February 16th, 2008
05:22 PM ET
6 years ago

Clinton adviser: The race will be over in June

(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.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told a Bloomberg interviewer Friday that voter preferences and primary results should play a part in how superdelegates made their decision. DNC Chair Howard Dean later sent a memo to Talking Points Memo in which he said that “their role is to exercise their best judgment” of what is best for the party, but did not mention the pledged delegate result as a critical deciding factor.

Ickes – a Democratic National Committee member and Bill Clinton’s former White House deputy chief of staff - told reporters that neither of the Democratic White House hopefuls is close to winning the nomination, and that Obama was trying to prematurely call the primary season to a close.

“I understand Sen. Obama wants to rush to judgment on this deal and cut this thing down. You know, he’d like to be nominated right now. But there are a lot of delegates yet to be selected,” he said, pointing out that 18 states and territories have yet to vote this primary season.

Ickes voted last year to penalize Michigan and Florida - who moved their primary votes up in violation of party instructions - to seat their delegation at the party’s nominating convention this summer. On Saturday, he said both states’ delegations should be seated, and the results of those contests should stand. Hillary Clinton won the primaries in Florida and in Michigan, where she was the only major Democratic candidate to appear on the ballot.

He also said the Clinton campaign should have paid more attention to caucus states, where Obama has done very well this year - an observation that has been made by other Clinton staffers in recent calls.

–CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand


Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (333 Responses)
  1. Abby

    Thank you CNN for positive news on Hillary. What a breath of fresh air!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 16, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  2. Marc in CT

    I think the Clinton camp should be ashamed of themselves and any one else who thinks that Florida and Michigan delegates should be seated. They had a agreement due to the states moving their up primaries,
    all party's agreed. I guess some people's words are only good if it benefits them {Hillary}. I thought that all Americans were created equal,
    I guess I was wrong, Because once again the Clintons get to say or do
    whatever they want.

    February 16, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  3. Rich F.

    Finally, a story that doesn't anoint Obama the winner with so much of the campaign left to go. Kudos to Harold Ickes for letting everyone know that. And shame on CNN for once again tilting the coverage in favor of Obama, making it seem like only Senator Clinton's name was on the ballot in Florida. The fact is Obama's was too, and he even broke the rules and ran TV ads there. Hillary still beat him, as she will when all is said and done.

    February 16, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  4. Trev

    Its about time that Clinton's people respond to the arrogence of the Obama campaign. They told us it was over last Tuesday. Clinton wants more people to have their say. As people become aware that Hillary offers more solutions than Obama, more and more working Americans will join her. You don't have to be against Obama to be for Hillary!

    February 16, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  5. Muyoyeta

    There you go: You are a superdelegate and you vote not to seat two states that violated party rules. And now the candidate you are supporting is in trouble, you go against what you stood for. What a bunch of hypocrites these politicians can be! Do these guys have any integrity at all?

    February 16, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  6. TheMightyC

    Hil-LIAR-ry dismissed every caucus state that she didn't win as "not that big of a deal or unimportant." This shows her motivation for becoming president is "power," and further shows, she LIED about her concern, for the welfare of "All" the American people. After the lack of judgment, managerial skill, and civility that's evident by the deterioration of Clinton's campaign, what makes her think that the American people could trust, and place their confidence in her, to be an effective president? Her polarizing antics, along with her disregard for integrity, is truly unforgivable! Whatever happened to your word being bond? If a person can't be trusted in small matters, they definitely can't be trusted in major situations. Hil-LIAR-ry is on the verge of becoming a train wreck! I guess the real question is: WILL THE DNC ALLOW HIL-LIAR-RY TO WRECK THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY!!!!

    February 16, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  7. abigi

    How can the obama's campaign manager say that super delagates decision won't be the voice of the people.

    What is the voice of the people?

    Obama is not leading Hillary by 1000 votes.

    He is only leading hillary by a few margin,so the voice of demoractic voters are divided between obama and hillary.

    I have always said Obama can't win this nomination.

    February 16, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  8. Frank Esper, Cleveland Ohio

    I believe that as much as I believe she really plans to go against special interests

    February 16, 2008 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  9. Yvette Ezell

    (POLITICS-as-USUAL) Trying to change the rules to suit your benefit is just the same old politics. I'm tired...the American people are tired of this type of politics. It was clearly voted last year to penalize Michigan and Florida, it would be an outrage to seat them at the convention this summer.

    February 16, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  10. onyeka

    funny..for a potential president to acgt like a 10th grader..the most amatuer ads of the campaign

    February 16, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  11. Bill

    Clinton's been getting owned and is now her advisers say she has it in the bag...? I don't get it...? This is the kind of stuff that turns me off from the Clinton campaign

    February 16, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  12. Leela

    Hillary always has the unethical ways to win...she can always use those...she has 35 years of experince in doing whatever it takes..even lies. she will do well ...only a true talent of a phony.

    honesty, truth, fair and square, good judgement, work for the americans...are all foreign concept to her.

    February 16, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  13. Shelby in Seattle

    Wow!

    "Having the nomination nailed down by june" does not sound like a "Underdog". Its sounds more like a Monty Python movie where the guy loses both arms in a fight and utters "Its just a flesh wound".

    Its over. its over....its OVER!

    February 16, 2008 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  14. Randy

    Sigh, I'm really trying to wrap myself around why the Clinton campaign decided to bring up the Michigian/Florida delegates not being seated after Super Tuesday. Could it be that they figured the Dem front-runner nomination would be wrapped up? I take that to be the case. This is dirty politics, and if it continues I can see it dividing the Dem party.

    ~R

    February 16, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  15. Michael Black

    The unfortunate response of this country is to attempt to change the rules of which have been voted on and agreed to by a particular party. If there is to be fairness in any competition, there must first be agreement on the rules of the game, and how victory is declared. Certainly there is concern when in the entire campaign all canidates have been on the ballot, and the delegates selected along with the counted vote have been agreed to. How is it even possible that there is consideration of representation from the states of Florida and Michigan to partake in the party nomination when there was a willful act of both to ignor rather than conform to party guideline. More so it is ambiguious how one canidate campaigns and the others do not.

    February 16, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  16. Lucy

    Obama's name was also on the ballot for Florida's primary.

    February 16, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  17. Missie

    OBAMA IS OKAY WITH ME. MY VOTE WAS FOR HILLARY AT FIRST UNTIL HER HUSBAND STARTED RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT AGAIN AND SHE ALLOWED IT TO HAPPEN BECAUSE IT HAPPENED MORE THAN ONCE; SO WHO WILL BE IN CHARGE OF THE WHITE HOUSE. I RESPECT OBAMA BECAUSE HE’S BEEN OBEYING THE RULES, THAT TELLS YOU ALOT ABOUT A PERSON AND NOW HILLARY IS JUST AS HUNGRY AS EVER AND WILL DO WHATEVER SHE CAN TO WIN. I THINK IF IT WOULD HAVE BEEN OBAMA IN HER POSITION RIGHT NOW HE WOULD HAVE JUST TAKEN IT LIKE A MAN WITHOUT THROWING PUNCHES AT HILLARY BUT STILL RUNNING A FAIR RACE. LOOK AT WHAT HAPPENED IN FLORIDA WHEN SHE ALREADY KNEW THAT SHE WASN’T SUPPOSE TO GO BUT SHE WENT ANYWAY AND NOW THAT SHE IS LOSING SHE WANT THOSE VOTES TO COUNT BUT IF SHE WOULD BE WINNING SHE WOULDN’T HAVE THOUGHT TWICE ABOUT IT.

    February 16, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  18. Paul Lennon

    Maybe Obama should give Clinton all the delegates from states he lost.

    I think America better wake up to the Obama , before John McCain and the republicans show him a thing or two

    I guess everyone forgot about 2000 and 2004
    As a matter of fact, Obama sounds alot like Bush 2 in 1999

    February 16, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  19. Sylvia

    BINGO!!!!

    February 16, 2008 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  20. Grace

    The first presidential election I was eligible to vote in was 2000, and the twist in events in Florida was a rude awakening to the fact that elections aren't necessarily about the people who voted. But I was able to tell myself then that my chosen candidate had been unfairly routed by the other party.

    If in 2008, I see my chosen candidate done in AGAIN by arcane rules and some august body's special wisdom, and that the hamstringing's done from INSIDE THE PARTY? I'll lose it. And I'll have a very hard time believing all of this nonsense about America's leadership in democracy, or that we have any business whatsoever interfering with the democratic elections of others.

    February 16, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  21. Jason

    It's amazing that Ickes all of a sudden wants to change the earlier decision that he had a hand in to accomodate the Florida and Michigan delegates. Regardless of who you support, that comment sums up the entire "stench" surrounding the Clinton campaign.

    February 16, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  22. mike

    hmmm, first it was Feb 5th, then March 4th and now June.
    HRC bid for the presidency is dying slowly but surely

    February 16, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  23. kent

    Never mind the distance- just go away

    February 16, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  24. CJ

    I hope so. I support her, and I don't want a messy convention. The super delegates should do what they want to do.

    February 16, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  25. Robb, New York

    Yeah, the race will be over in June, and God willing Barack will have the nomination, not Has-Been Hillary. And if that were the case, I would sincerely hope that the Clinton faction would accept the will of Democratic voters nationwide and step aside without having superdelegates force-feed us a Clinton ticket or make other attempts to change the rules of the game for their own benefit. She should either be a winner or a loser, but never a sore loser.

    February 16, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
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