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. john

    This seems to be an attempt to sabotage a Democratic victory in November so that Hillary can come back and try again in 4 years without Obama as President.

    March 11, 2008 04:34 am at 4:34 am |
  2. DP

    NO–Hillary doesn't benefit from this. She looks ridiculous. Just like she looks ridiculous when she says she WON Michigan. She was the only Democrat on the ballot. lol Does she think she is playing solitaire?? Well..she might. She seems to think this is all about her.
    She lies to the people who want to trust her and then trust her, like leading sheep to the slaughter. She will slaughter their hopes and dreams of a woman as President. She will dishonor the trust Americans put into this Office of President. NOTE: Hillary and Bill Clinton have the experience of dishonoring Americans, the American Presidency and the White House. And let's not forget, our economy!
    Where are our jobs? Oh, yes, Bill signed NAFTA and Hillary thought it was good. Greed begets Greed. Since more of us are poorer, let's unite and win the Obama Nomination and Make a Real Statement.

    March 11, 2008 04:39 am at 4:39 am |


    March 11, 2008 04:42 am at 4:42 am |
  4. Politra

    Hillary is very BAD in math:
    She offered joint ticket ! Its a joke of the year !
    For this everyone should hate her. For her self-contradiction, for her egoism and for her sense of (dis)proportion !

    She is a very BAD American:
    She views, Ohio=rest of USA

    Media is also BAD in math:
    On the 4 March, media coverage was not proportionate to the result !
    Media should not view : Ohio=rest of USA , as Hillary views it.
    Is it true that Hillary is the winner of Texas !!!!!!

    March 11, 2008 04:47 am at 4:47 am |
  5. food for thot

    this is getting interesting,hillary really thinks she would be the nominee by controlling the DNC,she better think again if she steals this nomination there would be blood all over the world,the world is watching, americans abroad are watching and waiting for change is coming to america so clintonistas get use to it.

    March 11, 2008 04:48 am at 4:48 am |
  6. Gene Edochie

    Joint ticket indeed.
    if Obama was so in experienced why then does Hilary need the partnership so badly. How could you ask Obama to be a running mate and be your number two. wat an insult!!!!
    Hilary is a terrible person, very dishonest....she is simply playing politics and i wonder how come most people refuse to acknowledge this.
    Obama exudes so much peace, love, calmness which were the factors that worked in favour of Bill Clinton as a president.
    Everyone talks of experience but the truth is this, 'a bit of experience mixed with intelligence is what any one needs to overcome any challenge'. experience without intelligence cant get u anywhere.


    March 11, 2008 04:48 am at 4:48 am |
  7. BenInNewZealand

    Leaving aside Obama for a moment, the real problem with a Clinton candidacy is her electability. To win the election in November, the Democratic nominee will need to win the swing vote composed of independents and Republicans disenchanted with the Bush Administration. They'll need to win this vote in the usual key states such as Florida and Ohio to take the election. There has been a Republican president for 20 of the last 28 years. Bill Clinton reversed this Republican predominance by winning the swing vote and by being a charismatic candidate who could pull in this vital demographic. Unfortunately for him and his wife, Hillary lacks both the charisma and the support of those outside the democratic faithful. Worse than this, there are many who are actively anti-Clinton and would happily work to derail her campaign.

    Due to this and despite his inexperience, Obama is the only viable option for the democrats if they intend to win the White House.

    March 11, 2008 04:58 am at 4:58 am |
  8. jock

    Hillary is tried and tested in over 80 countries. As the wife of a visiting US President she was entitled to and professionally negotiated her way through incalculable amounts of complimentary tea and cookies. Does this mean that by Hillary’s childlike reasoning that Laura Bush is also tried and tested to be President.

    Hillary has also had numerous experiences of answering the White House phone at 3am but unfortunately the callers always said CAN I SPEAK TO YOUR HUSBAND PLEASE !!

    March 11, 2008 04:59 am at 4:59 am |
  9. carrie

    this is really strange.i think hillary is mentally unbalanced,as well as her husband.these clitnons are delusional.she claims she won the big states,yet hse is 100 delegates behind,how pathetic.texas is a rep state,which she won because rep and illegals voted.she will never win against mccain.she should be begging obama for the vp spot,which she would never have

    March 11, 2008 05:04 am at 5:04 am |
  10. New York expat in Santo Domingo

    why am I always being moderated when I say nothing inflamatory – what I add is a little wonkey, bigger picture perspective to add some analysis and content to the debate, rather than slinging cute barbs and obvious repeates of past blogs... I get to feeling that intelligent discourse is not particularly admired by my dear CNN moderators. What gives?

    March 11, 2008 05:09 am at 5:09 am |
  11. Francis, the Netherlands

    Most of what I see here in these comments is nothing but name-calling and mud-slinging; at each other as well as at the candidates. And lots of threats: if this or that person is not the nominee, I'm voting republican. A year, even half a year ago everyone expected a *Democrat* to take over from G. Bush. But now?

    On the bright side: come November you don't have to complain you lost the Presidency to Ralp Nader, spoiling it for you in Florida! You don't need him to do that any more.... you're better at it than anyone else.

    And this process is held up to the rest of the World as the standard for Democracy... it makes you wanna cry!

    March 11, 2008 05:10 am at 5:10 am |
  12. Pat in WA State

    Have all of you Hillary supports ever checked to see who her major backers are? She has the identical top donner list as John McCain!
    Get real and wake up. With Hillary you wil get the same old same old! She is claiming she has won the big states and all of the states Obama has won don't count! When did not living in New York, California or Texas mean that my vote isn't as valued!

    March 11, 2008 05:14 am at 5:14 am |
  13. Jocee

    Anyone who thinks Hillary is trying to unite the party has just been taken advantage of by the Clinton monster. You people should not be allowed to vote at all, because your maturity level is the same as a 3 year old childs maturity level. It is very difficult for you guys to make rational decisions and you should get medical attention to correct your
    shortcomings as adult humans.

    March 11, 2008 05:21 am at 5:21 am |
  14. Carrie Pa

    No more Clintons and Bushes! Our country is better then this.

    March 11, 2008 06:17 am at 6:17 am |
  15. Julio

    She's pure evil.

    March 11, 2008 06:19 am at 6:19 am |
  16. Ito, Yokosuka Japan

    HRC is garbage. Everything that comes out of her mouth needs to be sanitized.

    This shows how arrogant and elitist she really is. And to think the tax payers are paying for this dribble.

    Why don't they make politicians resign their positions before they start campaigning and running their mouth.

    March 11, 2008 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  17. Lori

    Hillary has been saying for the last 13 months...Obama is not qualified enough to be President. So why would Hillary want someone who is not qualified to be Vice-President? Since Obama is in the lead..maybe she should be his Vice-President!!!

    An "O-ba-ma-Momma"

    March 11, 2008 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  18. Ronald, American living abroad

    HRC's only HOPE is that she can get near the White House on Obama's coat tails. She should be ashamed of her duplicity. James Carville's slight of hand on Larry King Live was indiciative of the desperation of the Clinton control freaks in the Democratic party. The Party and the Country has had ENOUGH of the Clintons and their divisive form of politics.

    Why aren't they releasing those tax returns? Spitzer's misdealings were first noted by dubious financial transactions. What are the Clinton's trying to hide?

    I bet this one won't get posted!

    March 11, 2008 06:45 am at 6:45 am |
  19. miss independent

    we dont need speeches but clear solutions.. thats what hillary is all about.she knows what shes talking about and her experience says it all..
    i dont think barrack would do anything since hes alawys flip flopping with issues like NAFTA and climate.he said he would invade pakistan and yet he he says he doesnt support the war in iraq..he is contradicting himself flat out..
    the man just says whatever makes the people like him..we dont need a popstar or someone likeable,we need a leader.hes a good man and thats all there is to him..he is too young and doesnt fully understand or grasp the meaning of being commander in chief of the most powerful and unpopular country today..
    wake up and see who brings actions to their promises..

    March 11, 2008 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  20. Rick, Maryland

    Obama reject's the idea but that's the closest he will ever get to the
    white house, he's a Chicago thug and he's proving it.
    I wouldn't hire him as dog catcher.

    March 11, 2008 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  21. BCarlisle, San Ramon CA

    All of this is just talk, exactly what Obama is about, all talk no action. Does it really matter what Hillary says about VP ect. She in my book made her point and got Obama fired up and mad, he does not look good when he is mad. The motivational speaker look is better. Without that he hasn't a chance. Keep hammering Hillary we all love a good fight (don't anyone deny it otherwise your just lying to yourselves!)

    Hillary 08! VP W. Clark....Obama is to green!

    March 11, 2008 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  22. Heather

    Hillary is proposing a shared ticket as it is yet another tactic to get her a spot, any spot, on the ticket. If she doesn't come out on top in Denver, then she can lay claim to the VP spot as the inevitable choice.

    Why Obama would ever consent to sharing the ticket with her is beyond my understanding. Even as top of the ticket, it raises the spectre of Hillary and Bill just down the hall doing Heavens knows what. The conspiracy theorists would have a blast!

    And, I'm not buying the idea that there are no policy differences between Obama and Hillary. Looking at their voting records and CVs, that's just not true. For instance the bankruptcy bill and the Iraq war: she was for them before she was against them. And, the shared presidency of Bill & Hill has a lot of legislative baggage, e.g., welfare reform. Why are 'downscale' voters still voting for Hillary given this record?

    March 11, 2008 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  23. Nando

    Well Hillary just lost another super delegate Gov. Spitzer was a long time supporter of the CLINTONS!!!!! That figures!!!!

    ABC ABC ABC ABC !!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 11, 2008 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  24. Michael D

    Spitzer, Hillary Super Delegate supporter, Bill Clinton supportive husband. Sex Scandal, cheaters and liars to thier families and the voters that believed in them. Hillary how can we trust your judgement .
    You can't run your canpaign without going broke, we don't need you adding to our problems.

    March 11, 2008 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  25. Rita

    I believe Clinton and Obama would be a very powerful team but one that wouldn't work as I feel they would both be wanting to 'play ' President.

    March 11, 2008 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
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