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. david goldman for OBAMA


    April 1, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  2. David

    So switch! What are you waiting for. Go switch to Obama!

    April 1, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  3. Dylan

    Cheryl.... ummm... are you sane??

    April 1, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  4. tim

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

    ...wait a minute, isn't that what they said before she "won" Texas?, lol.

    She'll be campaigning as long as she wants to campaign. Fact is this thing is decided already, we just have to wait for her to admit it.

    April 1, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  5. Frank Esper

    Its no longer a Hillary thing, or an obama thing. Its a numbers thing. the numbers say Obama. The Democrats have voted Obama. You dont have to take it personally, but people do.

    I wager not many Hillary supporters want John Mcain in the white house...the only ones who do are Republicans who crossed over in hopes to cause chaos in the democratic party


    April 1, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  6. No Hillary

    If you believe Obama will be the winner, don't you think it is time to endorse him officially??? duhhhhhhhhhhh

    April 1, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  7. Carl from Pa

    Seems like Hillary is the Huckabee of the Democrats. Sure, stay in the race and let people vote for you even though there is now way to catch up or honesly win the nomination. We all know this but you continue to "let the people vote" however, I bet I know what you would say if the tables were turned and Obama was saying these things. Hopefully in June you'll come out and respectfully let Obama take the nomination and then maybe let people respect you once again for doing the right thing.

    April 1, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  8. Uncle Sam

    Independents for McCain!

    April 1, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  9. Madison , PA

    I wish we could be unified now and play clean political Game.Let not be selfish ... Think about winning against Mccain in November

    April 1, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  10. Eric

    Yes, Jonathan I'm witih you! We can't have Obama as president. I know several Clinton supporters who will be voting for McCain if Hillary doesn't get the nomination.

    April 1, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  11. mp

    Sounds to me like this is one very confused person. Who does he support? And why?

    April 1, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  12. Ross in MD

    Glad at last one Clinton supporter has a grip on reality.

    April 1, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  13. Clinton, McCain Kool-Ade

    If Obama doesn't win, the country loses. We either have a liar in the White House, or a Warmonger.

    You choose.

    Obama 08

    April 1, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  14. Pat Va

    Hilllary, Bill and their supporters are not going to be satisfied until the Democratic party is torn to shreds!!!

    I've been formulating this thought in my mind for awhile...I believe that they're "closet" Republicans!!!! I think they're staying in this doomed campaign of theirs to wreak as much havoc as they can prior to the Democratic Convention so that whoever the nominee is (presumably Senator Obama) will be so weakened by all the nastiness and controversy that's transpired, it will be a cakewalk for the Republican nominee in the General Election come November. That's what I think!

    April 1, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  15. Dennis

    Again, Clinton supporters using all CAPS and bad grammar to get their point across. One of them is even referring to Clinton supporters as CLINTONIANS. That's scary. I believe we're all AMERICANS looking for a sensible, postive, and yes, charismatic, leader.

    April 1, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  16. A.M.

    I think the race will be decided First week of June for sure, no need to go to convention.

    'Obama' needs time to face head on with 'McCain' and sooner that is, better it will be.

    Houston, Texas

    April 1, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  17. Ivan, Chicago, Illinois

    As for Obama winning against McCain no way.
    I as a Hillary supporter will not vote for Obama, due to the tactics that Obama and his supporters have used, trying to short circuit the primary season. Wanting to proclaim Obama the winner by fiat, and trying to change the rules and role of the superdelegates.

    April 1, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  18. Bayou Joe

    But it is not about Race. Then what is it about. Making History. At what expense. Obama is not a Mainstream African-American. Those of you who think he is are totally confused. Examine his record or lack of it and that tells you he is not Mainstream. He may win the nomination but will lose the election. McCain will steamroll this novice politician in November.

    April 1, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  19. frank

    This truth Shall set you free

    April 1, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  20. JeromeM

    Obviously not a Clinton backer! Your headline is childishly incorrect. You need a fact checker. All blacks want Obama to win because of the racism card that Obama plays. He will never be president. Too much bad baggage from cocaine to lies on Nafta to Wright to mediocre whites to blunt nosed Italians. Obama is a militant racist and more will come out from his cocaine days at Columbia.

    It will be McCain in the end. Only the press wants Obama.

    April 1, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  21. Dick Pittenger

    I understand Hillary staying in the race through the June 3rd primaries, but hopefully things will have been decided by then. Her only hope in winning is if Obama stumbles or her attacks so weaken him in the eyes of Democrats and the nation that he would seem unelectable.
    My dearest hope, as an Obama supporter, is that the good people of Pennsylvania decide to be the deciding factor in the race by going for Obama. That would end this long and arduous campaign.
    I can't understand the working people choosing Hillary over Obama, when she has been a dhild of privilege in Lake Forest, ill., while Obama has come up the hard way from poverty, has fought for the rights of working Americans on the S Side of Chicago, and understands, as Hillary never can, the plight of the underprivileged in this country.

    April 1, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  22. Uncle Sam


    April 1, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  23. PoliticanWithmathSkills

    Finally it is nice to see a clinton supporter with good Math Skills. Give it up Hillary you full me once shame on you, twice shame on Me it ain't going to happen.

    Obama 08

    April 1, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  24. DEANNA

    TO:Jonathan April 1st, 2008 1:19 pm ET


    April 1, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  25. Sophia, Los Angeles

    I am so sick of Clinton supporters hating on the youth vote!

    Your envy is palpable....GET OVER IT!

    The Youth of America like Obama over Hillary and this time WE are actually voting..HA..HA!

    No wonder you want to vote for 72 year old 100-years in Iragq McCain...because you old Clintonistas won't be around for that disaster, so your spiteful and immature losing ways will lead the country to disaster...FOR WHAT???

    Because Hillary didn't get what she DESERVED???
    Are you kidding me??

    You claim the youth are star struck...at least we have done our homework and aren't just voting because we like someone's last name or their husband.....

    April 1, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
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