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. James B. New Jersey

    Obama never said he would talk to Hamas so even though some Obama supporters are nasty at least they are not spitting lies trying to make their canidate look good.

    May 23, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  2. robert ...tx

    yo mike check the electorate map, we don't need racist west virgina, kentucky, we have georgia, alabama, colorado, missouri, etc..etc..etc..

    WE DON'T NEED another CLINTON in the WH.....

    May 23, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  3. Obama wars

    Obama lost my vote when he chose to block a revote in Fl and Mi.

    He knew that he would lose those votes.

    He gambled that by delaying the seating of those delegates, he could widen the gap between Himself and Clinton- thus rendering those votes irrelevant.

    That is sneaky, nasty, evil politics of the past.

    This proves that Obama is a hypocritical liar when he claims to be a new type of politician.


    May 23, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  4. TEXAN

    We the OBAMA Supporters do not want HDC (HILLARYDELUSIONALCLINTON) as the VP for the presidential race.

    She has become the worst character in our political system. She needs to understand that 60% of the American people do not like, trust or vote for her. She cannot offer a penny to Obama's campaign much less an advantage in something.

    National polls shows Obama winning..we do not need, want or help her...after all the damage this delusional character has done to the primary process of this Country.
    If there is the condition to pay part of her debt in order for her to be out..Trust me we will help Obama..I'm sure about this.

    Even thpugh she has $100 mil in her banck account.
    Obama cannot take her as his VP, he needs to remmember JFK and LBJ...and we do not want the history to be repeated.

    CNN please post it!

    May 23, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  5. Obama and the dem. party

    If Hillary is not the nominee – I am not at all concerned about the party coming together. Obama is virtually an unknown who does not seem to share the values of America. I will not vote for him and I will leave the dem. party. Not because Obama is black, but because he is not experienced and does not appear to be honest or trustworthy. So go ahead dems. do what you will – but you will be sorry later for sure.

    May 23, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  6. Caryn, Washington DC

    There goes the famous Clinton sense of entitlement again. Will they ever learn?

    Hillary you are not entitled to get the VP nod because frankly you're not a team player. Back in early February, I may have believed that an Obama-Clinton ticket would be an unbeatable dream ticket but now that I've lost all respect for you, I just want you to fade into obscurity.


    May 23, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  7. bini

    is this called a sense of entitlement or a state of delusion?

    May 23, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  8. Ryan

    The smugness and disdain of Obama's supporters is unbelievable! I continue to support Sen. Clinton, as I have since the beginning of this campaign. She is the candidate who most accurately speaks for me and for millions of other concerned, thoughtful and well-informed Americans who seek real change in the next four years. I see in her policies and in her approach to politics the kind of America I'd like to live in, and I don't see those things as strongly in Sen. Obama's policies or approach to politics.
    However, I see compelling reasons why other Democrats and Independents prefer Obama. He has a lot to offer, and I would never suggest that his supporters are backward, stupid, desperate, uninformed, delusional or have anything but the best intentions for the future of the U.S., which they believe will be better served by their candidate.
    This is reality: people see things differently, even in the same Party, and the Party has to put forward a ticket that represents as many of its members as possible. It's NOT only Sen. Obama's decision, nor would it only be Sen. Clinton's decision if she emerges as the presidential candidate. It is our decision, the Democrats and Independents of America, and it is obvious that in this election year we are almost evenly split between two candidates, who represent two different approaches to the presidency. This split has to be reconciled, or Democrats will lose the general election, so nobody who ACTUALLY cares about the future (about more than just the bragging rights from winning a primary) would call for Obama or Clinton to ignore the wishes and needs of the other.

    May 23, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  9. Will

    Hilliary Clinton supporters have no shame or remorse for the disgusting way she waged her campaign. They are a bunch of lying, cheating, ill-repute backdoor scoundrels (who now want to blackmail the Democratic party for her selfish brand of anything for political gain) and their so called "she's tough stance" means that they are reflections of who she is and what she does. She is like a maggot or a cockroach which has a purpose but nobody wants them at the dinner table or even in the house. She wouldn't do the right thing by going away when she knew she had lost (she just keeps lying like it is still close) and now there is no easy exit. She is a proven lier and she lies about anything which will favor her cause!!!! Hilliary ran her lying campaign into debt and she needs to fix her own mess or let her supporters get her out of debt. If Obama puts her on his ticket his bid for the Presidency will be doomed.

    May 23, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  10. Tee

    WAKE UP!!!!!!!

    May 23, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  11. NANCY


    May 23, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  12. Bitter In Indiana

    Let Hillary deal with her own exit plan. The Obama campaign doesn't owe her anything. She managed her campaign into the ground and should be responsible for digging it up. Besides, if the Obama campaign pays off her debt, she may launder the money, and lie about it like she did with Peter Paul ( Obama should not consider her for the VP spot, but once again her campaign is using another dirty tactic trying to strong arm him for it. She needs to exit the race immediately and start concentrating on her $17 million fraud suit (, case# BC304174.

    Obama 08/12

    May 23, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  13. Tom


    ...just kidding. lol

    could you imagine?

    May 23, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  14. Jana Delray Bch, Fl

    WHY WON'T YOU POST IT?????????

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

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

    Obama was in Boca Raton yesterday and if he thinks he won
    over the Jewish he is badly mistaken. The country club that I work
    at in Boca Raton is 99% Jewish. Age is 25 to 85 and these people
    are not going to vote for Obama.Despite what Cafferty is saying
    over 80% of the younger Jews are not voting for Obama, they don't
    trust him.

    May 23, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  15. Jatovi

    It is sad how the party is so split now. Instead of fighting McCain the half of the Democrates are more focused on respecting Hillary now. Obama is just as talented and strong as Hillary, make that more since he has just about won the election. The half that is fighting for Hillary should move behind Obama and give him a chance since these two are fighting for the same things, the only difference is how they get there.

    May 23, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  16. Debra Austin, Texas

    The New York Times, Bill Clinton, Lanny Davis, and a million other voices behind Hillary Clinton can speak until they are blue in the face about the prospects of HRC becoming VP, it will never happen. Obama needs to be free to be a leader not a dog on the Clinton leash. HRC needs to get herself and her supporters prepared to be supportive of the Democratic nominee as losing candidates have done for their nominee for years. She has opportunities to become a leading member of the party. But she will have to spend time over the course of the next few years demonstrating her loyalty to the Democratic Party and its causes and not to only her and her husband's political careers. Those are just the facts

    May 23, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  17. Rose

    For someone who is critical of "Old Washington Politics" Obama sure does suck up to a lot of them. To name a few, Kennedy, Kerry, Biden, Carter, Richardson, Dodd, they all represent Old Washington Politics, who is he kidding. They are all fine when they endorse him and I can't help but wonder what has he promised some of them???

    May 23, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  18. HammerHead

    Hillary is so power hungry, she will take this all the way to the convention, despite advice, logic and reason. When a candidate has to take out a loan from their personal funds, it's due to the fact that their campaign cannot raise enough money (i.e. support). She's running her campaign into the ground at all costs...what do you think she'll do with the country???!!!

    May 23, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  19. Bond

    The Clinton supporters are now begging for her to be on the ticket. I don't think that's a good idea. The Clintons are the kind of people that make you keep looking over your shoulder,,, and that is putting it mildly.

    May 23, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  20. James

    Face it cnn he can not win without her voter blocks to come over to him. They will never suport him unless she is on that ticket. Anyone else on there and we stay home.he needs the typical white man after all not to mention all the women she has froze up to sure her base. If he chooses another women it will look like a slap in the face and the votes of her crew will surly step to mccain just to see him looose so she can run in 2012. She will be in the white house or he will never see the oval office. Believe that.

    May 23, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  21. Dan Issano

    Millions have voted for Obama to be the nominee. Hillary does not know when it's time to go home; the party is over, the food is finished, the drinks are consumed and the building is vacant.....go home Hillary.

    May 23, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  22. Mr. Anson From NY

    I was once made believe that the Clinton was very good money raising. Why now get on their knees, begging, forcing Obama to rescue them from debt 😀

    I think President Obama may have a position for her; Carrying his suites that is.

    May 23, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  23. Banadda

    There two myths here:
    1. That those who win the states in the primary go on to win them in the General Election. History is replete with candidates who went on to be defeated in the states they won in the primary.
    Lesson: If the Hon. Senator from New York is staking her claim to the Dem nomination on the basis of KY, West VA, and PA, such claim is tenuous and a gamble.
    2. The claim that she has 17 million rooting for and therefore if she is given the VP all those people will vote for her sounds plausible; however, a counter claim – not any less plausible – could be made: The Senator brings with her a turn of baggage such that she is most like to drive away moderate republican, and minorities precisely because of her history, and the way her campaign has alienated a greater number of minorities by the subtle use of race and religion.

    Last but not least, the ticket will not bring regional balance, for all practical purposes, both the candidates will have come from the Midwest. The Senator may claim Arkansas, but she represents New York, and she grew up in Illinois-Indiana-Scranton, PA etc….

    I think Chuck Hegel might do better: he voted against the war could, a moderate republican, has military experience, and has worked well with democrats in the Senate. Above all he is a principled politician; at least he is not a demagogue.

    May 23, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  24. Jaxie

    Hillary cannot get out of the race soon enough. At this point all she is doing is giving the Republicans ammunition against the Democratic nominee and disgracing herself.

    Hillary's constitutional arguments regarding the Michigan and Florida delegations are shameful. The DNC's sanctions do not give rise to equal protection claims like those posed in Florida in 2004 when a governmental entity failed to properly count all votes.

    Hillary stop the intellectual dishonesty, game playing and claims of sexism for the good of our country - please exit the race immediately.

    May 23, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  25. True

    Hillary will never quit nor will she have a graceful exit. She's a lawyer with a vengeance. She would rather seek litigation and sue the DNC, Obama and the US than lose this primary nomination. Someone please give her a political pacifier, this babies ripe.

    May 23, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
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