February 16th, 2008
05:22 PM ET
7 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. Efe Igbide

    This surely reminds me of Africa. The Clintons honestly are not honorable loosers. They spin everything just for the greed of power. I used to think they call Nelson Mandela their hero. Mandela spent one term (4 years) in power and decided not to run for second term. Bilary has spent 8 years in power. They should just "CHILL"

    February 16, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  2. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    This is nothing more than an arrogant attempt to ignore the vote of the people which is not going to fly. Obama urges all his supporters there is still more work to be done before he claims the nomination which certainly is in contrast to Hillary. Again, the Clintons prove themselves untrustworthy and will do and say the unspeakable as it fits them. Vote Obama, the peoples choice.

    February 16, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  3. Rosario

    Clinton's camp is applying all its forces, real and symbolic, to get the nomination. But her nomination will be the end of the democratic party since M. Bloomberg will attract Obama's voters to his bid.

    February 16, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  4. Sandra

    No, it will be over soon than that. YES WE CAN! Obama '08

    February 16, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  5. wooha3

    Ickes voted to penalize Michigan and Florida, now wants to change his vote. What has happened to democracy? How can he even admit to this?
    The Clintons ignored the caucus states because it is too difficult to arrange voter fraud when every vote is represented by a voter who can be seen and counted by everyone in attendance.

    February 16, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  6. Allen

    The attempt to seat the Michigan and Florida delegates after EVERYONE, including Hillary Clinton, agreed that these two states should be penalized for violating party instructions, is a sure sign of desperation by the Clinton campaign. Always trying to change the playing the rules. Shameful.

    February 16, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  7. jer

    Talk is cheap. That's a bold statement by the Clinton campaign represented by Harold Ickes that they will be ahead in delegates by June 7 by counting super delegates. The only way he could know super delegates will give Hillary their support is through some underhanded activity. To all the people sending in your hard earned money to this campaign just be aware that it could be going to super delegates.
    More of the same Washington politics.

    February 16, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  8. Jenny

    I probably won't get my comment posted because of your bias, but I have watched Ballot Bowl and I am sick to my stomach of your coverage of Barack Hussein Obama and so little of Hillary Clinton. You did a piece about sexism and racism. You don't mind being sexist but please don't let yourself be even slightly hinted of being racist. What is your problem CNN. By the way Jack Cafferty remilnds me of a fingernail rubbing across a blackboard spewing venom out both sides of his mouth. He needs to invest in a smart looking toupee. He's following Obama too closely.

    February 16, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  9. Pisces from Minneapolis

    Obama sent out an email encouraging supporters to email superdelegates with their "stories". Superdelegates are legitimate delegates! Shame on you Nancy Pelosi for saying they shoud vote with their states. That says that the most important thing is for the elected members of the superdelegation to get reelected, not to do the right thing. Hillary can win the swing states, Obama cannot. Hasn't anyone heard of the electoral college?

    February 16, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  10. Pisces from Minneapolis

    Error in the article" Obama was on the Florida ballot.

    February 16, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  11. Robyn

    Same cast of characters that we do not need back in the White House...Ickes, Clintons and all the baggage from the past.

    Americans need a change that we can believe in and that Sen. Obama. We are so tired of the bi-partisan gridlock that is part of the Clinton's legacy which they are now fighting so hard to bring back.

    America wants a change that is why 23/50 states have favored Obama's message!
    Hillary is running for president of the Traditionally Blue Democratic States o America and for president of the Superdelegates.

    Obama for president of the UNITED States of America and for the PEOPLE!!!

    America, thank you, continue to TURN THE PAGE!!

    February 16, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  12. Dave in Florida

    Ickes admits to taking states for granted by not paying attention to them. Just like they took Wisconsin for granted by going directly to Texas after the Potomac primaries.

    They've mismanaged over $100 million in donations to where she had to loan her campaign $5 million. She's asked for the resignations of her campaign manager and her deputy.

    Now Bilary is trying to steal the election through the superdelegates. We won't allow his to happen. There will be an uprising and outcry if Obama does'nt get the nomination. The Clinton Machine will try to win at all costs, They'd rather see a Republican win if Hilary is not the nominee.

    OBAMA IN 08!!!!

    February 16, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  13. Zein

    Now they declare themselves are Winners ? Wow Shouldnt the public make a choice ? It sounds to me like they are trying to bribe !

    February 16, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  14. John Ferry

    I"m a fair minded democrat with a little yelllow dog, who considers most republicans as delusional sheep will be extremely upset if the Clintons win the nomination unfairly.

    If that happens, John McCain will get my vote.

    February 16, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  15. Jay in Ohio

    Ummmm, ok. If you say so. I think Obama and the voters will have something to say about that however.

    February 16, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  16. Blayze Kohime, Columbus OH

    Didn't her advisers also tell us she was going to win Maine for sure?

    February 16, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  17. bob

    Sound like wishful thinking to me and wanting it both ways, naturally Mr. Ickes flip- flop on seating of deligates from Michigan and Flordia comes as no surprise to anyone, after all he was a member of Bill Clinton's white house and one of the few who hasn't yet abandon ship.

    February 16, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  18. aware

    As Pat Buchan says, Barack would never get away with all this "mushy stuff" in the general election if he became the nominee. Also, new stats give Hillary the edge in the general election swing states.

    It isn't over people. Hillary, the best candidate for president, will win inspite of media bias and obamamania. Hillary has what it takes to work across the aisle to get things done. Vote for solutions over syrupy rhetoric!

    Hillary the HOPE of 08

    February 16, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  19. aware

    As Pat Buchanan says, Barack would never get away with all this "mushy stuff" in the general election if he became the nominee. Also, new stats give Hillary the edge in the general election swing states.

    It isn't over people. Hillary, the best candidate for president, will win inspite of media bias and obamamania. Hillary has what it takes to work across the aisle to get things done. Vote for solutions over syrupy rhetoric!

    Hillary the HOPE of 08

    February 16, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  20. Michigan500

    Oh groan. The Clinton's want this to go on and on until they find the right mix of lies and distortion to destroy the one political inspiration this country hasn't seen in ages and probably won't again any time soon. How admirable is that? If the Clintons destroy Sen. Obama, this registered Democrat becomes an Independent and will NOT transfer my Obama vote to Clinton.

    The more I see and read of these people the more disgusted I get and I hope alot of other Americans are becoming as fed up too. Their greed for power is nauseating.

    February 16, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  21. James D.

    Whoever has the most pledged delegates should receive the nomination. Period. Anything else is a BETRAYAL.

    That Hillary Clinton is *ON THE RECORD* in Iowa stating that Michigan and Florida should *NOT* count. That she and MANY of her superdelegate friends supported the DNC policies and decision at the time...yet now have a change of heart due to circumstances that do not benefit them is just another example of how utterly devoid of integrity they are.

    Also...it's becoming increasing challenging for me to consider myself a democrat. The party is revealing its "darkside". If Hillary wins the most pledged delegates...then she deserves the nomination. If she does not EARN the most pledged delegates, she does not. It really *is* that simple. If the DNC allows this nomination to be *stolen*, I will abandon the democratic party. Forever.

    February 16, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  22. Chris

    If Clinton wins solely on the Super delegate count, I will vote for McCain. I don't think the Democrats realize what harm they are going to cause if the popular vote goes to Obama yet they choose Clinton based on her "Insider" status. Lets hear it for another 4 years of Rebulican Rule!!!!!
    sigh...........

    February 16, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  23. Scott

    This disgusts me

    Now that Clinton is losing she wants to get Michigan and Florida counted. She more or less cheated in those primaries. People who wanted to vote for Obama didn't get the chance to because his name wasn't on the ballot.

    Those states should remain as they are, with their delegates not counting.

    She also wants the superdelegates to vote for what is best for the party. This boggles my mind, she may as well say that they should ignore what the people wanted and vote for her.

    Think people, if she is willing to cast aside the popular vote and take the candidacy based on the decision of the superdelegates, do you really want her running this country?

    She is slapping democracy in the face.

    February 16, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  24. Suziku

    Hillary seems to think that "changing" the rules to suit her is fair, after the Democratic Party agreed NOT to count certain states and considering that she ignored the party and still remained on the ballot, the "only" one on the ballot, the only person who campaigned, she now wants to change the rules, this is dishonest and divisive, seems to be typical of both she and her husband. She thinks she can win by deceipt and cheating. She'll say or do anything to get elected, doesn't say much for her character.

    February 16, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  25. Gaby

    The agreement to not campaign in those states was broken, so why should Florida and Michigan count or be seated?

    February 16, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
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