February 11th, 2008
10:20 AM ET
13 years ago

Clinton calls for DC voting rights

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/11/art.hillary0211.ap.jpg caption="Clinton said she supports D.C. voting rights."] WASHINGTON (CNN) - Voting rights are to Washington, D.C. what ethanol subsidies are to Iowa. But unlike their corn-fed compatriots, Washington's Democratic primary voters rarely encounter presidential candidates making naked appeals to their provincial concerns.

This campaign cycle is different.

With Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama neck-and-neck for the Democratic presidential nomination, every pledged delegate counts - and the nation's heavily-Democratic capital has 15 of them.

So Hillary Clinton came to a campaign event here Monday stressing her longtime pledge that D.C. residents who have long lived without a vote in Congress won't have to wait much longer if she is elected president.

Calling it an "injustice" that needs to be remedied, Clinton said one of her first orders of business as president will be to give Washingtonians a vote in Congress.

"It is wrong that we disenfranchise the people that live and work in this city," Clinton said, to hearty applause. "D.C. really deserves much more attention and support from the federal government."

Washington currently has non-voting representation in Congress - Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton can vote in committee, but does not have a say on bills that make it to the House floor.

A compromise on D.C. voting rights was reached in the House last year that would also have given an additional congressional representative to Republican-dominated Utah, but that effort was unsuccessful.

- CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (372 Responses)
  1. gnopple

    Wow. I'm for DC Voting rights in a big way. My question is whether or not this is the first time she's ever fought for this? Or even mentioned it? If she has a history fighting for it, that's one thing.

    Although she's been in Washington now for 16 years–how often did she raise her voice for DC voting rights before? This sounds like a base pander.

    February 11, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  2. Lucas, Nashville TN

    IF YOU PEOPLE THINK that she will do ANYTHING to make progress on this, you're crazy.

    To get the DC vote, they'd have to add one from Utah (R). She will fight to get the DC vote WITHOUT THAT, and she'll be in the same old Clinton stalemate for 4 years.

    Getting an extra vote and also giving the GOP one sounds like compromise... smart compromise, and that's an OBAMA platform concept – not hers.

    His compromising and unity are your only hope, DC. Don't be fooled by her smoke and mirrors.

    February 11, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  3. homey

    Once again, nothing but messages of HOPE and INSPIRATION from the Obama folks...good grief! Yes we can??? What does that mean? Can what?

    February 11, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  4. edgeways

    Good grief, all those here who are purporting to be democrats who are SO SURE their candidate is the only one pure enough that they will vote for a pro war republican if their precious choice does not make it through have got to grow up... seriously. Both Clinton and Obama have strong points and weak points. On the actual issues they are awfully darned close. If you think that writing the DNC and telling them that if your candidate does not win you will vote McCain will accomplish anything other then it being filed in the circular bin you are deluded. If you are blind enough to vote for a greater of two evils in a general election because you want to punish a politician for playing by the rules that politicians play by then you are simplistic and probably should go back to drinking yourself into a stupor.

    At this point anything you say about someone's ability to lead is just speculation, saying "Obama is too inexperienced" is really "I think Obama is too inexperienced", which is fine for you to think, but to phrase in absolutes is childish. Clinton is a worthy choice, Obama is a worthy choice. Now take off the bibs and sit with the grownups, act nice and think about what you want o say.

    February 11, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    it appears that the Clinton campaign has promised us so much and anything will be said regarding your vote on Tuesday. the District of Columbia has not been able to have a vote in Congress in all these years what makes hesr think that the Congress will agree now. What is She going to do something to them if they disagree or do I have the wrong idea about people and there emotions.

    February 11, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  6. Eva

    To all who criticize Hillary...let's not lose sight of the fact that as first lady she was powerless and reduces to hosting parties. She carved a niche for herself in women's issues and traveled the globe, otherwise, she had no power. Also, let's not forget that McCain, Obama, Edwards, etc, have all been in a position to request change on behave of DC citizens, and they did not either. Put it all in the right context and perspective, otherwise you are only kidding yourselves. Most of us have voted and know who we support so you're not influencing us. Your comments merely reflect your ignorance.

    February 11, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  7. Chance

    Obama is an AIPAC pawn, and for the sake of this nations foreign policy I hope Hillary wins. People like James on this forum don’t seem to do any real research. The US dollar is continually falling, and government spending is increasing to fight wars that in no way are for the benefit for this country. Obama has already spoken about preemptive strikes on Pakistan and Iran. Why?? Because he is a Zionist!

    February 11, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  8. obama 08

    This is exactly the type of pandering, manipulative politicking that needs to end: Hillary did exactly the same thing just before the Florida vote: came out as the advocate for for the Florida voters just before the vote even though the rules had been established months before....making the other candidates look bad because THEY PLAYED BY THE RULES THAT SHE AGREED TO....in doing so she DID CAMPAIGN including the rally after the vote....

    A president needs to play by the rules, be honest and forthright...which
    is Obama

    February 11, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  9. stan pitts pa

    why is HRC not releasing her tax records until after the election when its safe? whats she got to hide? where did she get the 5 million to loan her campaign? why did she fire her latino campaign manager and hire an african-american one? to try to court black votes? she cant be trusted!

    February 11, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  10. Randy - Denver

    Kitty i defy you to tell me what additional experiance that Ms. Clinton has over Mr. obama, he has more legislative experiance (counting Illinois time) and has spent his life working for the underprivledged (see his work in Chicago) she has less legislative time, has worked for major law firms and been the wife of a govenor and president.. now while that may give her some insigth into how things weere done during her husbands administration I think we could all agree the world today is not the same as it was in the 1990s and therefore doe not give her any more insight into how to govern today. If you believe that Mr. Obama is only preaching hope I would ask you to look and read what his platform is (it is on his website) and than ask you what you think a president can really do. They do not write laws, they do not decide when and with whom we go to war, they do not decide who will be on the Supreme court. ythe only thing they do is act as commander in chief of the armed forces during war time and they speak from the bully pulpit, they set the tone and try to give direction. now ask yourself, honestly, who is better at setting a hopeful tone, getting people involved, setting a direction we can approve of, and getting us out of an ill-planned (and I owuld say illegal except it was supported by Congress) war? me I see Mr. Obama there, you might see someone else. As for voting rights for DC How does Ms. Clinton think she can do this? It would require a Constitutional change and that must be ratified by the states, she can suggest it but cannot promise it. Also why is she only saying this for DC and not the other territories (yes we have others spread around the world folks Guam leaps to mind)? that is why it is called pandering. You are right Hope does not pay the bills but what are we without hope? hope is what drives us to work to pay the bills.

    February 11, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  11. Janice W

    If Hillary lost this election with her impressive experience and strong supports from her voters and establishments, I am afraid we probably would not see awoman president in the near future. A lot of countries have woman leaders and US is still behind in this area. We need to support woman and elect Hillary!!

    February 11, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  12. Dan

    It is amazing yes DC folks should get a vote but weren't the Clinton's in the white house and this never came up...

    Once again Hillary at her best promising everything just to get nominated...

    February 11, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  13. Brenda

    If it's pandering (and I don't think it is), then it's pandering on both sides. Obama made the exact same promise a day or two ago. This is nothing new–Democrats ALWAYS root for DC state rights, and it was a major part of Bill Clinton's campaign. (Stopped because of the Republicans in legislature.)
    Besides trying to win tomorrow, there are other strategic reasons that Democrats would promote this issue:-given that the population in DC swings to the left, their statehood would likely provide Democrats with an additional voting rep in congress.

    What bothers me is that this constitutes a special announcement. And why, for that matter, is it news when Hillary promotes it, but not when Barack does?

    I am a fan of Obama's but I find some of the comments by those supporting him here a bit ridiculous. Cut Hillary some slack–both candidates pander from time to time, and Obama is certainly not infallible. Pretending he is helps no one.

    February 11, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  14. LNF Chicago

    James said : "Ok, how long was HIllary first lady and a senator? Not once did she raise this issue. Now that she is down in the polls, she starts to promise this resolution. What's next giving away the kitchen sink?"

    so true.

    February 11, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  15. Tim in Arkansas

    Washington D.C. (The District of Columbia) was created so that NO STATE was home to the Federal Government. It was created as Neutral Ground for our government to conduct business on!!! The small district should remain NEUTRAL GROUND, and not hold any part in Government matters.

    Hillary is just playing the game to get as many votes as she can. She'll say anything to get elected. Just as Bill said he didn't sleep with that woman, but we all know he did. He didn't inhale either lol.

    February 11, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  16. Phi

    Its hard to belive, obama got this far with no experience — just 2004 he got elected Senate and also Delivered keynote address- Nothing else ….he can inspire but dont you think we need more than this

    Obam's whole campaign is based on nothing but hype and fluff..


    February 11, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  17. MWD

    Let's see, what's on Obama's to do list if he becomes president? Hope, unite, change, hope, unite, change. Hmmmm what about healthcare and the economy? Hope, unite, change. Hope, unite, change. Get the picture?

    February 11, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  18. Daniel Stevens

    Well these boards are simply no longer a discussion, they have really just disintegrated into name calling and party damaging flame throwing. Obama is not a paper suit and Hillary is not evil. There are differences, both will be good presidents, I think that Obama is the better candidate on issues, policy, and ability to win and grow the party. That's why I'm FOR Obama not against Hillary.

    February 11, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  19. obama 08

    It's revealing to read all the comments about how Hillary has worked so hard on so many issues and yet has not been able to get much done. That seems to be a reason for not supporting her: she can't get people together because she is so divisive; her comments re caucuses and voters in them demonstrate this!!

    February 11, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  20. Jacqueline Samms

    The Clintons....Win at all cost!

    February 11, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  21. Pete

    They had a guy from Maryland on the news this AM,he said it is fine to dream and look ahead to the future,but when you get right down to it ,you have to have experience in the way the system works. The republicans will chew up Obama and spit him out,especially if he's running against a war vet like John Mcain. Yeh you can look at the polls now in February,Clinton is even with Mcain and Obama a slight lead,but that will change when everyone gets to vote,not just the blacks for Obama. You mark my words,Obama will lose in November!!!

    February 11, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  22. Anna, IL

    I can't believe you (CNN) just took out the most recent Political Ticker regarding Hillary's comment on Caucus voters being activists and African-American voters in Louisiana.

    Feeling the heat from the Clinton camp? Shame on you CNN.

    February 11, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15