February 16th, 2008
05:22 PM ET
13 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. CB

    I can't believe she would go on CNN telling America that she thought Florida and Michigan counted. It was reported that these states would be just face cards.
    How can we vote for someone like this?
    She underestimated Obama from the get go in every way.
    First it was with money, then she jumped on the change bandwagon when its working for Obama.
    After Iowa’s outcome she injected this gender/race tactic, bow down and cried in New Hampshire literally having women voting for her. Then she started with this lack of experience tactic on Obama claiming she is tough, battle tested and ready from day one.
    Next she started with this minority issue basically having Asians and Latinos going against Obama, put Chelsea out there to attract young voters but not subjected to the media. If she is going to campaign for her mother, she should be ready to answer questions. You can’t go in public asking people to vote for your mother without letting them know why.
    Now she’s saying Obama is saying he can but she will, lied about inviting Obama to debate and he’s ducking her, and to top it off she’s “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”.
    What will she do as president if this country should face some serious crisis?

    February 16, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  2. Ola

    If a family who made most of their from talking can say "Talk is cheap" I think they are the cheapest!

    February 16, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  3. Rob

    First Ickes wanted them not to count now he does. What a hypocrite!

    February 16, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  4. gail

    Has anyone told Hillary Botox has been recalled?

    February 16, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  5. Matthew

    Keep dreaming. The Clinton camp will do anything to keep this whole thing spinning. ... and that's all it is – spin.

    February 16, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  6. Ben

    I am from Washington and I feel insulted with Hillary comment that we don't need a president. I just feel so much insulted. I am insulted!

    February 16, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  7. Ola

    If a family who made most of their fortune from talking could say "Talk is cheap" I think they are the cheapest!

    February 16, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  8. andrea benini

    I agree with mr ickes that Hillary will have the nomination down pat by June. mr Obama's momentum will fade as reality begins to set in that Hillary is in fact 'the one'

    February 16, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  9. John Fort Collins, CO

    This is just a sorry attempt to get attention for the failing Clinton campaign.

    February 16, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  10. gene

    Very good. Hillary Clinton will make a great President. She has experience and no one can doubt or question her intelligence. She is a hard worker and she loves this country. You will see an imediate improvement in foriegn affairs and she will end this war and bring our troops home. I don't see how any you Obama supporters would want to elect a novice at this time. We have two wars going and we have Putin threating to aim nuclear missiles at our missiles that Bush wants to plant on the Russian border. A speech on "hope and change" is not going to cut it.

    February 16, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  11. mary

    wow, CNN is trying to make this a family business website. I can not stomach this anymore!

    February 16, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  12. Erica Hill

    Please don't try devisive politics with superdelegates to try to get elected. If you are down with the pledge delegates then bow out..

    Go away Clinton. We are tired of you.

    Obama for America

    February 16, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  13. Richard

    May I know when Hillary is going to release her tax returns? I am still waiting. As undecided voter, I don't think she is persuading me in any way by not doing so. Today is saturday and I have only two days to make up my mind. How do I vote for her when I don't trust her? Someone help me here!

    February 16, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  14. Tim

    Phony phony woman. Will never get my vote!

    February 16, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  15. ObamaSupporters


    February 16, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  16. carol

    Yes we can! Go home Hillary, it's Over!

    February 16, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  17. Bellini

    Just like the Clinton camp...changing their minds so that it favors them. Enough of their dishonest and dirty tactics!

    February 16, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  18. carol

    Mrs. Clinton is running scared and I do not think she thought this would happen to her. I wish her luck. I live in Nevada and that makes me feel this woman will do anything to get this nomination. How sad!

    February 16, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  19. Koszarek Livingston

    Lou Dobbs.
    I "truly" believe that Mrs, Hillary Rodham Clinton will win the "Presidency" in 2009! #1 She has been about one of the biggest advocates for health care scents Bill Clintons Term and beyond! Also she has so much more exsperence then barako obama in Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and Health Care, and the safety of children and etc. "Plus" she was actually helping out Bill Clinton in the white house during his tenor. And also she has been a very strong senator for the state of New York for at least 4 years and counting! Also I really think it's about time "Women" take a stand "now" then ever and end the male dominated presidency of USA's history! Because I believe Ms Clinton would be an excellent "President" in the 21st Century! Thanks Koszarek Livingston! 2-16-8 7:12 P.M. Eastern standard time ok Lou Dobbs!!!!............

    February 16, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  20. Deborah Landes, Sarasota, Florida

    I fail to understand why the press refuses to point out that it was the Republican dominated state legislature in Florida that changed the primary date. Nevertheless, Florida Democrats are being punished.

    Both candidates appeared on the ballot. Furthermore, I saw a number of Obama ads on CNN that aired in Florida in the week prior to the primary. I never saw a Hillary ad. According to the Obama campaign it was a "mistake".

    The damage of bad reporting and the spin that "Hillary is trying to . change the rules", cannot be undone by a back page retraction. We all know what happened in Florida in 2000, and in my congressional district in Sarasota, 18,000 congressional votes disappeared without a paper trail in the 2006 congressional election. Now I am told my primary vote won't count either. So why should I bother voting in November?

    February 16, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  21. jack

    Typical Clinton supporter...The delegates should not be seated (unless not seating them will hurt us).

    February 16, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  22. K Fergus

    For Obama to want to rush to declare himself the presumptive nominee is just one more confirmation of the arrogance and hubris this man possesses. America needs someone with depth. Obama = Shallow! All talk no substance.

    Go Hillary! You've got the guts, stamina, and the expertise to win against McCain this November. The country needs YOU.

    February 16, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  23. Janann

    The Governor of Puerto Rico endorsed BARACKO.

    February 16, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  24. Kathy Chico Ca.

    If the Clinton camp pressures the super delegates to vote for Hillary even though Obama has won more elected delegates and the popular vote, I am voting for John McCain.

    February 16, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  25. jvii

    Wishful thinking on Clinton's part.

    February 16, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14