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. Kevin

    Go to clear politics and you will see that she is ahead in the popular vote even if you count the coucus states.

    May 24, 2008 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  2. Obama 08

    uhhhh.... pauline, the voters did pick. They chose Obama. He has the lead in every category. The super delegates just widened his lead that he already had.

    May 24, 2008 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  3. from Russia with love

    To Billie Robberstad
    Not people of America have begun this but Clinton. Several months ago there was other situation and people could not decide for whom to vote because people liked both the candidates – Obama and Clinton.
    Clinton with her own hands has destroyed all because her ego and thirst of authority more than love, trust, belief...
    People of America have suffered and therefore they are angry.
    Clinton will be rescueed as always, people .... I am not sure if you will have McCain.

    Sorry for my English. 🙂

    May 24, 2008 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  4. Yup

    It's bad enough us citizens do not have the full say in November. At least the Republicans allow ONLY THE PEOPLE to choose their nominee, regardless of how many states play a major role. The least the Democratic Party could do is allow US PEOPLE to choose our nominee, and not leave it up to "super delegates".

    May 24, 2008 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  5. Benjamin, San Diego CA

    Along the campaign she's pulled every card, every stop, and every excuse she can find to be on top of the nomination. Just HOW can she bow out 'gracefully" now? I'm glad that throughout this campaign, her true colors have shown. Because she will not win this nomination, she will PUSH Chelsea in the future and win vicariously through her. Best of luck, Chelsea...

    May 24, 2008 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  6. Michael

    She just cannot accept that she's lost this. She started with every advantage running virtually as the incumbent. Now she wants to change all the rules. Hey maybe she'd like this change....maybe we should only count the states that she won.

    I love this "popular vote" argument though. From the person so adamant about every vote counting is so willing to throw out 14 states. Yep in order to come up with her leading the popular vote you cannot count any of the 14 caucus states. Oh and all those uncommitted votes in Michigan? Yep gotta throw those out as well, can't award those to Obama.

    Thank God there's only only about a week and half left in this contest; I'm afraid at the pace Hillary is going she is going to do irreparable damage to her political career.

    May 24, 2008 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  7. USAF Sr. Airman

    Hardcore Self Destruction.

    I'd say stop while you're ahead to Hillary, but she's already done too much damage to everyone including herself.

    May 24, 2008 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  8. Keith, Torrance California

    Furthermore, why does everyone want her to drop out...even if she loses (which she probably will)....isn't it important for everyone to get a chance to vote? Should not Puerot Rico, Montana, SD have a say? Or do they not matter? Furthermore, I always thought that Democrats were for the underdog...gays/lesbians, african americans, women, etc and have always said to fight for what you believe in? Don't give up? And now people of that party are saying..quit! get out! And worse calling, saying she is pathetic, she's mental, etc.

    Believe me..if the rolls were reversed and Obama was in her situation..1) He would be doing the same tactics as her and 2) His supporters would be calling everyone else racist.

    May 24, 2008 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  9. Leisure Master

    Give it a rest already. Talking about changing the rules during the game is just poor sportsmanship and not worthy of someone claiming to be worthy of the presidency.

    – The system was just fine when the "institutional" support was given to the well known 'Clinton' brand name at the start of this contest.

    – The DNC rules to penalize Florida & Michigan were just fine, when Hillary was leading by a large gap in the polls – at the start of the contest.

    – Hillary won't 'disenfranchise' the voters of 2 states that snubbed the DNC rules, but she doesn't mind discounting the results earned in the states that have held caucuses – So now Florida/Michigan voters are important, and Iowa voters are not.

    – We hear of wide victories in Kentucky and West Virginia, but nothing of the trouncing received in North Carolina and Oregon. Are you saying that the voters in some states are more important than others Hillary?

    To all the Clinton supporters who want to take their ball home and not play in November if Obama wins the nomination: Allowing John McCain to win in November would be the greatest disservice you could make, to the candidate you claim to support so ardently. For 8 years, the real democrats have lamented losing Florida because some decided to vote for Ralph Nadar. Clinton and Obama are almost identical in what they want to achieve, differing only in how they want to do it. For all we know, neither of their plans may be successful. We can only hope.

    Democrats '08

    May 24, 2008 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  10. elizabeth richards

    CHANGE THE RULES HE BEAT ME. COME ON BILL CHaNGE THE RULES AND LET ME WIN. what a selfish air bag. had you won you would have been flying high now BARACK should leave the nomination give you minus the black votes minus the young votes minus the independents and leave you with RUSH LIMBAUGH's Republicans who helped you in the prinaries. SICKO. HILLO and BILLO

    May 24, 2008 01:58 am at 1:58 am |
  11. Tony, Miami

    Clinton said "she win in key states like Florida" the last time I checked Obama didn't campaign in Florida. Hillary went 3 times in Florida for so call fund raising.
    When asked about her chances in South Dakota she 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.
    She seems to forget she had the institutional support and the political establishment in Pennsylvania.
    I believe she will have anyway the hard working non educated white in South Dakota.

    May 24, 2008 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  12. Jack

    Yes Hillary take them to the convention and send the Obamacrats packing. If you can't win when the ducks are stacked against you then play the cards your handed. This is a democracy not an obamacracy. GO HILLARY ALL THE WAY TO THE CONVENTION AND WIN ON THE SECOND BALLOT. The first ballot count is going to be 1660 pledged delegates to 1500 real delegates no winner.

    May 24, 2008 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  13. Kim sk

    Yes, We changed it for your husband to win in 92 and now we need to change it again for you to win. Hail Clintons..oh masters!

    May 24, 2008 02:04 am at 2:04 am |
  14. Concerned Canadian

    Now thats real " Change " needed in the country. One person one vote...none of this caucus stuff..delegates & superdelegates...stupidest election system in the world. It eliminates democracy...its a who can bribe the best contest or better known as a "Banana Republic" which is now the case.

    May 24, 2008 02:05 am at 2:05 am |
  15. james

    I think that sen Clinton needs to think about what she is saying before she says it. She wants to say she is leading in the popular vote? Well only if you count florida and michigan. But if Senator Clinton wants to count michigan then the election results are unfair. She says she wants a fair election, but Senator Obama took his name off of the michigan primary so you can not justify her win in that state as being a fair result.
    So if you do not count michigan but you do count florida, then she is not leading the popular vote. she needs to get her facts straight.

    May 24, 2008 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  16. Cameron

    I wholly agree with what she's saying, and there are superdelegates themselves wondering what legitimate role they could have, as 'party elites', in a democratic process.

    However, for Clinton to be saying it given her position in the current race sounds suspiciously like sour grapes. It also sounds like she's preparing to go to the DNC with a fight to change the rules before this process is over.

    May 24, 2008 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  17. Anastasia Beaverhausen

    I'm completely flabbergasted! This woman has lost it! I guess she has threatened the remaining uncommitted superdelegates, because they should be able to see that Hillary is crazy and does not have the best interest of the American people in mind. STOP HER!!!

    May 24, 2008 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  18. Patrick, Lake Stevens, WA

    Hillary has much more to worry about than changing the Democratic nomination process. She's got some damage control to do after inserting her foot into her mouth again. Her insensitive comments about RFK will not sit well with the Kennedy's and the American people in the wake of Edward's diagnoses of brain cancer – these poor choice of words, while they might not have been intended to offend, certainly they will be seen as cold and heartless.

    When Hillary Clinton referred Barack Obama's comments about poor people turning to God and religion to escape their problems before the Pennsylvania primaries as out of touch, Obama could certainly fire back and say Clinton's comments are indicative of how others around the world see the U.S. as cruel disingenuous people with no regard for others and their feelings.

    If Hillary thought people were pushing her out of the race before her comments, they will now be pushing her out!

    May 24, 2008 02:10 am at 2:10 am |
  19. Jon

    I had respect for Hillary until she ran all of the spiteful things against Obama which in turn ran against the Democratic Party. Hillary stands for, in principle, the exact same things as the Democratic nominee but out of spite, her supporters would rather write in Clinton or vote McCain. If you do this, you truly don't care about policies and would rather have another 4 years of Bush, which however Elitist it my sound is the wrong direction.

    May 24, 2008 02:10 am at 2:10 am |


    May 24, 2008 02:12 am at 2:12 am |
  21. Patrick, Lake Stevens, WA

    They will now be shoving her out!

    May 24, 2008 02:12 am at 2:12 am |
  22. Jeb

    I thought Americans are wise and smart, how were you able to be persuaded by Barak Hussein Obama? Just by his speeches? Have you not noticed his attitude and character? He's a fake guy, and I know that most of us have observed his character. Before, he never wear an American flag pin because of his arrogance and never listen to the national anthem because of his bad character, now he started to change his attitude because he's aking for something. There is no genuinity in his personality, he just pretend but just by this time in order to convince people that he is the right guy. Actually he's an anti white Americans please check his past who he was. When the people love apples he too, when you like to eat pepper he likes more than you. Beware of this guy, he's a big liability!! Please wake up guys. God Bless America!!!!

    May 24, 2008 02:14 am at 2:14 am |
  23. TA

    Poor girl Hillary is to desperate... She only wants to remain on the race for her own interest – NOT FOR AMERICA! Simply, to raise funds, to pay up the huge debts awaiting.

    May 24, 2008 02:14 am at 2:14 am |
  24. LI von

    This is not an issue,people are selfish and want things to be done to favoure them.The rules should be changed because somebody is behind and really need Florida.The system of Democrats is bad now because Clinton did not win,let me remind you that the same system made her husband president of the United States,it was good system then because it favoures the Clintons,now it did not favoure them,it should be changed.God save us.Li

    May 24, 2008 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  25. frank smith

    This this woman for real?

    May 24, 2008 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
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