At the end of the debate at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood tonight, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama if they would agree to either a Clinton-Obama or Obama-Clinton ticket this year. Transcript to come, but here’s a rough version:
Obama started first and gave a moderately wordy response that ended with, “Hillary would be on anyone’s short list,” and then went on to talk about wanting the very best people in his administration.
Blitzer: “So that’s a yes?”
Obama did not say no. Blitzer tossed the question to Clinton, who said, “I agree with what Barack just said.”
Blitzer: So that’s a yes?”
Clinton did not say no.
Update Feb. 1: Here is CNN’s transcript:
BLITZER: This will be the last question. It will go to both of you, to Senator Obama first.
The more I speak to Democrats out there — not only the Democrats here at the Kodak Theatre, but all over the country — they take a look at the two of you and they see potentially a dream ticket. A dream ticket for the White House.
There may have been some nasty words exchanged or angry words or whatever, but the question is this: Would you consider an Obama/Clinton or Clinton/Obama ticket going down the road?
OBAMA: Well, obviously there’s a big difference between those two.
But, look, let me say this. And I said this at the top. I respect Senator Clinton. I think her service to this country has been extraordinary. And I’m glad that we’ve been walking on this road together and that we are still on that road.
We’ve got a lot more road to travel. And so I think it’s premature for either of us to start speculating about vice presidents, et cetera. I think it would be premature and presumptuous.
I can say this about — about who I want not just as vice president but as a cabinet member. Part of what I would like to do is restore a sense of what is possible in government.
And that means having people of the greatest excellence and competence. It means people with integrity. It means people with independence, who are willing to say no to me so, so that, you know, no more yes-men or women in the White House.
Because I’m not going to be right on every single issue.
But you know, it is really important, I think, for us also to give the American people this sense, as they are struggling with their mortgages and struggling with their health care and trying to figure out how to get their kids in a school that will teach them and prepare them and equip them for this century, that they get a sense that government’s on their side, that government is listening to them, that it’s carrying their voices into the White House.
And that’s not what’s happened over the last seven years. And whether it’s my cabinet or it is the lowest federal civil servant out there, I want them to understand they are working for the American people, to help the American people achieve their dreams.
That’s the reason I’m running for president of the United States of America.
BLITZER: So, is the answer yes — it sounds like a yes, that she would be on your short list.
OBAMA: I — you know, I’m sure Hillary would be on anybody’s short list. So.
BLITZER: All right. What about, Senator Clinton, what do you think about a Clinton/Obama, Obama/Clinton ticket?
CLINTON: Well, I have to agree with everything Barack just said.
BLITZER: That means it’s a yes, right?
CLINTON: This has been an extraordinary campaign, and I think both of us have been overwhelmed by the response that we have engendered, the kind of enthusiasm and intensity that people feel about each of us. And so, clearly, we are both dedicated to doing the best we can to win the nomination, but there is no doubt we will have a unified Democratic Party.
We will go into the November election prepared to win. And — and I want to just add that, you know, on Monday night, I’m going to have a national town hall, an interactive town hall. It will be carried on the Hallmark Channel and on my Web site, HillaryClinton.com, because I know you had tens of thousands of questions.
OBAMA: What about my Web site?
CLINTON: Yes. I want your folks to participate, too.
OBAMA: I’m just kidding.
CLINTON: And it’s going to be across the country.
Monday night at 9:00 Eastern, 6:00 here on the West Coast.