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. Daniel Dushman

    The shootings at NIU are certainly tragic, but they helped remind us of the gun control issue. Both Clinton and Obama disappointed me because neither said gun control is a crucial issue. Clinton said that gun control can be dealt with federally, very soon after she criticized Obama for saying can rather than will, on another issue. Obama said local governments can handle the problem. In other words, both of them are backing off from the NRA and its supporters. I doubt that McCain would do otherwise.

    February 16, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  2. R.M.

    Yea, a nominee will be chosen by June.. maybe even May but it will not be Hillary.. Dream on Hillary camp..

    February 16, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  3. Ms T.

    DNC members,

    Go ahead and play around if you like. Rules are in place for a reason and if it's a game you want a game it will be. I am a voter and I know I would rather believe that the DNC has some sense of integrity. This thing will blow up and the Republicans will end up back in the White House. I will not vote for any candidate that breaks rules...........

    February 16, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  4. Isaac

    I have to ask again. Does the Obama campaign really, truly believe that it is a good idea to completely sideline Michigan and Florida? This can not be good. And lets hold off on all the talk about Clinton trying to steal the election with superdelegates til all the states have voted, ok? Then we can figure out where it all stands and look at the issue without pretending to know the outcome ahead of time. Thanks.

    February 16, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  5. Gabby

    I thought the race was going to be over on feb 5th? Now we have a new deadline? Also, my understanding was that Hilary will be ready on DAY 1, but she has not even been able to efficiently manage her campaign, and has made numerous miscalculations since it stated. Is this the person we want to lead the country for the next four years? All we have gotten from her are excuses as to her vote for the war, why her campaign almost derailed etc.

    I think Hilary's arogance, and lack of foresight, added with her poor management and organizational styles, resulted in her current situation. The country needs a new direction.

    February 16, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  6. baldwin

    The race will be over on march 4 .
    Obama will surprise all the clintons and sweep again.

    February 16, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  7. Barbara-California

    Looks to me that this is a new way to make sure one obtains the nomination in spite of how the polulace votes; one obtains consultants before hand (on your campaign payroll); those consultants are made superdelegates; ergo, even if the populace votes for another nominee unanimously, all you do is call on those superdelegates to whom you have given a job and made big promises, and you obtain the nomination.

    So much for the Democratic Party.....looks like the 2 party system is on it's way out....this will probably be the last year for this.

    "We the people".......are no longer satisfied by greed.........

    February 16, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  8. Kimo

    A desperate attempt by the Clinton campaign to sway voters their way.

    February 16, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  9. ella

    Does the Clinton camp know something we dont....We better watch out....

    February 16, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  10. Thomas

    Clinton politics continue.

    February 16, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  11. VA


    February 16, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  12. Kimo

    A desperate attempt by the Clinton camp to sway voters their way.

    February 16, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  13. Dick Dumas

    First Hillary steals Baracks"Time for Change" now I just see that she has stolen Baracks "Yes we can" slogan for " Yes we will"

    Remember that to copy someones elses stuff is the best form of flattery .

    Glad you finally admit Barack is BETTER–GO BARACK

    Why dont you just pack it in Hilly

    February 16, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  14. Joy

    We can only hope that Ickes is right! Go Hillary Go!

    February 16, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  15. Win for Hillary

    Go Hillary !!!!

    February 16, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  16. Isaac Paul

    I truly cannot fathom why anyone would want to support a campaign that utilizes tactics such as ones the Clinton campaign are using now. This article clearly states that everyone agreed to penalize states that didn’t obey the party rules. To me, this is an open and shut case. We shouldn’t even be speaking about this now. We are witnessing that Clinton will do anything in her power to win. These are the calculating and devious tactics that draw many supporters away from her. This is why educated individuals know they cannot trust her. This clearly shows a lack of integrity. All this Superdelegate and reinstatement talk sickens me. I truly hope that the voters in the future primaries are noticing this.

    Isaac Paul

    February 16, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  17. JJ

    Sure, thats what I heard after Super Tuesday. Sounds like more of the same.

    February 16, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  18. Peter Damoah-Afari

    This is a joke!!!!

    February 16, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  19. John

    Say YES to a balanced budget. Say yes to Hillary!

    February 16, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  20. Babe

    I wonder how many men chelsea had had. Ooops, like father like daughter or is she a lesbian like mom? Fair question!!!!

    February 16, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  21. Matt

    Wow, can't get more dirty than that. Are people truly falling for Hillary's lies and flip-flops? It's getting really ugly.

    February 16, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  22. Babe

    It just shows that the clintons will do anything including pimping their daughter into the political arena to acheive their selfish and moronic ambition

    February 16, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  23. Roos

    Hillary & Bill, Thanks for the previous years, lessons learned, NO More Debate (heard enough), Don't care for the $9.50 "Chicken Bucket" SPECIAL !!! It's a new day with new ideas, and time for CHANGE !!!

    February 16, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  24. Greg

    I smell a November defeat for the Democrats.

    February 16, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  25. Nowhere Man

    Win by hook or crook, right, Mr. Icky?

    February 16, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
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