May 21st, 2008
06:00 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama willing to ‘go more than halfway’ on FL, MI

(CNN) - Obama senior adviser David Axelrod says the Illinois senator’s campaign is “open to compromise” and willing to cede Hillary Clinton the advantage in talks over the seating of the Florida and Michigan delegations at the Democratic National Convention this summer.

"We are willing to go more than half way. We're willing to work to make sure that we can achieve a compromise," Axelrod tells National Public Radio’s Michele Norris in a Wednesday evening interview. "And I guess the question is: is Senator Clinton's campaign willing to do the same?"

Clinton spent Wednesday in Florida highlighting her push for full delegations from both states to be seated in accordance with their January votes, which were not sanctioned by the Democratic National Committee because of the early primary dates. Her campaign has charged the Obama team with blocking a compromise on the issue – a claim that campaign has denied.

"Well obviously, any compromise is going to involve some give, and that means if there's something on the table, we're willing to consider it," Axelrod told NPR in the interview set to air Wednesday evening. “That may include us yielding more delegates than perhaps we would have, simply on the basis of the rules."

Obama now appears likely to finish the primary season with a delegate lead, including superdelegates, that would not disappear if both states’ delegations are seated based on the results of January’s contests, in which his name did not appear on the ballot in Michigan. Clinton won both primaries.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Florida • Hillary Clinton • Michigan
soundoff (352 Responses)
  1. Anne

    since when America has become dynasty Clinton/Bush pleas wake up

    May 21, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  2. carlo

    THIS IS NOT OBAMA'S FAULT! Michigan proposed a compromise and Clinton opposed it! Didn't know that, did you? I hear people saying that Obama fought a re-vote in Michigan. He didn't fight a re-vote. He fought a re-vote privately funded by Clinton supporters. No candidate would agree to that. Obama has been very gracious to Hillary, which is now more evident when you see how he is slamming McCain. He's supposed to slam McCain-he's the opposition.

    As far as Florida and Michigan getting 1/2 delegates, that's what the RNC gave them! No one is complaining about that, though. Stop blaming Obama and blame those trifling politicians in Florida and Michigan, and Harold Ickes, who sit on the by-laws committee.

    May 21, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  3. teesha

    Please don't gave her one inch, I don't trust her at all. By the way she is trying to escape a trial schedule in november Paul vs Clinton...

    May 21, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  4. Tony

    Its true there is an education gap between Obama and Clinton supporters but why something this simple is so hard to understand? Thats a question directed to the Clinton supporters.

    May 21, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  5. Campaign Strategist from 115th St & Amsterdam Ave.

    It's no secret that the actual election from Michigan and FLorida results are flawed for a number of reasons.

    This is a American ... not Bosnia ... our code of ethics and integrity don't honor election results that are tainted in any way.

    Let all 50 states' delegates be seated in Denver .... translation .... let them all vote on the Democratic Party Platform.

    Let those primaries held lawfully, contribute to the selection of the nominee.

    This preserves representation for Michigan and Florida while giving credence to the nominating process per the pre-agreed upon rules.

    DEAL -or No DEAL?

    May 21, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  6. Really?

    DGH and Sharon Minnesota – you both sound really sad.

    May 21, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  7. James

    As an independent in Florida, I chose not to register as a democrat to vote in the primary because it was not going to count under the rules. I did however vote that day because there was a significant property tax amendment on the ballot. The voter turnout in Florida was not historic because of the primaries but largely because of the constitutional amendment on the ballot. My vote counted that day as did everyone who voted that day on the amendment to reduce their property taxes. This dynamic has not been accounted for in any discussion on the issue.

    May 21, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  8. Debby

    I wonder if he got some slack today in Florida thats why they are doing this. hmmmmmmmm

    May 21, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  9. Paul

    both Obama AND Clinton agreed, and signed, a statement saying neither state should bd acknowledged in this election because they broke the rules..

    Unlike the 48 other U.S. states who were content to oblige by
    the rules set out by the DNC.

    It would not be very democratic if FL and MI were included!!

    May 21, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |

    ALL I can say is's OVAH. Do yourself a favor and go away better yet go gather up all of the conservative Dems in WV and Kentucky and explain how Barrack is not a racist and how he only wants to bring America together. America looks like a melting pot but I guess WV and good Ole Kentucky don't get it yet!!

    Your are bringing the party down. Step aside and dont be a sorry loser, I will even vote for you in 2016, as long as you play fair!!!

    OBAMA 08-16

    May 21, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  11. Emeka

    This is a test of Obama's diplomacy. Diplomacy involves willingness to accept compromise, while not disadvantaging yourself. I hope the Obama campaign resolves this 50-50 or NO DEAL. Let the voters decide in November. We are a nation of rules, and we must obey our rules if we are ever to be taken seriously.

    Emeka, South Florida

    May 21, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  12. Voter

    This is a set up, if Hillary had a problem with the rule, why did she not speak up at the time DNC made the ruling. Florida and Michigan's elected officials are responsible for this mess and DNC should not change the rule.

    If this election is given to Hillary them we know what kind of country we live, this would be a Shame Before GOD. If a person will steal they will lie and she has proven this to be true because she's done both.

    DNC if this nomination is given to Hillary dont believe the polls who say a large percent will of the population will vote for Hillary, because there will be a big surprise at the polls and you can take that to the bank....

    May 21, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  13. myrlande

    I agree with you shelley. Obama is agreat candidate. Hilary needs to follow rules. I quite sure when you were raising your daughter you set rules. this the reason why she grew-up to be a extraodanary young woman that you are proud off.

    May 21, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  14. Kit

    DGH...God help you...

    May 21, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  15. Keith R.

    "Why did Obama block the revote"

    You guys give Obama a lot of credit. His campaign simply pointed out that there wasn't enough legislative support for it in Michigan and that in Florida, it was cost prohibitive.

    When the cost issue was addressed, by a private voluntary donation if it were to happen, it was done by a direct threat to the DNC by a pro Clinton supporter. There's bias at it's best.

    Obama didn't block the vote or revote.

    You Obama haters will latch on to anything, even misinformation, it seems.

    Look in to real news, not Clinton rhetoric if you want answers.

    May 21, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  16. MonaP

    I feel just as much sorrow for those who won't vote for a person because she is a woman. Just because you're not voting for Obama doesn't mean you're a racist – based on that premise those not voting for Clinton are sexists.

    It comes down to experience and judgement – we really do not need another President who learns on the job – look what happened the past 8 years.

    I'm a Clinton supporter – I'm not in a frenzy, I'm not uneducated, I'm not a racist – I weighed my options and in my opinion, as an American who loves her country – I'm supporting Senator Clinton and could never vote for Barack Obama – he's too inexperienced, shows a lack of judgement and has no plans for this supposed change coming to our country.

    May 21, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  17. linda-Texas

    Senator Obama was adamantly opposed to re-votes, but now he is willing to "compromise". Votes are not a commodity subject to negotiation. Each of those votes represents the preference of an individual. They all deserve to have their votes count as they were cast.

    May 21, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  18. Sharon

    This woman represents the height of greed and ambition, in my opinion. She is willing to destroy Obama so she can run again in 2012. I can't see any other reason why she would be going through all this madness. There can't possibly be a way she will be the nominee.

    Someone tell the ridiculously stupid 'White blue collar voters' to stop voting for this racist woman.

    May 21, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  19. Doreen Augusta Maine

    Clinton is too sneaky - do not give away the bank. She will devour you if you do.

    May 21, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  20. Texas Democrat


    The rules for choosing a nominee continue to change, continue to become more democratic (McGovern-Fraiser reforms, anyone?).

    What could be more fair than a primary contest where each vote, from whatever state, is counted equally.

    Caucuses benefit an intense minority and the well to do who have the time and the luxury to go to party meetings. And disfranching entire states? What about cementing the choicest spots to two states that are unrepresentative of the entire country? Serious reforms are needed. But do we have to wait till the end of an election to right these wrongs? No. Superdelegates do what you're here for.

    May 21, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  21. Sunny

    Its a shame! I mean a big shame to HRC.When she was untop on the overall votes.I mean the pledge and super delegate votes and the FL & MI were not sanctioned of their votes,she was all smiles and very ok with it.But why now that the most prominent candidate,one whom i pronouce "One in a life time Leader" is right on track,hillary eventually turned into a monster trying to change the rules that was levelled even before the primaries and cacauses begins.It has finally shows how desperate she is,how desperate she aims at destroying america further more.I just imagine sometimes how sliky and fake she is.Obama,u are a God sent leader.In God we trust....God has finally sent you out to revive America.Lead on Obama...God bless you

    May 21, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  22. Orlando

    Sharon of Minnesota, DGH and Hillary supporters in general, please give it a rest!!!

    Hillary lost. Side out. Game over. Everyone knew and clearly stood the rules at the beginning.

    Hillary supporters, the question is very simple. How many contests do you know of where the rules are changed during the middle of the contest so that the loser can catch up?

    N O N E !!!!

    Game over, let's move on! Enough of the Silly Season!!!

    May 21, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  23. Festus, Montana

    Florida already screwed up two elections. (hanging chads lol). They have had eight George Bush years to get their act together. It may be best to just let this state sit out until they gain a little more education on how the
    electorial process works before they can be trusted to make any decisions regarding the country.

    Yes We Can.

    May 21, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  24. jo


    May 21, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  25. TonyNJ

    Last night before going to sleep, the news broadcasters on both the T.V. and radio, made no mention whatsoever that our nation was not a Democracy anymore. When I woke up this morning and looked out my window, Old Glory, the flag which many have given their lives to keep our country a Democracy, was still flying in the gentle but steady wind. Then I read and hear that the primary votes from the good people of Florida are being withheld from our Democracies Presidential total? Did someone mislay them, and cannot now be found? Did the bags containing these precious votes, somehow became unsecured, with the contents being scattered to the winds? Did a thief break and enter the room where these important votes were being stored, only to vanish into the dark of night? Did the Good citizens of Florida forget to pay their taxes, with their votes being held as some horrible form of collateral? Nope, none of the above. The good people of Florida voted, some traveling great distances to do their duty as Great Americans, only to hear that their votes will not be counted. This country is a Democracy. The voting process goes back to the ancient Greece, birthplace of Democracy. In order for our nation to remain a Democracy, the votes of the citizens of Florida and Michigan must be counted. Hillary Clinton has taken up the cause to see that the votes of the good citizens of Florida and Michigan be counted. Do the math and look around. I did not know of any previous attempts on the part of Mr. Obama to take action so the votes of all Americans be in the final count. Only one candidate, Hillary Clinton has taken up the cause to see that all votes are counted, so our nation remains a Democracy! We are with you Hillary! We have not forgotten that our Nation is a Democracy, and the INERTIA and Failure of others to do so is a stain on Our Nations Honor

    May 21, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
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