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. Tired of Hillary

    Hillary is so desperate – she changes like the wind, whatever benefits her at the moment. When are we going to be rid of seeing and hearing her crazy remarks??????

    May 24, 2008 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  2. pat

    Every little thing that Sen. Clinton says are being criticized but if Obama speaks negatively he's being praise and popularized. It's really a fact that Barak Hussein Obama will never win this election, his personality is a big question. Hillary Clinton had more supports except for cash donation which Barak Hussein Obama had collected from muslim people outside the USA.

    May 24, 2008 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  3. Kori

    Boy does it! This whole process was a total chaotic mess. Caucuses or primaries? Caucuses AND primaries? That's crazy. And why is the process so long? Two years is ridiculous. The money spent on these races is criminal. No one even starts looking at the debates until about six months before the primaries begin.

    The parties had better get it together soon, or a lot of people are going to be moving to the independent category.

    May 24, 2008 01:09 am at 1:09 am |

    I agree with Hillary. This election has been the most outrageous mess if unfairness that I have ever seen. The popular vote should be the only choice in any election now that it is the 21st century. The
    electoral college should also be banned immediately. It is all set up so that cheating is easier done. Seems to me that the popular vote is the only vote for the people. The super delegates are certainly going to vote just the way they wish which makes it unfair totally. Our government is in such a mess that we need this all cleaned up.

    May 24, 2008 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  5. K of TX

    She has lost all credibility in my eyes after the Bobby Kennedy remarks. I truly think she is obsessed with being President and will do and say anything to get elected.

    May 24, 2008 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  6. BushMustGo

    More of the "I'm so special, " Clintons changing the rules. If she supports the Republican rules and process, go join their part of exclusion.

    May 24, 2008 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  7. JT

    Totally agree with Hillary. Excluding millions of voters is a bad rule and it must be change.

    Hillary win the popular vote.

    Hillary 08!!

    May 24, 2008 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  8. Eric

    Hilary needs to shut up. She lost... if she cared so much about florida and michigan she wouldn't have agreed to discounting them in the beginning. She is so power hungry that she wants to change the whole system to work for her. She's also an elitist wanting a few people to over rule the entire election. She's an idiot . I will debate anyone over this issue.

    May 24, 2008 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  9. tigerakabj

    Hillary, are you still in the country? You have no crediblity anymore (even though you had very little to begin with). I knew you were a vile, vicious, sad, looney woman but your RFK comments just topped it. I say comments b/c you said it more than 3 times. Tired? I don't think so.

    I've known for a long time that judgment was coming out of your own mouth (i.e. Rocky), especially w/ the Goldilocks comment. Do you know what happened to Goldilocks in the story? She was run out of the Bears house, never to return.

    That is what is going to happen to you. Goodbye and good riddance to bad rubbish.

    May 24, 2008 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  10. David, Santa Rosa, CA

    Because she didn't win, the process needs to change?

    This woman is looking more and more like GWB every day. Thank you my fellow Ameicans for seeing this Clinton for what she is... less than, and without scruples. The candidate that was NOT ready on day 1.

    May 24, 2008 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  11. Loren, sacramento, Ca

    Oh please just because you have air in between your ears Mrs.Clinton don't expect us to really believe your hot air. All you want is to steal the election, you didn't mind that the caucuses were what they were until you started losing. Oh wait you agree to all the rules if you think you are winning however when you start losing i don't think it is fair because i am the only one who can win. If you are so high and mighty why are you losing this race?

    And on your lies of having the most votes why is it you are the only one in the nation that really thinks you have the most votes? Oh wait i know because you want to not count the caucuses, and you want both Florida and Michigan to count with OBOMA getting no votes or delegates in michigan. Even if we decided Florida to give you what you wanted in Florida and we did 55/45% in Michigan you still lose both the popular vote and the delegate count.

    A lie is a lie and you are all abouts lies lies and more lies. OH and i cant forget in closing. You are sick for your your comments on Kennedy death. And hoping that Oboma would die.

    May 24, 2008 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  12. Brittany

    Let's face it, no one knows who is going to win which states until November actually gets here. My friend Hillary just needs to learn how to lose like an honorable, noble, mature adult. Oh wait, I forgot that those are qualities that she does not exhibit.

    May 24, 2008 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  13. pauline


    May 24, 2008 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  14. Qet

    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 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  15. Peter, DC transplant

    First, its the voters that decide the nominee. Then its the superdelegates who have a responsibility to impose their superior judgement and experience. Now superdelegates are undemocratic and the whole system is wrong. (she's on record of saying all those things, by the way) Clinton will say anything to win, and every two months she tries to tell America that she is being slighted in some new way. Know what's unAmerican? Trying to change the rules at the end of the 4th quarter when you realize that everyone's heads are beginning to turn away. Need I remind you that she's 20 million dollars in debt? Yea, that means small-town diners in Iowa, PA, IN, NC... it means public universities 60K in the hole... and you would trust her with national economics? The democratic party HAS changed me... I'll never trust anything Clinton does, ever again.

    May 24, 2008 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  16. Patty

    Is there any downside to conducting the primary "election" of nominees by having all votes cast on the same date?

    All states voting on the same date; one person, one vote. The candidate who gets the majority of the popular vote would win the party nomination.

    Any thoughts on this, anyone?

    May 24, 2008 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  17. Kay-Arizona

    She is right. The current process leaves to many holes for political munipulation. The DNC has not does their job.

    May 24, 2008 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  18. Shut UP

    can someone please shut her up!! this lady lost her mind completely!!! i wonder if she consider hiring a killer as well..

    May 24, 2008 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  19. Matt

    Hillary has just become pathetic. Excuse, after excuse, after excuse. She played the game poorly and misread the American people. She continues to lie. She is not leading the popular vote. She is only winning when she counts the states she deems important. She disregards any state she scores poorly in, as if they don't count as democrats. She was all for the Supers and now she is against them because they aren't voting her way. She wants a system in place that would favor her heavily instead of a system that has been a place for some time. She acts as if the rules were changed by Obama to steal her election. It seems to me Obama had the foresight to do his homework and understand how the process of being elected works. HRC had her husbands experience behind her and still ignored the cacuases and all of Feb. Now she blames it on the system. She is a complete joke. Just keep spinning just as you do in NY where you promise jobs and NEVER deliver.

    May 24, 2008 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  20. Bryan

    Wow. So just weeks after she kept rambling about how superdelegates were a good thing and they shouldn't necessarily hold to the will of voters, she is suddenly extremely concerned about the voters' will?

    When will this woman stop?

    May 24, 2008 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  21. TR

    Who had the "institutional support" thus far?

    May 24, 2008 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  22. Marc in DeKalb, IL

    Say hi to the leprechauns and unicorns for me whilst you go skipping through your fantasy land, Hillary.

    May 24, 2008 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  23. RM in Albany, CA


    Just go away already!


    May 24, 2008 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  24. Ray Kooms

    Yes Hillary , you are losing so lets just change the rules ( that you agreed to ) to accommodate YOU and so that YOU can be President ! The woman is pathetic . They will probably have to drag her away from the podium kicking , biting and screaming as Obama accepts the nomination .

    May 24, 2008 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  25. Travis in CA

    Would she have any of these feeling if she was the leader and presumptive nominee? Last year she said Michigan votes did not matter, when she thought she had the nomination locked. Now, she's arguing every day that the Michigan votes need to count and that the democratic process needs to be changed. Early in the process she overplayed her hand and got overly confident and took the voters for granted and under-estimated Obama's appeal and message. Amazing, truly is, because if she was the leader and Obama was saying what she is – she'd ignore him. This is what she gets for thinking all she had to do was "show-up" and walk into the nomination, all because she's a "Clinton" and has the ego the size of a super-nova.

    I'm a 39 yr old black man and was actually going to vote for her in the beginning, but her and Bill's borderline and suggestive racist comments about Obama in the beginning turned me off (comparing his win in S.C. to Jesse Jackson, and subliminally saying to voters "you don't really want a black man for pres do you?". Shame, because she had my vote and lost it, no one to blame for all this but her self, her husband, and her admin leaders.

    May 24, 2008 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
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