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. Obamista NYC

    WHOOP DEE DOO !!!!

    PLEASE don't accuse him of jumping on the band wagon just because he's black....

    He's just being straight up..

    Obama for President of the United States of America!!!!!

    April 1, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  2. LaLa in KCMO

    Cleaver's congressional district, the 5th here in Missouri, voted in favor of Obama 53/47.

    Supporting Clinton is NOT like supporting the losing home team. Your home team – YOUR CONSTITUENTS – voted for Obama.

    Cleaver, your constituents are who you REPRESENT – as suggested by your title. You are Missouri's 5th Congressional District's REPRESENTATIVE.

    But you have chosen to represent only your interests. "Loyalty trumps everything," you said to Jesse Jackson. And apparently that means your constituents too.

    You have likened giving up your support for Clinton like giving up a seat to a stranger. We are not strangers to you. We voted you into your office ... and at a narrower margin than Obama beat Clinton.

    I will NOT be voting for you in your re-election bid this November.

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

    obama would never get my vote i will stay home before i vote for him

    hilary 08

    April 1, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  4. Steve

    Texas states:

    To all of the so called Clinton supporters who say if Obama wins they will vote for McCain. That's fine….go ahead. Your gas bills are high as heck, the economy stinks, mortgages are in the crapper….I could go on and on

    Just a reminder Texas, this all happened not only under Bush but also under a democratically controlled do-nothing Congress, there is enough blame for both parties to share!. The major issue is who is working for the people? What a disappointment!

    April 1, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  5. Ian


    You are complaining because there are Super Delegates that are voting for Obama even though their state vote for Clinton? Isn't one of Hillary's main points that Super Delegates can vote for whom they want? Please clarify your statement. . .

    April 1, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  6. Keeping the FAITH!

    Let me remind all of the people that spew venom and say all of these wicked things about the Clintons of a story in my Holy Bible about David slaying Goliath! Go ahead and be nasty if you like to. That's up to you. I'll keep doing the right thing and keep the FAITH! Go Hillary 2008! Also, for those of you who don't know anything about the Holy Bible then I will give you another example you may be familiar with. Remember a couple of months ago when there was no way that the 18-0 New England Patriots could possibly lose to the New York Giants in the Super Bowl? Enough said. Obama people go ahead and keep up your arrogancy and nasty columns. God have mercy on the blind!

    April 1, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  7. Asians for Hillary

    I will vote for McCain if Obama is the nominee.

    April 1, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  8. dale in indiana

    typical... backstabbers are abound. i wonder if it looked good for hillary,would they all jump ship again. need to stick your finger in the air to see which way the wind is blowing...

    April 1, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  9. Lynette Schmidt

    Amazing to read all the words of these people who are run by fear of this or failure of that. How did they ever make it as far as they have so ridden down with fear. Hillary Clinton's record as Senator of New York is clear and on the web. Obama's is also on the web. She has worked hard over this 9 years to support a strong economy and to support every aspect of that economy. She has also worked in many other areas that should be of concern to every American. While Senator Obama has good ideas they have not been put into action and tested. So it is with the real stuff of what it will take to run the country that Hillary will bring this country into a new birthing and a well needed one. As far as fear goes it feeds the media. They feed fear to the populace and the fear runs the people so that the people need to be fed hope by a politician. Hope is an internal process so get it we need an effective president and with that hard work we can all have hope. No religion just hard work. Your spiritual life is where your hope is seeded. If everyone gave more intent to their own personal hope fear would have no foothold.

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

    this supporter should not voice his opinion until the race is over for the nomination, maybe he will keep his mouth shut like most of the people who do not like Hillary. Hillary is a winner and they are afraid she might win,,,,,,,,,,hhhahah,. you will see.......hhhahaha...

    April 1, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  11. What a Shame

    I feel sooo sorry for Ken in RI. That is the saddest statement I've ever seen. You sound like you need to see someone regarding all that hatred you hold inside. You should really look into healing yourself. Look at what you would rather happen to the soldiers that are in this horrible war. That to me is just plain SICK!!! And before you go around spreading so much hatred, learn how to spell and write first.

    And for all those Hillary supporters, who will vote for McCain, I hope you will remember that when you lose your jobs, home, pensions, etc....

    This is why this country will never get any better.

    OBAMA 08!!!!!

    April 1, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  12. D.W.; Miami, FL

    Hello people its the Information Age. You whisper in China and within 30 minutes people will be shouting it in Washington. What a misstep.

    April 1, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  13. Mr. M

    April Fools!

    April 1, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  14. russell

    by the way.........................Mcsame has no plans to bail out our economy,no plans to help the mortagage crisis...............mmmmm
    Seriously ,people would rather endure the same negatives that this country is going through , than to vote for someone that will unite us and put America back in good standing around the world ......take a good deep look at yourselves...any of you that voted for Bush or voted to send this country to war...................wake up America .
    OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT....................08

    April 1, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  15. elsie kutch

    To Sen. Clinton. You go girl. If Obama wins the nomination, I , a hard nosed democrat all my life, will vote for Sen. McCain

    April 1, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  16. Lourdes

    "Jonathan" and all you other "Democrats" for McCain - you're just proving to everyone that you don't give a stitch about real issues - health care, energy, the housing crisis, the economy, the WAR IN IRAQ, getting lobbyists out of Washington, etc etc. You're voting "Clintonian" as if you were loyally (and mindlessly) displaying unwavering support for a sports team. THIS ELECTION IS FAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN THAT. Unless what you're wiling to admit that Hillary and mcCain really do stand for pretty much the same kind of politics (an argument I could agree with) as justification for your McCain vote, you're just being anti-Obama out of sore loser spite. Grow up and think of what's best for the country.

    April 1, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  17. Ana

    LOL! There is NO way BO will win...Clinton supporters will vote for McCain before we allow this racist to become our next President. Sorry Michelle, you will NOT live at the White House!

    April 1, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  18. United Dems for Obama


    April 1, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  19. SJF

    speaking for myself as a middle-aged white guy, I could see myself voting for either McCain or Obama. A little revolution, once in a while, is a good thing. And the Clinton Machine needs to be overthrown. once and for all.

    April 1, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  20. Ida

    At last a person who can back her and still speak the truth. Never thought I'd live to see it. Carville, Davis and that Niki somebody or other would do well to learn something from this man.

    April 1, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  21. Chicago IL

    We need to get the guy a hat that says Yes We Can.

    This is truly good to hear did he say if Hillary was going to show us her tax return? In all line of business the income data and tax return will show us where they get the money.

    Honesty and being Tuthfulness is two keys to Obama's success.

    April 1, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  22. mike d

    i didnt know obama has bloggers on his pay roll. you guys sound like sales people rather than true supports. shame on you obama

    April 1, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  23. Tito

    Obviously everyone has every right to vote for whoever they please, but the Democrats would do well to have more people willing to compromise like Cleaver. The Republicans swallowed their pride and nominated McCain, despite being despised by the conservative talking heads. If the Democrats want to win in November, they better find the same sense of unity.

    On a side note, I've noticed quite a few Clinton supporters here have written there messages all in caps. Please don't do this. If there's one way to guarantee no one will read your post it's by typing in all capital letters. It's glaring to read and comes off as if you're shouting every word. Message board etiquette, people.

    April 1, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  24. gt

    benadict aronld

    April 1, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  25. JJ

    Please everyone stop the hate among the party! Some of these comments I'm reading are ridiculous! Remember this is a Primary, and we need to stick together to get a democrat in the White house in 09. We have to come together folks... Let us not spew hate over another democratic candidate. Clinton supporters remember what the Republicans put the Clintons through, It would be great to see the looks on their faces when there is a DEMOCRATIC President next year. Lets keep our eys on the prize guys lets go!!

    April 1, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
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