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. Nick, CA

    Deana – If Clinton ran as an Independent, she's hand McCain the presidency.

    April 1, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  2. Jared

    If you are a Hillary supporter and vote for McCain because you don't like Obama, you just chose to send our soldiers to die in Iraq over petty dislikes. You might as well be charged with 1st degree murder.

    April 1, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  3. Snoopy

    After attending the Texas Senatorial convention this past Saturday, I can not, under any circumstances, vote for Obama. The majority of his supporters acted like total idiots. Rude, pushy, smart-mouthed, uninformed, & not interested in any other aspect of the convention other than casting a vote for Obama and leaving. I was totally disappointed in their actions. And I'm still very suspicious of how some of their precinct chairs calculated the numbers. it was a real eye opener.

    April 1, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  4. Mark, St. Louis, MO

    I just LOVE Coach Dungy!

    OBAMA 08!

    April 1, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  5. An Independent, Chicago, IL

    I love this man, he tells it like it is !

    April 1, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  6. Kaseam, Florida

    Right now, Obama is like Tiger Woods playing the back 9 on Sunday with a 5 stroke lead. Match over.

    April 1, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  7. Bill

    As the student left the event, the former first daughter also said she doesn't think people should "vote for or against my mother because of my father.

    More dumb rhetoric from the Clinton camp. Shame on the Clintons for throwing their daughter under the bus. Its obvious she is in over her head.

    April 1, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  8. Engawyer, Kansas City, Missouri

    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.

    Cleaver has chosen honor and principle over race. And that's hard in this election because Barack is just so plain like-able and electable.

    But to back peddle during the contest and aid the other side by airing his opinion as to Hillary's chances is more culpable than merely watching your favorite team on television while internally harboring the views that they will likely lose. He has to know that.

    Hopefully, the Clintons memories are not that long, when Cleaver comes calling in the future. But I think they will remember.

    Mayor, you need to go on record to correct this slip up -help Hillary (or whomever you back) by showing full faith in her and encouraging rather than discouraging people to vote for her; and then stay out of this one.

    April 1, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  9. Doug

    'Not Here" the answer to your question was answered by OB many times before. His Quote,"There is no problem with good ideas, but good ideas go to the senate to die" Remember that. I think you really want to vote for Barack, but are trying to find faults with him. Come on, Vote Obama, you'll feel better..

    Obama for President, The Leader of a New Generation.... I can't wait until the Air is clean again...

    April 1, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  10. GM from MN

    "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." JJ

    well JJ sorry you don't understand that on the campaign trail both candidates still talk about the issues. Its the media that has been bringing the race issue up time and again. And if you would actually read the transcripts from Wright's sermons you would see that they aren't as bad as you would think. He said some stupid things get over it. And once again Obama is not Wright. Obama conducts himself in fine matter and has been shown to be racist. COME TO THINK OF IT....HOW COULD HE BE. He's half WHITE. He has the distinct advantage of seeing both sides from a unique perspective.

    April 1, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  11. Amy Kathleen

    Wow, that was surprisingly honest.

    Clinton supporters frequently belittle Obama supporters, calling them star struck (not a very good way to get moderates, btw). But it seems like it is the Clintonites that are the ones who are blinded- they are so in love with the Clintons they think they can live in the past, that this will suddenly become the 1990's. Sometimes it seems like they are voting based on Bill, not Hillary. We don't need a third term of Bush, and we don't need a third term of Clinton. We need someone honest, hardworking, and willing to take responsibility rather than laying blame.

    Nice to see not all Hillary's supporters are brainwashed.

    April 1, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  12. Marty

    No, Mr. Cleaver. Having a "supporter" like you is the "tragedy of tragedies." This may go down in recent history as one of the really cunning hatchet jobs by a so-called "friend." With friends like you, Senator Clinton doesn't need enemies.

    April 1, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  13. Working men

    Hard working men of America need representation.

    Those of us that have been labeled "Wal-Mart" democrats, we have a voice.

    We can kick the butts of the "starbuck" Obama radical elites.

    VOTE for Hillary Clinton.

    Take back this country from the children and the radicals.

    April 1, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  14. txdude

    Clinon or McCain 08!

    April 1, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  15. Kathy


    April 1, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  16. Gale

    Clintonians voting for McCain is exactly what the problem with a lot of the polarizing that the Clinton's stimulate among the voters. She did not go after McCain they (Bill too) went after Obama. This is why her negative rating is so high. People do not like nor want that type of rhetoric. For that reason alone people are reluctant to vote for her.

    April 1, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  17. Osama

    Don't be surprised if this guy meets with an "accident." you know, like many other of the clinton crime family "friends."

    April 1, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  18. breanna

    i think that more and more there are black superdelegates throwing their support to Obama even though they know that the race is way to close to call. It sends a evry bad message and is nt in keeping with Michelle obama's want for everyone to just get along. it lokks like they gravitate that way simply because of race. Its a shame too. So now this guy was probably confrinted by his own people who reminded him of where he came from and that he is supposed to be loyal to the black community. these people try very hard to get ahead in life, to livethe Americna drea and then their own kind call them names (uncle tom0 and shoot them in the foot. yea its sad and its a shame.

    April 1, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  19. Chuky

    In Hillary's camp, it takes guts to say the obvious truth.

    I hope this will inspire other supporters to 'call a blade a blade'

    There is no need to continue, Dear Hillary.

    April 1, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  20. Dean - Colton, CA

    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?


    April 1, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  21. kay

    JHR Arizona

    I have to agree with you!!! I think the problem is we have to choose out of these three.

    I take solace in knowing that we still have the house and the senate to help guide this country

    April 1, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  22. To Cheryl

    Hey Cheryl, I am so sorry but I have to get you on this one. YOU KNOW WHAT I THINK IS FUNNY,


    April 1, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  23. kenny cole

    To all the haters i know there's nothing OBAMA can do or say that will make you vote for him but we will invite you to the INAGURATION

    April 1, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  24. James

    Everyone knows the truth that Hillary would not win the nomination. So why can't people say it out.

    April 1, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  25. Al

    Cleaver's just stating the obvious truth. She has to carry the remaining states by roughly 15% to even have a chance at winning. Just not gonna happen.

    April 1, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
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