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. just saying

    For the Hillary democrats, voting for McCain is a viable option- they are an older, more conservative, and now a disenfranchised-by-their- own party demographic.

    For Obama supporters, voting for McCain is an idle threat- they are a younger, more radical and star-struck demographic.

    April 1, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  2. Max

    Very good! That's the begining of the end for Clintons,,, I expect all 300 'super' delegates to support Obama by the end of April!!

    Max

    April 1, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  3. repguy

    Writing is on the wall. Hillary Clinton will never be the nominee, or the president of the United States. EVER. Get used to it folks. Esepcially all you Clinton supporters who refuse to acknowledge the truth of the situation and stick your heads in the sand like confused,. dumbfounded ostrichs.

    April 1, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  4. Michael

    Hillary,

    Please pay your healthcare bills on time. Do I need to remind you that under your plan its a crime not to pay your healthcare bills? What a mess your campaign is in. Goodluck with running an entire country.

    April 1, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  5. Sha-vone

    Finally someone from the Clinton camp is facing reality....

    April 1, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  6. Gary in CT

    Residing in Connecticut, I honestly don't know anything about Congressman Cleaver, but I do respect a man who tells it like is.

    April 1, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  7. Willy

    Obama may win but the Clinton war machine will snatch the candy out of Obama's hand. You know democrats do like us in power they just say that to get our vote!

    April 1, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  8. kim nyc

    LOL, hilary needs to go down fast.

    April 1, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  9. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    Clinton might as well just write him off of her list–clearly he doesn't want to be the only black professional on record not supporting Obama. He's giving Clinton a not so sublte warning that in a covention split decision–he's voting for Obama.

    April 1, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  10. dlr

    I appreciate Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver honesty. It is very realistic and he is thinking of the Party first and what is more realistic!!!

    Thank you Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver!!!

    April 1, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  11. Reggie

    WOW,

    Anytime a Hillary supporter comes out and says that he'd be surprised if Obama is not the next President of the United States, it goes to show you just how much confidence Hillary supporters have in her.

    This isn't no false accusations or made up stories by Obama supporters, this is actually a full fledged Clinton supporter who has doubts that she can win the nomination more or less the general election. I still feel she should stay in because she is still close enough to create doubt in voters minds but after all the primaries and caucauses are over, if she still doesn't have enough delegates, enough of the popular vote then she should then, and only then graciously bow out and throw her support (genuinely) behind Barack Obama.

    April 1, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  12. CHERYL

    YOU KNOW WHAT I THINK IS FUNNY?

    OBAMA IS OUT SPENDING HILLARY 2TO 1 IN ALL STATES YET HILLARY IS WAY AHEAD IN PENNSYLVANIA AND INDIANA!!!!!!!

    THANK YOU PEOPLE FOR NOT FALLING FOR THE LIES!!!

    8 YEARS AGO I LIVED IN MICHIGAN AND RAN 2 BUSINESSES IN INDIANA (GOSHEN AND MISHAWAKA) THESE ARE SOME HARD WORKING PATRIOTIC AMERICANS THAT ARE SMART AND THEY KNOW WHO CAN CHANGE THIS COUNTRY!!!!!

    I WONDER WHAT THE OBAMA SUPPORTERS WILL SAY WHEN HILLARY WINS BOTH OF THESE AND POSSIBLY NORTH CAROLINA?

    OBAMAS LIES AND WRIGHT CONTROVERSY HAVE HURT HIM IN THESE STATES AS WELL!!!!!!!

    THIS IS WHY I AM VOTING FOR HILLARY!!!!!!

    April 1, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  13. Thomas, LA

    Nice to see Hillary's own people are starting to come to their senses if not very slowly.

    I hope it's not too little too late.
    I'm afraid the Clintons and their supporters have already given away the White House to McCain.

    April 1, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  14. Johnson

    At least one Clinton backers sees the truth.

    April 1, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  15. FELISA

    I HAVE A FEELING A LOT OF CLINTON SUPPORTERS THINKS THE SAME WAY

    April 1, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  16. Cindy

    Hillary's myth of over throwning Obama is just that a MYTH!

    We've seen it already in the polls that her backers are not loyal to her...Not the way Obama's backers are loyal to him and his principles!

    THIS MAN IS SYAING WHAT MANY HILLARY BACKERS KNOW AND ARE AFRAID TO SAY FOR FEAR OF GETTING HER WRATH!

    HILLARY YOU'RE SINGLEHANDEDLY BRINGINING THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY DOWN!!!!! IF YOU REALLY CARE ABOUT THIS COUNTRY GIVE IT UP AND SUPPORT OBAMA SO THE DEMOCRATS CAN WIN IN NOVEMBER!!!!

    April 1, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  17. karen

    Yes, finally someone in Hills camp sees the light of day!!!

    April 1, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  18. Altorian Derrick, Ann Arbor, Michigan

    That was probably the best comments from an official I've read in a while. Real talk!

    April 1, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  19. c.martin

    Wow....did he say that he would support the losing candidate even though he knows they are going to lose. Good for him. I can tell you if a ship was sinking...I wouldn't sit there, I would jump ship. The captain is the only person who is suppose to stay.

    April 1, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  20. William

    I think everyone knows that Barack Obama will be the winner of the democratic primary UNLESS the Clintons can turn enough superdeligates to hand it to Hillary.

    It's the only reason Hillary is refusing to drop out. She's counting on having the superdelegates go against the people of this country to "select" a person who didn't actually win an election.

    Superdelegates or Supreme Court. She's not unlike George Bush in this respect, is she?

    April 1, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  21. RT

    The writing is on the wall.....

    April 1, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  22. Brian - Trinidad

    Well Cleaver,better get the smelling salts ready,because there is no way the people will vote for a lightweight like Obama given the desperate problems facing our country.McCain will wipe the floor with Obama.Oh, and as far as being a Clinton supporter,how phoney-baloney is that!

    April 1, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  23. Martha, Georgia

    And look at HRC's meeting with her husband's worst enemy, Richard Mellon Scaife. Bet James Carville must have loved the interview with Mellon Scaife. What does he call HRC for taking sides with her husband's worst enemy.

    April 1, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  24. Nathan

    And we are surprised because? Is this really news?

    He said before that he's likely choose whomever his district supports.

    Perhaps others should take the same position? By this I am referring to Kennedy, Richardson, Kerry - all of whom are representatives from constituencies who support Hillary Clinton.

    Obama's camp wants to flip-flop on this issue whenever convenient for their purpose. Sounds like politics as usual for this puppet of Kennedy-Kerry Democrats. HOW IS THIS "CHANGE"? It's not.

    April 1, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  25. Dave, SC

    Wow, even Clinton's professional supports are waking up!

    April 1, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
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