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. NoMcSame

    No Hillary, now go home where ever that is.

    May 8, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  2. Seth

    Obaam supporters – STOP THE CLINTON BASHING. She is going to be out soon, and we NEED her supporters to win. Don't cut off your nose to spite your face.

    May 8, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  3. Davin

    You should be ashme of your dirty tricks. Trick.

    May 8, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  4. Rayshaun, New York

    Does Hilliary see a stupid sign on Barack obama's head? Why on earth would barack consider at this late stage of the game going along with completly changing the rules of the DNC and doing so in a way that gives her an edge? The best compromise he should agree to is seating the delegates at the convention 50-50, and thats a courtesy to the voters not a requirement by the DNC

    May 8, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  5. Jon

    First, counting those votes and seating those delegates STILL wouldn't help her.

    Secondly, do we really want to elect someone who is simply OK with breaking the rules. Rules are rules Hillary. Everyone knew that going into the primary season. Apparently FL and MI didn't think the rules applied to them. But they do. No delegates at the convention for FL and MI because the broke the's that simple. Why is this so hard for everyone to understand?

    If it were the other way around – if Obama were behind, and pleading to seat those delegates – you can bet the farm that she'd be screaming "Sorry, rules are rules." Just another way in which Hillary is only looking out for herself, not the country!

    May 8, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  6. Francis Kansas City

    I am a Hilary supporter and I and am a Democrat first. I will like our party leaders to call the two candidates in and resolve their issues. I think Obama has demonstrated enough that I can win this election and I think it is time for him and the Democratic party to make accommodation for Hilary to be the VP. It has been a long process and I think serious consideration should be given to her as the VP

    May 8, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  7. For Obama Not Because I'm Black

    So we are suppose to honor those that voted and disenfranchise those that stayed home because they knew their vote wouldn't count. Or, disenfranchise those who wanted to vote for Obama but couldn't because his name wasn't on the ballot? Should we take advantage of the voters that chose Clinton without the benefit of effective campaigning on behalf of all the parties that was runnning for president at that time? Doesn't make sense.

    May 8, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  8. cameleon116

    Congressman Brad Miller (D-NC) endorses Barack Obama;

    Miami Beach Superdelegate Gelber Backs Obama

    May 8, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  9. Barbara GA

    John McCain is going to have a field day with this one. She is HURTING our PARTY!

    May 8, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  10. Beverly, NYC

    Please superdelegates end this madness. Even if all Fl & Mighigan delegates are counted, or divided in half she cannot win the nomination. I repeat she will not have the 2025 the DNC says is needed for the nomination, nor will she get to the Clinton imaginary number of 2012, 2009 or whatever it is today. END THIS. Or hand the nomination to McCain.

    May 8, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  11. Greg

    She is just soooooo concerned about poor little Florida and Michigan.

    Wonder why she didn't raise a stink unitl she found out she was going to need them so badly.

    Funny, the only people that seem to give a hoot about the Florida and Michigan "votes" are Clinton and her supporters.

    Funny how that works.

    May 8, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  12. Raoul

    Let's not change the rules at the end of the game. Clearly the Clintons are in it for themselves. As a proud Democrat It's really difficult to watch.

    May 8, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  13. Sue F

    First she race baites, her surrogates try blackmail and she's telling him to seat those that broke the rules in order for her to win! What's next a letter telling him he's too thin and cannot win???? When are the Superdelegates going to get some back bone and tell this woman it's over? After she ruins the Democratic party or her people try and destroy Obama, if that's the case who do you think will vote for her then?????

    May 8, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  14. The ATL

    This just in-Hill turned down the latest proposal for Michigan today

    Hillary Campaign Says No To New Michigan Delegate Proposal
    By Greg Sargent – May 8, 2008, 2:20PM
    Camp Hillary is rejecting the new plan floated today by Michigan Dems that would seat the delegation by awarding 69 delegates to Hillary and 59 to Obama.

    May 8, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  15. Independent

    The letter should read:

    "Dear Senator Obama,

    Wah, wah, wah....wah wah wah wah wah.


    Hillary Rodham Clinton"

    Ok Hillary, we will give you all the delegates! You are still losing! Start fighting for your beliefs and not yourself!

    May 8, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  16. Anne Marie nyc

    The only one that broke the rules are the state's Republican leaders that set the contest dates. Neither candidate broke the rules (although Obama did break the TV-ad rule!) and the voters certainly didnt break the rules – we must count these votes to ensure their support in the fall as well as to ensure Hillary's supporters' feel they have been heard -Ootherwise, these voters will not support Obama should he be the nominee. My feeling is without FL/MI and many of the other swing states (OH) Obama will lose the election unless Hillary is on the ticket or better yet leads it.

    Same as the debates – Obama is avoiding a revote as he knows he will lose. If he can't win these, McCain will be our president – and deserve it for how much the democratic party messed this up!

    May 8, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  17. Betsy

    I dont' think this has anything to do with "firing last shots" or anything of the nature. I read some of the comments and I think "are these American citizens standing up for each other?" Or, are they REALLY so caught up in their own agenda's that they feel it is appropriate for ANY American citizen to be denied their vote? I don't like it at all myself – it is UN-AMERICAN to not count any/every vote of a citizen, and it is not the individual CITIZENS fault that the "party" made choices – the "party" should be fined/penalized, not the citizens. Regardless of WHICH candidate would end up with those votes. This has nothing to do with Hillary or Obama netting anything – it has EVERYTHING to do with every American having the right to have their vote counted!? It is sad to see the bitterness that has evolved during this democratic season – for myself and many others, we're about ready to vote another party this year because of all of this. It isn't just "the party" that will be damaged, read these comments – it is AMERICA(n's) that will pay the price in increase discrimination, racist divisions, etc which we have tried over many years now, to put aside. Sad to see, it remained – under the surface.

    May 8, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  18. bukky

    Hillary just rejected an offer to seat the MI delegates because they gave her 10 delegates instead of 18... She is still trying to hoodwink us

    May 8, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  19. G. Giles

    To allow the counting of Michigan and Florida after the fact is not fair to the campaign process. Those that decided Michigan and Florida needed to hold their primaries early despite the consequences, have unfortunately, disenfranchised those delegate votes, but they knew that when they made the decision to hold the primaries early. What was the rush, considering the potential consequences? Now that Hillary Clinton is behind and cannot catch up, she wants them to be counted. As Obama did not campaign in those states due to upcoming primaries in other states, how is that fair to him, when he did not go to those states to campaign, knowing that those delegate votes would not count. If there is not going to be a new primary allowed, in order to make it fair as it would have been if they had not rushed the process....for no good reason...but to be one of the first. Lesson learned. gg

    May 8, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  20. Davin

    Mrs Cliniton You should be ashame of your dirty tricks.Trick

    May 8, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  21. Steve in DC

    Hey Hillary...why dont your write a letter to the Florida and Michigan Democratic leaders and let them know how disappointed you are in them for moving their primaries? Then make that public.

    May 8, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  22. Yes we can!

    Dear Hillary,

    You agreed to the rules just like Obama did...why is he being called out as if he broke some rules....Michigan and Florida voters need to put the blame on where it belongs THERE LOCAL GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS....They thought you were going to wrap up the nominee right after winning Iowa and New Hampshire, but little did they know Iowa had other plans and so did majority of the states, majority of the delegates, majority of the popular vote and majority of the polls....Now it's obama fault that you are loosing. My request to you is to work with Obama in unifying the party and helping him win the general election. And maybe, just maybe you'll be ready to run in 2016.

    Yes We Can

    May 8, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  23. Kay-Arizona

    Are these people that say it is unfair to people that voted in the other 48 states because they voted thinking Florida and Michigan would be shut out of the process?

    Wow, thats interesting reasoning.

    May 8, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  24. Oregon has Hope and wants change

    Mike apperently from OR?

    I didn't say for her to drop out.....

    I just believe she has lost her freakin mind if she thinks she should get all MI votes when she was the only one on the ballot, not even Edwards was on there, the Dem leaders of the state even called it a beauty contest, what kind of primary is that????????

    And we will kick her butt in Oregon

    Mark my words MIKE !!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    May 8, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  25. John

    Did she forget that Obama's name wasn't on the ballot in Michigan? She wants fair voter representation, but is her arguement really fair?

    May 8, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
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