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. Tim C

    Oh yeah, it'll be over in June. It just won't be the result they've been hoping for. By the way, this comment - by "one of Hillary Clinton’s senior advisers" - perfectly illustrates the arrogance of the Clinton campaign.

    February 16, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  2. Lillian Simmons

    Texans are opposed to the Trans Texas Corridor by a landslide. CNN needs to ask Obama and Clinton why the Governor of Texas does not listen to Texans on the Trans-Texas Corridor. Both parties' platforms are opposed to it, and independents are universally opposed.

    February 16, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  3. Rob

    Harold Ickes has about as much credibilty as Hugo Chavez in our country. I guess Clintons will hire the slime of the earth to help run their campaign. He voted for the delegates to be withdrawn from Florida but now that it could benefit him, he flips flops. This is why Clinton is getting trounced. It's all about integrity which they lack in spades.

    February 16, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  4. sally

    I do not know who the primary winner will be but I will admit this process has been undemocratic, a sham and a shame. The DEm. nominee should be chosen by Democrats only in closed primaries. We should not have independents or republicans making the choice. Also, how do you disenfranchise millions of people in Florida and mIchigan whose votes we need in the General Election? And to top it off, the MSM has had a very negative and deceptive role in all of this. Howard Dean and Donna Brazile should be fired for destroying the party and ennabling and encouraging the MSM in bashing our democratic candidates.

    February 16, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  5. Dave

    I wonder what it's like to live in Hillaryland? Is Santa a super delegate?

    These people are so out of touch with reality that they just don't get it. One of the reasons the American people are draw to Barack Obama is because we are so tired of the politics or personal distruction tactics that have dominated the Bush/Clinton era. The say anything, pander to everyone, do anything attitude of both families and their supporters needs to end – this Country is not supposed to be a monarchy run by two families and their court jesters like Karl Rove and Harold Ickes for over 30 years.

    February 16, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  6. Ben

    Real democracy is when the people speak and not politicians. Desperation seems to be setting into the Clinton camp.

    February 16, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  7. Brendan Crotty

    " Yes we can" "Yes we HOPE we can" It's all smoke and mirrors Barack.

    February 16, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  8. Lisa- NC

    I agree that the race will be over by June because Obama is now locked into a couple of debates with Hillary and he can't beat her with his one liners. A month ago he was likened to Martin Luther King, a few weeks ago he became Kennedy like according to Caroline Kennedy. Last week a local black radio station said he was Jesus like. Well if thats the case , maybe by time he has to debate he can walk on water.

    February 16, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  9. White, female boomer for Obama

    What about the voters who did not vote as they believed that the DNC would follow the rules and that the delegates would not count coupled with the fact, after agreeing with the ruling, Hillary Clinton advertised prior to the election that she would have the delegates seated and would be having a rally after the polls closed. This resulted in a very strong Clinton turnout in the final hours of voting.

    A nominee in a democracy, a form of gov't based on rules, should win fairly and following the rules he or she agreed to. Who really wants a nominee who "slimes" her/his way onto office?

    February 16, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  10. Heath, Bronx, NY

    Nice try Mr. Ickes, but the American people are speaking. Apparently you have not been listening. 8 in a row.

    Why would I vote for someone who cannot even run their campaign effectively to run the country???

    February 16, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  11. Cph9680

    Well, if Mr. Ickes is so confident, then I should console myself with being forced to vote for John McCain

    February 16, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  12. Kris K.

    Clintons the only way you can win now is if you cheat. You are good at that. Americans who vote-wake up! They can't run a quality campaign. You expect better results with the Nation? That is too much of a risk.
    Rancho Murieta,CA

    February 16, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  13. Bova

    What is wrong with Mr. Ickes , He voted last year to penalize Michigan and Florida and now he want to change the rule. Is this not the kind of washington politics that Mr Obama is talking about?

    February 16, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  14. Roger Marco Island Florida

    Hillary's , advisers are incorrect . the race is actually over now ,the more she opens her mouth the deeper she digs her own grave . One lie after another , reminds us of the year's she and her husband were in the White House . She has been trained by Bill too lie, deceive , cheat, squander ,and put a spin on any truth she does not like .
    We are tired of all they're crap. It's really time for change ,something NEW , totally remove the old political machines starting fresh with new younger , and fresh ideas politicians .

    February 16, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  15. Judith

    If the DNC hands Clinton the delegates from Florida and Michigan, and does not go with the will of the people, I for one will never vote for another Democratic... If they do not give it too Obama based on votes he has won, then I pray Obama will run as an Independant for the office. I know I will write his name in for the November vote, and I hope many others feel the same way.... So Mr. Dean should remember the American voters, we are watching this carefully.....

    February 16, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  16. Bein Careful

    If she "nails" it by June that will make my decision real easy in November! McCain as the lesser of two evils.

    February 16, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  17. Trev

    Obama is talking out of both ends of his mouth on superdelegates. He does not want them to trump the will of the voters. But... he wants to keep those superdelegates who support him in areas voting for Clinton (like Senators Kennedy and Kerry). What will he do when Hillary has more people who voted for her. My guess is he will tell people to ignore the will of the voters and vote based on the number of states he won. Hillary has been consistent on the superdelegates from day one. I know that is hard for Clinton haters to take, but it is true. I am still voting for SOLUTIONS.

    February 16, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  18. Nicholas from Nigeria

    Any right thinking superdeligate ought to vote the popular choice of the people. It will be endangering the chance of having democrat in whitehouse if superdelegates vote against the popular choice of people who will vote to determine who wins the presidency. Superdelegates should know that general election does not make them super. Being super is limited to the primaries alone.

    Obama 08.

    February 16, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  19. Jake, California

    No Ickes,
    June is too far. Once Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania say no to Hillary and Bill like it was done in DC, Virginia, Maryland etc there will be nothing much left of her...hang in there!

    February 16, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  20. ben

    Is Ickes,a superdelegate and Hillary backer, indirectly telling us Hillary is going to win regardless what the majority of democrats want?
    He voted to eliminate Florida and Michigan, and now he insists their delegates should be counted.
    Don't you think it strange, Hillary was the only candidate on the ballot.?
    Did she know before hand this under handed ploy was to be played?
    Maaybe she did, and maybe not, but it looks very very suspicious!!!!!!!!!!
    The other candidates took the dnc at their word. Now democrats can't even trust democrats.

    February 16, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  21. Cathy

    Excuse me but Obama's name was on the Florida State Ballot. The race is not over yet. Chill out Obama

    February 16, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  22. school teacher

    Obama has some of the rudest supporters I have ever seen. I never heard of a woman being attacked and lied on like they have Hillary. You better not count your chickens before they hatch. You haven't won yet.

    February 16, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  23. Papa Roach

    Every time the Clinton campaign tries these old win by any means necessary tactics it weighs heavily on the voters like a pile of crap over and over again... same old politics and same old tricks. We already saw this movie and we knows how it ends.

    It's time to turn the page.

    February 16, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    a shining example of hillary's campaign hypocrisy. voting to penalize florida and michigan last year, and now suddenly begging those states to seat the disputed delegates. obama will take her and her cronies to the cleaners.

    February 16, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  25. tonyp

    Hilary is actually very weak even thru all her pretense, she can never win anything on her own merit instead of always putting someone down.

    February 16, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
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