April 1st, 2008
07:10 PM ET
11 years ago

Clinton backer: Obama will win

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/01/art.cleaver.gi.jpg caption="Cleaver, a supporter of Clinton, said he'd be stunned if Obama didn't win."](CNN) - A key Hillary Clinton supporter appeared to be a bit off message during a recent interview with a Canadian radio station.

"If I had to make a prediction right now, I'd say Barack Obama is going to be the next president," Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver said in a Canadian public radio interview this weekend. "I will be stunned if he's not the next president of the United States."

Cleaver, an African-American, endorsed Clinton's White House bid last year and formally remained aligned with the New York senator even as other black leaders shifted their support to Barack Obama.

But after his district voted for Obama in the February 5 primary, Cleaver did indicate he would consider voting for the Illinois senator at the party's convention if the delegate count was extremely tight between the two candidates.

In the Canadian radio interview, Cleaver made clear he doesn't expect Clinton to overtake Obama, comparing his support of the New York Democrat to that of his hometown losing football team.

“Even though I don't expect the Kansas City Chiefs to beat the Indianapolis Colts, I cheer for the Kansas City Chiefs,” he said.

He also pushed back on the notion Clinton should take her fight for the party's nomination all the way to the August convention - though he acknowledged that is not the position he is supposed to take.

"If I do the party line, I'm supposed to say - and maybe I'll say, just so if anybody hears it they can say well, 'Cleaver did the party line before he told the truth' - we believe that a contest going all the way to the convention is good for America."

But, he added, an actual convention fight would be a “tragedy of tragedies.”

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (365 Responses)
  1. lisa


    April 1, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  2. MP

    Do all you Hillary supporters think she is for democracy? Honestly? She could care less about the voters rights. She accepted the fact those two states would not count if and when they broke the rules. When she was ahead on delegates her stance was all about the delegate lead. Now she is crying foul again saying she has the right to change the pledge delegate vote. What? Every vote should count?..Unless it is a vote against her. Every Clinton supporter is screaming about how unfair their canidate is being treated. She is treated that way because she is dishonest, and negative. Obama has no choice but to defend himself. "Shame on you Barak Obama"..? Is she serious? The funny thing about that line was, what Obama said about her in Ohio and Nafta turned out to be true. It has nothing to do with the fact she is a woman. I was going to vote for her. She is negative. She thinks the American people are idiots. The spin she puts on everything, the lies, the misstatements ect……Everyone just didn't wake up one morning and say to themselves, "lets all be against Hillary" She did this to herself. Her campaign is a mess. Lets talk about healthcare. Under her plan she would be charged with a criminal offense for not paying her healthcare bills for her campaign. How can she say every american must pay for healthcare than not pay her own bills? Wake up!

    April 1, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  3. OBAMA 08

    YOU THINK !!!

    April 1, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  4. Voice that matters.

    Obama is waiting on you, but don't push Hillary cuz so many have dropped out which is unffair you know.

    Hillary supporters can anyone call John Edward to come back and put his name on the ballot as the race for White House is still wide open? Every state most count and candidate most not drop out until the last state votes.

    It' s unffair for the rest of the states not to cast for many candidates as they desire instead of just 2 people.To drop out when other
    states have not voted is unamerican.

    Very very unffair. Come to think of it why should they drop out and many state have not haven't vote?

    The chicken candidates whom have dropped out makes people focus on only 2 candidate instead of leaving open for many choices which would have more interesting.

    April 1, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  5. Not here

    Obama does not win my vote for sure. He is on the senator floor for three years now and pretty much not having any proposal that he claims he would do if he was president. How could we know he would do them, when he had the chance to do them for three years and done nothing?

    April 1, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  6. Michelle

    I think Obama needs to address race issue once again, to his supporters this time.

    April 1, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  7. April in Texas

    Its good to see someone on the Clinton side can actually do the math. I applaud you for standing behind Clinton and yet knowing that it may be inevitable for you to switch to help unite the democratic party.

    Obama 08

    April 1, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  8. Deana

    I say it again, I think Clinton should show the Democratic Party the same respect they have shown her, pull a Lieberman leave the party and run independent. You would see some freaked out scared people then. I so think she could pull it off, she would have my vote. Forget the Democratic Party Hillary what have they done for you lately, GO INDEPENDENT!!!!

    April 1, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  9. JHR Arizona

    Obama, Clinton and McCain out of a "Country of 300 million people this is the best we have to offer" Ny dream is to have a real leader! These are all products of big politics "The Washington Party" and all they want is for the Govt to have more Power.

    The American People have turned into worms they deserve these three, all the same.

    The debt, the dollar, the jobs, Govt controls Wall Strreet, The federal reserve, what a joke they made the mess now they are going to lead it??

    Wake up America you are Surfs

    April 1, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  10. FINALLY someone speaks the truth!

    And now the superdelegates are starting to see the light!

    April 1, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  11. Lee From Treasure Island Florida

    OUCH! That one hurts.

    April 1, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  12. Greg, NY

    Can't wait to see how Lou Dobbs spins this one. He keeps complaining that it's only Obama supporters calling for Hillary to get out of the race, well this isn't quite a call, but it's close enough.

    April 1, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  13. Vivian

    This is the first time I've heard a hillary person come to grips with reality. Of course Obama will win! Mr. Cleaver has proved to me that SOME hillary people aren't in a dreamworld! GET A GRIP EVERYONE!

    April 1, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  14. Ben

    The writing is on the wall. Come June, Hillary will end her campaign and endorse Obama.

    April 1, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  15. College Student, TX

    Call it whatever you want, I'll just call it inevitability!

    Hillary supporters meet your destiny!

    Obama 08!

    April 1, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  16. Iris

    Vote Democrat '08

    Let's get these Repub's out!

    April 1, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  17. Terri

    Clinton backer saying Obama will win......... Priceless.

    April 1, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  18. Bryan


    April 1, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  19. mark

    if hillary doesn't win in pennsylvania, it's time to stick her with a fork and see if she's done!

    April 1, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  20. azdem

    I love this guy!!! At least some folks in the Clinton camp have common sense.

    OBAMA 08

    April 1, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  21. jj

    Sorry, I think it will be either Clinton or McCain, too many have had second and third thoughts about Obama, and I'm one of them. At first I just thought he needed more experience but since just a few things have come out, I don;t think he would be good for America, his campaign has been about race and that's not what the issues should be about, it should be for ALL Americans. He nicely turned the preachers hate speeches into blaming everyone else for the preachers racism.

    April 1, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  22. Xavier, Washington, DC

    Now that's what I call straight talk. The Kansas City Chiefs comment was right on the money. We all know she can't win. At least he's standing by his candidate (until she sits down).

    April 1, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  23. Let it run..

    We should let this thing run to its logical end, prior to the convention.
    There should be no question as to who could have, would have been the candidate of choice for the Democratic Party. People on both sides of the argument should stop whining, and do something positive.

    This is a problem that's about to take care of itself. Hillary has been keeping a deep dark secret that's about to come to light. Her campaign is financially bankrupt. She no longer has the funds to continue for any length of time. She may have the will to continue, but money talks. No money? No campaign. Are you a Hillary backer? Quit whining about CNN and superdelegates, and Michigan and Florida, and sniper fire, and Chelsea getting asked inapropriate questions, and put your money where your mouth is. Send money, or watch your candidate pull out due to financial problems.

    April 1, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  24. Jonathan



    April 1, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  25. Owned

    I wish that the Clinton camp would listen to what their own supporters are saying. Now is the best time to graciously withdraw from the race and avoid political suicide.

    April 1, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
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