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. Marie

    HRC agreed with all the candidates and DNC not to count the votes of FL & MI, but as with everything else she have said and done, she did not mean it at all. She will not be happy until she have her way. I listen to her speech today and thought if this lady becomes president she will still be flip-floping to her heart content.

    There were a time when I would have voted for her but watching her these past months have really changed my mind about her. At first it was great to have a woman run for the high office in the land, but she have made a mockery out of now.

    I also feel that if she do not get what she want on May 31, she will be announcing that she is going to run independent with the excuse that the women and the white uneducated people do not want her to quick.

    People really need to listen to her words and when she have slip of the tongue as she calls it, who is she really running for office for. I do not think it is much for the people of US but for herself.

    May 21, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  2. The Lone Ranger


    May 21, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  3. John Smith

    Experience, experience! Is the type of experience that Hillary is now showing regarding FL and MI what the Democrats really want for this nation? This woman is a "shame" and disgrace to women; I would not want any of my daughters to ever read about Hillary! I am now over 50 years plus and have closely followed the public lives of the Clintons.

    May 21, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  4. LD - DNC....Please End This NOW!!

    Democratic supporters (even HRC supporters, if you are really wanting to call yourselves Democrats). I urge you to send a strong message to the DNC requesting fair play in this process. We all know the antics of Hillary Rodham Clinton and how she will do and say ANYTHING to become President. She has repeatedly lied about NAFTA (her claim for those rural, blue-collar workers votes) and her divisive tactics. She is now requesting both Florida and Michigan votes to be counted, knowing that these states broke the rules, which she agreed to from the beginning. BTW she also bragged about how supedelegates should exercise independent judgement (of course, when she thought they all would vote for her), a strategic plan that has now backfired on her!! I believe these superdelegates have now switched to Obama for this very reason....Robert, Reich, Bill Richardson, the list continues to grow!! Personally, I would like to see a woman as President, NOT HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON!!

    May 21, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  5. Guy

    She has to follow rules and DNC Laws. There are some suggestion to offer a spot on the US Supreme Court is ridiculous. If she can"t follow the laws here I can image what she will do on the Supreme Court. She has no qualifications.There is only one alternative 50-50 on delegate votes and popular votes other than that Mi & Fla votes will not count. The simple fact is that next election other states will do the same, cause they can and know that there vote will count. They can vote in the General election

    May 21, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  6. Carl

    Like she really cares. Did we hear any of this talk when she was thinking she would be the nominee, NO!! She is just a politician being political. The elections in Florida and Michigan were not fair and should not and can not be counted. Splitting the delegates does nothing except create an illusion of fairness – which is absurd!

    But whatever, I'm tired of this mess and tired of listening to all this whining.

    May 21, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  7. Tyler

    Shane read it again, he is willing to give up more delegates than splitting it 50/50.

    May 21, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  8. Lucy

    If Obama is GIVEN this nomination by the DNC, I will surely vote for McCain as millions of others will. Apparently voting in the U.S. doesn't really count anyway if the DNC doesn't give Hillary Florida and Michigan that she deserves.

    May 21, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  9. eddie p. rochester ny

    If Obama is willing to go more than half-way on Fla. and Mi. maybe he should consider going at least half-way on the votes cast in the caucus states. Let's face it . If all states had open primaries rather than caucuses, Hillary would have left Obama in the dust months ago. The polls clearly show that Hillary has a better shot at beating McCain, and still the superdelegates are supporting Obama. Apparantely the Democratic party leaders are willing to lose the general election , rather than have a female for president.

    May 21, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  10. unions are not stupid

    To: Sharon Minnesota

    (Oh, now that he wants their money he's getting more cooperative. What a guy!! Please Florida & Michigan don't give him any credit, he's the one who wouldn't allow your vote way back when.)

    Go get yourself a clue! If your were educated or bother to read things beyond the headline you would know full well that Sen Obama had nothing to do with MI and FL it was campaign rhetoric spread by Sen Clinton herself just another of her many many campaign lies! well documented facts! she has lied over and over.

    If you have something legit to say about Sen Obama, and there is some valid points you could make.Please post them and leave the Clinton lies to her campaign they are far better at it than you! and most people reading these posts can quickly jump over to Google and find out if something is valid fact or rhetoric gossip!

    Go Obama 08 Yes We Can

    May 21, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  11. for the good of the democratic party

    Hillary supporters are so delusional. They insist on blaming Obama for something created by the michigan and florida dems. They are also so gullible. Do they not realize that HIllary is on video saying the votes in Michigan and Florida will not count???? She even signed the same piece of paper that OBama did saying the primary election in michigan and florida will not count!!!!!!! Seriously, are Hillary supporters and florida and michigan residents that primitive that they feel Hillary is doing this charade to "count all the votes". c'mon...wake up and smell the aroma of pandoring by the Clintons. They are so good and fooling the american people and it seems it's working yet again.

    disgusted democrat for life and Obama least we can all brag that SMART PEOPLE SUPPORT OBAMA

    May 21, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  12. To Hillary supporters

    if she really cared about Michigan and Florida being counted, why did not she appose to the DNC rules from the beginning that excluded Michigan and Florida. It is like agreeing to the rules, get in the game, and when you loose, you blame it on the rules. enough if enough!

    May 21, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  13. Charles

    For all the Senator Obama fans THERE IS A SURPRISE COMING. Most of the media already know about it but do not want to be the first to report it in fear of being called racist. I understand a radio station have said a little about this matter. If this information is correct that I have heard Senator Obama will be in a bind.

    May 21, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  14. GREGG LA



    May 21, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  15. Joyce in Florida

    The delegates should be counted IN FULL from the January 29th primary. That is the only fair compromise that Senator Obama should make. We voted and we made our choice. If the situation were reversed, Senator Obama would want the delegates counted in full from the results. Stop making compromises and award the results fair and square. Senator Obama is the ONLY one who has held up this process. If he wants Florida and Michigan on his side in November, he should step aside and let ALL THE VOTES BE COUNTED. If he means what he says, he would do this without hesitation. Come on already, Senator Obama, let's get this done so we can continue without any more roadblocks. Florida has spoken. HILLARY CLINTON FOR PRESIDENT!!!!!

    May 21, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  16. Michael - Sacramento, CA

    Addressing DGH's comment:

    Your complaint is ridiculous. This is an election CAMPAIGN. Every candidate is trying to win and if Obama can "attack" while he, in your words, "says something with a smile, a casual, slow drawl, leaning back on a stool with his hands in his pockets, as if we're all buddies at a local barbeque," then isn't that a huge improvement over the current norm in US politics? I think we've all seen that Obama is capable of going on the offense while remaining polite. You apparently think that he's a hypocrite if he goes on the offense at all. Yes, he said he was going to try to take the high road in his campaign–I don't remember him EVER saying he'd never attack.

    Incidentally, when exactly did he name Ronald Reagan his idol? I must have missed that and you didn't cite your source.

    May 21, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  17. Karen P

    They (candidates) ALL agreed on the rules from the start. Period.

    Hillary wasn't concerned until she lost Iowa and South Carolina, THEN she was concerned.

    Hillary was playing with fire when she left her name on Michigan's ballot KNOWING she was going to use this if she wasn't winning.

    She used EVERY disgusting tactic...VERY unbecoming of a president...more like a spoiled brat. Hillary is SO unpresidential.

    Hillary is damaging the party and she doesn't care at all and McCain would use THAT against her...her divisiveness. Her scorched earth policy.

    Then there's that Paul v Clinton case that she doesn't have to testify on until AFTER November. Why after elections?

    May 21, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  18. bill s

    I think the delegates should be slit 50-50 after all the two states
    did break the rules and there is no way they should not go unpunished. The rules are the rules. If we the people allow
    any group or indiviauls to change the rules in the middle of
    the game are only showing our children and other people in the world that we cannot be trusted. Without rules and regulations
    this world would be in CHAOS.

    May 21, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  19. No More Bushies

    When I think of the Clinton supporters that rant on these boards I imagine banjo music and white hoods. If nothing else, Obama's success demonstrates that at long last we as a society may be ready to move beyond the issues of race.

    May 21, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  20. rw

    How sickening!

    America is so hypocritical it is unreal. Bottom line those two states broke the rules causing their people the risk of losing their votes. Stop blaming Obama for something MI and FL leaders did. The man went by their rules including Hillary until she realized she was losing. It is just sad that people like your kind still exist. Woman or man rules are rules. That's why this country is screwed up; people want to make their own rules, break rules, stifle rules to appease themselves, etc.

    Stop HATING, how will our children ever learn anything if we are acting like a bunch untrained adults. This is just pathetic; it is embarrasing to know that we are adults that can't even make decisions on the right basis. If Hillary was winning she could care less if these votes counted or not. She didn't start fighting for them until she realized that she was losing. Hillary supporters be true to yourselves you know Hillary is not only being hypocritical but has shown that she has been hiding under the cover concerning racism.

    I never thought that I would ever feel this way about anyone. But I once highly respected Hillary and thought of her as a great example for all women. But she has failed us; at least the ones who believe in integrity, honesty, and respect.

    May 21, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  21. Bitter Sweetie Hussein

    I am an Obama supporter, and I do believe there should be an equitable compromise in seating Fl & MI. The bottom line here is the rules were broken. There has to be consequences for that. While it's not the voters' fault, neither is it Sen. Obama's fault. But you would think HE was the one who broke the rules! I say watch out for Hilary. She is unscrupulous and not to be trusted! Don't let her and her underhandedness wrest away your nomination chances.

    May 21, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |


    May 21, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  23. Sara

    I can understand Florida but not Michigan. How could anyone think it would be fair to honor that primary when Obama's name WAS NOT on the ballot?

    May 21, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  24. No McSame

    Oh great we have a person running for president that don't believe in following rules. No wonder Bill did his thing with Monica, they have no rules in their house. The Clintons motto is just do it I guess.
    I never heard of her saying one word about FL or MI until she needed them. People of Fl and MI she doesn't give a HOOT about you all she cares about is Hillary. Don't be fooled.

    May 21, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  25. Kevin

    CNN, she didn't win those two primaries, because they weren't legitimate primaries.

    Get your facts straightened out.

    May 21, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
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