Democratic Party reaches deal over Florida and Michigan

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Democratic Party of the United States has reached a deal to seat primary delegates from Florida and Michigan at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado this August. The Democrats will seat all of the pledged delegates from both of the states, but will give each delegate only a half a vote. Hillary Clinton, who won the majority of the delegates in both of these states, will receive an additional 87 votes at the convention while Barack Obama will net 63 more votes. Despite Senator Clinton's gains, Senator Obama still has 176 more pledged delegates supporting him. Partisanship surrounded the decision. Advocates for Senator Clinton pushed for the inclusion of the delegates from both Florida and Michigan without condition, while Obama's supporters advocated splitting the delegates. In the end, neither side had all of their wishes fulfilled.

The Democratic leadership attempted to use the compromise to bring the party together. Party Chairman Howard Dean opened the meeting of the Rules Committee that determined the delegate allotment by asking Democrats to look beyond the primary and towards the November general election. "This is not about Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton," said Dean, "This is about our country. This is about restoring America to its greatness, to restoring our moral authority and to healing America at home."