Clinton writes to Obama

Hillary Clinton asks Barack Obama to join her in finding a compromise that would end in seating delegates from Michigan and Florida.


Alex Koppelman
May 8, 2008 11:36PM (UTC)

Hillary Clinton's campaign is distributing a letter she has apparently just sent to Barack Obama. Don't get too excited: It's not that kind of letter. Instead, it's a plea for help -- and an attack -- focusing on the disputed delegates from Michigan and Florida.

In the letter, Clinton writes:

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I have consistently said that the votes cast in Florida and Michigan in January should be counted ... When efforts were untaken by leaders in those states to hold revotes to ensure that they had a voice in selecting our nominee, I supported those efforts. In Michigan, I supported a legislative effort to hold a revote that the Democratic National Committee said was in complete compliance with the party's rules. You did not support those efforts and your supporters in Michigan publically opposed them. In Florida a number of revote options were proposed. I am not aware of any that you supported. In 2000, the Republicans won an election by successfully opposing a fair counting of votes in Florida. As Democrats, we must reject any proposals that would do the same.

(The full, unedited letter can be read after the jump.)

If the delegations from Michigan and Florida were to be seated, and apportioned according to the votes there, Clinton would reportedly pick up a net gain of about 60 delegates. That would bring her closer to Obama but wouldn't put her ahead of him. (In Michigan, Obama's name was not on the ballot -- if the Clinton camp gets its way, delegates would be given to Obama based on the percentage of the vote there that went to the "uncommitted" choice that was on that ballot.)

Clinton's letter:

Dear Senator Obama,

This has been an historic and exciting campaign. Millions of new voters have been brought into the process and their enthusiasm for the Democratic Party and the principles for which you and I have fought and continue to fight is unprecedented.

One of the foremost principles of our party is that citizens be allowed to vote and that those votes be counted. That principle is not currently being applied to the nearly 2.5 million people who voted in primaries in Florida and Michigan. Whoever emerges as the Democratic nominee will be hamstrung in the general election if a fair and quick resolution is not reached that ensures that the voices of these voters are heard. Our commitment now to this goal could be the difference between winning and losing in November.

I have consistently said that the votes cast in Florida and Michigan in January should be counted. We cannot ignore the fact that the people in those states took the time to be a part of this process and to make their preferences known. When efforts were untaken by leaders in those states to hold revotes to ensure that they had a voice in selecting our nominee, I supported those efforts. In Michigan, I supported a legislative effort to hold a revote that the Democratic National Committee said was in complete compliance with the party's rules. You did not support those efforts and your supporters in Michigan publically opposed them. In Florida a number of revote options were proposed. I am not aware of any that you supported. In 2000, the Republicans won an election by successfully opposing a fair counting of votes in Florida. As Democrats, we must reject any proposals that would do the same.

Your commitment to the voters of these states must be clearly stated and your support for a fair and quick resolution must be clearly demonstrated.

I am asking you to join me in working with representatives from Florida and Michigan and the Democratic National Committee to arrive at a solution that honors the votes of the millions of people who went to the polls in Florida and Michigan. It is not enough to simply seat their representatives at the convention in Denver. The people of these great states, like the people who have voted and are to vote in other states, must have a voice in selecting our party's nominee.

Sincerely,

Hillary Rodham Clinton


Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

MORE FROM Alex Koppelman

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2008 Elections Barack Obama Hillary Rodham Clinton

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