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. Bobby K

    How convenient that the Clinton campaign changes their mind on seating Michiganian and Floridian delegates after eight straight losses in the past weeks.

    February 16, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  2. Ron

    WHAT AMAZING CONTEST..I am not sure who is going to win. All I can say is, it is quite a race!! BUT, I believe the nomination will be determined March 4th. If Hillary doesn't win by at least 15% in those Primarys it will be over....WHAT A CONTEST...

    February 16, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  3. marylee wagerman atlanta,ga

    i doubt you will even post this...however,if hillary is the dems nominee i will NEVER vote for her

    February 16, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  4. Jose Luis

    Hillay senior adviser is wrong, Puerto Rico belong to Obama. Yes we can.

    February 16, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  5. Ryan M.

    Clintonian.... 'nuff said.

    February 16, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  6. Jenny

    Hillary is a snake. She wishes she can beat Barack. Barack for the win!

    February 16, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  7. Sylvia

    They are tied....why does Obama think he is the winner? Why does he think he is ahead....they are TIED

    I will not vote for HIM in TEXAS!!!!

    February 16, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  8. Will

    Please go home, Hillary, America does not want you in the white house again. Didn't work too well the first time, and definitely won't work the second time.

    February 16, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  9. Nancy

    It is interesting to note that the Clinton campaign wishes to win by any means possible including ignoring the will of the people. I do not believe Clinton will have more pledged votes than Obama. If superdelegates decide to give the nomination to Clinton I will not vote in the general election. Clinton's campaign tactics are truly vile.

    February 16, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  10. Sharon of Illinois

    Why change the rules now? HE voted to not have them seated. Follow the rules, if she wins that way fine but don't be a cheat.

    February 16, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  11. Rick Lime

    Bill and Hillary.... two too many Clintons.

    February 16, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  12. Richard

    Mr. Ickes is not doing a service to the Clinton campaign by now stating that Florida and Michigan delegates should be credentialed, having voted before the fact that they not be. Wild guess....if Obama had won Florida Mr. Ickes and Senator Clinton would not be so interested in having them seated.

    February 16, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  13. JM

    According to most news sources it is nearly mathematically impossible for either of them to reach 2,025 through the remaining primaries, paritally due to the way the delegates are split proportionately.

    So, either they will resolve it prior to the convention or that leaves whoever is the Democratic candidate with 2 months to run a general election campaign which McCain will have been doing for 6 months prior to the election .

    February 16, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  14. Sean, Detroit, MI

    So, Ickes voted to disallow seating of the Michigan and Florida delegates and now he's trying to argue they should be seated? No surprise he's part of the Clinton campaign. The sleaze machine rolls on...

    Re-vote in Michigan and Obama wins by 15%.

    February 16, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  15. Bubba

    The only thing that will be nailed by June is one of her hubbys' female campaign workers.

    February 16, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  16. CG

    I don't know why some Americans feel they can break the law and not have to face any penalty. Now the Clintons are just perpetuating this notion by calling for Florida and Michigan to be seated. Those states knew the law and yet they still broke it. Sorry but now you must pay the price. Deal with it and move on.

    February 16, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  17. RJB2

    A new FYI...
    261 earmarks Clinton personally helped usher through Congress. That's more earmarks than any other member of Congress seeking the presidency, according to an analysis by the watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW).

    Same old same old...

    February 16, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  18. Jeanett Sealy

    I honestly feel first and foremost that Clinton needs to stand by the decision to eliminate the delegations of Michigan and Florida. I think her desire to reinstate them after the agreements speaks clearly to her shady tactics as a politician – something we do not need more of. I also believe that should superdelegates go against the obvious wish of the people, they need to step down from their political office. They are there to represent the american people, clearly if they vote against the peoples choice in their state they are not able to do that.

    February 16, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  19. Sheri

    Barack Obama has never tried to call this election, nor has he ever stated that he should have the nomination now. In fact, please read his website.. listen to him speak.. he of anyone realizes the battle yet to be fought in terms of earning votes and delegates, which is why he continues to go state to state, town to town rallying with the citizens of those states and towns and delivering his message himself, rather than relying on his message to be delivered by the media...

    February 16, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  20. jack

    wow, this is a real family business from father, mother to the daughter. It is our time to stop this nonsense. This is a democratic society and time to send these people home!

    February 16, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  21. Nick

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

    I think this should be rephrased to make it clear that all the Democratic nominees were in fact on Florida's ballot and that Obama and Edwards voluntarily took their names off of Michigan's ticket. The negative connotation it currently has is completely biased and unfair.

    February 16, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  22. ken

    Why is CNN making this website Clinton family business. mmmmh, I see you through!

    February 16, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  23. KB26

    It will be over sooner than June. When Obama takes Ohio and Texas on March 4.

    February 16, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  24. Kelly

    So let me get this right, she's going to fight until the very end and leave the Democrats only 4 months of national campaign time to fight McCain?

    Hillary, concede for the good of the party before you split it in two and give the Republicans another 4 years of more war.

    February 16, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  25. CW

    Blah, Blah, Blah. If Obama had won Florida and Michigan, we'd be hearing this same story from the other direction. If the party wants superdelegates to vote the will of the people, and then the votes in FL and MI will come to bear. The campaign has gone ugly, so who's paying attention to the real issues anymore? This sounds like a popularity contest in high school more than a presidential election.

    February 16, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
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