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. Sophia

    Time for the superdelegates to come with the hook and snatch her off of the stage.

    May 8, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  2. Ron

    If the people don'y vote her in she's hoping the party bosses will handed it to her. ThAT'S democracy in action for you. Go Girl!!!

    May 8, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  3. ray linhart

    yes they will be after the june race is over then split the delgates 50-50 an do not let clinton pay back her loans to the campaine that looks like a carpet bagger so be a women an pay your own way not by a loan

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


    She signed a statement last year and told the people of Iowa and New Hampshire that she accepted the DNC policy and that Michigan and Florida would not count.

    She has also said that elected delegates from the primaries don't have to support the candidate who they are pledged to- basically rendering all the primaries and caucuses to be meaningless.

    May 8, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  5. E. loz Miami

    She's a fighter & I applaud her for that. ActuaIy, I look up to that. That's what inspire me, not feel good speeches. If I wanted a feel good speech, I would read poetry or listen to music. I hope she runs as an independent & WINS. That would shut everyone up. Obama & Mccain can go fight for those red states while she gets the big states that matter.

    May 8, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  6. Linda

    Also, should this letter be to the DNC and not Obama? Send it to Howard Dean. They are the ones with the power to seat the delegates.

    May 8, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  7. mitchell from arkansaw

    stick that letter in ur ear,hillary!and learn to follow the rules!

    May 8, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  8. Adam from NY

    How about "I agree with you Hillary. Why don't we splut the delegates in proportion to the current pledged delegate count?"

    May 8, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  9. Fran Martin

    More Bush like hubris on display by Clinton and her supporters. Turn out the light, Hill, the party's over!

    May 8, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  10. Kevin

    Imagine that, Hillary wants votes to count in states, who disregarded party rules, where she was either the only one to campaign, or the only one who didn't take her name off the ballot. She's not talking revote in that letter, she's talking let the original votes stand.

    Desperation is a stinky perfume.

    May 8, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  11. Chuck

    Why did you have to go public with this letter Hillary? Are you trying to push him into doing what you want by letting the public see this letter. Why did you even allow the election to go on if you knew that they were breaking the rules. You have lost! It's over for you unless he decides to put you on the ticket as vice which I personally would not do if I were him after all of your nasty attacks. You have disappointed so many people that noone would vote for you anyway! Thank you and have a great day!

    May 8, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  12. Nick - Arlington, VA

    he agreed to the MI plan of giving her 10 more delegates...she rejected it....what does she want? its over.

    May 8, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  13. Emma from San Jose, CA

    I am certain of her remarkable intelligence and knowledge, but her reasoning needs some work.

    May 8, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  14. NOBAMA in North Carolina

    Hilary this really is very desperate. Obama is already starting his campaign against McCain in saying he is running a smear campaign. Obama can't stand on the issues so he cries bully, not gonna work with Republicans Obama we see what you are REALLY about. Hilary stop it let the campaign move on so McCain can make Obama look like the all talk no action politician he is.

    May 8, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  15. LifeLongDemocrat

    I just saw the tape of Obama meeting with the superdelegate blue dog Democrats and something struck me right away. They are all white men! Obama needs to figure out how he is going to get the 70% of white women to vote for him who are now supporting Hillary. That is a make or break number and he doesn't seem to be interested in us! Of course, as his supporters say on these blogs: "we are stupid, uneducated and will believe anything we hear once." NOT!!!

    Write in Hillary if she is not the nominee...

    May 8, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  16. Joe From Connecticut

    Hillary is acting as if the Clintons own the democratic party. Rules were laid down since the beginning, why should we change them now to accommodate one candidate? Let all abide by the rules and move on.

    May 8, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  17. Jon


    May 8, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  18. Michael G

    ***** I have consistently said that the votes cast in Florida and Michigan in January should be counted. ****
    There she goes again misstating. She went on record stating that the vote would not count, and there was no problem then. Now that she has virtually no chance of winning, the vote should count and she concerned about the voters.

    May 8, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  19. Alex

    This does seem to be Hillary firing off her last, desperate shots. However, regardless of whether Obama wins the Democratic nominee or not these are big states regarding electoral votes and if there is any animosity towards Obama this could mean that they may not vote for him in the actual Presidential Election. Frankly, I don't care if Obama loses or not, I would much prefer any Democrate to be President than a Republican.

    Go Obama!!

    May 8, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  20. Nate in Mpls

    She agreed up front that FL and MI wouldn't count. Period. Flip. Flop.

    May 8, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  21. Rob

    Sure...we count them.

    But you drop the Popular Vote Crap..cause that Argument disqualifies 4 states.

    You cant have it both ways.

    May 8, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  22. Ian

    Dear Senator Obama,

    We must count 2.5 million votes in primaries in Florida and Michigan!
    And I have a great plan how to count these votes! Let's count all of my votes and none of yours! The people of these great states, like the people who have voted and are to vote in other states (except blacks of course, and those pesky whites with post high-school education), must have a voice in selecting our party's nominee – me!

    Hillary Rodham Clinton

    P.S. Has anyone seen my royal crown? Or at least my bottle of Crown Royal?

    May 8, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  23. Inquiring mind

    HI, I still figuring this thing out and I'd like HRC supporters who say they won't vote for Obama in the general election if he is the nominee to tell me why that is? I would like to know their reason because I'm trying to figure Obama out, Please either respond here or e-mail me at Thank you for your input.

    May 8, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  24. Southerner For Obama

    OK, she is beginning to scare me and Obama should be careful when he is in the same room with her.

    Hillary, please honey, get some professional help. You sound like and remind me of a crazy person. I am serious about this You are a scary person

    May 8, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  25. CW in DC

    If she cares so much about Michigan being seated, why did she reject their latest proposal to seat the delegates?

    May 8, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
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