Ickes To Clinton Superdelegates: No Timetable
Harold Ickes, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's liaison to superdelegates, convened a conference call with between 35 and 40 members of Congress loyal to the New York senator this afternoon, a gathering designed to take their temperature on her future in the presidential contest.
The tenor of the call, according to a source familiar with it, was largely supportive of the New York senator. "New Yorkers don't like a quitter," Rep. Charlie Rangel (N.Y.) said. Rep. Marion Berry (Ark.) added that the Arkansas delegation was behind Clinton for as long as she wanted to stay in the race.
Ickes, who championed Clinton's cause over the weekend at the Rules and Bylaws Committee, insisted that the New York senator had not given any serious thought to leaving the race and would not do so until after the primaries tomorrow in Montana and South Dakota.
Ickes made no definitive predictions about Clinton's future in the contest. The idea that the race could end soon was broached but not pushed, according to someone on the call.
Clinton's chances of remaining in the race rest in large part on keeping the remaining undecided superdelegates neutral and avoiding any defections within her own ranks. Obama is unlikely to win the delegates he needs to clinch the nomination in tomorrow's primaries, where only 31 delegates are at stake. But his campaign could crest the magic number of 2,118 delegates if a drove of superdelegates side with him over the next 24 hours.
Rumors flew late Monday that a majority of the uncommitted senators would endorse Obama tomorrow and superdelegates trickled to the Illinois senator throughout the day. (Obama netted 4.5 supers for the day; Clinton two.)
Many in the broader Clinton orbit warned against putting stock in reports that any decisions had been made about the New York senator's candidacy -- insisting that only an ever tightening inner circle (Hillary, Bill and Chelsea Clinton, campaign manager Maggie Williams, communications director Howard Wolfson and former deputy White House counsel Cheryl Mills as well as a few others) had any idea what direction the campaign was headed over the next week.
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