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US Politics

Clinton’s sudden about turn from 2000 on Electoral College

As reported by The New York Times of the day this is what she said about the Electoral College in 2000.


The New York Times

In Upstate Victory Tour, Mrs. Clinton Says Electoral College Should Go

Published: November 11, 2000


Senator-elect Hillary Rodham Clinton, who arrived here this morning from the White House for a victory tour of upstate New York, called for the abolition of the Electoral College. She pledged to be a co-sponsor of legislation that would provide for the direct election of the president and vice president.Mrs. Clinton visited six cities upstate to thank supporters and to emphasize, if only symbolically, her plans to make the region’s economic turnaround a cornerstone of her tenure in the Senate. But by weighing in immediately and forcefully on one of the country’s most contentious issues, she also signaled that she does not intend to shrink from the prominent national role she has played in the past eight years as first lady.

”I have thought about this for a long time,” Mrs. Clinton said at a rally in an airport hangar in Syracuse. ”I’ve always thought we had outlived the need for an Electoral College, and now that I am going to the Senate, I am going to try to do what I can to make clear that the popular vote, the will of the people, should be followed.”

Earlier, in a stop at the airport here in the state capital, Mrs. Clinton appeared with Representative Michael R. McNulty, who is a sponsor of a joint resolution in the House that calls for a constitutional amendment to eliminate the Electoral College. Mr. McNulty, a Democrat who represents the Albany and Schenectady regions, said that when he spoke with Mrs. Clinton before the rally, she pledged to push for passage of the resolution in the Senate.

When Mrs. Clinton was asked about the Electoral College after her speech in Albany, she pointed to Mr. McNulty and said he was ”ahead of the curve” on the problems with that system. She said she wanted ”to be on the side of the democratic process working,” and so would support the effort to establish direct presidential elections.

”We are a very different country than we were 200 years ago,” Mrs. Clinton said. ”We have mass communications, we have mobility through transportation means to knit our country together that was not conceived of at the time of the founders’ proposals about how we elect our presidents. I believe strongly that in a democracy we should respect the will of the people.”

Her staff said the theme of Mrs. Clinton’s tour was twofold: to let campaign workers and volunteers upstate know how much she appreciated their work and to set a cooperative tone, across party lines, for working on upstate issues in her new job.

By most measures, she succeeded on the first matter, thanking people by first names, hugging her campaign chief in Onondaga County, Cathy Calhoun, and using almost every compliment imaginable to describe the work of her volunteers from Watertown to Ithaca.

In Buffalo, she hooted in glee when, working the rope line, she came across Chito Olivencia, president of Nosotros, a Latino group in Buffalo that had endorsed her. In Ithaca, Democratic Party officials uncorked two dozen bottles of champagne in a white hangar, otherwise reeking of jet fuel, to toast her victory.

”She is our hope in upstate New York,” said Kathy Sehnert, one of about 150 volunteers and other supporters who waited two hours for Mrs. Clinton at the Syracuse airport. ”She made that promise, and we believe her.”

Mrs. Clinton also talked about bipartisanship, even ”nonpartisanship” in Albany, in taking on the many problems in upstate New York, most of them economic. ”I had a very cordial conversation with the governor,” she said. ”We are going to be getting together and sit down to look at ways that we can work on moving forward on an agenda that benefits New York.”

In Buffalo, she said her door would be open to everybody who was willing to help bring jobs and economic prosperity to the area, regardless of politics. ”I intend to work in a bipartisan way,” she said in an open-air hangar.

But by speaking publicly on a divisive aspect of the contested presidential election, Mrs. Clinton, who will remain first lady for more than two months, placed herself at the center of a political maelstrom that has bitterly divided Democrats and Republicans. Her remarks are likely to draw ire from her critics, especially those who believe that the White House should remain above the partisan fray on such an important constitutional issue.

End of page one.

Continue direct to Page 2 in The New York Times article

PS. I found this post on the Obama thread a few hours ago. It was posted by Judith of Auburn CA. Intrigued I just had to follow through and this article is the result. Congratulations Judith.   JH.


Electoral College 

By judyb Yesterday at 10:48 pm EDT

My husband and I are watching “Recount” on HBO. At the beginning of the program, Kevin Spacey held up a New York Times Newspaper that had “Hillary Clinton” on the headlines, besides Al Gore and George Bush, on the date that the votes in Florida went under protest.

So, I was curious as to why Hillary Clinton’s name was on the headlines (thinking that she ran for Senator of NY after she and Billo left The White House). What I found was more interesting.

There was a top story in the New York Times on November 11, 2000, about how Hillary said that she thought the Electoral College should be abolished because all votes should count, blah, blah, blah.

This is interesting because she now is demanding that we all pay attention to the fact that she is winning the Electoral College votes!!! versus the fact, that Barack is winning the Delegate vote!!  Very interesting.

The precise of the article is revealed in the actual article. JH.


Comments are disallowed for this post.

  1. Hillary Clinton is not only divisive but very dangerous to any democratic and well thinking American. She is an embarassment and owes America and the world an apology. She seems willing to burn the village down just so she can have her way. As a woman, I can truly say that I have zero respect for her.

    Posted by cher from Canada | May 26, 2008, 10:42 pm
  2. Even with it’s inherent limitations and problems, the electoral college is still the method by which we choose our president. Given that it has not been replaced, what’s wrong with a candidate claiming she’s better able to win the presidency under the current methodology?

    I don’t agree that she’s more electable than Obama, but clearly she hasn’t done an about turn (about face) by wanting to update the election process and also saying she’s more electable under the current process. The two opinions are not mutually exclusive.

    A non-issue, IMHO.

    Posted by Newt | May 27, 2008, 3:01 am
  3. The major shortcoming of the current system of electing the President is that presidential candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or worry about the voter concerns in states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind. The reason for this is the winner-take-all rule under which all of a state’s electoral votes are awarded to the candidate who gets the most votes in each separate state. Because of this rule, candidates concentrate their attention on a handful of closely divided “battleground” states. Two-thirds of the visits and money are focused in just six states; 88% on 9 states, and 99% of the money goes to just 16 states. Two-thirds of the states and people are merely spectators to the presidential election.

    Another shortcoming of the current system is that a candidate can win the Presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide.

    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC). The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes—that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    The bill would make every vote politically relevant in a presidential election. It would make every vote.

    The National Popular Vote bill has been approved by 17 legislative chambers (one house in Colorado, Arkansas, Maine, North Carolina, and Washington, and two houses in Maryland, Illinois, Hawaii, California, and Vermont). It has been enacted into law in Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, and Maryland. These states have 50 (19%) of the 270 electoral votes needed to bring this legislation into effect.

    See http://www.NationalPopularVote.com

    Posted by mvymvy | May 28, 2008, 3:07 am
  4. This issue is precisely why I believe Hillary Clinton would be a bad choice as VP candidate.

    Also see: http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/blog/michaelverheyden

    Posted by Michael Verheyden | June 6, 2008, 1:56 am