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. kenny

    somehtings to ponder.......there will be some clinton supporters who feel that she has been treated unfairly by the press and some democrats and will vote for mccain. also in a matchup with mccain obama will lose the white male vote, the hispanic vote, the white "soccer moms" and will win the black vote and any young people who bother to vote, mccain in a landslide. in a clinton – mccain matchup mccain will win the white male vote, lose the women vote, lose the hispanic vote, and if any blacks still vote she will carry them, oh and those young voters will vote for her. she can beat mccain in a close vote.

    April 1, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  2. Brother Sam

    All candiates for America

    April 1, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  3. Bdiddy

    This is just commen sense, and it's needed right now. Nothing against Hillary except this is what she gets, she ran a horrible campaign and clearly has been beat. She has not showed anything to me but how sore of a loser she is. I've said this over and over ...a measure of a man is not in how well he wins but in how gracious he loses.

    I know Hillary is a woman but I wouldn't want my children to grow up and be like Hillary. She has been very disappointing as a human being. No one should feel comfortable lying to people who you want to vote for you. She would say anything and that is weakness. It takes a real person to be able to say they were wrong and to take a loss, she can't do either.

    April 1, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  4. tim

    Dear Clinton supports,

    You lost, get over it.

    The next President will likely appoint two supreme court justices. Do you want a Republican making those nominations?

    You might want to reconsider Obama before jumping on the McCain band wagon because your favorate lost.

    April 1, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  5. Debby

    Oh boy you didn't have to be Einstein to figure out why he went to Obama. LOL

    April 1, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  6. JP Smith

    "I keep seeing the same people responding to these blogs – and always the same rhetoric regardless of what story they are responding to. I wonder if any of them are part of one of the three candidate's campaigns?


    I'm inclined to agree. I believe that there are some staff, paid or unpaid, responsible for pushing out campaign talking points on blogs, message boards, etc.

    April 1, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  7. AJ

    Imagine that. Another black supporter breaks ranks. Knock me over with a feather. I'll be extremely suprised if Obama is our next president. There are too many Clinton supporters like me who will be voting for McCain if Obama is our nominee.

    April 1, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  8. The Perpetual Student

    Cheryl, don't forget that Hillary's campaign is in the red and Obama has raised more money than her. THOSE are some of the reasons she is being outspent!

    April 1, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  9. Russell, Greensboro,North Carolina

    It is time for the Clintons to go, period.

    April 1, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  10. Diane in Idaho

    When I read all the comments here, I think that this country doesn't have a chance as long as we are calling each other names. How old is the average voter? If we act like five-year-olds in the sand box, we will never make any progress in this country. Vote for whom you want to, don't try to defeat someone else by trickery or name-calling. Start acting like adults, voters. Look up the candidates positions on the issues and vote accordingly.

    April 1, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  11. AR

    It is obvious this guy is (and was ) not a real supporter of Hillary.

    He wanted Obama to win from the start.
    but he also thought that Hillary (clintons) is/are going to win, one way or another.

    April 1, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  12. Ingrid

    This is better than winning the super bowl and going to Disney

    April 1, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  13. v.ananthan


    ( Obama can us some tricks from BUSH campaign in 2000)

    April 1, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  14. wwf

    Just remember this. When you vote for McCain instead of Obama, or Clinton get ready to take it in the shorts. You will feel it in your pocket book and in your everyday lives. The war in Iraq will go on and on and on and on. If want a combination of Bush and Regan in the White House then vote McCain. Just don't come back on here in 2 years and complain about the condition of our country or the war in Iraq or even a new one.

    April 1, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  15. Trey L.

    Would a real Democrat (even those that support Hillary) really do the unthinkable and vote for McCain.
    I don't people who think like that are really Democrats they are nothing more than Dixiecrats......we can all read between the lines.
    A real Democrat would NEVER vote for another 8 years of this!
    Are you guys crazy!

    April 1, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  16. park more

    that's an opinion and will stay as it

    April 1, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  17. Frank, Dayton, Ohio

    Cleaver is an example for what some other Clinton supporters are afraid to give voice to: he dares to observe that the emperor (or in this case, the empress) has no clothes...and no possibility of winning the nomination over Obama.

    April 1, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  18. Daniel in Michigan

    Sounds like an endorsment to me!

    April 1, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  19. Eunice, Maryland

    This man is not relevant at all. He wants to have the best of the two worlds. He still refers to himself as Clinton supporter but will vote for Obama in the convention. He is a hypocrite and he is doing that for his own good to be relected of course. He can not have the best of the same world.

    April 1, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  20. Marilyn

    Obama might win the Democratic nomination, but I doubt he will be the next president.

    April 1, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  21. Michael, Farmington, NH

    Cleaver, like most Americans, can easily read the writing on the wall. The only folks who don't seem able to, or willing to, are the members of the Clinton camp. I will be stunned as well if Obama doesn't win the nomination. Conversely I will not be stunned if Clinton tries to do as much damage to Obama as possible. She would rather McCain beat Obama in November... it would make her 2012 bid for the White House that much easier.

    April 1, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  22. zona

    Hillary should listern to Cleaver–and go home to Bill. So much of the country is simply tired of her complaining, whining, accusing, and lying (oops, lapse of memory). We're just tired of her. Obama sheds new light on America, a new hope for tomorrow. We don't need "another Clinton to clean up after a Bush". Obama 08.

    April 1, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  23. Susan

    Clinton will win. We believe America is seeing 'the real' Obama. He is 'too star struck'. This is not what being a president is about. First for Obama, not now. All our family is for Clinton. GO HILLARY!!

    April 1, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  24. LK

    Hillary Supporters,

    Look at the number of Senators who are falling in line for Obama. These Senators have known Hillary longer than Barack – wouldn't it make more sense if they were falling in line for Hillary? Doesn't it make you wonder, if these people work directly with Senator Clinton, why are they choosing Senator Obama? They should know something we don't know...

    April 1, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  25. Geoff Smith

    Sounds like a Hillary supporter that is actually in touch with reality.

    April 1, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
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