June 2nd, 2008
12:16 PM ET
10 years ago

Roberts: Is That Music We Hear?

Joe Trippi is the former campaign manager to Howard Dean.

Joe Trippi is the former campaign manager to Howard Dean.

(CNN) - If the corpulent lass hasn’t ululated her first note yet, she is only a few hours away from the performance - at least that’s what Democratic strategist Joe Trippi believes. The man who engineered Howard Dean’s ascension through the party ranks and advised John Edwards during his primary run earlier this year thinks that by the time the speeches are over on Tuesday night, Barack Obama may be over the finish line.

To get there – at the moment I am writing this – he needs 48 delegates. He’ll likely come away from Montana and South Dakota with an additional 10-15, and he’ll probably get a few more of the delegates that are currently pledged to John Edwards. Which means he only needs somewhere around 30 uncommitted superdelegates to come to his side, and he’s across the finish line.

Will it happen by Tuesday night? I’m not so sure. We’ve been talking to supers along the way, and many of them seem to prefer to wait until it’s all over to announce their support. Donna Brazile told us yesterday on CNN’s Election Center that “Wednesday is a new day. Tuesday’s not a new day. Wednesday is.” In recognition of Hillary Clinton’s history-making campaign, they may just wait until the final two contests are over.

But the prevailing wisdom, from Trippi and others, is that Obama will go over the top not long after the final results are in. He only needs 12-15 percent of the remaining pool of superdelegates, whereas Hillary Clinton would have to convince at least 85 percent of them to support her. Could she pull it off? Technically, anything is possible, but it’s worth noting that two more superdelegates declared for Obama at the same time Clinton was handing him his lunch in Puerto Rico.

Her crushing win in the commonwealth certainly gives her bragging rights. Her argument that she may come away with more individual votes than Obama reopens all of those old wounds from the year 2000. But just like the 2000 election, the popular vote doesn’t matter in this contest. What does is delegates. And by that measure, Obama is within a hair’s breadth of becoming the presumed nominee.

The calls for her to drop out have wisely abated. There’s certainly no harm at this point in finishing out the competition. Taking the battle beyond that point gets problematic, according to Trippi. He points out that the DNC rules committee had the votes to pass the 50-50 split in Michigan, but in deference to Clinton, adopted the Levin plan of a 69-59 apportionment. As Trippi told me this morning, “What you saw in that committee meeting is how a committee that’s been the Clintons' has switched and moved to Barack Obama.” It would appear the same could be said about the party itself.

soundoff (93 Responses)
  1. lol

    obama might win the primary, but he will be added to the dnc's finest list of losers (mondale, dukakis, gore, kerry) he is another george mcgovern.

    June 2, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  2. Mar

    Donna Brazile ought to shut her fat mouth. I am sick and tired of listening to her bull for months now. Just go away and take Nobama with you.

    June 2, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  3. Ted

    I see a lot of denial. Hillary lost. The rationalization is weak. It's old political excuses from those who like the status quo.
    Wake up America, while the hope and pathway for change may be narrow under an Obama presidency, it is totally non-existent under Clinton special interest and lobbyist oriented ideas and principals. Maybe the detractors are afraid of change? If you really wnat to help change the way Washington works, dump every incumbent you can, regardless of the pork they beat their chests about. It's your money, keep it in the first place.

    June 2, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  4. BELLA

    LITER OF 12

    June 2, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  5. Carol Pennington

    Now that the Democrat party has blown apart, it is time to change everything in the model of Obama. We should start by re-naming the Democrat party to the Black Liberation party. This is just unbelievable. When you asked for change, you had no idea what that means, Dummies!!

    June 2, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |

    Will the Superdelegates unite behind one candidate after tomorrow? They have to set a good example for the dems who will be wanting to continue the fight. We need ONE candidate from here until November. We need strong, agreeable leadership from 6/3 until the election. The party leaders need to drop the fight and move forward. Anyone who continues this contest after tomorrow is jeapordizing our chances in November. Good sportsmanship means congratulating the winner.

    June 2, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  7. CT voter

    I'm dancin' already!! wooohoo!

    June 2, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  8. Hillary 08, the electable candidate

    If endorsements matter:

    Hamas has endorsed Obama
    Hugo Chavez has endorsed Obama
    Fidel Castro has endorsed Obama

    Please everyone pray for a miracle. Hillary! Please don't drop out. Screw the democrats. They have shown no loyalty to you. Kennedy and the rest of the Cronies have tried to run you out of the race since day one. What hypocrites.... Kennedy doesn't discuss to the newcomers how he tried to take a sitting democratic president to the convention in 1980.

    If endorsements matter, we are screwed. These rogue leaders have been meeting with each other. I've seen the President of Iran meeting with Hugo. The new Russian president meeting with China.

    America, we can kiss our butts goodbye with Obama.

    June 2, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  9. Rick in Florida

    I think the VANITY FAIR article about Bill's dirty money deals and his skirt-chasing (even while campaigning for his wife)...you can read it on-line or in next week's issue....will be the LAST STRAW for a lot of the Super Delegates who remember (with distaste) the 2nd Clinton term, and won't want a SCANDAL-RIDDEN Bill Clinton anywhere around the election, if they can help it.

    June 2, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  10. Laidetea

    After all has been said and done...I believe if Hillary had ran her campaign in a positive way without the attacks, and race card, etc. She would have won by taking the high road on things.

    June 2, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  11. NYDemocrat

    The Clintons must learn the meaning of the word "GRACEFUL".

    There is time for everything and everyone. I admire Hillary's tenacity but there is no way she will be the nominee. Does she need the Party and us women voters to offer her a graceful exit from the race, or is she graceful enough and mature enough to know when and how to pull out on her own? This, too, will tell us about her character and her presidential fitness. Let us see how she will handle this biggest challenge to her ego.

    June 2, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  12. Tam/Stone Mountain

    Donna Brazil is a joke. She has been an Obama supporter from day one. I do not know why she has even waited this long. Gee, what a surprise... she is for Obama.

    Cnn should be ashamed of the way they have handled this election with all their PRO Obama pundits. I can not wait to see what they say on GE election night when the Republican laugh all the way to the White House.

    June 2, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  13. Shabazz

    I'm fat, and I'll be happy to sing, if it means this thing is over and Hillary can go home.

    June 2, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  14. Independent for Obama

    We all know it is over, so it would be great if all the supporters of one candidate or the other could stop throwing mud!

    I respect Hillary Clinton for running a great race, and I respect Bill Clinton for a great eight years as President, as well as the work he's done since then.

    I'm a white independent woman for Obama, but I don't feel the need to say anything nasty about the Clintons, and I hope that everyone else could look at what they are writing and think about whether it is fair or not.

    June 2, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  15. ltd1974

    Who cares that the majority of whom are white women who will NOT vote for Obama.. The man won fair and Hillary tried to steal it back in April, when she started talking about Michigan and Florida should count after she signed and agreed not to count those two states in '07. This what you Hillary supporters stand for?????????

    June 2, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  16. Hillary 08, the electable candidate

    Oh, by the way... If you are not American, keep your mouth shut.

    Of course you foreigners want Obama...

    I can name a few right now: Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro, and Hamas have all endorsed Obama.

    Guess what, Barack and Michelle really don't like America that much anyway, so do us a favor and vote him president of your country.

    Hillary or McCain... Either one is a greater patriot than Obama will ever be.

    June 2, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  17. Lisa


    June 2, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  18. Clinton Supporter

    I am so incredibly impressed that Hillary Clinton, true to her word as usual, is going to the very end with this thing. Just imagine how hard she'd fight for YOU as president. She's no quitter. Win or lose, she's not backing down. Winning candidates always pay off each other's debts, so that's irrelevant. But no more Clintons, that IS relevant. Certainly Bill and Hillary gave us the most successful and productive presidency in the latter half of the twentieth century.

    The BO contingent wants us to think the 1990s were the bad old days. The bad old days of 22 million new jobs, a balanced budget, no deficit, a strong dollar, help to pay college tuition, lower interest rates on credit and mortgage and student loans, welfare under control at long last and the Earned Income Tax Credit – the best thing that ever happened to working poor. What's to miss on that list?

    June 2, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  19. kathe oakland, california

    I think it is really really funny that through all this campaign – Obama has always respected Hillary ALWAYS, even with divisive remarks from Bill, and all you media people. Even yesterday he again "PRAISED" her.

    But Hillary, you all know she still got in her little digs at the Obama campaign with her remark about on day 1 she will be action and not "JUST TALK" Still carrying it to the bitter end. Hillary has no shame, no respect, no loyality to the party.

    Bye bye Clintons your DAY IS OVER. And carring this to the DNC committee again – forget it. You would not deserve Michigan anyway. And that is correct, Senator Obama, an honorable man and candidate, honored the DNC rules and took his name off – not because he was "ordered to" but because he is a true and honest, and loyal democrat who felt DNC decision was made not to honor Michigan's voting system period so as a future commander in chief would do for his party and his country, he removed, along with several other honorable candidates, his name from the ballot. Not knowing of course that the divisive Hillary would not – so don't talk to me you ladies and white folks about how "ready" and experienced Hillary is – she will win at any cost, including the cost to the American people, the democratic party and any one else in their way.

    Michigan deliberaly went against the rules to foster their own agenda for keeping same states from being 1st all time -- we all heard their reason for going early and that they would do it again. So why do they deserve any consideration period. With Florida, it is different. A republican led group made the decision. Which lends to to ask Floridians if ALL YOU DEMOCTRACTS are in Florida why in the hell is your state goverment run by republicans – perhaps you folks need to find some democrats in Florida to run in your state and house positions. Don't blame rest of America because you democrats can't get in.


    June 2, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  20. bill for barack

    Does the fat lady wear pants suits ?
    The losing lady does,

    June 2, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  21. Dal CA Republican

    Tuesday 3rd June is the fateful day for Hillary. Actually it will be 4th of June as she will be in New York celebrating or commiserating.
    35 Super delegates can make it easier either today or tomorrow by aligning with Obama.

    June 2, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  22. DAVE



    June 2, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  23. NO-BAMA

    The DEMS swift-boating Hillary and hijacking the delegate system was enough to lose me....

    I will vote McCain if obama sqeaks across...


    June 2, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  24. M.D.

    We went through this eight years ago with Bush. Putting someone in Washington who was "not of Washington" and look where it got us. In a war that is never going to end and with the real terrorist Osama Bin Ladin, still out there!!!!! We also, have gas prices higher than ever, and people out of work and struggling. Like it or not when a Clinton was in office we had some surplus and the economy was not that bad. Why in the heck are people wanting to put Obama into the White House??? You want a bigger mess, that is what is going to happen. Yes, I understand that there are many many people that do not like Clinton, but we do not need another "newbe" trying to learn while on the job. We need someone who has some knowledge and knows what to expect. Someone who has been in Washington for years and can make their way around. Someone who is crafty and can make deals with other Washington insiders, and that is not Obama. I have been an ardent Democrat for years and cannot stand Mr. 100 years in Iraq and do not know anything about the economy McCain, but for the first time in my voting life I am voting for a Republican.
    Former Edwards supporter turned Clinton supporter, now McCain supporter.

    June 2, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  25. Scott

    Since Howard Dean and the rest of the DNC want to limit Florida and Michigan votes to only count for 50% of their face value, I am urging my fellow Florida Democrats to join me in supporting Senator John McCain. Maybe the Republicians will appreciate and welcome us with open arms.

    June 2, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
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