May 31st, 2008
02:30 PM ET
10 years ago

Michigan compromise: 'It's all we have'

The DNC's Rules and Bylaws Committee meets in Washington, Saturday.

The DNC's Rules and Bylaws Committee meets in Washington, Saturday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The chairman of Michigan's Democratic Party called on the national committee's Rules and Bylaws Committee to seat Michigan's full delegation with full voting rights, and divide the pledged delegates between Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, 69-59.

RBC member Elaine Kamarck, a Clinton supporter, told Michigan party chair Mark Brewer the proposal was flawed.

"My problem is willy-nilly, arbitrary assignment of delegates when we actually had a legitimate vote," she said.

Brewer responded that the party had not followed any set guidelines in determining the split - but had reached this compromise because "we have to do something in this situation; we can't do nothing. I wish there were more, I wish it were better, but it's all we have."

The dispute over the seating of Michigan's delegates is a thornier dispute than the dilemma over Florida's delegation. Clinton was the only major candidate who did not remove her name from Michigan's primary ballot following the RBC's decision last summer.

She won 55 percent of the vote in the state's January primary but 40 percent of the voters in that contest chose an "uncommitted" option on Michigan's ballot.

Exit polls found that an overwhelming majority of voters who took advantage of that option supported Obama, with most of the rest in support of former Sen. John Edwards' presidential bid.

Filed under: DNC • Michigan
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Tom

    Two options, count them all and bring the party together or don't and hand the fall election to McCain. It really is that easy.

    And... join the tickets already! Obama/Clinton or Clinton/Obama matters less than bringing the teams together and changing the future of our country.

    May 31, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  2. Vig

    Clinton should appeal any decision that does not award every Michigan delegate. She should hold up this process until the convention floor and if she isn't the nominee – I'm sitting out the election. I would never vote for someone like Obama – someone who belongs to a church that hates Whites and women.

    May 31, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  3. Rob R

    Florida is one thing in that their hand was forced by the Republicans are are willing to aceept a 50% reduction.

    How anyone can call seating Michigan at 100% fair is delusional and would actually be more undemocratic than some form of compromise. Hillary was the only one on the ballot – that's how they do it in dictatorships. In Saddam's last "election" he was the only one on the ballot.

    I suspect they will end up splitting Michigan 50-50 and they should reduce their delegates by 50% as well.

    May 31, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  4. FloridaDem

    The DNC Stripped FL of 100% of pledged and un-pledged delegates after our REPUBLICAN colleagues moved the Primary date up too soon. It's wrong to punish us for that which we could not control. If we don't get 100% seating with full votes, the DNC better pay for a revote.
    That or I, for one, will urge all Dems I know to MAKE their voice heard, with either low turnout or a vote for McCain. How do you like dem apples?

    May 31, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  5. Zachra

    Shouldn't Clinton be penalized for not taking her name off the ballot instead of being rewarded? I'm about done with this "party."

    May 31, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |


    May 31, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  7. aware

    No compromises! Seat all the delegates fully as they voted in Florida and Michigan or take it to the convention! 🙂

    I am a disgusted Democrat leaning Independent and voting for McCain if the fatally flawed Obama is the nominee.

    May 31, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  8. Michiel W

    Of course, rules are rules, except when they might not be to the advantage of Senator Obama. He voluntarily removed his name from the ballot in Michigan, but now he wants the delegates split 50/50? Oh yes, very fair. If they are going to seat the Michigan delegates, they should be seated as the vote reflects, 55% for Senator Clinton, 40% undecided. That is how the votes were counted. The Superdelegates should wake up and start to realize there are some really serious questions as which Democratic candidate will stand a better chance of defeating the Republicans in November! And if the DNC wants to place blame for the divisivness in the party, they need look no further than themselves. By not properly vetting candidates, by allowing the media to play favorites, by not having a uniform way of conducting the primary season, ie: caucuses, primaries and in some states both! The DNC has taken an election which should have easily been a Democratic win and turned it into a very iffy situation. Add into that the way the delegates are apportioned, and the mess is complete. How does one candidate win the state, yet get fewer delegates? How is that equitable? This has been the most divisive primary I have witnessed in 35 years of voting. And it is not because Senator Clinton is at fault. The DNC will have no one but themselves to blame if the Republicans win in November. The media bias and the DNC bias against Senator Clinton and promoting Senator Obama has turned off an awful lot of long time Democrats. And the vile and disgusting comments made by some of Senator Obama's supporters have further alienated these core Democrats. The Superdelegates had better take a good, hard look at who they support, and make their decision on which candidate has the best chance to win in November.

    May 31, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  9. Grandma

    Hillary Clinton should have also removed her name from the ballot in Michigan.

    Allowing Hillary Clinton to keep the 55% of the votes that she "won" in the primary does not seem fair since she left her name on the ballot, knowing that she was in violation of the DNC's directive.

    The remaining 45% of the votes should go to Barack Obama since those voters did NOT choose Hillary Clinton, and Mr Obama is the only candidate remaining in the race.

    There is no good solution to the dilemma.

    A 50-50 split might be the only fair way to seat the Michigan delegates if the DNC chooses to do so. The DNC has the possibility of seating all the delegates with one half vote each. At least that way, the voters from Michigan will have a say in the race for a candidate.

    May 31, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  10. aware

    No unity with Obama – just dirty politics! He is unacceptable under any circumstances. His story has slipped over the saturation point! 😦

    May 31, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  11. jim t

    Clinton didnt win michigan, the other candidates didnt even have

    their names on the ballot, what a coniving piece of *^#% clinton is

    May 31, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  12. Dionne

    Wow, what a mess !

    I think the fairest thing to do is to have polled Michigan and Florida's voters with the most precise polling system to date and use those results to elect delegates since the primary rules seem so unfair to some. .

    No one would have to guess, really then.
    However, the bigger picture is that Hillary is unyielding and I just pray that she can find some peace and closure for this

    May 31, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  13. The US abolishes century old clinton dynasty

    so here is the message from the DNC and billary

    it is ok to break rules ............ this is the dnc after all and we bow to billary dyansty clinton

    what a joke

    May 31, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  14. NoHitwomanHillaryOnVpTicket

    This is typical of a nut case who thinks she is superior.... just like the White Priest said... he told the truth... whether you like it or not. She can't get her way and now she is crying, lying, spying, trying and relying on her disturbed followers to help divide the democratic party.

    May 31, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  15. jason

    it doesn't mean that everyone who wanted to vote for Obama did, in fact, come and vote uncommitted.

    May 31, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  16. Larry Laderer

    Sounds like the committee took the supreme court path. They awarded votes to a candidate who withdrew from the race and never receivced a vote. Very similar. Note the disastrous result for the country as aresult of the Supreme vote. We are likely to have a similar resukt now. \
    Shame on the Democratic Party. I was supporting the Democratic party. Not now.

    May 31, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
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