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. Rob

    Yeah, that's what Giuliani said.....

    February 16, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  2. J from DAHOUSE

    Not so fast. I wouldn't be so cocky. This is the same campaign that planned on having the nom by Super Tuesday. Also, just in case you haven't noticed your girl is trialing in Texas by six. Last I check Texas was a must win. If anything Obama will have this wrapped up by March 5th. Obama has ran a well organized campaign and Clinton has done just the opposite. But who knows? She may just pull out a win in Texas. If she wins Texas, Pa. and Ohio then she probably will be the nom. But first she has to win Texas.

    A Stronger America '08

    February 16, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  3. curtiswalker

    Clinton will not do a "George Bush" on Democrats and steal the election via FLORIDA !

    Democrats will not stand for it!

    Plus, now that she is leaving Wisconsin early (before the vote) it looks like her MATH is telling her she is gonna loose that state, too!

    February 16, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  4. marianne Selnes


    I'm a woman from Norway, Oslo, and following the Clinton-campaign from here.
    We in Norway follow the USA election 2008, and are devided in who should run for President. But the politicians in the House of Representatives are mostly for Hillary Clinton. And So am I.

    Hillary Clinton for presidency.

    Best regards

    Marianne Selnes
    Oslo, Norway.

    February 16, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  5. Daniel DeLeo

    Flat wrong CNN... I expect a correction and will be watching,

    "Hillary Clinton won the primaries in both Florida and Michigan, where she was the only major Democratic candidate to appear on the ballot."

    In fact, in Florida where I live they all appeared on the ballot and she won by a lot. Only in Michigan were the other names removed from the ballot and that was by the canbdidtates own choice.

    Florida had record tuen out and I want my vote to count...Beware alientaing Floridians in the general.

    February 16, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  6. Dan

    I love when people delay the inevitable.

    February 16, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  7. Manuel Gonzales

    I sure hope so..
    Our country doesn't have time to "train" a rookie politician.
    With Iran, China, Russia, and the whole middle eastern problems we will need an experienced politician at the helm.
    One who can handle foreign as well as domestic issues, and I can think of no one more qualified than Hillary Clinton....
    People think she is cold and calculating......Well, good !!! If that is what she is then she will make a good president.

    February 16, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Oh yeah....

    February 16, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  9. Obama supporter

    Umm, I think it will be much sooner than that if she keeps it up!

    February 16, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  10. Eric

    You gotta be kidding me. She's losing ground every day with the voters, Obama's cutting into her base, and her money train left the station without her. Trying to change the election narrative with this talk about June is just silly. She keeps pushing back the date when she becomes competitive again, without acknowledging that she can't possibly catch up now! Come on, let it go with some dignity, Hillary. And please don't try to take the entire Democratic Party down with you, kicking and screaming.

    Obama '08

    February 16, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  11. Catherine

    Please don't make incorrect statements. Obama and Edwards were also on the BALLOT in FLORIDA. I should know. I voted.

    February 16, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  12. Matt

    I'll never vote for another Democrat again, if Sen. Clinton tries to steal the election.

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

    If Hillary tries to win this nomination by overturning the peoples will, she will destroy the democratic party. I'm not sure about her tactics lately and I wish she would release her tax returns.

    February 16, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  14. David

    More arrogance from an incompetant campaign. How do you lose a 20 – 40 % lead? Well, you ignore caucus states, then you alienate the voters, you ignore a few of the smaller states, then you make blunder after blunder in the word wars, and to top it off, when you take a hit in Iowa, you take 8 weeks to start to pull it together, maybe.

    You know... it would take the demographics of a Hillary voter to actually vote for Hillary. (let it sit a while, it'll come to you).

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

    If they allow the current results from Florida and Michigan to stand, I will lose all faith in the political process and move to France.

    February 16, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  16. gman

    I thought the nomination was suppose to be locked up on Super Tuesday for Billary. We keep hearing this thing about FL and MI delegates. The deal is their delegates will not be seated PERIOD. Hillary can't claim anything because all she won was a big fat zero. Now if the Dems want to lose the GE, try to sit those canidates and steal this from Obama. You will lose every Obama voter...and that's a fact. Every Anybody But Clinton will come out....and the Dems will lose tne GE. Yu need to open your eyes and understand what's real.

    February 16, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  17. Laurie Notaro

    Clinton's camp really needs to close their pie holes and try to start taking a higher road. I was an Edwards supporter, and after his decision to quit the race, I liked Clinton and Obama equally. With all of the sniping coming from Clinton's advisors and campaign, however, it has inspired me to look closer at Obama and I can honestly say he now has my vote in the primaries (and I just bought an Obama T-shirt to seal the deal). What the Clinton campaign will successfully accomplish is cause a sharp agitation between the supporters of the two candidates–when what we really need to do is chose who will represent us the best and not begin taking sides like this was a high school squabble. I am a registered, tried and true Democrat, but I swear, this backbiting is proving the Republicans right about us, and that is making me sick. Ickes just exemplifies why we need to abolish super delegates altogether; that system is subversive.

    February 16, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  18. Debo

    All of the Clinton mouthpieces including themselves are talking a lot of hot air. Threats, promises, slander, it's Bush all over again. Really, is this what we want for the next 4 years?

    Please get some fresh air from these tired wind bags.

    February 16, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  19. U.S. Army Vet.

    More games by the Clinton campaign.

    February 16, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  20. OBAMA 08

    Another indication of the Clinton machine going down hill: talking glibberish!!!

    February 16, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  21. Maureen Burke

    The Clinton campaign will get those FL and MI delegates at their peril. That is the most outrageous tactic to win an election ever–sickening.

    February 16, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  22. carol

    You go girl, Fight like hell and show that racist for what he is, full of hot air. For some reason he thinks the whole worlds needs to be inspired . No Thanks, I am not voting on a President , to inspire me. I am looking for a President that has a brain with some experence and that would not be Obama. Bush was enought , but everyone thought he was the best candidate to have a beer with, Thats how some idoits pick Presidents. I hope the Democrats are smarter than those stupid Republicans. Look at our country. They also cheated to get there, shame on them. Maybe It will come back to haunt them.

    Hillary or McCain

    February 16, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  23. Mark

    Sure, let's just skip the primaries and the general election and hand over the Presidency to Hillary. We can't wait for socialized health care. I'm really scared that she will take the best health care system in the world and reduce it to a third world joke that will end up costing trillions.

    February 16, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  24. Kris In Atlanta

    Now this is truly sad, reminiscent of the year 2000 debacle. Florida and Michigan should never have been stripped of their delegates in the first place. And for Hillary and her crew to flip flop at this stage shows an overwhelming lack of integrity. And considering no actual campaigning was done by other candidates, the only solution would be to allow campaigning now-not automatically award Hillary anything-and then ensure that these two crucial states' voters are not overlooked and their votes counted.

    February 16, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  25. LinnieFB

    Ickes - another flip-flopping Clintonite.

    February 16, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
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