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. Q

    Penalize the states by giving the delagates 1/2 votes then split them 50/50. DEAL!

    May 8, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  2. Media Blackout May 15th

    Has the Gimmick Candidate announced she just met with David Blain and he showed her how to levitate which qualifies her to the nomination yet?

    Hillary Clinton, The Gimmick candidate
    Bill and Hillary, The Gimmick Family
    Do and Say Anything "08

    May 8, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  3. melikeyhill

    its time to break the two family more bushes or clintons in the white house....America lets rescue our democracy.....any more bushes or clintons in the white house is lunacy!!!

    May 8, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  4. Harvey in Va

    He does not care now but in Nov when Fl and Mi turn on the Dem party and rightfully so he will see his once in a life time chance dissapear forever

    May 8, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  5. No Obama

    Bukky: Hoodwink us? Are you running for presidential nominee?

    May 8, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  6. Kevin

    When is CNN going to report Hillary's shrinking super-delegate lead.

    Isn't this her ONLY hope?
    Inst this trend just the opposite of what Hillary needs to be nominated?

    2 weeks ago her lead was 22 SD.
    1 week ago her lead was 16 SD.
    3 days ago her lead was 13 SD.
    Yesterday her lead was 12 SD
    Today her lead is 8 SD.


    May 8, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  7. Kristina

    ((((Please for the love of the country, accept this. I have full confidence that the DNC will find a way to seat the delegates. But this postering in the public to TRY and make yourself look good is failing big time.)))
    That is the very problem I have with Hillary...she has NO love for this country. She is shamelessly selfish and only cares about winning for herself. Even a blind person, who has never seen her detached face, and only heard her cold words… could tell this. Open your eyes because this is truly pathetic.

    May 8, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  8. Charlotte

    Have you people forgotten Kerry approached McCain to be his VP? Who is the real uniter, McCain. Who has sponsored bills with Democrats, McCain. Who loves his country more, McCain. Who will win in November, McCain.

    May 8, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  9. Rena

    Heavenly Father,

    I pray now in the name of Jesus that you would convict all individuals who have hate or unrighteous judgments due to a person’s skin color or gender. Father, I pray for salvation for those who are lost. I pray that you would forgive those who act and say things out of ignorance. Father, I now pray for all candidates that you would protect them from the wicked devices while on this campaign trail. Father, may you put words in their mouth that with edify You and the American people. I pray that You will bring forth your perfect will for us a President that will be lead by Your Spirit, that will guide us on a righteous path as a country, that will seek You for wisdom and insight concerning us a nation, that will think of this country as a whole and not a selfish ambition for themselves, and above all will love You and seek you for counseling concerning all things. Lastly, I pray your word that says that we should love one another as Christ loved us, for He loved us until the point of death. Father, help us to remember that you sent your Son here to teach us to love and to forgive one another of each short comings. Also, help us to know that when you see us You don't see color but you see spirit which is our heart. Help us to remember that no man can enter into Your kingdom that break your law of grace. Father, I thank you for forgiving us even when we can't forgive others, I thank you for loving us when we can't seem to love each other, I thank you for being merciful to us even when we can't show mercy towards others, I thank you for patience even when we can't be patient with each other, I thank you for not judging us as we judge each other, and above all I thank you Jesus for dying for our sins because without your death and blood shed we would TRULY die in our sin.



    May 8, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  10. ShirleyY - Seattle


    May 8, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  11. Margaret Williams

    Hello from Canada! Sen. Obama This is margaret from Canada. We applaud what you and your campaign represent.. It is time for America to step into the 21st centurary with the rest of the developed world. Please do not ask Hillary Clinton to be your running mate. Hillary is a representation of the old washington style politics you are trying to "Change" Would you consider John Edwards? He champions for the poor and is more in line with your brand of politics.

    Margaret From Canada

    May 8, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  12. ben

    Mrs. Clinton’s letter to Obama sounds like the voice of a desperate witch crying in the wilderness.
    Let Mrs. Clinton hang on to her selfish interest and continue even beyond the nomination of Obama.
    She can as-well decide to form her own Democratic party, nominate herself and contest along Obama against McCain.
    The news of Rep. David Bonior endorsement of Obama will be the sweetest news today.
    Edward and Obama are my political mentors.
    Edward and Obama represent the new face of American politics. The days of the Clintons, the bushes are over and over for good. The American people are wiser now.

    May 8, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  13. jim

    yes mich. and fl. delegates should be counted. i thought everyones vote counted . i think its wrong that people are swallowing this false belief of hope and change. people forget that the president is just a figure head , the congress and senate really runs the country. so go for it hillary you got my vote.the country would be better off with an experienced candidate instead of a rookie.

    May 8, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  14. Phil from Boston, MA

    I’d like to see Obama start delivering on some of this so-called Change he promises, since he has yet to do that. His background and actions make him look like quite the Washington Insider, who is very comfortable with the new brand of lobbyist and doesn’t mind ignoring votes of states that don’t go his way (Does anyone else feel that this is reminiscent of W's election by the Supreme Court, and not the people?).

    I mean, if he’s so superior, if he’s so much in the lead, if he truly has the clamp on the popular vote – why doesn’t he stand by his message and call for them be seated? No revote required, no money spent.

    But, he won’t do that. Probama Nation will continue to sling mud at Hillary, while calling foul (or, most often, racist) when someone on the other side points out the mud on their fingers. Talk about dividing the party.

    May 8, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  15. Anita

    why is it that people can't see through Hillary's fakeness and push her aside i mean we don't want a president that is just doing it for herself but for the people of the U.S. i mean we don't want another bill clinton in office.look at this way is this a fight for Hillary's pride or for the people?there are other things i would say but like obama says change is best, which is what he is trying to change in the white house tradition.

    May 8, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  16. Bill, Florida

    If Obama does indeed have the nomination already, then what harm would it do? If he agreed to a plan to seat the delegates in Florida and Michigan, it would probably help his chances of winning those states in November. It would be politically stupid to refuse to seat the delegates of Florida and Michigan at this point in the race.

    May 8, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  17. Tony

    It's not up to her or Obama to decide the party rules. First of all they all voted for them, including her. Now that the numbers are against her and she wants to change the very same rules she voted for. And second, Obama should be the last person that she should have face to ask for help in changing the party rules (that she also approved). It's unfortunate that Florida and Michigan challenged the rules. Everyone wants votes from there to be counted but how, this is the problem. We all know that there wasn't a real contest there as most of the people knew that even if they voted their votes would not count. Hillary is not offering a solution, just propaganda. Maybe they should all sit down and vote on new rules for the next election, and when they decide something for the next election to make sure not to allow individuals to even try changing rules afterwords.It just sounds pathetic.

    May 8, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  18. RB

    MI and FL is a dead issue. Get over it. If the democratic voters of those states want to take their anger out on someone, it should be their spineless elected officials who didn't represent them when they had the opportunity to make a difference (kinda like the super idiots are failing the rest of us today) before the primaries even started. Good bye Hillary!

    May 8, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  19. Alex H

    Yeah... she's consistently said that... NOW

    But when her supporters on the Rule Committee were pressing for it, where was she?

    Oh and... why did her campaign just now decline Michigan's plan to seat the delegates?

    Oh yeah... cuz it only gives her a +10 delegate boost instead of a +18 boost... why? Cuz it doesn't honor the votes...


    May 8, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  20. No Obama

    All of these Obama people get on here and sound off nasty, just like in the caucausing process. How can you donate so much money? Sitting around at work waiting for the next ticker? Don't work?

    May 8, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  21. Media Blackout May 15th

    It's 4:34PM EST

    Has the Gimmick Candidate changed her mind and restated her FL Delegate request to include space aliens yet?

    Hillary Clinton, The Gimmick candidate
    Bill and Hillary, The Gimmick Family
    Do and Say Anything "08

    May 8, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  22. Kent in Dallas

    What about the large portion of voters who didn't vote because they knew it wouldn't count??? Most of them were African American. I don't care if you love, like, or hate Clinton you have to see that she only cares about FL and MI because its in her best intrest. If she was so worried about disenfranchising voters, seating the delegates would be sufficient. In the end that's what matters. But since she's trying to make the popular vote arguement, delegates aren't good enough. I am a Obama supporter. If he was trying to pull this crap, I wouldn't be behind him. Wrong is wrong and I would not follow someone so blindly.

    P.S.:If this is a "personal plea" why does CNN have it???

    May 8, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  23. Zion

    Hillary, how dare you want to play with the big boys and then beg a man to save your dying political future.


    May 8, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  24. Anne E.

    NOTE to Chicano Art in AZ:

    You do not speak for this Latina - I'm an Obama supporter ALL THE WAY, thank you very much.

    May 8, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  25. says it all

    I TOTALLY concur.

    This primary has had enough corruption to make a lifelong democrat flee.

    So... DNC fix this mess... or worry in Nov.

    May 8, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
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