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. harry K

    It will be over in June and Hillary will be the nominee!!!

    February 16, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  2. Stefan Flosbach

    It is interesting how this incident is represented in by different news services. Can someone tell me where the original wording can be found?

    February 16, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  3. pj

    that's just funny...
    its time for the Clintons to have the same reality check they seem to like perscribing.

    February 16, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  4. Tim O

    The election will be long over for Hillary in March. There will be no need for the Clintons to hang around till June.

    February 16, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  5. sandy


    February 16, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  6. Love Hill

    Now there is a true campaign manager in charge.
    Since the shake up, all looks great.
    Go Hillary Go!!

    February 16, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    Correction. all three candidates were on the ballot in Florida.
    Michigan's ballot was the only state where Hillary was the only Democratic candidate on the ballot. Florida's delegates will probably be seated and Michigans won't.
    Hillary will prevail.

    February 16, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  8. JB

    So, he votes to not allow those states to sit (MI and FL). Then, once it is clear that his candidate needs those votes, he now claims they deserve the right to sit.

    No, no, no! This is politics as usual. Obama did not campaign in FL (they all committed to not campaiging, but Hillary went against her word), and his name was not on the ballot in MI(becasue he stuck to his word and removed his name, Hillary again, went against her word).

    This is absurd. Even the Hilliots have got to admit, trying to get FL and MI to count is underhanded and dirty.

    If this thing explodes and somehow Hillary finds herself the nominee, I am voting for McCain. I know many others who feel the same way.

    Don't allow this to happen voting public!!!!!

    February 16, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  9. Netop

    New fire-wall in Puerto Rico? That screams confidence.

    February 16, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  10. Tim D.

    Wow! Talk about arrogance! Hillary is already trailing, and somehow they figure to have it all nailed down by June. Yeah right! I'm starting to wander what kind of drugs are these folks taking!

    February 16, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  11. Donna

    I think the Clinton Campaign is living in a Fantasy Land.

    February 16, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  12. Angelina005

    Billary has not only said she will be the nominee since she entered the race, she belives she will be the US president....... she feels she is enttitled to it................
    Anyone but clinton...........

    February 16, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  13. SharonR

    Go Hillary fight the good fight

    February 16, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  14. Linda VanHaitsma

    Under election 2008 Hillary Clinton has no MISSISSIPPI State listed under her results, BB has MISSISSIPPI under his?
    Keeping you honest
    Thank You

    February 16, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  15. Y.Lee

    Re: Florida/Michigan

    What about the people who stayed home and didn't vote because they knew their votes wouldn't count?

    February 16, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  16. Brian

    typical Clintonite..... trying to change the rules even he voted for to benefit Hillary.

    February 16, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  17. Dollar Bill

    Its about time for Hillary take a lesson from Romney before she tears the party apart.

    February 16, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  18. Lee

    These people are sick, the Clintons. The movement has begun and not many people know how it started! Winds are changing direction and man is limited in his natural abilities and that's when God steps in, It's "God stupid". I wiil be the first one to say "President Obama", thank you and may God bless you and your family.

    February 16, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  19. Josh

    Sounds like Ickes wouldn't have wanted Michigan and Florida to count if Obama had won, and now he just wants more delegates for his candidate because he is worried about her losing. Ridiculous and very transparent.

    February 16, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  20. Echo

    Hillary has never looked and sounding so good.
    She has what it takes in 08!!!!

    February 16, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  21. Bill Worsham

    It would be a sad day if America rejected an inspirational leader like Obama to pick the same old Clinton or the same old Bush. Oh, I forgot. McCains policies are so much like the Bush administrations that I really couldnt tell the difference.

    February 16, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  22. Janice

    Well, if the news media continues to go along with the Clinton camp as they CONTINUE TO MOVE THE GOAL POSTS, that should be an indication that the MSM is a bunch of "crock." First, it was she would have the nomination wrapped up by Super Tuesday (Feb. 5), then March 4 would be the great decider. Now that she and her camp realize that she'll STILL BE BEHIND on this date, it's now JUNE. Come on news media, give me a break. If the shoe were on the other foot and Obama was behind like this, you would have already DECLARED HILLARY CLINTON THE WINNER, AND CALLING FOR OBAMA TO CONCEDE FOR THE GOOD OF THE PARTY.


    February 16, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  23. Sam

    The longer the race goes on the better it will be for Obama because it will give him more chances and opportunities to tell the country about NAFTA, a Clinton legacy which has directly resulted in economic woes to Americans. It has resulted in jobs losses across the country.

    The Obama campaign should also highlight Clinton's failed promises and tell the Americans how Clinton promised thousands of jobs in up-state New York in her Senatorial election campaign but did not deliver and failed miserably.

    How can we trust her when she says she's ready on day one? She could not even run her campaign successfully properly, how can she say she's ready to run a country.

    February 16, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  24. curtis in WI

    The race will be over when there are no more primaries and caucauses. Wow. That's genius there.

    February 16, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  25. scottwww

    In November, if it's Barak Obama headlining the ticket for the Democrats, just write in "present" for your vote.

    It's a good way to object to provisions in the election that you might otherwise support.

    Go Hillary!

    February 16, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
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