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. Nelson, OSLO

    It shows that if the wasn't democracy in the U.S, Hillary Clinton would have done everything possible to over turn the results of the primaries and caucuses and also the rules.

    When she mentioned the killing of Bobby Kennedy in this process, it shows how far this woman can go. Before the process, the rules were there to all the contenders and the 2025/26 delegates needed to win and that Florida and Michigan weren't going to count, that she accepted. But since she knew she was going to win the nomination, now this woman and her band are dividing the party and diminishing the party's chances of winning in the fall.

    Her followers need to examine their consciences whether that is the experience their leader has shown them. If she cannot handle her campaign, then how could she handle the U.S and the world's problems.

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

    Obama will win or Stand on his own. Along with most of the World who supports Him. WE ARE THE ONE WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR!!!

    May 24, 2008 02:17 am at 2:17 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.
    Remember what kind of what there was a campaign had Hillary Clinton... It was full of rage, injustice, aggression, lie, even racism...
    Who loves when to be deceived? People angry because them have deceived.
    Hate comes back to Hillary. You have truly told, but were mistaken that was the first, and that the second. Hillary`s hate was the first and it has returned to her.

    Sorry for my English.

    May 24, 2008 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  4. Anoop

    God help her keep her in good state of mind.. I think she is getting desparate and might turn completely insane soon..

    When she had lead in superdelegates she was saying that superdelegates should pick her as nominee. In the beginning of the campaign when FL and MI were penalized she didn't object it. when she started trailing she started crying foul over it..

    Now she is saying that if Democrat nomination process was similar to Republic nomination process she would have won. She is also asking the process to be changed so that she can become the nominee..

    I think if by some miracle she becomes democrat nominee and in nov election she starts loosing to McBush, she might even say that US election process is wrong and she should be made the president without a election..

    Gad bless her, give her courage to accept the reality and save her the agony of becoming insane.

    May 24, 2008 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  5. Dee, NY

    Lisa, are just as delusional as the one you support

    May 24, 2008 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  6. Ben

    "I'm a big believer in one person one vote," says Hillary Clinton. "In fact, I'm leading in the popular long as voters in caucus states like Washington, Iowa, Nevada, and Maine aren't counted. It also helps that the people of Michigan who supported my opponent couldn't vote for him since he wasn't on the ballot. Good thing MY name was on the ballot. It really helps me with the popular vote. Did I mention how much I believe in democracy? Democracy's great, because you can really manipulate the data and come to whatever conclusion you want."

    May 24, 2008 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  7. bernice


    May 24, 2008 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
  8. Ndalio

    Generally i hate if someone tries to change the rule of a game cause he or she is loosing... I hate that!!

    Hillary why didn't you make all these proposals at the beginning...

    Then you had a comfortable lead over Obama. All was fine!

    There was no noise about Florida and Michigan. Today you are loosing, then DNC has to change this or that or that... what is all this. Presidents or nominees are not only found in the Clinton's clan!!

    Desperation should not make you do stupid stuffs, just give people a break!

    May 24, 2008 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
  9. Diogenes

    Wasnt the same process that elected her husband president?

    This woman has no shame. It's all about her. Since she didnt win, the rules and process that elected her husband has to be changed.

    Some people.

    "Thanks to 'Experience' we are paying $4 for a gallon of gas. We want more 'Experience, please."

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

    Billie Robberstad….
    Seems to me all the anger at the Clintons tonight is a reflection of her campaign tactics, nothing more. What needs to change is politics in America, not the people. We are told so many lies by our leaders that we get use to them. Hillary is using old school slash and burn tactics to try and win at all cost and Obamas campaign has enlightened us some what. We don’t have to accept that because her name is Clinton and she was first lady she is qualified. We don’t have to accept she has the mystical 35 years of experience just because she says she does. Remember Bush tactic number one. If you repeat the propaganda enough times people begin to believe it. Well this time we are not buying it. She is not ahead in the popular vote and she darn well knows it. Disenfranchising caucus states is a far cry from one “citizen one vote”. Time for a new approach. Time for more honesty from our leaders. Time for Obama.

    May 24, 2008 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  11. Dusacre

    To accept gracefully a defeat shows character and maturity.

    May 24, 2008 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  12. Gary in VA

    Can she make up here mind what she wants and what is important. Is it PLEDGE DELEGATES, SUPER DELEGATES, BIG STATES, POPULAR VOTES, HARD WORKING WHITE UNEDUCATED VOTERS. I am getting confused with the schizo behavior. I used to like her but I am glad I saw the many hers. OBAMA 08, 12!!!!!! Presidental and Intelligence to lead.

    May 24, 2008 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  13. Lolu

    While i think the democatic party's nomination process is a bit silly, Clinton did not have a probelm with it until she started falling behind. If she was still the inevitable nominee in waiting she was earlier in the campaign, she'd have even less of a problem with it. I do'nt understand how people do not see how self-serving she is.

    May 24, 2008 02:21 am at 2:21 am |
  14. Jeff

    Hillary Clinton is a better candidate because she states focus in the issues. While Obama keeps changing his mind showing weakness in all subjects. Hillary Clinton loves America she had worked so many years for America while Obama and his wife are antiamerican they hate America. They have not been proud of this country. So I do believe if Obama and his wife hate America they shouldn't deserved to live in the while house. The media is bias and has been giving a lot of support to Obama. Looks like the media is going to choose a Democrat candidate and not the people. Obama has been taken ideas from the other candidates and when he confronts a debate he falls because of his prejaudism and inexperience. Overall if Obama hates America and the American people he shouldn't even considered to live and white house. I feel sorry for the people who votes for Obama that they do not get the true. Obama is antiamerican and I can not believe how students are voting for him.

    May 24, 2008 02:22 am at 2:22 am |
  15. Trenton Sims, Los Angeles

    She thinks we are all Appalacian Moutain Illiterates.. and that we all will trust or believe anything she says . LOL

    Think again.

    May 24, 2008 02:22 am at 2:22 am |
  16. markus

    after hearing what she said about Bobby Kennedy...

    I'm trying to give her the benefit of the doubt, but it basically sounded like, if none of these metrics work (and they won't, since they're the wildly imaginative spin of her campaign), she's hoping "something" will happen with Barack...

    Again, I hope she doesn't really feel that way. Maybe it was campaign fatigue (although she's made the statement before). The woman has stretched the truth, but she's not THAT evil...

    is she?

    May 24, 2008 02:25 am at 2:25 am |
  17. Lee Y

    Superdelelgates need to be used during the 'weeding out' process, to help narrow down contenders from a dozen to two or three. Then start the primaries and allow all people's vote to count equally. I think this is one solution for changing the system.

    May 24, 2008 02:25 am at 2:25 am |
  18. elizabeth richards

    I am confident that by the time this thing is over Hillay would have rewritten every mathematical text bok and redesign ever mathematical formula. This will of course get her richer but the students who are learning from this all hullaboloo all the more dishonest and sick

    May 24, 2008 02:33 am at 2:33 am |
  19. Jason, San Diego

    Interesting: when she was rich with superdelegates she seemed pretty pleased with the way the process worked. Isn't this exactly like her late concern for the Michigan and Florida delegates?

    Hillary Clinton is a cheat. As soon as she's backed into a corner, she cries foul. Accept it, Ms. Clinton: you have lost the nomination because the nation's democrats don't like you enough. Bummer. Now, bow out before all your dignity is gone.

    May 24, 2008 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  20. Blinded by the Lie

    After all of these months of Hillary cushion....I must say, nobody can see through the smoke and mirrors and THREATS....I used to be a Hillary supporter...but thiese last couple of months got me off the more...have been lied to was proof of that, when you incinuate a possibility that your opposition can be in peril?...That's the happy meal short of the french fry I won't mess with

    May 24, 2008 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  21. Tim

    You have absolutely no proof that the Obamas hate America. Just spouting right wing propoganda. As I said before, because Rush L keeps repeating it does not mean that it is true. Clinton stays focussed on try to game the system right now and Obama is focussed on the issues. I feel sorry for those that keep believing the lies and rumors about the Obamas that have been spread by haters. They are trying to maintain power by keeping us the American people dumbed down and stupid. Not this time.

    May 24, 2008 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  22. New Sensation

    Here's the deal if you like hypotheticals. Let's say we give you (Hillary)90% to 10% (Barack) on all the remaining contests. And 70% of the remaining superdelegates. Guess what, you still lose, and Barack wins. Drop out now.

    May 24, 2008 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
  23. Donald from SC

    We will change the system after you get out of the race. BTW, if Senator Obama suddenly dies we knew where to go first.

    May 24, 2008 02:39 am at 2:39 am |
  24. Jill

    Hillary character is so UNpresidential. "Presidential antimatter", if you will. I think America has had enough of Presidential bad behavior to last at least another 200 years! Time for her to bow out gracefully, although I doubt that she is capable.

    May 24, 2008 02:43 am at 2:43 am |
  25. Hillary 08

    I am your supporter but i am disappointed that you want to change the system that elected your husband.

    May 24, 2008 02:46 am at 2:46 am |
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