(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
"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 both Florida and Michigan, where she was the only major Democratic candidate to appear on the ballot".
Is this America of 2008? Are these people democrates? Wow! Big liars! Obama 2008
I wish the DNC has to scrap the system of Superdelegates. I'm a voter and I don't want any party to trash my vote.
There are two types of polticians: the self-serving, ambitious politician who uses the votes of simple minds to achieve power and the politician who empowers people to work together to achieve the best for the country: HRC embodies the first type and Sen. Obama the second one. DNC, what is the best for this country? The American people know it already, do you?
It is absolutely outrageous that Ickes is trying to change the rules in the middle of the game - especially rules that he voted for! If Clinton wins the nomination only by seating Florida and Michigan delegates that were not validly chosen according to party rules that she (and Ickes) supported last fall, a lot of D's like me are going to sit on their hands during the campaign. Don't these people have any integrity?
Thank you CNN for pointing out the hipocrasy in Mr. Ickes statement. He voted for penalizing Florida and Michigan last year but is now in favor of seating their delgates.
Two additional points for this article:
1. Obama and Edwards weren't even on the ballot in Michigan... Because ALL of the candidates agreed not to campaign there (and he kept his word).
2. Many people in Florida have reported that they did not show up to their primaries because many people didn't think the results would count for the Presidential election. Of the people who did vote, the voters who voted 1 month early selected Clinton, but polls showed that thos who voted within a month of the primary selected Obama. Why? Because that was after his wins in Iowa, his close call in NH and NV, and his landslide in SC.
Hindsight is always 20/20.
That's her advisor's job. Sounds good.
I jsut don't understand what leaders in democratic party is doing. I myself a democrat but I might vote for McCain if DNC shows that they don't go by rules. It looks like democrats are in primary forgetting that there is a general election in November. If Florida and Michigan votes considered in selecting the candidates as is , waht it shows is that whenever necessary democrats don't go by rules. Good point for McCain for November. Also if Florida and Michigan seated and their result decide the candidate for democrat, it shows that there is no use of being law abinding citizen. It is a slap for all the citizens who voted legally. Finally USA becomes a laughing stock in the world. because those whi did something wrong decides the presidential candidate for democrats. I think McCain will use this point as well. I am tired of this drama. It is OK for Florida and Michigan to have another vote. But not the one they had without major democratic candidate. ANYways it looks like Democrats going to be doomed if Clinton get nominated by considering michigan and florida votes. I guess rather than fighting for the rights of people who voted, democrats in Florida and Michigan should consider how to save the face of the party. I am pretty sure voters will not mind go again and cast their vote in a legal ballot.
I am so frustrated with the Clinton political machine. Obama is being forced to campaign against Hillary, Bill, and Chelsea, not to mention the republicans. I don't think Hillary can bring about change. She is just going to continue promote the same old partisan politics as usual. It's time for a change!
Even when she's screwing up all over the place, Clinton still manages to be annoyingly arrogant. Amazing. Doesn't she realize that no one except her still believes she is entitled to the presidency?
I agree that Michigan and Florida should play a role, Split their delgates evenly, this gives both candidates the oportunity to reach the magic number prior to the convention.
Gemini or bust! Keep climbing girl.
Just saw a video on CNN of Mrs. Clinton attempting to lead her audience in a chant of "Yes we will."
Sounds vaguely familiar.
Miss Hillary, Puh-Leaseeee girl! Now you know very well that this democratic race will be over and done by next month! In addition to finding your voice, you should buy a clue.. or a vowel... or something! Have you ever heard of a reality check? It's kind of like a reality show.. except.. instead of checking out others, you check yourself before you wreck yourself! Love always, Shenehneh from Chappaqua
It is sad to see how desperate the Clintons and their supporters are getting. Last year everyone agrees to penalize Michigan and Flordia by not allowing their delegates to count and now that the Clintons are losing in the race and losing their support by the day, they now think the delegates in these two states should count. This is pathetic and hopefully everyone can see through this desperation.
Before making ant decision, Superdelegates must compare their stance with that of voters.
I am so tired of the Clintons...this is not a campaign to them but a coronation. By the way, why is cnn covering Bill Clinton so much...let's hear more from Michele Obama. My great concern from the Clintons is the role of Bill in the White House...ITS PRETTY BLEURY.
It is no good deal at all.
Suprise suprise. Now the Hillary staff is flip-flopping because their candidate is losing. The power-hungry Clintons will do anything to win, including destroying the Democratic party.
For the people of Texas and Ohio, I urge you to vote Obama to put an end to this potential, crippling effect the Clintons are performing.
Wow, she's determined. I cannot tell, however, if the determination stems from personal ambition or love of country. I will wager for the former.
What's up with this lame knock-off slogan "Yes We Will"? Is she kidding? She will stop at nothing and divide her own party in the process.
not so fast hillary!
Um, Obama's name was on the Florida primary. I love how CNN tries to pretend that he removed his name from Michigan AND Florida. Nice way to misrepresent the facts...
Ha ha! Good one Harold!! That was tooo funny! The race is going to be over March 4th when Obama wins Texas AND Ohio. You heard it here first folks.
Thanks for the laugh though, Harold. Good stuff.