January 29th, 2008
10:19 PM ET
9 years ago

Clinton thanks Floridians, promises to get delegates seated

Watch Sen. Hillary Clinton thanks supporters in Florida Tuesday night.

Watch Sen. Hillary Clinton thanks supporters in Florida Tuesday night.

(CNN) – Hillary Clinton held a victory rally in Davie, Florida Tuesday night - even though the Democratic National Committee has stripped Florida of all of its delegates to the nominating convention, and no Democratic presidential candidate campaigned in the state.

“I could not come here to ask in person for your votes, but I am here to thank you for your votes today,” Clinton told her supporters. The New York senator also promised the crowd that she would do everything she could to get Florida’s delegation seated at the Democratic convention.

Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton said Tuesday night that Clinton was “trying to assign meaning to a contest that awards zero delegates” after her recent loss to Obama in South Carolina. “Sen. Obama is disappointed that Florida will have no role in selecting delegates for the Democratic nominee, but looks forward to competing and winning in Florida during the general election,” he said.

–CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart

Filed under: Florida • Hillary Clinton
soundoff (581 Responses)
  1. Mark Kraft

    When asked about campaigning in Florida even though she had agreed not to, Hillary pounded the podium, wagged her finger, and yelled


    January 30, 2008 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  2. Angela

    Hillary Clinton has been calling for a long time to have the Florida delegates seated at the convention not just after she won the state. If Obama had won the state then there wouldn't have been all this complaining from his supporters. The Obama camp need to be aware that if he does win the nomination he made no attempt to help Floridas disenfranchised voters inferring they are not important. For a man that supposedly sees the big picture he is extremely short sighted. If he had won the state he would be calling for the delegates to be seated. And to all those that say Hillary Clinton cheated to win Florida here are the facts.

    1. All Candidates names were on the ballot
    2. Senator Clinton did not campaign in Florida she held fundraisers as did all the candidates.
    3. Senator Obama broke the rules by running ads on Cnn that happened to be shown in Florida (Gee I wonder why his campaign chose CNN). Hillary Clinton is running national ads but they were not shown in Florida
    4. Hillary Clinton and John Edwards did not run ads in Florida or campaign

    Hillary Clinton won fair and square against her rivals accept the fact and stop denegrating this acheivement.

    January 30, 2008 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  3. Tom A


    Her two biggest wins come against no one.

    Makes you think.

    January 30, 2008 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  4. Mark Kraft

    This is a test of the Florida Democratic primary.

    The party leaders in your area, in violation of Democratic national authorities, have developed this unofficial primary to try to cut ahead of other states, in the event of an actual election.

    For the next sixty seconds, you will hear a high-pitched whining tone that will let you know that your fellow Floridians just threw their votes away, followed by a collective yawn from the rest of America.

    Remember, this is only a test.



    This has been a test of the Florida Democratic primary. If this had been an actual primary, you would have been instructed to vote one week later at one of the polling stations in your area.

    This concludes this test of the Florida Democratic Primary.

    January 30, 2008 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  5. Ken Smith, Abingdon Maryland

    As I understand it, both the Michigan and Florida Democratic parties disregarded the Democratic National Committee's rules on allowable dates for holding their party primary, and went ahead with their plans to hold their primary on a date of their own choosing. As a consequence of the Michigan and Florida parties disregard of Democratic party rules, the DNC advised both groups that their delegates would not be seated at the Democratic party's 2008 national convention. If I've got my facts straight, then if Hillary Clinton openly states (as she has done in the above CNN videos) that she will act to have the self-disenfranchised Michigan and Florida delegations seated and allowed to cast their votes at the party's national convention, then it seems to me that quite obviously she feels she can, or should, break or bend rules she dislikes whenever it's expedient for her to do so. Is that the kind of President we really want to lead our nation?

    January 30, 2008 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  6. cheryl Arizona

    For the person that blamed Hillary for the article about Obama snubing her I would ike to set the record straight. An Ap reporter who was the took the picture and sent it to all media outlets and said he snubed her. The excuse he gave about talking to other senator was not true.. The reporter said he turned his back on her and when the other senator noticed reporter she tapped him on shoulder so he would look at her. This is how vicious you Obama supporters can be by blaming her for something she did not even do. If you are going to spread stories at least get them straight.

    January 30, 2008 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  7. Doug

    Clinton did not win any race as there was none. Of course she got more Florida votes. She has automatic name recognition, mainly thanks to her husband's achievements, not her own so-called experience. (It would be unfortunate for the first female US president to ride in on her husbands coat-tails.) Conversely, Obama's main obstacle is that he is not well known and therefore needs to campaign vigorously. All of the candidates pledged to not campaign in Florida, and Obama and Edwards, at least, kept their promises (unless you count nation-wide TV commercials that were cleared by the DNC).

    Even with these obstacles, Obama actually received about 8% _more_ of the vote than Clinton from those who made up their minds in the last 3 days, last week, or last month. Although Clinton did receive (only) 4% more of the vote from those who made up their minds on Election Day (possibly due in part to her pandering), the vast majority of her vote came from the 59% of voters who had made up their minds over a month ago or voted using absentee ballots. Obama clearly gained a lot of support in Florida in recent weeks.

    The optimist in me keeps saying that, after dub-yuh, a major change in US politics _is_ possible. This optimist imagines that if Obama were elected president (and if he is nominated, there is little doubt he would be – unlike Clinton), not just Americans but the whole world might start believing in America again. However, the pessimist in me tells me that in November, another Clinton, another dynasty, will be in power and the US will continue its fall. (The doomsayer in me thinks that Clinton will win the nomination but doing so will require continued dirty tactics and the resultant backlash from Independents and Democrats will allow McCain to eek out a victory.)

    I wonder if Edwards might do something...

    January 30, 2008 01:50 am at 1:50 am |
  8. me

    Over 1.7 million people voted in Florida, a diverse state and of those 1.7 illion voters, 50% voted for who?

    Do people not think that Floridians don't watch the news or debates and know what is going on or not? Most posts on here prove that the words of Obama are simply as false as those who defend him! His feel good words are just that, substance with no backing!

    The last President elected who had a high likeable rating by the American public, who ran on promises of "change in Washington, Uniting to Washington for the American voters and bringing Hope to get things done for the people " leaves Washington in 356 days!

    How dumb are people who listen to fancy stump speeches and believe in them! All you on the feel good band wagon had better get off whatever it is you are smoking because why do you think Mr. Feel Good wants you to not look at records and the past but to the future?

    Duhhhhhhh there is no one America, reality check time folks, there are Independants, Democrats and Republicans, only thing is Republicans DO believe they are the only capable people to run the country! We have too much to lose by not having someone who realizes this and can stop the ruthless Republican machine and that sure isn't Obama!

    January 30, 2008 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  9. sour grapes

    Obamaites just have sour grapes because their guy isn't liked in Florida. If he had won, they would be screaming at the top of their lungs that it is disenfranchisement of their voters (a loaded word they would be delighted to use, then object if someone called it coded language like they do to others).

    January 30, 2008 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  10. Like Obama, NY

    I don't blame Hillary for going to Florida to have a photo op of celebration heading into Super Tuesday.

    Obama or Edwards would probably have done the same if either of them had won the meaningless vote in that state.

    I'm not sure how much it helps her since, as reflected in comments here, I suspect her supporters will love it and her detractors will take it as one more reason to be turned off by her campaign.

    I do think the "I will get your delegates seated" promise to be delusional at best and manipulative at worst.

    Quite apart from the obvious question of where was her righteous indignation about this when it was first decided – i.e. long before she saw the final vote tally, the fact is that she knows full well that those delegates won't get seated and, more importantly, they shouldn't – and not just because I happen to like Obama.

    Frank in San Diego writes against the disenfranchisement of voters, ignoring the fact that the system and the steps taken by the DNC to protect it are both aimed at the precise goal of preventing disenfranchisement. If any governor or state legislature can move up its primary just so that its voters get to be in on the early contests then you will have a chaotic situation in which they all opt to be early on and those with fewer delegates (all smaller states) will get ignored by candidates in favor of the big prizes. Who would ever step foot in places like Iowa, New Hampshire, or Nevada if California, New York, Texas, Florida and Michigan were all up for grabs the same week?

    The best way to guard against this is to make it clear that states that play that game will lose their delegates even as they get to stay in the final national election.

    I would rather have all states in it too Frank, and legitimately (i.e. with candidates being allowed to – in fact, feeling compelled to – campaign in every one). But there is a reason those states are in the mess they are in – their governors and state legislatures created it.

    January 30, 2008 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  11. Time Again, Sarcoxie Missouri

    I was going to vote for Senator Clinton in the California primary, but with McCain's win, I will vote for Obama. Clinton will lose against McCain, just as she would in a straight election against Obama. McCain's pro-life stance is not enough to outweigh Clinton's establishment streak as far as overall "dislikability". Obama has a better shot at beating McCain.

    I was disappointed by the apparent snub of Clinton by Obama yesterday, but at this point, I think it's better to vote for the person who can run best against McCain. (Besides, I think the "snub" was accidental.)

    January 30, 2008 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  12. Dawn

    Can't she just follow the rules?

    January 30, 2008 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
  13. Tony

    To answer Jay, although I feel he would not accept any answer. First of all there was no competition because only Hillary was competing so I don't see what is your definition of winning. And the voter matter no matter who they vote for. Just keep in mind that there are rules for this competition, as anywhere else, otherwise we would be living in anarchy. I guess you and Hillary want to change the rules to suit you, and the answer to this of any reasonable person would be NO WAY guys.

    January 30, 2008 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  14. rmsk-

    Go Hillary go!!!!! Obamas supports day dreamers, he wont make it....

    January 30, 2008 01:58 am at 1:58 am |
  15. Edd of LA

    This shows who is the clear front-runner in the Febraury 5th Primary! She is just recognizing and acknowledging her supporters votes for her! Go Hillary!

    January 30, 2008 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  16. Chuck

    Jay : Not one Barack supporter answered my question so far, so I will ask it again.
    Two words for the Obama supporters: Sour Grapes.
    One question Barack fans. If Barack had won by the same margin, would you still feel the 1.5 million voters in Florida didn't matter?

    I am a strong Obama supporter, specifically because I believe my candidate would not resort to these kinds of tactics, just to win an election. So emphatically YES, I would feel it didn't matter, in the sense that a word given should be a word kept. If Hillary had a problem with the fact that Michiganders and Floridians would not be seated, she should not have agreed to not campaign there, and she should have protested the ruling by the party, BEFORE all this, when it was actually inconvenient. It is all too convenient to come to their defense now. The people of FL and MI matter, for sure. But so do the rules, and so does a person's ability to stick to their word, and to stick to basic principles of courtesy, decency, honor and dignity. And it is my opinion that in this case, and for much of her campaign, Senator Clinton did not stick to her word, nor to those basic pronciples. You are free to disagree.

    I happen to think Hillary Clinton is perfectly qualified for the White House. But if my candidate, Barack Obama – who in my opinion is just as qualified, resorted to the tactics she has resorted to so far, I would withdraw my support from him in a heartbeat. I would expect him not to set up a victory party in a race that he committed not to "compete" in; and so if he did, the YES, I WOULD COMPLAIN HERE. Because I support him EXACTLY for the fact that he thrives to run a tough, vigorous, competitive, but fair campaign. Is that too much to ask of the Clintons? I mean Bill was one of my heroes until that "Fairy tale" comment, and the underhanded subtle race baiting comments, which someone from the south like him KNOWS are effective. Is it too much to ask of the Democrats to show the republicans what it is to be politicians AND decent human beings? Is it really that much to ask?

    I don't think so. Obama '08 all the way.

    January 30, 2008 02:01 am at 2:01 am |
  17. Galiano

    I believe the result speaks for the entire nation.

    Please look at the demographics

    Blacks voted for Obama -73% Obama 25% Clinton 1% edwards 1% Kucinich

    Hillary Won Hispanics in Landside – 59% Hillary 30% Obama 8% Edwards 1% Kucinich

    Hillary Also won Landside among women- 54% Hillary 31% Obama 13% Edwards 1% Kucinich

    Among Whites Hillary had more than 2:1 advantage against Obama

    Also in most Super Tuesday primary states where there is a sizeable Asians Hillary gets 4:1 advantage

    In essence the most imprtant democratic primary on Feb 05 is not South Carolina with African American votes

    Post New Hampshire debate where Obama was disrespectful to women

    Post South Carolia Debate where Obama was just the average politician

    Post State of the Union image where he cant be civil and respectful women,

    The analysis is Obama will get a thumbing on Feb 05 by whites, Hispanics and Asians and above all Women of this country who wants to elect the first women president.

    MIND you more than 50% of the US population is women and they never had a president. Women got voting rights later than African American men.

    In this Historic election apart from Muslims all the rest of the world is looking for a Women president.

    Hillary will win the nomination on Feb 05. 2008

    January 30, 2008 02:01 am at 2:01 am |
  18. joycejewel

    Hillary Clinton is AGAINST Lationo people! Hillary voted "AGAINST" Latino's getting drivers license and even Identification Cards. Obama voted "YES" for Drivers License and/or I.D. for Latinos! Why are Latinos voting for Hillary Clinton who is against them? What's wrong with Latino voters? Don't they know that a vote for Hillary will hurt them? They are apparently not watching current events such debates! Hillary declared on National TV in a recent debate against them getting any help on the drivers license issue! Latinos are driving illegally anyway! I would much rather them have some type insurance to protect other citizens on the roads than not to have it. Latinos are digging their own graves!

    January 30, 2008 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  19. Sam

    Answer to Jay 's question:
    Jay January 29, 2008 11:28 pm ET
    "One question Barack fans. If Barack had won by the same margin, would you still feel the 1.5 million voters in Florida didn't matter?"

    If Barack would have won then obviously we Barack supporter would have burst into wild celebrations. However i think Hillary did a great job in letting Barack campaign team know that Hispanic US citizens have not yet heard the message of change and infect have not yet been exposed to Barack in a way SC or other states are.

    So Hillary did infect helped Barack by winning a no meaning contest. 😉

    January 30, 2008 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  20. Russell

    Question: Why are voters allowed to vote a month ahead of time?

    I can understand early balloting and absentees but it seems like there should be a limit (like say a week as opposed to a month).

    Is this only a Florida thing or is it like that everywhere?

    January 30, 2008 02:04 am at 2:04 am |
  21. CN


    One would think that if you were going to make such claims as to how racist and evil the entire country of the United States is you would use more reliable sources than Wikipedia. I am currently a teacher of history and constantly as required to remind my students as my college professors reminded me that Wikipedia should not be used as "the" source on any topic least of all controversial topics like the persian gulf wars, NAFTA, and the Iran Contra Affair. Anyone can post anything they wish to Wikipedia, and while it may be useful for some background information it is hardly reliable for going deep into causes and effects for much. Further, I urge you and the rest of the Obama, as well as Hillary supporters to remember that since Obama entered congress both He and Hillary have voted exactly the same 94% of the time (see factcheck.org). As democrats I think we should stick together. Both Hillary and Obama have engaged in personal attacks and misleading personal attacks (again factcheck.org), we need to remeber that no change can happen unless we work together. I honestly feel that the best thing for the democractic party and the country would be a ticket that includes both Clinton and Obama no matter who is the president and vice president.

    January 30, 2008 02:04 am at 2:04 am |
  22. Chris, Jacksonville

    Congratulations Hillary on your "victory".

    Must be nice to win a race that nobody actually competed in.

    Your pathetic little rally just shows how desperate you have become:

    Celebrating.......err, nothing. Look, Hillary was perfectly happy and agreed with the DNC when they stripped FL of it's delegates (an amazingly stupid move even for Dean), now she wants it to count?!?!

    What kind of "leader" is that?

    Look I am not sold on Obama yet, but at least he had the dignity to abide by the rules and not make-believe that the Florida delegates count. The rules their own PARTY make them abide by (supposedly).

    Shame this is the best the Dems can do......I was looking forward to not voting for a Republican this year. Maybe Bloomberg will run, at least there will be an adult to vote for.

    Hillary, I lost little bit of respect I once had for you. You are pathetic.

    January 30, 2008 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  23. stan pitts pa

    i spoke to a lot of floridians my cousins, all pro-obama and they said the reason they didnt bother going to vote anyway was because they thought it wouldnt matter as the delegates will not be counted, thanks HRC for breaking your own party rules! sorry but i cant trust you with our govt!

    January 30, 2008 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  24. Chris, Jacksonville


    "None Of The Above" 08

    January 30, 2008 02:11 am at 2:11 am |
  25. Chris in Va.

    Cold hard fact check Dems.....50% of Democrats despise Hillary Clinton (read above) and 100% of Republicans despise Hillary Clinton, so how exactly is she supposed to win the general election with 25% of the vote???? Just wondering.

    January 30, 2008 02:11 am at 2:11 am |
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