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. joe m.

    what i don't understand is how she can try to sell this VP slot for obama, when she said that any VP choice she makes will be based on the requirement that the VP is ready to be president. with all her attacks against obama not being ready, how will this work? i doth think the sen. speaks with forked tounge. this appears so transparently a ploy that it is insulting to the intelligence of any voter. these kinds of contradicting messages reinforce the belief that sen. clinton is willing to say and do anything to win. yes, she is a fighter, but it appears more and more that she chooses to fight dirty.

    March 10, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  2. 4 shame

    America the Beautiful March 10th, 2008 6:06 pm ET

    Personally, I think that the Democratic Party will NOT win the nomination if Obama is the nominee. Many many people will vote for McCain if Obama is the nominee because of too many scandals and past involvments with radical groups and criminal activity. I think that the Clintons know how Obama will be attacked and are actually trying to protect him.

    This is a blessing that President Clinton would suggest this idea.

    You must be a crackhead. This is one of the dumbest things I have ever heard."a blessing that President Clinton would suggest this idea". LOL...Please get help.

    March 10, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  3. Harvey

    The party benefits from it. this ticket would almost ensure a Dem president..............whoever it is they face a battle to get anything done they say as the senate / house can stop anything whether majority or not

    March 10, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  4. Disgusted

    I cant believe all of the stuff i have read about this. The more i read the more Hillary supporters sound like brainwashed zombies. I mean is it even fathomable that they are supporting the Clintons push for the votes in Florida and Michigan to count. How desperate do we need to get here. Saying she wants Obama as a V.P. Please, save your pretentious pandering for people with no imagination and no intelligence. You are the picture perfect image of what we do not and never need for our country. I hope this serves as a reminder to how deceptive Hillary's campaign is and how desperate they are to get to the top. People of Penn. do the right thing and end her run to the white house. We need this nightmare to end so we can move on to realistic and positive change.

    March 10, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  5. D R

    Read Obama's book! It will open your eyes! He has been through much adversity. He has not had a silver spoon stuck in his mouth like Hillary! She has NO CLUE what middle or low income is?

    March 10, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  6. Don, San Francisco

    Clinton wanted to appear as if she was willing to bring the Party together at the Convention despite and increasingly negative and divisive primary campaign. Her attempt was, however, a too thinly veiled attempt to attract voters and superdelegates to jump on the Hillary for President wagon (a wagon most appear to be jumping off of). Obama supporters saw through and were insulted rather than swayed and Clinton has ended up looking more deperate than magananmous.

    March 10, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  7. Polly

    Jude,you forgot one small thing Blue can turn Red as easy as Red will turn blue and if BO will continue with his highly annoying arrogance states like Florida and California can and will do it very easy.

    March 10, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  8. kelly WI

    Notice she only hints. thats to try to fool would be Obama voters.
    Her on any ticket would be a nightmare. The country is on to her schemes and duplicity. They can try to spin all they want.
    Maybe she could ask her good friend and super delegate E. Spitzer to run with her. oh guess not. She needs to be president to pardon him. Wonder if billy was with him. lol more sleazy dem NY politians.
    NY sure picks some doozys. lol

    March 10, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  9. Al, Sacramento Ca

    I am a Hillary supporter, but Obama does have a point. She is putting him in second. But Obama should not sound too arrogant either, if either one wins it's a dream ticket and they both know it, just neither one is ready to claim second until this primary is all over, us Democrats better not blow this chance.

    Hillary-Edwards would also be a dream ticket!

    Hillary- President
    Obama- VP
    Edwards- Attorney General Wow!!

    March 10, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  10. Andrew

    Man, am I glad to see all the folks supporting Obama. To anyone who thinks this race is "tied", I'd really like to point out that even after Hillary's "landmark victories" in Texas, Ohio, and (laugh inserted here, and I was a Rhode Islander for four years) Rhode Island, she trails him by the same amount she did before, 110 delegates. Seems close? If Hillary had won by 15% in Texas, instead of 4%, she would have made up about 20 delegates. So, she only needs five Texases. No problem.

    Incidentally, If Michigan and Florida were counted, even if they went OVERWHELMINGLY Hillary, she still wouldn't take the delegate lead. She still wouldn't be close. Also, it won't because they're pretty much tied in Michigan, but its nice that that's an irrelevant point. And Hillary was the only one who campaigned in either, so what does that tell you?

    As for your lovely, ridiculous "big state argument," anyone think Texas is actually going Dem in the national? Or California and New York red?

    Well done. Good ol' common sense and math.

    March 10, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  11. Mr. Bilek

    The Clintons are so very very predictable in so very very a tiresome way. Self serving, self absorbed, self interested – is this what we need today? Isn't this what we've had, at least as far back as the Reagan years?

    Is the globe excited, intrigued, hopeful about either a McCain or Clintons Presidency – NO!

    Is the globe excited, intrigued, hopeful about an ObamaPresidency – Yes (WE CAN)!

    W has so squandered US good will, internationally ( domestically, he is equally disastrous) that a same old same old Clintons/McCain presidency will just allow our credibility and influence to wither further.

    The Clintons Campaign is so phony, it's doomed before it's administration reaches Day One.

    March 10, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  12. James RR, PA, Independent

    The notion that Obama thinks he is ready to be a President is absurd.
    He lacks experience and there's ample of doubts revolving his integrity and honesty as candidate. Obama fooled so many young voters early on and tried to do the same with their parents but failed. His double talking, secret dealings with foreign countries, involvement with corruption, questionable patriotism to his country and his continued bashing of Sen. Clinton doesn't fit him to be Vice President let alone President? He disrespected over 1 million voters in Florida who voted for Sen. Clinton by calling their votes a merely
    "Beauty Pagent". He fits the category of the President of the Unprofessional Senator (U. S.) with Karl Rove as his Vice President.
    I trust Sen. Clinton to answer that 3 a.m. phone call and make the right judgement for our country and the American people.

    March 10, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  13. akaDoug

    Yeah right!! Who in there right mind would attach their rising star to a sinking ship! Even if he were gracious enough to accept I would never vote for Billary! Been there, done that, time to move on!

    And Obama's smart enough to never offer the VP spot to Clinton, there are too many better choices out there than her!

    But the media is all for it! After all the media seems to be paid supporters of the Clinton campaign there days.

    More states, more delegates, more votes and more money make Obama the only choice!


    March 10, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  14. kahtleen

    It's disgusting to me that HILARY would be so bold as to think she can decide at this point who will be a running mate for her!
    She is turning me off..........

    March 10, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  15. Charlotte

    His refusal to consider this, shows he is not the uniter he claims to be. It also frees Hillary from having to choose him as a running mate. She can say, "I offered." Then the dream ticket, I doubt either really wants, is over.

    March 10, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  16. Ellen, Pasadena, CA

    I am an Obama supporter, but if some of you think the answer is to vote for McCain IF Hillary somehow bullies her way into the nomination, then you don't understand the last 7 years of Republican rule/ruin. If you must, leave it blank, for crying out loud. A vote for McCain would be a vote for more wars, more nation-building, less progress, and more voodoo economics.

    Regarding MI and FLA: Where were the Floridians when their party leaders were selling them out by trying to move the primary up despite warnings not to? That's when they should have spoken up. And, in Michigan: In a democratic country, you CAN'T count votes in a state where there was only 1 candidate on the ballot. Capisce? That's what the ballots look like in totalitarian states.

    March 10, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  17. Guch

    I was thinking what was wrong with Clintons that they are offering such a best post to a guy whom they were undermining the whole month.
    Now, it is ok for me to guss what they want. hahaha .....
    back to The White House! it seems a littel harder now because she is behind him in all count.

    March 10, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  18. Sue

    This is a game about perception. She is trying to convince voters that if they vote for her, they will get Barack Obama on the ticket. Obama would be crazy to be on her ticket. Don't forget what Hillary did to Al Gore when he was VP. I'm sure that Bill will do the same to Barack. If Hillary becomes the nominee, I am going to do a write-in vote. I can't vote for her nor can I vote for a 72-year-old with a hair-trigger temper who is also a war lover. My only hope is Barack Obama!

    March 10, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  19. Susan

    Why didn't Hillary offer to be VP to Obama since she's in second place?
    If she really wanted to bring everyone together, that's what she would do.

    March 10, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  20. Texas Independent Voter

    Does HILLARY BENEFIT FROM A DREAM TICKET? The answer is obvious...of course she does. Hillary needs Obama, he doesn't need her.

    Hillary draws the older white voter and the less educated. What does that tell you? They are easily fooled by Hillary's deceitful tactics and the older white voters would probably not vote for a black President. They don't like change and sure don't like to take chances. They are happy with the same old thing repeated over and over and over again.

    TODAY MY 95 YEAR OLD WHITE MOTHER-IN-LAW SAID OBAMA WOULD MAKE A GOOD PRESIDENT. My husband and I have joked about our supporting him and hell freezing over before she would ever recognize a black president. Well ladies and gentlemen I think hell just froze over.

    Go Obama.

    March 10, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  21. Teresa

    People, people, these are politicians both Hillary and Obama. Do you honestly believe everything you are hearing??? Hillary is the one with the right stuff for this very important job in the white house, and Obama has a whole lot to learn, though I do hand it to him for learning the political game... Politics people, not hype. Go Hillary get the job done

    March 10, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  22. mona

    Hillary are you for real. If you were winning would you settle for second place? Now I know I don't want you to answer the phone at 3 a.m.
    Hopefully the rest of the remaining states that have vote realize it now.
    If this is your advisors thinking for you. YOU NEED TO GET OUT NOW!!

    March 10, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  23. Shannon, Charlottesville, Virginia

    the clintons have no chance of getting the nomination, but let's suppose they steal it as they are clearly trying to do–the clintons have no way of winning UNLESS obama is on their ticket, so of course they need him–but he does NOT need them, thank god.

    the clintons are delusional and dangerous and should bow out now.

    March 10, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  24. sharon

    No Hilary would not benefit if Obama is her VP choice. He is so arrogant he makes me sick. I am tired of all his whining and crying. I will not vote for him, I would rather vote for a man like McCain instead of a baby like Obama. He has so many people brain washed with no subtance to go with it. The press talk about what would happen if Obama lost, that there would be so many disinfranchised voters. My daughter says the same thing. I told her that sometimes kids need to grow up. We older women have been disinfranchised over and over and we still believe tha our vote will count one of these days. You don't always get what you want the first time. It takes an adult to realize that you don't give up when things are not going your way.

    March 10, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  25. concern citizen

    Hillary is presumptious in thinking she is the nominee when she is 140 pledge delagates behind Obama. Her arrogance and entiltlement is evident. In addition, it is a ploy by Hillary to get people to vote for her. First, she states the voters' voices (pledge delagates) don't count. Second, she is advocating for the super delagates to override the majority votes. Third, she is resorting to a vote for her is a vote for Obama since he should be vp. She is making all of the decisions without being attentive to the voters who clearly want Obama since he is ahead. I am puzzled by her comments.

    March 10, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
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