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. Alice

    ya know, I can kinda picture her making these same arguments while we watch Obama get sworn in next January . . .

    May 8, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  2. voter

    I find it interesting considering that TPM said she rejected the MI plan to seat the delegates 69-59. She said she wanted the delagates seated as the election results in Jan which provided her an 18 point margin. This is ridiculous considering Obama's name was not on the ballot. The proposal from MI seems reasonable and she should agree to it if she believes the delegates should be seated. Compromise is important.

    May 8, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  3. McCain for President

    I think by allowing Florida and Michigan delegates to be seated, a dangerous precedent will be set. In following primary elections, state powers to be can buck the primary election schedules by holding primaries early than scheduled by the DNC. They can then say "well Florida and Michigan delegates were seated in 2008, so you can't penalize us." And no, I'm not an Obama supporter.

    May 8, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  4. BGIV in NC


    May 8, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  5. Delaware

    I wonder if Hillary Clinton is the one that make and change rules for the Democratics party whenever she wants. Now Hillary Cliton state that if the Democratics party has the rules that the Republicans have she would be the nominee long time ego. I suggest that Hillary go run as a Republican candidate if she wants their rules. Rules are rules; Florida and Michigan had mess up their chances to have their delegates sit and I believe that it not to Hillary's power to tell the DNC how to sit them delegates. These delegates from these two state should not be seated at all. The Democratics party is losing its standard by seating Florida and Michigan and in the future any state could just say well I am doing my primary in such and such date because Florida and Michigan did it and they get away with it.

    May 8, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  6. Marc PDX

    Puhhhlease! Hillary, give it up already! Mathmatically you've lost – even if you take 2/3s of the delegates from Michigan and Florida. It's going to come down to the superdelegates now no matter what you do with the state delegates at this point. And the superdelegates are not going to overturn the will of the people. If they did they would create such a civil war within the democratic party that it would take several years to heal. And that would mean losing congress 2 years from now as well. The party is just not going to do that just because this was "your turn" in your mind. Now get out of the way and let us all MoveOn.Org!

    May 8, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  7. Lilly


    She's completly gone insane !

    May 8, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  8. Gordon

    Obama won't join you Hillary because he's a BIG CHICKEN.

    He knows that Mich and FL are Clinton territory . He is afraid of the truth, he's a looser.

    Like CNN keeps stating ..He has 91% of the Black vote...he has no platform to stand on ..just blind people who vote for race verse the facts

    May 8, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  9. mike

    Oregon has Hope and wants change – You do not speak for me. I to want change real change. The stuff your guy can not deliver. Here is his cance to change to allow votes to be counted. You Obama supporters have not changed. You all participate ion the same old negitive poilitcs. Don't think that is true just read some of the posts here. You are all hypocrits that are going to cost us Florida Nd Michigana and the general election. Jesus stop and think about what you are doing. Disenfranchizing voters, pressuring people to drop out.

    May 8, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  10. Denny Sangiovanni

    Yes, we need to be counted. We want you to hear our voice of who we have choose.

    May 8, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  11. Xango

    she forgot the part where she agreed that it was the rules, but then at taht time she thought she would win, and that young black senator from IL had no chance..

    oh billary, things will forver comeback to bite you , just like the racist comments you are pulling now, which make you sound not just delusional, but you sound like Limbaugh and Henedy
    by god, i truely think you are republican

    May 8, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  12. fred

    Obama is the one shooting himself in the foot!!

    GO Hillary!!

    Count the votes as they stand.!!

    May 8, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  13. Thanks for all the Fish

    Hang, she specifically said that they should be penalized in the beginning until she needed the votes to win...

    Ah, it's all just a big democratic ploy to keep people playing their game. Pelosi actually came out and said Clinton still has a chance of winning – ok, whatever! Winning what exactly? Second place?

    FL and MI will be seated, so I don't know what the big fuss is all about. Obama is the nominee, even if you count the delgates he is still ahead. Can we please move onto the general election??

    If McCain weren't such a complete dunderhead I would so vote repub, but the democrats really need to take office.

    May 8, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  14. amh

    I am tired of hearing Clinton go on about how the votes in Michigan should count. Obama wasn't even on the ballot. I, like many others I know, didn't even go to the polls to vote since I wanted to vote Obama and did not have that opportunity. I was told that my vote would not count anyway but I would have cast it nonetheless if Obama had been on the ballot. It is disingenuous of Clinton to go against her own party's wishes and then make out like Obama is the unreasonable one for "disenfranchising" the voters of Michigan. This Michigan voter would feel VERY disenfranchised if the DNC just ignores it's own rules and gives the delegates to Clinton.

    May 8, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  15. Independent99999

    Hillary need to be admitted into a MENTAL HOSPITAL immediately. She cannot even honor her own agreements signed prior to the race began.

    FL and MI did not matter to her UNTIL she was behind.

    This pathetic woman need to be in a MENTAL HOSPITAL

    May 8, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  16. Alston

    All the uneducated ... err sorry, blue collar voters supporting Hillary must be so proud of their candidate right now.

    Obama should not let his guard down for a minute. The Clintons will sell their own to get this nomination.

    May 8, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  17. zona

    My comment to Hillary Rodham Clinton is to go home with Bill.

    Florida and Michigan knew the rules at the start of the game. I feel sorry for the voters, but those in charge did this to the voters, not Dean or Obama or even Clinton. The states knew the rules and didn't play by them.

    Why is Clinton trying to get those votes counted NOW? Could it have anything to do with how down she is in delegates? SHE KNEW the rules of the game, too. She knows those rules have not changed.

    May 8, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  18. for the good of the democratic party

    If I were a michigan or florida democrat, I would find out who in their states decided to move the party up and I would vote them out of office.

    May 8, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  19. Sam

    Dear Senator Clinton,

    Thank you for your hypocritical and completely insincere letter concerning the voters of Florida and Michigan.

    Apparently you do not understand the meaning of the word 'consistently' as you had no problems with the votes in those states not counting until you unexpectedly found yourself in second place.

    If you're honestly concerned about those votes counting, and not just counting in your favor, then let's try to work together to reach a resolution. First, you will have to stop blaming me for stopping the process as that is a lie – and, in fact, the states themselves could not come to any agreements within their own legislative bodies.

    Again, thank your for your letter and your blatant hypocracy.

    May 8, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  20. Brian in Georgia

    If she's so sincere about seating them, then seat them but split them right down the middle for both candidates. Oh wait...that doesn't help her win. I guess she wouldn't be for that then. What next...she'll say that caucuses are un-democratic? Oh wait...

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

    She is NOT going to win, even with Michigan and Florida. When is the woman going to stop ? Starting with divisive remarks like those she issued today regarding her attracting "white" voters.

    May 8, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  22. Old & White

    Hey Hag,

    It's OVER

    GIT GONE already.

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


    Hillary makes me Sick !

    May 8, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  24. Emiel

    From the Berkeley Daily Planet:

    Both states disregarded the DNC position and held maverick primaries in January. Eager to please the superdelegates on the DNC, both Clinton and Obama agreed with the rules, and both signed pledges not to campaign in either state. “You know,” Senator Clinton remarked, “it’s clear the election they’re having isn’t going to count for anything.”

    Flipflop, flipflop

    May 8, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  25. Obama Supporter

    The begging letter is not going to make her numbers any higher. Hillary's campaign is broke and falling apart. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!! She gets a A for effect. The bible states the same people you put down, will be be the same the people you will see when you fall down. Why should Obama trust her, after all those names she called him, and TRIED to run his name in the gutter. GIRL STOP!!!

    Somebody call her and tell her YES WE CAN!!!!!

    May 8, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
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