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. BK

    If all these young people would do their research into what the Clintons really accomplised instead of researching all the personal and bad things that was a right wing conspiracy and very unfair. They would find that we had a budget surplus, good jobs, affordable college, and low gas prices. The Clintons cleaned it up once and they can do it again. Isn't this want everybody wants. Think about it.
    The media has protrayed Hillary like she is the worst person. The people that actually know her say she is nothing like that. All candidates embellish their experience. This includes Obama. He has told several untruths and the media has let it go, but with the Clintons they let nothing go. Obama will never win the general because he has played the race card to his convience too many times.

    April 1, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  2. Dody


    Aren't all you people talking about voting for McCain if Hillary doesn't get the nomination just cutting off your noses to spite your faces?? If you don't like Obama, do you really think that McCain is going to be better? Listen up!! HILLARY HERSELF SAID THIS IS A BAD IDEA. I listened to her giving a stump speech in Pennsylvania over the weekend – she answered a question from the crowd. She basically repeated my first sentence, almost verbatim.

    Don't be spiteful, and screw the rest of the country if Hillary doesn't win the nomination (Obama voters too, if the tables turn that way,). YOUR CANDIDATE doesn't even approve of this behavior. It's immature and selfish, and, additionally, doesn't accomplish anything except possibly four more years of Bushisms at best, and world annihilation at worst (ok – I'm being melodramatic, but McCain's foreign policy gaffes are killing me as this is supposed to be his "area")....If you love this country and you are a Democrat, please don't vote out of a petty place, but a humanitarian one, a place of thoughtfulness for the whole country...

    April 1, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  3. Jamaal Kansas City, Ks

    now is the time of healing Democrat 08

    April 1, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  4. Mike Birmingham, AL

    Anybody but McCain in '08.

    We don't want another Bush term.

    April 1, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  5. dear working man

    this is the problem with your idea! this is not a contest of poor democrats ver rich or more well off democrats this is about people coming together and building a better USA for all of us. were we can all be happy and raise are children in a safe place. your comment posted is the problem with many democrats, we have got to come together and unify in a very big way and get rid of this built up hate that all started in the fist Clinton term will bill Clinton split this country down the middle and then GW came in and only widen the chasm. Hillary is not known for building bridges she is good at burning them down.! Obama started with nothing and has came to a point were he is taken over the lead from someone whom handed it to her on a silver platter bought for by lobbyist in Washington the same people who take money from the hard working American people. yes the wal-mart democrats.

    April 1, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  6. Ron Az

    What we have seen during this campaign is the dirtiest schemes and backstabbing in any campaign run, But the foulest thing I have seen is the lack of loyalty from the supporters of the candidates. One minute they are for their candidate, next they are switching sides.
    THEN, the populas has the nerve to talk about candidates " Flip flopping on issues" It goes to show you whats happening in our government, No loyalty to the people, no loyaly to our soldiers, no loyalty to America. ORDER OF THE DAY, GREED, GREED, AND MORE GREED. Someone answer me a question, If the oil companies used the 40 billion they recieved in profits and put it towards gas prices, How much do you think a gallon of gas would cost???
    A smart man once asked! "HOW MUCH IS TO MUCH?" HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH? When a man makes $50,000 a year and lives comfortably, why does another man need $20,000,000 a year??? if all of the people who are multi-millionairs would share even a little bit of their money, we would not have poverty in the United States.
    I guess it all falls under loyalty to ones country!!! BUT, Who has it? Am I the only one? and I am poorer then the poor! all I can do is prey for my country and prey for the people. I am a vet. I would like Richardson to go on T.V. and explain loyalty!

    April 1, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  7. Bob Kiger, Oceanside, CA

    Let all the states, (including Florida and Michigan) be heard and all the votes be counted. Is a caucusing "voting" or just part of a "Political Machine" that was rigged by frightened youngsters who see change at any cost . . .

    Would not real change be to elect the first woman after 70,000 years of male dominated politics. Sexism is more pervasive than racism.

    Let all the votes be counted and not repeat the disaster of 2000!

    Oh . . . BTW I'm a man.

    April 1, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  8. Wally

    Response to Kevin from RI:
    You are so full of ignorance it is appalling. With fools & racists like you, our great America cannot prosper. These are the kind of rhetoric one would expect out of McCain/FoxNews supporters. What a shame!

    All Democrats/Independants/Republicans with a strong sense of patriotism & love for your country:
    Please do not fall for these ridiculous rhetorics. Obama, just like Clinton, loves his country more than Bush & McCain. Loving your country does not mean you bombard anyone and everyone that disagree with you and run an exhorbitant deficit just to entertain yourself. Loving your country means that you bring people together for a common purpose, i.e. ensure our kids have a bright future living together.

    April 1, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  9. MW in Oregon

    Cleaver obviously is a man used to talking common sense and it must be a struggle to have to repeat the mantra dictated by the Clinton campaign when he knows in honesty that she should drop out rather than carry this to the convention after she has been beaten at the polls and in terms of pledged delegates.

    April 1, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  10. gary

    APRIL FROM TX. You should be proud a woman is going for president. Your just another one of those Clinton Haters.Dont put the cart before the horse O.B. supporters. It will come down to the end and the Super Deligates will vote the best for our country.It wont be O.B. He's to much of a greenhorn ,and a closed book. America dosn't know anything about him, except what he tells you.There is an old saying in this country. WHAT YOU DONT KNOW WONT HURT YOU. THINK ABOUT IT.

    April 1, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  11. 2008 Hillary! Go

    haha! Happy Apr 1st!

    it is just a lie today!

    April 1, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  12. Ronald

    I bet he'll get a three AM call from a very irate Bill, Hill, or Chelsea and pay for this remark! While he's got them on the phone, maybe he could ask about those tax returns!

    April 1, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  13. Meano

    It's a shame nobody realizes the importance of success in Iraq. The health care, gas prices, wall street, Medicare, social security, prescription drug prices are all problems that have been around for decades and consistantly getting worse. The politicians do nothing but lie and make promises they can't keep. You get rid of all of them and put some poor people in charge with good sence and this country will get turned around. I have no faith in any of them to fix any of the problems the are constantly discussed every year. Hillary or Obama can;t be trusted and McCain wont get much changed due to all the up hill battles he will face in congress. All our problems should have been fixed decades ago. Drill for more oil here and build new refineries. Jail the people stopping this from getting done. Win the war on terror and don't tuck and run. A superpower does not do that. Quit giving billions of tax apyers dollars to foreign countries for there problems and use it to fix our own. Then give a little.

    April 1, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  14. len

    So he wins the nomination. The left wing extremists of the Democratic Party have been taking careful aim at their own for so long they are a Three Stooges co-starring Annie Oakley movie.

    The 28% that makes up the moderates say they will vote for McCain. Slice and dice the numbers anyway you like, he loses in the General Election without Hillary.

    Will we do that for spite? Sure. It's always fun to watch the kids squirm when their guy loses on American Ido.. 😉

    But first, we do it for patriotism. The country is more important than the party. Obama doesn't have the judgement or the character to lead. Better the devil we know.

    April 1, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  15. Lars Larson

    Hillary lied and continues to down play her part in Bosnia. Is that honestly what you want from a president? To brag about what they had done, be proven to be wrong, then dismiss their lie without a second thought?

    8 years of that would be wonderful, wouldn't it?

    April 1, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  16. Strictly Business

    I remember one thing that Obama said that holds a lot of intergrity. He said that as president, he did not want to be surrounded by people that would just agree with him just because he was the president, but that he wanted to be surrounded by people who was not afraid to tell him no. A true supporter and a true friend will tell you the truth. A person that goes on letting you believe a lie is not looking out for your best interest. So this man is no a traitor, he is honest. But I also understand why Hillary is staying in, she has high hopes that Obama will fall or that she can talk the superdelagates into voting for her. But I hope she has the good judgement to know that it is not okay to win at any cost.

    April 1, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  17. Devon Dallas, TX

    This is the begining of the end my friends... or at least it should be. I don't forsee Hillary having enough delegates even if Florida and Michigan are allowed to seat their delegates after NC and IN... If her own supporters who have contributed tons of money to her campaign are starting to waiver, it's all over but the crying. It would be a shame for the Democratic party if she is so self-centered that she continues the fight after the mathematical impossibility of winning is reached. If she sabbatoges Obama's chances to win against Mcain by beating the dead horse, I certainly hope that the American Public realizes that this woman cared about noone but herself and that will be her legacy.. which, by the way, should be completely seperate from the legacy of her Husband.

    April 1, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  18. Marie in California

    Whatever. I'm still for Hillary. Second choice McCain. Never, ever for Obama. He's just the "Audacity of Hype".....nothing more.

    Hillary or McCain – 2008

    April 1, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  19. Marc

    Y'know, I have no horse in this race – I'm Canadian – but I gotta say that voting for McCain "by the millions" because you can't handle your candidate losing the election is, ummm, childish? Moronic? Spiteful? Shooting yourself in the foot? Throwing the bathwater out with the baby? Pick a term, embrace it, then grow up!

    Oh, and this story is priceless LOL.

    April 1, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  20. menard

    come on hillary's supporters,let's endorse barack obama!!!
    the game is over.

    April 1, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  21. KOR

    The reason Hillary supporters will not vote for Obama has nothing to do with their similar positions. It has everything to do with not putting a sham and a fraud in the White House whose ineptitude in there will cost us the Senate and the House in two years. The Hillary haters love to talk of her lies, but you excuse every untruth that comes out of your candidate's mouth. What about the story today of the "old political machine" that put Obama in the US Senate? What about the lies about the Kennedy family? What about his most recent lies about his relationship with Wright–that had Wright not been about to retire and had he not apologized for his offensive remarks, Obama would have felt uncomfortable remaining with the church. How could the media have missed THAT apology? Was the reverend "about to retire" for 20 years? It's not about what Reverend Wright said...it's about all the lies and changes in stories from Obama that came after it. He made a speech on race and has not done one thing about it since using it to squirm out of a political nightmare. The people who keep excusing him are the ones who need to wake up.

    April 1, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  22. Debbie

    Any politician who is willing to be honest like this has my respect.

    April 1, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  23. mary


    April 1, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  24. Debi

    superdelegates go against the people

    April 1, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  25. D-Whiz

    Ken in RI:

    You're so intelligent, great mindset...... Troll.

    Clinton supporter's... oh nevermind, whats the use. Keep on believing her lies.

    April 1, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
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