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. Tired of W, OH

    I'm not even going to say the obvious. It's been said a million times and if the Hillary supporters don't get it by now, they never will.

    May 8, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  2. honkey white guy from cali

    Now i know she is delusional! She is sending that to the wrong person. It is not up to Sen Obama. I hope he excepts this MI plan that is being put up she only gains 10 off of it and that is fair considering his name was not on the ballot. Also it is time she except some responsibility for this she signed that same agreement making those votes not count why because she did not think she would need them. She did not care about them. Now that her campaign is over she is trying to make this a wedge issue! I have nothing but pity for her now!

    Go Obama 08 Yes We Can

    May 8, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  3. JB

    Hillary no matter if you count their votes, you still short!!!!!!!!!! SO enough and drop out!!!!

    May 8, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  4. Milwaukee for Obama

    She is provocking Obama to see what Obama says. she is making me so dizzy and everytime I watch or hear about her, I take my blood pressure pills. by the way, I supported her strongly at one time but now, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    May 8, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  5. Claire, Texas

    Yamn. She is truly just a sore loser...

    May 8, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  6. For the love of this independent

    Send him a letter and make it public. She is good. Man she is good.

    May 8, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  7. Edgar

    at 1st all the candidates agreed not to count this 2 states and now we are talking about sitting some coming up with different rules.

    if rules are rules lets go by what everyone agreed on.

    This should of been an issue before the primaries not after someone gets behind then becomes an issue.




    OBAMA 08 & 12

    May 8, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  8. Red

    "I have consistently said that the votes cast in Florida and Michigan should be counted."

    Except when she was the, "inevitable nominee," back before the primary season got started in earnest, and voted–along with the rest of the DNC–to bar the delegates from Florida and Michigan from being seated at the convention as punishment for moving their primaries up.

    I find it interesting that so many people blame Senator Obama for, "disenfranchising," the voters of Florida and Michigan, when all he's really doing is sticking to his original vote–something Senator Clinton seems to have a great deal of trouble doing, when that original vote no longer benefits her aims.

    Changing the rules just because you're losing isn't about "protecting the rights of the people," Hillary–it's called throwing a tantrum because you aren't winning according to the rule set you originally agreed to.

    May 8, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  9. RickytheGriff

    More Hillary Jedi Mind Tricks.

    Remember, it was Hillary who signed that piece of paper saying that Florida and Michigan wouldn't be counted.

    Much like she signed NAFTA.

    Now that she's losing she wants to say, "Sorry, I had my fingers crossed behind my back"!

    Obama 2008

    May 8, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  10. For the love of this independent

    Too bad she was so lousy and campaign managing.

    May 8, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  11. Roger B from Portland, OR

    Is she trying to blame him? That is what this letter sounds like! I think Obama will support something that is fair and all those proposals were not.

    May 8, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  12. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    After all the crap she's put him through?

    If I were Obama, I would tell her KMA!

    But he's better than that. He'll probably help her get the Michigan and Florida delegates seated.

    AFTER he secures the nomination!

    May 8, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  13. No More Years, Lake Forest CA

    Interesting. Except that she has not consistently said the votes should be counted. Last October, she said that the contests wouldn't count for anything, and like the other candidates, she signed a pledge to that effect. She needs to come clean on that.

    May 8, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  14. JT

    Fine, count their votes... but you said it yourself Hillary... The count must be "FAIR".

    It is not fair to agree to not campaign or be on the ballot of both states and do it anyway, and now complain that Obama somehow did the voters wrong by following the party's rules.

    May 8, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  15. Teacia

    Wow...she's at it again. Anything to win...I live in Florida and you know what I didn't vote that day b/c I like many voters who follow the rules knew it wouldn't count. So what about us Hillary, what are you going to do to make sure our voice is heard.

    And to those supporters who cry let the votes be counted, are you going to teach your children that when the rules are broken you should get a do over??, I didn't think so either.

    May 8, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  16. mr. reality

    WOW.... this is turning into limbo for Billary... how low can you go

    May 8, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  17. Carl Dupont

    Frolida and Michigan issues should be resolved between local democratic leaders and the DNC leadership. Fro Hillary to ask Obama to resolve the problem that wa caused by her, it will be a mistake for Obama to be involved in th eissue beside the DNC leadership and local leadership. Obama should know that trap.
    Hillary want to put Obama in trouble as if she knows more politics than Obama. Obama should wait until the DNC called a meeting in which him and Hillary will be invited to discuss the issue.
    Hillary should olso be punished for letting her name on the ballotin Michiagan and for all the document she signed on that matter.

    May 8, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  18. Alan Boyer

    Be careful, Barack! A trap could be in the works.

    May 8, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  19. David

    Desparation is not a scent of cologne!

    May 8, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  20. Greg, NY

    Hillary now:

    "I have consistently said that the votes cast in Florida and Michigan in January should be counted."

    Hillary before the primaries:

    NHPR's Laura Knoy: "So, if you value the DNC calendar, why not just pull out of Michigan? Why not just say, Hey Michigan, I'm off the ballot?"

    Hillary Clinton: "Well, you know, It's clear, this election they're having is not going to count for anything"

    May 8, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  21. Allen deLuca - Florida


    May 8, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  22. pj in va

    Since Obama was not on the ballot in Michigan, her request is insane and moronic, just like the entire Clinton Family. Either hold a new primary or split the delegates 50/50. There is no other choice. Florida seems to screw up every election, so my advice if you want your vote to count, move out of Florida! Fool me once...blah...blah. Michigan appears to be heading in the same direction, so don't move there!

    May 8, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  23. sky

    It would have to be a revote because Obama was not even on the ballot in Michigan. Hillary kept her name on the ballot even though the DNC told her not to.

    In florida thousands of voters did not even vote because they had been told it would not count.

    How do you proceed and reconcile that the votes in those states were done without correct representation from bothcandidates.

    May 8, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  24. rs

    She has a crush on Obama.

    May 8, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  25. fred

    Good for you Hillary. He doesn't want them counted because he will lose. He will lose anyway in the General Election. People are starting to see him for what he really is.

    I asked my 18 year old son why college kids are voting for Obama and this is exactly what he told me. Obama said they he would legalize Marijuana. Is this the change that young people want????

    May 8, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
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