WASHINGTON - Now that Democrat Hillary Clinton's presidential hopes appear to be fading, some Democrats are talking about the possibility of Barack Obama taking Clinton on as his vice presidential running mate.
A Democratic supporter holds up two different signs as he awaits the arrival of US Democratic Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton (D-NY) at a campaign rally in Shepherdstown, West Virginia May 7, 2008. [Agencies]
"It's something that this party is going to have to think very seriously about in the next few weeks," Harold Ford, a former US congressman who is chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council, told MSNBC after Obama on Tuesday won easily in North Carolina and ran surprisingly strong in Indiana.
There had been talk of a reverse ticket a couple of months ago. Clinton had generated speculation about Obama being her vice presidential running mate after she won Texas and Ohio, saying, "Well, that may, you know, be where this is headed."
But Clinton's disappointing showing in Tuesday's contests has given Obama added momentum. The Illinois senator increased his almost insurmountable lead in pledged delegates who will help pick the nominee at the August convention.
For some Democrats, the idea of an Obama-Clinton ticket is intriguing. They say Obama could go a long way toward patching up differences in the party by picking his battle-hardened opponent to serve as his running mate for the campaign against Republican John McCain in the November election.
According to a CBS News/New York Times poll released last week, a majority of both Obama and Clinton voters say they would favor a so-called "Dream Ticket" involving both candidates.
"People are stopping to ask themselves, why just nominate someone who has 51 percent of the vote, when we can nominate a ticket that has 100 percent of the vote?" said Sam Arora, spokesman for Vote Both, a group trying to foster a joint ticket between the two top Democrats.
But Obama gave no sense on Wednesday that he was thinking about such a move.
Obama campaign manager David Plouffe told reporters the Illinois senator now was focusing on the remaining contests and undecided superdelegates.
"Obviously, when we secure the nomination, that's a decision Senator Obama will need to make about who he wants to choose as his running mate but I think it's premature to be talking about who that might be," he said.
The Clinton campaign was similarly vague.
"We have not had any conversations with the Obama campaign about such a ticket," said Clinton campaign spokesman Howard Wolfson. "Senator Clinton has said it is premature to discuss such a ticket. I have not heard her (express) any interest in such a ticket."