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. Doris,Memphis, TN

    She doesn't know how to do anything gracefully.

    May 23, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  2. Chuck

    I agree with USAF Sr. Airman
    I do NOT want any of my contributions to Obama going to Clinton to help get her out of debt. She mismanaged her campaign, let her use her own personal millions to pay it off.
    Hillary and Bill made $40 million dollars last year and that they didn't pay taxes on. They had the money sent directly to an offshore account in the Cayman Islands. Let her pay her own debts.

    May 23, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  3. NGANGA,Austin TX

    Suzanne Malveaux is a man-hater and she does express that fact very well on CNN during the round-table forums with a fake smile and a straight face.

    May 23, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  4. sara, az

    While "millions" of Hillary supporters may like the VP offer for Hillary, probably "millions" of Independents and Republicans will NOT vote for Obama if she is on the ticket. Hillary's negatives and baggage are simply too high for her to be on a viable Democratic ticket.

    Frankly, I would much rather gain the Independents and Republicans than be saddled with Hillary's and Bill's pathology. Offer her anything BUT the VP. She's fought a hard campaign but brings nothing to the White House except old politics, more lies, and poor ethics.

    May 23, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  5. Lester, Council Bluffs,IA

    Hilary needs to take VP spot and Obama needs to be president itz the only way. You can't count Michigan unless your a cheater. And Florida won't make a difference. Since she lied about "not campaigning in Florida" who wants a liar anyways. But if she takes the VP spot the democrats will once again reunite. And I can't believe the democrats are even conisdering voting for Mccain! Why would you vote for a 76 year old man whos about to croke. God he speaks so slowly. It would probably take him an hour to respond to a terrorist attack instead of Bushes 7 minutes!

    May 23, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  6. Alphonse Moneau

    Respect one another!
    Let’s be civilized and respectful for one another. Are there non-democrats planting seeds of hatred among Democrats…? Beware!
    Let’s use reason, analyze and try to understand what is going on. Considering what is now known, can Senator Clinton win the nomination? Not by normal means, the chances are slim. Should she continue with her campaign? Yes, it is her right and choice to do so. Should she discontinue with the campaign? Yes, for the sake of the party. Should she be blamed for deciding to continue all the way to June 3rd? Not if she keeps her campaign positive and focused on policies rather than divisive issues.
    Good luck Senator Clinton. Just remember that it is the Democratic Party that got you to the point where you are now; so please don’t destroy the party; your daughter may need it later on for her political career.

    May 23, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  7. No Way

    Hillary...Leave now! You are already too late.

    May 23, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  8. Denise

    I think she's pretty much beyond "graceful exit" status at this point in time. Glad to see her go though. Sure hope he doesn't put her on the ticket. And I say that as a 50+ Republican woman for Obama who is going to vote for a Democrat for the first time ever..... unless Hillary is on the ticket.

    May 23, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  9. Mike

    I love how all the Clinton/Yosemitie Sam(McCain) supporters who constantly attack Obama and his supporters, and then when he(Obama) or his surrogates respond it is hailed as a cheap shot. Oh, and I love this one the most, "Obama and his supporters are using the same tactics and old school politics(republican), I guess this is the change he so often speaks of".

    Obama said he was a diplomat not a pacifist. I guess the Perublicans can only fight when their opponent can't or wont fight back. OOOOH, the fearsome Republican political machine.

    What next GOP, you guys are going to scream "I'm rubber, you're glue. it bounces off me and sticks to you"?

    May 23, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  10. Not with my vote!

    The only way I vote for Obama is if he has the Man in the Yellow Hat as his VP.

    May 23, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  11. Norb

    Boy! Those of you complaining whether or not it should be Obama/Clinton or Clinton/Obama, shouldn't really care I would think. Think of the alternative. McCain/Lieberman/Keating/Bush/Cheney/Rove........................... Evidently you're enjoing the 4 dollar gallon gas, the war in Iraq etc. Get real people.

    May 23, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  12. Conservative Buyer- CA

    Clinton has too much EGO.

    May 23, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  13. Deana

    Obama can't win without her..contrary to what the Obamaites think. Sorry, but he will NOT win Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, New Mexico or Colorado without Hillary on the ticket. He's not dumb. The people who are dumb are those that are brainwashed that having Hillary on your ticket is a bad thing. Hello, 1/2 of the democrats out there voted for HER! Wake up and lay off the Kool Aid.

    May 23, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  14. hillbilly lover

    i agree with those who say that hillary shouldn't have to bow out gracefully. she hasn't been graceful this whole primary season, why start now.

    i definitely agree with those who believe the vp spot should NOT be offered to her. she's not to be trusted.

    to those who believe that obama is racist because he's received 90% of the african-american vote...i disagree. he didn't ask them to come out and vote for him only, based on race. he asked them (his supporters there's a variety of us in all shades, nationalities and ethnicities) to support him because they believe in his policies and his type of government.

    for those who believe he stole the nomination from hillbilly...go back to sleep, better yet, go to the dictionary and research the word stole, or steal whichever you choose, and then come back to the board. perhaps you'll find the correct word use to describe his campaign strategies. Theft most certainly is not it! get it right

    for those women who believe that obama is sexist...that's a laugher!! i'd consider you to be the sexist before i call him that. it's awful to think that because a man is following his dream that he be called a sexist. he hasn't said or done anything to prove your plight. he called the young lady "sweetie" (or "sweatie" as the dedicated clinton supporter called her. wouldn't that mean you said she was funky?) but there's nothing sexist about that. it's force of habit and we all do things out of habit. he apologized so what's the big deal. hillary called wv supporters of her unintelligent inbreads and never apologized

    last but not least to all of you who claim to be trekking to the republican weren't demograts to begin with so stop faking the funk. a true democrat, or republican, would gather in support the pressumptive nominee his/her party selects.

    May 23, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  15. Lester, Council Bluffs,IA

    Ha Ha Millions would rather have hilary? Whatever. Look at the digits uneducated Susan.

    May 23, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  16. democrat1981

    Im trying to set aside all political slander and confront the situation for what it is...

    Hillary Clinton is a chucky doll... thats it.

    May 23, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  17. merits only

    Hill should take it all the way to the convention. Obama cheated his way here. He did not achieve success on his own merits- but by the handicapping of his far more qualified opponent.

    Never has such a great candidate and a true champion of the people had to endure so much hate and dirty politics.

    Never has any candidate been so maligned by the media and so attacked by her own party.

    Never has the DNC installed a lesser qualified candidate- with no merit whatsover- than with their support of Obama.

    We will not go along with this scam and corruption.

    May 23, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  18. M.Foster - Seattle

    Hillary needs to bow out and figure out her own problems. If Obama offers the vp to her, I will simply not vote. I will discontinue contributions if he is going to cover her debts.

    Since when do rivals have to cover for one another just because the looser is a poor sport with a sense of entitlement that won't quit?

    We are all spending way too much time with this and completely ignoring other more pressing issues in the country.


    May 23, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  19. Kevin, NC

    OMG what chapter of the Brother Hood of Knights do you belong? You racist, dis

    May 23, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  20. Darin

    The problem with the Democratic party is not Hillary's lack of a graceful exit, but her shameful scorched earth campaign. Hillary did Karl Rove proud.

    May 23, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  21. J, CA

    Suzanne Malveaux wish Hillary will exit that easily.
    Don't fabricate stories, Suzanne Malveaux

    May 23, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  22. Kevin, NC

    disfunction fool

    May 23, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  23. kelly WI

    Just heard on the radio, Pelozi said it will be winner by delegate not pop. vote. Guess she hasn't seen the polls nation wide where Hillary would win the GE but Ob wouldn't. Electoral votes.
    Hillary is just hanging in there thru the next primaries to make it look good that the dems aren't disenfrancizing any one.
    Reminds me of that every vote counts unless you are in the military, talk in 00. and vote as many times as you can get by with.

    May 23, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  24. mooonliter

    In no way should Hillary accept a VP offer from B. Obama if he ultimatey becomes the nominee and should win the presidency (which is dubious at best.) I would resume my Senate seat and run against him in 2012 after he falls on his face (which is highly likely.)

    May 23, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  25. Mike Stephens

    As Clinton will have the majority of the popular vote, I suggest a Clinton/Obama ticket. Obama is a media circus, but Clinton is the more substantial of the two. I will not vote for Obama, but I will vote for a Clinton/Obama ticket. He is way too shady to not need a watchdog.

    May 23, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
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