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. Anonymous

    Hilary Clinton screwed this up for herself!!

    If she really is the STRONGER candidate, then explain how the "inevitable democratic nominee" virtually unopposed manged to lose the position to an unknown, "inexperienced" black man and put herself 20 million in debt at the same time?

    Wait for it... I suppose it was robbed right??? LOL

    Some Clinton Supporters are just ridiculus!

    She is obviously the weaker candidate..SINCE SHE LOST!!

    May 23, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  2. thegoreyears

    Jeez, Obamanistas and Clintonistas, quit your sniping already. We have a huge, ugly elephant to kill. Grow up.

    May 23, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  3. Marilyn from Ohio

    To Cory and other "name callers" – you all sound like Rush Limbaugh conservatives!

    May 23, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  4. commonsense

    Ummm, James in SC.....perhaps you need a history refresher course. Don't feel bad, everybody forgets information that they don't use on a regular basis. 99% of newly formed governments follow socialism (are you sure on those percentages, and what consitutes "newly formed"). Are these governments you are referring to places where the populace enjoys a relative amount of freedoms? Socialist countries throughout history have been some of the most violent places on the planet. Why do you think this a good thing? Why do you think that a wealthy people from a socialist government is a good thing? What are the living conditions of the rest of the people in these countries? Socialism is not quite the utopia that its cracked up to be.

    BTW What was the name of that poitical party that Hitler was the figurehead of? Maybe you can refresh my memory.

    May 23, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  5. FEDUP

    If Obama is the nominee you may as well lay out the welcome mat for Senator McCain...Welcome to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. , President McCain.

    May 23, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  6. Priscilla for Obama

    Hillary is defiant. She will just have to hit that brick wall!

    Go Obama!

    May 23, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  7. Honest man for Obama

    What do you think? Clintons are determine to destroy the party if they did not get the nomination, so to say Hillary is willing to exit peacefully think again.

    Please Hillary wants the Republicans to win this fall so that she will run again 2012. Obviously she knew she can't get the nomination now, but she wants to cause some sort of argument to seat fl and mich which she agreed to their purnishment.

    If she doesn't agreed to the purnishment handled out to both Florida and Michigan why didn't she campaign in those states?

    Hillary has never done anything possitive on her own to help people, but she has helped Wal-mart for money and people think she has done a lot. What has she done other than take credit for her husband accomplishment.

    Stop the bull guys if you can't tell me the things Hillary herself have done to help poor people then you are a fool.

    May 23, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  8. Hillary... lets get serious

    I just wish Hillary would go away. She's destroying hte party and any chances of winning in November. She might as well endorse McCain over Obama....oh yeah, she ALREADY DID THAT!

    May 23, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  9. Angel in Pennsylvania

    Hillary please stop all the nonsense! IT's time to shut it down. I have lost all respect for you and your supporters especially for the ones who will take their votes with them over to the McCain camp. If Obama had lost this race THE LAST THING I would do is vote for McCain. For the first time in my adult life I am not proud of some in my Democratic Party.

    May 23, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  10. Pat Va

    What about what WE, THE PEOPLE, want??? I mean we are the ones who do all of the taxpaying and suffering the consequences with failed leadership (ie: just look at the mess we're in right now).

    Hillary should be satisfied with the fact she's the first woman to be nominated for this position (albeit she's run a miserable and flawed campaign). And I take umbrage that she and her supporters are trying to make any kind of demands since they have, in essence, lost this nomination largely due to their own mismanagement from DAY ONE!!!

    May 23, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  11. Garth

    I wish the republicans who post as Democrats would stop. Although Hillary would have been a viable candidate if Barack has not come forward or if Hillary's people had understood how to run a campaign (See Time's 5 reasons Clinton Lost-excellent analysis).

    The repubs want Clinton because they have more dirt on her. Unfortunately, Bill is the biggest baggage. They want her so bad they will keep people fired up.

    I want a woman president in my lifetime. I want a democratic president too. Hillary is not electable. But I'm grateful for her run and her opening the way for other strong women to lead our country in the future. Right now my money's on Barack.

    May 23, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  12. mike

    i think they should come togather and beat that rusty old Mcbush out of the contest. Democrats 08!!!!!11

    May 23, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  13. Charles

    It's good that Hillary stays in the race. So many on here keep saying how she's insane or selfish or other such things. That's not true at all. I believe she knows what she's doing and is very much in her right mind about it. She's keeping energy alive in the democratic party. The only way for Obama to win in November is to make sure the many people he and Hillary have motivated this primary season is to make sure they stay interested. She'll bow out eventually. There's nothing for her to gain by staying in too much longer. Once she does you'll see a woman fighting with all her heart to make the people she has as her backbone understand how Obama is the right choice for America vs. John McCain. Is she saddened that she has lost? Of course she is. But I don't for a second think she's destructive to the party. All will be well in the end and we'll have a democrat in the white house.

    May 23, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  14. Zonker

    So far during this campaign Hillary has been willing to say and do anything to become President. If she were to be V.P. then Obama would have to spend 24/7 watching his back.

    May 23, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  15. A Republican

    As a Republican who voted for Kerry in the last election, I have not decided who to vote for in '08. Clinton as V.P. would force me to vote Republican in November.

    May 23, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  16. Sophie

    Hillary Clinton can not make a graceful exit. She has turned into an angry and bitter women. She is now trying to win at any cost- lie, cheat or steal, whatever will work. She just should say good bye, so long or see ya when I see ya. Obama does not need her as a VP to win. Obama is about hope, change and unifying the Nation.

    May 23, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  17. Paul

    Hilary Clinton screwed this up for herself!

    If she really is the STRONGER candidate, then explain how the "inevitable democratic nominee" virtually unopposed manged to lose the position to an unknown, "inexperienced" black man and put herself 20 million in debt at the same time?

    Wait for it... I suppose it was robbed right??? LOL

    Some Clinton Supporters are just ridiculus!

    She is obviously the weaker candidate..SINCE SHE LOST!!

    May 23, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  18. Michael, San Francisco, Ca.

    Once, again, I am absolutely astounded at the incivility and nastiness shown to Clinton by the Obama supporters (or a good number of them, anyway). I just do not understand how such a nice man can have such vitriolic supporters. It truely makes me sick to read some of these comments. Hillary may not be perfect, but she does not deserve the disrespect shown to her repeatedly by many of the Obama people. She has been a tireless Senator and she is well loved by her state. Please, people, don't blame her for being nasty when you turn around and act the same way................or even worse!

    May 23, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  19. Mike in Scranton, PA

    HRC should absolutely refuse to be Obama's VP. She should let Obama reap exactly what his camp and the media have worked so hard with their identity politics to sow: a HUGE loss to the GOP in November. If she's on the ticket, they'll just blame her for the loss rather than facing up to the fact that it's that they have rammed someone with far too thin of a resume to be elected to President - not to mention the vitriole that Obama supporters have spewed toward HRC over the past few months. No way should these two camps come together. This HRC voter will be voting for McCain in the fall should Obama be the nominee. All of the principles that I've believed the Democratic Party have stood for all of my life (fairness, equality, democracy, etc.) have been thrown out the window in this seemingly desperate race to have the first African-American president right now without any vetting of qualifications for the specific individual being put forward and without any regard for the equally historic implications of having the first woman president.

    May 23, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  20. James, Redlands, CA

    Where there's smoke, there's fire. Hilliary supporters, she and her supporters know that there is no way for her to overcome the losses that put her in her current position as 1st runner up.

    Support her as you will. But you need to realize that she knows she's not going to get the nomination.

    She is loosing.

    The numbers, statistics that count, the delegate count, are not going to change for her success.

    She should loose gracefully. And her supporters should follow her lead.

    May 23, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  21. Jan W.B.

    As much as I believe Hillary is the better candidate it's time for her to move a side and let Obama have for control of gaining the Presidency.
    Right now he can't focus 100% on the differences between him and Mccain because he still has to concentrate on campaining against Hillary. I truly hope Obama will honestly ask Hillary for the VP position and that she'll accept.
    They can both make history, the 1st black President and the 1st woman vice President. After Obama's term is over she'll have more of a favorable approval rating and will have a better chance of becoming the 1 st woman President.

    May 23, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  22. The Corp

    Nutless democrats, always afraid of a good fight. Although a democrat, at least Hillary is aware of what's a stake. Radical NoBama will destroy the nation to a point at which it will not be saved. He needs to disappear from the scene. This country needs a Vladimir Putin type who will not allow rampant, unchecked liberalism destroy the core of a nation. We need nationalism, a core identity. Diversity is the downfall of the Western world! Hope all you extreme liberals rot in hell.

    May 23, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  23. shirley

    Hillary has no grace or personal integrity, she is willing to hurt the DNC in this election and for future elections if she cannot secure the nomination. All other candidate would concede when they fell so far behind. It is time for the super delegates to put an end to the Clinton circus. The only reason the remainder of delegates would hold back at this point would be back room negotiations between the Clinton's and some remaining delegates to give Hillary the nomination at the convention.

    May 23, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  24. Fleura

    All democrats will and are coming together finally. It's all you "undecided" and would be republicans faking their true position. Make up your minds, Democrats vs. Republicans has been what this campaign was all about.

    It never was a campaign on Obama vs. Clinton...get it people.

    Campaign 2008's been all about: DEMOCRATS vs REPUBLICANS.

    May 23, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  25. Chris, San Diego

    Socialism beats our system all day long! Thanks to my wife, my son and I have both obtained French citizenship and it is a HUUUUGE relief knowing I can simply pack up and move to Europe when and IF the righty's, radical feminists and other hate mongers finish ruinign this place.

    I love it when the so called proud american morons say, "Well then if you love it soo much why don't you just move there!"

    I smile inside and think to myself – "thank God I already have a home and friends there and thank God these bone heads don't know how beautiful it is, how much more open and culturally rich the people are, how much better the food is, how much nicer the beaches, architecture – everything is!" News flash – the USA is beautiful although it seems that perhaps it's seen it's best days already however it is no where near the be all end all.

    Obama may restore some of our greatness. Hillary reminds me of the problem. Mc Cain reminds me of the problem on steroids.

    May 23, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
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