May 24th, 2008
12:05 AM ET
7 years ago

Clinton: Democratic nomination process needs to change

Clinton has been citing Karl Rove’s analysis as a basis for her argument.
Clinton has been citing Karl Rove’s analysis as a basis for her argument.

BRANDON, South Dakota (CNN) – In the face of Barack Obama’s insurmountable lead among pledged delegates, Hillary Clinton on Friday again declared victory in the popular vote and suggested the current nominating process fails to represent the true will of American voters.

“We’re going to have to change the system by which we pick the nominees, I believe, and we are with the system we have now,” Clinton said, responding to a supporter here who lamented the role of superdelegates in selecting the party’s nominee. “And I’m a big believer in one person one vote, and I believe in as much democracy as possible.”

Clinton told the supporter that “superdelegates will play a big role” in choosing the nominee, but said she would prefer a primary-only system in which nominating contests would be bundled together.

“I think that’s an issue for debate in the future because I believe we should have primaries everywhere, and everybody, as many people as possible should be encouraged to vote,” she said. “We ought to group them so that nobody is at the tail end, so everybody has a chance to participate. But that’s all for the future.”

Despite her apparent dig against superdelegates, Clinton and her campaign have routinely argued that those party elites should be able to exercise their independent judgment in choosing a nominee, regardless of vote totals or pledged delegate counts.

Clinton also entered into a lengthy fulmination on the question of electability, arguing that she can “put together the electoral map” to defeat John McCain and citing a sampling of Karl Rove’s electoral maps and polling data, obtained by ABC News earlier this week, that showed her performing better than Obama in key states.

“Ask anybody who is supporting my opponent to please tell you how he gets to the 270 electoral votes that we must have to win,” she said. “Every independent analysis that I have seen, some of them done by no friends of Democrats as well as objective news channels, show that I defeat John McCain in key states like Florida, like Ohio, and my opponent does not. Show that I have won states totaling 300 electoral votes. My opponent has won states totaling about 217 electoral votes.”

On her chances in South Dakota, Clinton said she is “racing against the wind here” because Obama has “a lot of the institutional support, a lot of the political establishment” in the state.


Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (271 Responses)
  1. nancy

    Gimme a break, Hillary. Until you lost, the system seemed just fine to you.
    You don't need a new system; you need rehab. Get HELP, please.

    May 24, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  2. Jack

    What a sore loser. If Barack Obama were ahead in the popular vote and behind in the delegate count and making this argument, Clinton would be criticizing that "We need to honor the democratic rules and abide by the established delegate system, which has proven faithful throughout DNC history!"

    She's a self-serving viper and I'll be glad to see her go come June.

    May 24, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  3. kenny

    thank you mrs loser

    May 24, 2008 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  4. Head Shaker fro PA

    I am sure she would think the rules were fine if she were ahead. Honestly, she comes off more and more desperate everyday. I don't really like to bash Clinton, but really, how can you defend comments like this? If you can't play the game by the rules, then don't play.

    May 24, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  5. Michelle, Indiana

    After the damage you've done to the party, ya think?!?!

    Hillary, please do us all a favor and lay off your own Kool-Aid and retire to political purgatory where you belong.

    May 24, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  6. suz

    I agree with Sen. Clinton. I live in Montana, and our primary is set for June 3. Apparently my vote won't count for anything because the party–i.e. the delegates–appears already to have made its mind up. It's pretty disheartening and should be changed so that everyone's vote counts.

    May 24, 2008 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  7. Jim - Georgia

    She has been a long life democrat, the rules have never bothered her, because she is behind now she wants to change them, give me a break.

    Obama '08

    May 24, 2008 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  8. An American in Canada for David

    You, H.R. Clinton will still be in the White House come 2009-2012

    You are absolutely correct, that the whole Democratic system has to be revamped, especially the in your face caucuses..

    A vote is a very personal moment and it should be done in secrecy; not with opponents shouting in your face, that is undemocratic and very imtimidating to more delecate participants.

    And let us stay in the adult world wherein if you win a state then it is winner take all and get rid of this kindergarten mentality, of everyone gets a little percentage...

    And perhaps South Dakota will vote more overwhelming for you in their primary because they will see that you are definity the better future President.

    May 24, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  9. debbie gudith

    maybe we should get a nomination first and actually have a Democrat Party nominee before we go counting our Electoral College Votes???

    May 24, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  10. James, El Paso

    I agree with Hillary, and i'm a Barack Obama Supporter. Oh wait I agree with her because even if Barack Obama only received 30 percent of the Michigan and Florida votes (Which he almost surely would have) he would still be way ahead in the popular votes and states won. I appreciate what Hillary has done, she has exposed the democratic party as a party in need of reform, as an independant who is supporting Barack Obama his message of wanting to unify the party is strengthened by her continued refusal to accept party rules.

    May 24, 2008 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  11. Wen

    Your Question:

    Ask anybody who is supporting my opponent to please tell you how he gets to the 270 electoral votes that we must have to win.

    Answer:

    In November when the contest will be between Obama and McCain, you will see. It is going to be a different ball game. He will get the 270 electoral votes the same way he defeated you in the democratic primaries which you started out with so many superdelegates.

    Analysis:

    Hillary, you have become so shamefully desparate that you can no longer reason properly. Please, get out of the race now!!!

    May 24, 2008 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  12. JC

    If Obama uses his campaign money to pay for Hillary's debt, he will make many contributors unhappy. How can he use the money meant for his positive campaign for Hillary's negative campaign instead?

    Hillary acts like a kid kicking on the floor of a candy store, refusing to leave unless her parent buys her the candy she wants. It is not Obama's responsibility to save her face. She messed up her own face. Let her get another plastic surgery herself. If Obama wants to succeed, he has to practice disciplines and holding people responsible for what they do, starting now.

    May 24, 2008 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  13. Tony

    The problem is this: she might be correct on how she can win in the general election with the polling data she has obtained. Her problem is she didn't win with her original polling data she had against Obama. Now she will not win the nominee unless some type of Mutiny on the Bounty happens in the Democratic Party. What needs to happen if she is a team player, she needs to make it her personal business to unify the democratic party. She needs to go after those bitter women voters who claim Obama's a sexist ( over looking Bill Clinton) and the rest of her core voter's, for the Dems to win the general election.

    May 24, 2008 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  14. Hillary in her true color

    Hillarious!!!

    If this woman does not need a lot of growing, she is mentally ill.

    Every wise person in America came out to tell this woman some weeks ago, “It is over!” She refused to listen. See where she’s headed now …

    Sharpton told her to go and come back another day because this one is over, she refused to listen … See where she’s headed now …

    She has been telling us, “Politics is unpredictable.” We never knew what this woman had in mind until recently when after campaigning so hard, she opened up with the JFK remark. With all this woman has done now, who with all sincerity will ask this woman to come back another day?

    Comrades, I submit, the slogan must change from “Hillary, it is over!!!” to “Hillary, you are finished!!!”

    Hillary, you are finished!!!

    Bill, you had been finished since 1999/2000!!!

    Chelsea, I don’t know how to put your own. Chelsea, before you even nurture the idea, you are finished!!! Go home and have a life all you three. You are finished!!!

    Obama for President of the United States of America 2008/2012

    May 24, 2008 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  15. Ex Clinton supporter

    Victory in the popular vote?
    Liar! Cheater!

    May 24, 2008 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  16. atomicboxer

    "Despite her apparent dig against superdelegates, Clinton and her campaign have routinely argued that those party elites should be able to exercise their independent judgment in choosing a nominee, regardless of vote totals or pledged delegate counts"

    Incredible...

    "...because Obama has “a lot of the institutional support, a lot of the political establishment” in the state"

    Ha! Hillary Clinton is the epitome of political institution. Everyone is an institutional outsider compared to the woman.

    Unfortunately, she does the female species no justice. Worse yet, the inspirational democractic alternative – Sen. Obama – no longer seems so appealing as he engages in the same sort of propagandizing shenanigans the neo-cons of the past decade have lavished in. Then there is McCain, quickly shaping up to be Bush III.

    And remember, it's not the imminent collapse of modern civilization you should be worried about folks (brought about by an exhausted transportation system), but those terrorists who have wrought so much imaginary destruction; so make sure you vote for whichever candidate makes you FEEL safer, not which ever candidate will save civilization and the environment (which we sort of need intact to survive and all).

    May 24, 2008 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  17. Desparation

    Your Question:

    Ask anybody who is supporting my opponent to please tell you how he gets to the 270 electoral votes that we must have to win.

    Answer:

    In November when the contest will be between Obama and McCain, you will see. It is going to be a different ball game. He will get the 270 electoral votes the same way he defeated you in the democratic primaries which you started out with so many superdelegates.

    Analysis:

    Hillary, you have become so shamefully desparate that you can no longer reason properly. Please, get out of the race now!!!

    May 24, 2008 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  18. Steven Mac

    GO HILLARY! A full 97% of Obama's delegate lead comes from wins in the low turn-out caucuses that attracted only 1,086,000 voters. So, 97% of Obama's "elected" delegate lead is a result of contests that attracted less than 3.4% of all of the votes cast to date. To compare "democratically," a primary-elected delegate represents an average of 12,283 voters, while a caucus-elected delegate represents only 2,073 voters – making caucus voters 5.9 times more important than primary voters. The system needs to change, period. It's not representative.

    In my view, when you need to change government, you clean house when government is not functioning properly and the need is, therefore, to make government function better–in a new, more effective way. Perhaps Obama is that candidate. However, when your government has been destroyed along with your international reputation, and your house is burning down, the last thing you need is to clean house with a paradigm-changing candidate. We need to put out the fire and fix what has been and is being destroyed, and then go about cleaning house later. The only candidate who has the plan, the ability, and the experience to stem the damage done is Hillary.

    May 24, 2008 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  19. The Truth

    Whatever works for you Hillary!

    May 24, 2008 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  20. dd L.B,CA

    How can the rules be changed Now. Hillary agreed to the rules of the DNC as did the other candidates. Hillary did not expect to LOSE, so now that she will lose she wants to change the rules so it will help her win. It's unbelieveable. Now she is referring to Obama as the establishment, & having institutional support in S Dakota. Obama has always been the underdog, the Clinton name is the establishment, the political machine, and in spite of the Clinton name Obama is winning and will be the Nominee, because he is a once in a generation phenomenon and the next Pres of the U.S.A. Yes We Can!!

    May 24, 2008 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  21. 2012

    "one person one vote"!!! What the heck are you thinking, Hillary! Are you forgetting which party this is?
    Vote early, vote often, have ballots, have caucuses, have both in some states, throw it all in a pot and stir it up, then apply a probabilistic algorithm so we can figure out who the voters really meant to vote for since we know they're too stupid to make an intelligent and informed choice on their own, then throw in a proportionality equation..............whew! I'd go on, but it starts to get a little complicated after this.

    May 24, 2008 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  22. Ratgurl

    Sure, let's change it right in the middle of a contest.... good idea!

    Yes, it needs to change, but the proper channels should be used to do so.

    May 24, 2008 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  23. emmanuel

    what hillary cllinton is saying is inaccurate and even if a nominee should be by popular vote she does not have it. cause you can't count states when her oponent name was not on the ballot and her oponent never campaign int hose states either unfair. moreover, i have been folling the election from start and clinton was agruing on behalf of the delegates when he was in the lead and Obama was winning straight. when he beat her at super tuesday and also had 10 consecutive wins striaght after including the international primary makes 11 wins. he had more votes by far and she making the agruement aboout delegates and superdelegates at that time. now she is not cause Obama took them all and it doesn't not matter about the polls match right about now people will come around too him cause he is still new and give him that chance and you'll see. after all he is very new and is doing tremedously well against her!!

    May 24, 2008 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  24. Jack, Chapel Hill, NC

    Yeah, the new rule should be if someone with the last name Clinton runs, that person should automatically get the nomination :))

    Obama '08

    May 24, 2008 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  25. Proud American

    Maybe so but it wont be changed now in the middle of the primaries just cause you've pretty much lost. Wow... Hillary wont let any stone (dirty trick) unturned.

    May 24, 2008 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
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