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. Franklin

    Apparently, hypnotism is not myth. Where is the intellectual gallantry to challenge the Clintons? How is it, the runner-up proclaims victory daily and goes unchallenged? When in history, during a presidential primary, has the losing candidate call upon the victor to accept the vice presidential role?

    Senator Barack Obama has won twice as many contests, leads in delegate count, and holds a lead in popular vote. Is there anyone else out there who is not subjected to this mind-altering approach by Senator Clinton? Are you able stand out?

    Lake Mary, FL


    March 10, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  2. Ed

    "God and America love Hillary"?
    Umm, okay. I guess you have a direct line to both. And they say we're drinking the Koolaid!!!

    Don't throw your vote away.


    March 10, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  3. Adam - TX

    Go Hillary – Way to reach out and try uniting the Democratic party!

    When Barack loses Penn, he NEEDS to drop out and become your VP. He cannot carry the general election despite picking up those handfuls of RED midwestern states. Democrats need to start thinking general election strategy and get over the pointless delegate count!

    March 10, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  4. anonymous

    Someone should point out to Hillary that the only reason she narrowly won the popular vote in Texas is because republicans would rather run McCain against her and not Obama. It was those republicans that put her over the edge. If Ohio speaks for the nation, why bother to hold elections in the other states? this woman is delusional! If she manages to steal this election, she can't win without Obama. She needs him and he doesn't need her! Also, if everyone agreed not to seat Michigan and Florida delegates, why not just subtract their total number of delegates from the total number needed to win the nomination and be done with it?

    March 10, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  5. C. Wilson

    This is a planned Clinton strategy and it also gets her press coverage. All of Obama's press coverage has been "hoodwinked" talk and whining. I would rather have the tough talk.

    Obama will be whining when FL, MI, and PA speak. I live in Indiana and I can't wait for May 6.

    I think the header to this story is a blatant disregard to what Sen. Clinton stated, it was placed there to stir the anti-Bill sentiment.

    Just wait and see... Obama will be spending January in IL and Hillary will be back and Pennsylvania Ave.

    By the way, I will be a McCainacrat before I am a Obama Dem. If it isn't Hillary, I will vote Republican for the very first time.

    March 10, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  6. markus

    wow, Hillary supporters are THAT blind, huh?

    my favorite was the following posted by America the Beautiful, saying Hillary should NOT choose Barack because...:

    "...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."

    WHAT???? I think you have your candidates confused...

    this is just as delusional as Hillary HERSELF, offering Vice President to THE FRONTRUNNER, like it's HERS to offer!

    what a joke!!!!

    March 10, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  7. joanna

    A perfect case for cynicism! Human conduct is wholly motivated by self-interest. Obama, without a political trail by which the measure of the man may be taken is just an opportunist , politicians of his caliber are a dime a dozen, witness today's news on New York's governor. Nonetheless, those so easily fooled by politicians will keep on swallowing the bs handed out. Once these people are in office, they do whatever darn they please....thanks to those voters who put them in office who lacked the tools by which to analyze the candidates.

    March 10, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  8. Brian Davey

    Obama hurt the Party by running for President to soon. He would have been wiser to support a candidate raise funds for them then been their VP Edwards/Obama Ticket would have been unstoppable. I don't know why all these talk show put on so many uneducated people talking from their hearts and not from history as we know it. Kennedy chose Johnson as a running mate under the same conditions as Hillary is now. Obama needs the experience that being VP can bring him

    March 10, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  9. Jay

    Obama has a shot at securing purple states. Accorrding to Survey USA, in a McCain/Obama contest, Obama leads McCain in Colorado, Nevada, VIrginia, and North Dakota; all would be red state pickups (vs. 2000 & 2004) for the Democrats. On top of that , in a McCain/Clinton contest, McCain leads Clinton in Washington and Oregon; both would be blue state pickups for McCain (vs. 2000 & 2004). Hillary does best in foregone blue states, that any given Democrat would win.

    March 10, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  10. Earl

    Finally Democrats and Republicans can agree on something. Hillary is divisive, manipulative, and is not good for America.

    Obama '08

    March 10, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  11. Leano

    I must say at first that while many have said that Hillary is ready on day one, they have not given us the reasons why she is. It is the simple perception that since she's a Clinton and has been around the white house and therefore she's experienced that has misled people about her. Senator Clinton simply is a Clinton, and that is the only thing that seems to have qualified her for the presidency, though her supporters may see it differently. Clinton yes has been around, but her experience whatever it may be does not in anyway make her the best candidate for the US Presidency... But I must say i find it insulting that even more after making the insulting argument that Obama's crazy to have run for presidency and having failed to give us thoughts on whether she thinks that Obama' not ready to be president, now she wants to present to us the argument that Obama' campaign does not matter, that she's one, and that she'll give Obama a shot at V.P...This is an insult..........Vote for me and Obama will be V.P..voter manipulation...What she's trying to do is take advantage of the fact that voters have expressed that they like them both..She's trying to manipulate us to win...But hey, we did not say that the dream ticket would be a top issue, we did not say that we want a dream ticket that much, that if one of them offered it, we will vote for them on that basis...We just thought that they both would be good presidents.....But we want one of them to win by doing their do....She's subjecting us to a choice that will ultimately marr the issues, and our judgement on what's best for America...We cannot have that....We want to hear who she is, what she stands for, and even tell her what to stand for, and if she does not stand for what we seek, we do not vote for her....Ultimately if in our judgement she's the best Candidate, then she gets the nomination; the we can talk about V.P...That is why Obama is real and genuine on this, that it is presumptuous to talk about V.P positions..This thing goes through stages....Just do not manipulate the process. Be a little more principles Clinton........

    March 10, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  12. Peg

    I would not like to see Obama on her ticket, she can do better than him. He is so inexperienced. He needs some more time to be the Commander n Chief. She is a leader. I would rather see John Edwards on her ticket when she wins the nomination.

    Go Hillary

    March 10, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  13. Debby

    Yes,she does benefit because she always mentions issues and why she would be a better commander and chief. I find it funny that Cafferty and Borger talk about Obama being ahead and never include those Michigan and Florida votes. If these 2 states are a do over than it will put Clinton over the top if the votes stay pretty much the same.

    CNN why don't you post everyone's comment. You sure post alot of Hillary bashing on here.

    March 10, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  14. Renee Las Vegas

    There actually was a time when a dream ticket was feasible to many. But that was before we got a real good whiff of "That Woman"

    March 10, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  15. Eileen from Hillarys own Back Yard Upstate NY



    OBAMA '08

    March 10, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  16. jp/michigan

    I believe Barak Obama is 'hoodwinking' the American people. I do not trust a man who states he has had a 20 year relationship with a crook like Rezko and state' I did not know he was like that'. He is a bone head or very naive, but he isn't trust worthy.

    March 10, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  17. Condog

    No Bama! As President or VP.. Mrs. Clinton is the only valid candidate in the contest today. She possesses the skills to lead the United States forward toward better health care and to stop spending 12 billion a month on the "WAR"..
    Step up and support Hillary for President !
    Obama never took a stand on voting in his short senate seat. PRESENT is not a vote. With no convictions how can you lead?
    Vote for HILLARY as I did in Ohio. She has more diplomacy, clout , and wisdom than Obama could ever wish for...!

    March 10, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  18. mike concerned democrate

    Great close company of Hillary Clinton – SPITZER!!! What a team..

    Spitzer endorses Clinton, says nation in ‘crisis’
    By Jeremy Jacobs
    Posted: 05/14/07 03:21 PM [ET]
    New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D) endorsed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) for the presidency

    March 10, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  19. Deb, IN

    The woman is brilliant if you ask me, she knows as does everyone else(with any common sense) that if Obama is the nominee that he will lose to McCain in November.
    Ever wonder why Obama is getting so much Republican support? Because the Republicans have their nominee and have had him since February 5th. They are voting for Obama because he will be easier to take down in November.
    Wake up America unless you want another Republican in the White House 4 more years.

    March 10, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  20. Obama Guy

    Keri-Texas March 10th, 2008 6:14 pm ET

    I don't want a dream ticket. If Obama gets the nod I am voting McCain. I vote Hillary and Edwards as the dream ticket.

    Obama needs to quit and go be a minister or a motivational speaker or the next American Idol, but commander-in-chief. NO!!!

    Keri please log off and go read a book...I will vote McCain before I watch Hilary back door her way to the President about see go take care of her own state for a change seems they have an opening coming up soon there for Gov. your beacon of Woman empowerment and hope is a fraud...she's a pretender in Cheif...I swear Hilary supporters are clueless you gotta be a women

    March 10, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  21. Zach Barker

    Wolf Blitzer,

    You just don't seem to get it.....There is a reason we are voting for Barack Obama, it does not include Tonya Harding...I mean Hillary Rodham Clinton.

    March 10, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  22. Cathy

    Why do people keep implying that John Edwards has more experience than Barack Obama? Edwards served one term as a US Senator (6 yrs). Obama served as an Illinois State Senator for 8 years and then as a US Senator for 3 years for a total of 11 years in elected office. That is in addition to his years as a community organizer, civil right attorney and law professor.

    March 10, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  23. Jenny

    Hillary, it is sad for you to be in this country and face so many blind people and medias

    I appreciate your courage!

    God Bless America, God bless Hillary Clinton!

    2008 Clinton

    March 10, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  24. Nicole

    It is bizarre, and very arrogant for her to even suggest it. Who in their right mind would suggest that the person who is beating them across the board become their second in command. And why is the suggestion even being taken seriously by the media?

    Either she knows something no one else does, or she has finally lost her mind.

    March 10, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  25. 4Hillary

    Obamabots will soon wake up from the daze they have been in and realize they have been "hoodwinked" ..."bamboozeled"!! He REALLY needs to come up with some new words...Someone please lend him some new words! So much for Mr. Uniter and being above the "silly politics" . Bet he gave that one another "wink-wink" He is the Same ol' Same ol'!!!

    There goes OB playing the race card again in Mississippi..."vote for me cuz' I am AA"! How about letting them know what you are offering as President..........well, he would need a plan wouldn't he??..., well I guess "words" are all he can offer!

    AA should be outraged for him to suggest you have to decide based on race then on something else other then race.

    March 10, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
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