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. skylark

    No Hillary no Bill no Clinton.
    She will poison Obamas chances! Like she has poisoned the primaries.
    Gutter fighter that she is, she has lost all credibility with most of us.
    She will have no respect from any country in the world either. Don't do it Obama. She is a destructive stain on the democratic party.

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

    We love you hillary, My vote will be yours in 2016.

    May 23, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  3. Chris, Middletown, CT

    Clinton supporter who state that Obama should offer her a "spot" – you have to be kidding....she distorted (aka lied) about Obamas record and her "experience" – which you are still parroting today – you'd figure her sniper comment would give you a guys are still saying "she has more experience...and has the popular no she doesn't – count the caucus' and remove the places where only her name appeared on the guys will defend the worst of the worst until the end

    May 23, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  4. james

    just continued hateful and spiteful comments by Obama followers... nasty cult bunch.

    The MOVMENT is on.. we'll teach them all a lesson.

    Hillary supporters – united.
    Vote for McCain '08 for Clinton '12
    Obama, well, NEVER

    May 23, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  5. OH

    The only real way out is for her to get the majority leadership in the Senate.

    VP? No way but working together to pay off her loan to private industries and the other people she owe, yes; her own loan, no.

    Is she had not caused so much damage, I can see them both on the same ticket. If for instance, just after the Fen. 5th election or during those that followed while she acted nicely; yes.

    The bitter resentment we see today will not bring both sides together but will cause voters on both sides to vote for McSame.

    All the negative bashing she gave Obama; e.g; Shame on you! and crap is coming back to bite her in the butt.

    May 23, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  6. I welcome this war

    Obama lost my vote once I realized that all of his supporters were vitriolic hateful vulgar hypocrits.

    No Good ethical candidate would ever attract followers that are so vile and hateful towards other democrats.

    I would not want to be in the same camp/ on the same team as the Obama supporters. I do not care for insulting, demeaning and denigrating others just to force your opinion on them.

    Obama supporters preach the benefit of unity but continue to blog nothing but trash: name calling those who disagree with them, and insulting others with derogatory ethnic slurs (stupid uneducated morons, ignorant redneck racist scum, inbred cousins etc etc.)

    Obama supporters claim to believe in the diplomacy of dialoguing with our international enemies, but are not wise enough to cease bashing Clinton and her supporters with their vulgarities and lies.

    THIS IS WAR NOW- one of conviction over image.

    May 23, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  7. Cameron

    Okay, so let's get this straight. The senator from NY, who has spent the past 16 months mocking, berating and occasionally, outright lying about Barack Obama, has decided that she now wants to be his VP? GO HOME!!! Obama has won the nomination. He will be the nominee. It's time for the superdelegates to stop this insanity before it's too late.

    May 23, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  8. bye bye hillarious

    hillary, it's time to go... gracefully or forcefully. you've lost, face up to it... and dont give us any of that fuzzy math you enjoy so much... it's a lie and you know it.

    by all real measures and accounts obama will be the nominee and is the strongest candidate who will most likely crush Bush III (McInsane) in the GE..

    Now GO AWAY! and please keep your lies to yourself.

    May 23, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  9. Teri

    This nomination has been hijacked away from Senator Clinton since Oprah put her money behind Obaby. The DNC is illegally changing the rules for Michigan and Florida. Women voters are not going to be backing Obama, can the democrats afford another loss?
    I for one, will not vote for Obama no matter what the DNC does, if Hillary does not get the nomination which she has worked for.
    It was handed to Obaby on a silver platter by all the :" old white men" who run the DNC. Howard Dean has ruined the party.

    May 23, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  10. Michelle S.

    Stop blaming Hillary for the mess in the Democratic party!

    What most likely happened is that some of the Dem party elders decided it would be cool and pc to have a Black President.

    Problem is,
    they picked a guy (Obama) whom they didn't properly vet for the positon and now they are stuck with a charismatic orator who has no experience, plans, or positions to help the American people. They are stuck with a candidate who has been exposed as having racist views.

    They are stuck with a candidate who got an early lead but now that the rubber needs to hit the road–it is clear he is the weaker candidate.

    Yet, the Dem elders will probably give him the nod and hand the election to the Republicans. Stupid, stupid!

    Don't blame Hillary; blame the party leaders. If they wanted to sponsor and push a Black candidate, they should have picked one more QUALIFIED.

    I personally would vote for Condi Rice or Colin Powell on any ticket.
    But Obama does NOT cut it.

    May 23, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  11. Tom

    Let Senator Clinton and Senator Obama go at it until the end or at least until one of them throw in the towel. This is the excitement we need in presidential elections. As for those who may dislike either canidate, well get over it, if you are loyal to the democratic party and want the country to take a different direction, you'll vote for whom-ever is the nominee. As for Florida and Michigan, lets break the rules for everything that don't go our way; isn't that the saying, " Rules are made to be broken', and then we can break some more rules, hell maybe a few laws too. By the way, this is supposely how the GOP got in the White House.

    May 23, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  12. John

    I strongly urge Clinton not to accept the #2 slot and not to actively campaign for Obama, but wait it out and run again in 4 years after McCain has had one nauseating term.

    May 23, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  13. Caryn, Washington DC

    And why should all of us suffer so that Hillary can feed her ego?

    May 23, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  14. Kristy

    Obama is getting blue collar votes. Union votes. He can beat McBush with his eyes closed. Clinton put her campain in debt fully expecting to be reimbursed. If she can't live within her means, you want to let her run a country? This country NEEDS Obama. Why not Obama/Edwards?

    May 23, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |

    Naturally the tables are turning
    The self destructive Obama's reckless act of poising their own stream has left all with nothing to drink!

    May 23, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  16. Leave emotions out of this

    Is it me or does all the Clinton supporters on these boards seem to be females or wimpy husbands of females? Clinton as the VP is not an option. She will be a huge pain in the patootie if he were to select her. She would probably have him offed in about 2 months so she could finally get what her and the other SWFs think is their entitlement. He can find someone that would help him get back a lot of the core constituency he will inevitably lose to her because they are thinking with their hearts and not their minds. "I'm gonna vote for McCain". C'est la vie the end Hillary still won't be president and she has already dug her grave for 2012. Obama will only have more experience by then and Reverend Wright will have been excommunicated......there goes those excuses.

    May 23, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  17. Jack Walden

    You have to give credit to superdelegate New York Governor who said what millions of Americans say and feel about Hillary Clinton. However, the blame for this circus does not rest on the Clintons alone but the uncommitted superdelegates are equally to blame as well. It is given that they have to intervene in order for this race to end. By prolonging their indecision, they are also prolonging Hillarys egony and taking away precious time that should otherwise be used to heal the party. If they still lose this fall, they have themselves to blame not Bush, Republicans or McCain

    May 23, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  18. Araka

    Manuel, why you think Mccain will protect us? He endorse the same policies of president Bush and the last time I checked, they were not working. we are less safe today, than we were 8 years ago. Being in Washington for decades does not mean you are an expert. Obama will bring much change to America and we need it badly.

    May 23, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  19. Stacey--Alabama

    Clinton is a strong woman but has showed no character in this race. She has constantly lied, manipulated and lashed out at Obama since he became a serious threat to her catching the nomination. I don't doubt that she would have been a good president but her attitude now shows that she would not have been great. She lets her emotions and her ego direct her path and it is not in the best interst for the Democratic party. If she cared she would now do her best to show her full support for Barack Obama and the party not Clinton Clinton Clinton. The divide that she is causing within the party is bigger than republican vs dem, she is now making it a racist and sexist contest. Stop campaigning for 2012 Hilary and do what's right for the party. If Obama doesn't have the experience get behind the party and allow the him to be the leader of the governing party that cares for the USA

    May 23, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  20. Christina

    Many of us who were okay with Hillary a year ago, can't stand her anymore, so I beg the Obama camp–no VP slot for her. The Clintons may be masters at manipulating each other, but most of us are spot on in recognizing manipulation and lies when we hear them, no matter how slick they think they are–male or female.

    May 23, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  21. Shirley Wood

    If Obama should be foolish enough to put Clinton on the ticket with him, he is not the candidate we thought he was. Clinton is proving everyday why some of us retired, white hard-working Americans would not vote for her.

    She thought it was alright to go along with the DNC rules for MI & FL before she was loosing. Now she wants those citizens to believe she
    is still in it just for them. I don't buy it. It is all about Hillary, as it's always been.

    Shirley, Kenosha, WI

    May 23, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  22. Kit

    I use to think i like the clinton's but I have to say this before I burst...I Hate the CLINTON's they have really showe america who they really are and that is racist racist racist...angry and very sore losers..

    May 23, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  23. Kenneth

    If Obama was to pick her I wonder how long it will be before he commits "suicide" just like Vince Foster?

    May 23, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  24. David, Chicago, IL

    It's so funny hearing Bobama backers/fangirls/fanboys talking about Hillary being spiteful. For the last three months, these comment forums have been filled with spiteful, hateful Anti-Hillary rants by Bobama backers.

    They talk about how evil she is, how only Hillbillys would back her., how she represents politics as is, etc. And how they'd vote for John McCain Bush III for president before her.

    Well, I'm here to tell you, I have a BS in Computer Science, an MBA, and am working on my PhD in Economics, I am a Clinton backer. Mainly because of the low-brow, unintelligent putzes that post for Bobama. I liked Bill ,and i sort of like Hillary. We need a woman president.

    Bobama is all talk about change,...well, so was the peanut farmer. He got nothing done in Washington, and nothing will come of Bobama's posturing about how he will shake up Washington. Washington is run by the lifers, the career bureaucrats, not the politicians. The only success that we will have in changing our country's direction is from knowing how things work in Washington. Anybody who thinks otherwise has seem Mr Deeds Goes to Washington too many times.

    If he gets the nomination, I'll vote for him, but not because, but in spite, of the low-rent histrionics demonstrated by his backers.

    May 23, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  25. Alex

    Maybe Hilary can create her own "Matrix world" in which she is president

    May 23, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
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