ABC Champions Clinton/Obama or Obama/Clinton 'Dream Ticket'

ABC on Friday night decided to devote an entire story to speculating about what is supposedly “the talk of the town” -- a potential Democratic “Dream Ticket” of Clinton and Obama or Obama and Clinton. With “Dream Ticket?” on screen, anchor Charles Gibson set up the piece by pointing out how, during the debate on CNN the night before, Clinton and Obama “were asked if they might run together -- one for President, the other for Vice President.” Gibson insisted: “It has been on many people's minds.”

In the subsequent story, Jake Tapper asserted that with a black man or white woman “poised to make history,” there is “one way to top it.” He then played a clip of Wolf Blitzer asking during the debate: “Would you consider an Obama/Clinton or Clinton/Obama ticket going down the road?” Maintaining “the possibility is the talk of the town,” Tapper backed his supposition by highlighting the belief of his colleague, ex-Clintonista George Stephanopoulos, who predicted: “Because they're both fighting this out through Super Tuesday, I think the chances are better than ever before.” Challenged by Diane Sawyer to a bet in the clip Tapper played from Good Morning America, Stephanopoulos took her up: “Absolutely. I'll bet if she gets the nomination, she picks him.”

In an earlier NewsBusters posting, the MRC's Scott Whitlock noted how in a Friday Good Morning America piece Kate Snow raised the “dream ticket.” Later in the program, Scott also noticed, Stephanopoulos blurted out “the dream ticket” when Diane Sawyer raised the possibility of “a Barack Obama/Hillary Clinton ticket, or Clinton/Obama ticket.” The GMA exchange, from which Tapper excerpted for his story later in the day:
DIANE SAWYER: And the moment where it was a question about would there be a Barack Obama/Hillary Clinton ticket, or Clinton/Obama ticket.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: The dream ticket.

SAWYER: The dream ticket. What do you think? This is never going to happen, ever, ever.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That's what I've been thinking for most of the last year. That's exactly what I've been thinking. That it's too much change for the country. But, now, because this has gone on so long, because they're both fighting this out through Super Tuesday, I think the chances are better than ever before. I think, they're much better if Hillary Clinton gets the nomination. I think she's going to be under tremendous pressure to pick Obama. I think he'll be under a little less pressure if he gets the nomination.

SAWYER: Want to bet?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Absolutely.

SAWYER: All right. Let's bet. Okay.

STEPHANOPOULOS: No, no, no. What I'll bet is if she gets the nomination, she picks him.

SAWYER: How about that? Let's bet big here. Okay?
Friday's NBC Nightly News didn't bring up the “dream ticket” and CBS's Katie Couric held herself to this short Evening News item:
But after all the campaign bitterness, could Clinton and Obama wind up on the same ticket? A Clinton aide told our Jim Axelrod don't rule it out as long as she's at the top of the ticket. The Obama campaign said "forget it, he's running for President, not Vice President."
The MRC's Brad Wilmouth corrected the closed-captioning against the video to provide this transcript of the February 1 World News story:
CHARLES GIBSON: Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama debated last night, as you may know. And despite the fact they've been highly critical of one another, they were on their best behavior last night. And then they were asked if they might run together -- one for President, the other for Vice President. It has been on many people's minds. Was it on theirs? Here's Jake Tapper.

JAKE TAPPER: The image was striking -- a black man, a white woman. One of them poised to make history. Both bringing in tens of thousands of new voters. And there's one way to top it.

CNN'S WOLF BLITZER, DURING DEBATE: Would you consider an Obama/Clinton or Clinton/Obama ticket going down the road?

BARACK OBAMA CLIP #1: Well, obviously, there's a big difference between those two.

OBAMA CLIP #2: I think her service to this country has been extraordinary.

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, I have to agree with everything Barack just said.

TAPPER: The possibility is the talk of the town.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ON FRIDAY'S GMA: Because they're both fighting this out through Super Tuesday, I think the chances are better than ever before.

DIANE SAWYER ON GMA: Want to bet?

STEPHANOPOULOS on GMA: Absolutely. I'll bet if she gets the nomination, she picks him.

TAPPER: Choosing a running mate is, of course, very complicated. It's not as if there's a vice presidential match.com, where Obama would sit down and choose a left-leaning, white woman, who brings experience and New York, a state he'd win anyway. Or Clinton would pick an African-American male, with grass roots enthusiasm and Illinois, a state she'd win anyway. More importantly, the smiles and chivalry and hugs on display for voters last night belie serious tensions between the two candidates.

DONNA BRAZILE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: There's a lot of blood on the floor. And clearly, you can disinfect. You can mop it up. You cannot ignore the fact that there's been a vigorous debate within the Democratic Party.

TAPPER: JFK made peace with his primary opponent and eventual VP, LBJ. George H.W. Bush assailed Reaganomics, then came on board as Reagan's number two. Enemies uniting for mutual political gain -- as American as apple pie. Jake Tapper, ABC News, Washington.
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center