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. KevinPenn Sr Alabama [Teamsters Local 402]

    Have a little pride and face the truth.You lost!!! Now you want to change the rules now you are on the short end of the stick.. You showed your real you in this race in 08. I can never support you ever..Goodbye....!!!

    May 24, 2008 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  2. Jane

    Sen. Clinton is absolutely right. If the DNC doesn't change the nominating system, we're going to lose a lot of democrats to the independent party. Having a small group of people pick the nominee is not democratic.

    May 24, 2008 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  3. Tara

    Wow...the bar changes like every hour for her. She said it was a delegate race and she reminded people of that constantly, then when she realized that wasn't going to happen it was oh who cares about what the voters think superdelegates need to exercise independent it's something else???!

    May 24, 2008 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  4. Abm Habibullah, Dallas, TX

    Sure there are flaws just like there are in regular November election. One man, one vote should be the basis of Presidential election. But why change now when game is already started? Because it is convenient. Why did you sign for the rule to exclude Florida and Michigan? Where are your judgement? Hillary always changes her position whenever it is convenient to do so. How can you possibly ask people to support someone who have a judgemental problem? I am a Bill Clinton fan, but Hillary is not someone I can not support.

    May 24, 2008 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  5. sqs1


    May 24, 2008 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  6. hillary needs to go


    May 24, 2008 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  7. Karen

    It's official..This woman is smoking crack. She is on the pipe and she has gone crazy. Some one get her to rehab ASAP.

    May 24, 2008 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  8. Trollmaster

    One point to think about. Since the people of MI and FL thought their vote wasn't going to count, how many of them decided not to vote?

    If Hillary cared about these voters she should have made all these points a year ago, not now when she's losing.

    If Hillary wants to change the rules for future elections, I have no problem with this sort of reform, but you can't change the rules in the 4th quarter.

    May 24, 2008 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  9. Dougy Giro

    Translation: Since I didn't win under the current system, it must be broken, so I am going to blame that system and suggest it be changed to one that would have favored me and not my opponents. Oh, and since it doesn't look like the superdelegates are going to give me a nomination I don't deserve, we should get rid of them and stick to the popular vote as long as the popular vote is tallied using my fuzzy math.

    May 24, 2008 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  10. Mike

    It seems like Senator Clinton is continuing to count electoral votes in a race against John McCain when she should have been counting delegates in a race against Senator Obama.
    This is exactly the same kind of planning that got her into the trouble that she now finds herself in.
    Additionally, to rely on the math of Karl Rove, who has been on the wrong side of predictions for the last few years is a real stretch.

    May 24, 2008 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  11. Don

    One Thing I understand about Clintons they will not fall alone, they want to drag the DNC along with them as they are falling. America is not a personal property that you can change any thing that is not in your favor, I think is time the media should stop giving her free air time.

    May 24, 2008 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  12. Kris

    Hillary is turning sour. Now if this had gone the way she wanted, she would have never even mentioned the primary need changing. 2 words. Sore Loser. come out of this peacefully HillRod. Dems need to UNITE.

    May 24, 2008 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  13. M.C.

    Amen to that!!! Then this mess the Democrats are in would never have happened! Hillary would be the nominee, and we would win in November. Instead, we will lose, if she is not the nominee. It is still possible, that sane party leaders will see the light. The people certainly have-hence the popular vote in which Hillary will soon lead.

    May 24, 2008 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  14. Gringo

    Exactly ..... somebody needs to explain how Hillary wins Texas by 100,000 votes and still comes up with less delegates in Texas than Obama.

    what a load of crap !!!!

    May 24, 2008 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  15. Thats right

    You are right Hillary !

    You go girl !

    We will be with you all the way !

    May 24, 2008 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  16. austbill

    Go Hillary!!!! Hang in there, you are a champion no matter what happens.

    Hillary Rodham Clinton
    The Most Influential Female in American Politics because she has earned this position through hard work, intelligence and determination.

    Hang in there Hillary!!!

    May 24, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  17. Ed

    Hillary Clinton seems prepared to use any spin, take any tact, do anything, say almost anything to seize the nomination. How amusing to see her now turn on the super delegates. Perhaps we will have 100's of "Judases", to group with Richardson and all the others who have stabbed her candidacy in the back. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

    Clinton's "victory" in the popular vote, her latest obfuscation, depends on counting Michigan votes for her and giving him none (since "he took his own name off the ballot") and ignoring those silly caucus votes that don't really count. Poppycock!

    The most disturbing thing is the frenzy she whips up in various groups by telling them that she has been cheated: by sexism, the mainstream media, nasty tricks by that dirty campaign of Obama, and now, their disenfranchisement by the party "bosses", colluding with that devil Obama.

    It will be plain to see, and it should be documented by the party for reference in 2012, whether she intends to sink Obama's campaign. If Hillary can't have it, she and Bill will see to it that the pretender to their throne will not have it either.

    May 24, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  18. Herman in LA

    You make me throw up...

    May 24, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  19. Michael

    Ms. Clinton, How can I say this nicely, just shut up.Your beginning to make Bush look Presidential. After 7 years of Bush whining, America has had it.

    May 24, 2008 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  20. After further review,Texas

    Yes and its time dump the electorial college as well.

    May 24, 2008 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  21. SamSunny

    Hillary believes in anything that will get her the nomination. One minute it's the voters, next it's...forget the voters, it's the Superdelegates. Wait, now it's the popular vote....but we don't count Caucus States or small states that voted for Obama. No, now it's the electorial college. Wait again, it may be by some big mishap to Obama. Now we need Michigan and Florida although a year ago she said their votes didn't matter. And the fact is, even with her excuses, most of her math is still flawed. Hillary is so tiresome, so desperate. Her tenacity has turned to tantrums, her fighting image to screeching absurdities. Please let's get this nightmare over.

    May 24, 2008 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  22. Sindu

    I just don't understand with all her arguements... I don't know whether this is stuborness or just madness.

    May 24, 2008 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  23. pragmatist

    Only when it suits our politician.

    May 24, 2008 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  24. TW

    Hillary, face the facts. You are behind. Even if you count both Florida's and Michigan's delegates, you are still behind (according to CNN's total delegate estimates). Plus, Michigan's delegates can't even be counted because Obama's name wasn't even on the ballot. Please, Hillary, come off the cloud of denial, admit you are behind, and work harder to get the votes you need.

    May 24, 2008 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  25. sjp

    just can't stop laughing at this BS, the democratic party through past experience found this to be the best method to nominate someone. now here comes hillary who said nary a bad word about any rules or regulations the dnc had set up, until she fell behind so late in the game that the only way to victory was by changing those rules and regulations. now she is trying to get everyone to bye into her lame argument. hillary quit campaigning like a sore loser, you wanted to change these issues you should have spoke up in january before the process started and further stop patronizing florida and michigan, you were first in line to sign up for accepting the dnc policy on them when you didn't think it mattered, funny how things change and you can't do anything but stomp your feet isn't it.

    May 24, 2008 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
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