WASHINGTON — Now that Barack Obama has clinched the Democratic nomination for president, he wants convention delegates from Florida and Michigan to have full voting rights at the party’s national convention.
Obama sent a letter Sunday to the party’s credentials committee, asking members to reinstate the delegates’ voting rights when the committee meets at the start of the convention.
The delegates were originally stripped because the two states violated party rules by holding primaries before Feb. 5. The delegates from each state were given half-votes at a contentious party meeting in May, as part of a compromise designed to give two important states some role at the convention.
Obama’s former Democratic rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton, had won both primaries, though Obama’s name was not on the Michigan ballot and neither candidate campaigned in Florida.
“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,” Obama said in the letter.
The Illinois senator said he supported the party’s efforts to control the primary calendar.
“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,” Obama said.
Obama’s endorsement virtually guarantees the delegates will have full voting rights. Clinton, who also has supporters on the credentials committee, had lobbied to reinstate the delegates.
The three co-chairs of the credentials committee issued a statement Sunday saying the issue of Florida and Michigan would be a “top priority” at their meeting.
“As always our goal is to ensure a fair process and a unified Democratic Party so that we can win in November,” wrote Alexis Herman, James Roosevelt Jr. and Eliseo Roques-Arroyo.