Committee votes to accept Michigan compromise

The DNC's Rules and Bylaws Committee came up with a deal to end a long, contentious day, and went against the positions of both Democratic campaigns.

By Alex Koppelman
June 1, 2008 3:26AM (UTC)
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Rumors of a deal struck in a back-door session proved to be true on Saturday evening when the Democratic National Committee's Rules and Bylaws Committee approved a plan to seat Michigan's delegation to the Democratic National Convention.

Under this plan, proposed by the Michigan Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton will receive 69 pledged delegates to Barack Obama's 59. Each pledged delegate, along with each superdelegate, will get half a vote at the convention. In all, counting the committee's earlier decision to seat Florida's delegation, Clinton netted the equivalent of 24 pledged delegates on Saturday.


The compromise passed by a vote of 19 to eight.

Update: Both campaigns have released statements on the decision. Clinton's campaign was first, with this one, which is attributed to committee members Harold Ickes and Tina Flournoy:

Today's results are a victory for the people of Florida who will have a voice in selecting our Party's nominee and will see its delegates seated at our party's convention. The decision by the Rules and Bylaws Committee honors the votes that were cast by the people of Florida and allocates the delegates accordingly.

We strongly object to the Committee's decision to undercut its own rules in seating Michigan's delegates without reflecting the votes of the people of Michigan.

The Committee awarded to Senator Obama not only the delegates won by Uncommitted, but four of the delegates won by Senator Clinton. This decision violates the bedrock principles of our democracy and our Party.

We reserve the right to challenge this decision before the Credentials Committee and appeal for a fair allocation of Michigan's delegates that actually reflect the votes as they were cast.

During the meeting, Ickes, a top Clinton advisor, had also held out the possibility of an appeal. A Clinton spokesman says the "reserve the right" language contained in the statement means just that, and not necessarily that they will appeal.


In the Obama camp's statement, campaign manager David Plouffe said, "We're extremely gratified that the commission agreed on a fair solution that will allow Michigan and Florida to participate in the Convention. We appreciate their efforts, and those of the party leadership of both states, to bring this resolution about."

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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