Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

Clinton forces push Michigan, Florida delegate claims, runup to May 31 showdown.

| 13 Comments

WASHINGTON--On a Thursday conference call, Clinton campaign senior strategist Harold Ickes and top spokesman Howard Wolfson are pushing the seating of the disputed Michigan and Florida delegations at the Denver convention--the twine of a lifeline that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) has to continue in the presidential contest.

Negotiations are ongoing between the Obama and Clinton camps and DNC rules and by-laws committee chairman Alexis Herman and James Roosevelt. "Our view is," said Ickes, is for "all delegates seated." That is, in a way that can help keep Clinton's tiny pathway alive.

For those not keeping up on this...the Democratic National Committee stripped Michigan and Florida of their delegates because the states jumped their primaries ahead to January. Even though these contests were not supposed to "count," a record number of people did show up to vote. In Michigan--where Democrats moved up the primary--Obama took his name off the ballot in order to appease the official early states guarding their franchises-- New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina and Nevada. The story is different in Florida. There, the Republicans switch to an early date. In Michigan, Clinton won most of the votes; in Florida, where all the names stayed on the ballot, Clinton won. The DNC has a May 31 R & B meeting to sort this out. There is an appeal: to the creditionals committee at the Denver convention, which could trigger a floor fight.

13 Comments

NICE TRY, ONE PROBLEM THOUGH, YOU CAN'T WIN THE PROPER WAY AND
ALL THE BACKROOM DEALS WON'T CUT IT EITHER, ACCEPT DEFEAT AND
MOVE ON! HAVE SOME DIGNITY, SHOW THE AMERICAN PEOPLE YOU ARE A
GRACIOUS COMPETITOR! I THOUGHT THIS WAS ABOUT HILLARY, NOW THESE
GUYS ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS, THEY NEED TO TAKE A SEAT, AND
CROWN BARACK OBAMA AND JOIN HIS TEAM!

My hope is that the DNC will recognize the Michigan and Florida votes. As an Michigan voter , I was not ask whether or not to change the date of the primary ,I voted in good faith. Obama taking his name of the ballot was of his own doing , to appease Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. There was no pledge with the candidates for all to leave their names off. The only pledge was not to campaign in Michigan or Florida. Obama spent 1.3 million dollars in ads in Florida , which I consider a form of campaigning, a form which Obama used widely through the United States. Now he uses excuses , first not to have a re-vote and now the give out only half the delegates, anything to win the nomination. If Michigan and Florida are recognized then the number of pledge delegates needed for the nomination rises, he will be very short in numbers. By hook or crook , Obama is the one who will do anything to win , even cheat Americans out of their right to vote.

MY MESSAGE TO FLORIDA AND MICHIGAN IS NUMBER ONE, RELAX YOU WILL
BE SEATED AT THE CONVENTION, AND NUMBER TWO, IF YOU'RE GOING TO
DO ALL OF THIS MOANING, MAKE SURE YOU BOTH STEP UP IN NOVEMBER!
NO HANGING CHADS IN FLORIDA, AND MICHIGAN WITH ALL THOSE JOBS
BEING OUTSOURCED YOU BETTER VOTE FOR OBAMA IN NOVEMBER!
LET'S START ANEW AMERICA AND OBAMA IS THAT ANEW!

Michigan and Florida's primaries would count - in Cuba, maybe. In this country, elections are open to all candidates who have the right to have their names on the ballot. This did not happen in Michigan. Obama did not campaign in either state. Why did Clinton leave her name on the Michigan ballot? As a Clinton, she has right to change the rules according to her political advantage. All other democrats chose to play by DNC rules. So, the sensible solution is to divide the delegates, as the RNC did, in half; then, apportion the delegates according to the percent of the vote. In Michigan, where "uncommitted (anyone but Clinton)" had 40 percent of the vote, those delegates whould be awarded to Obama.

Obama did not cheat anyone out of their right to vote. Michigan and Florida did not follow the rules. Now Hillary is wanting to bend the rules. When will the rule breaking to suit your needs end? Is this the type of leadership we want?

In good faith, many Democrats in Florida and Michigan did not vote in the disallowed primary. They and their candidate played by the rules.

Hilary Clinton’s explanation as to why she should be nominated sound like one of those old would-you-believe jokes. She did not win this and she did not win that and does not have the popular vote (which is not even reported from some states in which thousands participated in their caucus), so change the popular vote too; change it to one that she likes. When this does not work, will Clinton change her name to Obama?

THE WAY I FIGURE IT, HILLARY CLINTON IS GOING TO PUT HER FOOT IN
HER MOUTH AGAIN, PROBABLY THIS WEEKEND AND MORE SUPER-DELEGATES
WILL COME ABOARD FOR BARACK OBAMA, HILLARY FACE FACTS YOU HAVE
LOST THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION, ALL HILLARY SUPPORTERS IT'S TIME
FOR YOU TO DO WHAT THE SUPER-DELEGATES ARE DOING AND THROW YOUR
SUPPORT FOR OBAMA!

It is interesting to listen to Hillary and her inner circle justify why Florida and Michigan Votes should count. She agreed to the rules that clearly stated that those State's votes would not count when she was thought to be the front runner in the Democratic Race. Now that she is clearly losing, she wants to change the very rules that the she agreed would apply to Florida and Michigan.

To hear on the news shows the rationalization and justification used by the Clinton Camp to now argue in favor of having those delegations seated/counted are so absurd as to be more appropriately made on forums such as the Colbert Report rather than in the mainstream media.

I think that everyone appreciates Hillary's tenacity and her unwillingness to admit that a Clinton could possibly have lost an election, but it is time for her to wake up and realize that a Clinton has indeed lost and now the time has come to end her quest for the nomination.

It's time for all Democrats to come together to absolutely insure that the Nation does not have to endure four more years of Republican Government that has brought our Country to the verge of bankruptcy on both the moral, diplomatic, and financial fronts.

Insuring that a Democrat wins the Whitehouse in the fall is much more important than whether it is Hillary or Barrack who occupies the seat. Thanks to the rules that everyone involved in the race agreed to in the beginning, it is obvious that Barrack is going to be that person. Hillary needs to understand that most Americans see through her attempts to twist the numbers and modify the rules of the game after the fact are nothing more than a continuation of the very Washington Politics that she says she wants to change. Her attempts to change the rules and modify numbers only serves to make more and more Americans lose their respect for her.

Michigan and Florida were punished by both the DNC and the RNC for moving their primaries up too early. This punishment was necessary. At the time states were moving their primaries up indiscriminately, if the RNC and DNC had not decided to act, we would have been having Iowa and New Hampshire in November or December. When Florida and Michigan were punished all other states stopped on 5 February, excepting those that were explicitly given permission to vote before those dates. That is the historical background, and all candidates agreed to this as necessary. If now the DNC seats the full set of delegates, what is to stop these or any state from moving up as far as they want in 2012 (or even 2011)?

In addition, the RNC did not have the authority to strip Florida and Michigan of all of their delegates, they could only strip them of half of their delegates, on the other hand the DNC did have the authority to strip the states of all of their delegates, and that is exactly what they did. It's strange that no one is calling for the RNC to count all of the Florida and Michigan votes, the Republicans in these states have also been disenfranchised.

It seems to me that if the DNC seated the delegates, but gave each delegate only half a vote, that would be the fairest thing to do, that way the states get punished, but also the Democrats in Florida and Michigan are not punished to any greater extent than the Republicans are, both parties are treating their delegates from these states equally, and no one can complain about that.

To Lynn Sour (Sweet) So, what problem do you have allowing the voters of ALL 50 (or as Obama seems to think (47)) states have their say. You are just like Obama your afraid if the FL and MI seat their deligates, first the magic number goes to 2211, and poor little Obama wont be able to reach that number, and second it looks like she would reach the magic popular vote, as well as the electoral votes. I'm looking forward to a floor fight, the other states will have the opportunity to change their votes and Obama is sure to lose. Sorry JP Michigan, but whether they have a revote of count the votes that we cast in January, either way Hillary won fair and square in those two states. Come on those two states only jumped the gun by seven friggin days. PHIL SMITH, The candidates were not required to take their names off in MI, Obama took his off not the anger the other states, and sorry to contridict you but Obama ran TV ads in FL, and as far as I am concerned that is campaigning. And no those uncommitted could not be awarded to Obama because at that time there were six other candidates in the running and those 40% uncommitted would have to be split between those six and Obama to be fair. But, then when has Obama ever worried about being fair? LILY, caucuses, Just to prove a point in 2000 census Wyoming reported a population 493,782, in the caucus 5,378 people were able to vote, either because the caucus was held during working times for most people or because the places where the caucuses were held did not have the capacity for more people. So don't talk about what is fair. That is why the caucuses should never be a way for states to hold their elections. Last but not least the rules that the DNC made about MI and FL was that because they held their primaries early they would be penalized half of their deligates, not all of them, for those of you that don't follow closely enough to really know what this is all about.

Ruth, you really don't seem to have a clue what you are talking about.
1) So what if the number of delegates goes to 2211, neither candidate will get there without superdelegates, and Obama leads in these and elected delegates, even with Michigan and Florida, that's just a fact, raising the number of delegates needed does not help Hillary, she's still behind by any measure, even including Florida and Michigan. The only way to give her a majority of the "popular vote" is to conveniently "forget" that 40% of the people in Michigan didn't vote for her, with these 40% Obama beats Hillary even in the popular vote.
2) There is nothing "magic" about the popular vote. One cannot reliably count the "popular vote", some states have open primaries, some have closed primaries and some have caucuses, to claim that every vote in every state is equivalent is a fantasy only the terminally desperate would consider rational.
3) If you are seriously looking forward to a floor fight, then I can only assume that you are also looking forward to McCain winning in November. Are you a Republican by any chance?
4) You are claiming that delegates that are for Obama should switch their vote in the convention, but that uncommitted Michigan delegates should not be allowed to vote how they like, but must be distributed between other condidates? Somewhat hypocritical isn't it, claiming that pledged Obama delegates should change their vote, but not allowing uncommitted delegates to vote how they like, how is that remotely democratic? Besides the rules are clear, when a candidate withdraws from the race, their pledged delegates are free to vote how they like, any uncommitted delegates in Michigan are just that, uncommitted, and will be allowed to vote for whoever they like.
5) Hillary did win in Michigan and Florida, but she also knew that those states had had their delegates stripped, she's not interested in fairness, she only started to show fake concern for these states when it became clear that she couldn't win without them. She wants to change the rules she agreed to half way through because she's losing, and she doesn't care if she tears the party apart to do it. She should be stomped on very hard for her childish tantrum, her and her supporters are embarrassing themselves with their hysteria.
6) I agree the uncommitted should not be awarded to Obama, they should be seated as uncommitted and allowed to vote how they please.
7) You are incorrect about Florida and Michigan being penalised by losing half their votes, that was the Republican party that did that, the DNC stripped them of all of their delegates. Now it looks like they will reinstate half of these delegates, a wise move.

I don't know about the rest of America, but as a registered voter, I have become very tired of this whole thing. I like Hillary a whole lot, as well as Obama. In my opinion, both states broke the rules, and now Hillary wants to bend the rules for her own political gain. Please note that if the shoe was on the other foot, Ms. Clinton would fight Obama about bending the rules. It seems like to me that the media is making this a race issue, stating that persons of color are being disenfranchised as well. Why use that excuse to have your cake and eat it to.

As I mentioned earlier, I like Hillary al lot as a respectable political figure, I always did, and in fact I was originally a Hillary supporter. However, all of this constant pushing has really turned me off and it is time for all of this to come to a constant end. In all respect, the Dems need to come together to win back the white house in November to get us out of this mess that we are in as a nation.

If the delegates are going to be seated, they still need to be penalized for breaking the rules. Everything should be split down the middle. Please remember, Obama's name was not on the Ballot in Michigan, and many individuals voted for "other" instead of Hillary.

Florida and Michigan or not Hillary cannot surpass obama. Obama has the absolute majority end of story. If this is all she's got, Its over! I too was a big time clinton supporter until this and the whole sniper debacle. She should have gracefully bowed out, seeing that is impossible for her to surpass Obama in the delegate count.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on May 22, 2008 11:11 AM.

Obama beefs up press operation with big name Washington journalist Linda Douglass was the previous entry in this blog.

Obama---who by the way lives across the street from a schul--has persistent problem with Jewish voters. is the next entry in this blog.

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