The Obama campaign just issued a press release containing a letter to the DNC Credentials Committee asking that the Democratic National Convention delegations from Florida and Michigan be seated with full, rather than half, votes. That request brings the contentious "early primary" dispute over those two states full-circle: Hillary Clinton's supporters previously had suggested that she might appeal to the same Credentials Committee to have those delegations seated in full despite the fact that those states violated party rules by holding their primaries too soon, with the intention that those votes could throw the nomination to Clinton. Obama's letter today displays the degree of finality and inevitability his nomination has garnered since Clinton conceded, and is an effort to mend fences with Michigan and Florida voters and Clinton supporters.
Tea-leaf readers may also find the timing of Obama's letter interesting given the fact that behind-the-scenes machinations over Clinton's role both at the Convention and in Obama's campaign seem to be heating up.
The text of the press release, and the DNC's initial response issued about an hour and a half later, are reproduced below.
Subject: Obama Urges Credentials Committee to Give Michigan and Florida
Convention Delegations "Full Vote"
Obama Urges Credentials Committee to Give Michigan and Florida Convention Delegations "Full Vote"
CHICAGO - Senator Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, today sent a letter to the co-chairs of the Democratic National Convention's Credentials Committee and urged them to pass a resolution granting a "full vote" to the delegations from Florida and Michigan.
The text of today's letter is pasted below:
August 3, 2008
Hon. Alexis Herman, Co-Chair
James Roosevelt, Jr., Co-Chair
Eliseo Roques-Arroyo, Co-Chair
Dear Credentials Committee Chairs:
In just a few weeks, our Party will convene in Denver for our National Convention. This will be an historic event that will showcase our vision for changing the direction of our country.
The delegates and alternates who gather on Monday, August 25 will reflect the talent, energy and rich diversity of our Democratic Party. The delegates will come from all 56 states and territories. As these delegates go about the important business of the Convention, I believe Party unity calls for the delegates from Florida and Michigan to be able to participate fully alongside the delegates from the other states and territories. Accordingly, I ask that the Credentials Committee, when it meets on August 24 to approve the delegates for the National Convention, pass a resolution that would entitle each delegate from Florida and Michigan to cast a full vote.
As a candidate for the nomination, I supported the DNC's efforts to establish and enforce a schedule for primaries and caucuses that would broaden the opportunity for Democrats from all regions of the country and all backgrounds and walks of life to have a meaningful voice. An unprecedented number of voters participated in our Democratic nominating process. We all owe a debt of gratitude to Governor Dean for his principled leadership during this long and challenging process.
As we prepare to come together in Denver, however, we must be - and will be - united in our determination to change the course of our nation. To that end, Democrats in Florida and Michigan must know that they are full partners and colleagues in our historic mission to reshape Washington and lead our country in a new direction.
With warmest personal regards,
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 3, 2008
Contact: Chicago Press Office, 312.xxx-xxxx
For Immediate Release
August 3, 2008
Contact: Karen Finney/ Stacie Paxton: 202-xxx-xxxx
DNC, DNCC Statement on Letter Received by the Convention's Credentials Committee from Senator Obama Regarding the Florida and Michigan Delegations
Washington, DC - The DNC and the DNCC released the following statement from the co-chairs of the convention's Credentials Committee, Hon. Alexis Herman, James Roosevelt Jr. and Eliseo Roques-Arroyo:
"Today we received a letter from Senator Obama requesting that the Convention's Credentials Committee grant each delegate from Florida and Michigan a full vote. We deeply appreciate and value Senator Obama's perspective on this important issue. This matter will be the top priority for the Credentials Committee when we meet on August 24th. As always our goal is to ensure a fair process and a unified Democratic Party so that we can win in November."