WASHINGTON (CNN) – Democratic leaders hopeful that a deal to seat delegates from Florida and Michigan would mark an end to the deep division the controversy has brought to the party got some instant – and less than encouraging – feedback as they finalized the measure Saturday evening.
As members of the Democratic National Committee's Rules and Bylaws panel voted in favor of the measures, some supporters of Hillary Clinton's White House bid rose from their seats and began to shout “Don’t steal my vote!” and “Let’s go, McCain!”
Several paced the back of the ballroom, yelling at the committee members and chanting “Denver! Denver!” – the site of this summer's Democratic presidential nominating convention.
When Barack Obama’s name was mentioned, boos filled the room.
"This motion will hijack, hijack, remove four delegates won by Hillary Clinton and most importantly reflect the preferences of 600,000 Michigan voters,” said Clinton senior adviser and RBC member Harold Ickes, who added that the White House hopeful reserved her right to bring an appeal before the DNC's Credentials Committee later this summer.
The delegate allocations were a blow to Clinton, who comes away with an advantage of just 24 delegates.
She is favored in Sunday’s Puerto Rico primary. But Obama is thought to hold an edge going into next Tuesday’s contests in Montana and South Dakota – meaning Clinton’s chances of pushing Obama’s delegate lead down into the double digits before the Democratic convention have virtually disappeared.
After the vote, as knots of Clinton and Obama supporters circled each other and faced off in the lobby outside the ballroom, uncommitted Florida superdelegate Mitch Caesar – who said he would weigh in soon after the last primary Tuesday - praised the party for “taking the first step toward unity.”
Nearby, Obama supporter Laura Mitchell wasn’t so sure the party had started down the path to comity. “I think it’s going to be a disaster if this goes past Tuesday,” said the Maryland resident. “Every day it gets a little harder to imagine we will be able to come together.”
Boston native and Clinton backer Jenny Doggett, an organizer of grassroots group Count the Votes Cast, called the DNC “spineless.”
“I think what they’ve done is divisive, destroying the party. I’m disgusted,” said Doggett, who expressed hope that the popular vote in Puerto Rico and a shift in superdelegates might still be able to deliver the nomination to Hillary Clinton. “I’m done with the Democratic Party,” she added. “I’m an independent voter now.”
The Rules committee ultimately adopted modified versions of a Florida delegate proposal presented by Jon Ausman, and the Michigan Leadership Plan developed by Democratic officials in that state.
All delegates from both states, both pledged and superdelegates, will be seated – but each will only be able to cast half a vote. Florida’s delegates were split The decision adds 313 new delegates, but only 156.5 votes, to the summer convention, and raises the number of delegates required to win the nomination to 2,118.
The Florida proposal was passed unanimously by the panel – but faced a rockier reception on the Michigan plan, which employed a complicated and controversial delegate allocation formula that awarded a 10 delegate, 5 vote edge to Clinton.
The Clinton campaign later released a statement from Ickes and fellow Clinton adviser and RBC member Tina Flournoy that said the Michigan decision “violates the bedrock principles of our democracy and our Party,” and repeated their willingness to challenge the decision before the delegation is seated at the Democratic National Convention.
The Obama campaign released a statement from campaign manager David Plouffe praising the RBC decision. “We're extremely gratified that the commission agreed on a fair solution that will allow Michigan and Florida to participate in the Convention,” said Plouffe.
At a press conference at the hotel following the final vote, a skeptical reporter pressed Alexis Herman on her claim that the panel’s decision would unite the party. As Herman responded, chants of “Denver! Denver!” could be heard from the lobby outside.
I can understand that some Hillary supporters are angry but to say we will go to McCain when he is for the Iraq war makes no sense. What were the rule committee to do. Those two states broke the rules. My state of South Carolina followed the rules. I did not like that FL and Mi would not get delegates, but I also did not believe that those two states should go unpunished. As far as I am concerned as far as the issue of FL and MI, the issue was bigger than the candidates: Clinton or Obama. Any organization or party will fail without rules. The message was clear. If FL and MI delegates did not like when their primaries were held, then they could have made their objections known and stayed within the rules.
When I have objections to rules, I do not break the rules and try to make my own rules. I am independent and I do prefer one candidate over the other. Again, to me, the issue was about preserving the right to vote and also following the rules. I believe the committee struck a satisfactory decision. No decision was going to be a perfect solution.
I thought the compromise was more than generous. the rules committee had every right to tell MI and FL that they were sticking to the original agreement, but they bent over backwards to be fair, and Obama accepted that though he had every right to object. He's as entitltled to appeal the decision, too. I'd think twice if I were Senator Clinton.
For the record, not all of the women in the Democratic Party are supporting Hillary, and not all of Hillary's supporters are women. Lots of male Dixiecrats think Hillary is the only choice we have. The Hillary supporters will never vote for McCain. There's no way they're going to kiss Roe v. Wade goodbye and that's exactly what voting for McCain would mean.
The keynote at the Dem convention takes place on the 45th anniversary of the I Have a Dream speech by MLK – we'd be idiots if we didn't make sure that Obama gets to accept the nomination on that day. He's the best thing to happen to the Party since the early 1960s. I just hope we're smart enough and civil enough to make the most of the opportunity we have in him.
Go McCain..... never never Obama!!!!!!!!!!
False-Democrats. Will they also change their stance on War and Abortion? These people that act this way are only another in an increasingly long list of special interest groups. Pathetically sad.
Up until yesterday, I only had mental images of what this angry "mob" (well, if you want to call 20 people a mob) looked like. Then I watched the committee and saw this photo and it pretty much sums up Hillary's campaign.
I and my friends (15) will go for MacCain and this for DNC keep pushing your Obama
I miss the days I was apathetic towards politics. It was so much easier. I'm so disappointed with these Democrats.
The game is over Clinton. You just lost the last card from your chest. Help unite the party.
If this stunt of hers costs the Dems the election Hillary will be ostracized by her own party and effectively her "career" in politics will be over. Period.
She won't even be able to hang onto her senate seat.
And the funny thing is I was prepared to vote for her.
You people are like Hilly she now is saying all sorts of things and crying we the people did not HAND her this win.What in hell is wrong with this woman I think she has had a melt down.She thinks we should give her this election,we owe her this ...What is wrong with this picture Clintons telling the whole Dem party what to do and what not to do?????????If both states are happy from breaking the rules what gives her the right to carry on?????Let the witch go to Denver and get run out by the rest of the people making her the laughting stock of the whole convertion.This woman is SICK in the head,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,to say the least.
Good go to McCain. If Obama loses Hillary will be blamed and lose any chance to be the nominee in 2012. What a bunch of sore losers. Anyone following this campaigh knew this would happen. It was her campaign to lose and she did!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What a bunch of idiots. Let's turn to someone who stands for the opposite of their candidate (Clinton), just because she can't win.
Clinton supporters - do you want the world to percieve you as idiots?
Becuase if you actually turn to McCain over Obama, that is what you will be.
What alternate universe must we be living in when these people would take a Bush Republican over Obama, whose policies are almost identical to Clinton's? It baffles me.
How can this be unfair. I sit here watching TV where they are still crying over the results of yesterday's DNC meeting. Come on, be adults and get over it. They did the most fair thing. Mr. Ickes talks about fighting on and protesting the results. He keeps mentioning that 4 delegates were "hijacked" from Clinton. Let her have her HUGE victory in PR. What does it mean? Absolutely nothing after today. She will claim she has more in the popular vote. That's doing the Clinton Math. Come on people, let's get together and put the Republicans back out on the ranch and put them out of their misery.
I just finished watching Harold ICKEY on CNN – complaining about 4 delegates that were given to Barack that should have gone to Hillary. He was threatening to take the decision to the credentials committee further prolonging this unnecessary drama. Even if Barack gave her 8 delegates, she still would not win. It is over – let's start the healing process.
Hillary supporters who say they will back McCain are childish and immature. Grow up. These are the types of people who vote based on superficialities rather than the issues. Obviously, both of the Democrats' plans have more in common than McCain and a Democrat.
They will be the ones complaining if the McCain administration turns out to be a repeat of G. Bush.
Anyhow, I think they're bluffing. They won't vote for McCain, although they may stay home, which is also detrimental.
Well, Hillary Clinton has successfully pulled the Democratic Party apart. Not a big loss, but seeing as the Republicans are going to destroy this country, it comes as a bigger problem than most Americans might realize. It's going to take a huge achievement by Barrack Obama to try to put this back together.
And for those Hillary supporters who cry and moan and wail, grow up. Your leader would sell her own relatives down the river if it meant she'd win the nomination. She doesn't care about this country. She cares about her own glory–and that's it. The only reason this delegate dispute has become an issue was because she was LOSING.
I'm so sick of these Hillary supporters complaining that they were treated unfairly. GET OVER IT!! Insulting the rules committee won't solve anything and democracy and unity did happen when they voted on the compromise. It's so stupid that they think going to the conventioin or voting McCain is going to solve anything. IT WON'T!! Act like civilized people and accept the decision or you're just giving your candidate a bad reputation.
You lose in the primaries so you vote to continue the war, end legal abortion, and set back feminist issues 70 years?
Well, I'm angry because their votes were counted. Why have rules if you're not willing to abide by them. Let's see, I'll cry for a time, stomp my feet, scream like a toddler, and then I'll GET OVER IT.
Way to go Hillary. All of your shennigans, manipulations, and ego-fueled campaigning have shown that you care only about yourself and nothing for your party.
Congratulations John McCain for your eventual win in November. Is Hillary going to be your VP?
I think the people who are going to vote for McCain were going to do it anyway. It's just the adult version of my way or I'm going to take my toys and go home.
I’m a Michigan native that strongly believes that these “rules” are outrageous! I’m going to back Hillary until the end and I too think this should go to Denver. If switching to the Independent party is the answer, let’s do but I do not agree with voting for Insane McCain out of spite. Emotions are running high and we all are VERY UPSET but McCain is on a completely different path and his views are opposite ours. I do not believe Obama is the one for the white house but his views parallels Hillary in much more topics. You have to remember, if she does not get the nomination she will still sit beside him as a member of the Democratic Party so threaten to leave the party and shouting “McCain McCain” isn’t the best idea (and I believe it to be pretty disrespectful to her values). I think we should fight this until the END. But maliciously leaving our soldiers oversees for 4 more years is absolutely ridiculous.
It seems weird to me that the major criticism of those Clinton supporters who are threatening to vote McCain is that their not "true democrats." Who cares if they are or not? At the end of the day the issue here is not that they're being disloyal, but that they're being whiny little children.
This all reminds me of a kid who didn't get the kind of milk they wanted on their cereal and then threw the bowl in the floor in protest. "If I can't have it my way I'm just going to ruin it."
what about all those people who didn't vote because they knew and played by the rules, let them VOTE TOO NOW.