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. JF in CO

    Flip flop, Hill... Flip flop.

    MI and FL, don't be fooled. Hillary cares about Hillary - NOT about you.

    May 8, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  2. Pamela

    Hillary, stop this. You simply have to stop doing this to yourself , the party, and the nation. If you truly care for the people you represent, bring them some closer. Sad thing is, I believe you lost control of yourself.

    May 8, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  3. Nita

    She's good, i'll give her that but this is ridiculous and obviously she's out of sorts because she has lost. I would like to see her leave gracefully and support Obama (without any knifes in his back either) Somehow I find it a little frightning to trust her.

    May 8, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  4. Mary

    On FL & MI…..yes the delegates will be included but RULES are RULES. Both sides agreed to the rules BEFOREHAND. Right? So the only fair way is to split the delegates 50-50.

    And whatever Hillary says about disenfranchising the voters as the real reason she is picking on this is a joke. We all know this only has to do with her trying to win. Do I have any proof? YES! Hillary has said on more than one occasion that its ok to ask the PLEDGED Delegates to switch to her side. So there goes this disenfranchising the voters theory. Its just more SNIPER FIRE headed your way by Hillary.

    May 8, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  5. atypical white person

    Alice in FL and like-minded thinkers:
    Obama didn't disenfranchise anyone. YOu need to hold your Republican represenative accountable for breaking the DNC rules–not ask Obama to fix the mess he didn't make.

    And why did Hillary agree with FL and MI not being seated only to change her mind?

    How does all of this fall into Obama's lap?
    Don't vote for Obama. It doesn't matter; but don't hold him accountable for someone else's mistakes. Geez.

    May 8, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  6. Yes we can!

    Florida and Michigan will be seated after Obama is awarded the nomination. However, I would advise obama to seat them now based on the results at the end, he would still have more states, more delegates, more popular vote, so then what?

    May 8, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  7. bukky

    He should write a letter back saying yes... i agree they should count and be split 50/50...

    May 8, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  8. Lou

    Crazy people... is no only getting the nomination but is winning in November... are we going to disenfranchise Florida and Michigan in the General election as well. Is Obama going to try to win in November in only 48 states? STOP THE INSANITY. Obama needs Florida and Michigan and can not afford to continue this if he wants to be President.

    May 8, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  9. Irene Brown

    It is completey un fare not to count delegates from Florida & Michigan. Florida could not hold an elction on time due to the Republicans. There are 50 states in this country. We all pay taxes, we all should be counted. On the Novemeber election we need a democratic Nomineee to beat Mc'cain. We will not go to vote on Novemeber if the delegates from Florida & Michigan are not counted now.

    Bishal, Irene, Christine, Dawn, Kyle, Lynn, Dale, Sam, Corey, Mommy Norma, Rene, Anthony, Zackarre & Adam from Florida

    May 8, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  10. Terry Frakes

    You Obama supporters crack me up, do you really honestly think the people in fla and mich deserve this??? Evidentally you do, or you wouldnt be supporting Obama. the hypocritical liar racist cant even stop being a coward long enough to let them re-vote, they didnt break the rules the republican party did. wise up or grow up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 8, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  11. George

    Hilary's letter expresses and exposes how disingenuous she is. Is it not true that from the beginning all the contestants agreed not contest in Florida and Michigan? Obama will be a fool to agree to accept the outcome of those states. Howard Dean emphasized that the rules cannot be changed midstream. Et tu Howard Dean? Howard Dean, are you reneging? What a shame!

    May 8, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  12. Sallie Mae, ExXXXXXX-Hillary Supporter


    May 8, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  13. a middle aged white woman in SF

    This is so ridiculous. Barack should laugh in her face. Hillary has lost it – she has – she needs a big reality check. What she really needs is someone to take her into a private room and tell her IT'S OVER. Obama's name wasn't even on the ballot in MI. How in the world would anyone, let alone a US Senator, think that counting those votes would be FAIR. Everyone knew the rules before those elections were held. Hillary at one time agreed to abide by them. But NOW that she is losing, she is making a pathetic attempt to rewrite the rules. Very sad.

    May 8, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  14. Janel, St. Paul, MN

    I agree that the states of Florida and Michigan should be seated at the convention. However, I have misgivings about anything that Clinton proposes. SHE is the ONE who backed out of an agreement and left her name on the ballot in one state and campaigned in the other.

    She is definitely getting desperate. . .and her desperation will likely split the Democratic party due to her ambitious goal to reclaim the White House.

    Let's let the Rules Committee decide what is fair.

    May 8, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  15. Betsy

    ... by the way, it even gripes me more that "they" think "they" have the right to reach a "compromise" on how these votes will be doled out IF they are counted. Who do THEY think THEY are to take those individual votes and apply them where THEY chose, that is not counting the American votes as cast. If it can happen in a primary, why can't it happen on other issues. So, this makes one wonder about the Democratic party as a whole, are we so untrustworthy, or even more scarey, do we think we have the right to overturn those who make us what we are? (the individual American people that is?) and where will playing "god" end?

    May 8, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  16. Jp

    Obama needs to address this. It seems like some believe that it's his fault that Florida and Michigan were not counted. Like Obama rallied against it or it was somehow even his decision to make. No matter how much you mention State officials or the DNC...somehow it's Obama's fault. Well, he just needs to say "Let's do it any way that pleases Senator Clinton". That is the only true way to end it for HRC supporters if we are going to have some unity. Go ahead, give it to her. Show Florida you're not afraid...I would.

    May 8, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  17. Hill- Here to stay

    Hillary is here to stay because many lifelong democrats do not like election fixing that has influenced this primary.

    We will NOT vote for Obama- for no reason but to protest the corruption of this primary: Advantages for one, obstacles for the other. Media bias. Flawed caucus format. Obama supporters using bully tactics at caucus. Obama with his gloating, cocky, arrogant mocking of Hillary with his Annie Oakley antics (while claiming he does not go negative). Obama with his ridiculing of Hillary by dismissively brushing her off his shoulder ( again, not negative? is this the uniter?). And, of course the Fl and Mi fiasco. It is never good or right to disenfranchise your voter base.

    So We WILL teach the DNC a lesson with our vote in Nov.

    It is that simple.

    May 8, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  18. tda

    some of these are really funny! i agree with about 95% of them! the one that hits closest to home though is "Be careful Barack and watch your back!" this lady is becoming more dangerous everyday. have you vetted your secret service agents?

    May 8, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  19. After the Fact

    Hillary should have stood up for Florida and Michican when the DNC first announced that they would be punished if they broke the rules. She did not stand up for them until she started to lose.

    May 8, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  20. Ric

    everyone please sign the petition.. its affirms that we wont vote for Obama.. its at the petition site.

    May 8, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  21. Anne/stone mountain Ga

    OK, Let's humor her and count them, she still want have enough.

    May 8, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  22. Tiachi

    She is really making people SICK and turning them off... Enough is enough. This is definitely a media ploy to see if the public will start to blame Obama. She is just damaging the whole thing and frankly, its not LADY LIKE!!!!

    May 8, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  23. H-ROD


    May 8, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  24. Women for Obama

    As a woman, I have to say that this is very, very sad behavior. Be a true lady and leader. Admit that you fought a hard fight, but it's now over. Step back gracefully, not kicking and screaming.

    May 8, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  25. Sallie Mae, ExXXXXXX-Hillary Supporter

    I agree with Karen above!!!...

    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!??

    May 8, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
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