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. Cathi

    Gosh, isn't that what they said would happen February 5? Politics as usual!

    February 16, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  2. James Izzard

    America will not allow the media, including Oprah Winfrey decide on who we should vote for. We didn't buy Milli Vanilli and James Frey and we want fall for a empty suit no matter how much the media would like it.

    February 16, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  3. kbk

    HRC and company are showing the height of desparation one can probably show to win this nomination. ..they are doing whatever it takes...negative ads..accusations..not respecting Mr.Clinton's legacy and so on....
    HRC is accusing Obama of not participating in debates and suggesting Wisconsin deserves better...this shows she says anything to win....its Obama who is in Wisconsin for last 4 days and she is in Texas and Ohio...
    Give me a break!!........even a blind and deaf can tell here who is ignoring Wisconsin....its Mrs Clinton who is steping into Wisconsin today only that shows how much she is for Wisconson.
    Wisconsin....its time to act and decide who speaks and who does things.....
    Its her who is speaking from texas and Obama who is doing things in Madison, Milwakee, Greenbay.....
    By the way whats with the boxing gloves ?? she was showing in Texas...
    Looks like she is here for real boxing match...sign of a loser!!

    Go Obama 08!!

    February 16, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  4. Sharona

    So when Hillary started her campaign by declaring herself the "inevitable" democratic candidate, and then said that the nomination would clearly be hers by February 6, 2008, that isn't considered a "rush to judgement"?

    February 16, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  5. Nick

    That's right – watch for it!! A SOLUTION REVOLUTION is coming your way soon.


    February 16, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  6. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    The primary race is over now, and the general is too. The only issue is who to blame for throwing away a slam dunk victory. Maybe it's the voters who support candidates with hopelessly unrealistic agendas like Hillary and Obama.

    February 16, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  7. Dan

    wrongggggggggggggggggggggg. She is stealing slogans. Stealing styles. Stealing signature lines. How phony can this woman be?

    February 16, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  8. Mr. C

    being ignorant and too proud is too bad. Did she not think the race would be over by super tuesday.... Give me a freaking break.

    February 16, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  9. BAA

    I think Hllary's campaign seems so scatterbrained...its all over the place. As much as I wanted to stay neutral, I have to admit, im leaning Obama...I think they are both very intelligent but Hillary seems remarkably uninspiring and I dont think she can bring people together...

    February 16, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  10. jankit

    I find the whole argument about seating Florida and Michigan delegates very disturbing. This has the potential to divide the democratic party.

    February 16, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  11. Mia

    And I also will predict that the presidential race will be over in November.

    February 16, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  12. Kath

    Its a sign of a desperate campaign who is willing to say and do whatever it takes to win the nomination.
    Hilaryy: Whats with the boxing gloves in Texas??
    Sore loser !!

    February 16, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  13. Adam

    That second-to-last paragraph shows Ickes is a blatant hypocrite, plain and simple.

    February 16, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  14. hj in az

    Hillary has this already won. Obama should quit now.

    February 16, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |


    February 16, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  16. Yolanda Diaz

    Hillary will win Puerto Rico

    February 16, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  17. Quinn - Houston, Texas

    Did I hear right? Did the Billary campaign say that we can put a nail in her coffin by June? Wow. Even though I can't stand the sight of you anymore, I don't hate you either. All I wanted was for you to lose and go home. Suicide is not an option for you Hillary. Don't do it.

    February 16, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  18. MARY

    Its insincere for us to say one thing and do the opposite. In a democratic state, the voters should give the final nod. That is what is happening and that is what should happen. Let the voters decide. Obama is the one who brings both dems, independents and Reps to the same table to have solns

    February 16, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  19. Raj Mungol

    Hiillary cannot win the Presidency if she wins the nomination. I as an independent will sit out the election.

    February 16, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  20. adria shelby

    Who's the senior advisor? Must be Hillary herself cause she's gonna lose big time. Time to ride off into the sunset Clintons. Most likely she'll be left way behind by June. And I wonder what big bills legacy is? Must be how good a womanizer is is huh?

    February 16, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  21. Dee

    We need a black President "who is against war with Arab sounding name" to tell the whole world that Americans do care for the world as well..

    February 16, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  22. marsha mcknight

    The Clinton campaign must be 'very careful' with threatening with delegates over popular vote....they should not want to promote a 'population uprising' in the U.S. if Obama has the popular vote and then Hillary tries 'dirty shananigans' to hijack the presidency'....if Hillary really cares about this country, she should then support Obama with the rest of us!

    February 16, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  23. Joe

    Countng on the superdelegates is another Clintonesque trick to win. Clinton should play the game as everyone else does. Get most votes from ordinary people and there is no question who won. Insiders should stay out.

    February 16, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  24. Comfort Zone

    Bill Clinton is forgetting his own legacy, which most of us remember all too well. We had to explain the term "oral sex" to six year olds. Tell Mr. Bill that Americans do not want him living in the White House again.

    February 16, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  25. Robert Manley, Anchorage, AK

    I can tell you one thing- if the eventual nominee for the Democrats is not the candidate with the most PLEDGED delegates, I will not vote in November. And you will see a major defection from our party. I trust the Super Delegates do the right thing.

    February 16, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
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