January 29th, 2008
10:19 PM ET
8 years ago

Clinton thanks Floridians, promises to get delegates seated

Watch Sen. Hillary Clinton thanks supporters in Florida Tuesday night.

Watch Sen. Hillary Clinton thanks supporters in Florida Tuesday night.

(CNN) – Hillary Clinton held a victory rally in Davie, Florida Tuesday night - even though the Democratic National Committee has stripped Florida of all of its delegates to the nominating convention, and no Democratic presidential candidate campaigned in the state.

“I could not come here to ask in person for your votes, but I am here to thank you for your votes today,” Clinton told her supporters. The New York senator also promised the crowd that she would do everything she could to get Florida’s delegation seated at the Democratic convention.

Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton said Tuesday night that Clinton was “trying to assign meaning to a contest that awards zero delegates” after her recent loss to Obama in South Carolina. “Sen. Obama is disappointed that Florida will have no role in selecting delegates for the Democratic nominee, but looks forward to competing and winning in Florida during the general election,” he said.

–CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart


Filed under: Florida • Hillary Clinton
soundoff (581 Responses)
  1. Jonathan in Chicago

    I cannot congratulate Senator Clinton as what she is attempting to do is unfair and unethical.

    While she is no doubt within the 'letter of the law' as set and agreed to by all candidates, she is well outside the 'spirit of the law'; she is manipulating the Florida electorate to gain much needed momentum in advance of Super Tuesday. She didn't want the story to be Obama's win in South Carolina, and so just before the SC primary, elected to raise her protest over the DNC rules on FL and MI. She does not care about the voters in FL - she cares about managing the headlines (as do all candidates to lesser and greater degrees), and if she can garner some much needed delegates through feigned outrage at the disenfranchisement of the FL and MI voters - all the better.

    I don't agree with the DNC's decision, but I do care about the election and the credibility of the eventual nominee for president. In the best of circumstances, the DNC would have opted to enact different sanctions against the FL and MI delegations; but, they did not. Now Clinton wants to reverse her agreement when it benefits her. I get it, and so do many other voters. I find Clinton's tactics to be disingenuous and cynical.

    Indeed, Senator Clinton, along with President Clinton, have alienated a considerable portion of the party base (not to mention independents, moderates and other potential swing votes) through their underhanded tactics. This has been the topic of discussion on the blogs, the Sunday news, and print media. Their behavior has prompted remarks from various democratic leaders, and most likely influenced key endorsements for Senator Obama.

    What do you think will happen to the democratic electorate if they believe that the DNC has caved into the Clinton bully tactics (and boy, bullying has been such a hit these past 7+ years!) and essentially given a sizable number of delegates to Clinton - possibly leading to her nomination? How many potential voters will place their votes elsewhere or elect to abstain from voting altogether? How many voters will feel disenfranchised IN THE GENERAL ELECTION by the actions of the DNC and the Clintons through such a decision - and how will that impact there willingness to support the Democratic nominee? I have already spoken to a number of voters, and many are calling for a boycott under these circumstances (a course of action I don't support).

    Indeed, the polling data suggests that McCain is the likely GOP nominee, and among democrats, he is the least objectionable opponent. How quickly will McCain and his supporters tap into the resentment engendered by a Clinton selection v. election (remember how we all felt after the 2000 elections - we did not take kindly to having are leaders selected.)

    If Clinton plays by the rules agreed upon by all the candidates and wins the nominations, I am certain that she will receive broad support in the general, but if she is enabled by the DNC to manipulate the campaigns for unfair advantage and wins thusly, she and you will have effectively alienated a sizable base in the party and will run a very serious risk of losing the general election against the strongest GOP candidate in the field.

    January 29, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  2. paul

    By analogy, the New York Jets went 3-1 in NFL preseason action this year. Shouldn't those games count for the regular season? There were thousands of fans who paid good money to see those games. Not counting them seems grossly unfair.

    January 29, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  3. Jose Card - Independent

    Hillary thinks the Clintons are bigger than their own party.
    Her 'victory' in Florida can still impress uninformed voters.

    January 29, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  4. Frank, San Diego

    I hope that those in the Obama campaign will join Senator Clinton's effort to seat the delegates eventually chosen in Florida. No democrat should celebrate, or seek to profit from, the disenfranchisement of any voter.

    Nor should any Democrat ever brag about having received more delegates while losing the popular vote. Those self-serving attitudes are core values in the Republican Party, but not ours.

    January 29, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  5. MJ

    I have never seen clearer acts of desperation than the HRC campain.

    1.) Smear tactics, distortions & lies.

    2.) Crying on public TV for sympathy votes.

    3.) Disenfranchising voters

    4.) Race-baiting

    5.) Claiming victory in non-delegate states (FL/MI)

    Has her campaign no shame? Of course not! Her 'win-at-all-costs' campaign must be stopped.

    January 29, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  6. Jay

    Two words for the Obama supporters: Sour Grapes.
    One question Barack fans. If Barack had won by the same margin, would you still feel the 1.5 million voters in Florida didn't matter?

    January 29, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  7. JohnS

    Greetings, people:
    Those who are referring to the Obama AD in Florida are truly ignorant!!!!! This is very serious; most of these people are so ignorant it makes some of us SICK!!

    The AD is by CNN; this AD is running and has been doing so in almost ALL the big states for quite some time now. I am an avid viewer of CNN in TX and have been seeing this AD since SC.

    Wake up people; other nations truly and correctly laugh at us in the US because most of us are so uninformed, ignorant.. you name it!!!

    When I run into so many dumb ones on university campuses, I think the public might be better off!!! However, events like this one, and the cheering for Hillary tell me that some of the people out there are equally ignorant and quite uneducated!!! God Bless us all…

    Perhaps the state of Florida should simply stay out of this process, given that they simply DO NOT FOLLOW BASIC, I MEAN BASIC RULES!!!

    This will come back to haunt the Democrats as the Republicans will use this so-called win of Hillary against them in the general election:

    PEOPLE WHO HAVE NO REGARD FOR LAWS AND RULES OF THIS NATION!!!!

    January 29, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  8. Tom

    I REALLY HOPE THAT EVERYONE WILL TAKE THE TIME TO READ THIS SINCE I HAVE JUST EXPERIENCED A MAJOR REVELATIO IN MY LIFE.

    Within the past 10 years I have come to admit that I have a lot of racism within me. I believe that most of it comes from the ways that I was raised and the way that things are in this country.

    I have a lot of friends who share the same attitudes towards other races that I do, HOWEVER, we have all been able to agree on quite a few things here lately.

    1. FAIR is FAIR (and UNFAIR is UNFAIR): Barack Obama tried with all his might to enter this race as a human being. The Clintons made it a point to drag him down in the mud for the sake of winning regardless of the fact that the people believed in him.

    2. It is a fact that we all have our own opinions, but one thing that is factual is that the ENTIRE WORLD has come to DISLIKE the US. This country has done a lot to harm a lot of people, including its own citizens. The fact is that Reagan, George Senior, The Clintons, and George Jr. have had very much to do with it all. You at least owe it to yourselves to research what some of the past administrations have done to hurt us.

    Reagan, Iran Contra Affair (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran_contra, you must read the information found at this link to even begin to understand how bad this was…(is))

    Bush Senior, Desert Storm, Gulf War (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desert_storm)

    The Clintons, NAFTA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_Free_Trade_Agreement is a very large part of the reason we have seen many of our jobs sent south of the border.)

    And we need not go into the problems that Bush Jr. has caused.

    THERE IS NO WAY WE CAN WITHSTAND ANOTHER HARD BLOW TO THE STATE OF THIS UNION.

    3. This country has not seen TRUE HOPE since Dr. Martin Luther King and the Kennedy's.

    I sincerely mean this in no way to offend anyone, but I have never had a deep regard for blacks. But the fact of the matter is that, within my lifetime, I have never seen hope like the hope that Barack Obama has inspired in people. With all of the negative portrayals of black people (which is what I blame for the way that I am) I can see why blacks honor this guy so much. He is literally a hero to them. But at the same time, I feel like he represents the person inside of all of us who has fought to overcome all that is against us. I mean, this guy is a black man in the US, of all places, who, regardless of whether he wins or not, will be remembered until the end of time for what he has become.

    One thing I am certain of is the fact that our country is on its knees. No empire can rule forever. But I think that the one thing that will give our country a chance to stay afloat is a new form of politics. Although I somewhat regret to say it, if Barack Obama follows through with his promise to include the American people in on decision making, this will be what saves us from ourselves. Now, by no means am I saying that this guy is a saint. Personally I think all politicians are crooked in some way.

    Now, I'm not asking you to vote for any particular person. Personally, I have a lot to consider when stepping into that registration booth. My family values. Embedded prejudices. All sorts of things. I really, really want to vote for Barack Obama (he really is a heck of a guy even though he’s black), but I have a lot overcome before I am able to make that commitment. I hope that I can. I know a lot of you share my feelings.

    Let’s all take this stuff a little more seriously folks.

    January 29, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  9. Noah

    Obama won't have to worry about the National Election he won't be competing in it! Go hillary!!!! Any canidate that goes to the states that "Dont matter" deserves a bit more in respect. It shows they truly care about the people. Not just the delegates:) Think about it.

    January 29, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  10. Dagmar

    Check the exit polls: most of the vote for Hillary was cast in December and early January. Obama won most of the vote cast in the last 2 weeks including today. That should tell everybody that Obama is on the rise. With McCain likely to win the GOP nomination, get real. Hillary can't win the general elections. Billary will help enormously to bring out the vote for the Republicans. Those guys just hate the them. A lot of independents as well. They LOVE to run against the Clinton's. Just imagine, what they smear campaigns will bring up about Bill's "activities" over the last 8 years or the funding of his presidential library.
    Obama especially – and to a degree Edwards – can win the general election. We have seen that independents and even Republicans vote for him. With McCain's stand on the war and abortion and ... do you really want another Republican in the White House?

    January 29, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  11. Concerned Voter

    I am a John Edwards supporter. I think he is FAR SUPERIOR to both candidates as a Democrat and as a nominee to beat John Mccain in November. However, I believe it is absolutely ridiculous that all you Obama supporters are trying to take this win away from Hillary. If Obama were winning with 50% of the vote you'd all be screaming and jumping around that he "trounced" her just like if Edwards had 50% of the vote I'd be screaming and jumping around about his "thumping" of both the media darlings. However, you have to give Hillary credit. She is going to end up winning over 1,000,000 votes and will end the evening with more votes than the Republican winner John Mccain. She did all that without even campaigning. That's pretty darned significant and all you Obama supporters can't take that away.

    Now that I've said that, please consider John Edwards. He is the one candidate who ACTUALLY HAS IDEAS to change this country in a positive way. Obama gives wonderful speeches about change but just doesn't seem to have any real substance.

    Edwards '08

    January 29, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  12. Young Liberal

    If she were to get these delegates I will vote for McCain just to spite the Democratic party.

    Obama 08

    January 29, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  13. Mike

    I guess Chicago has forgotten about the Michelle Obama secret rendavou?!! This national media sucks!

    January 29, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  14. Dave Johnson

    It seems like cheating for Hillary to declare victory in Florida. If this woman wins the nomination look for the democrats to lose the general election again. Independents like me will never tolerate the Clintons again. If Obama wins however, the democrats will probably win in November.

    January 29, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  15. JohnS

    Unfortunately, Paul is one of those Hillary enablers!!! God Bless us all for minds like this one among us!!!!

    January 29, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  16. joe

    Here's to being informed and IMPRESSED 🙂 go Hillary - thank you for giving us Floridians a voice - and we will again speak up for you and for this country in the general election.

    Obama and your cult members: try not to whine too loudly.

    January 29, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  17. Steven and Veronica

    Facts:

    (1) Barack ran television ads (as late as today) in Florida in defiance of the DNC's rules. Clinton did not do this. They both had fundraisers they attended in Florida.

    (2) Hillary asked the DNC to allow FL delegates at the convention long before the primary season started. AFTER the nominee is chosen, people. SHE ASKED FOR THEM TO BE SEATED ONLY AFTER THE NOMINEE WAS CHOSEN so they could participate in the political process AFTERWARDS. SHE HAS NOT ASKED FOR THEM TO BE ABLE TO VOTE FOR THE CANDIDATE!!!

    WE ARE SO EASILY MANIPULATED.

    January 29, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  18. Eliot

    The result in Florida pretty much mirrors how the people will vote in the rest of the country with the exception of Illinois and Ma. perhaps come super tuesday.

    January 29, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  19. Sandra

    Latest poll results from Florida: Hillary won highest in the dementia demographic. A subsection of geriatrics who thought they were voting for Bill.

    January 29, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  20. Leah DiMarco, TX

    Hillary,

    Please do not try to manipulate the DNC.
    You will lose the little bit of respect some people still have left for you. Play by the rules that you agreed to and show that you have a shred of integrity somewhere left within you.

    Obama '08

    January 29, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  21. E.Morrison

    Why did she have to make this spectacle if she weren't intimidated? Why did she start all of this the night of the SC Primary? Why is when she is in the position to lose she makes a plea! Can't you use that "voice" of yours that you said you've found with some confidence and show up elsewhere and support your party's rules?

    Edwards or Obama '08 or this Indie is going McCain.

    January 29, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  22. Christiaan, Norman, OK

    I have to chime in here with the lot who point out that she agreed not to campaign in this state. Now that she won the competition because there was none, she wants to have the delegates seated so we can hand the election to her. Talk about doing anything to win an election.

    Best off all though is the fact that she only got 50% of the votes in an unopposed race. Obama was running in at least a 3-way race (if we don't count Gravel and such) and got 55% of the vote! How is it a victory when as many people voted "anyone but you" as voted for you?

    She may win this nomination, and it will be to the detriment of the Democratic Party and the nation at large.

    GObama '08!!!

    January 29, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  23. Raleigh

    You're being hoodwinked, Florida.

    January 29, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  24. stan pitts pa

    Tonight the democratic establishment looks with disdain at HRC, if she cant simply follow party rules, declaring herself the winner in a non-contest, how can anybody take her serious after this? obama is the best to beat mccain! vote for obama!

    January 29, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  25. Ginny CA

    Congratulations, Senator Clinton. And thank you for recognizing the voices and votes of the Florida Democrats. I understand there is a good chance now that the DNC will eventually be forced to allow Florida and Michigan to seat their delegates.
    God's speed, Hillary!

    January 29, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24