August 3rd, 2008
03:30 PM ET
15 years ago

Obama calls for giving 'full vote' to Michigan, Florida delegates

[cnn-photo-caption image=
caption="Sen. Barack Obama said Sunday that Michigan and Florida delegates should get a full vote."]
(CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama said Sunday that the delegates from Florida and Michigan should get a “full vote” at the Democratic convention this month.

“I believe party unity calls for the delegates from Florida and Michigan to be able to participate fully alongside the delegates from the other states and territories,” he said in a letter to the co-chairs of the Democratic National Convention’s Credentials Committee.

Obama asked the committee to pass a resolution when it meets on August 24 to give each delegate a full vote.

Florida and Michigan were stripped of their delegates as a penalty for holding their primaries too early. During the primary season, there were growing calls to seat the delegations as Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton were locked in a tight race for their party’s nomination. Obama and Clinton were about 100 delegates apart in March, and Florida and Michigan's cache of 366 delegates had the potential to shake up the race.

The battle over the states’ delegates became a key issue on the campaign trail. Clinton had long advocated for seating both states’ delegations. She won both primaries, but the Democratic candidates had agreed to not campaign in the two states and she was the only top-tier candidate on the ballot in Michigan.

Clinton’s message that “every vote should count” became a key theme in her stump speeches. She accused Obama of being "un-American" for not backing plans to hold a revote in the two states.

The Illinois senator denied claims that he was standing in the way of revotes.

"I want the Michigan delegation and the Florida delegation to be seated. And however the Democratic National Committee determines we can get that done, I'm happy to abide by those rules," he told CNN in March.

After months of wrangling over what to do, the DNC’s rules and bylaws committee voted in late May to reinstate all of Florida and Michigan's delegates, with each getting a half-vote.

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (398 Responses)
  1. Alice Gentry

    How did you people ever select this loser for your candidate, anyway?

    August 3, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  2. Stew

    Interesting that people are still angry about this. It seemed pretty clear cut to me, if you're a member of the Democratic party, you follow the DNC rules. The DNC made a bad decision to remove their delegations, but you certainly can't say for sure that both those states should go Hillary when he wasn't on the ballot in one and didn't campaign in the other. The half-vote decision was GENEROUS to her. Besides, they have basically identical policies, so where is this outrage coming from? I'm not even a Democrat, I just don't see any rational reason for the really vitriolic anger coming from a lot of these Hillary people.

    August 3, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  3. CM

    You people cherry pick arguments from the primaries to suit your agendas. If you're not voting for Obama then why act like you need reasons not to?

    I remember clearly Obama stating that there needs to be a fair and balanced decision that allowed the delegates to be seated. He left it up to the rules committee and they made the decision. Both Hillary and Obama respected the ruling. Even if they gave all to Hillary, Obama still would have won as he was ahead with everything else.

    You HRC people might also want to realize that more people voted against or not for HRC in Michigan and FL. Why did she want all the delegates from there then?

    August 3, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  4. calcamer

    LOL..............Your T-rex brains will never really get obama......go obama...good job...keep up the good work.

    August 3, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  5. Sue/PA


    Clinton, PUMA nor Hillraisers CAN'T stop ..................

    August 3, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  6. eam


    August 3, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  7. sharon

    HRC wants her name on the ballot at the convention. She wants "every vote to count" .When the delegates vote, and if they vote in Obama's favour ,will she finally bow out gracefully and admit defeat?I understand that this could backfire on Obama but I give him credit for this bold and brave attempt to unify the party . She has not released her delegates and has not withdrawn from the race,so at the moment , he is campaigning against McCain and Hillary.I expect Bill and Hillary will somehow work this to their advantage to get back in the "game". I hope Obama is watching his back.

    August 3, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  8. Kenny, Niles Illinois

    Would you Guys shut up w/ tha rev Wright Garbage? Please why can't you guys be real? Obama for president will be the best thing ever for the country; can't you guys lealize the country is like a boat with leaks and it is about to sink. I am sure you see it but you refuse to admit it .

    August 3, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  9. PWilliams

    Just as we suspected, the DNC ruling was not about punishing the states - it was about punishing Hillary and making Obama the nominee. To hell with Unity. Vote GREEN!

    August 3, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  10. Denise

    Disenfranchising voters – it's not just for Republicans, anymore.

    This is what happens when we let children pick our nominee.

    Americans love rock stars but also love to watch them fall, and there's plenty of time for that between now and November.

    McCain '08 Clinton '12

    August 3, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  11. Eric-PA

    No party unity here. PUMA

    August 3, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  12. Jim

    Unbelievable. He was against it when he and Clinton were going at it and now that he is the party nominee he wants to give them the full vote. This guy will do anything to try and get elected. I always thought that unless he DNC gave Florida full delegates they would be alienating voters and I guess Obama realizes that now. I cant believe this guy is ahead in the polss. He and his campaign are disgusting.

    August 3, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  13. Penny

    What a piece of work this sham of a man is. I couldn't have said it better myself....!

    August 3, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  14. Jesse

    Man tthis guy is bad news. WHere is Sirhan Sirhan when you need him?

    August 3, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  15. Terry

    Obama has played by the rules give him a break. This is real simple do you want 8 more years of hell under McCain? I personally think we are at a very important crossroad in America.

    August 3, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  16. Eric-PA

    The Obvious Choice,

    Get YOUR facts straight. Obama BROKE the rules when he aired ads in Florida. Why wasn't his campaign punished for that?! The states could have had a revote, but Obama blocked the vote. The DNC chairman could have forced a revote, but he didn't, for some reason. In 1996 Delaware Democrats held a party caucus earlier than the permissible date, resulting in a rule violation. But state Democrats were allowed to hold another caucus later on and were then found to be back in compliance.

    August 3, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  17. Jan Illinois

    Ill try again Moderator. How are we to believe anything this man says. We are in trouble and need help that we can believe in, I had hoped that what he promised would be what he delivered. Again its not to be. We need a hero where is she?

    August 3, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  18. Femme Fatal

    HIllary only suspended her campaign. The DNC needs to address this flip flop behavior very quickly or they're going to find themselves losing in Nov. Hillary should bust open the Convention and take back the election. This is a disgrace.

    August 3, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  19. Charlie Tree

    Obama is for CHANGE alright. And that means to change his mind on anything and everything for whatever political purposes he thinks he can get out of it!

    Obama: Change you can Count On; Principles you can Count Out!

    August 3, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  20. Danel

    Ain't see nothin' yet. People here are just parroting what other partisan reporters had written without checking the facts and blame Obama for following the DNC rules. Yes folks it is getting scary out there!! Driving on the way home had an Obama bumper sticker in the back, one guy driving his truck drove fast honking his horn and showed his "finger" at me. Showing "L" sign and a finger. I didn't pay him any mind and I suspect that this will get really ugly come November. May God help us all.

    August 3, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  21. Jay

    Too little too late! If Obama had any character he never would have rang the sexist bells during the primary and injected race into it. He can literally kiss Bill and HIll's A_S and it wouldn't matter.

    How twisted can you be in your hunger and quest for power that you must paint an ex president of your own party a racist in order to win? The thought alone sends chills up my spine. Any president should have some sense of standards when it comes to loyalty and decency....I do not believe there is any lines that Obama will not cross.

    August 3, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  22. Coastal Paradise

    Unbelievable! I watched all day that famous Saturday and will NEVER forget what happend! The DNC lost my vote that day, Obama lost my vote that day too. It's like a kid asking for 50 cents and smiling while walking away...all of sudden the kid turns around and says "ugh, can I have a dollar?"
    It is sad the amount of negative emotions this guy can bring out! I choose not to acknowledge him. There is so much good in America and we deserve better!

    August 3, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  23. virginia

    Most of us are tired of the current administration. We all want CHANGE.
    However, before you cast your vote to Obama, please reconsider it couple times.
    Take a look at his record, how many times he's voted with "yes" or "no" and how many time he hasn't voted for any act.
    A senator appears to make more right decision than a president because the sentator can avoid making decision (e.g., vote for an act) when he/she does not feel confortable. However, the president has to make a decision with "Yes" or "No".
    Obama suggests "a death penalty" to Bin Ladin which all people made almost 10 years ago. Obama further suggests 50 billions more for stimulate packet, $1000 energy rebate and goverment should invest in business to create jobs. Mr. Obama, where all these money come from? The socialism has proved that companies controlled by goverment are not effective, less competions.
    Most people want to get high pay for their jobs. It's only work when the economy is strong. However, when the economy is down and unemployment rate is high, if the goverment does not have any program to motivate the investment, all company will move to other countries. At that time, unemployment rate will jump up. I don't think many people want to stay home and get welfare or unemployment benefit from the government.
    Obama appears to be a "highsight man" or "gone with the wind" man.

    August 3, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
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