Clinton may take delegate fight to convention
Contrary to media reports the past week, the Democratic presidential battle may not be coming to an end just yet, even if Senator Barack Obama has pretty much sewn things up after gaining a majority of delegate votes in Tuesday's primaries.
Hillary Rodham Clinton says 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.
The DNC's rules committee will hear an appeal on May 31.
Clinton called to count every vote at a campaign event in Boca Raton, Florida on Wednesday. Obama also made his first visit to Florida in 2008.
"I believe the Democratic Party must count these votes. They should count them exactly as they were cast," Clinton told the crowd of around 700, according to the Palm Beach Post. "The people of Florida voted back in January. You did your part. You showed up in record numbers and you made informed choices. But today, months later, you still don't know if these votes will help determine our party's nominee. We still don't know if this great state will be represented at our convention in August. It is time you knew."
Clinton added, "The more than 2.3 million people who voted in Florida and Michigan exercised their fundamental American right in good faith...You didn't break a single rule and you should not be punished for matters beyond your control. I remember very well back in 2000 there were those who argued that people's votes should be discounted over technicalities. For the people of Florida who voted in the primary, the notion of discounting their votes sounds way too much the same."
The Florida paper noted that Clinton "also said not counting Florida's primary votes could hurt the party in November."
"We know the road to a Democratic White House runs right through Florida and Michigan," Clinton said. "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 vote, we know Sen. McCain and the Republicans will be more than happy to have them."
This video is from CNN.com, broadcast May 21, 2008.
(with wire reports)