Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri Endorses Hillary Clinton

February 15, 2008

Emanuel Cleaver - Representative from MissouriOne black supporter of Clinton, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri, said he remains committed to her. “There’s nothing going on right now that would cause me to” change, he said.

He said any suggestion that elected leaders should follow their voters “raises the age old political question. Are we elected to monitor where our constituents are … or are we to use our best judgment to do what’s in the best interests of our constituents.”

In an interview, Cleaver offered a glimpse of private conversations.

He said Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois had recently asked him “if it comes down to the last day and you’re the only superdelegate? … Do you want to go down in history as the one to prevent a black from winning the White House?

“I told him I’d think about it,” Cleaver concluded.

Jackson, an Obama supporter, confirmed the conversation, and said the dilemma may pose a career risk for some black politicians. “Many of these guys have offered their support to Mrs. Clinton, but Obama has won their districts. So you wake up without the carpet under your feet. You might find some young primary challenger placing you in a difficult position” in the future, he added.

Obama and Clinton are in a competitive race for convention delegates. Overall, he has 1,276 in The Associated Press count, and she has 1,220. It takes 2,025 to clinch the nomination.

But the overall totals mask two distinct trends.

Obama has won 1,112 delegates in primaries and caucuses, and Clinton has won 979 in the same contests in the AP count.

The former first lady leads in the superdelegate chase, 241-164.

This is the press release from 8/21/2007 from the Hilary Clinton website

Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II Endorses Clinton

Cleaver Will Serve as Co-Chair of Missouri Campaign, Faith Steering Committee

The Clinton Campaign today announced the endorsement of Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II, and named him Co-Chair of Hillary’s Missouri campaign and a Co-Chair of her national Faith Steering Committee.

“Americans are ready for change, and Hillary Clinton has the strength and experience to deliver,” Congressman Cleaver said. “Hillary can restore America’s role as a moral leader at home and abroad.”

Cleaver is in his second term in Congress and serves on the exclusive Financial Services Committee and on the Speaker’s Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. Cleaver is also an ordained Methodist Minister and still serves as Senior Pastor at St. James United Methodist Church in Kansas City.

Prior to his election to Congress, Cleaver served two terms as Mayor of Kansas City, focusing on economic development and job creation. In recognition of his work, Cleaver’s peers chose him as President of the National Conference of Black Mayors for two terms.

Cleaver was first elected to public office in 1979 as a City Councilman in Kansas City. During his 12 year tenure, he served as Mayor Pro Tem and was an active Chairman of the Planning and Zoning Committee.

“Emanuel has dedicated his life to lifting others up and expanding opportunity for his constituents,” Clinton said. “I am delighted he will help lead our efforts in Missouri and across the country.”

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