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. Ike

    Is this promise were to be sincere, this issue is not a new one and was in existence when her husband was in office. They had the chance to do something then and make it a forefront issue in their agenda. They did not and the District still has no vote. Now because she's desperate for delegates, promises are being thrown around like candy in Halloween. Excuse my reluctancy but I'll believe it when I see it.

    February 11, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  2. Concerned Citizen


    If so why is so called 800 super-delegates determining who is the choice of Democratic Party nominee?

    What about the millions of PEOPLE (BY THE PEOPLE) voted for Obama, and Clinton?

    What about the millions of dollars donated by common people to change Washington.

    Do you really think the 800 so called super-delegates are not influenced by special interest groups (PAC)? So what about the FOR THE PEOPLE?

    If Democratic Party stands for the equality and FOR THE PEOPLE; how is it fair that super-delegates deciding a nominee?

    February 11, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  3. anthony

    Bill Clinton was president for 8 years, he easily could have pushed for voting rights in DC. We all know not to believe anything these people say at this point.

    February 11, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  4. Jerry

    One only has to look at the absolute trash the people of DC have elected as Mayor to know thet should NEVER be given any political power.

    February 11, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  5. Bernard

    Hillary will say and promise anything to get elected...poor thing.

    February 11, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  6. gerard morei

    Okay, the soap opera must finish NOW!!! Obama talks nice and have very good ideas, but he is not ready for the job right now, may be in 8 years. Mrs. Clinton is 100% ready to take our great nation back to the positive track, and she proved several times, but for lots of people is more confortable to just listing to a speech instead of do some research and see what a great job Mrs Clinton did in her entire carrera and life in general, allways trying to help people, SPECIALLY THE YOUNG PEOPLE LIKE ME.Do the right thing and vote for Hillary Clinton.

    February 11, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  7. Sharon of Illinois

    Shirley, Di and Pd – Why didn't she push for this when Bill was in office or all the time she has spent in the Senate with her "experience". Maybe now its just expedient.

    February 11, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  8. Darryl From TX

    OMG, I am impressed with the intelligence of the majority of comments that clearly see through the Clinton smoke screen. All those who accurately pointed out that the Bill and Hillary white house had 8 years to fix this problem and did not making it clear that a "string of losses" has Hillary "promising anything" to get a win is Soooo on the mark!

    February 11, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  9. Anna, SW Missouri

    The Constitution of the United States would have to be changed for this to happen. That means that all of the States would have to ratify it. This is pandering and she knows it.

    Once again, it shows how rediculous this woman is and what poor judgement she has. It is all about winning to her, at the expense of using the people of DC who would believe that she could actually do anything about changing the constitution with the wave of her hand.

    February 11, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  10. Dan

    Eight years in the White House bending the ear of your President husband and this is the first I've heard of voting rights. DC has wanted representation for years – long before your husband entered office. So, where were you... oh, that's right, working on the still unavailable universal healthcare...

    February 11, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  11. Jim

    Manuel, Obama has made driver's licenses for illegals a part of his platform for a while now. He has, on numerous occasions, explained that he believes the last thing we need is drivers leaving the scene of an accident because they're afraid they'll be deported.

    Clinton, with all the experience she totes around, has never made voting rights for DC an issue until today.

    THAT is pandering.

    February 11, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  12. Peg

    It's all political.......she wants their delegates.......most will be able to see through this ploy. Must admit, it is a pretty good one and it may get a few additional votes.

    February 11, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  13. Jean Powers

    BE PRESIDENT OF THIS GREAT COUNTRY. He is making promises he knows
    he can't keep – GO HILLARY

    February 11, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  14. Jennifer

    I called and e-mailed the democratic national party and said if Obama gets the nomination I will vote for McCain. All Hillary supporters do the same. He can't win without our votes. By the way, Obama made an insulting comment about people living in Ohio and Florida yesterday.

    February 11, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  15. Isaac, Wisconsin

    Go Hillary we are waiting for u in Wisconsin to give u the victory...We know u can make this country better.

    February 11, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  16. mark

    8 years in the white house, 8 years in a us senate =16 years in washington and it did not come about, yet your first order when president is to give washington what you couldn't do in 16 years. Well Hillary, I know you claim to have many experience, I did not know you were a magician. please update Hillary's resume.

    "I will do say anything and do anything to get elected!"

    February 11, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  17. NC Voter

    Go away Shrillary. It's too late. No bribing the voters!

    February 11, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  18. James

    Obama is a US senator too…why has he not pushed for voting rights for DC?

    To my knowledge, Obama has not promised such a stance or disclosed his stance on this issue. Hillary has had years to take action on this known issue and has not done a thing. Now she all of a sudden says, I am for voting rights. It is called pandering.

    Why did he promote drivers licenses for illegals while campaigning in CA? Wasn't that pandering to the Hispanic voters? Why didn't he promote drivers licenses for illegals when he was campaigning in SC?

    Please review Obama's website as well as his debate answers. He came out prior to the SC debate and said he was for dirver's licenses. He stated his stance was in agreement with Bill Richardson's view that unlicensed drivers are a hazard to drivers on our roads. Obama's stance is that he does not want a hit and run occurring because of unlicensed drivers.

    The difference in the two positions by the two candidates is that Obama came out with his stance a long-time before, presented his rationale for why he believes in it, and has pushed it on the senate floor to date.

    Hillary on the other hand just came out with this stance, has not pushed it as first lady or senator to date, and appears to be pandering.

    I'm sorry that so many Hillary can not see what the nation sees.

    Hillary is someone that will do anything and say anything to get elected.

    February 11, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  19. Latina for HILLARY

    I hope that PR becomes an issue to resolve. My place of birth should be better represented, and should be a STATE! Anyhow, Let's keep up the momentum of sending her money, keep spreading the word (if you have Family and friends) in Virginia, Washington DC-Spread the word for Hillary.

    Let's PRAY, let's leave it to the higher office up above, to take control, and to hear our prayers. Remember: Prayer is Power..Pray, Pray, Pray!

    February 11, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  20. Think - FL

    Yea, Hillary is really digging for support now. Things that haven't been issues for her in her time as First Lady and NY Senator are now paramount issues she'll fix in her first two weeks in office.

    It's funny how so many say that Hillary has substance and Barack is all talk. I would argue the opposite. Barack promises many things, but his are much more believable and feasible. Hillary seems to be saying anything and everything she can think of that is an issue to the group of supporters she stands in front of at that time.

    She really does think her supporters are gullible idiots, doesn't she? So, are you?

    February 11, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  21. Long-term Memory

    This is not a new thing. Candidates have always called for D.C. voting rights. And they should have the right to vote. These are not just politicians–who vote in their home states–but everyone else who keeps the district running. If Obama's momentum is so powerful, he has nothing to worry about. Right? Otherwise, it's going to look a little strange if he wins the nomination without the votes of D.C., Michigan, and Florida.

    February 11, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  22. Doug

    Why stop there! Our electoral system is so antiquated much of its designed to deal with the fact that transportation was not easy in the early years of our Democracy. Electoral Colleges, Caucauses, Delagates, Super Delagates and a lack of National Primaries.

    Lets catch up with the times here. This is a nation that was designed to be For the People, By the People and much of its antiquated design is preventing it from working that way. Between the antiquated electoral system and the 2-party pork loving members only club on the hill, no wonder nothing gets done.

    If Pro is the opposite of Con, than what, I ask is the opposite of Progress???

    February 11, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  23. Ron

    Hillary will prevail and all you nay sayers are just afraid of her because she says that change is alot of work and the word work scares the hell out of you obama suporters.His momentum comes from lazy good for nuthin losers that dont work and are looking for a fairytale life.And your the ones that are the reason our economy is hurting so bad.If you want real change you have to embrace the word work and thats exactly what Hillary stands for cause thats what change is all about.So get real and get a life and stop living of your parents.

    February 11, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  24. concerned

    Manuel, yes you got it.
    I never fell for empty words, I can tell who is genuine and who is not.
    Obama will say what he thinks people want to hear, not what he really thinks, wants to do. He just wants to be a president no matter what. It is very egoistic approach on his side. All what he promises will be gone if he will be elected -what then his followers will do?
    The change is not in words – as he does all the time. It is in acts. People= some people will always make nasty comments no matter what person they choose to not to like does.
    So, let's do not listen to them Their words do not mean anything.

    February 11, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  25. Dustin, Fargo, ND

    The quote:
    "D.C. really deserves much more attention and support from the federal government."
    is priceless.

    According to [1], 27% of the District's jobs come from the federal government. How much more "attention and support" is necessary?

    [1] Whitman, Ray D.; Siegmund, Fred. "District of Columbia Employment Projections by Industry and Occupation, 2002-2012." D.C. Department of Employment Services, Office of Labor Market Research and Information. June 1, 2005. Retrieved on August 31, 2006.

    February 11, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
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