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. Richard

    I will never vote for Obama or is it Osama ( No difference)!
    What is Obama good at? Dividing the Democrats! Talking!
    That sums it up!

    Go Hillary 2008!

    March 11, 2008 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  2. Jack from Illinois

    How can you credit Hillary with Texas when it is clear that Obama won more delegates there than Hillary?

    Obama won Texas.

    Obama '08

    March 11, 2008 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  3. AER

    "Politics has become so bitter and partisan, so gummed up by money and influence, that we can't tackle the big problems that demand solutions. And that's what we have to change first. We have to change our politics, and come together around our common interests and concerns as Americans. BARACK OBAMA, email to supporters, Jan. 16, 2007

    IF BARACK OBAMA CANNOT UNITE THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY, HOW CAN HE "HOPE" TO UNITE THIS NATION? He talks the talk for unity, but does not walk the walk. He wants to be President only because then he does not have to compromise with anyone. As VP, he won't be the "lead dog" and he knows that unless you are the lead dog the view never changes.

    He's just another political hypocrite. Let's see what he does to unite his party.

    March 11, 2008 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  4. T.Lowder

    Don't settle for less. Let your party and the people tell you they don't want you. Don't concede or give into this VP nonsense! It will never work it will only hurt you in the long run. Look at what happend to former VP Al Gore. He was VP in name only The Clintons technically ran both offices. And look how Al's presidency campagain turned out?
    Lace up your gloves and fight the good fight until it is done Mr. Obama!

    OBAMA 2008

    March 11, 2008 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  5. Ali

    She won't win without him and will only hurt his chances at winning if she is connected to him. She is poison.

    March 11, 2008 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  6. Dan

    I use to love the political season, but this campaign has become bitter and never ending. The egos out here are absolutely unbelievable. At some point in my life, I would like to vote for a real candidate and not the "lesser of the evils". I don't like McCain (no change), I don't like Hilary (same old thing), I don't like Obama (I need more than inspiration), Paul is obsolete, and Nader is a narcissist. So, who can I vote for that will bring vision and intelligence to this race?

    March 11, 2008 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  7. Ron

    Jobs, Healthcare, Bring troops home and balance the budget People!
    Lets stick with the agenda.Potty mouths are not fit to vote in a grown up election.Nothing but a bunch of nasty teenagers on here

    March 11, 2008 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  8. Greg

    EGObama says, "With all due respect" but he did not decline with decency or manners. I think they have a name for that if it were a female.

    March 11, 2008 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  9. Tom

    It blows my mind how anyone can give the big "H" an advantage in the experiance column. Hello, she's only been in the senate 8 years.
    Obama what 4? Not much difference.
    Of course though it was Ok for her to run for her first office with "ZERO" experiance and never have even lived in New York state. She didn't even know the layout of New York State and certainly not the wants and needs of the New Yorkers but that was acceptable. She new she could take advantage of Bill's coatails. Why do you think his office is in Harlem?
    Enough already with the experiance issues. Let's vote for integredy which will exclude her.

    March 11, 2008 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  10. John Kay

    Hillary has been using one of the best politician (Bill) to get the nomination. Now she is trying to use the best politician (Obama) to realise her dream.

    She has claimed all the successes of Bill Clinton and will soon claim that of Obama. The question is; When is she gonna be independent of other people's achievements and lead on her own?

    Ready on day one?????????????????????"'

    March 11, 2008 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  11. Steve-Ohio

    I am not sure what point Mr. Davey is attempting to make. It is however obvious that the uneducated of which he speaks may have recieved a history lesson from him.

    LJB- House of Rep – 1937-1948
    Minority Leader Senate – 1953
    Majority Leader Senate – 1954-1960

    JFK – House-1946-1952
    Senate- 1952-1960

    Kennedy did not choose Johnson under the same conditions as suggested ( lack of experience--you know.......who do you want answering the phone at 3:00AM ).

    Do your homework....must have skimmed the Cliffnotes version.

    March 11, 2008 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  12. Rick

    Hillary cant win without Obama and Obama can win by himself.

    Hillary cant beat McCain, but Obama CAN

    Hillary is always ME ME ME,

    Obama is always WE.

    It was We who formed this country, not the ME ME Clinton

    March 11, 2008 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  13. peter

    Hillary is as corrupt as everyone says she is that is clear. Obama though is all talk and has absolutly no substance behind him and no experience. The media has given him a free ride. But if he gets the nomination I feel some things from his past will come out and show he is not as high and mighty as he claims. Remember obama is someone who has been in politics for awhile now and claims to be above everyone else in Washington.only one person has the right ideas and the experience and just because he is running as a republican doesn't mean he is going to do the same exact thing as bush, he is on record as opposing many of his ideas. He is very much a different republican a better one.

    McCain '08

    March 11, 2008 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  14. Anne Webb

    I wish the press would stop pushing the idea of a Clinton – Barrack or a Barrack – Clinton ticket. BOTH candidates have said this is prematrue and they are focusing on their campaigns. So why does the press keep pushing this? Isn't there some other important news to report on? Last I heard we were still at war!

    March 11, 2008 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  15. Sarah

    I cannot believe CNN and all of there negative comments about Hillary Clinton. Saturday night live tells the true story - I think CNN has a hidden agenda. Pay attention America !! Read between the lines.

    This country needs a women and needs someone with experience !!

    Go Hillary !!

    March 11, 2008 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  16. Ante

    I am a Nigerian but i have been following closely the presidential nomination of the democratic party. Never have i been most nauseated than the diabolical sugestion made by Hillary that Obama who has won more pupolar votes, more states and above all more hearts of both Americans and the rest of the world to take up the vp slot i truly think she must be hallucinating or better still be an Alice in wounderland let her vent her fustration at her campaign crew or better still throw in the towel and support Obama so that the Democrat can concentrate on the presidential race proper

    March 11, 2008 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  17. Tim, Boston MA


    March 11, 2008 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  18. Jeff

    Who's leading the popular vote ie. all democrats in America that voted incl. Mich and Florida.

    Who's more popular amoungst the the voters.

    Guess Who.

    Do the maths.

    March 11, 2008 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  19. Walt, Belton,TX

    Slick willie's just trying to feel out the public about him becoming Hillary's running mate. That way he gets to stay at the Vice President's mansion while Hillary is at the White House.

    Ladies: The line forms by the servants' entrance........................

    March 11, 2008 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  20. PJohnson

    Bill's the VP choice for HIllary, no doubt about it.

    March 11, 2008 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  21. JENA from Woodbridge

    I cannot believe that Hilary play the dream ticket to win Mississipi. Like I said before, she's EVIL. She doesn't care about the party or America. The only thing she cares about is winning, go back to the white house for Bill to find another Ms. Lewinsky because she's old with lot of rinkless.

    Listen my friends, HILARY is not good for the white house again. If she can vote for the war in IRAQ means she doesn't have good jugement to be our President.

    Let us vote for OBAMA who can bring all Americains together. Who can bring back americans people on top of the word again.

    GO OBAMA 08

    March 11, 2008 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  22. mick

    The Clintons do know what they are saying and doing.
    It is a known fact that Obama is not ready for ths White House or V.P, however with Bill Clinton At the White House Obama could get a good start if anythin,g happen to Hillary, maybe you people should wake up and look at the whole picture, we need change and two Presidents in the White House is Change. Obama does not have a chance

    March 11, 2008 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  23. Tony

    Sometimes it really amazes me how naive the media is. They've been pushing this story for a couple of days when we all know this is just a political maneuver. Noneless, I have to say it's a smart move from the Clinton campaign. They knew Obama would reject the offer so the issue is now not whether Clinton would consider him as VP but how he actually rejected it. This way he appears somewhat arrogant and egotistical, looking for his own interest and not the one of the Country. This issue forced him to be on the spot and not talking about the real issues and what's important to the Mississipi people (in preparation for today's primaries) but how he adamantly rejects the VP spot.

    Senator Obama, still a rookie sir.. still a rookie. Hats off to the Clinton camp for this brilliant strategy.

    March 11, 2008 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  24. Paaa

    How can Hillary control the oval the white house when she wasnt able to control the ORAL office under Bill?....

    March 11, 2008 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  25. Paul - Manchester, England

    I have watched the Democratic race, like many others in the UK, with great interest. I cannot see how Hillary Clinton's outburst has in any way aided her cause. Just as when I was a child I used to whistle when I was nervous or afraid, it seems Hillary throws out these sort of deflections when she knows she is 'up against it'. I do not doubt she could be a good President, but it seems to me that what America needs right now is not just 'perspiration' of the Clinton's "work hard to fix things" type, but real inspiration of the sort that Obama clearly offers. He may not be truly tested yet, but honestly, is she? I dont recall JFK being in senior Political Office before 1960, but he wasn't that bad was he? Please America, give the world the triumph of Hope over huburis....we will thank you for it.

    March 11, 2008 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
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