Fighting On: Clinton May Take Delegate Fight to Convention

Hillary Clinton is not backing down on seating the Florida and Michigan delegates with out a fight, she says. Clinton said today that “she is willing to take her fight to seat Florida and Michigan delegates to the convention if the two states want to go that far.”

In an interview with The Associated Press, Clinton was asked whether she would support the states if they continue the fight.

The presidential candidate said Wednesday, “Yes I will. I will, because I feel very strongly about this.”

Clinton is calling for delegates from both states to be seated at the convention based on the primaries. Both states were stripped of their delegates because they voted early, violating national party rules. Clinton won both states; Barack Obama’s name wasn’t on the Michigan ballot.

As noted in a post below by JoAnne, the DNC’s rules committee will hear an appeal on May 31. Ben Smith notes on Politico today that while campaigning in Florida today, Clinton also likened the fight to seat the delegates to “epic American struggles, including those to free the slaves and win the right to vote for blacks and women.”

The current stalemate over the two states’ primary votes threatens to replicate the disputed 2000 presidential election in Florida, she warned an elderly crowd in Palm Beach County – one of the jurisdictions where Democrats allege voters were disenfranchised in 2000.

The pointed speech marked the kick-off of a last-gasp effort by Clinton to prolong her  Democratic presidential campaign by making the states count, which would cut into rival Barack Obama’s leads in popular votes and pledged delegates.

“In Florida, you learned the hard way what happens when your votes aren’t counted and the candidate with fewer votes is declared the winner,” she said. “The lesson of 2000 here in Florida is crystal clear: if any votes aren’t count, the will of the people isn’t realized and our democracy is diminished.”

Clinton, at times sounding like a modern history professor, praised the abolitionists, suffragettes and civil rights pioneers and talked about her own efforts to fight legislative redistricting and voter identification initiatives that she said dilute minority voting power.

“This work to extend the franchise to all of our citizens is a core mission of the modern Democratic party,” she said. “From signing the Voting Rights Act and fighting racial discrimination at the ballot box to lowering the voting age so those old enough to fight and die in war would have the right to choose their commander in chief, to fighting for multi-lingual ballots so you can make your voice heard no matter what language you speak.”

“There’s a reason why so many have fought so hard and sacrificed so much,” Clinton said.

It’s because they knew that to be a citizen of this country is to have the right and responsibility to help shape its future. Not just to have your voice heard but to have it count. People have fought hard because they knew their vote was at stake and so was their children’s futures.”

Those people, she said “refused to accept their assigned place as second-class citizens. Men and women who saw America not as it was, but as it could and should be, and committed themselves to extending the frontiers of our democracy. The abolitionists and all who fought to end slavery and ensure freedom came with the full right of citizenship. The tenacious women and a few brave men who gathered at the Seneca Falls convention back in 1848 to demand the right to vote.”

“Because of those who have come before, Sen. Obama and I have and so many of you have this precious right today. Because of all that has been done, we are in this historic presidential election. And I believe that both Sen. Obama and myself have an obligation as potential Democratic nominees – in fact we all have an obligation as Democrats – to carry on this legacy and ensure that in our nominating process, every voice is heard and every single vote is counted.”

She also warned of grave political costs in the November general election against presumptive Republican nominee John McCain if the Democratic National Committee does not seat the Florida and Michigan delegations.

“If we fail to do so, I worry that we will pay not only a moral cost, but a political cost as well,” she said. “We know the road to a Democratic White House runs right through Florida and Michigan. If we care about winning those states in November, we need to count your votes now. If Democrats send a message that we don’t fully value your votes, we know Sen. McCain and the Republicans will be more than happy to have them. The Republicans will make a simple and compelling argument: why should Florida and Michigan voters trust the Democratic Party to look out for you when they won’t even listen to you.”

Andrew Sullivan is actually the “shameless” one for not getting the importance of seating these delegates. Over on Real Clear Politics, Tom Bevan sees the writing on the wall: “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble.”

PaganPower at No Quarter responds to the news of Clinton’s plan to take the fight to the convention: “Goddess I Love a Fighter.” Me too

I’ll support the eventual nominee, and have frequently urged everyone here to do the same, but I’m with Hillary all the way to the convention floor, if that is the path she chooses. And God(dess) willing we will all come together after the convention and trounce McCain come November. That’s the prize… Let’s all keep our eyes on it.

A full transcript of Clinton’s remarks in Florida today is available here.

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14 Responses to Fighting On: Clinton May Take Delegate Fight to Convention

  1. JoeCitizen says:

    This woman is evil.
    A fighter, yeah, for her own ego, nothing more.

  2. JoeCitizen

    What’s evil is what you just said — not Hillary Clinton’s willingness to fight to get the delegates all seated. Get a grip.

  3. coldH2Owi says:

    She agreed with the MI/FL punishment when it suited her, now, not so much. It’s not about fighting for the nomination anymore, it’s about fighting for the Clinton’s egos. They hurt the party in the 90s, while we supported them because their accusers were much worse. They just couldn’t leave well enough alone, could they? & don’t give me that she’s the candidate crap, they have always been a team bent on power accumulation.

  4. Cold

    it really does hurt the party in November to let these delegates be seated and Hillary said that months ago, FYI. It’s the principle and she’s right about this now. We can not afford to lose MI & FL to McCain. She knows this. I see this fight as about the delegates and not about her. But maybe it is because I think everyone deep down inside is capable of the higher purpose. Even you.

  5. If Sen. Obama gets the uncommitted vote from Michigan, according to the ABC website, he’s ahead right now even in the popular vote.

    It’s inconceivable that he would have gotten zero votes in Michigan.

  6. Darrell

    It’s inconceivable not to count the uncommitted votes, the committed votes and the delegates. It doesn’t matter who the heck gets more – just count them.

  7. Mike says:

    It’s a hostage situation. She is threatening to blow up the party if she doesn’t get her way. Or maybe it’s a murder-suicide, because if she get’s the nomination through a floor fight, she’ll lose to McCain too. There just won’t be enough time to campaign.

  8. Darrell Prows says:

    It looks to me like Sen. Clinton got a straight up win in Florida and that election should stand just as is. Isn’t that just a pure no brainer?

  9. UKforDems says:

    She claims she is doing this for Florida and Michigan – not exactly her position in September

    Howard Dean – letter to all Candidates

    As leader of the Democratic Party, I strongly urge you to adhere to the 2008 delegate selection rules. The 2008 Delegate Selection Rules. … The 2008 Delegate Selection Rules adopted by the full DNC at its August 2006 meeting clearly provide that only four states – Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire,” “South Carolina – may hold their respective contests prior to February 5, ‘08. The Rules and Bylaws Committee’s finding of noncompliance included a 100 percent loss of pledged and unpledged delegates

    Clinton campaign response

    Sep 1, 2007 4:02 PM
    Clinton Campaign Statement

    The following is a statement by Clinton Campaign Manager Patti Solis Doyle.

    “We believe Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina play a unique and special role in the nominating process.

    And we believe the DNC’s rules and its calendar provide the necessary structure to respect and honor that role.

    Thus, we will be signing the pledge to adhere to the DNC approved nominating calendar.”

  10. Peace Out For Unity says:

    FOCUS ON A WIN AND GO CLINTON ! BASES LOADED AND SHE’S UP TO BAT ! Look out for the other teams curve balls and the wild pitches to confuse a solid hit ! Who’s on first and what’s on second,if you’re out don’t know compare Clinton’s agenda on the issues to Obama for a clear grand slam ! It’s not about Clinton’s ego at all and she’s fighting for intelligent changes and the people of this great United States of America with an agenda that’s important we can’t afford not to support ! Review question #1 on Voices Across America and if it’s a convention then so be it but go win !

  11. Peace Out For Unity says:

    Remember the movie with Robert Redford and that last hit ? Fireworks ! Go win !

  12. Peace Out For Unity says:

    What is going on with the DNC ? Are they trying to disrupt the principles as Americans we believe in and our democracy ? Rules may have been confused but punish millions of Americans that went to vote ? Other states have been disclosed as having policy and rules confused as well and not just Fl. and MI. May 31st is going to be critical and we need to honor the people that voted and count their votes! Don’t see any other fair solution that the majority of the American public will accept other than to count the votes ! Support the people that voted !

  13. Peace Out For Unity says:

    Go into Goddess I love a fight and read,”Count every vote rally in DC on May 31st. To clarify confusion, the 31st is on a Sunday and they have the rally listed for Sat. May 31st. Which is it ? Are we going to rally the 31st on Sunday or Sat, May 30th ?

  14. SMWms says:

    Do not seat these delegates DNC. Sure, neither candidate campaigned in Florida, but at least both candidates were on the ballot there! Honestly, Hillary Clinton’s total MI argument of “let their voices be heard” is rooted in a premise that NOBODY in entire State of Michigan would have voted for Obama, and ergo, all delegates should go to her. Hear MY voice: to assert such an absolutely dishonest and ridiculous argument is to force feed a carcinogenic mess to the American public that threatens not only her standing with the public as a Democrat and politician but as a human being. Throw that together with her proclivity to shamelessly draw parallels between her predicament, the 2000 Heist, assassinations and Jim Crow (!) and you get nothing short of a total systematic devolution from idealist pillar to shifty instrument of pure ambition.

    Florida and Michigan broke the rules, and at the time, Clinton was fine with an outcome of them losing their respective delegates, that is, until she needed those delegates. Hillary’s latter-day act of “champion for all the little people” drivel is exactly what the public is tired of in its’ politicians, blatant opportunism at the expense of anything and anyone. You instituted rules for a reason, and the two states knew their fate when they moved their primaries up. Please have the courage to stand by your decision and not be battered into some bogus “compromise” that would seriously endanger the DNC’s very legitimacy.