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. jamal

    "Ickes voted last year to penalize Michigan and Florida". So the now they are losing want to change the rules. Billary being Billary. Bush=Billary.

    February 16, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  2. Citizen

    Ickes is on crack. He is one double talking mofo.

    February 16, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  3. Barack Obama Supporter from Lawrence Kansas

    How can Ickes vote to strip the delegates from Michigan and Florida before the primary season began, and now say he wants them to be seated?

    I smell day old, rotten fish.

    February 16, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  4. Jim in Orlando

    So, according to Ickes, Hillary will win it with superdelegates, and the number of states that Obama wins is irrelevent. I think the Republicans are hoping that both Ickes and Bill Clinton keep talking ! In fact, please do not shut-up ! You would appear to be the gifts that keep giving ... to McCain !

    February 16, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  5. Louis

    The PEOPLE will nail it down. Whether the PEOPLE decide if its Clinton or Obama, the PEOPLE will decide who nails it down.

    February 16, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  6. observer#1

    Obama wants to call this election now because he is falling out of the protective hands of the Care Bears Inc" that have been trying to hype up a man we know little about. It's like he just one day fell out of the air and into a Presidential race. As far as Florida, he ran ads on tv , he took over $3 million worth of campaign money out of Florida. How dare he not want the voices of millions in Florida heard. He also got over $800,000 campaign money from Michigan. They are citizens of the USA , they went out and voted and their voice should be heard. These two states votes were more appropriate than caucus votes. Florida and Michigan are as much America as any of the other states, count them .

    February 16, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  7. Prashant

    I am horified by Ickes' shamelessness in asking for Michigan and Florida to be seated when he once voted to disallow them. Just because it is now Hillary that needs them, he has totally thrown all sense of fairness to the winds and flipped his opinion.

    I hope voters will speak for a new dawn in politics and reject such dishonesty by people like Ickes

    February 16, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  8. RP

    Lemme see... she lost the last eight caucuses and primaries and is all but certain to lose the next two on Tuesday. Her lead in Texas is evaporating and may in fact already have been reversed and this guys is talking about wrapping it up for her? What is he smoking?

    February 16, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  9. Nic

    Mr Ickes, that's clear hypocrisy my man.

    February 16, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  10. James of Indiana

    I am outraged by the Clinton campaign's advocacy of including election results from Michigan and Florida. Senator Clinton's desire to win has blinded her to fairness, party rules, her former commitments, or party health.

    As a committed Democrat, I believe that each candidate should wage as competitive and aggressive campaign as possible. However, I expect that to be done with integrity and fairness. It seem to me that the Clinton campaign is willing to risk irreparably damaging the party, if it will get her the nomination. My sense is that should Hilliary Clinton loose the nomination, she will run as an independent. I am starting to worry that her goals no longer conform to those of the democratic Party.

    February 16, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  11. Leslie

    First it was Super Tuesday, and it would be done. Then it was March 4 and it would be done...now it won't be done till June? So let me get this straight...Ickes votes against seating the delegates last year, but now when his candidate has to have those delegates to win, he thinks they should count?...and wasn't it only yesterday that Hillary said that the votes from the caucuses didn't really represent the voice of the people? You would think that these supposedly intelligent folks would know that the public can see through such flagrant hypocracy, wouldn't you?

    February 16, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  12. C. LaMar

    "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. "

    SAME OLD POLITICS...

    February 16, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  13. mary

    Be careful Hillary, I think I read where Obama is trying to buy superdelegates. IS THAT FAIR?
    I hope you win Hillary or I will vote for McCain.

    February 16, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  14. chevy

    of course he wants them seated! she will get the lead! IF SHE GETS THE NOMINATION WE WILL ALL KNOW DEMOCRACY IS DEAD!

    February 16, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  15. Peter

    Hillary 08 – she represents the American that makes sense.

    February 16, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  16. Satch

    Hillary and the Clinton campaign are delusional. They have no idea what kind of a beating they are in for next month.
    Keeping smoking that good stuff Hill & try to inhale as deep as possible.

    Obama 08’

    February 16, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  17. observer#1

    Why does CNN keep all of my comments in moderation? Is it because I am a Hillary supporter? Many Hillary supporters notice this, what is with it?

    February 16, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  18. Brian

    I keep looking at the number of pledged delegates up for grabs. With the lead in pledged delegates that Obama has, she's going to have to pull off a miracle to catch up. The 60-40 split in New Jersey only gave her 15 more delegates than it gave him, and that was one of the largest states. He's ahead by 124 pledged delegates right now. That's a very substantial lead.

    February 16, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  19. Steve TX

    Right!! Hey, Hillary, just stay tough, focused, and forge ahead with your real message of change and hope. We're counting on you and backing you up all the way to the White House. (Barack and Michelle may have coronated themselves just a bit prematurely, don't y'all think?)

    February 16, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  20. Sly in Seattle

    First Ickes said the Florida and Michigan delegates should not be seated, and then after Hillary has lost 8 in a row he things they should count...

    do-anything-say-anything tactics
    come on... same old politics

    OBAMA 08!

    February 16, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  21. Jeff an Independent

    Well, isn't that more of the same? As a voter in one of the states that has its primary in June, we'll be working our tails off to insure that she gets NONE of our pledged delegates. The closer to Denver this gets, the WORSE not better this will get for her.

    All this statement says, is "We'll run this to the end if it destroys the party." Well, Hillary, bring it on.

    February 16, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  22. Cyndi

    My guess: if the candidates had been allowed to campaign, it would have been Hillary up 10% in Florida, and Obama up 15% in Michigan.

    So, it would still be a tie.

    February 16, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  23. Ilse Leiker

    yeah....OK. Hillary's reaching again...

    February 16, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  24. Audrey

    Hillary Clinton is so wrong and underhanded to try to the delegates to overturn their first decision. They knew the rules from the beginning and it should be followed to the end. I know she wants to be the one chosen to run for President, but she wants to break the rules to do it. What is she going to do if she is President and how can we trust her?

    February 16, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  25. citizen_c

    In the previous article, Bill was trying to make the case that Obama is ignoring HIS legacy. I thought Hillary was running on her own merits. She SAID that she was running on her own merits and that we the voters should decide based on those. Can someone please explain to me how she can do that while taking credit for what Bill did?

    And if it is the case that she can take credit for his presidency, doesn't it also follow that she should take credit for his failures as president as well? This is just crazy. You can't have it both ways.

    Obama was right on the mark. Which Clinton is he running against?

    February 16, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
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