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. CHERYL

    YOU PEOPLE NEED TO GIVE IT A REST!

    BORACK OBAMA WOULD BE POISON TO SENATOR CLINTON'S TICKET!

    I HAVE NO IDEA WHY ANYONE WOULD SUGGEST THAT HE BE ON IT!

    THERE IS WAY TO MUCH SCANDAL INVOLVING HIM! THE GOP WILL HAVE A CARNIVAL WITH IT!!!!!!!

    MY VOTE IS FOR SENATOR CLINTON ONLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 11, 2008 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  2. taylor

    What a miserable tactic from someone without any principles. The Clintons have gotten downright pathetic.

    March 11, 2008 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  3. Lucille

    give a break, OBAMA PRESIDENT OF U.S.A. YEAH RIGHT,i had been a Democrat for so many years, when we get to November Elections, all the Rich people will be voting for Mcain, not for A Muslin wanta be..wake up...one way or another, they will be in the white house for another 8 years....not this losser Obama even the name is ridicules..

    GO HILARY, FOR PRESIDENT...

    March 11, 2008 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  4. Mike

    Not a real smart tactic for the Clintons. One of the biggest appeal sof Obama is that he is break from the Clinton sleaze. Show what do the Clintons do - they get sleazier!!

    March 11, 2008 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  5. CHERYL

    VOTE SMART VOTE SENATOR CLINTON!!!!!!!!!

    CLINTON!!!!

    CLINTON!!!!

    CLINTON!!!!

    March 11, 2008 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  6. rj

    America the Beautiful.....is your head buried in the sand?? Have you not seen every poll indicating Obama would beat McCain and the same polls saying McCain would beat Clinton? Watching Spitzer apologize with his doting wife standing by his side sure reminded me of some other politician doing the same thing–but only after lying about it first. Who was that..let me think...oh yeah...the Clintons. Hillary went through that at least three times that we know of. is that the vast experience all her fans talk about?? will she be able to stand in front of the country with him by her side and lie just as well as he did when she says....'i did not have sex with that woman'.

    March 11, 2008 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  7. Tom Swift, NH

    `
    I am a 55 year old Independant that votes mostly Republican for President.

    This year I am open to voting Democrat. I was hoping Joe Biden would be in the running, but it was not to be.

    Voting for Obama is a possibility – I need to see more.

    One thing is certain: I will never, ever vote for a ticket that has Hillary Clinton on it. Not ever.

    March 11, 2008 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  8. lpreito.

    Mr. Obama just take the second sit, you got nothing to loose anyway!

    March 11, 2008 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  9. taylor

    I have 35 years of experience in saying that I have 35 years of experience!

    March 11, 2008 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  10. Velle

    When pigs fly, Hilary! Enough already Hilary, just tell Bill to tell the Emir of Dubai that the UAR will not have the "back door" into the White House that he promised. He'll probably at least let you keep the $1 million contribution for Bill's library!

    March 11, 2008 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  11. dan

    It's questionable how someone behind gives ideas to somebody ahead, get ahead & then give some advice to your followers.what advantage does clinton have to suggest she has better offers for obama, give me a break.

    March 11, 2008 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  12. Rick, Maryland

    People act as if she's doing this to help her in Mississippe, she
    doesn't need Mississippi, just the way Obama brushed off his
    losses in Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island.
    Wait till Pennsylvania, another big state, Hillery will wipe out
    Obama.
    Why can't he just buy the election, oh sorry, he is, outspending
    Hillery, 2 and 3 to one and maybe he could get a good deal on
    the White House like he did on his own house, what 250,000.00
    off.
    Go Hillery, 2008.

    March 11, 2008 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  13. taylor

    "America The Beautiful' is 100% hilarity, by the way.

    March 11, 2008 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  14. Kimberly

    THIS IS GREAT ONE FROM PETER..............

    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 11, 2008 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  15. Danny in Pittsburgh

    Curious that so many posters here who are praising Hillary for "trying to unite" the party are the same ones insisting they'll vote McCain if Hllary's not the top dog on the ticket.

    We all need to take a deep breath here and remember that 4 more years of anything resembling the Bush presidency may DESTROY our country as we know it. McCain represents that. And as it stands now, if things "ended tomorrow", Barack Obama would be the democratic nominee.

    All this political claptrap aside (and I admit, Hillary's been the engine driving it)...don't get so wrapped up in the battle that you lose sight on the objective of the war.

    March 11, 2008 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  16. Randy

    Of course she benefits, it's just another one of her ploys to try to move "under the table" like the slithering snake she is!
    She again proves that she will do anything to try and win this election, at any cost, and any sacrifice, she is hood-winking the electorate and playing on their fears and emotions.

    March 11, 2008 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  17. Randy

    Dream on Billary, Take note Superdelegates!

    March 11, 2008 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  18. MD in CT

    Bill's Good Idea: A Combined Hillary-Barack Ticket

    Fine, have Hillary stop campaigning now and become the vice-president. That would show she is not power hungry. If Obama accepted the vice-presidency then the ticket should read:

    1) HILLARY FOR PRESIDENT,

    2) BILL FOR MONARCH, and

    3) OBAMA FOR SERVANT TO THE CLINTONS

    March 11, 2008 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  19. PATTY

    PUT IT THIS WAY, OBAMA'S VOTING RECORD;
    The Truth About Obama's Voting Record
    Posted by RollinTruth on Thursday, January 17, 2008 3:07:53 PM
    The tendency of Barrack Obama to vote "present" on controversial matters during his time in the Illinois State Senate is getting some media attention lately, and his campaign has sought to dismiss the criticism by claiming there were good, sound political strategies involved in Obama's decision to avoid voting.

    The most absurd aspect of the whole story is not his votes - which are already pretty absurd - but rather his attempted defense of those votes. Obama's defense of not doing the job he was elected to do? He couldn't vote on those bills, because his votes would've been used against him when he ran for reelection.

    HUH? Since when is it a legitimate argument to say, "I didn't vote on that bill, because it would hurt my political future." Even worse is that much of the liberal press has actually accepted this ridiculous, indefensible opportunistic point of view. So, pretty absurd and inexcusable, right?

    Oh, but wait - it gets better! Not only does he admit his votes (or lack thereof) were based on purely political calculations, and not only does the mainstream media accept and defend his argument. Deciding to just take the ball and run with it, Obama and his supporters say that not voting out of personal political opportunism is in fact an example of true leadership on these issues he wouldn't vote on!

    What is interesting is that during all this examination of Obama's record in the Illinois Senate, nobody is raising the issue of Obama's serial non-voting in Congress. Let's take a look at how he voted during his long one-year career in the U.S. Senate:

    He skipped voting on 26 of 59 budget, spending, and tax measures – that means he didn't bother to vote on 44% of these measures during his entire career in the Senate. He skipped NINE out of fifteen votes on health related measures. He skipped voting on FIVE of six transportation measures in 2007. He skipped voting on FOUR of five welfare-related measures. He skipped voting on about half of environmental-related measures. He skipped voting on half of education measures. He constantly skipped out on votes relating to farm subsidies and agriculture expenditures.

    He voted AGAINST a bill that would deny legal status to undocumented immigrants convicted of aggravated felonies, domestic violence, stalking, violation of protection orders, crimes against children, or crimes relating to the illegal purchase or sale of firearms. But then he voted FOR a bill reducing the number of guest workers. Now, regardless of one's view on immigration in general, if you had to choose between allowing in MORE criminals or MORE legal workers, which would you choose? That's all I'm saying!

    He skipped voting on future military funding for Iraq, as well as multiple other Iraq funding measures, skipped voting on the Iraq Withdrawal Amendment, after first voting AGAINST it a few months earlier; and he also skipped voting on the measure designation Iran's Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization. But he's been running around the country for months saying he opposes the war and that he'll end the war, while being unwilling to go on record about any of it. I'm not saying he should have voted for a withdrawal, I'm just saying he's like a lot of cowardly liberals who say something but are unwilling to actually risk backing it up with action.

    Finally, in an apparent attempt to continue his strong record of leading by non-example from his grand days in the Illinois Senate, Obama skipped voting on two of three abortion-related bills in Congress. At least on this issue, his vote - or rather, non-vote - has remained consistent, I guess.

    Well, that's one way to ensure the Republican candidate won't be able to attack him for his record in the Senate - just avoid having one!

    March 11, 2008 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  20. James, FL

    Hillary Clinton deserves a better VP candidate and Bill Richardson
    is the man! Remember there are more Hispanic voters than blacks so Richardson will solidify the Hispanic votes on both parties to vote for Sen. Clinton. Sen. Clinton/Gov Richardson 08!

    March 11, 2008 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  21. Darryl

    ****Mail-in ballot suggested as possible Florida-Michigan ****

    This is a bad ideal, see you can not ensure every will get the right information, or verify their right to vote. illegals may try to tilt the ballots.

    Polling place it the only was to ensure that proper voting is taking place.

    I don't see how we can allow the Bush Administration blow trillions of dollars on a needless war but we can't spend money to properly hold a election to the Highest Office in America, we need to get real.

    We need to review what the Attorney General is doing spending $25 million to his own firm, this looks like a Ethic violation or conflict of interest.

    In the Bush Administration, American we have took our eyes off the prize.

    March 11, 2008 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  22. Lydia

    Clinton has no plans whatsoever to name Barack Obama her running mate. This is Clinton being her usual patronizing, condescending and arrogant self. She is #2 in total number of votes cast. She is #2 in total number of delegates. She is #2 in total number of pledged delegates. She is #2 in total number of states won. For her to suggest a Clinton-Obama ticket is insulting.

    March 11, 2008 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  23. Barb

    I want to vote for Obama for "president", not the vice president. If Obama wins the nomination, he wil certainly get my vote. If Hillary were to wrangle the nomination, I will vote for McCain, and I really don't want to do that. I'm a woman in my mid-forties who will not even consider casting a vote for Hillary. I remember the 90's all too well. Oh has she returned the silver and art work she and Bill stole from the White House when they left?

    March 11, 2008 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  24. Scott

    Sex in the White House...humm...even Kennedy was guilty! Scandal in the White House (why do you think it is white...Brides wear white no?) Mud slinging in a campaign....always what they can't do versus what I can. Truth is, the way Government runs, neither accomplishes anything. Proof....go back and listen to the Bush promises 4 and 8 years ago......humm...delivered nothing but fake WMD's that are live IRD's on our troops he sent over! Imagine what that trillion dollars would do at home towards National Healthcare, Education, homelessness, infrastructure, etc. When I find a candidate that actually is "of the people, by the people and for the people" then perhaps it will be worth my time and energy. Until then, this is Fox Reality TV and most of the World is watching and laughing along! I wonder, what would Goerge, Thomas, Benjamin and the 37 other founders think of how we have run the Country? Anyone look in their tombs to see if they have rolled over?

    March 11, 2008 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  25. Sara M

    Obama voters are disillusioned if they think Obama is "Clearly" winning.

    Dems CANNOT WIN without Ohio, Texas and Florida. They simply CAN NOT WIN.

    McCain is pretty popular in ALL of those states, and what's more, popular in New York, New Jersey and many other states that Obama LOST.

    If Obama can't win those states, he can't win the election.

    People fail to point out that the little red states that Obama won over Hilary are REPUBLICAN STATES...and McCain got more than DOUBLE the votes than Obama got....Obama can't count those as a win, and any delegate who's not stupid should be able to figure that out if they weren't caught up in the mind-boggling fad of promises that can't be kept.

    When it comes down to Republican versus Democrat, HILARY HAS MORE VOTES.

    When you remove all of the delegates that will go towards republicans instead of democrats, Obama loses by a long shot.

    If we vote Obama, we vote McCain.

    And that's not even getting started on the fact that no one has addressed that Florida and Michigan could have purposefully broken the rules, screwing the voters over, just so Hilary couldn't get the delegates there, and knowing it would push Obama out of the race if Hilary won. (Because Hilary would be winning if they were counted, both in counts, AND in popular vote!)

    Has anyone stopped to think if maybe the lead-men in charge WANTED florida and michigan to not count?

    Think about it.

    March 11, 2008 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
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