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. Lee WV

    She is begging Obama now.She will only settle for an agreement that puts her ahead.She is not worried about those poor disenfranchised voters.

    May 8, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  2. Harrison

    Cuckoo! Cuckoo!
    HRC is really beginning to hurt herself and her own electability. She looks desperate and at a loss for reality. She is getting kind of scary.

    Someone get her some help. We know SHE has access to healthcare.

    May 8, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  3. RJ-Ga

    Please, throw cold water on your face ! You are dream talking again ! Are you not the same person who agreed Mich. and Fla. votes were not going to be counted, when these states decided to change their election dates ? The only solution is to seat them 50/50, but of course you will not agree, thats why what you are saying and writing makes No Sense !

    May 8, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  4. TSD from Houston, TX

    HRC is stupid for this. She agreed to the rules when they were put forth and now she's fighting against them. HRC agreed to the punishment, now she's against it. Flip flopping didn't work for John Kerry, it's not going to work for HRC.

    May 8, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  5. Stacey

    This should be titled "Hillary makes a pandering stance to create ill will and muddy the political waters"

    This is so totally bogus. Hillary only supported this when it benefitted her to do so. This lady needs to stop. Now.

    May 8, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  6. Journalism at its best

    Was this before or after she said NO! to the Michigan compromise?

    May 8, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  7. georgia

    This is not Obama's issue . 48 states followed clearly stated & agreed upon rules ;2 did not w/ understanding of the alternative. If Hillary were ahead it would not be an issue @ all,similar to the 2000 vote. We move forward.

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

    Obama made a strategic decision and removed himself from the Michigan ballot because he wanted to concentrate on Iowa. The Obama supporters do not seem to know that or refuse to acknowledge that. The playing field was almost level in Florida. Hillary did not campaign there and neither did Obama, BUT he did run ads there.

    Stop drinking the kool-aid. It's too late in the game for that.

    May 8, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  9. Unified Democratic Party 2008

    Hillary Clinton supporters:

    Please stop with the threats and insults. I realize many Obama supporters are gloating and taunting you, which is disappointing and wrong. I wish this wasn’t going on. However, it's important that you rise above the petty taunts and stop threatening to vote against the well-being of our nation just because your preferred candidate will not be in the race. Voting for a Democrat, regardless of who he/she is, is absolutely critical this fall. We're all depending on Clinton supporters everywhere to see the big picture and help the Democratic Party take back the White House, and help our nation begin recovering from Bush's mistakes and blunders at home and abroad. We need you, there's no denying it. Please, please, please unite behind Obama and help the cause. We're in this together.

    May 8, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  10. linda-Texas

    The DNC needs the voters of Florida and Michigan in November. Their votes will be counted now or they could be lost in November. They will be counted. It is only a matter of when and how.

    The DNC should never have penalized the voters of Florida and Michigan for something they had no control over. The persons responsible for breaking the party rules should be held accountable for their decision, not the voters.

    May 8, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  11. MaTerry

    She will stop at nothing.

    May 8, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  12. Laura

    I wonder what Obama will say to MI and FL when he wants thier votes in the general election. Oh sorry guys, a few months ago it was just politics....the same old politics I promise to end. Give me a break Obama and Obamians. Neither Clinton nor Obama personally made the decision for them not to count. It was the Democratic Party....Looks like I will be voting Republican this November and that is NO JOKE!!

    May 8, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  13. consistent constituent

    Did Sen. Clinton actually state this?

    'I have consistently said that the votes cast in Florida and Michigan in January should be counted. ', you mean, you 'consistently' said this AFTER Super Tuesday and you realized that you maybe needed these votes, after all. I think that you DID agree, from the start, that the delegations from these two states should not be seated.

    Where is the consistency??

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

    Can they please play over and over again her initial statement that Michigan would not count...PLEASE!!

    May 8, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |









    May 8, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  16. CLB in LA

    How does Senator Clinton propose not to disenfranchise the millions of Democrats who DID not vote in FL and MI because they were told that the Party would not count the votes and that the candidates agreed?

    How does Senator Clinton propose to count the 30% of voters in MI who voted UNDECIDED in order to show support for Obama or Edwards because neither of their names were on the ballot there?

    How does Senator Clinton respond to voters in FL who were familiar with her because of her husband and her time as first lady but not familiar with the younger Senator - albeit not necessarily less capable to lead - because he was not permitted to campaign there - and who voted for her but would now - that they have come to know Senator Obama better - change that vote?

    I support re-votes in both FL and MI. If votes as is are counted in any way on any level, I will change my registration to Independent and never again trust the Democratic party.

    May 8, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  17. Mark from Seattle

    Here is a college student's executive summary of the letter:

    Dear Obama/The Media,

    Urgent! I am getting desperate! Can we please change the rules in this Primary Game, because I am losing. I don't like losing and I think I could win if we changed the rules to help me out. This race would be a lot better if we could change the rules so I could get more votes. Oh yeah, it would also probably be more democratic if we let people vote who were punished, even though they intentionally broke the rules. My friends can even pay for the whole thing! Isn't that what really controls US democracy, money in the hands of a few? Heck, I will even pay for my own campaign since no one else will give me money.

    On to the next "bin win state",

    Hillary Clinton know, the ex-presidents wife, part of the two family ruling dynasty

    May 8, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  18. cdcwdc

    I keep having this mental image of Hilary Clinton sitting there sucking her thumb and pulling on her ear while yelling “I don’t care what the popular vote numbers show or the pledged delegate count is, the super delegates owe. I wana be PRESIDENT, I deserve to be PRESIDENT.”

    May 8, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  19. old europe

    hillary, you dauther, what can she learn from you?

    May 8, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  20. Spirit of America

    Either allot the delegates as voted on in January or have a re-election.
    Anything less elevates bureaucracy over democracy.

    May 8, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  21. Sure

    I'd say the DNC has a lot to look at on how they run their primaries/caucuses!

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

    Jeff in CA – You must be one majorly powerful surfer dude to make threats like that. How do you propose to back it up?

    May 8, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  23. Dan , TX

    Already worked out. He'll let Clinton have a 10 delegate net from MI and a 19 delegate net from FL. That's 29 delegate advantage for Clinton plus Clinton nets a 15 superdelegate advantage. That cuts Obama's lead by 44 delegates total and would cut his overall delegate lead to around 90.

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

    More spin from the Clinton campers. Just like the delegates from MI. How does it feel now MI? Hillary sold you guys out today by not accepting the deal that MI proposed to the DNC LOL Are you guys STILL going to maintain that she is speaking for you? That SHE wants your vote to count LOL or are yu finally going to accept that YOU ONLY count if it is better for HER? Actions, as always, speak louder than words.

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

    I wonder if Hilary would be so eager to count the votes in Michigan and Florida if the majority were Obama supporters?

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