DNC Votes

Posted: May 31, 2008 6:38 PM
Summary: Hillary doesn't get what she wants. DNC agrees to seat all of Michigan and Florida's delegates with half a vote each. She wanted them all. In the case of Michigan, 69 delegates are allocated to Clinton, 59 to Obama. Unhappy with the decision, the Clinton campaign is threatening to take the decision to the DNC Credentials Committee, implying she will take the fight to the Democratic Convention in August. (The nuclear option.)

The total number of delegates needed to achieve the Democratic nomination for president is now higher. Instead of 2,026, as it has been, the number is now 2,118. There are three primaries left. By CNN's count Obama is 68 delegates away from getting the nomination

This was the play by play:

6:40pm:The Democratic National Committee denies Hillary Clinton the full number of delegates with full voting rights from Florida. 12 members of the 30-member committee voted in favor of granting her all the delegates, 15 voted against. The motion fails. "Denver! Denver! Denver!"protesters are yelling. "Count all the votes!"

Clinton supporter Alice Huffman, who pushed for a full Florida count, is asking them to "Please, do not do what they expect you to do," meaning don't go nuts in front of the media. "Please conduct yourselves like proper men and women and understand we must compromise," she lectures. They don't.

6:46pm: Vote to seat all Florida delegates with 1/2 vote each. (The compromise vote). 27 members vote in favor. It passes.

6:52pm: Michigan is up. The Michigan Democratic Party issues the first motion to seat all Michigan delegates with 1/2 vote each but reallocate the delegates so Clinton gets 69 and Obama gets 59.

Clinton strategist Harold Ickes looks positively beaten down. Hair is disheveled and he isn't hiding his disdain for the process. "This motion will hijack, hijack, remove four delegates one by Hillary Clinton and most importantly reflect the preferences of six hundred thousand Michigan voters," he fumes. "This body of 30 individuals has decided they are going to substitute their judgment for six hundred thousand voters...I am stunned we have the gall and the chutzpuh to subsititue our judgment for six hundred thousand voters."

Now he delivers Hillary's threat: "There has been a lot of talk about party unity. Let's all come together, wrap our arms around one another. I submit to you gentleman that hijacking four delegates not withstanding [can't keep up with the transcript here] this is not a good way to start down the path of party unity." Then he drops the bomb. He says Clinton asked him to reserve the campaign's rights to take the issue to the DNC credentials committee in July.

19 members vote in favor of the Michigan motion. 8 vote against. The Michigan motion passes. Four delegates are "hijacked" as Ickes says. The party officials are asking security to bar the doors. Protesters are going nuts.

The meeting is over.