote. They do not care one bit about Obama. I can just see what role he would play in a Clinton/Obama administration–NONE! It would be Billary, Billary, Billary. Obama would be made out to be a POS. Don't fall for it voters.

    March 11, 2008 03:47 am at 3:47 am |
  15. Randy

    Mc Lame, uh Mc Same as Bush and McCain!

    March 11, 2008 03:52 am at 3:52 am |

    Hillary says Obama is all about speech but check this out; what exactly did she do in China...delivered a speech of course: what did she do in Kosovo and Ireland...also delivered speeches. Now she tries to take credit for everything.
    Is there any real treaty or policy that came into effect or being as a direct consequence of Hillary's speeches? I dare say none what foriegn experience does she precisely have then besides having tea with international dignitories as a first lady?
    Of course, she needs Obama on that ticket more than Obama could ever need her for anything. But most importantly, the whole world is watching and the Democratic party must not only do justice in this primaries, but MUST ALSO BE SEEN to do justice and fair play in the process, or else she is doomed. Hillary is only doing the Democratic party a severe disservice by her methods.
    Let Hillary preach to the Pennsylvania, Michigan and Florida Voters about joint ticket with Obama. Trust me, she will never do this in those states.

    March 11, 2008 03:57 am at 3:57 am |
  17. Think for a moment

    I find it funny to read these posts. First there are the unwaivering supporters of one of the candidates. Then the statement how the other is a joke. Over and over again. Post after post. This is going to be the reason why the Democratic Party could lose in November. Boil it down and you find that both candidates are generally after the same thing. Different approaches maybe. It was brought up the age issue. Kennedy had the same thing said about him. I do not have the transcripts, but Lincoln was most likely hounded on the issue. But perhaps that is what we need. McCain is in his 70's. Hillary will have just turned 61. Thinking about it, who do they really represent. The youth of America, or the aging? Maybe that is why Obama is having an easier time connecting with the younger generations. .... As for the delegates from Florida and Michigan. We keep hearing how Hillary won those states. Ok – Floridians may not have all voted. Obama was not even on the ballot in Michigan, because he withdrew when they were going ahead with the early vote. No matter what happens, it is not going to please the other. Split the delegates, re-vote or leave them out. You have to remember why we use delegates. In the forming decades, it was not possible to have everyone cast ballots in a timely basis. So you vote, and your delegate goes and eases the process on election day. The U.S. has too large a population to handle that now. We have enough to go to a popular vote. The margins may be closer, the results are the same. The 2k election showed that. Enough ranting people. Go read a book, better yet, read a book to a child or an elderly person. As a final thought/laugh – How many times are we going to let Florida screw up an election before we finally finish the wall cutting them off from the rest of the country?

    March 11, 2008 03:58 am at 3:58 am |
  18. ABC = Anybody But Clinton

    ew.......something stinks in here.....oh Hillary's at it again..........

    March 11, 2008 04:01 am at 4:01 am |
  19. ObamaforPres08

    It's so unfortunate that Hillary speaks of change but is still interested in engaging in the same deceptive practices. Hypothetically, let's say they did run on the same ticket with her in the No. 1 spot. If she did win the presidency and something were to happen to her on "Day One" the Vice President would have to step in. How can she say on one hand, that Obama is not ready to be Commander in Chief on Day one but say he'd make a fine Vice President on the other? If he's good enough to run for Vice President, then he's good enough for President...the person in that No. 2 slot HAS to be!

    But we don't have to talk about hypotheticals here because he's in the lead, he's going to win the nomination and he's not bringing her along on the ticket!

    OBAMA '08

    March 11, 2008 04:02 am at 4:02 am |
  20. MahoganyShotgun

    hmmmmm, who would be crazy enough to take a VP slot with Hillary. Just imagine...

    President Hillary
    President Bill

    ...Vice President (Anybody)

    The Vice Presidency would be at best ....a joke.

    March 11, 2008 04:05 am at 4:05 am |
  21. ladlaw

    The dream ticket started with reporters asking questions about weather or not it would happen. Clinton has effectively addressed this issue. I think Obama used bad judgment when he denounced the possibility of being on a ticket with Hillary. I believe he played right into her hands. I believe that when pressure is put on them for the sake of the party to join tickets- she will have a defense – he refused. If he had said, "sure, but I'll be on top" he would have prevented alienating the party or offending the Clintons. Hillary is not going away. If she does not get the presidency, she will still be involved in capitol hill – she will have the power to help him or hurt him. Life says/experience says, "Don't burn your bridges!" it obvious Obama hasn't learned that lesson yet!

    March 11, 2008 04:13 am at 4:13 am |
  22. Jarone Johnson

    Hillary's offering of the VP position to Obama could have been successful, but her recent shake up in her national campaign office didn't get the timing right. The Clintons are professional politicians and the crying episodes, the "they're ganging up on me", the 'Obama Picture", the Chicago Developer connection, and the Hilarious SNL Hillary, all were calculated timely maneuvers. Her latest attempt will backfire because it got out too early and gave her constituency too much time to think about how ridiculous her vp offer was. She probably figured that the folks in Mississippi would take a little bit longer to piece everything together, but she forgot that the Mississippi schools are now competitive with the California schools and the kids there are now able to help their grandparents, (Hillary's biggest supporting group in Mississippi), figure out what is right and what is wrong!

    March 11, 2008 04:13 am at 4:13 am |
  23. King

    My sugestions are very simple and the best , Hillary call off your campaign and wait . After the convention, then discutions will start as to who will be the VP. As for decception they say you can deccive all the people one time but for ever you can`t. Hillary it`s over. Try again the next eight yaers. God bless your efforts. Amen

    March 11, 2008 04:17 am at 4:17 am |
  24. Joe

    Give me a break! The entire DNC is doing nothing but what they do best...create nothing but chaos and then blame others for it. These two (Obama/Clinton) are exactly the same. They are fighting like second graders to see who is going to be first in line...NEITHER of the two have what it takes to lead this country. Anyone who leads this country today will be unpopular because hard decisions have to be made and these two want to be 'liked'....and the boss just isn't 'liked'. Is he?

    March 11, 2008 04:24 am at 4:24 am |
  25. JRec, PA, Independent

    Sen. Clinton is better off without Obama in her quest to be the 1st Female President of the United States. Why would Hillary wants a VP who is proven to be a plagriarist, someone we can't trust to answer the 3 a.m. phone call and unpatriotic. John Edwards is far better off candidate for VP and a respected Statesman.

    March 11, 2008 04:33 am at 4:33 am |
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