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. Nikki, Florida

    "I have consistently said they should be counted" except when you agreed to the rules before the vote about states moving their primaries...consistency????

    And Hillary never wants compromise. She wants her way – "working together" for a Clinton translates as "bend yourself to my will"

    IF and only IF there can be a fair way to count my state and MI, THEN I say Barack should agree...otherwise, it's just Hillary's desperation and back-handed tactics talking and Barack should stay away

    May 8, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  2. An Agnostic Democrat

    She only "consisently said" AFTER it was clear she had already lost after Super Tuesday. Clintonian (Bush-lite) math and rules need not apply.

    May 8, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  3. Ben- Portland

    She's pretty relentless, huh? Is this tenacity or denial? I can't tell anymore...

    May 8, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  4. RD

    Fantasyland and the real-world appear to be one in the same for the Clinton campaign. The idea that Obama would simply roll-over and allow the delegates for these states to be seated based on the Jan. results is ridiculous. While I agree with the notion this needs to be resolved and done prior to the convention, this approach is clearly flawed.

    Addtionally, the Michigan revote proposal had major holes which included preventing those Democrats, who voted in the Republican race because their candidate of choice wasn't on the ballot, to vote in the new primary. Again, flawed and completely unfair. One of the major reasons why Obama would not agree to this approach.

    May 8, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  5. Shioh WA

    She won't compremise at all. She is the one blocking MI and FL by refusing to have any sactions against their braking the rules. The more she can convince voters she has a chance (which she doesn't) the more donations she can grab to pay off her debts. A donation to her is a donation to her multimillion dollar bank account. This is how she repects low and middle income voters-by lying to them to pay off her loans and debt. I hope people don't let her take advantage of their patriotism and good will.

    May 8, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  6. Nathan Prophet, Raleigh, NC

    Right, Hillary – as usual, when you are not winning the game, you change the rules of the game in your favor. You are just too much – incredible – that is IN-CREDIBLE. You are not a credible person. You agreed to the rules for Florida and Michigan, and both states KNEW the rules and consequences of them breaking the rules. They went ahead anyway, and now you are whining about it. If Barack Obama had won the popular vote in Florida and Michigan, would you be clamoring to "have the votes count"? We all know the answer, "No way". You're a Clinton, and this is what America has learned comes from Clintons, bad sportsmanship and cheating, pretty much like the Bushes.

    May 8, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  7. DemocracyNow2008

    The Michigan and Florida State leaders broke our Primary rules and as a Democrat they should not be given any special treatment period.

    Who the hell does Hillary think she is trying to tell Obama what to do?

    The only reason she want them seated her way is to try and steal the nomination .
    Got some breaking news its not happen and we know your dirty game that you play .
    Go away Hillary now we are sick of having you around maybe McCain will accept you as his vp.

    May 8, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  8. Salaam, Lawrence KS

    What happened to the pledge that all Democratic presidential candidates signed when MI & FL Democrats decided to change their primaries? As far as I remember, Hillary DID sign the pledge. This is just another attempt to twist the facts, when the numbers are not in her favor

    May 8, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  9. TBS, Northridge, California

    Dear Senator Obama,

    "Since your name was not on the ballot in Michigan, I hereby demand that the votes should be MINE all MINE!

    May 8, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  10. shannonL

    This is proof that Clinton is NOT quitting. For the first time in a long time, her campaign does something intelligent. Clinton just made sure that Obama has to agree to count the Mi Fl votes. If he does not, he will now appear to not care about those two states. Her letter put the ball in his court.

    If he says no, he is the person disenfranchising the two states. She put the ball in his court.

    May 8, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  11. Joe - Wilmington, DE she would give a crap about the "disenfranchised" voters of either Michigan or Florida if she was winnning.

    Give it up Hillary. This is really getting boring.

    May 8, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  12. don from canada

    Hillary agreed with the Democratic National Committee that the votes from both states would not count because they violated the rules.
    Now that she can't win she pretends that they need avoice and she wants to help them all she really wants is the delagates.
    Simple solution for the DNC take all the delegates in both states and give both Clinton & Obama 50 % of each states delegates. FAIR IS FAIR & PROBLEM SOLVED !

    May 8, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  13. Robert

    A revote is fine, but you can't just count the votes already collected in Michagan – Obama wasn't even on the ballot! How could he win?

    Sounds good, but Hillary doesn't really care about the votes of Florida and Michigan. It's about the delegates she needs if she is going to have any chance of winning the nomination.

    May 8, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  14. Steve

    MSNBC, other wise known as "Musslin State National Broadcastting Company" is trying to sway America's Elections for the radical left. I think there should be a floor fight in Denver in AUG. For The Soul of the DNC

    May 8, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  15. Tai

    Hillary, can we please go away before we all lose the little respect we have for you.

    May 8, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  16. JKFriz

    I'm agog that her letter doesn't even mention the compromised conditions under which those elections took place, nor the fact that she was the ONLY candidate on the ballot in Michigan.

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

    – HRC, 10/10/07

    May 8, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  17. Jennifer, Chicago Illinois

    She just regected a proposal that Michigan put on the table, and now she's sending this letter to Obama? Talk about pathetic and desperate.

    OBAMA 08

    May 8, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  18. sky

    ...can you imagine what the Klingons would say about a candidate who believes they won a race when the other candidate was not even a contestant..... I hear the sound one hand clapping

    May 8, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |

    It is funny how African Americans have always fought for civil right and voter rights and now they are willing to turn their back on voters in Michigan and Florida. If the DNC does not seat Michigan and Florida farily, I will officially leave the party and stick a John McCain 4 President sign in my frontyard. Barrack is a joke and I cannot support his candidacy. I am sorry. Obama cannot be trusted to advace the cause of Mexican Americans in this country, he is hypocritical. He is a typical politician and any appeals to secure the Mexican American vote will be met with resistance. If the DNC rules against true democracy I do not believe they will be able to carry the torch of the Mexican American people.

    May 8, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  20. Pam

    She's using Michigan and Florida the same way she used the gas tax holiday gimmick. She wasn't concerned about those voters before the primaries started.

    May 8, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  21. Daniel from Kansas

    Hillary, Hillary, HILLARY:

    You SIGNED AN AGREEMENT that they would not count! You SIGNED IT!

    Even if we counted Florida and Michigan, YOU STILL LOSE!

    Please, PLEASE, salvage what is left of your honor and gracefully bow out. Y

    May 8, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  22. C. Hankins LV,NV

    Great letter Sen. Clinton, however I do have a few questions. What about the voters that did not turn out because they were told that their votes would not be counted. What do we say to them? When it looked like you would win the nomination, you were for not counting the two states, now that you are losing you want them to count. This is not fair! Rules are Rules it is unfortunate that we are in this situation. If you want to be fair split them down the middle, if they must be counted. The delegates that is.

    May 8, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  23. Lee-- Dallas, TX

    Roll the tapes. Hil was not always in support of the rules being changed in the middle of this process until she started falling behind. It's been a number of times Hil has tried to change the rules to her advantage.

    May 8, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  24. Alice in Florida

    Obama better listen to her if he expects to carry Florida and Michigan in November if he gets the Democratic nomination. The fact that Obama is not supporting my right to vote is my #1 issue with him right now, and it's the MAIN reason that no matter WHAT he says or does, McCain will get my vote in November if he is running against Barack.

    I cannot vote for someone who thinks it's fine to disenfranchise me.

    May 8, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  25. Veronica Morrow-Reel

    I don't appreciate Sen. Clinton flip-flopping. I am one of her supporters, but I am also a fair person. In the beginning all the other candidates and Sen. Clinto agreed to abide by the DNC rules. The said they would stand by them. This is make her look desperate becuase now she is trailing Sen. Obama, she is changing her mind. It gives the appearance that she is willing to do anything to make sure "President" is a part of her title. This is not what I want in my president,. therefore not only am I not going to vote for Senator Obama, I am not going to vote for her because of this.

    If it is overturned, they should allow all those that were running to make the decision if the votes should be does she know that she and Sen. Obama would have really won the state in a fair election?

    I'm sitting this one out.

    May 8, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
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