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. James

    My problem with Hillary is that she does not want to recognize that she is dividing this party.

    May 21, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  2. Independent99999

    Show her door immediately.

    Obama – Don't concede more than 50 / 50 split. You can win MI and with Edwards support, you would come close to 50% vote

    A 50 – 50 split is only fair.

    Don't yield her 1 delegate. She does not deserve

    Also, don't be soft on her. Don't start praising her. She is a Fox/Jackel and there is no need to be graceful to such SHAMELESS person.

    Go aggressive and beat her up badly. Crucify her. May she be asked to quit her SENATE seat too. She is a disgrace to womanhood and the NY senate seat

    May 21, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  3. A Latte Lover, Seattle, WA

    Silly Obama, you know Hillary and Hillary alone won both of those states and deserves all of the votes and all of the delegates. You know you don't deserve ANY, because silly you, you took your name off in Michigan. You know she was tired when she signed that pledge and it was just a mis-speak when she said they wouldn't count. Silly you!

    May 21, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  4. Freida, NYC

    FL: 60% to Hillary and 40% to Obama
    MI: 80% to Hillary and 20% to Obama

    That works for me!

    May 21, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  5. Casey

    No matter how magnanimous Obama is with this, Hillary won't agree unless it somehow makes it impossible for either to actually reach the magic number and win. That's the point – tie it up so that she can then argue that she should be the winner.

    The whole argument that somehow not counting these states when they knowingly defied the DNC and all candidates agreed to the rules is somehow "disenfranchisement" is ludicrous. This is a PRIMARY and not the GENERAL election, where everyone is entitled to vote. If everyone were entitled to vote in primaries (or in a caucus) then Republicans everywhere could vote in Democratic primaries and vice versa. That's not the case, though in some states, you can. So no one is disenfranchised and they WILL be able to vote in November.

    It should be 50/50 and seat all the delegates. The popular vote argument that HRC makes is also specious - we don't elect the President by popular vote. The electoral college is what we use, however lame it is. Of course, we could change the rules, but NOT in the middle of a contest, Hillary.

    Isn't that the lesson we all learn when we are 5 years old?

    I look forward to President Obama's term and a great new era for the USA.


    May 21, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  6. Griff

    Biff Biffington!!! Griff, told you long ago.... There is no Party...
    The Democrat's have destroyed that Label.... Just Hillary and the Women who believe in her.....

    May 21, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  7. Debbie

    This is not Obama problem. Why should he concede to her. That is what she is counting on. Watch your back Obama. She has proven she is not to be trusted.

    May 21, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  8. Stephy

    I don't get it!, what is so special about Hillary Clinton. She goes into Florida and Michigan knowing full well that the votes won't count, but now she wants to make them count because she thinks the will help her win. Can you image the things that will happen if she gets into the White House! Can you say SPOILED BRAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 21, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  9. CaPIcorn2

    The reason that they will not concede all delegates is because she agreed to not have them seated just like obama. Matter of fact they both signed a agreement not to have them seated, but now that she is losing she is making sound like Obama is cheating or something. If you possibly think that michigan should count it is ludicrious. My solution is florida should be seated as is, but Obama gets the 40 percent of uncommited votes in Michigan while she gets 55. It is only fair being that both primaries should not count. I guess I can get out of contractual agreements too if I am in the government.

    May 21, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  10. alice2Fresno,CA

    I do not trust Hillary At All! She agreed to the rules, now she wants the DNC to change the rules just to accomodate her. WHY should Obama have to do this? He played by the rules only to hear now he has to compromise his victory to keep Hillary happy. Doesn't sound good to me. I just hope DNC does what is RIGHT & FAIR. If not, well, I guess the American people will see what we will see.

    May 21, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  11. Big D

    Does anyone think for a second that Hillary would push so hard to have ALL the delegate from FL and MI counted, if it didn't just happen to benefit her? I admire her fighting strength – but wow, it would be great if she fought so hard for something that wasn't so blatantly for her own personal gain. I hope she agrees to Obama's generous offer, and we can finally get this primary season over with.
    O '08

    May 21, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  12. Linned

    Great for the people of Florida, Michigan and the Senator Clinton supporters. So, when the finally tally is done of the pledged delegates, votes, etc. – then we will have a nominee. I hope then that the Democratic party can come together and take care of the Republicans.

    May 21, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  13. Raghu

    That's because Obama is 60 delegates away from getting the nomination, he doesn't care. with SDs and Florida, he will get the nomination right there!

    May 21, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  14. 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 of the election until they gain a little more education on how the electorial process works before we can trust them to make any decisions regarding the country. Let's hope that a good education is a staple in this state.

    Yes We Can.

    May 21, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  15. Otto

    Hillary Clinton wants one thing and one thing only; that is the Presidency.

    It does not matter the math, delegates or votes cast. She is hell on creating history for herself and it does not matter how she gets there.

    If Barack Obama gives her all his delegates; she'll still say she won fear and square.

    The bottom line is she intends to win the nomination even if she loose the Presidency.

    I know one thing at this point; if she gets the nomination as the math states right now; she will loose in a landslide in November because most young people, educated people and all the black voters who back her husband will stay home. I for one will not vote for McSame but will not vote at all.
    Bank on that.

    May 21, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  16. Marie

    Obama we want all the votes counted in Florida and Michigan.

    May 21, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  17. Sharon Minnesota

    Fabulous speech by Clinton today. She needs to give it her all and get tough. Don't fall for all the accusations and intimidation from the DNC and Obama supporters. It's all a big act. Nothing to lose now, so go for it.

    May 21, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  18. Michele, Oregon

    Thank God it is almost going to be OVER! In order to negotiate with the Clinton camp I would only cede (the dubious) vote in Florida where all the names were on the ballot. Michigan should go 50-50 and nothing more. PLEASE Idaho, Montana, Puerto Rico, and South Dakota we look forward to hearing from you and ask you to do the right thing now. We just did in Oregon and we need you to finish this off!

    May 21, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  19. J.L.

    It's most likely the Clinton campaign that's keeping anything from happening because the simple fact is, even if the delegates are seated from the results in FL and MI, Obama still will be ahead in delegates. And to keep this non-issue as an "issue" is just a political smoke screen.

    Seriously some Clinton supporters need to go back and learn a little math... some simple addition, subtraction, and an understanding of percentages will show them that Hillary has no chance. Only way she could win is by getting an unrealistic amount of super delegates and pledged delegates and at this point in the race, it won't happen. Delegate-wise FL and MI will not make a difference now. There's been article after article with analysis of this, pointing it out... but again I'm sure people will accuse mathematics of being baised for Obama...

    May 21, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  20. LT for Obama


    The reason they are not going to seat them all is because not all votes were cast because many voters did not vote because they were told they would not count. Also, in an effort to follow the rules, Obama's name was not on the ballot so his voters did not get to vote for him so therefore, they will be disenfranchised if you only count the votes for HIllary.

    I am not sure why you are not getting this but if I have to keep posting this for you to understand that, I will.

    May 21, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  21. Old Women from Minnesota for Barack

    What about all the voters who did not vote in these states because of the rules which said that their votes would not count?

    Hill-Billy is such a cheater.

    Dean should not give in to her and Florida/Michigan strong arming. Stand strong.

    May 21, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  22. Sexism BOO HOO

    Go ahead and vote for McCain...that will fix it, eh ladies? You going to teach Obama a lesson? Blame the MEDIA for sniper gate? Gaurentee a right wing Supreme Court for the next 40 years?


    May 21, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  23. Casey

    Sharon in Minnesota:

    Obama raked in 31million in April, more than any one else out there. He doesn't need money from Florida or Michigan to win, though I suspect he has donors in both locations. I donated twice that month and again in May. Everytime I read one of your ridiculous posts, I go make another donation to Obama's campaign – just to be sure people like you don't run our country.

    I've seen your posts every day and they are all always mean, rude, racist and offensive.

    May 21, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  24. Anonymous


    "I'm so tired of Obama's campaign trying to sound moderate, inclusionary and reasonable when they are constantly attacking Clinton backhandedly or just without actual 'heat' in the message."

    WELCOME TO POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT!!! At least Obama is doing it professionally, while mccain and clinton continue to act like children.

    May 21, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  25. Debra Russell

    Please superdelegates come on, hurry up and vote for Obama so he can win this primary before the witch pull some kind of trick out of her bag. She has already warning everbody that she looking for a three pointer at the end of this game......

    May 21, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
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