Democrats Make Compromise, Obama Expected To Hit Magic Number

Democratic Party leaders agreed Saturday to seat Michigan and Florida delegates with half votes into this summer's convention with a compromise that left Barack Obama on the verge of the nomination but riled Hillary Rodham Clinton backers who threatened to fight to the August convention.

"Hijacking four delegates is not a good way to start down the path of party unity," said adviser Harold Ickes.

Clinton's camp maintains she was entitled to four additional Michigan delegates.

The decision by the party's Rules Committee raised slightly the total delegates Obama needs to clinch the nomination. Clinton advisers conceded privately he will likely hit the magic number after the final primaries are held Tuesday night, but said the ruling threatened to dash any hopes of a unified party.

"Mrs. Clinton has told me to reserve her right to take this to the Credentials Committee" at the convention, said Ickes, who is a member of the Rules Committee that voted Saturday.

The resolution increased the number of delegates needed to clinch the nomination to 2,118, leaving Obama just 66 delegates away from the majority needed to secure the nomination.

"Our main goal is to get this resolved so we can focus on winning Michigan and Florida," Obama said while campaigning in South Dakota. "There were compromises. ... I'm glad the DNC worked it
through and I hope we can start focusing on substance as opposed to process."

The deal was reached after committee members deliberated for nine hours, including three where they met privately and argued fiercely over their eventual deal, according to several people inside. They voted in front of a raucous hotel ballroom that frequently interrupted proceedings and reflected deep divisions within the party.

"How can you call yourselves Democrats if you don't count the vote?" one of the many hecklers in the audience yelled loudly and repeatedly before being escorted out by security. "This is not the Democratic Party!"

A senior Clinton adviser, speaking on a condition of anonymity about internal campaign decisions, said the decision could be used to help her raise campaign donations for a scaled-down campaign that might focus on a signature issue — such as health care reform — rather than a traditional fight for the nomination.

The advisers said no decisions had been made, and it was still possible that Clinton would bow out once Obama goes over the top.

Clinton and her supporters wanted the Michigan and Florida delegations fully restored, according to January primaries that she won. But those contests were not recognized by the party because they were held too early, and both candidates agreed at the time they would not count.

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  • by Cactus Location: Strabane,NC on Jun 1, 2008 at 05:27 PM
    Both Omama and Clinton are whiners, and are only trying to improve their ego. We know more about Clinton than Obama. Obama seems to be under the radar screen. He talks of "change", but so far has not explained "what change". I think we all know what Clinton will do if elected.
  • by Blog Refuter Location: NC on Jun 1, 2008 at 01:57 PM
    I agree with you, "i care", but the citizens should be mad at their state government officials because they knew the rules. The average person doesn't know all of the rules, but the state political officials do, and their bad decisions resulted in a misrepresentation of the citizens' votes. So sad...
  • by AHHH!! on Jun 1, 2008 at 04:39 AM
    Neither are great... but she sure is better than he! I am for Hillary in the primary!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • by i care Location: nc on Jun 1, 2008 at 04:13 AM
    Rules or no rules, the citizens of these 2 states did not have a say in when the primary is took place. They cared enough to go out and vote. They should be counted.
  • by Blog Refuter Location: NC on May 31, 2008 at 09:17 PM
    This is an issue because they initially agreed to not count the delegates of Florida and Michigan since they didn't follow the primary rules. Once it was recognized that Hillary wouldn't clinch the nomination so easily, there was an outcry for the delegates of Michigan and Florida to be seated. There was no outcry before. What I see is Hillary Clinton going back on her word and others compromising in order to appease Senator Clinton. Don't get me wrong, I think all votes should be counted as well, but if you set rules, I think you should attempt to go by those rules and not make unnecessary exceptions. In the end, their delegates don't have much of an effect on the nominee results anyway.
  • by Mr. Bob on May 31, 2008 at 08:16 PM
    They're both losers.

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