April 1st, 2008
07:10 PM ET
3 years ago

Clinton backer: Obama will win

Cleaver, a supporter of Clinton, said he'd be stunned if Obama didn't win.
Cleaver, a supporter of Clinton, said he'd be stunned if Obama didn't win.

(CNN) - A key Hillary Clinton supporter appeared to be a bit off message during a recent interview with a Canadian radio station.

"If I had to make a prediction right now, I'd say Barack Obama is going to be the next president," Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver said in a Canadian public radio interview this weekend. "I will be stunned if he's not the next president of the United States."

Cleaver, an African-American, endorsed Clinton's White House bid last year and formally remained aligned with the New York senator even as other black leaders shifted their support to Barack Obama.

But after his district voted for Obama in the February 5 primary, Cleaver did indicate he would consider voting for the Illinois senator at the party's convention if the delegate count was extremely tight between the two candidates.

In the Canadian radio interview, Cleaver made clear he doesn't expect Clinton to overtake Obama, comparing his support of the New York Democrat to that of his hometown losing football team.

“Even though I don't expect the Kansas City Chiefs to beat the Indianapolis Colts, I cheer for the Kansas City Chiefs,” he said.

He also pushed back on the notion Clinton should take her fight for the party's nomination all the way to the August convention - though he acknowledged that is not the position he is supposed to take.

"If I do the party line, I'm supposed to say - and maybe I'll say, just so if anybody hears it they can say well, 'Cleaver did the party line before he told the truth' - we believe that a contest going all the way to the convention is good for America."

But, he added, an actual convention fight would be a “tragedy of tragedies.”

– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (365 Responses)
  1. eddie, Quebec

    Calling traitors anybody who give an honest answer or the superdelegates who switch side is ridiculous and just plain stupid.

    The ones who should be called that way are the supporters from both camps who claim they will vote republicans if the nominee of their choice is not chosen.

    The war, the economy, healthcare... C'mon people. Do you remember that those issues will be better attended by any of the two democratic nominees? Are you ready to sacrifice what the next election is really about just because you got some personal grievance issues or because you are just a sore looser?

    Are YOU a Dem or are YOU a traitor?

    April 1, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  2. wes

    He better vote for Obama. His district did. Superdelegates are a sham.

    April 1, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  3. Adam, Phila. PA

    To the comment above about "Clintonians" voting for McCain. You say we all will. The answer is no we won't. I will vote for my party before I vote for McCain.

    April 1, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  4. Flo-NH

    Well Well, I don't know about making a sure statement that Obama will win. Listen, everyone and their mama thought the Patriots were going to win the Superbowl...New yorkers supported their New York Giants even though they didn't expect them to win and the media had basically shut out any potential for the Giants to win. But, look what happened okay! Look what happened the last mins of the game, the unforseeable happened!! So just be careful to declare Obama the winner when we haven't even finished the first quarter of the race!!! Don't count Clinton out just yet because every time the media does the unforseeable happens. So Obama better still be looking over his back because Hillary is right there. If the media was a bit fair we would be seeing different headlines.

    April 1, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  5. MM

    So long as the press continues its lopsided coverage and Obama's supporters continue to not be critical of their own candidate for the sake of OUR country, consent will be manufactured. Obama is is a lifelong politician and lawyer who is as disingenuous as as they come. He is NOT a unifier. He barely has half of his own parties support. He is a savvy, univestigated, eloquent speaker who has commercialized his appeal to a nation of hungry consumers. What about Rezco? He's on trial...no coverage! Obama got a sweetheart, stinky land deal...no coverage! Wright spews racist rhetoric... it was a difference of expression. If a white preacher spoke about blacks that way...Congressional hearing.

    April 1, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  6. shawn

    Dosen't sound like a Hillary supporter to me. And guess what? The election will decide who is the next President; not "supporters" like him. Obama is not a foregone conclusion folks – no matter what the "news" media spin or this "supporter" thinks.

    April 1, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  7. piecrust

    This is not about race as in Black in White like most of you would like to throw this crap into the Barack/Hillary argument. My problem with Obama is – he is not an original but more of a copycat. A clueless dude en route to the WH is quite scary! If he becomes the leader, he'll turn out to be a puppet of Kennedy, Kerry, etc. and the rest of his endorsers. One journalist said that even recently Barack can't find his way in Capitol Hill, more so in the WH. His candidacy is much too soon. Hillary's statement that McCain is more knowledgeable and electable than Barack is quite true. It is not to underestimate her opponent, she just feels that Barack needs more honing politically.

    April 1, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  8. Ann

    Eric April 1st, 2008 1:35 pm ET
    "Yes, Jonathan I'm witih you! We can't have Obama as president. I know several Clinton supporters who will be voting for McCain if Hillary doesn't get the nomination."

    100% true. Obama is the cool guy in the school yard. No serious voter will give him the vote, just the 'looking for excitement' guys.

    April 1, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  9. Louis KCMO

    COME ON GUYS, THIS GUY IS NOT A TRUE HILLARY SUPPORTER!!! HE PROBABLY CHANGED TO SUPPORTING OBAMA LIKE OTHER TRAITOR SUPERDELEGATES.

    I tak offense to this. I am from his district. Reverend Cleaver is a die-hard Bill and Hillary Clinton Supporter. He owes a lot to the Clintons. He is not a traitor. He is the one that got Bill Clinton to donate his saxaphone he played on the Arsenio Hall show to the Jazz Musuem in Kansas City. He knows who his friends are and he is completely loyal to his friends.

    April 1, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  10. Dixie L Faries

    The real tragedy here is having to observe the media and several prominent super-delegates attempt to push Senator Clinton out of the race prematurely and wondering what else is going on behind the scenes. After listening to the countless feel good speeches by Mr. Obama–ones that give absolutely no hint of a plan of operation–I fear allowing Mr. Obama into the White House. If we lose the one person who knows what's going on–Senator Clinton–we lose the only viable Democratic candidate. I, and others, will be forced to vote Republican for the first time, and I am not happy with that option.

    April 1, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  11. stuart_zechman

    Obamabots are morons.

    April 1, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  12. LAME

    FABRICATED NEWS MAKE ME SICK... OOH YEAHHH.. AN AFRICAN AMERICAN POLITICIAN GOING FOR HILLARY....WOOOW

    NOW TURNING INTO AN OBAMA SUP. PLEEEASE..
    IS THIS THE 4TH, FIF? HOW MANY HAVE DONE THIS?

    BELIEVE, HOPE, TRANZAS TRANZAS TRANZAS
    NOT IN A MILLION YEARS.

    EL LOBO EN DISFRAZZ... KEEP MOVING GIRL...

    April 1, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  13. PA Voter

    They're breaking ranks! The floodgates are opening!

    Everybody should listen to this man, and those in Pennsylvania should vote for Obama April 22nd. Let's get this thing done so we can move on to the real contest.

    April 1, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  14. Ted in Chicago

    Hi
    If my prior post about Obama deflating is posted

    Let me add

    NO MATTER WHAT I WILL NEVER VOTE MCCAIN

    HE IS A SELL OUT

    AND DESPITE MY WANTING – BADLY – FOR THE OBAMA MOVEMENT TO SELF IMPLODE

    HE WILL ABSOLUTELY GET MY VOTE IF HE WINS THE NOD

    There is no choice people – we DEMS must vote DEM – the bottom line is the policies are needed and the two candidates agree 10x the amount they disagree - and McCain has sold out to Bush the Neo Cons the Supply Siders and the Exteme insane Chrisitian Right

    The McCain of 2000 (2000) was possible -
    The McCain of 2008(2008) will never ever get my vote

    April 1, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  15. A. Boston, MA

    If you want a thermometer reading of hatred in this country you dont have to look too far.

    1) Hillary Clinton's stubbornness to let it go for the sake of the democratic party, the sake of preparing a good fight against the republicans.
    2) Her supporters who say they'll vote McCain if Obama wins.

    April 1, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  16. Mic

    obviously cleaver changed his alliance, for you to headline this the way you did proves lou dobbs poll, which all hillary supporters already knew, you guys are so biased and will "do or say anything" to get your annointed one nominated.

    April 1, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  17. Tex'un

    I'm for Obama but will vote for Clinton if she gets the nomination: think Supreme Court! As to the Texas caucuses: at my convention, two Clinton delegates stole credentials! I think that the fault was theirs, personally, however, and not a part of the Clinton organization's game plan. Time for some cool heads.

    April 1, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  18. Barbara, PA

    I am just wondering how, after being caught in making up a story to (the Bosnia story) to re-affirm her commander in chief credentials, Mrs Clinton is still ahead in PA? Do people like to be duped?

    April 1, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  19. Marc

    Hillary is steering the course. Fighting for democracy. Doing what is right. Not allowing herself to be dictated to by the press. She gets things done by thinking outside box, instead of following the established rules. So what if a few rules or laws get broken in the process. She's fighting for us! She won't give up without a battle. She voted to protect us by supporting the War on Terror and to fight the enemy in Iraq so we don't have to fight them here.

    THANK GOD the math is not working for her. We don't need anymore BUSH-CLINTON-BUSH-CLINTONs in office.

    April 1, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  20. sherrie50

    Well, sometimes its not about winning or losing, but standing up for what you strongly believe in. I rather have a fighter-HC than someone who preaches slogans about HOPE in the White House.

    April 1, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  21. JUST THE FACTS

    TAKE ANOTHER LOOK AT THE POLLS CHERYL...

    April 1, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  22. LAME

    IF ANYTHING I WOULD GO FOR McAIN...

    THAT'S RIGHT... DEMOCRAT FOR LIFE... BUT I LOVE THE
    CLINTONS MORE...

    McAIN IF HILLARY GOES DOWN... 4 SHOOO...

    TEXAS WAY BEI B...TOOO PA' LANTE..

    April 1, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  23. c

    any democrat that votes for a republican just because their canidiate did not make it is nothing but a pure ....IDIOT and i hope all the subprime mortagages and economy affect you badly in the next 4 republican years. If you vote for the other party out of spite,just stay home and read your communist manuals

    April 1, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  24. Chris O.

    Its time the party elders from both camp come out and accept the facts and unite this party. I say this because if it was Barack Obama on the other side (less delegate, less popular vote, and less states), this would have been over long ago. This race is still dragging on because of Hillary's personal ambition, not the democrats and the American people who are so desperately yearning for a change in the white house. At this point, I think Hillary is campaigning for John McCain. Her Strategy is to get McCain elected so she can come back and run again in 2012 but believe it or not, it wont work because her career would be over if her supporters realize her personal goal. The truth is, if John McCain wins in the general election, people will never forgive Hillary for that.

    Chris O

    April 1, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  25. shirley riley

    i would hate to see all of the obrack supporters ? if obrack is nomiee i will vote for john mccain? go hillary o8

    April 1, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15