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. breanna

    last i checked, obama can not get the necessary 2025 delegates needed to clinch the nomination. Since he is not gonna be able to do this, i would say right here and now that HE needs to drop out of the race and put all of his support behind hillary and the for the good of the party. Lets face it it is a lost cause. he can not possibly win the nomination with the numbers he has or may get in the future. DO THE MATH. Please drop out Obama for the sake of the country. I know you Obamamaniacs want to continue to throw your support behind jim jones, i mean Obama, but please dont do it hes a lost cause. Thank you and have a blessed day.

    April 1, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  2. szelag19

    A new ad by Sen. Obama running in Pennsylvania falsely claims that Sen. Obama does not accept money from the oil industry. In the ad, Sen. Obama says, "I'm Barack Obama and I don't take money from oil companies or lobbyists and I won't let them block change anymore."

    According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Sen. Obama has received over $160,000 from the oil and gas companies. Two major bundlers for his campaign - George Kaiser and Robert Cavnar – are oil company CEOs. Sen. Obama has accepted money from Exxon, Shell, BP, Chevron and just about every other major oil company. Just last month, Sen. Obama accepted another $8,400 from ExxonMobil, $12,370 from Chevron and $6,500 from British Petroleum

    April 1, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  3. True Democrat

    Let's get real Senator Obama is ahead in every category. According to the WSJ, since the "Super Tuesday" primaries on Feb. 5, Sen. Obama has won commitments from 64 superdelegates and Sen. Clinton has gotten nine. Sen. Obama has a total of 217 superdelegates in his camp while Sen. Clinton has 250, and her margin has been shrinking with each week.

    Please stop listening to the lies about disenfranchising the voters. Go to RCP. Even with the votes counted, Senator Clinton is still behind in every category. FL and MI should not count or be split 50%. That is the only fair was to enforce the rules, while allowing the delegates to be seated. Senator Clinton is saying to let the people have their voices heard, while at the same time saying that the elected delegates can switch against the wishes of their states. So is she for the voices being heard or not?

    The writing is on the wall and everyone knows it. This is silly. All of you on both sides that say you will vote for McCain need to grow up. Resorting to name calling because you cannot have your way is kindergarten. You are adults, not school kids on the play ground. How about we start acting like adults? These blogs have become the Republican playground and they enjoy pulling our strings. The Democratic Party will be united. For those who would vote for McCain, you obviously haven’t been paying attention to the record voter registrations during this primary. You will be easily replaced and won’t be misses. So please do the Democratic Party and take your self and the two friends you know that think as you do and turn off the light when you leave. The party doesn’t need you.

    “True Democrat”

    April 1, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  4. Lorenzo

    Dylan, I agree with you the lady needs a red bull. Billary wake up!!!!!!!!

    April 1, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  5. RAP

    its another case of the heart over the mind

    April 1, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  6. Christi

    Ivan in Chicago:

    The "tactics" Obama has used? What tactics were used? Changing the rules? Role of the superdelegates? I think you have the candidates mixed up.


    April 1, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  7. Robert E.

    If Hillary wins, there will be a Hill-Billy in the white house...
    Welcome back to Dagpatch, Arkansas....

    April 1, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  8. Ric

    I'm confused, Billary said at first the one the the required delegates should win. Then she changed it to the one with the most popular votes should win. Then it was the one with the momentum should win. Then it's the superdelegates should vote with the voice of the people. If that doe not work, then forget the voice of the people and get the voice of the credentials committee be heard. If that does not work there's a group of people that can over turn the credentials committee decision to give her victory. Please Billary, do yourself, family and We the People a favor....GO HOME!!!!!!!!

    April 1, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  9. Schroeder

    I am so with you jonathan, there is no way I'm voting for a man who has been constructed by the media with little substance. McCain, with all of his faults, is still a better bet. He doesn't align himself with racist bigots and seems to have this country as his priority – unlike the Obamas. I won't vote my party just because the media has given him the divine coverage or he's a democrat.

    April 1, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  10. Tom


    About Cleaver, I am proud that he has chosen to stand by his convictions and support the Clintons after all they've done or tried to do for the African-American community, which is substantially more than what Barack has done on a Nation wide scale.

    What the hell have the Clinton's done for the African American community? That is a fiction. Please name me something Bill Clinton has done for African Americans. I'll start with two things, welfare reform and federal sentencing guidelines. Your turn.

    April 1, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  11. To breanna

    furthermore Cleaver still supports Clinton even though his state said otherwise, and did you just refer to african americans as supporting their own kind!!! Are you a democrat just wondering???

    April 1, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  12. andy k

    he's right, and everyone knows it

    April 1, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  13. dapo

    People just do not understand the danger this trend is giving to Obama. Bill was very right, race had come into the contest a while back.

    It is very clear that this chap is playing on race as he specifically mentioned that he would vote for Obama if the race was very tight and Obama needed a tie-breaker.
    No matter what, this is going to be a race issue and Obama will lose the November election badly.

    I see a repeat of the 1952 elections coming up here. He will lose Florida and possibly New York.

    Cleaver can as well move out of the Clinton support group as he has stabbed her in the back but know that the consequences are coming in November!

    April 1, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  14. RFB

    Well first we had a Judas, and now we have a doubting Thomas. Who will be the one to be crucified?

    April 1, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  15. shirley riley

    shout up all you orback supporters about hillary? hillary will be a better pres. than obrack? obrack is a fat liar? go away obrack we dont need obrack?

    April 1, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  16. InspireThis

    Obama fans say they will NOT vote for Hillary if she wins the nom. Hillary supporters say they will vote for McCain if Obama wins.
    I am a Hillary supporter. I will write her in on the ballot. I would never vote for Obama. McCain might make an okay President but I don't think I will be voting for him.

    April 1, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  17. Ted in Chicago


    You are correct

    HRC needs to win PA by at least 10% - and I think she will get closer to 15% then 10% but I agree – a single digit win for HRC is a moral and math win for BO

    A win he will not get with the Trinity Church in Chicago showing all of us here in Chicago and soon across the nation that REV WRIGHT is still in Charge - and the speech and promise to leave are just words

    April 1, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  18. Dan

    Google Frank Giustra, another huge Clinton mess sure to be dug up before November. Start looking at Clinton's past, she and her husband are as crooked as any politicians in History!

    April 1, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  19. breanna

    Obama does not need to win Pennsylvania. He just needs to get in the less than 10% margin.

    i may be wrong but i thought that if a candidate received less than 15% of the total vote, then ALL of the delegates go to the winner. CONCEIVABLY hillary could take all of Penn's delegates if 86% of the voters went with Hillary. OUCH! that would so hurt the obama maniacs because that would actually put her ahead of Obama in delegate votes. OUCH AGAIN!

    April 1, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  20. Phoenix

    Umm, Obama did not come up from poverty.

    April 1, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  21. RAP



    April 1, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  22. Brian

    14 states.... get your count right... I believe it was 11... And she won the biggest ones there Texas and Ohio. Why should she quit now? The Democrats will not fragment from this, and will be stronger than ever in the fall.

    April 1, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  23. Json

    I can't believe all the Hillary supporters are saying they will vote McCain if Obama gets the nomination. It is ridiculous that people are voting out of spite... this is not what the country needs!

    I hope they all wise up once Hillary steps down and ENDORSES Obama and tells all her supporters to DO THE SAME... because that is exactly what she will do!

    April 1, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  24. LDJ

    How nice of you CNN to always print such lovely positive stories about Hillary. Keep up the good work.

    April 1, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  25. Sue in CT

    I have been trying to come up with a single word that describes both Hillary and Bill and now I finally have it: SMELLY

    April 1, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
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