June 2nd, 2008
12:16 PM ET
15 years ago

Roberts: Is That Music We Hear?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/02/art.joe.trippi.jpg caption="Joe Trippi is the former campaign manager to Howard Dean."]
(CNN) - If the corpulent lass hasn’t ululated her first note yet, she is only a few hours away from the performance - at least that’s what Democratic strategist Joe Trippi believes. The man who engineered Howard Dean’s ascension through the party ranks and advised John Edwards during his primary run earlier this year thinks that by the time the speeches are over on Tuesday night, Barack Obama may be over the finish line.

To get there – at the moment I am writing this – he needs 48 delegates. He’ll likely come away from Montana and South Dakota with an additional 10-15, and he’ll probably get a few more of the delegates that are currently pledged to John Edwards. Which means he only needs somewhere around 30 uncommitted superdelegates to come to his side, and he’s across the finish line.

Will it happen by Tuesday night? I’m not so sure. We’ve been talking to supers along the way, and many of them seem to prefer to wait until it’s all over to announce their support. Donna Brazile told us yesterday on CNN’s Election Center that “Wednesday is a new day. Tuesday’s not a new day. Wednesday is.” In recognition of Hillary Clinton’s history-making campaign, they may just wait until the final two contests are over.

But the prevailing wisdom, from Trippi and others, is that Obama will go over the top not long after the final results are in. He only needs 12-15 percent of the remaining pool of superdelegates, whereas Hillary Clinton would have to convince at least 85 percent of them to support her. Could she pull it off? Technically, anything is possible, but it’s worth noting that two more superdelegates declared for Obama at the same time Clinton was handing him his lunch in Puerto Rico.

Her crushing win in the commonwealth certainly gives her bragging rights. Her argument that she may come away with more individual votes than Obama reopens all of those old wounds from the year 2000. But just like the 2000 election, the popular vote doesn’t matter in this contest. What does is delegates. And by that measure, Obama is within a hair’s breadth of becoming the presumed nominee.

The calls for her to drop out have wisely abated. There’s certainly no harm at this point in finishing out the competition. Taking the battle beyond that point gets problematic, according to Trippi. He points out that the DNC rules committee had the votes to pass the 50-50 split in Michigan, but in deference to Clinton, adopted the Levin plan of a 69-59 apportionment. As Trippi told me this morning, “What you saw in that committee meeting is how a committee that’s been the Clintons' has switched and moved to Barack Obama.” It would appear the same could be said about the party itself.

soundoff (93 Responses)
  1. Ann

    To Reality Check....you sure sound bitter...what's the matter...I've noticed that men or people who feel inferior to Hillary seem to spew out ugliness. I bet her IQ is higher than many of Obama's supporters. By the way, her husband is a Rhode scholar. Do you know what that is? Also, I've noticed that many, many of his supporters write on here and do not spell a lot of their words right....

    June 2, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  2. Bob

    can someone tell John Roberts we see through his lense of pushing around Obama from debates to election center map on CNN.

    I hope he wont moderate the Obama vs. Mccain debate.

    June 2, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  3. David, Santa Rosa, CA

    I t hink Harold Ickes gave us the clearest example of the Clinton position and how she and her campaign approached this primary. At first, I thought that the Clinton campaign was just trying to be cute and trying to wion momentum amongst the population. I was fairly shocked to see that they actually believe thier own illogical logic.

    That made me quite sad. But also, I was relieved that we had made a decision based on our sense of someones abilithy – not gender or race.

    June 2, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  4. Jan

    Snipergate killed Hillary. Let's hope it won't leave her bitter and that she'll take her responsibility towards the part yand towards the democratic voters who deserve a democratic president next year. The way in which she will or will not endorse Barack will be all-determining for the outcome in November.

    June 2, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  5. Dena in SC

    Alice, God is his running mate and mine too. Your anger won't solve anything. I'll pray for you but it's over. Let the General Election begin!!!!

    June 2, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  6. Shoe

    asking hillary clinton to run as an independent is the same thing as casting a vote for john mccain.
    my message to clinton supporters is this:
    obama is not your enemy. he wants the same things you want, and it's not too late to support his campaign. the longer we bicker and squabble, however, the more likely it becomes that mccain will be serving W's third term.

    June 2, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  7. Get Real Hillary Supporters

    Hillary lost. It was close and hard fought. You are bitter because your candidate lost. Now you must put your bitterness aside unless you truly want to derail Obama and hire McCain to continue what the Republicans want to continue. Think about it, McCain handling foreign affairs..... Now that is scarey. Remember "Bomb Bomb Iran"? Or how about fostering econonmic stability in this county? Jobs are moving overseas, we aren't do anything in Wash DC to promote energy alternatives and the tax credits that are there for alternative energy credits expire this December. Think think think. I was for Hillary, but now I see she has not won and Obama has appeal to many and has brought many new people into the election process. Good for him. Now it is time for us to get over the petty emotional reaction. Congratulations Mr. Obama. I will vote for you

    June 2, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  8. Terrence (Winston Salem, NC)

    People have been saying how negative Obama voters are, but on May 31, the nation watched and saw who the animalistic, hateful people were.

    No disrespect, but Clinton's supporters "showed out" at the rules convention. Grown people acting like rabid individuals.

    I dare anyone to dispute this fact. CNN post this. It's nothing but the truth.

    Obama/Sebelius 08

    June 2, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  9. TexasDem

    I don't understand the Hillary supporters who dislike Obama so much. They're stances on most of the issues are virtually the same. Is it that you are sore to see your candidate lose? I'm a Hillary supporter, but to be honest, I can barely see the policy differences between her and Obama. Actually, they're both too liberal for my taste, but they're policies will be mostly identical.

    I know heated campaigns inspire disdain for the opponent, but can't you see past the election process to their potential policies? Obama and Clinton will make basically the same decision on almost all questions of policy. McCain will bring about far different policy in our country. How can a Clinton supporter say they will vote Republican if Obama is nominated? It seems like petty foolishness to me. Can somebody explain?

    June 2, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  10. bill


    June 2, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  11. Steve S.

    I hope Billary keeps on going. That way the Democratic convention will explode, and she and he followers will go with it!!!

    June 2, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  12. the other jd

    I once one a football pool by choosing which set of team had the cuter uniforms. That being said, it's time to pull the dems together. The real prize is the Supreme Court. I don't think we want Weathervane McCain aka McBush being President and appointing more anti-choice, right-wing, corporate-sponsored judges. Let's pull on our big boy and big girl pants now, people.

    June 2, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  13. peakarach,des moines

    If Hussein Obama is the nominee,all we have to do is vote for McCain so Hillary can run again in the next 4 yrs.

    Vote Hillary or McCain only folk! No Hussein Obama period!

    June 2, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  14. Ro

    I can't believe people are still harping on FL and Michigan.


    Course, that was before Hillary found out she wasn't gonna win.

    Change the rules mid game-another form of cheating.....

    June 2, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  15. jr.

    Isn’t it a coincidence that the two states Florida and Michigan that had their votes strip, both were won by Mrs. Hillary Clinton? Was she favoring to win both states? It’s a shame it had to happen to women that was favorite to win the Democrat nominee. I wonder what the oads of that happening again are.

    June 2, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  16. Independent for Obama

    Hey Anne – Bill Clinton is a "Rhodes Scholar." It's really entertaining when people criticize the spelling of others while misspelling words in their own posts, by the way.

    June 2, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  17. Lloyd

    Hillary is not much of a team player, however there is an M / E in team. Support your party, respect the rules and stop acting like a spoiled brat.

    June 2, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  18. M

    The democrats had '08 in hand...now they appear destined give it away...so sad!

    June 2, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
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