Obama and Clinton: A Democratic Dream Ticket?

Democratic Party buzzes about enemies teaming up

Feb. 1, 2008— -- The image of the two Democratic front-runners at last night's debate in Los Angeles was striking -- a black man and a white woman. One of the two is poised to make history, and they are both bringing in tens of thousands of new voters.

And there's one way to top it -- for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to join forces on a single Democratic dream ticket.

Last night, when CNN's Wolf Blitzer asked, "Would you consider an Obama-Clinton or Clinton-Obama ticket going down the road," neither candidate denied the possibility.

"Well, there's a difference between those two," Obama laughed. "But her service to this country has been extraordinary. And I'm glad that we've been walking on this road together."

Clinton dittoed it. "Well, I have to agree with everything Barack just said."

Now, the possibility is the talk of the town.

"Intensity is important," Democratic strategist Michael Feldman said. "Keeping every strand of the base constituency of the Democratic Party together and energized, moving into the fall, is also very important."

Choosing a running mate is a very complicated process -- and unfortunately, there's no such thing as a vice presidential match.com.

If Obama were to choose Clinton as a vice presidential running mate, she would bring experience and support in New York -- a state Obama would win anyway.

If Hillary were to name Obama her running mate, he would inject her campaign with grassroots enthusiasm and support in Illinois, though she would win that state on her own.

A hypothetical match.com might suggest that Clinton or Obama should pick someone from a swing state such as Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland or former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner or Florida Sen. Bill Nelson.

This morning, on "Good Morning America" political expert George Stephanopoulos suggested that the longevity of the candidates' campaigns made it more likely they would end up on a single ticket.

"Because they're both fighting it out through Super Tuesday, I think they are better than ever before," he said. Stephanopoulos entered into a bet with "Good Morning America" anchor Diane Sawyer, wagering that Clinton would pick Obama if she gets the nomination.

But the hugs, smiles and chivalry on display for voters last night belie serious tensions between the two candidates.

"Clinton-Obama is not a dream ticket," Democratic strategist Donna Brazile said. "It's a fantasy ticket."

Obama resents Clinton campaign tactics involving race, and the Clintons are mad because Obama is standing in her way and belittling their legacy.

"There's a lot of blood on the flood and, clearly, you can disinfect, you can mop it up, and you can also sweep it aside but you cannot ignore the fact that there's been a vigorous debate within the Democratic Party," Brazile said.

But bitter primary opponents have sometimes settled their differences in time to join forces for the general election. John F. Kennedy made peace with his primary opponent and eventual vice president Lyndon B. Johnson. George H.W. Bush assailed Reaganomics as "voodoo economics," then came onboard as Reagan's No. 2.

So the idea of enemies uniting for mutual political gain? It's as American as apple pie.

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