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May 12th, 2008
09:42 AM ET

Carl Bernstein: Could Clinton land the VP nomination?

Carl Bernstein writes that Hillary Clinton's campaign recognizes that it faces an uphill battle.

Carl Bernstein writes that Hillary Clinton's campaign recognizes that it faces an uphill battle.

Carl Bernstein
360° Contributor

Friends and close associates of both Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are now convinced that, assuming she loses the race for the presidential nomination, she is probably going to fight to be the vice presidential nominee on an Obama-for-president ticket.

Clinton "is trying to figure out how to land the plane without looking like surrender," a prominent figure in the Obama camp said Friday. This means, in all likelihood, bringing her campaign to a close in the next few weeks and trying to leverage her way onto an Obama ticket from a position of maximum strength, said several knowledgeable sources.

A person close to her, with whom her campaign staff has counseled at various points, said this week, "I think the following will happen: Obama will be in a position where the party declares him the nominee by the first week in June. She'll still be fighting with everybody - the Rules Committee, the party leaders - and arguing, 'I'm winning these key states; I've got almost half the delegates. I have a whole constituency he hasn't reached. I've got real differences on approach to how we win this election, and I'm going to press the hell out of this guy. ... Relief for the middle class, universal health care, etc.; I'm Ms. Blue Collar, and I'm going to press my fight, because he can't win without my being on the ticket.' "

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Filed under: Barack Obama • Carl Bernstein • Hillary Clinton • Raw Politics
soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. Mare

    Please someone tell Hillary she is not winning.

    May 12, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  2. Mare

    Obama do not put Hillary on the ticket. Hillary cannot be trusted!! Shame on you Hillary!

    May 12, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  3. Mare

    CNN -Canada calling you are not the most trusted news-Go Obama!!!!! Yes we can!

    May 12, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  4. Mare

    Hillary is not the one-women-Hillary is a soothsayer, and a sore looser!!!!!

    May 12, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  5. Apple in Tampa

    I think the question is does Sen Obama want Hilliary? If I was Sen Obama the answer would be no way but I'm probably using my heart not my mind in this situation. I think Sen Obama needs to spread his wings a little - Caroline Kennedy would be excellent or maybe even more of a stretch how about Mitt Romney switching parties and become VP now I think that would be a great ticket.

    May 12, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  6. Mare

    Canada calling and the whole world. Hillary retire! Time for change. Obama does not need Hillary and it is not right if Hillary forces herself oon the ticket. Obama has the right as everyone else to choose his own VP. Hillary shame on you!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 12, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  7. Bonnie, Sequim, WA

    The smart move for either candidate would be to put John Edwards on the ticket. So many I've heard, me included, would have voted for Edwards had he remained on the ballot.

    May 12, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  8. Mary from NJ

    Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama do not share the same core values so a joint ticket would be a great disappointment. I believe that Senator Clinton is a strong candidate with great tenacity and will be a great asset to Senator Obama and the democratic party in winning against John McCain. I look forward to seeing her joining the Obama campaign trail and support him the way she said she would. I guess she was telling the truth about that. I'm not talking about "half truth" or half heartedly support BUT showing the "fighter" that she for the good of the party. NO JOINT TICKET THOUGH – it's mixing oil and water. I hope she's not forced down his throat.

    May 12, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  9. Vince in CA

    spencer--Vote McCain. If Obama wins and screws things up then you can't complain because you didn't even try to keep him out. And if the superdelegate block the popular vote and Hillary loses...then I suggest all her supporters vote McCain and even consider switching to Republican or Independant. Let the DNC know how much they screwed you over. They won't listen to you so you should take your support somewhere else. If you really don't want Obama then do what you have to to keep him out.

    May 12, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  10. spencer

    She better or I won't be voting in the fall.......

    May 12, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  11. Barb, Des Plaines

    These two on the same ticket? Somebody better get Carl a bottle of aspirin cause he's gonna need it in the morning.

    May 12, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  12. Joyce-Houston

    OBAMA WILL NEVER ASK HILLIARY TO BE VICE PRESIDENT TOO MUCH ANIMOISITY AND TO MANY BRIDGES HAS BEEN BURNT SHE REPRESENT THE OLD WAY AND OBAMA REPRESENT THE NEW WAY OLD AND NEW DON'T MIX.
    WE CAN'T LET OUR PAST KEEP US FROM OUR FUTURE.
    WE MUST FORGET ABOUT THOSE THINGS THAT ARE BEHIND AND WE MUST PRESS ON TO A HIGHER LEVEL.

    May 12, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  13. Vince in CA

    All I keep seeing is how great Obama is. Wow. That's all I can say. Others are saying Edwards is weak and a joke. I'm not an Edwards fan but atleast he voted. How many times did Obama vote "present". His job as a senator is to vote. They vote on issues we can't. If was capable of handling his duties as a senator then how can he handle presidential duties. Just like being in the military...You may not like everything you have to do but you do it. It's your duty and service. That is a senators job.

    May 12, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  14. Fernando (Atlanta)

    lori, Edwards is a loser on a ticket, why putting him on one again???

    May 12, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  15. JT

    It is insulting to suggest that more smater, more polished on all issues to be VP of a rookie like Obama that all he have is the media and the DNC behind him.

    Hillary is too smart to b a VP.

    Hillary will be the Presindent with the help of superdelegates with back bone.

    Hillary 08!!

    May 12, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  16. thasan/ohio

    Neither Barak or Michelle really wants to offer that slot to her.. for the number one reason: SHE REPRESENTS ALL THAT HE IS FIGHTING!!! old washington policies/tactics... not to mention all her scandals WILL come up in the GE and bury Barak(he has his own problems and i dont think he will sell his integrity for the so-called- blue collar vote(oh i forgot hard-working and ) white... she offers no help whatsoever and he HAS been getting white votes!.. Blacks are the minority remember? he didnt get this far on Blacks alone.., and whatever happened to LATINOS... do we not count anymore(must be not until Pueto Rico

    May 12, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  17. Terrell

    Wait a minute people. Hillary can still win this thing. All she have to do is
    1. Win the remaining states by 90%.
    2. Find Bin Laden
    3. Admit Mexico to the Union, I belive they are in her voting block.

    I think at this point she is just being simply selfish. She has managed a bad campaign. She had all the experience of campaigning and managed to be out-compaigned by a newcomer to presidential campaigning.

    Her campaign knew they could easily beat Edwards and a black man, but did not know that Obama (a black man) would be this great.

    May 12, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  18. John, Saugus CA

    I am like Randy M, I am a registered Republican who will vote for Obama, but if Hillary is on the ticket I will then vote for McCain.

    Obama is to smart to put Hillary on the ticket, he has to be politically correct not to offend the other Democratic voters that voted for Hillary.

    When all is done and said the other Democrats will vote for Obama, instead of McCain.

    May 12, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  19. Missy

    Hilary knows it is time to step aside.

    May 12, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  20. chris from Wausau, Wi

    I will not vote for Obama for Pres. if he wins the nomination. Despite what Ted Kennedy says, he is no JFK – he has no war record, no body of legislation, no tenure in the senate.Jimmy Carter was not a WDC insider & couldn't get anything done. . I know people in Il that say he's a show horse, not a work horse. None of that has been brought out in the primaries. Ted Kennedy, John Kerry & Bill Richardson have tried to undermine her from the getgo. How do you think that looks to women whose career have been derailed by the good ol boys.In an election my vote counts as much as Carl Bernstein, in the end carl's one opinion & one vote just like the rest of us.

    May 12, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  21. zeke

    HRC will never take the VP position. She has more power as a NY Senator. She hasn't lost yet as the Democratic candidate, and if she does she'll probably run as an Idependent and take all her supporters with her. With Barr in the race and Alan Keyes about to be nominated as the Conservative Party Candidate that could be bad for McCain. They could take up to 5-8% of the Republican vote. Up to another third of Republicans may switch to HRC because of the economy, Iraq and his relationship to Bush. With Obama's past starting to seep out and with the fall race against the Republican Machine, he's sure to be hit hard. Clinton supporters will stand by her to help bring her the Presidency.

    May 12, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  22. chad

    Obama could put Hillary, Bill, you name the mouth piece as the VP .. There is no way that Obama will win this thing outside of McCain falling over dead! Obama-mania looks good on paper but with his raising taxes, Socialized not (Universal) healthcare and agreeing to open the boarders to every dead-beat illegal alien ... his race was over before it ever got started.

    May 12, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  23. lori

    OBAMA-EDWARDS
    2008

    May 12, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  24. Randy M

    Will this woman ever go away. She is the epitome of selfishness and greed. She will lose the nomination and only hurt an Obama run for the Presidency. I am a Republican who plans on voting for Obama, UNLESS Clinton is on the ticket!!! If so, then Mr. McCain gets my vote. Senator Obama, unless you want to spend the next four years looking over your shoulder and pulling knives out of your back, DO NOT put that person on your ticket.

    May 12, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  25. GJ

    I think to unify the party and to win the general election she should step aside and let Barack select his own VP.

    May 12, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  26. Tami, North Carolina

    I think Hillary ought to ditch the Dems, go Independent!!!! That's a CHANGE!!!!!! Our country would rally around her!!!! Obama and Mccain you better put you're big boy pants on!!!! CNN you can say what you will, but this is far from OVER!!!!! Hillary should not settle for second best, and become Obama's Dick Cheney. She can WIN!!!

    May 12, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  27. Kati

    NO NO NO
    YES ......MAY BE TO BREAK UP HER PLAN IF SHE WAS TRYING TO RUN IN 2012.

    May 12, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  28. Beverly

    No way should she be on the ticket. She has burnt that bridge. Who would belive her now if she came out saying good things about him. NO ONE. Even David Gergen said Obama would need a food taster if she were VP.

    May 12, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  29. Nick

    What a hypocrite...Carl Bernstein has the nerv to speak after being openly against Hillary Clinton. Just shut up...

    May 12, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  30. sally maarten

    Give it up, Hillary. You are making yourself look
    so desperate and so, so pathetically sad. Don't
    keep fighting – and don't try forcing Barack to take
    you on, after all your badmouthing remarks. It
    is truly...a...pathetic...sight....to....see.....you....hanging
    on to a thread. You lost, fair and square. Now, Stop.

    May 12, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  31. Theresa

    I am a 40 something woman, a card carrying democrat and I believe a moderately informed voter. I have been watching CNN much more since this democratic nomation has gotten so close. I like both senators and want nothing more than a democrat in the white house.

    Here is my question/concern. Much has been said about Obama's desire to "change" how Washington works. I don't understand how the President alone can bring about that kind of change.

    The presidency is not one man/woman. And from what I have seen in my life, bringing about that kind of change means you need to work within the current state of affairs. I haven't seen anything thus far that shows me that Obama can/will do that.

    We, as a country have given our president limited personal power and a great number of checks and balances. Even if the President doesn't work within the current state of affairs, what's to say the house and senate will follow suit?

    In addition, I am very encouraged by the young voters who have come out in such large numbers for these primaries. The challenge this brings is how informed these young voters are. When I was a young, first, second or even third time voter – I was ill informed, I venture to guess many of these young voters are as well.

    Obama is a very charasmatic, likable candidate and I am concerned this is what these young voters are aligning themselves with rather than the abilities of their candidate.

    I want to see more of what each candidate have done as senators, not just their voting history. What have they made happen? As a senator, has Obama been able to change how Washington works? What exactly about how Washington works does he want to change?

    May 12, 2008 at 1:22 pm |
  32. wdr

    This must be a joke; she does not have the experience to be Vice-President (LOL). She has consistently stated "I'm running for President of the United States of America", not Vice-President. In my opinion, If she does not get to be President through the political process, then she will stoop to any level to get what she wants. American people, you figure it out!

    May 12, 2008 at 1:05 pm |
  33. AZM

    As much bad blood has been shed in this primary I believe this idea to be unlikely...

    However... if the past could be set aside... this ticket would be wicked tough for the Republicans to beat... if you added all the Obama/Clinton votes together... WOW

    May 12, 2008 at 12:58 pm |
  34. Gary Chandler in Canada

    It's not just her. One of her top aids, (Wolfson?) was being interviewed by Blitzer, and asked the ONE reason she should be the nominee. He quickly threw out THREE, and completely lied in one of the points.
    (Birds of a feather)
    He pointed out the healtch care thing, who remembers the 3rd, and he said Obama doesn't want the oil companies to pay for the tax holiday!
    Did he really think people don't know BHO doesn't agree with the tax holiday!?
    I posted last week in these BLOGS how HRC's only chance to regain stature with the public is to stand quietly in line for the vp ticket.
    Sharp elbows and kitchen sinks will only enforce her bad image.

    May 12, 2008 at 12:45 pm |
  35. Deb n Texas

    No way in hell! She goes against the grain of EVERYTHING OBAMA STANDS FOR. If Obama does that – he will be just like Hillary BROKE because his suppporters are supporting him because Washington needs NEW direction and Hillary can not be a part of that.

    May 12, 2008 at 12:40 pm |
  36. Danny

    We don't need her to be VP for Obama. We need Hillary run for other party is better and she going to win in general election because Republican and Democratic are going to vote for her. In general election
    she going to beat both of John and Obama.

    May 12, 2008 at 12:39 pm |
  37. Larry

    Is Vegas giving odds on this? I just can't see Mrs Obama letting this happen; she's more powerful than Barack could ever hope to be. Infact, Michelle would only accept herself as being on the ticket, if that is constitutional.

    Oh the drama!

    May 12, 2008 at 12:36 pm |
  38. Marc in Quebec

    The size of this woman's ego is astonishing. First she reversed herself on Michigan and Florida because she thought that that would get her the nomination. Next, it was her argument regarding the popular vote (which I doubt she will win), now she is thinking to get on the ticket to become VP and eventually the President. Can noone show her the light? Will noone tell her that her time is gone and that she needs to go away in order to save her party?

    May 12, 2008 at 11:56 am |
  39. JC- Los Angeles

    Hillary Clinton should refuse an overture of a VP position; she should pull a Romney and essentially say, "you're not buying what I'm selling, then good luck." She knows Obama is a dot com; sounds good, looks OK in a business suit but has no experience, no proven track record, questionable associates and a looming problem in his outspoken wife. Hillary should let Obama lose to McCain and sweep back in four years from now. The reason Obama has not really addressed the VP osition is because it's quite clear that Michelle Obama thinks she's the VP; Hillary and Michelle would be a terrible mix and I doubt Hillary would ever allow herself to be exposed to such a controlling influence; she should let the Obamas fall on the sword and exit gracefully.

    May 12, 2008 at 11:54 am |
  40. Claudia

    NO, HILLARY'S ISN'T RUNNING FOR VP SPOT, SHE'S INTRODUCING HER DAUGHTER CHELSEA TO EVERYONE. SHE'S LOOKING OUT FOR HER DAUGHTERS FUTURE IN POLITICS, IT'S NOT ABOUT THE DEMOCRAT PARTY EITHER, IT'S ABOUT CHELSEA'S FUTURE. REMEMBER CHELSEA IS THE ONLY CHILD TO CONTINUE ON IN POLITICS.

    May 12, 2008 at 11:51 am |
  41. Carol

    Shouldn't Obama have a say in this? What if he doesn't want her? Why is she calling the shots when she lost? It would be stupid for Obama to choose her – she and Bill would take over.

    I always thought the reason Edwards has been undeclared all these months was b/c he is the logical choice for VP.

    Please, not Hillary, ANYBODY but Hillary. She needs to go back to one of the 25 different states she grew up in and disappear. What a sore loser.

    May 12, 2008 at 11:36 am |
  42. batguano101

    No way for Obama to watch his back enough for that.

    May 12, 2008 at 11:19 am |
  43. janey for Hillary

    Will this man please be quiet and let Americans vote? Mr Bernstein has already brought down one presidency in his lifetime–why does he want to damage another? You can bet, if he had any dirt at all to dig up on the Clintons, it would have been out by now. Obviously, his vindictive book about Hillary Clinton did not have the desired effect. She has already won over 50% of the democrat real vote! These left wing democrats may be able to influence primaries, but are helpless in the general. Americans are way smarter than the DNC and associates give them credit for.

    May 12, 2008 at 11:13 am |
  44. Kent, Illinois

    Like David Gergen said " Obama would need a food taster if Hillary was his VP". That says it all.............

    May 12, 2008 at 11:09 am |
  45. Jake Wellington

    After all the rifts that Clinton has made in the Democratic Party, as well as the things she has said against Obama, Clinton really doesn't have a chance as VP. Obama would be better off picking a VP like John Edwards or Kathleen Sebelius to cover his weak spots.

    May 12, 2008 at 10:34 am |
  46. Cindy

    I don't see Obama asking Hillary to be his running mate. I don't think that they like each other too well. And his followers don't like her at all. Plus she has too much baggage and that may end up hurting him worse than his stuff.

    May 12, 2008 at 10:24 am |
  47. Rahni, Connecticut

    I voted for Hillary Clinton in the Connecticut primary but each day of her fighting the numbers against her and the party is now divided. I decided to vote for Obama in the general election. Hillary's arrogance and playing the race card is killing the party.

    Rahni, Connecticut

    May 12, 2008 at 10:12 am |
  48. missy

    Obama should be able to select his own Vice Presidential nominee just as Clinton should be able to select her own.

    May 12, 2008 at 10:09 am |
  49. Debbie, NJ

    "He can't win without my being on the ticket." You can't win without him being on your ticket. Unfortunate for you blue collar and seniors aren't the only ones who vote Dem. And woman care about issues that the Rep don't so they won't vote for McCain. Neither will white blue collar workers or white seniors.

    May 12, 2008 at 10:00 am |
  50. Fernando (Atlanta)

    I hope the ticket is Obama-Clinton or Clinton-Obama, so they together lose the election in November, and we all move forward with our lives...

    May 12, 2008 at 9:50 am |
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