KENOSHA, Wisconsin (CNN) – Hillary Clinton is preparing to take her nomination fight all the way through June and to the Democratic convention in Denver, she told reporters in Wisconsin Saturday.
"I campaigned with my husband until he wrapped up this nomination in June [of 1992]," she said at a press conference here. "I thought it was fun. I had a good time. I am prepared to go the distance."
Her comments echoed those of campaign adviser Harold Ickes, who said on a conference call earlier in the day that neither candidate will earn the 2,025 pledged delegates needed to win the nomination, and that the 796 party insiders known as superdegates should be able to discern on their own which candidate can best "carry the ticket" in November.
Clinton argued that the superdelegates are "supposed to exercise independent judgement" and "make their decisions based on anything they choose to base it on."
"That is their role," she said.
This year's protracted nomination fight, Clinton said, is good for party excitement and is hardly out of the ordinary in American political history.
"I know some of you have only covered the '04 and 2000 campaign, which were really kind of anomalies," she said. "The nominees were determined early. But that's not the usual pattern. My husband didn't wrap up the nomination in '92 until June. And usually it takes a while to sort all this out."
The New York senator said she will urge her delegates at the convention to seat the delegations from Michigan and Florida, who voted for Sen. Clinton but had been previously stripped of their convention votes by the Democratic National Committee for holding early primaries.
"If there are contested delegations, the convention votes on them. Those are the rules," she said.
– CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby
(CNN) - One of Hillary Clinton’s senior advisers said Saturday on a conference call with reporters that the New York senator would have the nomination “nail(ed) down” after primary season voting ends in June, when Puerto Rico weighs in.
“At or about, certainly shortly after, the seventh of June, Hillary’s going to nail down this nomination. She’s going to have a majority of the delegates,” Harold Ickes said, thanks to a combination of pledged delegates awarded through primary and caucus votes, and superdelegates – Democratic elected officials and party leaders who are free to choose any candidate they wish. Ickes is himself a superdelegate.
Obama campaign manager David Plouffe immediately responded to Ickes, saying in a statement the Clinton campaign was “attempting to have superdelegates overturn the will of the Democratic voters, or change the rules they agreed to at the 11th hour in order to seat non-existent delegates from Florida and Michigan.
“The Clinton campaign should focus on winning pledged delegates as a result of elections, not these say-or-do-anything-to-win tactics that could undermine Democrats’ ability to win the general election,” said Plouffe.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – She's faced the glare of public life since she was a girl, but Chelsea Clinton must contend with renewed press scrutiny as she increasingly assumes a role in her mother's campaign for president.
The former first daughter always has been off-limits to the media, especially while she was growing up in the White House.
But pressure to burst this protective bubble is likely to grow as the soon-to-be 28-year-old campaigns across the country for Sen. Hillary Clinton, even heading to Hawaii - Sen. Barack Obama's home turf.
(CNN) – Barack Obama’s campaign launched a television ad critical of Hillary Clinton Saturday in Wisconsin, the fourth negative spot between the two Democratic presidential campaigns in the past four days.
The ads have all centered around Obama’s decision not to debate Clinton in the state before the primary vote on Tuesday. The Clinton spots have tied that decision to what it says are flaws in Obama’s stands on issues like health care and Social Security. Obama’s team has made similar charges about Clinton’s positions, and defended the Illinois senator’s decision.
“After 18 debates, with two more coming, Hillary says Barack Obama is ducking debates? It's the same old politics,” says the announcer in “Same Old Politics,” criticizing the New York senator’s proposal for universal health care and praising Obama’s position on retirement benefits and ending tax breaks for oil companies.
“Tired of the same old politics? Vote for change we can believe in,” says the announcer in the 30-second spot.
On Wednesday, Hillary Clinton’s campaign unveiled the race’s first negative spot in Wisconsin, criticizing Obama for not agreeing to more debates.
Obama’s campaign struck back the next day with an ad that responded to Clinton’s, calling the original spot an instance of "the same old politics of phony charges and false attacks." On Friday, Clinton’s campaign debuted another ad, a response to what it called “false attacks” in the Obama spot.
Wisconsin's voters head to the polls next Tuesday, February 19.
–CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand