May 27th, 2008
10:25 AM ET
14 years ago

Obama supporters planning DNC counter-protest

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Both Clinton and Obama supporters are planning to protest outside Saturday's RBC meeting in Washington."] WASHINGTON (CNN) - Supporters of Barack Obama’s presidential bid are planning to demonstrate outside the Saturday meeting in Washington where Democratic officials are slated to debate the seating of the Florida and Michigan delegations at the party’s summer convention.

The move comes days after backers of Hillary Clinton’s White House run announced plans to converge on the Washington, D.C. hotel where members of the Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee are meeting.

“Hillary Clinton's supporters are going to be bussing in protestors for the Rules and Bylaws Committee meeting, so it's critical that we show up for the counter-protest,” wrote on organizer in a post on the Daily Kos Web site Tuesday morning.

Last week, the pro-Clinton Committee to Count Every Vote said it was organizing a day-long May 31 rally outside the RBC meeting.

“Our purpose is not to divide the party or attack the DNC or Senator Obama. Michigan and Florida, however, in addition to Hillary's strong support nationwide, cannot and must not be dismissed in DNC efforts to unify the party.”

The group said it was organizing buses to carry protestors to the meeting site, and could offer some overnight housing for those who could not afford to pay for accommodations.

Earlier this month, Clinton told a group of bloggers who support her candidacy that she encouraged efforts to lobby the committee.

“I thank you for zeroing in on the May 31 meeting. There will be a lot of activity around that meeting,” she said on a conference call, adding that it was “important your voices are heard” by DNC members.

A limited number of seats inside Saturday’s meeting were scheduled to be made available by the DNC at 10 a.m. ET Tuesday – but as of 10 minutes after the hour, all those seats had been claimed. Limited same-day registration will be available as space permits, according to the party’s Web site.

Those who make it inside will have to abide by strict guidelines banning “banners, posters, signs, handouts, and noisemakers of any kind” – and they won’t have a chance to weigh in, since there is no allowance for public comment.

Clinton’s campaign has pushed for both the Florida and Michigan delegations to be seated in full in accordance with the results of their January primaries, which were not sanctioned by the DNC because they were scheduled early in defiance of party instructions. Clinton was the only major candidate to appear on the ballot in Michigan, and won both contests.

The DNC, state Democratic parties and both presidential campaigns have said that they are eager for a compromise that would allow both Florida and Michigan to send delegations to the party’s nominating convention in Denver – but all sides stress that the solution would have to be acceptable to both campaigns.

Obama senior adviser David Axelrod signaled in an interview last week that the Illinois senator might be willing to consider a compromise that would give a slight advantage to Clinton.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Florida • Hillary Clinton • Michigan
soundoff (530 Responses)
  1. Ed

    It just goes to show the character of Obama and his camp when they are protesting to SUPPRESS the votes of millions of people just because they didn't vote for him. This is an utter disgrace. And please don't tell me that this was not Obama's fault. It is his fault for two reasons: 1) Obama actively sought to remove his name from the MI ballot to render it "inauthentic" because he knew he was going to lose handily; his name was on the ballot originally by default. 2) Under the by-laws of the DNC, violating states have the right to attempt to "repair" their violation via re-vote, etc. FL, MI and Clinton were supportive of this measure, but Obama was not, thereby not allowing FL and MI to repair the violation. As such, Obama should have no say in how FL and MI are resolved because he effectively blocked their attempt to repair the violation, i.e., he has forfeited his right to weigh in on how they should count.

    Suppressing the will of the people and blocking votes- yes, that's a "change" that Zimbabwe can believe in!

    May 27, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  2. Showme

    Electoral votes only count in the General Election. People WILL vote differently in November than they did in the primaries and caucuses. To say anyone is ahead in electoral votes is a total fabrication. Lets do what the RNC did and give Michigan a Florida a half vote for each delegate.
    Too bad the voters in FL and MI cannot vote out those who REALLY screwed them over in the fall – their own officials! (Both governors were sworn in January 2007)

    May 27, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  3. Rob R

    The Rules Committee should seat the super delegates from both states only. This would give both states some representation at the convention with real votes. FL and MI need to be punished for violating the rules. Everyone knows that and there are no indiciations that they will simply allow the votes to count as is – especially when Obama was not on the ballot on MI.

    The Clinton campaign has a very weak argument filled with hypocrisy that any educated person can surely see through.

    You simply cannot agree to something and then demand a different outcome just because the results favor you.

    Also, I have seen that there were some critical initatives on the ballots in FL that perhaps were what drove that many people to vote despite the knowledge that the delegates wouldn't count.

    It will simply be harder to stomach Clinton winning the nomination over Obama at this point, because in order for her to do so, she would have to have FL and MI counted as is, AND take a significant share of the remaining superdelegates which would essentially overturn the results up till now.

    It's kind of like an eBay auction. Your winning an item the whole time and then right at the very last second, someone comes in and steals it away from you. When that happens it doesn't make me feel very nice. Doesn't make me want to reach out to that buyer and say "Hey nice job!"

    May 27, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  4. B - NYC

    This just shows us all how divided the Democratic party is...

    I was a Democrat, now turned Independent and will NOT vote for Obama...

    May 27, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  5. Love it

    Let Obama and Hillary battle it out till August...September...October. I love it.

    May 27, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  6. Dave W.

    Will someone please ask Hillary Clinton and Mcauliffe why it was okay that Michigan and Florida votes didn't count when Hillary was winning, but they should count now that she is losing?

    May 27, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  7. La Raza

    The honorable thing for H.C. to do is to demand that her "supporters" stand down. This is ridiculous.

    May 27, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  8. NO OBAMA5


    May 27, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  9. Ron L


    I am from Michigan...WE BROKE THE RULES. We will be seated BUT we should not be allowed to effect the selection process AT ALL...once again for the dense people....

    WE BROKE THE RULES....and one other thing....

    HILLARY, BARACK, and JOHN agreed with the DNC when they handed down the punishment for BREAKING THE RULES...

    It's just Hillary is a phony as a 3 dollar bill and wants to act like she didn't support it before. How can't this woman make your stomach churn...SHE IS A MAJOR DISAPPOINTMENT!!

    May 27, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  10. Can't wait for the DNC Primary to end

    Please let this be a peaceful protest on both sides. How about the issue not being Hillary vs Obama for that day, but the issue being fair seating of the FLA & MI delegates vs the initial rules.

    May 27, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  11. tim in carroll ia

    MI & FL Democrats: Don't be surprised if the DNC decides that the rules DO count! There are unfortunately a great many people in our country today who don't think the rules apply to them. They don't want to play by them, so they champion the causes of Pete Rose (gambling), Martha Stewart (insider trading), Barry Bonds (cheating), Ronald Reagan (Iran-Contra), Rush Limbaugh (drugs) etc. and the list goes on and on! Once and for all – THE RULES DO MATTER! The best compromise you can hope for is a 50/50 split of your delegations and to actually get them seated at the convention. If you thought this year's primaries were a mess, try them four years from now with states making up their own rules as they go along! There are good reasons why the DNC's rules exist. All the other states went by the rules. If you want to find someone to blame (which never solves the problem), look no further than your own party leaders and elected officials. You want to punish somebody at the polls, start with them. This election, for our WHOLE nation, is too important for people to sulk on the sidelines – no matter where you live!

    May 27, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  12. Ilona Proud Canadian

    taylor richmond virginia,

    It is not over until the DNC says it is over!

    Barack Supporters, don't listen to this kind of advice. Just think, Hillary supporters will be there by the droves! Check with someone from Barack's Campaign, and get their input for organizing the largest/best possible Counter Protest Rally that you can!



    May 27, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  13. frank fato

    I am arepublican I have learned to respect Hillary for her tenacity and kootzpa .

    How about a Mc Cain Hillary ticket?

    May 27, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  14. Zoe

    What a gift to the Republican party!
    Are you Democracts thinking AT ALL..... or lost in adolescent party games.

    May 27, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  15. Steph

    If the allow Clinton to steal this nomination due to Florida and Michigan I will vote for Barr or not at all. She has broken every rule. It's all about her and she is totally going back on what she said about the votes not counting. And now that she's loosing she wants to change the rules. I can't believe the DNC is falling for this.

    May 27, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  16. not her please

    Wait, i think Bill and Hill want to change the rules again. Maybe they better wait to see what if any rule change could possibly get them the nomination. I think we should only count the large states. Well, we could count the small states as long as they're a swing state. We should count the popular vote but not the states that caucus.. I can't believe there are still people who are buying what she's selling. It's truly amazing and i guess it's true–she truly does have the uneducated on her side.

    May 27, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  17. Zoe

    What a gift to the Republican party!
    Are you Democrats thinking AT ALL..... or lost in adolescent party games.

    May 27, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  18. jc

    Who is Obama to be making this decision – why is it up to him – see this is what we mean – The map was already laid out for Obama a year ago – to plan was to railroad Hillary and have all the super deligates pile on and badger her and shame her into wanting to quit -Why is seating Florida and Michigan his decision? That's outrageous. I quit the democratic party.

    May 27, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  19. obamacrat

    Why are people from either side wasting their time/money? The only "solution" that the HRC camp will agree on is one that counts all FL and MI votes as is. This includes not giving Obama the "Uncommitted" votes in MI. The DNC will not do this, so it's on to Denver we go. Protesters should save their energy/money till then. On May 31 we will officailly become a divided party. Divided we fall in Novemner. Thanks Hillary!

    May 27, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  20. Obama 08

    Now you know the true color of the clintons.

    May 27, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  21. Allan American (Costa Rica Resident)

    Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, Lanny Davis and Terry McAuliffe make me want to puke. They will stoop to anything to try and win.....but, suprise..........WE WANT NO MORE CLINTON'S or BUSH'S in our WHITE HOUSE.
    Get over it Hillary for the good of the Dems....and good ridance to you all.

    May 27, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  22. If not Hillary, then McCain...

    Obama 08 = Kerry 04

    If Hillary is denied the nomination due to the FL/MI situation, then I will vote for McCain in November. Enough talk of coming together to support Obama; he is too inexperienced, liberal, and divisive due to his comments about religion and guns for the more Intelligent half of the democratic party (and the country as a whole).

    As for the "rules is the rules", the Republicans in FL moved up the primary date. Why should us Democrats be punished?

    May 27, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  23. Jim

    Can you spell HYPOCRITE? The rules were fine when she was the front runner, but now they aren't. Give me a freakin' break. GO AWAY HILLARY. You are a loser.

    May 27, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  24. Fred up north

    Poor Hillary, She lost so much:
    The support of senators who backed in her bid for the Presidency
    The respect of her campaign team who threw her under the bus,
    The confident of her husband ( without the blue dress )
    The Kennedy family Who now hates her
    women in general ,( who thinks she had a sex change and is neither male nor female
    Blacks who she constantly insults( at least those educated enough to recognize it
    Donors who feels that she is really vying for GOP VP.
    The Rednecks who dislikes her thirst for Canadian whiskey
    white working American, they know she is behind NAFTA................../...

    May 27, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  25. great

    It's incredible how arrogant you Obama Supporters are in reference to this. What are you afraid off? Putting your so called "rules" aside for a minute please, DO YOU SERIOUSLY THINK OBAMA WILL WIN IN NOVEMBER WITHOUT FLORIDA AND HILLARY SUPORTERS NATIONWIDE? Do we just want to clinch the nomination and loose in November like Kerry and Gore?



    May 27, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
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