Democrats give Florida, Michigan half-say in blow to Clinton

June 1st, 2008 - 9:48 am ICT by admin  

Washington, June 1 (DPA) The Democratic Party of the US has voted to give Florida and Michigan a voice in the presidential nomination process after disputed January elections but with only half their normal voting power, in a significant blow to the dwindling ambitions of Hillary Clinton. In a raucous Saturday meeting interrupted many times by heckling from the crowd, the party’s rules committee, the Democratic National Committee (DNC), was unable to get unanimity on both decisions, which Clinton advisor Harold Ickes said “hijacked” the democratic process.

Ickes said the Clinton campaign reserved the right to appeal the decision, which could carry the tight nomination process into July or beyond.

The committee voted 27-0 to reinstate all of Florida’s delegates, but only with half a vote each, in a compromise that reflects the results of the state’s January vote and gives Clinton 19 delegates more than her rival Barack Obama.

For Michigan, the committee voted 19-8 for a proposal from the state Democratic Party that gives Clinton only five extra delegates, in a compromise that halves Clinton’s victory margin in the state.

The two states violated the party’s schedule for primaries and had therefore been stripped by the DNC last year of their seats at the convention in August in Denver, Colorado.

Saturday’s decision now puts the goalline for capturing the party’s nomination at 2,118 delegates to that convention. Obama now has 2,050 to Clinton’s 1,877, as the five-month-old series of state-by-state nominating contest nears an end.

Obama could potentially reach that goal when the final primaries in South Dakota and Montana are held Tuesday.

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