February 16th, 2008
05:22 PM ET
12 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. Val

    I am completely appalled that some would actually consider changing what was already voted on regarding the delages in Florida and Michican. As a Florida resident, all of the local as well as national media hype leading up to our state's primary was about the Republican contest. It was almost as if there was NO Democratic Primary. Among my friends and peers, I only know one person that voted for a Democrat simply because the thought among so many was that this vote would not count, so why bother? Now I will be absolutely infuriated if the DNC unethically considers trying to change the rules after they've been set. Hillary's camp talks about voters in these two states being disenfranchised if their votes can't be counted. She's a smart enough woman to know that all of the people who were told their vote would NOT count would indeed be the disenfranchised.

    February 16, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  2. Ernie

    Whistlin' in the dark.

    February 16, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  3. Gavin M

    ....yes, and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton will be our nominee and go on to win the Presidency !!!!

    ...so saint obama and his bizarre slogan-candidacy.... Ohio, Penn, Texas, Wisc....ALL KNOW WE NEED SOLUTIONS -Not another speech!

    CLINTON 2008 !!!! Vote and support Hillary – America is with you.

    February 16, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  4. Corinna

    Please if the Clinton's steal this election by cheating their way, back room talking there way to the nomination the Democratic Party will self implode, horrible to imagine .......

    February 16, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  5. Michael

    Mdm. Clinton is starting to leave a bad taste in my mouth. I've re-evaulated my support of her after the South Carolina debacle and come to the conclusion that Barack Obams is the better candidate.

    February 16, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  6. Charles

    It's sickening to entertain the possibility of Super delegates turning the tide on the nominee that won the pledged delegate vote. Both of our Democratic Candidates are very capable; but Obama has lived up to his claim as being the most electable, whereas Hillary has not. The Super Delegates should back the leader of pledged delegates on this one, it’s just right!

    February 16, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  7. Imani de la Perez, Brooklyn , New York

    Clinton said it would be over in February 5th too. She wants to seat the delegations from Michigan and Florida too but they did not abide by the rules.

    There are questions with stolen votes in NY... where neigborhoods that support Obama.. and he did not receive one vote...The NY Times report that both candidates' legal teams are investigating same. Obviously, there are more votes for him which affect the delegate count.

    In New Mexico, there were some votes left at somebody's house BEFORE the count... and what a surprise Clinton wins by 1,000 after Richardson spends the superbowl with Bill.

    Kuchinich has sued in NH about a distorted volte in favor of Clinton.

    Why is there a cloud of doubt around so many of her "wins".?

    Imani de la Perez

    Obama '08.. Now is the time, he is the one!

    February 16, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  8. Latina from Texas

    I think they realize that they can't win the pledged delegates, so they're going to have to win by Super delegates and/or try to get the Florida & MI votes. How undemocratic and what a stupid system we have!

    February 16, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
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