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. Max

    These are the little half, well not even half, maybe miniscule-truths that Hillary tells in order to swing an election that is clearly over her way, or at least to sabotage Obama so she can try (and lose) again in 2012. You have to question the reasoning behind Hillary supporters at this point still saying she should be the nominee. Is she a better candidate in the fall? Maybe, I don't think so, but who knows. But did she win the democratic primary? No. By no metric. And if you choose to vote for McCain over Obama solely because he beat your favorite candidate while ignoring all of their similarities on policy, you are doing your country a great disservice.

    Obama '08

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

    Darn Hillary you make me sick.

    Can't you go gracefully? You lost and you agreed to the rules.

    Superdelegates wake up and put Obama over the hill, that this mess comes to an end.

    GO Obama

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

    Sen Obama's campaign lackeys like Axelrod are wrong. This is the campaign that would not earliler compromise and his patronizing comments will drive Clinton supporters away from Obama.

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

    You have to question Hillary's priorities at this point, and it certainly appears that ethics doesn't count for much with her. The lies, the say anything to win mentality, and her race-baiting comments disgust me.. It's inconceivable to me that she could agree to a set of rules before the primaries, publicly flip-flop the way she has, and still retain one ounce of credibility.

    Both candidates agreed with the rules before the primaries. I agree some representation should be made for delegates of Florida and Michigan, but they should be split equally between Obama and Clinton. It's unfair to the rest of the states to give these renegade states' primaries equal footing with the rest of Americans who played by the rules. And tell Hillary the Spoiler to just SHUT UP before she ensures another Republican occupant in the White House this November.

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

    All these attacks from Senator Clinton make no sense regarding Florida and Michigan. Senator Clinton was fully supportive of the DNC's decision when it was first made to strip them of their seats and going into the first primary stated so.
    Once Senator Clinton found herself behind in February, then she suddenly became the voice of these lost voters in Florida and Michigan. For whatever reason, everyone seems to have forgotten her previous position which makes her current stance nothing more than self-serving.
    Florida and Michigan knew the rules and have been made to pay the price by both the DNC and RNC. All the presidential candidates knew this as well and agreed to those rules. Because of this, I would be hard pressed to continue to support the DNC if they reversed or partially changed their decision to appease a candidate that wasn't winning. If this has been some forth or fifth tier candidate, it would not have even made the news much less a special session of the DNC's rules committee.

    May 21, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  6. Jeanne, San Diego

    They've got to do something that doesn't disenfranchise the voters while at the same time penalizing Florida & Michigan for breaking the rules. Clinton is being unreasonable if she expects to seat the delegates without a penalty or compromise.

    May 21, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  7. nick

    GO CLINTON!!!! Wow, Obama, can not face the fact she is the only one whom can defeat McCain, The democrats need Florida and Michigan And Ohio, and not to forget Pennsylvania! HILLARY WON THEM ALL!!!!!!!

    If George Bush didnt win Florida then Kerry would of been President. You see how important it and Michigan are to the democrats, if there votes don't count, they WILL support McCain, plain and simple. Wise up Gov. Howard Dean

    May 21, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  8. MD in CT

    It should be remembered that when the DNC made the decision not to count Florida or MIchigan, Obama appears not to have been a factor. At that time the DNC was under the political influence of the Clintons more than an other candidate. If all the candidates agreed to follow the DNC ruling, then this should be documented and presented to the voters. If any candidate broke the rules then this should be determined and made public. This is true for Obama as well as Clinton.

    Once that is clarified, then a meaningful compromise can be develop. Otherwise the residual emotion concerning blame over the initial decision would leave unpredictable residuals.

    However Hillary Clinton talks now like she is blameless or did nothing wrong and suggest that Obama is stopping Florida and Michigan from being seated at the convention. The voters need clarification NOW NOT 2 WEEKS FROM NOW.

    May 21, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  9. Bushwhacked in Eugene, OR

    Yep - the man is taking the high road, as I would expect him to do. THIS is what we need in a leader - and just one reason he will take this country back to its position of respect worldwide.

    May 21, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  10. John

    Florida and Michigan broke the DNC rules. These states don't count. WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER 48 STATES THAT FOLLOWED THE RULES???

    May 21, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  11. ne, Pa.

    Hillary has set women back.
    The Clintons are a disgrace.
    Obama 08

    May 21, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  12. Drew, Central FL

    As a Floridian, I would prefere a do-over. Let them campaign in the state. Hillary can say whatever she wants and I will still VOTE OBAMA!!!!

    Good day. I said Good Day!

    May 21, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  13. sandy

    Hillays plan to revote michigan included voting for only those who voted uncommited in january election.

    No person with IQ over 100 could agree to this ridiculous plan..and now she goes around saying obama blocked revote...

    disgusting is a very small word!!!!

    May 21, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  14. Cecilia in Georgia

    My issue is why wasn't this a big issue when she agreed to this in the start of the campaign? Why is she now pressing this issue now that she is getting beat by Obama? It just doesn't make sense and makes her look like a true sore loser. This should have been addressed the DAY THEY VOTED or BEFORE not AFTER WE ARE MONTHS AWAY FROM VOTING IN NOVEMBER?!!

    Respect for her has vanished...

    May 21, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  15. Ann

    Obama is so smooth, he's even got his supporters fooled. Can't wait to see their faces if he does get the nomination... and this country goes under because they were so determined to have him and his "change". Funny....that is all his supporters and him say...we want change, but they never say what that is! Because everything he talks on is what he's already heard Hillary talk about. Since the majority of his supporters say they would vote for Hillary if he's not the nominee just further supports the reasoning that she IS more electable because most of her supporters will NEVER vote for him. GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!

    May 21, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  16. Larry for obama

    Why does Hillary keep getting away with this crap. if this was Obama acting in this way, there would be a national outcry about him destroying the party and he's sexist and he doesn't know when to quit, etc,etc,etc.

    Hillary lost fair and square. Settle up

    May 21, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  17. LonghornMama

    Hillary Clinton deserves a spot on this ticket. Obama supporters and the media need to stop trying to push her out. Instead focus on the fact that Obama only becomes President if Clinton's on the ticket!! All of those states that he has won in caucuses, etc, will still be RED after November. Time to go after the combination that can put together an electoral college victory. That's Obama-Clinton.

    May 21, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |

    I just realized that Hillary is ALSO running on a CHANGE platform:

    CHANGE the rules
    CHANGE the process
    CHANGE the numbers
    CHANGE the metrics
    CHANGE the goalposts

    ...... I think you see where I'm headed here.......

    May 21, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  19. Bridget

    No to compromise. Florida and Michigan went out and voted for Hillary because she cared enough to leave her name on the ballot. The votes belong to her. She is ahead in the popular vote.
    So guys, stop holding up those cards with those incorrect math figures, You all might wish this was all over but it is not. Looks like we will be going to the convention. Never under estimate the power of a woman.

    May 21, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  20. IF, Lisbon

    Michigan and Florida are part of the USA, that's why they should have followed the rules that applied to all the other states.

    This means Michigan and Florida will be rewarded for having broken the rules. They broke them so they should go first, thinking it would matter. Now they're going last and that's why Hillary suddenly discovered they might matter.

    Should those two states be allowed to flaunt the rules that applied to the other states? I think not. Precisely because they are part of the United States and not two break-away rogue states.

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

    To Sharon.
    Hillary does not care about you or your comments trust me, and she knew the rules from the start, she is a donkey and can't win either way!!
    So vote for McSame and I hope there will be a draft to send your loved ones to war because with Mcsame we will have a war with a lot of countries and not win. So with that in mind get ready, if you are lucky enough to move.

    Someone send if Obama wins get ready for a bad 4 years, are you dumb, did you not just see the last 8 years moron.

    May 21, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  22. Ramon, Santa Clara, CA

    Uh oh!

    Has the Obama campaign finally figured out that they have alienated two states that will be critical in the November election? (In addition to the way the Obama elites have just alienated the "backwoods, racist, redneck, uneducated" states that just voted overwhelmingly for Clinton)

    This half-hearted, and late realization will be part of Obama's downfall when McCain wins both states and the presidency.

    May 21, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  23. Sandy


    May 21, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  24. FactCheck

    So, let me get this straight... the folks who are supporting Obama in Michigan will get no say because HRC wants that state to give Obama zero delegates because his name wasn't on the ballot? And the Clinton supporters are asking why not?? Heck, why not just give her all the delegates in every state... who care what those silly voters have to say anyway? SNL has absolutely nailed her "I deserve it" agenda.

    May 21, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  25. Tammy From New York

    Hillary just don't know what she is doing to herself. When does she run for senate again? I'm from New YOrk and she definately will not have my vote.

    May 21, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
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