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. carrie


    May 21, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  2. Dave

    Did anyone who is an Obama fan hear or read anything about the internal memo distributed by the Obama campaign after the New Hampshire primaries in which his followers were urged to take any
    comments by the Clinton's and push it as a racist statement and
    push that spin on the media and in other words hype it up. This
    guy Obama has a reputation as a back stabber from way back and
    he does it all with that big smile all the time saying up yours and just
    wait until the country gets a load of where the money trail from his
    slum landlord friend goes to during the general election. The guy
    is dirty politics personified.

    May 21, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  3. Lino

    I don't agree with the "Give the ball to the bully, this way she will stop bullying us", even if it is half ball....

    On the old times she would be consider a very bad person for not keeping her word (she agreed with all the rules beforehand), but in our cheating world it seems to be an option.....

    That is why we are getting in so much trouble.....

    May 21, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  4. Alice

    Be careful, Barry – its a trap !

    Hillary sees this as the beginning of the process, not the end. Once FL and MI get seated, she will rile up her supporters by: 1) moving the goalposts (2210 instead of 2026 delegated for the nomination), 2)counting the popular vote in FL and MI (even though Obama was not on the ballot) but not in caucus states, and 3) using that as a basis to claim she got screwed by the "party" if Obama is the nominee because she got the popular vote.

    This will make her supporters LESS likely to support Obama in the Fall, not more likely.

    Mission accomplished. He'll lose to McCain and she'll run in 2012.

    May 21, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  5. Jon

    I hoped Hillary goes all the way to the convention to screw both of these fools over! They both suck and both McCain and Obama would be disaster for the U.S.!

    May 21, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  6. SLO Bear

    The nation cannot afford not to wake up from this Clintonian nightmare.

    May 21, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  7. Penny from New Jersey

    As a female, I was torn between voting for Barack and voting for Hillary. But as this race has gone on, Hillary has disappointed me. She thought that she deserved the Presidency just because her last name was Clinton. I give her all the credit with seeing the process thru, but when she starts using the "new math" and including 2 states that disregarded the primary rules, then she is no longer a role model. She has just proven, that nobody bows out gracefully. You stay in the race when the chips are down and do whatever you have to, to make sure you win. I for one don't want to see her on the ticket in any capacity. If Sen. Clinton persuades superdelegates to play her type of campaign, that I will for the first time in 30 years, NOT VOTE.

    May 21, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  8. Nia - AZ by way of MN

    ...Now can all the Hillaryiates stop making this Obama's fault, when they should look to the DNC and FL, MI state reps.

    May 21, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  9. Cindy

    Obama is willing to compromise a better than 50/50 split w/ Hillary. What's Hillary's offer going to be? She'll offer him the VP spot?

    I don't see any resolution here. One side compromises, the other cannot come to grips that the nomination slipped thru her fingers. And the Democratic Party goes down in flames. Thanks a bunch, Hillary.

    May 21, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  10. Florida democrat

    Let us review:
    All parties knew the penalty before the primaries
    all parities agreed to the punishment and consequences (including Hillary)
    now that her best chance depends on the votes of 2 states where not all candidates were on the ticket, she is demanding them to be counted exactly as voted (Obama getting 'undecided' vote in MI).
    How is this fair? Really, how is this fair?

    The good news is that it doesn't matter. Hillary is going to lose the nomination and she is being a sore loser. She is splitting the party with this racism and sexism crap. She may have a political career in the northeast US after this, but she has certainly lost her fame in the rest of America. I was a huge Clinton fan but am sick to my stomach of what she has done during this election. What a mess she has made for the party.....they (I) will never support her again.

    May 21, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  11. Dori in AZ

    No campaigning in the states and not even having his name on one ballot, and many Obama voters staying home knowing that their votes wouldn't be counted (as they were forewarned). . . .

    It isn't about Hillary, you know. He wants to give a voice to those who DID come out to vote in Michigan and Florida. Because while it may not feel fair to them, it certainly can't feel fair to him, either. And, in many ways, he was also disenfranchised by those processes. So, he can relate.

    May 21, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  12. Richard

    Obama is a honest fair politician. He will do the right thing when it comes to florida and michigan.

    Obama 2008-2017

    May 21, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  13. Chris -Toronto, Canada

    Hilary only cares about Florida and Michigan because that is the only way she even has a remote chance of stealing the election. If she can't win she is going to do her best to destroy the party, but its not going to work.

    Obama 08, 12

    May 21, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  14. dm

    Great comment Woody

    May 21, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  15. Sharon Minnesota

    Count all the votes or forget democracy. Hillary is right and should get all the votes cast for her. Obama doesn't deserve to have votes that were not cast for him. It's the American way one person, one vote. No one should be able to twist that around to suit themselves. (like BO).

    May 21, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  16. rc hawaii

    Superdelegates please show some balls and stop this nonsense now!!!
    Sillary is so self centered and selfish that she will not stop until she has shattered the Democratic Party..

    Please Superdelegates help your party and put this Idiot in her place!!!!!!!!!!

    Tell her to go back to Arkansas where she belongs how soon we all forget how she changed the rules when she moved to New York so she could become Senator and feed her Lust for Power

    May 21, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  17. Get On Board The Change Express

    That woman is a real piece of work. makes me want to vomit. No wonder some of her supporters are jumping ship and joining THE CHANGE EXPRESS.

    May 21, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  18. Festus, Montana

    Florida has 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 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 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  19. Nia - AZ by way of MN

    Something tells me that isn't going to be enough for Hillary or her feminist friends.

    May 21, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  20. Good Grief

    Yes, we understand that you want us to hand this to HRC to satisfy you, even though you're a minority. Guess what? We won't. Obama is in it, we're not going away, he's winning it. I'm sorry you're disappointed, but we won't let your sour grapes ruin the event of a lifetime.

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

    Of course he's willing to go more than halfway. He knows, by all rights, she should be the nominee. He also knows that the DNC knows she's more electable against McCain. Most Hillary supporters will NOT vote for Obama,,,he isn't intelligent, experienced, or has the integrity that Hillary has to run this country. It would be sad to see him as nominee. It is hilarious that someone said Obama is so much like Bill Clinton....WRONG...Bill is a Rhode scholar. There is NO comparison!

    May 21, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  22. vince

    Wow, What a guy. After the race he is willing to give the delegates she should have had months ago when the race was still in doubt. How do you give her back any momentum she may have had after these big wins? Florida would have been a stomping. This guy is such a doofus. On the bright side it used to make my stomach turn on election day when all those states turned red. This year I can say " I knew it". He has no shot. Most Obama supporters know it. That's why they are already blaming Hillary.

    May 21, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  23. H.P.

    Florida & Michigan knew what they were doing when they did it!! Someone please help me understand why folks are so upset w/Sen Obama about it ??!!! He didn't make the rule & he's NOT the one that broke it......If Sen Clinton felt so strongly about it, why not say something right from the giddy-up?? Not just a few months back when she realized she'd be needing those votes but I mean WAY back, right when they decided to hold their primaries early???
    She's not to be trusted....

    May 21, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |

    I am for counting all the votes...all the ones casted even in the Caucus lets start counting.


    May 21, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  25. KEYON

    Sen. Clinton needs to go and set down. She still want win, it not part of God's plan for her. Do she not no.

    May 21, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
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