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

Clinton: Democratic nomination process needs to change

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. julie d

    she had no problem with the primary process when it was serving her and her husband well.


    How can she claim the popular vote, or claim to care about "all the votes being counted" when she -by her own tally- wants to disenfranchise all the people who voted through caucus state votes?

    she is so full of it.

    go away Hillary. You lost. Fair and square.

    May 24, 2008 03:23 am at 3:23 am |
  2. Go Obama 08/12

    No matter what the system /rulesset are if you have a crook / liar that the minute they see they are loosing she hollars.
    She is changing all the rules to benefit her and her alone .
    lies lies lies
    brags on Republican while personal degrades other Democrat.
    Agrees to Michigan/Florida rules then wants to break the rules in her favor.
    Has her own math system to change way votes are counted.
    How many times has she repeated she was staying in race "in case something happened "even using the words we never want to hear about something happening.
    Scare tactic / or has ______________planned..............................???
    Dean take care of this situation ?
    Superdeligates step up to the plate and end this NOW
    Rules are Rules
    It isn't the rules thats the problem its securing a padded cage for the rule breaker.

    May 24, 2008 03:24 am at 3:24 am |
  3. ethan california

    has anyone noticed that the cnn map shows obama winning missouri and clinton tying in texas?? if you look at the numbers clinton and obama are actually tied in missouri by delegate count and clinton won texas by the same measure!
    i feel like cnn is biased against clinton.

    May 24, 2008 03:25 am at 3:25 am |
  4. M.G.

    This system has been used for how long? Honestly I do not know. It does seem to me that since she is losing that it is wrong(in her opinion). Why?

    Before this got nuts we had 3 very good and seemingly capable candidates. John bowed out for history in the making. So it left us 2 people in one party to show who was better a white women or a black man. The later chose to do a clean campaign and only responded to attacks from someone else of the same party. The prior chose to attack someone of the same party rather than play a fight over issues.

    They are the same on what? 90 percent of everything so why are people saying they would vote for war and a possible draft if their person isn't chosen.

    May 24, 2008 03:27 am at 3:27 am |
  5. toni

    she needs to be stopped those super delegates need to do there job and put an end to this mess. she is out of control, and she needs to get out and get help before it is to late. I hope bill is not to proud to get her the help that she needs. And I really thinl that is why she was hanging in so long waiting to see if someone would kill obama and open the slot for her because that treat was made from day 1 of this race even if it was not by her.

    May 24, 2008 03:28 am at 3:28 am |
  6. AHS--NYC

    Patti–I think you're on to something. I agree that this whole nominating process needs to change in the future (can't change it right now). It seems so absurd that these primaries happen over the span of 6 months, leaving so little time between the end of the primaries and the GE. I think the super delegates could stand to go (or be cut back) as well.

    However, Lisa from OH–

    You suggest that the Dems should adopt the Republican winner-takes-all way of appropriating delegates. Well that's even LESS democratic than what the Dems do now! Why not do away with delegates all together and just make it based off the popular vote (which Hillary is NOT leading in). Heck, why not just ditch the whole electoral college system while you're at it since it's pretty irrelevant today. Popular vote all around. Now THAT'S a democracy!

    May 24, 2008 03:32 am at 3:32 am |
  7. ash

    My God what is wrong with her...?

    I feel really bad for her, I hope she has time to reflect on what happened and her life after this is all over...

    May 24, 2008 03:32 am at 3:32 am |
  8. Siraj

    Although I am half a world away from America, I have been following up the democratic nomination process, which is more interesting then any soap opera. As the campaign progressed, the true character of Hillary has come to the fore as she convinces the world that not only is she spiteful, selfish and mean but also wicked. Just as Bush proved to be fatal attraction during the last elections if she by any chance does get nominated – she will prove to be disastrous not only to her party but to America also. To be a good leader decency is a must whether one is on the winning side or the losing side of a nomination.
    The world other then America is waiting for a peace lover like Jimmy Carter, which unfortunately in todays world has become a rare commodity.

    May 24, 2008 03:32 am at 3:32 am |
  9. Trenton Sims, Los Angeles


    This 10 Commandments thing must be changed...

    I won't be able to get into Heaven.



    May 24, 2008 03:33 am at 3:33 am |
  10. joe

    Yes, if we just listen to Barak Hussein Obma's words it's all heaven but it didn't come from his heart it just from his thick lips, he can't even remember why and how he voted against the war on Iraq. He can say lots of good words why not? but the bottom line, he had no dispostion nor originality, is this the guy are we proud to be president? Mind you guys, Barak has his own behavior, he grew up not in a christian culture, he'd been in Indonesia and Kenya so watch out it will be your deep regret someday.

    May 24, 2008 03:34 am at 3:34 am |
  11. aa

    pathetic all you people that take out of contest everything she says...sooo much hate..scary...and the next best youtube "big brother "video goes to the cool aid drinkers

    May 24, 2008 03:35 am at 3:35 am |
  12. Peter Damoah-Afari

    To be changed now or in 2012? Shame on you. I respect women, but the behaviour of Hillary and Feraro is strange and Thanks to GOD that she is loosing and that her traces cannot be found in the White House Again.

    May 24, 2008 03:39 am at 3:39 am |
  13. JARC

    Rules are rules. It's what the whole system is based on. If you evade tax for example, you have to accept the potential consequences. Clinton wants to break with the rules and is experiencing consequences.

    She, in trying to swat him out of the way, has become the catalyst that is warming people in support of Obama and his vision to move the country in a new, more positive direction.

    It is time for the superdelegates to do their job and settle this whole thing before Obama starts to lose the momentum Clinton has and continues to give him. Otherwise let's just brace ourselves for more of the same.

    May 24, 2008 03:41 am at 3:41 am |
  14. Lemuel

    After reading some of the comments here I realized that it is not that Clinton is desperate to get the nomination for president. It is just that some people are impatient that until now Obama is not yet officially nominated to run for president by the party even when it seems he is likely to get a majority of pledged delegates. Whether it is large or small we still don't know until after Michigan and Florida votes are counted. And inspite of this it is still uncertain with the superdelegates which makes it reasonable for Clinton to continue. The current circumstances actually gave us the chance to see how resilient and strong this woman is. If Obama is still campaigning for nomination it only suggest that infact he too is still uncertain if he'll get the nomination. So cool down folks it's only a week away before this gets settled once and for all.

    May 24, 2008 03:42 am at 3:42 am |
  15. Ern

    Obama is a big liar, he wants to ruin the American people so watch out guys. Who wants to bet?

    May 24, 2008 03:42 am at 3:42 am |
  16. Trish

    Barak Hussein Obama please go back to where you belong, leave the Americans do their best for their country, Americans please wake up don't be demonized by this bogus person.

    May 24, 2008 03:47 am at 3:47 am |
  17. commonsense

    By listening to these comments, it comes to me as no surprise that all the rediculous sounding ones are from people who Support Hillary Clinton. Not only that but to say that Obama hates america and is anti-american, only helps Obamas cause by showing how completely narrowmided they are. At this point any true democrat needs to realize that Barack Obama not Hillary Clinton is going to be our nominee. Regardless of how many ways she tries to manipulate the system. Get behind your party.

    Obama 2008,2012

    May 24, 2008 03:47 am at 3:47 am |
  18. samaki

    WHY SHE DIDNT SAY THAT BEFORE THE RACE STARTED??? wake up ppl there is nothing she want more than being eleted it doesnt matter how,,by any means nessessary,


    May 24, 2008 03:47 am at 3:47 am |
  19. Peter Kavanagh

    Man this is really making her look bad . You agreed to the rules ahead of time , don't be bitter because Sen. Obama ran a much better campaign .

    Obama 08 !!!

    YES WE CAN !!!

    May 24, 2008 03:48 am at 3:48 am |
  20. grace

    im from switzerland who watch CNN 24/7 ..... but ill change the station if jessica yelin give the news coz shes not fair to hillary clinton ..........

    May 24, 2008 03:52 am at 3:52 am |
  21. lou

    This woman is POISON!! she will say anything. Shame on you blind,ignorant ,racist idiots!!!!

    May 24, 2008 03:52 am at 3:52 am |
  22. Angelos from Munich

    The perfect soundtrack for this news report is Janis Joplin's "Cry baby". Grow up Hill!

    May 24, 2008 03:54 am at 3:54 am |
  23. Mike Stephens

    It's not fair, what is happening. The person who is most competent is being shoved out...why? Because the media circus centers around Barack Obama. Never mind that half the Dems didn't vote for him, or that Clinton has the majority of the popular vote. Once again, the peoples voice doesn't matter. It's no small wonder where a lot of Obama's money has gone.

    May 24, 2008 03:56 am at 3:56 am |
  24. Renee

    Why do people still want to listne to this woman

    May 24, 2008 03:57 am at 3:57 am |
  25. MI Luvs Obama!

    She simply can not under any circumstances be offered the VP spot! Can you image what she would do every time she wanted Barack to do things her way?

    Barack – pick anyone but Hillary as a running mate, she will destroy not only you but the nation.

    OBAMA 08 & 12!

    ....send Hillary to the mental hospital!

    May 24, 2008 04:07 am at 4:07 am |
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