ABC's Sawyer Touts Clinton and Obama 'Dream' Ticket

"Good Morning America" co-host Diane Sawyer peppered guest James Carville about the possibility of a "dream solution," an Obama/Clinton or Clinton/Obama presidential ticket. The ABC journalist was so insistent on the subject that she posed the question to the Democratic strategist four times.

Without adding modifiers, such as "so-called or "alleged," Sawyer began the discussion of the two Democratic candidates coming together by cheerfully wondering, "Let me go to the other dream solution." It seems unlikely that members of the media would refer to a McCain/Romney or a McCain/Huckabee (the top GOP vote-getters) as a "dream solution." The GMA host then segued into a question that she would repeat over and over: "Knowing Hillary Clinton, as you know Hillary Clinton, will she ever run for vice president with anyone?" Sawyer insistently followed up by asking, "You think she would do it and you would recommend her to do it?"

Apparently finding the subject of an Obama/Clinton ticket fascinating, Sawyer reiterated, "So, you think that she would do it if it came to it? You think she would do it if she's not ahead?" The ABC host then mentioned a bet on the subject she had made with "your old friend George Stephanopoulos." (Both Carville and Stephanopoulos were top aides to Bill Clinton. Stephanopoulos is now the anchor of "This Week" on ABC.) Sawyer, yet again, used the bet as another query about Obama and Clinton joining forces. She speculated, "And it's a question of whether, she, if she is on top, she will certainly ask Barack Obama to be her running mate. Who is going to win? Is he going to win? Is she certainly going to ask him?"

As noted yesterday on NewsBusters, the network morning shows are producing much more excitement for the Democratic race. On Wednesday, the day after John McCain won the Republican nomination, "Good Morning America," the "Early Show" on CBS and NBC's "Today" devoted 59 minutes to the Democrats and only nine to the GOP.

A transcript of the segment, which aired at 7:10am on March 6, follows:

DIANE SAWYER: And now, for another perspective on all of this, we turn to friend of Senator Hillary Clinton, supporter of Senator Hillary Clinton, author of "40 More Years" that's James Carville joining us from Miami Beach, Florida. Good morning, James.

JAMES CARVILLE: Good morning, Diane. It is a good morning.

SAWYER: All right, well, If you're in Miami, I guess it is. Let me paint a portrait of two political parties. Yesterday, we saw the President actually doing a little dance on the White House, waiting for John McCain to come up. John McCain arrives. He slept late. He's planning his campaign ahead, he's thinking. On the other side, the Democratic Party arguing over super delegates, arguing over Michigan and Florida. And we read in the "Washington Post," the Clinton campaign arguing internally. Is messiness going to hurt the Democrat party?

CARVILLE: I can't imagine this country watching President Bush dancing and then John McCain embracing him and the message being if you like the last eight you're going to love the next four. The Democratic party-- You're right. We're having a heck of a contest out there. We're going on. This is exciting. It's thrilling. Our turn out is enormously larger than the Republicans. Our fund-raising is going great. So, yeah, I'll take that contrast any time. You have McCain and President Bush hugging each other in the midst of a recession like there's a big party going on and Democrats out there arguing and fighting about issues. So, I'll take this every day, Diane.

SAWYER: Let me tell ask you about a couple things that we heard Howard Dean talk about though.

CARVILLE: Sure.

SAWYER: He said Michigan and Florida can appeal the process. They can even hold another election. If they decide to hold caucuses, caucuses which tend to favor Barack Obama, would you go to Clinton campaign and say take 'em up on that offer?

CARVILLE: Well, of course not. What we want to do is we want to enfranchise as many people as possible. It's absolutely ludicrous. I'm sitting here in Florida which has been racked by this sub prime crisis. I don't know how many foreclosures there are in this state. If you look at what's happening economically in Michigan and what's happened to jobs up there and incomes. It's unbelievable that the Democratic Party cannot come together and figure a way to empower Washington, I mean, Florida and Michigan Democrats to get as many of them in the process. People in Pennsylvania are loving doing this.

SAWYER: What is wrong with a caucus if they decide to have a caucus?

CARVILLE: Why wouldn't you want a primary? Who would argue against having a primary?

SAWYER: Money.

CARVILLE: Wheat the basis upon which you wouldn't want to have a primary?

SAWYER: Money.

CARVILLE: Governor Crist has said he'd way for it.

SAWYER: But it would take longer to gear it up?

CARVILLE: So, what's the-- Why does it take that long? Why wouldn't anybody want to empower as many people to weigh in and make a decision on this? In particular in a state like Florida or Michigan, which is critical to the Democratic Party, to say we want to hear from you. Both of these states are suffering as a result of the idiotic economic policies of this administration. Why would we want to exclude Florida or Michigan Democrats. I have no idea.

SAWYER: All right. I assume that's a no. Let me go to the other dream solution. We heard Senator Clinton herself talking about the possibility that maybe they're heading, maybe everybody is heading to the point you have to have a Clinton/Obama, Obama/Clinton ticket. They have got to run together. She said, the question is, who is on top of the ticket. This is my question to you: Knowing Hillary Clinton, as you know Hillary Clinton, will she ever run for vice president with anyone?

CARVILLE: We have to weigh what the circumstances are. Democrats like both of their candidates. I mean, both of them have enormously high favorable in this party. Both of them, Democrats like the way they're out there fighting and talking about things. It may be that when the party comes together in Denver this is one option people have to consider. I think, Senator Clinton, if that's the case, Senator Clinton would have to consider a lot of things. But she's a loyal American and loyal Democrat. I'm sure she has to do what she thinks is the best interest of her country and the party. But we're a long way from getting to that decision.

SAWYER: So, you think she-- You think she would do it and you would recommend her to do it?

CARVILLE: Well, I wouldn't-- I mean-- I think that she's going to be the nominee. And you know, what I'm going to do is do everything I can to ensure that. And when we get to Denver we'll see what the situation is. By that time, I will expect that she's won the Ohio primary, the Texas primary and the Pennsylvania primary and the to-be-held Florida and Michigan primary. So, I think she will be in a strong position. But, I-- The Democrat voters are in charge of this. I would rather let the Democratic voters and I think Chairman Dean is exactly right. This is a voter-driven process that we have here, so let's hear from them.

SAWYER: So, you think that she would do it if it came to it? You think she would do it if she's not ahead?

CARVILLE: I-- Again-- When we get to Denver, you know, whatever the situation is, I think that she'll be the person on top, as we say. We'll wait to see what everything is. I think she's getting ready-- She's poised to have some incredibly big election nights here. But I don't know that, because, you know, these voters have a way of surprising all. I'm not a person to believe you take anything for granted. I'm a person that believes you believe you go out -- I think-- I know she agrees with me on that, because I've never seen a more heroic person in politics than she's been in these primaries in Ohio and Michigan -- I mean, Ohio and Texas.

SAWYER: All right. I need to know this. Quick yes or no here. I have a bet with your old friend George Stephanopoulos.

CARVILLE: All right. Okay.

SAWYER: And it's a question of whether, she, if she is on top, she will certainly ask Barack Obama to be her running mate. Who is going to win? Is he going to win? Is she certainly going to ask him?

CARVILLE: I think there's a good chance of that. I don't know for sure. But, boy, we've had President Kennedy ask Senator Johnson. We had a case of President Reagan and George H.W. Bush in 1980. We had John Kerry and John Edwards. I think Democrats like both of their candidates. And I think whoever the nominee is going to have to look at their primary opponent and give serious consideration to it. And I kind of like that. I mean, I love Senator Clinton to death. She's probably my favorite person in the world. But I like Barack Obama a lot too. And, we'll have to see.

SAWYER: Favorite person in the world, huh? Okay.

CARVILLE: She is. Outside of my wife, Mary! Come on. And you, Diane, after Mary and Diane, then I love Hillary the best.

SAWYER: I think you have your priorities reconciled there. Thank you, James.

CARVILLE: I love being on the show. Thanks, Diane.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org