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.
Ms. Clinton voted in favor of the rules when she was the presumptive nominee back in October. Now that she is behind, she wishes to change the rules. All of the candidates treated the Michigan and Florida primaries according to the rules, as if it were not going to be counted. If the DNC would have done anything different than what they did, it would not have been fair to anyone except her. Mr. Obama is the nominee. Please – everyone accept this and get behind so that we do not have another 4 years of the Bush administration under McCain.
My vote goes to McCain based on the two books I have read by Senator Obama – research how many times he compliments the work of the Clintons. Senator Obama is a good person, however, so was former President Jimmy Carter and this world needs a leader who has the experience from Day One...not someone who is chewing Nicoret to get thru the day!
That's just a stupid and immature attitude to take. A vote for McCain is basically an extension of the Bush doctrine. Pathetic!
Does Hally thing she owns the democratic party of America, will this do her any good if she help mccain win the general election, Hillary is not only fighting Obama but the entire democratic party.
McCain is just like Bush III.
We will be in a war with Iran and the economy will be ruined.
Hillary clinton is a selfish person. She does not care about the party; nor about Americans but only herself.
Come on, people!
Obama followed the rules; why should he be punished?
If they want to go, that is their choice. As a Democrat, I am going to work hard for the ticket and looking forward to the inauguration!
Remember, there are consequences to breaking the rules. If you just give in to rule breakers, the world would be even worse off than it already is.
I will vote for McCain, I would rather vote for a moderate than a liberal. Hillary should consider running as an Independent, wow would that shake things up.
They're so ignorant....The problems we are facing now as a nation are more important than Hillary or Obama...This people are just going to vote for McCain because Clinton is not the nominee.....Do you really love your country?
The Obama supps. are smitten and shocked.Well if you live with the sword you die by it.To snatch Hillary's 4 delegates and hand it over to Obama is just wrong and unfair.The end is not here yet.If miracles work ;let Hillary shock them all and win the presidency.
McCain is waaaaaay too old to even consider him as president not to mention he has always been in favor of the war in Iraq. There is no reasoning to support why Clinton backers would switch to support McCain. Wait.......they simply are not using their heads. If they are true democrats as they say then Obama is the man. Go Obama!!!
Clinton supporters showing their true colors…"let's go McCain"? Are you people insane? The time is now to unite and change this country for the better, or suffer another 4 years of Bush policies. People, get over your sour grapes…it was a good primary season, but it is time to put a Democrat in the White House…and that Democrat is Barack Obama.
I guess we shouldn't have a President, Congress, or Supreme Court either according to Ickes and Clinton. They make decisions for 300 million Americans.
Obama has played by the rules and won fair and square. HRC has not played by rules and lost. Poetic justice.
Let's move on?
....and this Democratic National Party mess is what you want running this country? Ugh. At least the Republicans seem to have their act together. The Dems clearly don't, and it would surely spill over into the presidency. Good luck Dems over the next 10 years after this debacle.
I am disappointed that they got full seating and half votes. I think that the outcome of the voting in FL and MI would have been very different if they had real elections. Seriously what did you want them to do give Barack no delegates in Michigan as if that is the will of the people? He has no supporters in the state of Michigan? I think it is sad that all Barack did was follow the rules, and he is being demonized by Clinton supporters for following them. Rules are rules, and Clinton supporters are just upset that she did not get the nomination. I just don't understand all of these women who want Hillary to open these doors for our daughters. I don't want her to be the one to open the doors. She is a very lousy sport, lies, and doesn't want to follow the rules when it doesn't benefit her. I don't want her to be an example or roll model for my daughter or any other young girl in this country.
As a non-American, when Bush won the second term I couldn't believe it. The American voters let the rest of the world down.
After watching this contest run it's course, with Clinton still having the support she has with all the crap she has pulled, I think the American voter deserves to be cursed with her or McCain. That's unfortunate for the rest of us.
i am 62 years old and have been a loyal democrat all of my voting life. i say with the utmost convition that if obama is nominate i will not only leave the party but will vote for mcain and i am not alone in my sentiments
We have a handful of contests left. Let's wrap this up quick, superdelegates. :-).
Who wants an inexperienced person who has such poor judgement of charactor , that he hangs out with these crazy preachers and others. He couldn't see what they really were until it slaps him in the face with a wet towel. Is he blind or what? No wonder the wants to talk to the enemy, they are just going to suck him right in to their web. Hillary for Pres.(not VP) or McCain will get my vote
Vote McCain if you HATE HEALTHCARE and LOVE WARS, then you are not a Democrat...
Go OBAMA !!!
Peace and Health to the People!
If you want more of where we are at now then vote McCain
He will be worse than George Bush cause will probably ask
Hillary to be his running mate to get votes and then watch your back
The Clintons have already shown what they do to those who get in
the way of their EGOS>
They could care less about what they can do for our country
its what can our country do for them
I will for CHANGE>
Thanks Obama for sticking in there and being the honest person you are ....rewards on this earth are short you know.. eternity is what counts...
How could any Clinton supporter move over to McCain if Clinton doesn't win the nomination? That is ridiculous. McCain doesn't follow any of the values and goals which Senator Clinton believes in. This is just a bunch of frustrated voters who must not care for the beliefs of the Democratic party at all, but only care that their person wins. You can't call yourself a Democrat and then go against each and every principle the Democratice Party supports. I voted for Clinton in the primary, but I would also be proud to support Barack Obama in the National election. Get over yourselves and stop acting like children. Obama isn't your enemy – John McCain is. Don't make the rest of the Country suffer because your fight to 'win' overrides your common sense .
What more proof is needed that a Clinton presidency would be more of the same. Clinton's unrelenting attempts to change the DNC rules to suit her own desires scream of the same methods used by President Bush for the past 8 years!
I'm for Obama but reluctant as I may be would still vote for Hillary if she is the nominee because I would not be part of more American deaths in Iraq. I hope that Hillary supporters also focus on party ideology rather than personalities.
Hillary needs to get her supporters in line......if they are really her supporters. Some of them are Rush listeners trying to cause chaos.
Hillary lost in every way and she will lose more if she keeps this up.
If Clinton's campaign is indicative of how she would run the country, then the sooner this candidate is out of the picture the better.
Changing the rules mid-game, dishonesty, lack of respect for voters in the caucus states and lack of loyalty to the Democratic party.....
Sorry, I can't think of anything positive to say about her.