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BLITZER'S BLOG: Obama's Hail Mary Option
October 5th, 2011
03:57 PM ET

BLITZER'S BLOG: Obama's Hail Mary Option

By CNN's Wolf Blitzer

(CNN) – I was listening to an interview on “The View” the other day with Vice President Joe Biden, who was asked whether he would definitely be President Obama’s running mate next year. “I haven’t figured out how not to be,” he said with a smile.

At this point, I certainly agree Biden will be on the ticket. For one thing, I know from all my White House sources that the president is very high on him and deeply appreciates his advice. The two men get along very well. They have been a solid team.

Still, there is one scenario that could change all that. If the economy is still awful next summer and Obama’s poll numbers are really low, he could throw a Hail Mary pass and find a way to lose Biden and ask Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to be his running mate.

That would certainly not be easy, but I have covered politics long enough to know that anything is possible, especially when a candidate sees a potential election defeat. They start considering all options, including very politically and personally painful options.

Clinton’s approval numbers are relatively strong right now. She would certainly energize the Democratic Party base, including women, minorities and seniors. Independent voters might be inclined to come back to Obama.

With her on the ticket, former President Bill Clinton would be a non-stop campaigner, too. He is one of the most talented politicians in our generation and is especially effective on the campaign trail.

This year, Clinton firmly told me in Cairo that she’s not interested in any of that. “Would you like to be vice president of the United States?” I asked her. “No,” she replied.

I believe her, too. But politicians change their minds.

One thing I do know is that if she were on the ticket and Obama were re-elected, she would immediately emerge as the leading Democratic candidate for president in 2016.

Bottom line: Strange things happen in politics. This could be a wild ride.

RELATED: Obama approval plummets in NH

Post by:
Filed under: 2012 election • Hillary Clinton • Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. Perk

    Millionaire Surtax ..OCCUPY OPPOSE ! Read the definition of Communism and the transitional stage of what a Marxist is all about. It's Halloween... BOO ! Is it in America ? Call the Economic and Financial Ghost Buster's !

    October 6, 2011 at 11:45 am |
  2. Billy Heedin

    Yeh, this country is in a mess. We ought to line up all the politicians in the white house now, against a wall and play firing squad on them. Import a totally new leadership. Survive alone, I don't think we really need help from other countries. I don't think we need to help any other countries. If the republicans would show some concern for "we the people" they would have passed some bills to help us. I know that President Obama has some good methods. But, even if they are good, the republicans refuse to help him, in turn hurting us.

    October 6, 2011 at 12:01 am |
  3. David

    Forget putting Hillary in the #2 position. If the Democrats are to have a solid chance at victory in 2012, Hillary needs to be at the TOP of the ticket. Obama's time has come and gone. We are over him.

    October 5, 2011 at 10:51 pm |
  4. Emitr

    I would like that. It would keep a smart man in the White House and put a smart woman there after him.

    October 5, 2011 at 10:46 pm |
  5. Tom Hughes

    I don't understand this country? We have so many experts in this country that don't know jack about anything! I would like to know what makes you an expert on anything? Experts know everthing about our running our country to how to take a piss in public! Give me a break! This government has no clue how to govern! This is the time for the poeple of this great country to take back what we have lost. Put a fence around Washington DC with electric fence's and call it ATTICA #2.

    October 5, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
  6. Tom in San Diego

    A real Hail Mary would be for Obama to be Vice President (a spot where he can't hurt anybody) and let Hillary be President....

    But Obama is waaaay to much of a Narcisist to let that happen....

    October 5, 2011 at 10:39 pm |
  7. Bob Gordan


    Obama has destroyed our great nation, and this is all you have to talk about. How low can you go Wolf? I can't believe I use to like you.

    October 5, 2011 at 10:34 pm |
  8. Bob Gordan

    I thought Obama was going to help the middle class. Remember hope and change? WHERE IS IT?

    October 5, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
  9. mike proctor

    come on wolf forget the 2012 electon and lets get down to the present problem JOBS,JOBS,once we get everything under control and President Obama job bill sign into law then we can think about the election and who should run against whom. The new commentators need to stay on the JOB BILL and Congress activities and stop stirring up the BS in this Country.

    October 5, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
  10. Tom H - Seattle

    I'd like to see her atop the ticket in 2016. She's so good in a very sensitive job right now, I'd hate to see her leave it to run.

    October 5, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
  11. patcee

    I don't know why people keep thinking Hillary would run when all she has ever said is NO. I don't see why she would want to get out there and go through campaigning again. As she has said, she is hoping grandmotherhood is what is in her future, not a political office.

    October 5, 2011 at 10:18 pm |
  12. Rachel

    Kick out every politician who does not immediately agree to enact a constitutional amendment to ban corporate personhood and corporate money in politics. Tax financial transactions. Invest in education and green energy. Fix our infrastructure. Give health care to everyone. End the wars, keep military for defensive purposes only.

    October 5, 2011 at 10:14 pm |
  13. Jeff

    I think the liability of having Obama's name even closer to Hillary's would be enough to not be on the ticket. Obama would be sacrificing the lamb for his own benefit and the detriment of the entire party.

    October 5, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
  14. larrys

    Looks like Blitzer is trying to create news again.....when will he wake up....??

    October 5, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
  15. Alex

    @Jim Thomas. Everyone seems to be defaulting to impeach this, impeach that, vote everyone out. So you're saying no one should run the government then. Or a bunch of amateurs with zero experience at a time when the government needs all the help it can get. Anyone who thinks replacing all the Republicans with Democrats or all the Democrats with Republicans or replacing everyone with Tea Party will actually help one single thing, they're not thinking. An interesting part of all this hatred towards Obama is that no one has come out and actually said with conviction that they think McCain would have done any better. Or Hilary Clinton, for that matter. McCain would have had his own pet project besides health care; Clinton ditto. But they'd have still ended up with an economy dealt a near-mortal blow during the Bush administration. (Hey – blame the Dems all you want for that; if you do, remember you then need to blame the Republicans, not Obama, Can't have it both ways.)

    October 5, 2011 at 9:50 pm |
  16. JB

    I predicted that Hillary would be on the 2012 ticket with Obama as his VP the day he was innagurated in 2009.

    October 5, 2011 at 9:47 pm |
  17. Freddy

    An Obama-Clinton ticket could energize the base at least somewhat more than it is now.

    October 5, 2011 at 9:33 pm |
  18. someone else

    If things don't change radically for the Democrats, Hillary Clinton will be the presidential candidate, not the vice-presidential. Obama has lost the confidence of the people who elected him. she is the only democrat that could both pressure obama to step aside and also have some chance of being elected.

    October 5, 2011 at 9:30 pm |
  19. Richard

    What a crazy notion. You must love stirring the pot with such mindless speculation. In case you have not learned politics is NOT about what is not impossible; it is about what is LIKELY.

    October 5, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
  20. Melvin B.

    Believe me President Obama does not need a Hail Mary option; the GOP field is very weak. Obama will be re-elected; Obama will win the Electoral College and the popular vote. I think you should stick to reporting the news and doing “The dougie”.

    October 5, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
  21. smallmouth6

    A Hail Mary pass isn't needed by Obama. And, Joe Biden doesn't deserve to be dumped from the ticket because someone at CNN thinks it makes for a good column.

    October 5, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
  22. Dixie AZ

    I Truly wish the "Dream Team" would partner up. Please think about it Mr. President and Madam Secretary of State. Folks are already pouring into the streets and I'm pretty sure most of them are NOT members of the tea party.

    October 5, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
  23. Pam

    Wolf, this is not a new idea. I said it 6 months ago.

    October 5, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
  24. Marti Meyer

    Does Obama need a Hail Mary move? No one in this field of GOP candidates has a workable plan to pull us out of this nosedive. People at both ends of the political spectrum are unhappy with Obama, so this should be an easy time for a really smart Republican leader to storm in and take office. Why can't the GOP find ONE candidate who's up to the task?

    October 5, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
  25. Brian

    Wolf, Hillary Clinton was the leading / best candidate last time around. And if one is objective, she is the best candidate – superior to Obama – this time around. In 2016, I am not sure she remains the best candidate She would be 69 right before the election. That is a lot of years for gray hair.

    October 5, 2011 at 8:18 pm |
  26. qbits

    Hillary should stay out of it and let Obama sink on his own weight–which he will. Obama is a failure of epic proportions and has come close to destroying this country by shoving so far in debt were staring Greece in the face and if Greece falls Europe topples like dominos and down goes America with it.

    October 5, 2011 at 8:15 pm |
  27. NoBushNOClintonNoObama

    These three have made enough of a mess to the country. Get a new blood.

    October 5, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
  28. ibrad

    And the game keeps playing on as you play with everybodies lives! Who will do this and that OMG! The same time normal America is trying to find how to buy food and clothes for their kids ! It must be nice to live in a completely different world than everyone else!
    You wonder why the Wall st march now. This will not end without blood and I truly hope it is banker blood!

    October 5, 2011 at 8:10 pm |
  29. Dimitri

    It has to do it now. Doing it in the summer will look weak and self motivated

    October 5, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
  30. Ray

    The American public is now blaming the president for a global economic crisis, that was set into effect by the real estate market! We are so into these 24 hour news cycle, I need it now society that we do not give new policies a chance to work! The wars are winding down, this president has passed more landmark legislation than we have seen in decades, he has protected this country and all but put Al Queda out of business, passed heath care legislation that was a long fought democratic battle and now everyone is turning there back on him!!!! American's always fall in love with the new flavor of the month. The Tea Party is like a new hot boy band that keeps saying the same thing over and over, but the song sticks in your head! Maybe if we just support the president and make our voices heard on how to change actual issues and stop playing to this political pandering, we can get something done in this country. President Bush and Wall Street created a false economic boom with the lack of regulation on the lending industry and we are searching for economic numbers that cannot be sustained. Lets pass some energy bills that create a new export for the US and get people back to work by rebuilding our manufacturing sector and double down on technology education!!!

    October 5, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
  31. Monique

    Not the Hail Mary option but rather the Hail Hillary one.

    October 5, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
  32. hillary for pres

    I disagree on this. I don't think Hillary will taint her chance at being President by running as a VP on Obama's ticket. She doesn't want to be second fiddle – she wants to be the top. If she runs with Obama, and he loses – all her changes to be President will be tossed out the door as a member of the duo that sunk. If he wins, and continues to trash the economy the way he has, which is a given since he is anti-business, then she loses all chance of being President after he leaves office. Net – the Vegas odds so NO to Hillary messing up her career. She has done the smart thing and worked hard, but stayed away from Obama's uber-liberal politics. I don't see her digging in and wallowing in the mud now.

    October 5, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
  33. Scott

    Putting Hillary on the ticket is probably the ONLY way that Obama could win in 2012.

    October 5, 2011 at 7:41 pm |
  34. eric calderone

    Thanks to Obama and Democratic Party stupidity, Hillary Clinton was denied the nomination in 2008. She must have struggled hard to corral her justifiable irritation at settling for a position in the administration of the inexperienced individual who kept her from the nomination. I certainly hope she would not allow Obama to degrade her further by being his V.P. Let the American electorate give Obama what is coming to him. By 2012 he will have given the country 4 years of his management style and leadership, which he highly touted in 2008. Let America respond and cast its opinion on his dubious talents.

    October 5, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
  35. DrDanno

    Here are the demands from "We are the 99%, and we're too big to fail!":
    Modernize and reinstitute Glass Steagall
    Repeal Citizens United
    Outlaw lobbying of Congress
    Repeal the Patriot Act
    End the wars and bring our troops home
    Enforce a code of ethics for the Supreme Court
    End the perqs of salary for life, health insurance for life for all Congress people

    October 5, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
  36. Chloe in Chatsworth, CA

    They could just switch jobs. Joe Biden would make a great Secretary of State.

    October 5, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
  37. Burbank

    What an insult to Hillary! She should be President and unqualified,inexperienced Obama should have been V.P. If that had happened we wouldn't be facing so many problems now. But that's the price of hanging on to chauvinism. People were still far too sexist to vote for a woman Prez.

    October 5, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
  38. FauxNewz

    Hilary running as VP would sew up the Presidential Election for the Republicans.

    October 5, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
  39. No fool

    Not only that but there is also Chelsea, waiting in the wings. Didn't she recently get a law degree?

    October 5, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
  40. Jason

    The real "hail mary option" for Obama is to withdraw from accepting or seeking the democratic nomination and allowing Hilary to run as the PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE

    October 5, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
  41. Mark Cutler

    Better yet, why not just step aside and let Hilary Clinton be the nominee for President. That would energize the party even more and maybe she would take a harder line in bargaining with the Republicans

    October 5, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
  42. ts

    I agree w/ Wolf and hope that Biden would understand and agree to let H step in. I really like her and trust her too.

    October 5, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  43. hussi23k

    Great suggestion but there is one problem, How do we know these 2 will work together?. If he selects her, she will know he is in a fix and needs her DESPERATELY. How then can he turn around and he her effective boss knowing she is the reason his president again?

    October 5, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  44. LacrosseMom(real one)

    Well, Wolf, you make a good point but I disagree. Mrs. Clinton is a great Sec. of State, she did not want and wont want the VP position. I am a Catholic, and a registered Independent who will be campaigning and voting for President Obama. The Teapublicans (as I now call the GOP) are too extremist, they will not, repeat will not get the Independent vote. They have done nada...... since taking control of the House. In fact, they will be out in 2012.

    October 5, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  45. manny oliver

    President Obama can win with Hillary Clinton hands down!!!

    October 5, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  46. DB

    She will not be his running mate, she is going to after the nomination and Obama won't stand a chance against her. He has ticked off his base, has alienated the Independents and the Republicans despise him.

    Only way Dems have a chance to keep the WH in 2012 is if she runs. I hope she doesn't, because she is the Narcissus of American politics, she only cares about Hillary and nothing else.

    October 5, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
  47. Mark

    Every liberal is now begging for Clinton now that Obama flopped.

    Bill was successful because he signed off on what the GOP CONGRESS was proposing for a budget!

    October 5, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  48. Dr. Who

    If the Dems want to keep the white house, they need to field Hillary or someone else.
    If Obama is so great, then a primary will not hurt him ?

    October 5, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
  49. Sylvia

    About the protesters and interview w/Gingrich:
    He's got to be kidding right? He said its about a failed Presidency, Dodd/Frank should be repealed next week, fire Geitner, etc.. Give me a break, the protesters are protesting because the politicians in Washington are not representing the PEOPLE, they are representing the rich and rich corporations making millions and not hiring anyone; Republicans are the one's for big corporations and big business! Finances haveto go thru Congress, to get to the President before he can do anything about it. Well, now we know what the Republican playbook is going to be on this issue....

    October 5, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  50. Robert Read

    The "Occupy Wall Street" protests are the beginning of The American Spring. No body has been arrest and/or punishment for their actions that caused the Great Recession which is still with us. The Wall Street Banks and other Banks are hurting the American people and nothing is being done about it. WHY??

    October 5, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  51. Robert Read

    Subject: Italian and Iranian Justice

    Meredith Kercher deserves the same degree of justice given to Amanda Knox. Amanda Knox will always have a cloud over her regarding the murder in Italy.

    The Italian system of justice gave Amanda Knox a much better appeal than she could ever get in America.

    Two young men were held in an Iranian prison for about two years based on absolutely No proof of a crime being committed.

    Is the Iranian system of justice practiced in America?

    In the State of North Carolina are Americans charged with False Criminal Complaints based on absolutely No Probable Cause? Answer – Yes!

    Some Americans are convicted on the basis of Perjury as it is a game between unethical attorneys and District Judges. Others who don't get arrested yet just as those convicted are subject to Cruel and Unusual Punishment with No Remorse by those involved.

    Also in North Carolina the Rightful Owner of personal property can lose their property without any thing close to a "fair trial" or :fair hearing." Read the definitions of Grand Larceny and fait accompli.

    There will be a Day of Judgment for those who violate God's Commandments and human rights as well as Constitutional Rights. Their God who wears a three-piece red suit will tell them – Welcome Home.

    Thank You

    October 5, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
    • MM22 the world are you talking about?

      October 5, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
    • Drew

      Very heartfelt, insightful comment. Now if you could post it to the right article, it'd really be impressive. This one's about Hillary Clinton.

      October 5, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
    • wake up

      Amanda Knox was held for four years with absolutely no evidence of a crime committed.


      October 5, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
    • Bill

      I could care less about gods "commandments." God doesn't pay my bills, god doesn't go to work for me, and god sure the hell isn't taking care of my day to day activities...So I say god, leave me the hell alone and let me live my life in peace....

      October 5, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
  52. Jim Thomas

    We need new blood period.They all sleep crooked in the same bed.Get all of them out of here.All of you better pay attention to the protestors now before it is to late which time is running out for this batch of idiots we have in office.It is IMPEACHMENT and RECALL time all the way from top to bottom.Jim Thomas Phx.Az.

    October 5, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • dt

      100% on point. We also need an amendment to the Constitution that removes ALL money from politics and places term limits on Congress. A condition of FCC licenses would be to provide free political ad access (even amount to all candidates) of a certain amount of total time to each supported candidate. We would then get our real programming back without the stupid attack ads. If done, we would have our country back.

      October 5, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
    • Thatguy371

      So tell me, if we 'throw all the bums out', won't the new replacements be incumbents the following election? Then what will your plan be?

      October 5, 2011 at 8:45 pm |
  53. james lysiuk


    we should stop worrying about this election next year and focus on the problems at hand . The people of the united stated need help right now!!!!! there is to much bullshit going on , the american people are suffering especially the middle class.

    October 5, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • LacrosseMom(real one)

      Well said. We have enough to work on, now.

      October 5, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
    • sam

      I agree Obama should stop his campaign and fix the economy. Then
      he could win.

      October 5, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
    • chris

      Truer words were never written James, people need to work TOGETHER to help get this country back on it's feet again and it starts with a strong and healthy middle class

      October 5, 2011 at 8:36 pm |

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