May 23rd, 2008
04:10 PM ET
14 years ago

Sources: Clinton, Obama supporters discussing exit strategies

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" "] (CNN) - Several close friends and supporters of Hillary Clinton tell CNN they are pushing for a "graceful exit strategy" that would allow the Clinton and Obama camps to come together, and for the New York senator to save face should she fail to become the Democratic nominee for president.

The discussions are not taking place between the campaigns, but rather among informal campaign advisers on both sides who are trying to actively influence and shape the debate as the competition nears a close June 3.

Bill Burton, national spokesman for front-runner Barack Obama's campaign, said "there are no talks underway between the campaigns," and that any suggestion from Clinton insiders is "unequivocally untrue."

"We are two campaigns, in real competition, not having any such talks about exit strategies," Burton said.

Obama campaign chief strategist David Axelrod said "there have been zero discussions, back channel or otherwise between the campaigns."

Clinton campaign aides also deny that any talks are taking place between the campaigns, emphasizing that the contest is not yet over. Clinton herself said the report was "flatly untrue" during a meeting with the editorial board of a South Dakota paper Friday.

But some Clinton camp insiders and close friends are actively floating three scenarios which they believe will influence whether or how the two teams merge.

Full story

soundoff (1,165 Responses)
  1. kantor

    Please Barack..ignore the pundents, ignore the party, ignore the clintons, and choose someone else. Your supporters will vote for you in numbers unheard of, and you will win by a landslide, but if you put clinton on that ticket you'll have to deal with bill, hillary, and the special interest. She will undermine you, try to sabotage you, dampen your message of change, and probably have you harmed so she becomes president. Yes, I believe hillary is power hungry, and will do anything to destroy you. Barack. The real reason why we don't want hillary is because we know she's the scum of the earth, and she will have you hurt. I just know it...So please...take a chance, and choose someone else because your life is more important.

    May 23, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  2. Shannon

    Hillary should not step down. Every member of every state deserves the right to cast a vote; ending the campaign before all of the primaries have taken place deprives voters. Maybe if all of the media hadn't been calling for her to step down for the past three months, less people would have fled her campaign. The media should not interfere with the democratic process running its course.

    May 23, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  3. Dj

    Scenario 1
    A source says, "it would affect the willingness of some womens’ groups to raise money for Obama." Are these the same groups that HRC was getting help from? The evidence is they didn't come through for HRC (and they support her). Not to mention, these insiders are ignoring a VERY OBVIOUS fact... Obama is not having any problems raising money!

    Scenario 2
    I agree... Trust is an issue.

    Scenario 3
    I like this one. I hope HRC comes "back to life... back to reality"

    We don't need two VPs (Bill and Hill) constantly trying to undermine the President.

    May 23, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  4. Gadissa

    Thanks God finally she's going to go awy.

    May 23, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  5. Razia

    Who wants a very dishonest and selfish person as a running mate. Obama cannot trust her. She is nothing but trouble. He needs loyal and honest people to help him.

    May 23, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  6. Hell has no fury, like a woman scorned


    May 23, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  7. OJ=Orange Juice

    Joe Regis May 23rd, 2008 1:10 pm ET

    Unless somebody is soundly asleep
    this is now the proper discussion to move forward


    Obama/Jim Webb

    Obama/Hagel 08&12

    How bout


    May 23, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  8. MJE WPG

    No job offer on any kind.
    Only agreement should be " DO NOT CAMPAGIN ON HIS BEHALF.
    No offer to pay down "her" debt.
    No special placement in the uneployment line.
    Just a simple GOOD BYE. thanks for coming out.
    That should just about cover it.

    May 23, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  9. Nick

    Is she the only one that doesn't realize that this is over?!?!

    May 23, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  10. Michael, an independent Canadian

    The only exit strategy that makes any sense for the Democrats is:

    What should be done to unite the Democrat party?

    The problem is that Hillary has polarized the party with her continuous attacks on Obama, making it appear that somehow he is responsible for the DNC mishandling of the Michigan and Florida primaries, stating repeatedly that he is not electable, that he cannot win the swing States, that he does not have the experience to lead the country, etc.

    So, somehow Hillary has to repair the damage she has caused. But, she will not accept responsibility for the wide divide in the Democrat party and will give lip service only to uniting the party.

    Therefore, there will not be an exit strategy that TRULY ADDRESSES WHAT IS BEST FOR DEMOCRATS. And, unfortunately, Barack will be blamed when the Republicans win in November!!

    May 23, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  11. Prince Kaywood New Orleans

    Obama is known for having good judgment. If he adds Hillary to the ticket, I will not vote for him. Kick Hillary to the curve, and get on with it please!

    May 23, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  12. Joseph IRAQ WAR VET

    I like Bloomberg for Obama's VP this way the Re-pubic-ans cant define him as a muslim anti semetic terrorist if he has a Jewish American like Bloomberg as his VP, plus Bloomy is a financial genius which will go a long way with fixing this economy. And as you know alot of New Yorkers retire down in Florida, he could get us Florida.

    May 23, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  13. Too little too late

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Too little, too late.

    The attacks on Hillary and her supporters by the Obamabots have already damaged the party beyond repair.

    McCain isn't so bad – I have a lot more respect for him since he appeared on Ellen. It took a great deal of courage for him to stand up for what he believes in (even though I disagree with him on gay marriage) where Obama will throw you under the bus for his political gain.

    Why is it that Hillary is damaging the party? She was a shoo-in for the Presidency and this guy comes along and woo's half of the party on his message of hope without actually addressing any issues. To me, it seems he is the one that has irreversibly damaged the party.

    May 23, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  14. Esther

    it is clear, if Sen Obama caught the nomination NEVER could win without who have the popular vote and over 270 delegates without count from FL and MI ! Let's be clear: if the DNC leaders not make a real mess the primaries, long time ago Hillary Clinton will be the nominee candidate in the election.
    I am FL vote and I am sick of this! One person, one vote: this is the DEMOCRACY in the United States. Why the party has to rule different than the Constitution? In this point DNC doing as bad as the Republican in the White House! JESUS!!!!!!

    May 23, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  15. November

    To the victor goes the spoils. Especially after shamelessly playing the race card, the gender card, and every other divisive card imaginable, the Clintons don't deserve anything.

    May 23, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  16. Letha

    It will not matter to my vote because I will not vote Obama. He has no experience to do a job that takes more skill than rhetoric. Obamanation groupies, media bias and the snotty comments I have read and heard helped me decide who should earn my vote and it will not be Obama.

    May 23, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  17. Shirley, Silicon Valley, CA

    So, the Clinton Camp just will not give up! They really want stay in the race by "merging" with Obama Camp??? Who are they FOOLING?

    The whole truth is that Bill Clinton still wants to go back to the white house! Obama would be a FOOL to allow the Clintons near him so the Clintons can run their perpetual primary daily in the White House!

    Plenty of Clinton voters in the past have already changed their votes to her! Hillary's claim of support is just another delusional claim!


    May 23, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  18. Ares

    "Obama could publicly offer Clinton the VP spot, with the understanding she would turn it down."

    Obama should get this in writing from her - Duly notarized as to Clinton's mental state.

    May 23, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |

    Don't trust HRC with the VP spot.She would backstab our president!!!

    May 23, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  20. Pamela

    Get real and get out Hilliary.

    May 23, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  21. Terrence (Winston Salem, NC)

    Imagine you're watching a football game and in the 4th quarter, the losing team interjects that the touchdown that was not count (due to a penalty on the play) should now be counted...

    Have you EVER seen a game like that? If so, did you think it was right.

    I believe the rules must be changed, but not in the fourth quarter of a game.


    May 23, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  22. Todd in Texas

    Glad to see Hillary jack up the Democrats. It is a testimony to the Clintons on how she has destroyed a political party. Maybe they will now form their own party. I'm laughing since it isn't my party.

    May 23, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  23. OJ=Orange Juice

    All of the uneduacated simple white Democrats that you, Howard Dean took for granted, will be voting for John McCain for President.

    So chalk up another loss for Deans Dozen. I would rather die than vote for Obama. All of my Democrat friends say the same. In reality I am glad, because Dean you turned your back on us, shoved Obama down our throats, now we're throwing up.

    Seems like you old school Dems, Dean, Kennedy, Dodd, Kerry really pissed us off this time. You turned your back on the Democrat's most viable candidate, Hillary. Now we are going to return the favor. I am going to turn my back on YOUR CHOICE Howard Dean, and will be voting Republican for the first time in my life.

    At least I know McCain is a patriot, has pride, and shows and has shown his loyalty to his country. Therefore I will vote for McCain with a smile on my face.

    Hillary or McCain..............take your pick.

    May 23, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  24. Jana Delray Bch, Fl

    I have never in my life seen such hateful people as the Obama supporters.

    How dare the Governor of NY who is black, blind and an Obama
    supporter say Hillary Clinton is desperate.

    He should have been thrown out of office when he admitted to doing
    drugs and committed adultry.

    Hillary may not win the nomination and I'm sure she would never want to be the VP to someone who has no experience, but I will say she
    has fought for the american people as no one else has.

    I am anxious to see how Obama leads this country when he dosen't
    have a clue.

    Too bad america that the democrats had a chance to win, but
    I can tell you McCain will be the next President.

    I am the manager of one of the largest Country Clubs in Boca Raton
    Fla, the membership is 99% Jewish, and yes Obama was here
    yesterday and if he thinks he scored any points or is going to win
    over the Jewish voters he is dead wrong. The age range is 25 to 85,
    so despite what the media and Cafferty is telling you, the young
    Jews are not for Obama either. They will be voting McCain as they
    do not trust Obama.

    May 23, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  25. Agnostic Democrat

    CNN: The Tabloid for News in the 21st Century for the Bush and Clinton Dynasties. If I didn't know any better, I'd swear I was reading an article right out of The National Enquirer. When will CNN vow to ever again have hard-working reporters and investigative journalists on staff?!

    Thanks to CNN and FOX NEWS the american public is more media-ignorant now than it ever was. I think CNN and FOX are just getting everyone ready for another march into war – (Iran this time before Chimp in Chief makes his long awaited exit) – and this is the best way to dumb-down the dialogue. No responsibility like the last time, right CNN?

    May 23, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
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