May 1st, 2008
02:25 PM ET
10 years ago

Clinton adviser makes superdelegate pitch

Clinton's campaign says she has 'automatic delegates.'

Clinton's campaign says she has 'automatic delegates.'

(CNN) - Following a surge in the pace of superdelegate endorsements, senior Clinton adviser Harold Ickes released a memo addressed to the Democratic Party’s “automatic delegates” that points to several new polls that suggest Hillary Clinton would be tougher to beat than Barack Obama in a general election bout.

(Ickes refers to superdelegates as “automatic delegates” because he says that term better reflects their status as party leaders and elected officials who are entitled to a vote at the Democratic convention.)

At least dozen superdelegates have publicly weighed in so far this week. Of those, roughly two-thirds have supported Obama, and one-third have backed Clinton.

“A spate of new public polls out this week confirms what we have been arguing for some time: Hillary Clinton is the strongest candidate to beat John McCain in November,” writes Ickes.

He points to results in recent national and swing state surveys testing hypothetical head-to-head matchups with John McCain which show Clinton performing slightly better than Obama. He also notes the New York senator’s showing in “the all important subcategories that serve as bellwethers for a candidate’s overall strength.”

Ickes says relevant results in those categories include Obama’s rising unfavorable ratings, and Clinton’s greater strength among independent voters and seniors – and among young voters, a group that has been a vital part of Obama’s base in many of his previous primary wins.

In the latest AP-Ipsos poll pitting each Democratic candidate against presumptive Republican nominee John McCain, both candidates win a majority – but Clinton fares better, pulling in two-thirds of those voters against McCain, while Obama receives the support of 55 percent in a hypothetical matchup with the Arizona senator.

soundoff (520 Responses)
  1. Beltway Insider

    Word on the street here in DC is that a very large contingent of uncommitted superdelegates have already decided to go with Obama. This daily trickling of superdelegates throwing their support behind Obama is part of a plan to end the nomination next Tuesday.

    More are going to commit each day, then Monday or early Tuesday, a substantial number will make their announcement supporting Obama all at once.

    Rumor is that the majority of the remaining superdelegates are involved. We'll see next week.

    May 1, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  2. Billy from Fl

    If Obama is the Nominee, we will loose

    May 1, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  3. Moore

    I agree. Vote For Hillary. She is ahead in just about every new poll coming out. Obama can not win now. WAKE UP!

    May 1, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  4. NotThisTimeinNY

    Getting a little desperate there, eh Ickes?

    May 1, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  5. proud army and navy mom

    Did old girl's campaign say that they "don't pay much attentio to polls. so why are they pointing to the latest. just like they don't pay much attention to reality. get out now billary!

    May 1, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  6. Indiana Voter

    Ok – they're trusting the polls that shift like the wind? And vary from 5-10 points?? How much is he getting paid for that??

    May 1, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  7. Matt

    Yeah that is exactly what two thirds who have endorsed Obama means. Two thirds for Obama means that S.D.'s don't think he can beat McCain. HAHAHAHAHA. Clinton's staff is drawing at straws. She needs to drop out!!!

    May 1, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  8. The Truth

    HRC is going through a civil suit on may counts of fraud. HRC is a part of the special interest system that condones lobbying for legislation; she's a part of the problem. The Clintons picked up over 100 million dollars after leaving the White House; they'll do anything to get back in the White House

    May 1, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  9. Seth (FL)

    They're going for Obama because he represents unity and change. Clinton represents "taking back the white house by force."

    That won't work. The super delegates know. The polls are misleading...without all the distractions being caused by issues that have no value (Wright, Ayers, "bitter" people, etc.), the polls would be different.

    The superdelegates aren't distracted by these things. They know which way to go.

    May 1, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  10. Vince - Phoenix

    I am begining to feel completely propagandized by Hillary's campaign.

    More and more, t has the feel of the bush propaganda machine.

    astonishing spin, half truths, full lies, fear, both covert and overt racism, the fabrication of issues.....

    does this sound familiar ?????.

    May 1, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  11. shirley

    Hillary is not fit for the Presidency. She has said she would obliterate Iran, prompting a formal compaint to the United Nations about her statement. She said 'screw em' in reference to Southern Americans. Why is this news not front page, media has given more attention to heresay and gossip than to actual facts.

    May 1, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  12. RG

    Peter Paul.
    Why did I have to find this out from some random poster who led me to look it up on YouTube, and then watch in amazement at the news of something I'd never heard of? Look for yourself if you haven't....
    Did they include that part in the letter? Has the media been served a gag on this story? This is an industry that will put the microscope under anybody's life on just an accusation, and yet little to nothing about the Paul v. Clinton civil case that's going on right now.

    May 1, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  13. Gal

    Their trying to stop the leak. Obama still leads in delegates, states, adn popular vote..that tells you who is more electable.

    May 1, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  14. Moses, Ca.

    I'm sorry she's not. The superdelegates are doing the right thing. Obama is good for the country.
    Moses, Ca.

    May 1, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  15. An American

    Well she already lost my vote

    May 1, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  16. Alonzo Demetrius

    Neither Hillary nor Obama can be successful as president because you still have a Senate that will stop everything the liberal president tries to do... You can't change the states' voting patterns.

    May 1, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  17. Cindy

    a quote from Robert Shapiro, formerly the undersecretary of commerce in the Clinton administration and the author of "Futurecast." An independent voice with ties to the former first lady, however, did not give the expected results. "Stated as clearly as I can," he wrote, "it's utterly misguided both environmentally and economically. Environmentally, it does actual harm, since it reduces the price of producing greenhouse gases. And economically it's trivial or worse - by reducing the price of driving it encourages more of it, thereby increasing demand for gasoline, which inevitably pushes the price back up – the consumer gains nothing, and the oil companies and OPEC collect the extra bucks instead of the government."

    May 1, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  18. Amused

    Why the hurry now to recognise polls? lol!

    Did you check last week? Wait till next week and talk again. You doctored Wright controversy anu want to cash in on the dividends.

    Sorry, it is ephemeral and elctorates have already gotten he clear picture now. it is so insignificant in the face of Clinton corruption.

    So watch out for next weeks polls.

    May 1, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  19. Jane MN

    Unfortunately, the base of the argument is heavily relying on a set of flawed polls.

    May 1, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  20. John in PA

    It's a compelling argument. Add to that the fact she will have the majority of the popular vote and it becomes more compelling. She is peaking at the right time. She is sprinting to the finish, Obama is stumbling and in need of life support.

    May 1, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |

    This senior Clinton adviser Harold Ickes need to wake up and smell the coffee and see the clear of day. Sen. Clinton hasn't a chance to overtake Sen. Obama's delegate lead unless she is figuring on winning all of the remaining States by at least 65%. If she can honestly say that she can pull this off then I will say make your best attempt. Otherwise, she needs to do as Howard Dean asked and drop out of the race in June.

    It's time for REAL change in Washington, it's time for Barack Obama for president !

    May 1, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  22. Cindy

    In the landmark civil fraud case against Bill Clinton in Los Angeles, where the former President is charged with defrauding a Hollywood dot com millionaire to help Hillary Clinton obtain more than $1.2 million from him for her 2000 Senate campaign, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Aurelio Munoz ruled on Friday, April 25 that Hillary Clinton would not be required to testify in a sworn deposition as a material witness in the case until AFTER the November election!

    While Bill Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, Al Gore, Ed Rendell, Barabara Streisand, Cher, Stan Lee, Brad Pitt, Mike Wallace, Larry King et al may be called to testify and be deposed starting in May, Hillary alone has been protected from explaining her role in her husband’s fraud charges.

    In an astonishing ruling by the Judge, Hillary Clinton may NOT be deposed about her role in the illegal solicitation and cover up of the largest contribution made to her Senate campaign until after the presidential election. This is the same contribution Hillary denied knowing about or receiving when Lloyd Grove of the Washington Post asked her specifically about it and her relationship with the donor, Peter Paul, in August 2000. Its the same contribution her finance director David Rosen was criminally tried in May, 2005, or hiding from her and her campaign. Its the same contribution the FEC fined her campaign for hiding from the voters in three false FEC reports by her treasurer between 2000-2006. (

    Equally surprising as the ruling was the judge’s request to Hillary defense lawyer David Kendall to “say hello to his ( Judge Munoz”) friend Bill, also a partner in Kendall’s law firm”
    The decision to shield Hillary Clinton from civil discovery for an additional seven months, thereby delaying a long postponed trial, was made by the judge on his own, without any request by Hillary or her lawyer to make the ruling. No discussion was permitted by Paul’s lawyer before the decision was made. Judge Munoz’ unilateral decision effectively saved the floundering campaign and hopes of Hillary Clinton to win her party’s Presidential nomination!

    Had Senator Clinton be forced to testify under oath, as a material witness and beneficiary of the fraud that her husband is being sued for before the Democratic Convention, her remote chances for being nominated the party candidate would have been unquestionably destroyed.

    Hillary has never publicly commented on the case in which she was a defendant from 2003-2006. Nor has Hillary ever commented on the videotaped phone call she made to Peter Paul the day he began spending more than $1 million for her Senate campaign, the false statements she made through Howard Wolfson to the Washington Post denying working with Paul or receiving any contributions from him, the sworn Declaration she made under oath where she refused to deny any of Paul’s allegations, the role her White House aide Kelly Craighead played in coordinating Paul’s expenditures and befirending Paul’s Japanese business partner during a White House visit and many other unanswered questions of illegal conduct.

    The illegalities detailed in Paul’s civil complaint and FEC complaint caused Hillary’s finance director to be criminally indicted and tried in 2005 by the Department of Justice Office of Public Integrity (the same group that prosecuted Scooter Libby) for hiding the cost of a fundraiser paid for by Paul. Paul’s FEC allegations forced Hillary’s campaign to admit to the FEC in October, 2005, that it violated FEC reporting requirements by hiding more than $700,000 received from Paul that Hillary personally said she never received.

    May 1, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  23. Florida For Obama

    This chic will say anything. Let me spell it out for you: P.a.t.h.e.t.i.c.

    May 1, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  24. Tim

    This is a bunch of bull. She is behind in every category and just because you choose to take a point in time where she looks good in the popular vote is totally out of touch.

    Obama 08

    May 1, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  25. Scott Hughes ATL

    Hillary is a liar and my 7 year old son could beat McCain...

    May 1, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
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