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. Rob in St Louis

    Who cares what Joe Trippi thinks? I can't remember the last time he ran a campaign that didn't implode.

    For all you Clinton supporters who want her to run independent, here's a few thoughts:

    Ralph Nader
    8 years of Bush

    Here's another one: since Obama and Clinton are virtually identical on virtually all of the issues, and McCain is clearly different from either Obama or Clinton on virtually all the issues, what does that say about your reasons for voting for Clinton? Hmm? Maybe the better solution for you to voice your anger at not getting your candidate onto the November ballot, would be for you to spend election day sitting in the corner with your thumb in an orifice of your choice.

    Democrats need to unite. We need to lead. We can't lead when half the party is participating in a personality cult. HRC has been a solid, strong candidate, but it's over and she lost. Stop whining and get ready to vote for Obama, so we can wrest our country from the failed policies of the last 8 years–brought to us by the principled but misguided Nader supporters who bought Nader's b.s.. Let's try to avoid making the same mistake twice.

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


    The Senators look to be taking action but if there are other Democrats in Congress not willing to pull the trigger (no matter who they support) they need to be removed.

    These people are paid to make decisions and take positions on issues. If they haven't decided yet they are two ignorant for office, if they haven't declared the decision they're unfit for office.

    Publish the list CNN, lets start voting them out in November.

    June 2, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  3. Jamil - Dearborn, MI

    Thomas – how about how Obama cleaned Clinton's clock in just about all of the caucus states where there is no popular vote tally? Or do those states not matter because they didn't vote for Hillary Clinton?

    June 2, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  4. Venus

    As Stevie Wonder sang................

    Signed -----– Delivered ------- I'm uours!

    Go Obama!

    Musice sounds great!

    Yes we can!
    We are fired up and
    ready to beat Mc Cain!

    June 2, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  5. Vig

    Obama needs to disqualify himself, not get elevated. His membership in a racist & sexist church that spews anti-American statements, mocks Hillary Clinton and hates Whites has no business running for a nomination, let alone a President. Hades can freeze over before this Democrat will vote for this guy any time soon.

    June 2, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  6. Reality Check

    Clinton supporters are stupid emotional little school girls

    June 2, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |



    June 2, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  8. donna4hillary

    i dont know why people just dont listen. i have been trying to tell people for almost 20 years now WHY certian candidates should not win and can not win but everybody seems to think that thye know better and so they vote and then later wish they hadnt. i have never regreted any of the votes that i have cast in the past 20 years and i have always been right. this time around im teling everyone that you may not want to believe it you may think that you know better but IM telling you that if he takes office, bad things will happen to the economy, jobs, gas prices, food prices, the middle east and ESPECIALLY race relations. ypou say that things are already bad, and i agree, but they are going to get worse. i see it and its not pretty. if you can, move abroad or, at least, stay awayf rom the south.

    June 2, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  9. Alice in Florida

    I will never vote for Obama. Period. End of story. I don't care if God is his running mate.

    Looks like McCain in '08 and Clinton in '12.

    June 2, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  10. Craig from CT

    Obama- Pelosi in '08 she is a strong female leader. She has experience. She's a waman that know how to lead!! These Clinton supporters should faught this hard in 2000. Stop fighting a losing battle she can not win fairly. It's over stand bye your man at home. Donna Brasil should be our next DNC chair.

    June 2, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  11. Rick, PA

    Joyce in FL – Please, give me a break! Are you so brainwashed that you believe the dribble you write? Who is bullying the party? Did you hear your candidate's mantra that she reserves her right to "take this to the credentials committee"? That is a clear threat to the SD that they better support her or she is going to make a mess of the party. Nice move. Hillary has done everything she could do to make sure that her supporters hate Obama and believe he could not possibly govern this country. You have heard nothing of the sort from Obama about Hillary. And you have the gall to comlain. Admit the fact that Hillary and her gang ran a poor campaign that is now broke. I don't want a manager like that running my country! And, if you want to vote for McCain, go ahead – and if he wins, I hope he appoints the conservative judges he says he will to the Supreme Court so Hillary Clinton will be responsible for Roe V Wade being overturned. And, Hillary and you will be responsible for the conitnuation of the body bags coming from Iraq and possibly from Iran because you will have been responsible for electing a warmonger. Good luck with that!

    June 2, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  12. Mfelder

    I must say as a black woman, I am very disppointed in the way that women have conducted themselves over the past few weeks. I think its ok to point out the sexism that have gone on during this campaign, but I think that many of the women have played right into the men perception of women being overly emotional and unable to make rational decisions. I hear aot of women saying that if Hillary is not the nominee they will vote for John McCain. I am not a Hillary supporter, but I do believe in being practical. Had the numbers worked out for Hillary in the FL & MI situation, then I, of coarse, as a democrate would support the democratic nominee. As women, we can be emotional, but we do come to our senses. See, as a woman, you may be ok in this struggling economy, but what about the sisterhood. There are women in this country who are struggling and desperately need healthcare and the other programs that the democratic nominee will push for as president. Do you want to trust the Healthcare plan that John McCain will be pushing. See, I am ok and I can probably get through this struggling economy. But I have Family members and friends who will be struggling. I would like to see something better for them if not for myself. Let's not allow our emotions to rule our rational judgment.

    June 2, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  13. A Latte Lover, Seattle, WA

    I think it is now down to 44 for Obama to clinch.

    Wow, Joyce from Florida, angry a little bit?

    It is about the delegate count in the end. Even Donna B. said that yesterday on CNN. As far as popular vote, it depends on which scenario you look at. That said, they are both so close in vote, it is almost unbelievable after so many contests. I think by the end of the primaries, it will be almost a tie in popular vote. I guess all we can do is wait until tomorrow night to see what happens.

    Older women for Obama, 08

    June 2, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |

    Hillary has had a tremendous campaign. She has accomplished so much in her own right apart from Bill. I want to say Thank You.

    It's time for the Democatic Party to come together and unite with one goal and that is beating John McCain. We have got to turn this country and world around.


    June 2, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  15. Independent for Obama

    FYI Clinton supporters – turn about is fair play. I think the rest of the DEM party and the independents for Obama can promise you that if you swiftboat the DEM candidate this November, HRC will NEVER be president, because we will do to you exactly what you are threatening to do to us.

    If you stop the bad attitudes and namecalling, and do what is RIGHT now, then maybe she has a shot in 2016 and we would be willing to get on board. But I promise you, if Obama loses YOU will be to blame and WE will NEVER vote for HRC in 2012.

    So grow up!!!

    June 2, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  16. kathe oakland, california

    JOYCE IN FLORIDA – What the heck are you talking about????? Are you following the campaign my dear???? The only divisive and BULLY has been the clintons!!!!!

    So get your facts straight, pull up your panty hose and get on with it. Either vote, don't vote, change parties or not but quit being a whinner.

    The "spoils" of war ALWAYS go to the VICTORIOUS and that happens to be Senator Barack Hussin Obama that's right!!!!

    Now with all her so-called experience and ducking bullets Hillary would make a perfect Secretary of State!!!!!

    June 2, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  17. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    It's time to unite, get our economy back on track, end the war in Iraq, talk to North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Syria, Pakistan, Africa, Venezuela, China, Russia, Japan all countries and get the truth instead of propaganda. Vote Obama Vote Democrat.

    June 2, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  18. AMN

    Fine, finish if it satisfies you, Hillary. Then go away and let Obama do his thing.
    Obama '08

    June 2, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  19. jimmy velman


    June 2, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  20. Independent Voter

    I agree also with Louis regarding Hilary's two choices althou my preference is the #2

    June 2, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  21. John Everett

    Stop talking about it-do it.

    June 2, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  22. Phil-Little Rock

    It's music we hear: it's a brand new CD called:

    "Hi, Hillary.....it's the Fat Lady callin'"

    June 2, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  23. Rich

    What I don't need is John Roberts insulting my intelligence each time I see him on American Morning with his partner Kyra phillips. They make me puke eating my breakfast.
    Someone tell CNN how my family hate them!

    June 2, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  24. josh

    HILLARY HAS MORE VOTES (but only if obama gets zero in michigan...)
    Hillary supporters, stop with the excuses, you do realize that the Republicans did THE EXACT SAME THING to MI and FL, as well as penalizing NEW HAMPSHIRE, SOUTH CAROLINA, AND WYOMING.
    Go ahead and vote for McCain, and see your abortion rights flutter away.

    June 2, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  25. Darren M.

    Ms. Clinton, JOIN US!

    June 2, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
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