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

Herman: Full reinstatement not on the table

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. Velina

    I think that's fair. If you have rules you must follow them Mrs. Clinton agree then she changed her mind after she found herself losing. She is all about herself it sad because she really needs to come together so when can win the White house in Novemeber. If it was her she would not compromise because she is very selfish. She is dividing the women, men, and this country because of her selfish ways. I would care if it was her or Obama as the nominate. The point is we will all be poor if we let McCain win. Please unite and stop the madness. Geraldnine Ferro is not helping her some please stop that crazy B........

    May 31, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  2. Phil Newton

    Ah, but Harold "Icky" disagrees. If he has his way, this will go to the Credentials Committee.

    At the convention.

    In August.

    End this. Today.

    May 31, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  3. Nevada Mom

    All of the talk and rhetoric by the Clinton camp about how the Florida and Michigan delegates should be fully seated has all been exaggeration and misleading propaganda.
    As we'll all see at the end of this meeting, Hillary Clinton's claims on those delegates have always been unfounded.
    She'll have a wake up call after this meeting.

    I do feel for her ardent supporters. They have been fooled by her campaign into believing that there was actually a legitimate argument to give her all of the delegates. And, now they will presumably feel ripped off. Their heightened emotions over this issue have been completely spurred on by a Clinton campaign who has had no concern for how abandoned these women would feel once everything was all said and done. They stirred these supporters up and got them believing there was actually some way for her to win. Well, what are their plans for talking these ladies down now that reality is unfolding in front of them? Nothing. The Clintons are happy to leave these ladies behind.

    May 31, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  4. J.V.Hodgson

    Good common sense and rules based which many bloggers have pointed out.
    One error that constantly repeats itself is that many bloggers be they Obama or Clinton supporters, fail to differentiate between separate issues for the contest for the Democratic presidential Nominee.
    1) Is the issue that delegates PD'S and SD's who will decide the ultimate nominee.
    2) Popular vote is not an issue under the rules if any candidate has majority of one in 1 above. A respected and famous ex president said that.
    3) 2 above could influence SD's which is Clintons argument and also the so called swing states she won? How she or Bill or SD's can predict based on primaries or caucuses how those full democratic electorates will vote, is beyond anyones comprehension and the polls have been so wrong in this democratic campaign.
    If you want to bend rules at all:
    a) Ban the M and Fl superdelegates only.
    b) Michigan 50/50 Uncommitted did not vote for HRC for sure.
    c) Florida as voted under DNC rules.
    d) allocate popular vote based on b&c pledged delegates.
    Cuts out legal challenges from states, and settles issues on popular vote. Will the DNC have the cajones to do that? I think not unfortunately.
    The only issue left then is do the M & Fl PD's vote 100 or 50 answer follow the DNC rules Otherwise it is all nonsense.

    May 31, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  5. Barbara-California

    Well, I am really glad that there is someone on the DNC that can "hold the line".......Hillary Clinton would break all the rules, just the get the nomination, and she does not care what legacy that would give the party.....throw her out please! She is disgusting in her behavior and has no sense of propriety, why can't she abide by the rules?

    Do you people who vote for her, really want her in the high office of President; when she won't abide/uphold rules/laws made ahead of time by others?

    May 31, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  6. Marvin

    This is not a very proud moment for America. As I watched the heart felt pleading of those asking for a full delegate seating on CNN, I felt utterly sick and dismayed. Sick and dismayed that those who knew the rules, but decided in full conscience to go upon their own might and authority. The Floridians standing out in the street holding up sign, which actually read, “I'm a rule breaker, but never mind that, I should be treated equally to those who upheld the rules.”

    Hillary Clinton’s plea that all delegates should be seated as is… and Obama shouldn't receive anything in MI because his name wasn't on the ballot. Yes, this woman is saying punish Obama for following the rules. It is beyond normal thought process how she would have the audacity to spew such a suggestion out of the rims of her mouth.

    For all those who still support this woman, you are no better than the present administration. I was in complete support of Hillary continuing her race, but now I'm sick of it and wish she would show some respect to the will of the people. This race is bigger than her and Obama.

    At this point I guess moving to Florida or Michigan wouldn't be a bad idea. One could break laws and when caught, argue to change them to benefit themselves. What great role model the adults, elected officials and all who live with in the boards of the states are to our children. Sick. Just sick.

    May 31, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  7. Ricardo Phillips of DC

    I am not stupid. America you do the math on this 30 member dnc panel. 9 uncommitted delegates, 8 committed to obama, and 13 committed to clinton for a total of 30. Sounds like destruction in the making.

    May 31, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  8. Georgia

    You are not punishing the STATES, You are punishing the People! How dare you!

    May 31, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  9. Hilmy

    How would the Clintons act if Obama had wanted to change the rules at the tail end if the Clintons were leading. If this is not racism in the USA, what would it be

    May 31, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  10. Ed

    I applaud the ruling that nothing should be done. The party needs strength and cohesion to make best use of this favorable year. The glaring question is whether the Clinton campaign will use a ruling that is less than the (ridiculous) full reinstatement of all delegates to drag this on to the credentials committee in August. The Clinton team is apparently willing to sacrifice the party at all levels to drag this fight out, and the DNC committee must be prepared with a countermove, such as convening a special credential s committee meeting as soon as possible to put an end to the Clinton strategy, which is ripping the party in two. What we will learn from the response of the Clinton campaign is the full measure of Hillary's ambition, and the full measure of the Clinton's anger at having lost what seemed to be theirs just a few months ago. At this point, it would seem that she cannot do anything except destroy the party's chances by mobilizing the anger and frustration of her base. The party should make clear that if she so chooses, she will have zero support in 2012!

    May 31, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  11. one nation under god!!!!

    hmm lets see she is black may be thats why they all wont be seated.She probably goes to obamas church.

    May 31, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  12. mer

    at this point I can no longer stand Clintons. Like she saidful delrgatesshouldn't even be the option!!! What kind of message vare we sending to other states?? When she was leadig by 100+ delegates MI and FL votes don't matter. Now that she is lossing, she's fighting for all of them to be sitted. I personally belive that since these states are huge, the MOST DNC can do is sit half delegats in each states and split these delegets fairly between the two candidates–50/50. The rules can't be bend just because THE CLINTONS are lossing.

    Democrat's all the way to the White House!!!

    And to those of you (especially) who are Clinton's supporter, I admire your dediction to you candidate, but voting for McCain if she's not the nominee is INSANE!

    May 31, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  13. Mary

    Punish the ones who broke the rules. I think every state should know that their superdelegates will lose their vote if they break the rules. Let the people's vote count and seat them representative of how they voted. It doesn't make sense to me to turn away from the voters. Punish the state's party leaders... they made the decision. Do not deny the people.

    May 31, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  14. USAF Staff Sergeant

    Don't give them a thing. They broke the rules.

    Why make rules if you are just going to go back afterward and change them?

    If you do that, why not start off with NO rules, then when everyone votes decide how to count them? That's just as ridiculous.

    May 31, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  15. Dave

    Obama follows rules. Clinton doesn't even recognize the concept of rules and what it means to follow them. Fairness isn't something that the Clintons value. They are willing to ignore anything that will prevent them from seizing power again. When she and her political allies eventfully lose I hope Obama leaves all of them out in the cold, no appointments for you idiots. I will enjoy watching Hillary and Bill kick and scream at the convention this August when they are finally told to go away. Clintons go away, far, far, away.

    May 31, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  16. Bitter Tommy Hussein in St. Louis

    Without even having seen anybody else's comments yet, I know there will be a lot of whining and crying about how evil Obama is blocking Florida and Michigan's votes, and how the cards were stacked against poor Hillary. But you should be able to see by now that this has nothing to do with Obama and everything to do with party rules. You can complain that the rules are no good, but you can't blame Obama for them. Just as Obama says, "You're entitled to your own opinion, but you're not entitled to your own facts." 🙂

    Whenever anyone complains that the system was working against Hillary from the start and that "Obama and his thugs" (whatever that means) stole the nomination, they are trying to deceive us into thinking that Obama was the establishment candidate, and had the power and influence and name-recognition of an incumbent as if he were the spouse of a former president, and had a former president campaigning for him, while Hillary was the rookie and underdog – when in fact it was quite obviously the other way around. Hillary had all these things on her side and still lost. You can't just ignore caucus states and bawl about Florida and Michigan; you have no evidence of voter fraud or people being forced to vote for Obama. Face it – the majority of Democratic Primary voters wanted Obama, women as well as men, and Hillary lost, fair and square, with rules that have been in place for decades.

    May 31, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  17. justobserve

    Yes, 50/50 is the fairest for both Clinton and Obama. Clinton can't take advantage of being a very well-known candidate who benefitted from the "no campaign rule" then demand to get all the votes as is. The primary was skewed, not a true reflection of voters' intention.

    May 31, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  18. ChicoSez

    The Obama campaign may get a favorable ruling but in doing so, they have sealed the fate of the dem party this fall. If Fla and Mich are not seated 100%, its a violation of all things that the dem party used to stand for. Its easy to leave this new dem party.

    May 31, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  19. Illinois

    While watching the broadcase of the DNC meeting, it's very clear that the people who were picked to sit inside were mostly Obama supporters. The Clinton supporter delegates inside the meeting were treated very disrespectfully, often were yelled at, and/or were dismissed entirely. Of course no one bothered to set limts on these Obama supporter delegates for their behavior.

    I was hoping that the DNC rules committee meeting members would show some backbone and make this a fair meeting, but I'm very disappointed that they have chosen not to. They've always had Obama's back and they always will, no matter what it costs the democratic party in November. This is even more reason why there will be a revolution in November, during which time the true democratic voters who have been marginalized by the democratic party will have their final say......and the DNC can do nothing about it.

    May 31, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  20. Joe Reg

    FL & MI should have not have been a
    significant issue at all now.

    No concession need to be made at all.

    everything should stand as agreed.

    May 31, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  21. obama =supporter==ARKANSAS

    they should not all be counted we have to relay to our children you live by rules, not break them

    May 31, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  22. Sam Greer

    Why not settle the Michigan and Florida dilemma in a way that perhaps comes closest to getting approval of the DNC, Hillary and Obama?
    Select 3 major pollsters - the DNC, Obama and Hillary will each select one pollster. Each pollster will design a poll to reflect a high degree of accuracy. The three separate polls will be conducted in each state. The results of the three polls will be combined and averaged . For each state, apply the respective percentages reflected in the combined poll results to the total number of registered voters and the total number of delegates in that state. Add the results to the total popular vote and to the delegate count of each candidate. (Alternatively, conduct one jointly-developed poll and apply results as indicated above.)

    May 31, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  23. Kenneth McElhaney

    while watching the cnn coverage of the Florida voters, vote being counted I noticed while Hillary Clinton`s repersentative was talking cnn broke away twice for commericals, but not once did cnn break away while Obama`s repersentative was talking. can you give me a reason for this??????....................... i am a registered voter in the state of Florida.

    May 31, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  24. s.positive

    HRC supporters, you now see how deluded you've been... Not anyones fault but yours because you bought a LIE

    May 31, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  25. Roberson in Georgia

    I applaud Alexis Herman statement on not considering a full reinstatement is not on the table. The RBC and the Democratic Party should not condone deliberate violators of the rules. Without rules their would be total anarchy.

    Florida Democrats continually blames the Republican led government within Florida for them violating the rules. They did not have to go along with the Republicans, but choose to do so anyway. I am reconciled to no more than a 50/50 split for the Florida voters sake. The violation of Democratic Party rules is another example of the people suffering from Florida Democratic Party bad government decisions.

    May 31, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
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