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. Jacki NC

    I doubt she would want them counted if Obama had campaigned in Florida and Michigan and if she was ahead in delegate count now. She would be saying that they knew the rules and we have to abide by them. If Obama's name had been on the ballot in Michigan chances are she would not have won there. Hillary agreed to the rules in the beginning, but of course that is before she found herself behind in votes and delegates. She never thought she would be behind so I guess that is why she stated in the beginning that she would abide by the rules. Still she attended fundraisers in both states which was within the rules. Obama and Edwards did not even have their names on the ballot in Michigan but she sure kept hers on it. This election has gotten to the point of being absurd.

    May 8, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  2. Chucklut

    Its a simple matter really, Florida and Michigan were told by the DNC that if they break the rules, they lose the delegates. These states openly defied the DNC and held the elections early. The people of Florida and Michigan should be upset at the state leadership for this debaucle, for it was them that decided to break the rules

    Now Hillary is trying to count them for the simple reason that it boosts her standing in this primary race. In fact she doesnt want any of the delegates in Michigan pledging for Obama because his name wasnt on the ballot.

    The Truth of the matter is that neither candidate actively campaigned in Florida and Michigan because the DNC said the delegates would not be seated. The DNC should stick to its guns and the people of Florida and Michigan should express their outrage at the state government

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

    This letter should have been dated JANUARY 8th!

    It's too late now!

    May 8, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  4. Jeff in CA

    this is crazy! we as democrats more than anyone know that every vote should count and that the party will not win in nov. if this mess isnt cleared up by the end of the nomination process.

    Hillary and her team are 100% right in asking for this. Its just Obama and his very Bush2000-like attempt to not count the votes then prematurely declare a nomination victory.


    This nomination will not be decided until any one nominee achieves the required numbers during the ballot process at the convention in August. PERIOD!

    Theres a lot of time between now and then and many thing could and probably will happen. Drug Dealing Past, Rezko, Wright (again!!), and the views and legal writings of his wife.

    YOu want to play GOP Playbook dirty Obama...?? I'm up for it and will match it double if you start it.

    Bring it on you Fraud! Hillary all the way!!

    May 8, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  5. joyce

    what a joke
    she knows the dnc is working on this and she wants to take the credit to look good for the sd. well they are not stupid. no end to how stupid she thinks the american people are. beside rules was ruls and need to be stuck to. set am example for the younger generation

    May 8, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  6. Sherri

    She agreed with the rules. She should abide by the consequences of Florida and Michigan breaking them. The rules were set and agreed upon a full two years before the election. This is dishonest and political trickery. The voters of MI and FL should oust their party officials for disenfranchising them. The rules should stand.

    May 8, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  7. Michigan

    Tell HRC to FOLLOW THE RULES THAT SHE AGREED TO. Even though I'm from Michigan, I genuinely believe that the consequences set forth by the DNC MUST BE HONORED. Otherwise, what is the point of setting a boundary? I have to follow rules, my kids have to follow rules..... HRC YOU NEED TO FOLLOW THE RULES, TOO!!!!!

    May 8, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  8. LT for Obama

    Really? Just call him out like this? What modecrum of respect I had left for her is not gone. Unbelievable.

    May 8, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  9. Wilfredo Torres Jr.

    She's loosing and is still trying to find a way!

    Obama '08

    May 8, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  10. Rennae, VA

    Why should your OPPONENT in a presidential race HELP you sustain your campaign when it' sinking???

    Have some dignity woman, and just bow out with your political legacy in tact.

    Every day that you wallow in this defeat tarnishes any kind of political future you have.

    May 8, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  11. Sophia

    The party needs to stop her now. She is losing her mind. Please bring in the men with the white coats and jackets.

    May 8, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  12. Cathy

    She is right. Democrates will not will if they do not count M & Fl. You are crazy if you thing they do not need these delegates to be counted. It does not matter if it is Obama or Clinton. Stop fighting.

    May 8, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  13. Obama

    Guess what – Obama does "owe" the Americans in Florida and Michigan to have their vote count. He has "presidential things to do" so he does not have time for this? Obama has some pretty stupid followers.

    May 8, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  14. D.J. Morales

    Hillary Clinton does not want to understand that the rights of the American voter are not being threatened, but rather that the rules established by the Democratic Party have been violated, and as a result sanctions apply that must be enforced in order to maintain authority and credibility within the party. She does not want to understand this because a reversal of the rules would benefit her and not necessarily the American voter. This is an example of the kind of ethical and moral leadership that is being offered from an already tarnished political family who has in the past justified perjury and duplicity in order to attain and maintain power.

    May 8, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  15. Obama mama, Grayslake IL

    To whom it may concern, even if the Florida and Michigan can be added or counted Hillary is not going to win. The MATH says it in a reply that says NO HILLARY you lost the game when you did get 0 out of 11.

    It is a pity that some people are still cheating Hillary telling her that she can still WIN. It is impossible for her to win, she can still continue with the race up to the end so that she can get out with disgrace. By that time the Obama train would have left the platform.

    May 8, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  16. MCD

    hmmm, this might have carried more weight if it was post dated back before she started losing and couldn't care less about these 2 states.

    May 8, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  17. Worried Democrat

    Josh Calden: are you on crack? we should continue the iraq war so we can fight al qaeda? you are so dumb that people like you shouldn't be allowed to vote or have children. Get real man. The Iraq war is a blunder and hasn't made us any safer. Obama will end the war and send more troops into Afghanistan where the real terrorists are training at this moment.

    It boggles my mind how uneducated people in this country are. I'm glad that young people like me are the future and we are supporting the most intelligent candidate = Obama

    May 8, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  18. No Hillary

    Hillary... in future you will be just ignored and we will concentrate on ur best friend McCain.... no room for working with you on anything with all the demage u have done to the party. Yes it is 3Am and we will NOT pick up ur call....

    May 8, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  19. T-rel

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

    Did you forget the part, where you signed an agreement stating the votes would not count? I repeat ,"you agreed those votes would and should NOT COUNT" . You are such a pancake (flip/flop)

    May 8, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  20. Disgusted!

    She has been asking for this from the DNC and we all know that Howard Dean has fixed this so that the delegates will not be seated until the convention. Obama will not do this because he has never, nor could he ever, be the Democrat that Clinton is. He could care less about all votes counting or anything else. He used to be for all votes counting until it worked against him. Flip-flop again from the poorest candiate of the three.

    May 8, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  21. TL

    Can she stoop any lower?

    May 8, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  22. Tim

    The delegates from FL & MI will be seated, but by the terms from the DNC. In her letter, why did she not explain why she signed on the dotted line that they should not count? She needs to explain to the American people why the change in heart.

    But more importantly, I am personally disgusted by Senator Clinton's statement that Hard working White people want her to be President. This is uncalled for. I am very disappointed and saddened right now. I am an Obama supporter and although I would have been upset for Senator Clinton get the nomination without earning it, I in no way would vote for John McCain. You know I really thought that it made sense to let this continue till June. However, if this is the kind of stuff we have to look forward to, I think it's time for Howard Dean to step in and the Super Delegates to step in to end this. This cannot be allowed to continue for the good of the party.

    Democrat 08
    Let’s unite to fight!!!!

    May 8, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  23. Independent

    I think I just puked in my mouth. I'm a Florida voter, Hillary Clinton, and you don't speak for me!!

    May 8, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  24. 60 year old white female, Mo

    Hillary would like to become a President; Do you as a President you must show how to respect rules; DNC set up rules... and theses rules should be respected no matter what.. You don't have the right to change the rules in the middle of the game... Michigan and Florida will be divided 50/50 or you get nothing... but they will be represented at the convention... Don't count on them to get the Nomination... Its too late... Cheaters... and Shame on you looser Hillary, Racist Hillary...

    May 8, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  25. LB

    First of all, Obama wasn't even on the Michigan ballot! And second of all, Obama didn't even campaign in Florida because he FOLLOWED THE RULES.

    Hillary is a piece of work.

    May 8, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
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