June 1st, 2008
11:20 AM ET
10 years ago

Angry Clinton supporters tell party leaders: 'Let's go McCain!'

Some Clinton backers said Saturday they're voting for McCain.

Some Clinton backers said Saturday they're voting for McCain.

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.

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (854 Responses)
  1. scat398

    sad to see racism from take it's toll on the democratic party.

    June 1, 2008 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  2. For Peace, For Obama

    This is intolerable and obnoxious. The fact is, these states broke the rules, and the DNC is letting them off easy with his compromise. I don't think these people understand that even IF Hilary had gotten all the votes, it would still be nearly impossible to reach the nomination. If we want to beat Mccain and progress as a country, and as a world, we need to unite as a party and end this drawn out, desperate battle. It is giving Mccain the advantage.

    Obama '08
    Our last hope.

    June 1, 2008 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  3. Ktemp Reddiar

    Time to packup HIllary.. and Bill... It is not the individuals but the time honoured values that matter. America is a land of laws and don't break it. It is a shame to see such rowdy-ism in politics... Let us unite behind Obama and win the election. I have a lot of admiration for your tenacity but the thought of having you as a President sends shiver down the spine...

    June 1, 2008 02:46 am at 2:46 am |
  4. Nicki from AK

    I believe the Florida and Michigan solution was the best posible without having a new election. A new election would have been by far preferable. If any state's election is held against a party's rules again, I hope caucuses could be held. That could be done even if a state's legislature voted against holding a party nominating election within the rules set up by that party.

    June 1, 2008 02:46 am at 2:46 am |
  5. Beth

    Im one of those that voted in Florida that feels that way. Since the DNC thinks Im half of a person, and thinks it okay to take away delegates away from Hillary due to "exit polls" well lets just say Im an independant now and I will vote in November and write her name in!

    June 1, 2008 02:46 am at 2:46 am |
  6. Shelley

    I watched the hecklers on CNN Saturday afternoon. They should be ashamed of themselves. I noticed they were mostly women who have obviously lost any sense of perspective. Yes, there was and is sexism at work in this campaign. But it was Clinton who chose to go negative, and the Clintons and their supporters who began the nasty turn towards a "kitchen sink"ful of racism. It did have some effect in helping her win states like Ohio and Pennsylvania. But it also lost her a lot of credibility by simply reinforcing a lot of the sexist stereotypes that have dogged her. Hillary needed to be smarter than this, and more principled. As a middle-aged white feminist, I am ashamed of the way my sisters are behaving and ashamed of the way "our" candidate ran her campaign. This is not what feminism is about. Hillary lost because she ran a poor campaign. Her supporters need to realise this. Go Obama!

    June 1, 2008 02:47 am at 2:47 am |
  7. Deno

    we have to accept the truth,justice and fairness all are loosers and all are winners why should we fight over a nominee rather than looking at the competetor backward never forward ever if the law was broken by the two states and democracy allows voice less be satified coz at first we refused and ignored the two states for breaking the laws but coz of democracy and for peace, love procperity a decision has been arrived at less show other parties democracy and save our beloved country not because of the title or seat but the current economic social stress we are going thru coz of not wanting to listen but believe what is not factual my status it is fair mind about the future and yoour sibling less fight a war of a change hope and prosperity

    June 1, 2008 02:47 am at 2:47 am |
  8. People

    Oh well... Go Obama!

    June 1, 2008 02:47 am at 2:47 am |
  9. Bill

    And politics win again. When will "WE the people" be heard? If I vote for someone, why, why does it just not count as a vote. I do not need a proxy to interpret what I might really be voting for. For you politicians out there that means I can pull a lever or press a button for myself and I don't need someone to sit in a conference hall and do it for me. Past time to overhaul the voting system here on the good 'ol US of A. I can vote for myself thank you grandaddy or granmomma statesperson!! Get rid of all the delegates and JUST COUNT MY VOTE!!!!

    June 1, 2008 02:47 am at 2:47 am |
  10. Soji

    Hillary supporters are really poor losers. If their kids in some contest in school were cheated out of victory because someone fought against pre-set rules, they would be all up in arms.

    Rules are in place for a reason. And they want fair treatment.

    Let's consider this, for her to say count Michigan votes that voted for her but not anyone else because she was the only one on the ballot and no one else was, is that in the spirit of fair play? That's not American, and if her supporters don't see the wrong in that, they are not real Americans.

    If Bill Richardson, and other Clinton loyalites are going to Obama, what does that say?

    Her play for Michigan just proves that Clinton does not play on the side of right, which is where America once used to be, and where we need to be again.

    Obama '08. Restore America, to America.

    June 1, 2008 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
  11. Anonymous

    I concur,

    Let's go McCain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    June 1, 2008 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
  12. Anonymous

    I have been a democrat so far. And I los t all sympathy for the GOP after seeing what happened to Gore. Sadly now I see the same thing happening to Senator Clinton. It has been the very subversion of democracy the party has lamented about thats been happening. The way the media and Senator Obama's campaign has worked for him seemed like he was being imposed like an exceptional law, like an emergency law. People finally dont like their choices being dictated by anybody. The media should have remained neutral and if Obama was so good as they claim, people would have gone for him. But it is too late now. For it has been going on for a long time. Convictions have been formed. So I will vote for McCain, so will all my friends, unless Senator Clinton is the presidential nominee. Because we care for this country, and therefore we care for democracy. Its easier for Obama to be a V.P. He should do that if he cares for the party and the country, rather than lose this election.

    I am so feminist. But without being one I have been amazed the way she was treated. Thats statement from Sen. Obama about Sen. Clinton's historic campaign is disparaging and an attempt at belittling her as a woman who also ran. We can only hope the country will not feel another moment of disillusionment. It can be very bad for our Democracy.

    June 1, 2008 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
  13. T. W.

    So. If you do not get your first choice, choose someone who is ANTI choice , will pack the Supreme court to overthrow Roe? How irrational can these recruited demonstrators be? But of course, these are a small minority.....The two Democratic candidates share most of the same stands on issues. McCain shares little with either. He is hardly a feminist.

    June 1, 2008 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
  14. KC

    The spoils ot politics – some one has to win! Howard Ickes sould not been allow to sit this meeting. He is not a fair or just person. Showed how much him or Hillary cares about the voters in Michigan or Florida.
    Shame on him!

    June 1, 2008 02:49 am at 2:49 am |
  15. Deb

    That is exactly what I am going to do too! If no Hillary as the nominee then it's McCain for me! Obama can't change what HE DID TO HIMSELF by attending such a horrible racial & hate filled church for 20 years and now think if he quits it then he can save himself. NO WAY! He has proven this is what he believed in so now he will live with it. I will NEVER vote for him & I am not going to "calm down" as you people (CNN commentators) keep saying we will do! NO NEVER! And, the worst part is I have always voted as a Demorcrat all of my voting life & as a UAW Rep. but I will have no choice if left with this evil and unknown man to choose from. I wish they would give this A LOT of thought & give us Hillary to vote for if the Dem's want to win. Please go read the blog at Hillary's site & see how many more are voting for McCain too! Highly unjust decision made by the DNC which was NOT a constitutional decision. They should be ashamed of themselves! I am for them.

    June 1, 2008 02:50 am at 2:50 am |
  16. Prado

    If Obama loses the General Election, the democrats will have to introspect on what went wrong, when the mood in the country was favorable for them. This decision on Florida and Michigan could probably rank high in the list of mistakes made by the democrats.

    June 1, 2008 02:51 am at 2:51 am |
  17. Sarah W

    Rules are Rules were Rules were "Rules".

    Hillary and Barack both agreed to NOT seat any delegates from MI and/or FL. Rules were broken – go on youtube and see clips where Hillary agrees. AGREES !!!

    Now: (Magic wand)
    Both those states have representation...
    AND Hillary have got more delegates there then Barack – so I do not understand why her supporters are crying?

    Hillary (FL, MI) > Barack (FL, MI) > "zero"
    Hillary (cry) = ???

    June 1, 2008 02:51 am at 2:51 am |
  18. John

    Has Mrs. Clinton seen the exit polls? It would appear that what she is claiming that is more electiable than Obama, then why did she need the DNC to start counting FL, and MI votes? Hillary must answer this question. Do we want or need a person like this in office? What will she do when congress, senate, or other countries don't do what she wants them to do; try to change the rules?

    June 1, 2008 02:51 am at 2:51 am |
  19. alex kimwatan (KENYA)

    It's amazing to see the reaction of clinton supporters. They just can't believe it's over for hillary. obama played his game well & stuck to the rule's. He has managed a very successful campaign in the history of US presidential election's. He has also impressed alot of people around the world with his message of CHANGE & HOPE. It's time for new politics& new beginings.


    June 1, 2008 02:52 am at 2:52 am |
  20. sara

    The DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee was very fair and kept to the rules. This was done for the voters of Michigan and Florida. To hell, with Howard Ickes and Hillary Clinton. Poor losers that is all I can say.

    June 1, 2008 02:53 am at 2:53 am |
  21. Hilary no place ....

    What a show they put on very loud ,noisey ,nasty mouthed viewed by their actions .
    H.Ickes loud mouth w/ dirty words in full view and on TV .
    Is an example of what happens when breaking rules or changing rules to suit yourself in the middle of the game .

    June 1, 2008 02:54 am at 2:54 am |
  22. Carmen Cameron

    Any woman who really wants to vote for "100 years in Iraq' and a Supreme Court that is guaranteed to overthrow Roe v Wade has the right to do so.

    I truly doubt that there are many of them (being a woman, myself) but for those that do exist, then they'll deserve precisely what they'll get with McCain.

    Unreasoning anger is a destructive thing and has no place in the democratic process BUT it is apparent that it's there. Most women, I'm glad to report, are not so intractable or overwrought.

    June 1, 2008 02:54 am at 2:54 am |
  23. El

    The first thing Florida and Michigan Democratic voters need to consider is who they elected statewide to represent them! While we should be saddened that the decision over Florida and Michigan delegates had to come to a hearing in order to reach a decision, there has to be some kind of penalty for breaking party rules. If every state can just do whatever it wants, then all voters are doomed.

    Florida, in particular, has a history of voting problems–remember the hanging chads of 2000?!?! Therefore, every Florida voter (Democrat or Republican) should have been extremely cautious about who they voted for at the local and state level–these folks who make the decisions closest to home.

    The voters of Florida and Michigan are suffering because of their elected officials, but they need to face the reality that Hillary Clinton did not have any problem with the Democratic Party's sanction of Michigan and Florida for violating the rules until she needed those states' delegates in order to clinch the nomination.

    June 1, 2008 02:54 am at 2:54 am |
  24. Alex

    What these cult Clinton people dont understand is that the Michigan outcome was a COMPRIMISE as in both Clinton and Obama didnt get what they wanted.

    The fact is that Obama's name wasnt on the ballot, so they made the right choice by giving some (not half like Obama wanted) to him. Florida was completely fair although I wish they restored 100% of the delegates power.

    Im voting for whoever is our candidate in 08, and if you dont because your bitter over the primary season then keep in mind your voting to kill more US troops, overturn Roe V Wade, and plunge our economy even deeper into recession.

    June 1, 2008 02:54 am at 2:54 am |
  25. Hillary supporter from Texas

    lets take it to the convention then. If Hillary's not the nominee then..........."Let's go, McCain"

    June 1, 2008 02:54 am at 2:54 am |
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