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. Jason Smith

    I think he needs to "Denounce and Reject" Her suggestions of a combined ticket!

    This is just another prime example of pitiful tactics from Billary Clinton.

    She/He will stop at get what they want. They will step on any and everyone to obtain more power.

    I truly hope people will see it for what it is. She is losing and is now ACTIVELY making efforts to destroy a party that has no choice but to deny her what she seeks. The people have spoken and she is losing.

    Stay tuned for more dirt from the Billary Coalition!

    Jason Smith
    Rochester Hills, MI

    March 10, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  2. Hallie

    Clinton – Obama? Hahahaha yea right, who wants a phenomenon like Obama when you can get Bill Clinton as VP! Or someone like Wesley Clark. Old yes, but fully and loyally in the pocket of the Clintons! Charisma? No way anyone can have a bigger personality than Bill or Hill. Youth? Pshhh, who needs youth when you have EXPERIENCE! I mean, who cares if the Clintons were corrupt and secretive, they fought and beat those Republicans to a pulp! And after 8 miserable years of infighting and partisanship and getting absolutely nothing done, 8 more years of infighting and partisanship is exactly what we need because this time it's with the Clintons! YES. Fresh face? Change? Who needs change my dears when we have the Clintons? Can't you hear the choirs singing, the heavens parting...the only change we need is to boot the Bushes out and go back in time to the 1990s! Because the Clintons equal gods and Hillary Clinton equals feminist goddess and it is her right as a woman scorned and derided by all of those horrible people to be President of this great country. If she must fight to the Convention, she only proves to be what we love most about her – she is a fighter! She will FIGHT John McCain, the 71 year old man, and DESTROY him.

    March 10, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  3. James

    Ah, I can finally see the hidden wisdom of this line of argument: the way to get the nomination is to use Obama's delegates....

    By that same line of reasoning the Patriots could have beaten the Giants, if the Giants would have given them some of their points.

    Hillary, this is the way it works: get the votes, then you get to pick the veep. Or maybe you are more like Huckabee: into miracles instead of math. At least Huckabee never offered to have McCain be his veep.

    March 10, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  4. She didn't say WHO would be VP

    Maybe Hillary's leaving the option open that SHE'd be VP. Whoever's on top of the ticket will need Democratic supporters from the "other side", and really there's about equal supporters on both sides. So, we'll need each other in the end.

    March 10, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  5. alh

    lol...Mr. Winey-pants Obama! "Waaaa...I don't want to the second place ribbon,.... I wanna be first, I wanna be first" . Well then, earn up experience under Senator Clinton and then run for President in 4 or 8 years. OPen your eyes people...he is a politician just like the rest of them. In fact, he's even better than the rest of them because he makes you actually 'BELIEVE" what he's saying. lol What a joke. The idea of him running this country makes me want to move to England or somewhere! Another 9-11 is bound to happen if he is Commander in Chief.....our enemies will laugh us off the map, and no lofty, "hope" filled Obama SPEECH will change that fate. An Obama presidency is horrifying!

    March 10, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  6. EFM

    Obama is a Johnny-come-lately who would be lucky to get the VP spot. He should appreciate the offer, get some experience, and run again in eight years.

    March 10, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  7. Tito

    Only part that Hillary and Bill can play good and make it believable is on the Jerry Springer Show!

    March 10, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  8. Arthur-Texas

    Why is cnn'c Candy Crowley interjecting her personal opinion in the Clinton-Obama ticket? I thought news correspondents were just to report the news and not make personal comments about it.
    That is wrong, and that is why I have swiitched to Fox news.
    Hillary does not need Obama on her ticket to win in november.
    She can go toe to toe with Mccain on the matter of national defense.
    She would have to take valuable time to train Obama fix all of our countries problems and that would just drag Hillary down.

    March 10, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  9. Joanna

    Can anyone calculate the voters state by state? I do think Hillary won more voters but less delegates now. Because in the big state, a pledged delegate represents more voters than in the small state. And in the primary, a pledged delegate represents more voters than in the caucuse.

    March 10, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  10. JDB

    Maybe she should offer the VP slot to McCain as long as she's at it. She's already endorsed him repeatedly. She clearly is no Democrat.

    March 10, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  11. rowena

    Obama is hypocrite just like Ophra. He's not willing to unite the party. He has his own agenda , his political ambition to be president . To hell with the american people who voted for him, he will drive America down with him.

    March 10, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  12. Nadeem Tahir


    March 10, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  13. Kiki

    Be careful with Obama. He just talks but did nothing useful or successful, ever. Just voted not to punish child predators or to help energy special interests in Illinois and accepted money and defended Rezko and pressed the wrong button when he had to vote on important staff that required he to take a position. That excepting when he voted 'present"

    March 10, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  14. Carolyn


    Clinton does not think that Obama can be President – hence her 3AM ad. Of course, she thinks that he would make a good Vice President??? Duh.... someone needs to remind the Clintons (that includes Bill too) of the Constitution – the VP is second in line to the president and HAS to answer the phone at 3AM!!!

    I am a bit suspicious here – Obama is ahead in the delegate count and in the popular vote, but with Clinton "suggesting" that he VP, is she trying to convince voters out there that she is ahead when she is not? It is a political move on her part and it is going to backfire. More proof to vote for McCain.

    At the end of the day, Clinton NEEDS Obama's supporters, not vice-versa, but I suspect that this so called "dream-ticket" will turn Obama supporters away – they will either stay at home or vote for John McCain.

    March 10, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  15. cindy

    The Clintons have 1 less VOTE today their BIG SUPPORTER and friend Governor Spitzer ,Who was caught today in a prostitution ring .
    Like Obama always say "same old same old .. thats why you cant send the same cast and characters back to Washington and expect a different result".

    March 10, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  16. leah

    sheer desperation!

    OBAMA '08

    March 10, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  17. John

    Hillary is starting to sound as delusional as Dubya Bush.

    March 10, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  18. Slap Stick, FLORIDA

    Of course she does. She figures that they will get elected if Obama is on that ticket. My Goodness folks, she may be a liar but she is not STUPID.

    March 10, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  19. Brenda

    The Clintons were not almost Impeached-DR. He was impeached. Only Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton have been Impeached. That is the Clinton Legacy. Both Johnson and Clinton were acquited of the charges. But the bottom line is there were both IMPEACHED by The House of Representatives. You remember, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman". Again, we are espousing Clinton's definitions-broad, and vague. I hope the Senate censures Hillary for all of the CRAP she is doing to the Democratic Party. Then her legacy can be that of Aaron Burr and Joseph McCarthy-good group. Hillary for Govenor of NY. Great Job-35 years experience. WIlly can be Lt. Govenor. NY deserves those Carpetbaggers. Oh, as an aside, Andrew Johnson returned to Tenn. and became a distinguished US Senator!! 🙂

    March 10, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  20. Jill

    Clinton has too much "Old Washington" experience. No where near the 35 years she thinks she has but still, way too much.

    We don't want anymore "Old Washington" way of doing things.

    We want Change.

    We want Obama!

    Clinton will divide the dems and reps just like her husband did if not more than he did.

    Clinton has way too many corruptions, scandles, lies and mistrust to be our President.

    March 10, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  21. Jayson

    I don't think Hillary is really in a position to offer the VP slot to anyone; she's losing.

    Hillary is the worst possible choice for a candidate. She's really just the opposite side of the George Bush coin; devisive, selfish and cruel. She couldn't build a consensus that the sky was blue,She has no aptitude for leadership and would be a disaster in a position of authority. I don't support Obama because I think he's that GREAT of a candidate but because I know Hillary is truly that BAD. I've voted for Democrats for 24 years but if she slimes her way into the nomination that streak ends this year.

    March 10, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  22. Ron, Honolulu HI

    To date, voters have chosen Obama to be president since he has more popular vote and more deligates. So it seems Clinton is leaving it up to herself who becomes president. Ummm...???

    March 10, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  23. Bob from Buffalo

    Hillary will do anything to get into the white house at all costs! It's not going to happen. If Hillary is either the democratic nominee or VP to Obama, which won't happen I'M VOTING FOR McCain.
    Do we really believe that she will ask Barrack to be the VP if she wins the nomination after all the negative attacks she's made on Obama?
    Come on America wake up!! How can you not see through this shallow woman???

    March 10, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  24. Jenny, Rio Vista, CA

    Dream ticket– very funny. Clinton on any part of a ticket would be a NIGHTMARE.

    The republicans are chomping at the bit. They can smell Clinton and all her baggage getting closer. They know the leaders of the democratic party have no spine and they can picture them caving in to the slimy Clintons.

    Once that happens........democrats will lose so many voters they will wonder what happened..... AGAIN!!

    The November election was handed to the Democratics all wrapped up with a bow on top. Slowly but surely, it is coming unraveled and not one party leader has the guts or the no-how to stop it.

    Harry Reid is pathetic, Howard Dean is pathetic, Nancy Pelosi does nothing but wag her finger, and what are we left with. BTW: Howard.... good planning. You tell Michigan and Florida their delegates will not count... but you forgot to plan what would happen if the situation that we are in occurred. Very clever. What a chump. I hope the DNC fires your pathetic a..s.

    March 10, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  25. Rebecca

    Hillary Clinton NEEDS the "Dream Ticket" to win, Obama does not.

    Hillary Clinton NEEDs Florida and Michigan to revote, Obama does not.

    Obama is in First Place, Hillary Clinton is in Second Place.

    Hillary Clinton and her campaign, husband, daughter, and supporters are swinging all all costs, even if it's giving John McCain a great advantage.

    Please STOP!

    March 10, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
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