May 31st, 2008
10:36 AM ET
12 years ago

Herman: Full reinstatement not on the table

Democratic National Committee member Alexis Herman.

Democratic National Committee member Alexis Herman.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Alexis Herman, co-chair of the DNC's Rules and Bylaws Committee, made clear on Saturday that the 50 percent compromise –- which would reduce the delegate strength of both Michigan and Florida by half, and allow those that remain to be seated at the Democratic convention -– was on the table.

The national party stripped both states of all their delegates last year -– but the automatic penalty only required that these delegations be reduced by half.

The former Clinton cabinet official stressed that a full reinstatement wasn’t up for debate by the RBC, saying both states knew before they moved up their primary dates that there would be severe consequences for violating party rules -– and that the penalty had worked as intended, since no other contests were scheduled for January beyond the two unauthorized votes and the four sanctioned by the party.

"We had many states that wanted to violate the timing. We needed to send a very strong signal in order to prevent additional states from moving forward,” Herman said in her opening remarks.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • DNC • Florida • Hillary Clinton • Michigan
soundoff (98 Responses)
  1. wanbligi

    It is a sad message that Florida and Michigan portrayed when they violated the DNC rules by voting earlier than the February 5, 2008 date established by the DNC.

    DNC's Bylaws and Rules Committee stick to your guns as you have the right to penalize those states that do not conform with the rules that the DNC has established.


    May 31, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  2. Pat

    You break the rules, you pay the price. Tell the Michigan and Florida voters that if they were really serious about having their votes count, they would have taken steps to see that their primaries were held properly. Stop whining and get over it!

    May 31, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  3. Coleman R. Brice, Asbury Park, NJ






    May 31, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  4. Sunshine

    If Obama wins......Obama 53% McCain 47%
    If Hillary wins...... Hillary 51% McCain 49%

    Hillary 27% McCain 63%

    May 31, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  5. Renee

    I am a Floridian and used to be a very loyal Democrat. I have always voted Democrat and contributed even when I was young and couldn't afford much. However, if only half of my vote is counted I will vote for only half of the slate. I will not vote for Obama , I am a woman, do not iron shirts for any man and I do cry, but I will vote for every other Democrat on the ticket. I do not appreciate the ridicule heaped on Mrs.Clinton. I take it personally and am actively campaigning against Obama.

    May 31, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  6. Ben

    Floridas Democratic political representatives to the government in Florida are total disgrace. Not only is it a reflection of laziness but ineffectiveness and thats why the Republicans have taken the lead for over 100 years. If the Republicans have done well over the years so which party is clearly far more "stupid and ineffective" and therefore most in Florida have voted in a Republican party...Today, the problem the DNC has is a result of the stupid democratic politicians of Florida.

    May 31, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  7. s.boatman warrensburg mo.

    Maybe This Commitee Has More Backbone Than I Thought!

    May 31, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  8. Willy

    Democratic Party Th eparty of the greedy liberal socialist who screws over all who vote for them.

    May 31, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  9. Cry For Our Country

    This whole thing is a train wreck for the Democrat party.

    Personally, I don't see what this issue is. Back when this whole Florida/Michigan thing started, Hillary Clinton agreed that their votes would be forfeited. As she fell behind in delegates, she changed her mind and now wants to change the rules. Even worse, she wants to change the rules in a way that benefits her completely.

    She agreed and signed on the dotted line to how things ought to be handled. She should be held to her word. Her motivations are clear. Her methods are dishonest. The RBC needs to think hard about what kind of precedent they are setting if they change the rules after everyone agreed at the outset.

    If they want to change the rules now, then the whole primary needs to be re-run with every candidate that dropped out allowed back in again.

    May 31, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  10. Christiaan, Norman, OK

    This is the best place I could think to make a post on this...But am I the only 20-something who thinks Donna Brazile is a freaking fox?!?

    May 31, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  11. California Independent

    Interesting... an Obama supporter says no full seating. This country must look like a joke to the rest of the world. I also like how the Obama supporter calls an out of order and refuses to allow a question. The Democratic Party.... democracy doesn't matter to our voters.

    May 31, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  12. ESMT, Tampa FL

    That's absolutely right. I didn't vote because it wasn't supposed to count. I don't care what Billary's supporters say. I don't accept the disenfranchisement of voters that didn't go to the booths that day. YOU CAN'T DECLARE A WINNER IN A CONTEST WHERE NO ONE COMPETED. That may be the way Clinton wants to "win" these two states, but that is as undemocratic as it is un-American.

    Let her people answer this: If it's not acceptable to disenfranchise voters in FL and MI, why is ok to do it to the dozen or so caucus states? She conveniently ignores the popular vote in these states too. Where is her morality and ethics here? I'll tell you where. It's taken a back to her ambitions where she will say and do anything to win. And the kicker's all one the public record.

    I think America is ready for a woman President, it's just not ready for her.

    May 31, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  13. Ben

    Dean also to be blamed for this fiasco that damaging the reputation of Democrats. Why dont you show openly the signed agreement of all the Presidential candidates that goes back when this election season first started. Florida Democratic Reps are a shameful lot for such an ineffective way of managing...Thats why Republicans are leading in Florida.

    May 31, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  14. JAZZ

    The DNC has spoken. The people will speak on the first Tuesday in November. The constitution gives the power to the people, ALL of the people. Democracy is just a word to the DNC hierarchy. And they expect loyalty and unity from the people who believe in democracy?Think about it and practice sayiing President McCain.

    May 31, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  15. faye, NV

    Laws are made to be follewed and not broken, Its sad that Clinton at one time was for the law and when found struggling she now wants the law to change for her.

    DNC please look at what is fair and lets unite once and for all.

    May 31, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  16. Jim

    I hope I am not the only one watching the RBC televised hearings that sees:

    1. a dysfunctional party that can't run its own internal affairs, much less a country
    2. a gaggle of people who feel more than think
    3. a perfect example of situational ethics and moral, judicial and legal relativism at its zenith
    4. rationalization run amok

    God help us if we are stupid enough to let these people run anything.

    May 31, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  17. Ian C

    Time to rally around our nominee. President Barack Obama

    OBAMA 08 & 12

    May 31, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  18. Darryl Rodman

    No one seems to be addressing the fact that Florida and Michigan were under penalty before the vote took place. As a result some of the candidates did not run a full engaging campaign in those states and the vote results reflect that. In my opinion it is an unjust balance to represent the results in those states as a correct representation of the people.

    May 31, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  19. Tom, Boston MA

    next time, nix the primary process, and


    why do we need any rule, other than every vote counts and every one votes?

    May 31, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  20. David Hronek

    Some of the testimony being given would make it appear that the Democrat's problem in Florida is a "Right wing conspiracy" to steal their right to seat delegates at the Democratic National Convention. If in fact the Republican controlled Florida legislature conspired to do this, why is it that the Republican Party has penalized its convention delegates from Florida 50%, as opposed to the Democrats 100%, for moving their primary ahead as well? Nobody on the committee has asked that question. Secondly Senator Nelson, a Hillary Clinton supporter, never answered Mr. McDonald's question about whether or not the vote to authorize the January 29th was strictly along party lines in both the Florida Senate and House or did some Democrats knowingly vote to move up the primary because the bill was more about voting machines having a paper trail? I would like to see the vote count on that bill from both houses and I would suspect the answer is yes, some did vote in favor of moving the date up. I remember clearly hearing the Democratic Party Chair of Florida argue on CNN that Florida had the right to move up their primary last fall. Is that fact forgotten on this committee as well?

    May 31, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  21. Charlotte

    Count the delegates at half but count them. I was reading the Pfleger blog and was surprised by the number of educated Obalegerwright supporters who are unaware of the Catholics leagues critisim of Hagee? These are the so called educated voters? Educated, yet not informed? Obalegerwright is a liar and very disloyal to his friends for political gain. Is there anyone he won't throw under the bus? We now have two 20 year friendships under the bus and his white grandmother. How can you know someone 20 years and not have a clue as to their thoughts on matters? You can be fooled about some things, but not the basics!

    May 31, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  22. David O

    Anyone who thought that they were going to seat her full delegate count is either illiterate, or is living in a bubble.

    The DVC cannot change its rules just to give Hillary the win....THAT WOULD BE CHEATING.

    May 31, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  23. Inks

    Rules are Rules you break them you pay. What will we be teaching our children if them (especially since many of the young generation have been following this election) if the states that violated the rules are not penalized for their infraction?

    Like children these states tested the boundaries set, to see what will happen. If they do not get punished for it, they will be uncontrollable next time and perhaps other states may even join in. The only sadness in all of this is that the voters are penalized as well.

    There are no easy solutions here, its like a drunken driver who crashes into another car, injuring people in that car as well as themself. When rules are broken innocent people are sometimes caught in the middle. It is true and unfortunate.

    Irrespective of what penalizing these states will do to the Democratic Party, the integrity of the process (meaning the rules) has to be adhered to. It is not pretty but when a child is punished for doing something wrong, it is to deter that child and all the others from repeating the same thing and ensuring that order not anarchy rules.

    May 31, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  24. CJ

    I fully agree with this woman

    May 31, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  25. Dan

    We know that Hillary dosn't play well with others, so, this mean war.

    The battle will continue until no Democrat is left standing.

    May 31, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
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