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. CB in FL

    Thank you Rep. Cleaver! Well said by the honorable gentleman from Missouri. You won't be the only person stunned if Senator Obama does not win the nomination and go on to become POTUS. James Carville and the Clinton “spin doctors” will have a hissy fit with this comment for sure. All right, who's next to throw in their endorsement for the Obama's the People's Choice for the White House contest?

    April 1, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  2. HH

    The band is getting louder. All she needs is a Bob Dole stage fall moment, and that would wrap up her campaign.

    She was leading in early Pennsylvania by 30 POINTS, then 25,20,15,10, and NOW 5 POINTS.

    It would not surprise me if OBAMA WINS IT. Everyone said he can not but by looking at polls she is giving up ground fast.

    Better run fast Billary the sniper fire is coming in quick!

    April 1, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  3. OC - CA - OBAMIAN

    All of you – please consider these:

    1. OBAMA was right on on the Iraq war. He called it with 100% accuracy. before it even began and against public opinion. This is called "presidential" good Judgment.

    2. OBAMA has relentlessly discussed his concerns about taking our eyes off Afghanistan and Pakistan and our army being stretched out and wasted on Iraq. This is EXACTLY what Bush's aides discusssed with Bush last week – something OBAMA has been saying for many years now. This is called "presidential" good judgment.

    3. OBAMA's proposed economic plan included an overhaul of Federal regulations when it came to dealing with banks, brokers, etc. This is EXACTLY the recommendation of Paulson this week. This is called "presidential" good judgment.

    4. HILLARY – once a liar – ALWAYS a liar. How can ANYBODY believe ANYTHING that comes out of this woman's mouth after the Bosnia "misstatements". This is NOT presidential judgment.

    People – please get a grip. Hillary's OWN people are obviously already. I'd say most of them are – by now – Obama supporters in the closet.

    Just watch OBAMA run away with this Presidency. Just watch.....

    Thank you Lord!

    April 1, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  4. Nik

    A Clinton supporter who can add and subtract? Didn't know they existed.

    April 1, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  5. Kris

    "If Hillary doesn't win, I'll vote McCain."

    So what you're saying is, if given a pack of M&M's plain (Clinton), a pack of M&M's peanut (Obama), or a box of rocks (McCain), you'd rather eat a box of rocks. Got it.

    How any true Democrat can find McCain palatable defies logic, common sense, and prescient conviction.

    April 1, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  6. Alex

    An Indep.? OMG are you a moron or just a republican?
    Consider the WH HANDED to McCain wow.
    Think, that's all we have to ask of people, start thinking.

    People, do you want Bush back in there via McCain? No, Ok then rally behind your party and vote Obama. The reason Gore didn't win is because of those that just didn't/don't think. You are not going to jump ship and vote for McCain if Clinton is out so please stop with these ridiculous empty threats. Stop insulting your fellow Dems and think; about what you want, what you need and who can more likely get that for you. If you are a Dem, you are one for a reason.

    Years and years in Wash. does not a good politician make. Like Michael Reagan said, he was there when his father made a number of decisions and agreements, does that make him a suitable candidate? No, please people just think about it. Obama is a smart man, an accomplished and educated man with world experience and integrity. What else do you need? Just calm down and think.

    April 1, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  7. Raleigh Voter

    NOOBAMA 08

    Hillary or McCain all the way!

    April 1, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  8. Enough

    Too funny...

    Someone telling the truth pisses of the HRC backers. No wonder Hillary is their candidate.

    What's even funnier...

    Anyone who says anything that sounds even the least bit critical of Hillary, secretly loves and backs Obama.

    Btw, I don't think all Hillary supporters are morons... just the vast majority of them that post on these forums!

    And... regardless of who you back... if your post is in all caps... You are an idiot!

    April 1, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  9. Carl

    can a democrat explain this to me:

    if we raise taxes to a point where around 35-50% of all income goes to the government, how can do nothing but harm the mortgage market further?

    i feel if either dem. is elected and try to force their health care plans without years of planning, this nation will be forced into the ground further by a sheer lack of income to pay off the HORRIBLE debt situation we have now...

    americans mostly blame someone other than themselves... last i checked, you made yourself have a ton of debt, so deal with it...

    April 1, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  10. Beca

    Bravo Jonathan! I am with you, If Hillary does not get the nomination, I am voting for the Republican nominee.

    April 1, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  11. Vacman

    This is for all the people who are supporting Hilliary and making comments that you would vote for McCain instead of Obama in the general election remember one thing.... this election is important not only for your current lives but also future Americans (future sons, daughters etc.) so make a sound decision on facts and not your hearts!! Don't let personally feelings affect your way of life!!

    April 1, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  12. Omentum


    Maybe Hillary can become a commentator on Fox. She looked real confortable on there with Greta

    April 1, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  13. Caribbean American Whitey

    Poor Billary...quit while you are ahead Rocky!! Takes a smart man to tell you what you already know!

    Star Crazy,

    Obama 2008

    April 1, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  14. Chisom

    OBAMA / CLEAVER 08/09
    A combination of sensible people

    April 1, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  15. ilene

    I think anyone for Hillary and against Obama is just deep down racism. The person might not want to admit to it and maybe doesn't even want to admit it to themselves. But all these other reasons they come up with are so not true or so not worthy or anything. When you look at how dirty and horrid Clinton had played and how the Clintons have always played there is no reason to suppor her. For those who say they are going to not vote for Obama if he gets the nomination, I say Good Bye!!!! Obama can bring Republicans and Independents over to our side and you will not be missed. We don't want dirty players at all in our party so you might as well vote for the dirty side. Hillary can't even get most of the Democrats to like her. She sure will not be able to sway a republican or a independent to vote for her. She is for the good of our party. She has cast a black cloud over it.

    April 1, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  16. Mary Gray





    April 1, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  17. Dee JAY in miami

    she cant and wont win
    obama 08

    April 1, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  18. Tony Z- MD

    He will announce support in mid-April.

    April 1, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  19. Jer

    Finally, somebody in Camp Clinton who know's how to count. Can't wait till the Clintons are sent home, this time for good. They are bad for the Democratic Party, bad for the White House and Bad for America. They will say absolutley anything to get elected, even lie (or make mis-statements).

    April 1, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  20. David in Illinois

    Of course he's right, no matter what happens in Pennsylvania and the other states ... and speaking of the call for primary do-overs, Ohio Dems should call for a do-over since voters in the Buckeye State were snookered by Hillary's NAFTA lies and tales of her "experience" ducking sniper fire overseas. Oh brother.
    Enough talk about Michigan and Florida. Nobody has been disenfranchised! We should never see or hear that word again because those two states created their own messes. Sorry Hillary, you didn't "win" those states fair and square. Why spend another penny on primaries in those states. Give the money to charity and so this nation some good.
    As Carl Bernstein noted in a brutally honest commentary a couple of weeks back published right here on cnn.com, Hillary is a "serial liar." She's simply not fit to be our president. Or even the Democratic nominee.

    April 1, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  21. John V. Fox Jr.

    Say whatever you like, all your Obama supporters, the truth is that a woman will be the President of United States of America in Nov. 2008. History is written into the book of destiny including all future events. You can believe and you can ignore, but it does not change the outcome. I share this knowing with you all, so that it can save you some inner struggle eventually. Yes, no one can alter the fate of America and Hillary is a part of it, Obama, the catalyst.

    April 1, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  22. Omentum

    She's good at dodging sniper fire.

    Not so good at dodging friendly fire.

    OBAMA 08

    April 1, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  23. Danielle

    Cleaver is claiming to be a Clinton supporter, but it is clear from his comments he is obviously an Obama supporter at this point.

    It's still anyone's race.

    Why can't the media allow the democratic process to unfold without such biased reporting? I cannot remember a presidential campaign, prior to this one, where one candidates' supporters were attempting to bully another candidate into stepping down. Most undemocratic.

    April 1, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  24. Victor

    If your a democrat act like one and vote for a democrat. ENOUGH with the if this person wins I'll vote republican. If you want change then prove it. Stop acting like spoiled children who didn't get there way.

    April 1, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  25. melikeyhill


    April 1, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
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