May 8th, 2008
03:15 PM ET
15 years ago

Clinton makes personal appeal to Obama on delegates

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Hillary Clinton made a personal appeal to Barack Obama Thursday to work with her to make sure Florida and Michigan Democrats votes are counted in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Clinton and Obama are at odds over how to deal with these two states, both of which broke Democratic National Committee rules that resulted in their loss of delegates. Clinton would benefit if Michigan and Florida delegates were allocated according to their January primary results. She made the appeal in a letter that was made public by her campaign.

(Full letter after the jump)

Full text

May 8, 2008

Senator Barack Obama

Obama for America
P.O. Box 8102
Chicago, IL 60680

Dear Senator Obama,

This has been an historic and exciting campaign. Millions of new voters have been brought into the process and their enthusiasm for the Democratic Party and the principles for which you and I have fought and continue to fight is unprecedented.

One of the foremost principles of our party is that citizens be allowed to vote and that those votes be counted. That principle is not currently being applied to the nearly 2.5 million people who voted in primaries in Florida and Michigan. Whoever emerges as the Democratic nominee will be hamstrung in the general election if a fair and quick resolution is not reached that ensures that the voices of these voters are heard. Our commitment now to this goal could be the difference between winning and losing in November.

I have consistently said that the votes cast in Florida and Michigan in January should be counted. We cannot ignore the fact that the people in those states took the time to be a part of this process and to make their preferences known. When efforts were untaken by leaders in those states to hold revotes to ensure that they had a voice in selecting our nominee, I supported those efforts. In Michigan, I supported a legislative effort to hold a revote that the Democratic National Committee said was in complete compliance with the party's rules. You did not support those efforts and your supporters in Michigan publically opposed them. In Florida a number of revote options were proposed. I am not aware of any that you supported. In 2000, the Republicans won an election by successfully opposing a fair counting of votes in Florida. As Democrats, we must reject any proposals that would do the same.

Your commitment to the voters of these states must be clearly stated and your support for a fair and quick resolution must be clearly demonstrated.

I am asking you to join me in working with representatives from Florida and Michigan and the Democratic National Committee to arrive at a solution that honors the votes of the millions of people who went to the polls in Florida and Michigan. It is not enough to simply seat their representatives at the convention in Denver. The people of these great states, like the people who have voted and are to vote in other states, must have a voice in selecting our party's nominee.


Hillary Rodham Clinton

soundoff (360 Responses)
  1. For Hillary 08

    By the way if you read the agreement fully which Obamadables people haven't it says the votes can be tallied the electoral votes will not count, but the populare votes would. I guess we see why he's crying. Of course if it were the other way around he would be whining like a baby that they have to count.

    No Obamidable racist liar for me.

    May 8, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  2. Farrell, Houston, Tx


    May 8, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  3. Joe From Connecticut

    Hillary is acting as if the Clintons own the democratic party. Rules were laid down since the beginning, why should we change them now to accommodate one candidate? Let all abide by the rules and move on. .....Maybe we should change all the rules and hand her the presidency right now. No need to even hold an election in November. Let's just tell Barack and Mc Cain to make place for Hillary to become president right now....How does that sounds???

    May 8, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  4. Karen

    This is ridiculous. Let's not split them 50/50 because that doesn't favor me!

    How about taking the total registered democrats, giving her those that voted for her and the rest to Obama. How about that!

    Plus, I don't like the voting results from the Ohio primary. Let's do that again. There is no blizzard up north today. I'll bet the results would be different.

    He should send her a letter back with the form that she signed agreeing that the results wouldn't count; and don't forget to send it to the press.

    Yea Jack, where is that form? Can't you get a copy!

    Cincinnati, OH

    May 8, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  5. Greg

    Where were the so-called super delegates in Bush vs. Gore, or Bush vs. Kerry?!? If these same super delegates would get off the fence and throw their support to one side or the other now, we wouldn't be fighting over Florida and Michigan... but when you are making the rules as you go, or redefining the rules to your advantage everytime it appears you are beat, then anything goes. The DNC did not sanction the votes for Florida and Michigan because the states refused to play by the rules, so the states should pay the consequence... no one is debating the popular vote results for the state, so the argument cannot be made that individual voter didn't have his/her vote counted, but how can Dems rail against Bush's first 4 years being a stolen presidency, while weeping and gnashing their teeth at the injustice of not having the delegates seated at the national convention? The only reason Billary is still in it to win it, is because the 'super delegates' remaining uncounted won't choose sides for fear of coming out on the losing end, thus losing favor with the ultimate candidate, and or president. Clinton is only making Obama spend money now that should be used in the general or targeting McCain't, because ultimately she knows, it's a long 8 years for an Obama presidency, but if she jeopardizes his chances, then she can tell everyone in 2012, how she could have won it in 2008 against McCain't! I still cannot believe that out of 300 million Americans, Obama, Billary, and McCain't are the best we could do... Lord helps us all. But the again, after we elected Bush 2.0, anything was possible.

    May 8, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  6. georgia

    Just another piece of baggage she's attempting to get the american public to lay @ Obama's feet. He didn't make the rules but agreed to abide by them as we all should. Boiler-makers anyone ??

    May 8, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  7. Dan

    Hillary, all states must count.

    Popular vote leaves out the 14 caucus states.
    Hillary, well that's different. They held caucuses so they should not count.

    May 8, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  8. J.L.

    I don't understand why the Michigan and Florida vote gets re-hashed. They made their decision before Primary season started. And they were told at that time that the DNC would not seat their delegates if they held their primaries early. They accepted that and went ahead with their primaries. All the Presidential candidates accepted this also. Am I missing something here? Action and consequence. If Michigan, Florida, or Clinton didn't want to deal with these consequences, they should have brought that up way back in the beginning. Not after they find that they could have made a difference. If the people in Michigan and Florida want to get mad at anyone of their "disenfranchisement," they should take it out on the genius Democratic leadership in those states.

    May 8, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  9. @americans

    one word: desperation!

    May 8, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  10. Word Bomb

    Never vote for a Republican or a Democrat; they will always be the darlings of the CFR, TC and the BB secret society.

    Go Ron Paul!!

    Go Ralph Nader!!

    May 8, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  11. Carl

    They broke the rules. If anything she should be yelling at the republican governor of Florida for moving up the primary and the representatives in Michigan. She has said a few times that she knows they won't count. The only thing would be to have a revote – however, they broke the rules and knowingly so. If the DNC reverses it's stance, it will cause chaos.

    May 8, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  12. FONZI, an independent.

    This letter is the ultimate of ridicule. Did Clinton not sign with other contestants to honor DNC rules to penalise states that violate the primary rules and regulations?.She needs to honor her earlier committment and show leadership by example. If she renegades on that how does she expect to be trusted on another deal? This is shameful.

    May 8, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  13. Venus

    Has anyone noticed that Obama's lawyers are not playing these letters any mind!

    Also – behind the scenes – some of the Clintons thugs are saying they won't give any more money to the DNC because Hillary is losing!!!

    Well... since we have sent Obama more money- we got a load!

    Can't see why MI and FL will allow Hillary to use them! She didn't care about them before which is why she signed the letter!

    Ha,ha,ha,ha - maybe she can't see life after the primary?

    Go Obama! Let's move on to Mc Cain!

    May 8, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  14. Vickie

    Gordon, even if Obama got 100% of the "black vote", it's still not that many African Americans in the US to add up to the votes he has accumulated. In case you haven't noticed, African Americans are a minority in this country.

    Keep telling yourself that, if it makes you feel better.

    May 8, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  15. AVEMBE The sun

    Oh man ...this IS A TRICK!!!!!the message IS if Obama doesn't agree with HRC then He will be RESPONSIBLE of the fact that people of Michigan and Florida will be soooo UPSET that they will get their revenge by not voting in november or even vote against OBAMA and the HRC!!! this is truly unfair...WHY DID YOU APPROVE the rules back then?matter of fact she really seems to have a problem of denial
    (deny the economists ,deny the numbers, deny Iran,denythe case PAUL vs CLINTON, deny deny deny...)EVEN , i say EVEN if she's the nominee(bbbbbBBBBRAAHAHAHAHAH!!!sorry guyz) she will able to DENY of Mc CAIN if MC CAIN ever wins at that moment...

    May 8, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  16. MJAMES

    To Alice in Florida,

    If you send me your email address I will show you several examples where Obama has consistantly stated he will go along with whatever the DNC decides. If it is a revote he says he will do it. Again he is not at fault here it is your state's elected officials that started the whole mess. Saying you won't vote for Obama becasue he refuses to just give invalidated votes to Hillary in states he did not actively campaign in is crazy. If you really buy in to Hillary's attempt to once again change the rules to her advantage while pandering to Democrats in each state that is very very sad.

    May 8, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  17. Lourdes

    I just can't help but wonder what she would be saying if she were ahead in the race and it was Obama trying to go back on the rules that had been agreed to by the candidates. If HE had left his name on the ballot in Michigan to run unopposed and claimed to have a moral claim to those votes.

    I dont' have to wonder. She is only out for her own interest, despite what laws/rules/ethics/democracy/ethics she tramples over. Kinda like a certain sitting president I know of.

    May 8, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  18. Rosalind

    HIllary should be quiet now. In the beginning she agreed to the decision to not seat the Fl and Michigan delegates. This all being when she was ahead in the counts/delegates and votes. Now that she is behind, she wants the votes to count so that she can win over Obama. She is not going to win.

    Millions of people did not vote because they knew their votes would not count. Sen Obama's name was not on the ballot in Michigan. So what happens to the people who did not vote at all? Why should her votes count now? Give me a break. Hillary is such a phony!

    May 8, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  19. Stealy Dan

    How can she possibly claim votes and delegates from states in which there was no contest? Both campaigns agreed in advance to support the DNC ruling that because the states violated the rules, the penalty would be that no campaigning would be done in those states, and no delegates would be seated at the convention.

    May 8, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  20. david

    this smacks of a FAKE or planted letter. After a hasty check of various sites I am APPALLED to realize that this letter is NOT the figment of some crazy blogger trying to reek havoc. To my utter dismay it is the ramblings of woman who in the final hours of a valiant fight has resorted to tactics best used to achieve victory in a BITTER divorce. I suggest that this soon to be scorned divorcee needs to double up on her meds and seek the guidance of an equally scorned pastor from the Chicago area. It seems they will have lots to talk about.

    May 8, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  21. J.R.

    Who in the Democrat party is man (or woman) enough to stand up and say enough is enough? The FL and MI delegates should not be counted, except maybe with a symbolic 50-50 split to show "unity". As long as nobody will make a final decision, the right-wingers are having a field day with this.

    May 8, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  22. Mary

    I say Obama should take the high FLA and Michigan and she still doesn't win...then he can point and say I did all I could for all the voters. It will help him in the general election and she cannot catch up even if she manages to sway/arm twist her way into more super delegates. I think that any remaining supers would see his grand gesture as a plus and would move towards him. Take the issue away from her and she will be left with nothing but Bill.

    May 8, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  23. masgap

    Florida and Michigan should be heard. there is financing in place.

    It is true one cannot accept Mi as Obama wasn't even on the ballot.

    Florida is another case. People aren't stupid. they have been watching

    for months the campaign. Wouldn't be nice and clear to let the people

    have their say? All 50 states not just 48. There is enough time. Obama show your true colors and allow this or be just another politician . It was overkill by the DNC and republicans.

    May 8, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  24. K

    Let's see……Obama people say don't count Michigan and Florida b/c they broke the rules. Yet, the rules are Hillary can continue her campaign until 2,025 delegates are won by Obama; however, Obama maniacs are saying she needs to quit. You can't form the rules to fit your agenda so get over it.

    May 8, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  25. Jaime

    The US does not need the same two families in power for 20 years.

    Hillary just endorse Obama now. He'd do it for you if you had the nomination.

    May 8, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15