May 8th, 2008
03:15 PM ET
7 years ago

Clinton makes personal appeal to Obama on delegates

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Hillary Clinton made a personal appeal to Barack Obama Thursday to work with her to make sure Florida and Michigan Democrats votes are counted in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Clinton and Obama are at odds over how to deal with these two states, both of which broke Democratic National Committee rules that resulted in their loss of delegates. Clinton would benefit if Michigan and Florida delegates were allocated according to their January primary results. She made the appeal in a letter that was made public by her campaign.

(Full letter after the jump)

Full text

May 8, 2008

Senator Barack Obama

Obama for America
P.O. Box 8102
Chicago, IL 60680

Dear Senator Obama,

This has been an historic and exciting campaign. Millions of new voters have been brought into the process and their enthusiasm for the Democratic Party and the principles for which you and I have fought and continue to fight is unprecedented.

One of the foremost principles of our party is that citizens be allowed to vote and that those votes be counted. That principle is not currently being applied to the nearly 2.5 million people who voted in primaries in Florida and Michigan. Whoever emerges as the Democratic nominee will be hamstrung in the general election if a fair and quick resolution is not reached that ensures that the voices of these voters are heard. Our commitment now to this goal could be the difference between winning and losing in November.

I have consistently said that the votes cast in Florida and Michigan in January should be counted. We cannot ignore the fact that the people in those states took the time to be a part of this process and to make their preferences known. When efforts were untaken by leaders in those states to hold revotes to ensure that they had a voice in selecting our nominee, I supported those efforts. In Michigan, I supported a legislative effort to hold a revote that the Democratic National Committee said was in complete compliance with the party's rules. You did not support those efforts and your supporters in Michigan publically opposed them. In Florida a number of revote options were proposed. I am not aware of any that you supported. In 2000, the Republicans won an election by successfully opposing a fair counting of votes in Florida. As Democrats, we must reject any proposals that would do the same.

Your commitment to the voters of these states must be clearly stated and your support for a fair and quick resolution must be clearly demonstrated.

I am asking you to join me in working with representatives from Florida and Michigan and the Democratic National Committee to arrive at a solution that honors the votes of the millions of people who went to the polls in Florida and Michigan. It is not enough to simply seat their representatives at the convention in Denver. The people of these great states, like the people who have voted and are to vote in other states, must have a voice in selecting our party's nominee.

Sincerely,

Hillary Rodham Clinton

soundoff (360 Responses)
  1. wayne porter in Seattle, Wa

    It doesnt surprise me.. Why dont she post the letter that was signed by all the democratic presidential hopefuls before the race begin that clearly stated Michigan and Florida would not count. That is the reason the number of delegates of 2025 is the key to receiving the nomination. I didnt notice anyone standing up when both of these states knew the facts at the time the states chose their path. Obviously, the Presidential nominee will seat the delegates but not during the race to 2025. The only reason why she wants to play this card now is to make her next case that the race is to 2209 delegates for the nomination.. Dont fall for this strategy, trick, pander, lie, etc.. All the more reason to not pick her for a VP because she would do anything to be the President..

    May 8, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  2. Rich

    "I have consistently said that the votes cast in Florida and Michigan in January should be counted. "

    Except before these primaries happened when she said "they won't count." After you saw the results would have favored you and you couldn't win without them, since then you have been consistent about this.

    Another inconsistency...you turned down some suggested solutions, too. Solutions have been proposed that overly favor one or the other candidate, and you have both opposed these, and rightly so.

    May 8, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  3. bill in nyc

    haha...this is awesome...did she include an expert of her NPR statement that it's clear MI anf FL don't count...or a copy of the letter she signed stating that these delegates wouldn't count? apparently this became 'a civil rights issue' b/c she's losing...

    I love this...she's so pathetic...

    May 8, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  4. Linda

    Why doesn't she mention the original document they both signed stating that MI and FL would not count if they did not follow the rules.

    May 8, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  5. Murray

    Billary, er... Hillary is sinking to a new low. This morning she said Obama can't win the non-college educated white vote, now this! Poor thing, grasping for straws when there are none in sight.

    May 8, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  6. RB

    I think a 50/50 split is the only acceptable way to seat these delegates. She keeps talking as though she thinks she's in the driver's seat. GO AWAY and take the "less educated, blue-collar voters who won't vote for a black man simply because he's black (50/50 black/white)" with you!! The Democratic Party is the party of equal opportunity. You lost fair/square based on the rules agreed to before the race began. You would be better served to start worrying about your Senate seat.

    May 8, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  7. Its okay to be right

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

    May 8, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  8. Veteran For Obama

    Is there a condescending tone to this letter, or is that just the filter in which I perceive all of Clinton's words?

    May 8, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  9. Gabe in TX

    He knows counting FL and MI will close the gap between himself and Clinton. I can see his reasons for not wanting those 2.5 million counted. At the same time, those peoples' votes will be counted this fall. If they don't have the nominee they wanted, they'll take it out on Obama. It's not their fault they have idiots running FL and MI. But Obama will never truly know if he could've won a fair race until those votes are counted. Can he live with that? I couldn't.

    May 8, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  10. LB

    This is sad.

    May 8, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  11. Elle

    To not honor that request would place Obama in a light of undemocratic behavior and people would never support a democrat who is not willing to hear peoples voices .It is the foundation of democracy and a constitutional right as an american citizen.
    Well expressed by Hillary Clinton who shows respect and concern to unite all democratic americans .
    Thanks to her for this !

    May 8, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  12. Realistic

    So long as the apple cart will not be upset, it seems like Michigan and Florida should have their delegates seated at least in part and according to some fair formula that doesn't unfairly hurt those states that did follow the rules, such as by cutting the number of delegates in half like the Republicans do.

    BTW, the only reason why Hillary is still running is to pay off her campaign debts to herself, which is why ever other post at hillaryis44.com (a Hillary front site) is a solicitation for a donation. But I guess if enough old women are dumb enough to send her some bucks it doesn't hurt the rest of us.

    May 8, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  13. Take me back to '68!

    Would someone please just make this woman go away? Please? I'm honestly starting to doubt her sanity. Barack Obama has said SEVERAL times that he will honor whatever the DNC decides to do about Michigan and Florida.

    Hey Hill, what are you going to do when there's nothing left to spin? You should have bowed out gracefully when you had the chance. You've tarnished your reputation forever.

    May 8, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  14. Steve

    I love how Obama uses the "will of the people" arguement on why superdels should vote for him, but has no desire to include everyone. And he has somehow conned so many people into thinking that Hillary is the only "win at all costs" candidate.

    The best part is, there's such an easy solution. Make all of the primaries on a single day, sometime in late March/early April. You not only have a surefire nominee by a known date, but you're FAIR to all candidates, not just the ones IA and NH feel they have a right to select.

    May 8, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  15. B / NYC

    Senator Obama is way to full of himself and his razor thin lead that the media builds up to be the win of the century, to do anything for Senator Clinton...
    Honestly if need be I pray that Senator Clinton runs as an Independent because most of her supporters will NEVER vote for Obama...

    May 8, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  16. Kevin Leo (Jonesboro, GA)

    This is getting to be even more pathetic!!!

    They have already announced that the DNC Rules committe and representatives from both campaigns would be meeting on May 31 to resolve the Florida and Michigan situation at that time. Hillary is trying to make herself look like she is leading this effort when it has been in the process all along.

    May 8, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  17. Lindsay

    Would someone please just make this woman go away? Please? I'm honestly starting to doubt her sanity. Barack Obama has said SEVERAL times that he will honor whatever the DNC decides to do about Michigan and Florida.

    Hey Hill, what are you going to do when there's nothing left to spin? You should have bowed out gracefully when you had the chance. You've tarnished your reputation forever.

    May 8, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  18. Ryan

    lol. Hillary is nuts. Did you hear her plan for michigan? only count her votes but the undecided would not count for obama. SHE WAS THE ONLY PERSON ON THE BALLOT

    May 8, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  19. jane in CA

    she's up with something.

    May 8, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  20. Casey in KY

    Hasn't it been cleared that even if these states count there is no way she can win the rest of the states with 88% of the vote?! Hillary is looking like a soar loser. They realize the stipulations when they tried to go against the rules 2 out of 50. What's wrong with that? Not that the pple should suffer but the reps for those states knew what they were doing.
    Clinton better be careful bc if they do revote they might not be in her favor because she's acting really desperate right now. Uniting the party... yeah right HIllary we see that....

    May 8, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  21. silence do good

    Obama has cheated the voters of FL and MI. There were other states that had situations regarding primaries. Why were these 2 states blocked from the revote? Are his followers so blind as to think it is OK to disenfranchise entire states?

    Between his negative attacks (through his surrogates), racist and antisemitic friends, manipulation of primaries, encouraging his hate-speech followers: he is driving Dem voters away form him. If he loses in November HE will be to blame, not Hillary, not Republicans, not Rush, not "typical white" people, not Bigfoot (watch – some Ozombie will actually run with "bigfoot" angle).

    May 8, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  22. Missouri

    Florida & Michigan should get to vote. They deserve to, just like other states.

    Strongely for HIllary

    She is experienced, for all races, and and fighter.

    Hillary 08!

    May 8, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  23. Karen from Charlottesville

    This is getting really sad. CNN, if Hillary doesn't realize what a fool she is making of herself, then maybe you could just start ignoring her so the rest of us don't have to witness the pathetic depths to which she is sinking. She is destroying her chances to be a respected party elder with her unseemly behavior.

    May 8, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  24. LT for Obama

    So the gas tax gimmic did not work now she is just shamelessly going after him.

    She is making it harder for me to go to the polls if she manages to steal, yes that's right, steal the nomination.

    Her actions over the last couple of days should be a sign to the remaining super delegates how unstable she is becoming. Do you really want someone who is unstable to run this country? At least Obama keeps his cool, she is just all over the place.

    May 8, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  25. Lori

    I'm sure Obama will agree to seating MI & FL as long as it is fair to him. Let's not blame Obama for MI & FL breaking the rules. These two states should be held accountable for going against the Democratic National Committee rules. The vote was not fair especially in MI since Obama's name wasn't on the ticket. An even split would be the fair way to seat them.

    May 8, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
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