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. Paul

    It is virtually impossible for Hillary to win the nomination according to the numbers. She's needs to win at least 59.5% of the remaining delegates to include superdelegates. Any states where she gets less then 59.5% and her magic number goes up. After Pennsylvania it will likely be in 62-64% if things go according to current polls. Almost impossible. Give up so we can focus on John McCain.

    March 10, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  2. WAKE UP!!!!


    March 10, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  3. VP Spot

    Obama thinks he is some kind of mandate. It is a very tight race and he is not going to get the magic number of delegates either. Nothing has been decided as yet – its not over yet. There is no guarantee that Obama will be the nominee and if he is – well, he does not stand a chance anyway because he needs Hillary supporters and you all know how that will pay out now don't you.

    March 10, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  4. D.

    No. Please . The Clintons are the GREAT MASTERS !

    Senator Clinton needs Senator Obama – he does not need her.

    Please do not vote in advanced believing this woe cry. Unless you see this in writing by both cndidates please do not vote on this lie.

    Look at the SNL- NOTICE BILL WAS NOT IN HER BED! What are they saying- Bill lost her the election and he is lost out of her life?

    March 10, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  5. Oregon Voter

    Apparently Barack is not a uniter, but instead cares only about his selfish ambition. He won't even entertain the idea that both Hillary and Barack be on the same ticket. How arrogant! Considering that the two of them are dead even, he really shouldn't be acting so foolishly.

    Obama and many vocal Obama supports appear to be the dividing factor in this election, not uniting.

    March 10, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  6. Ron R

    O my lord people...have you had enough yet? Reject this woman and her devisive campaign and lets get on with our future instead of living in the past.

    March 10, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  7. Jay

    Clinton doesn't benefit, and Obama suffers too. I know that the more the idea gets mentioned in the media, or by the Clintons, it pushes me a little closer to switching from Obama to McCain.

    March 10, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  8. Willie

    Obama will not win Flordia and Michigan do-overs(again), Pennsylvania, Kentucky, West Virgina, and he will probably lose in Indiana. Thats the bottom line. Obama needs to be the VP and thats it.

    March 10, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  9. brianinmississippi

    Think about it America...she has the experience...and he could learn a lot...this would be great....we would have Democrats in the office for at least 16 years! Go Hillary 08!

    March 10, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  10. NickNasc

    Hillary is out of Gas...Even the comments of the BillaryBots are getting more desperate in tone. I am waiting to see next ," I Know you are but what am I?" This is sad.

    March 10, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  11. AL

    Hillary's got that backwards she's still loosing.
    Something tells me she's the kind that if she comes second...she won't want to play no more...

    March 10, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  12. Never

    Hillary can forget it. This just makes my resolve for Obama (or ANYONE ELSE) for that matter OTHER than her even stronger. Peace out HRC.

    I might have thought differently a few months ago before she decided to show her true negavive colors to the world. You reap what you sow Hillary.

    March 10, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  13. lacinda sutton

    people wake up the news doesnt want hilliary to win.
    obama has broke the law here. buying land/ he and his wife hate america... stand up /stand up

    March 10, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  14. Vivien from NY

    Hillary would not help Mr Obamas ticket he needs someone with REAL experience , not 35 years of so called experience with no accomplishments.

    March 10, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  15. Saska

    Now that Obama's turned the tables on her, Hillary was caught off-guard today and made a statement that it was too early to talk about VP's. So, either she disagrees with her surrogates (except for Wolfson, who publicly disagrees with Bill, and they both disagree with Penn.... I can't keep track anymore) or she can't figure out what her message is. I suspect the "dream ticket" was nothing more than a line of BS to try and get the Mississippi voters to vote for her, as she so blatantly says, and it'll all be over tomorrow.

    No one in the Clinton campaign ever thinks before running his or her mouth.

    March 10, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  16. Leo Daugherty, Charlottesville, VA 22902

    I agree completely with Candy Crowley, but I would go further. When the Clintons thought this up, they knew of two other things that would benefit Hillary. First, they knew that Obama would be too prideful to accept the deal ("Me at the top or I walk"); second, they knew that he will never agree to make HER the SAME deal. So they knew that this great twofer dream-ticket idea could not ever become reality, and they also knew that, because he rejects the deal outright, Obama increasingly might get perceived, especially in the eyes of all those white male Democrats who are moving to Hillary, another Shirley Chishom, Jesse Jackson, or Al Sharpton - as just another big–ego African-American who wants to jump straight to the Presidency from nowhere with no experience. Did the Clintons do all of this consciously? Of course they did. That's why I'm for them. They are experienced.

    March 10, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  17. deb

    I can't believe all of the ignorant ranting going on here in support of Obama. Most of the pro-Obama bloggers can't even write a grammatically correct sentence let alone say anything intelligent. Obama keeps saying over and over "change", "change" only because he knows too many people don't even remember or realize what a wonderful president Bill Clinton was. He's implying that the Bush and Clinton administrations were the same when nothing could be further from the truth. We had a SURPLUS of revenue when Clinton left office, people had jobs, the ecomony was booming, etc., etc., etc. , not to mention the war in Iraq. Obama doesn't have much of a "history" either so how anyone can blindly vote for him is beyond me. Hillary is the right person for the job. She's strong, smart and extremely capable.

    HIllary – 2008 and 2016

    Obama – "possibly" 2020 and 2024 (only after he's had a little experience)

    March 10, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  18. Maria in TX

    The Clintons have always had trouble telling the truth, but it seems that they do not do well with MATH, either.

    Hillary, go get your taxes and if you ever get ahead in the delgate count, then you can start picking a running mate. Until then act like what you are.......a loser!

    March 10, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  19. wild schield

    now thats what ya call a reach around

    March 10, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  20. matt

    she is brilliant, Bill is brilliant! placing Obama in this position.. Brilliant!

    He has placed himself in a position where he cant say he would like her as a Vice President. This gives her full opportunity to take what every one is dreaming of!

    I personally feel Obama must learn a lot more before he becomes president. Being Vice president for 8 years would really make him a stronger unbeatable canidate in our future

    March 10, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  21. Tito

    Only foreign policy experience Hillary had was traveling to the STATE OF DENIAL and occasionally visiting her friends in the SOVERIGN STATE OF LA-LA LAND!

    March 10, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  22. Pollyann

    Please be reminded when Obama spoke of his supporters that they are "DELUSIONAL".

    March 10, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  23. Irritated in Cali

    OB supporters, you think you can win the white house without Senator Clinton's supporters? Think again punks, stop offending everyone with your constant attacks.

    March 10, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  24. Mike D

    Don't be fooled!

    March 10, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  25. Michael Dunn

    Hillary shows no shame; she will say and do anything to get the nomination! People take a close look at this politician, if there is any buyer's remorse to be had I hope Clinton supporters are having it! First with her suggestion that pledged delegates should change their vote, break their word, go against the democratic process, and with this....Absolutely shameless, it's horrible to see things devolve to this; she truly makes me sick, this is the exact reason why Americans have grown to distrust and even dislike politicians.

    March 10, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
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