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. Louis

    Hillory has two choices:
    1–Bow out as gracefully as possible
    2–Dorothy throws a bucket of water on her

    June 2, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  2. Thomas

    Here is a fact: if you put the popular votes of Obama and Clinton side by side the fact is about 18million people voted for one or the other! If you do the math its 50% / 50%

    Thats a close race!

    Clinton or McCane 08'

    June 2, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  3. Realistic

    The fat lady started humming after Virginia and Wisconsin, and started warming up after North Carolina. Tomorrow night, she'll be singing loudly.

    Personally, I would prefer Don Meredith's "Turn out the lights, the party's over." Even Bill Clinton senses that the End is Near.

    June 2, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  4. Brian Knoxville, TN


    You're incompetent and corrupt.

    What happened to all that money Dean raised in '04 for his campaign?

    You're a loser.

    Shut up.

    June 2, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  5. fafa

    nice piece. Never heard about this Roberts before. Nice and smooth piece to read

    June 2, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  6. KE

    Somehow good people are made to feel guity of their freedom and are in the verge of giving up hard fought freedome for a few group of angry people or the regimes that are crook and delusional.

    June 2, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  7. DNCRallyGrrrl

    Run Independant Hillary! We've got your back!!!

    " I'm mad at my teacher – he taught me there were 50 states, not 48 and 2 half states. "

    June 2, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  8. KE

    Look inside Iran and radica Islam I see clear difference with other closed country like North Korea for an example. I don't think Sen. Obama understand the difference.

    June 2, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  9. Observer

    17,000,000 million People are still supporting Clinton!!!
    The majority of whom are white women who will NOT vote for Obama..

    However.. The whole world those -17,000,000 supports Barack Obama!

    The world needs a completely NEW face in the white house!! Obama has shown incredible leadership, dignity, and respect throughout his OUTSTANDING campaign!

    Barack as president would SHATTER BOUNDARIES.. and show the world that America deserves the respect that it has lost in the past 8 years!

    June 2, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  10. Mark

    Its finally over. Now there are two things to be said:

    1. Democrats should unite – last thing needed are 4 more years of McSame.

    2. We should not forget that Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton are great people having done a great service to the country. There has been a lot of bitterness recently – but despite their at times tough campagin the Clintons have done a lot for the USA!

    June 2, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  11. Dan (TX)

    "Another one bites the dust...and another one down...." 🙂

    All you girls out there need to realize it's about the total number of delegates (pledged and super). Trying to make a point out of popular votes is like saying a football team should win because they have the cutest uniforms – not how many points they score!? Geez, get over it and learn to play by the rules.

    Hillary is entitled to "snitch" as many superdelegates as she can.

    June 2, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  12. Katherine

    Well this white woman is behind Obama all the way

    Just say no to Hillary

    June 2, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  13. Joyce in Florida

    Senator Clinton should NOT by any means dropout even after the two remaining primaries. All of this coming from a former campaign manager of Howard Dean. I don't see any substance there in him. So who cares what he says. If the super delegates can make up their OWN minds after all contests completed, LET THEM. Don't bully them Senator Obama and his followers. That is the lowest of the low. But of course, you already know that. This bullying from your campaign, Senator Obama, is really disgusting. You should be ashamed but you are so full of yourself that you are sickening. HILLARY CLINTON NEEDS TO BE OUR NOMINEE. So why don't you be gracious enough and stop tearing the democratic party apart. It is been YOU and YOU only that has broken the democratic process. GO HILLARY 08!!!!!

    June 2, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  14. Ovitshio Branco from Puerto Rico

    God bless America and God bless Obama for becoming the next

    President of This Great Nation the U.S.A


    June 2, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  15. BubbiSmith

    Now this was well said Louis

    Hillary has two choices:
    1–Bow out as gracefully as possible
    2–Dorothy throws a bucket of water on her

    As Donna Brasil said, this is not a fight to the bitter end, but a fight to the end. The end is tomorrow.... time to give up Hillary and take #1 above, before # 2 is applied.

    June 2, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  16. Ben

    HRC was out the moment Ickes became her rep!! Disgrace in language reflects alot on Ickes.

    June 2, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  17. gary


    June 2, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  18. Silence Dogood

    You have to consider the huge following Hillary has. I hope the DNC does not repeat the sad lesson of 1968. There was a delegate leader way farther out in front than Obama. But there was unrest in the DNC and a some unhappy folks. Just like now. The DNC dismissed the concerns of these people, and went ahead pig-headed. Just like now. There were protests in the street. Just like now.

    Then the DNC went on to blow the election and Nixon came to power.

    You may agree or disagree with the Clinton supporters. But if you blow them off, the DNC will lose it. Again.

    Instead of getting on the short-term feel-good hate band wagon, I hope the DNC will attempt to try to unify the party after a long primary. Remember that a lot of the Clinton critisisms, real or imagined, started with the arch conservative attacks during the Clinton administration. Don't be a mounthpiece for conservative hate.

    June 2, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  19. Jerry

    American love Obama..........Hillary why is so many people find that you are a evil person

    Obama 08

    June 2, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  20. scott

    looks like a write in vote this year I will never vote obama because his followers have told me over and over again they dont need my vote why should I give it to them in the long run then...just doing as I was told

    June 2, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  21. Tracy

    Look at what Hillary has done to our country. She will go down in history as one of the greatest destroyers of our nation. The eyes of the world are on her and she is disgracing us all.

    June 2, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  22. The Truth

    If Hillary wants a future in politics she will do the right thing for the party and bow out and support Obama.......

    If she wants to be a spoiler she will destroy her chances of ever becoming a force in the senate and fade into oblivion.....

    The Democratic party and America stand behind Obama 100%.
    Will you Hillary Clinton?............

    OBAMA '08!

    June 2, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  23. bill

    Hill has won the nomination. She has the popular vote and is getting the larger share of SD's. Why would she quit now?

    June 2, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  24. gary

    You haters are a big joke. You trash us and the clintons ,than expect us to kiss your - and unite around your arrogant,hypocritical,racist, con man of a canidate. GET REAL. Lets see how funny you think it is win o.b. looses in Nov. This race has been fixed.Bias against a woman president. You all get what you deserve.Us unedicated and other so called words you called us, will get the last laugh.HA HA HA .

    June 2, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  25. George in Indianapolis

    To all of those who refuse to accept the political will of the people, and fail to discern that the majority supports Sen. Obama, I will simply say the game is over, you lost! Pick up your ball and go home. Your mother is calling you. The street lights will be on soon. As for your temper tantrums and acting out, by holding your breath and pouting and saying you will not support Obama, it simply means that children will simply be children. Shooting themselves in the foot or cutting off their nose to spite their face. So go ahead vote for whomever you choose. If you picked one loser and can't accept it, more than likely you will pick another one with the same result. Freud alluded this when he described insanity.

    June 2, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
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