Hillary Clinton: “That’s why, as president, I will be a vocal champion for D.C. statehood.”

HRC
Photo by PoPville flickr user Ted Eytan

From an Op-ed in the Washington Informer:

“Washington, D.C., is home to nearly 700,000 Americans – more than the entire population of several states. Washingtonians serve in the military, serve on juries and pay taxes just like everyone else. And yet they don’t even have a vote in Congress.

Hard as it is to believe, America is the only democracy on the planet that treats the residents of capital this way.

Lacking representatives with voting power, the District of Columbia is often neglected when it comes to federal appropriations. Many of the District’s decisions are also at the mercy of right-wing ideologues in Congress, and as you can imagine, they don’t show very much of it. Everything from commonsense gun laws to providing women’s health care and efforts to cut down on drug abuse has been halted by Republicans, who claim the District is an exception to their long-held notion that communities ought to be able to govern themselves.

Solidarity is no longer enough. We need a solution.

That’s why, as president, I will be a vocal champion for D.C. statehood.

Washingtonians are Americans, too, and it’s time they had a say in their own status.”

99 Comment

  • Do that many people honestly believe much of what she says? I get that she’ll be our next president, but this comes off as an easy pandering opportunity.

    • Yea, she’s always been a typical politician and says what people want to hear unfortunately.

      I’ll still be voting for her when the time comes, because it’s much better than the alternative.

    • I don’t get it though. Why would someone pander to the safest 3 electoral votes in the country?

      • To make the GOP look bad. Dems would love DC Statehood because it is so liberal, which could help sway Congress, which is why the GOP will try to prevent it at all costs.

        • Accountering

          They could get this in 2 months if they wanted too… If they win a majority, attach it to must pass legislation, and let the Rs shut down the government over disenfranchising us. Rs would filibuster the bill, but its hard to see how long they are willing to filibuster and keep the government shut when its an issue like this. It would destroy the next four years, but we would be a state…

          • Is it likely that the Democrats could actually get a majority in the House in this coming election?

          • Accountering

            Betting markets have the Dems with a Majority House, Senate, and POTUS at about 20-25%.

      • I think she’s pandering more for a dominant showing in the June 14 primary than for the electoral votes she is assured of winning. Either way, I agree with her and will vote for her.

        • I doubt she needs to pander for those either.

        • Things that confuse me:
          1- how an alleged criminal can run for office (both sides)
          2- that people are shocked that Trump has a great chance of winning*

          *after seeing the previous 8 yrs play out, knowing that most Americans in/around DC are nothing like the Americans (voting populace) across the rest of this fine Nation, and knowing that the pendulum normally swings back-and-forth (come election time) between R and D (last time we had a D, so this time we have a great chance of seeing a R); i wish there was more to it, but let’s not overthink this

        • Agreed, easy pander. She’s not just affirming liberal orthodoxy on the issue, as some here claim. She says she’s going to be a “vocal champion.” like she’s promising to lead the charge or some bull. In reality, she’s never going to raise this issue again without prodding, and if prodded, will just talk about being “realistic.” Furthermore, she knows it, which makes this an obvious pander.

    • Why? She doesn’t need the DC vote.

      • I don’t think she’s pandering to DC here. I see this more as a push to prove she believes in “self-determinism” of sorts that drives many of the Tea Party types.

    • It’s still important to say it. I appreciate her coming out and making the statement. I still plan on voting for Bernie in the primary.

      Back in June:

      http://thehill.com/regulation/legislation/246170-bernie-sanders-joins-push-for-dc-statehood

      “Washington D.C. is currently home to more people than the state of Vermont, yet its residents lack voting representation in Congress,” Sanders told The Hill in a statement. “I think it is morally wrong for American citizens who pay federal taxes, fight in our wars, and live in our country to be denied the basic right to full congressional representation.”

    • Pandering to a city that will give it’s 3 electoral college votes to whoever has (D) after their name? Pretty unlikely.

    • I think its a bit cynical to call this pandering. I think she’s just staking her ground as a liberal, Democratic presidential candidate. DC statehood is and should be a litmus test for any potential Democratic nominee, just like being pro-choice and pro-gay marriage/LGBT rights is.

      • +1
        Hillary is not my preferred candidate, but this is a no-brainer position for any national Dem candidate. It’s not pandering; it’s a shitty and illiberal part of our Constitution.

    • Not that the situation is promising to begin with, but there goes any chance of any single republican anywhere coming to a middle ground on DC statehood. All this will do is polarize, especially because she’s really only saying it to point out GOP hypocrisy.

  • Pandering for…votes from the three DC residents who aren’t already voting for her?

  • She is really for statehood because it would guarantee 2 more Democratic senators.

    • Well, that’s our system. Not only Republican areas get the vote.

    • I Dont Get It

      Yeah like that’s gonna happen.

    • I mean isn’t that why Republicans are against it truthfully? At least being for it acknowledges the nearly 3/4 of a million people who get no representation despite many of them serving others’ elected officials daily. Not to mention, ya know, those pesky federal taxes.

      • Kasich came right out and said it. “what it really gets down to if you want to be honest is because they know that’s just more votes in the Democratic Party.”

      • Republicans are largely against demographics at this point. They made a big deal after the last Presidential election that they would “reach out” to Latinos and African-Americans. And then quickly did an about-face and doubled down on the dwindling base of aging rural white folks. Only gerrymandering has kept them limping along with control of the House, and those days are numbered.

      • “I mean isn’t that why Republicans are against it truthfully?”

        Maybe some. But the Founders very clearly never intended the Federal City to be a state. Don’t like it? Don’t move here, or if you are here, move over the line to the ‘burbs.

        As a longtime DC resident, I’d prefer this situation: no residents of the Federal City pay no federal income taxes.

        • DC also wasn’t a city of 700,000, the majority of whom have no connection to the federal government, during the Founders’ time. Don’t like it, don’t move here? What a narrow conception of DC residents you must have to imagine that all of them “moved here” from somewhere else.

    • Personally I could care less about statehood. Just let our rep vote. Even the staunchest partisans can’t deny one vote in Congress for 700,000 people, right?

      • It’s more than just getting a vote in Congress. It’s also getting a vote in the Senate. And getting rid of antiquated laws like DC citizens being required to elect two officials from non-majority parties and control over social ballot referendums where if Congress doesn’t like what we are voting on they don’t let us count the vote. If DC were a majority Republican district you would hear all kinds of screaming about how undemocratic this process is.

        • The reasonable compromise to me (not that the GOP is interested) would be to give DC full budget autonomy, full legal self determination (no more Congress meddling in local laws), and representation in the house in accordance with our population. That gives DC residents most of what we’d like without adding 2 Democratic Senators which is most of what the GOP cares about (although they do love f*cking with DC laws on things like abortion and marijuana just for the base back home).

          • Accountering

            I don’t think this is reasonable. I am an American citizen, and I deserve the same rights as any other citizen. Full stop.

          • I think that sounds reasonable, but DC residents deserve two votes in the Senate. If the third rail for Republicans is the addition of 2 Democratic senate seats, the compromise solution would be all the above and DC would vote with Maryland for Senators. Thus the Senators would represent Maryland and DC.

          • +1
            I don’t want to negotiate which of my civil rights I get (belatedly) and which I agree to give up forever. It’s got to be the whole package.

          • Accountering – you don’t live in a state. Full stop. If you want statehood or nothing, know that you will get nothing. That’s a fine position to hold, but personally I’d rather get Congress out of DC’s budget and laws.

          • Accountering

            Nothing you have said negates what I said.

          • I’m cool with not letting us have Senators. Just take away Wyoming’s two senators too (Population: 584,153) and we’ll call it even. So few people don’t really need or deserve two whole senators, right?

  • I don’t even care if shes pandering or not, just the fact that she is talking about it makes me happy. I feel like most citizens don’t even know this about DC.

  • Can’t we just hold off the cynicism for one minute and be thankful that a presidential candidate is not only talking about, but supporting statehood? Even if nothing comes of it, it’s an important statement.

    • Agreed. Also, I it doesn’t strike me as pandering because, as others have said, she is going to win DC anyway.

    • I never understand why people always throw out these ideas about how we should take 1 vote in the House or budget autonomy as a compromise. I am an American citizen. Under the constitution, I should have the right to be fully represented in my government. I don’t understand why I should have to compromise my rights.

      I fully understand the political reality but that doesn’t change the truth.

  • Not sure if anything will come of it, but this is a promising start.
    .
    Unfortunately, I’m not sure if this will get any coverage in the national press. (I don’t see anything about it in the New York Times.) In contrast, the national press _is_ covering her statements about declassifying information related to UFOs… sigh.

  • Thanks, but my vote will go to Trump.

    • Accountering

      May god have mercy on your soul. I really feel like at the end of the day, people who CHOOSE to vote for Donald Trump will have to live with that choice forever, and presumably it will haunt them. Man, that has got to suck. To have to live with the fact that you decided to pull the lever, and attempt to make The Donald, POTUS.
      .
      When I was apolitical, I voted for McCain in 08. That’s a hard one to live with, but a vote for the Donald?!?

      • HaileUnlikely

        I agree with the spirit of this, though I wouldn’t necessarily say it the same way. I know a few people who plan to vote for The Donald as the anti-Hillary vote despite not really wanting a President Trump (just as many including myself will likely vote for Hillary as the anti-Trump vote despite not really wanting President Clinton). To anybody who intends to vote for The Donald for the sole purpose of not voting for Hillary, I would implore you to just bring a pen and write somebody in.

      • Wow – it’s his/her vote and they can choose to vote for whomever they want to. You don’t have to berate them for it.

        • Accountering

          I don’t have too, but I certainly intend too. If you are voting for The Donald, you are one of several things IMO. Ignorant and/or racist are the first two of the main buckets I would lump many his supporters into.

  • It’s election time, sure. That said this has to rank up there with one of the more forceful positions of a candidate for president or sitting president. Obama for instance has said he’s for it, but it’s hard to accomplish due to Congress. If she actually makes it a priority that’d be a huge step forward. As to the pandering, she could come out against statehood and probably still get our 3 votes.

  • You know, she’s lived in DC a long time. Might it be that she’s actually convinced of the injustice of our situation? I remain baffled by the knee jerk distrust of her. She’s not my ideal candidate either, but HRC is almost never given the benefit of the doubt. I wonder why that is …

    • Think she votes here? Wonder which of her home-states she actually votes in, locally. NY?

    • “She’s not my ideal candidate either, but HRC is almost never given the benefit of the doubt. I wonder why that is …”
      Because she’s a serial waffler on most issues? And is a textbook example of what most American voters find revolting about Professional Politicians?
      She’s not my preferred candidate, but I will hold my nose if she’s on the ballot in November. But I may gag a bit in the meantime.

      • At what point did thoughtfulness and a willingness to adapt one’s position to changing times become some kind of fatal flaw in a political candidate? I guess it was about the same time George Bush starting going on about “resolve” and being a “decider.” Or when the “flip flopper” and “for it before he was against it” charge was levelled against Kerry in 2004. Discouraging that even the most moronic Republican tropes have embedded themselves among presumed Democratic voters this season.

        • For every person who brings up the canard of “thoughtfulness and a willingness to adapt one’s position to changing times” there are many of us who believe she should have been a vocal leader on these issues from the very beginning. Because it was the right, moral, and just thing to do. And that’s not even touching the issue of the speaking fees to her and her husband (which is really just legalized bribery – we’re not that stupid, are we?)
          But sure, play it safe and just “evolve” over time. Leave the heavy lifting to the little people.

      • I think this is sort of unfair. Most politicians with careers spanning decades will change their positions on certain things, as Senator Sanders has as well. I disagree with Clinton on a number of issues, most certainly her foreign policy, but there is almost certainly also a more knee jerk reaction to anything she does, and when you have sat in power over times of great social, technological, and cultural changes it would be not just politically dense but also incredibly stubborn to not acknowledge that times are different and polices and viewpoints change. If you believe people should vote the same as they did in 1995 or even 2005 then you assume a rigidity to society the benefits only the currently ruling class.

    • True, she is like all other successfully politicians, and there are a lot of not-so-nice traits one has to have to be a successful politician. The knee-jerk anti-HRC stems from two sources: her having been first lady, and thus close to another presidential administration, and the fact that she is a woman. She faces a lot of gender discrimination, just as Obama faced a lot of racial discrimination. She faced those two problems 8 years ago, and I voted for Obama in the primary because I didn’t think she could beat the Republican candidate in the general due to the Clinton-baggage issue and the fact that I didn’t think the country was yet ready to elect a woman as president.
      .
      Let’s hope that has changed this time. She certainly spent the last 8 years working for the government. Not that this is a recommendation – I’m seen enough that I’m totally cynical about government now – it all comes down to the least worse candidate, as always it seems…
      .
      Perhaps part of the problem is that they indoctrinate us as children to be idealistic about the ideals our country is supposed to stand for, so we look for the dreamers who want to bring “change.” If they educated us about the empire this country was always about building, at the clear expense of others both at home and abroad, and is now struggling to maintain, perhaps we’d be more realistic voters – but with truth comes the possibility of people wanting real change.

    • It comes from years of a Republican narrative that started back when she wanted to do more than pick china patterns as First Lady.

    • She spends most of her time in Chapaqua when she’s not on the road, actually.

  • I don’t recall Senator Clinton ever publicly supporting this – am I wrong?

    • It would be an odd position for the Senator from New York to take, would it not?

      • Republican MOCs from all over the country from take a position. Why shouldn’t she?

        • Fair enough. For the record she voted for and spoke in support of S.160 in 2009 that would’ve given DC voting rights in the House of Representatives.

  • i’d just assume get rid of our federal income tax and they can keep the delegate status, EHN can’t get anything done in a republican majority anyway.

    • jim_ed

      +1. Give me the Puerto Rico treatment. If I really want representation I could use that extra money to buy influence with a member of Congress. More effective than voting as is.

  • 2 dem senators AND how many presidents in recent memory can say they added a state…?

  • Every Democratic president panders to DC statehood and none of them ever do anything to make it a reality.

  • I don’t see this as pandering as much as I see it as Secretary Clinton running a much better campaign in 2016 than she did in 2008. As I remember it, President Obama had a very active group in DC (I recall some young supporters even standing in the middle of the intersection at Georgia and New Hampshire Aves getting folks to honk for Obama), but Clinton had nothing, or nearly nothing, having ceded the DC primary votes to Obama. It ticked me off back then, because you have to at least ask for my vote, you know? This time she is fighting for every vote, and the more I see of her and her campaign, the more I like.

  • I think that it is welcome that a presidential candidate is at least talking about this. Hopefully democrats everywhere can hold her to this.
    I am not the biggest HRC fan, but all the talk of pandering is ridiculous. This is 1) a commonly held position amongst democrats, 2) the right to do, 3) something that doesn’t gain her any electoral votes 4) Something that most people outside of DC don’t care about.
    She’s a politician. She says things that she think will help her get elected. NEWS FLASH! All politicians do this, Bernie, Obama, Trump, everyone. I am not sure why Hillary is getting skewered for taking a completely reasonable position.

    The fact that the large majority of commenters on a DC blog immediately jump to “panderer!” instead of talking about the position she takes on securing the rights for people that live here is an indication to me that maybe people are being a bit unfair to her.

  • Quick,Hilary, say something to try and appeal to 672,228 people!

    • If she really wanted to pander to people who might actually consider voting for her because of said pandering, DC isn’t really the target audience. She’s going to safely get what, 75% of the vote in DC in November? If she was an actual liar/panderer/heinous politician as she is so often painted, she’d strategically benefit more from offering Republicans another House seat somewhere in exchange for a House vote for DC.

      I would not be satisfied with a House vote. I want a House vote and two Senators. Or, alternatively, I want zero federal taxation. And I do not want to live in Maryland to get it. Statehood or nothing for me really. And while practically speaking Republicans oppose this for obvious reasons, I tend to agree that short of statehood, DC isn’t really entitled to a House vote or two Senators under the U.S. Constitution. We do however have a constitutional path to statehood. Let’s focus on it. Or, let’s demand the setup Puerto Rico has – no Senators/House seats, but no federal income tax.

      It is ridiculous any citizen in the United States pays federal income tax and has no representation in the federal government. But it’s even more ridiculous the very citizens who live blocks from where that government operates are denied such representation.

  • I don’t know if statehood is the right answer. There are other options to give DC residents representation in Congress that others would not see as so drastic.

    1) Let us vote with Maryland (not join Maryland).

    2) Give us a Senator and a voting Representative- This would be a good compromise. I don’t even care about the rep as much, but the Senator is key. They would have the unique ability to block legislation that was aimed at meddling in the district. Individual Senators have a lot of power in regard to putting a hold on legislation. I’m pretty sure this would require a constitutional amendment where statehood wouldn’t

    3) My personal favorite it to exempt us from federal income taxes, like Puerto RIco and Guam and the other territories. I think this is the most fair thing to do and should even appeal to the Tea Party types. I am not sure why this idea doesn’t get more traction.

    • It doesn’t get more traction because we pay something over $26 billion in income tax, which is no small chunk of change (more than many states).

      http://dcist.com/2016/04/infuriating_tax_figure_time.php

    • What do you mean by “vote with Maryland” — have the D.C. vote counted together with Maryland for presidential elections? We already get a vote in presidential elections; that’s not the problem.

      • No, it means DC residents get to vote for the MD senators and reps, who would then also represent DC in congress.

        • Yes. I mean have the Maryland Senators represent DC.

          • This just comes off as completely wrong to me. We are not a part of Maryland. Wouldn’t this be unconstitutional?

        • What do you mean by “and reps”? It wouldn’t make sense to have us vote for all of them. And wouldn’t our numbers require a congressional district unto ourselves?
          .
          The Baltimore political establishment is unlikely to tolerate any move that would dilute its power in the state of Maryland — especially if D.C. were to ally with the close-in Maryland suburbs.

          • Annapolis would never go for this. Maryland is in a time of flux right now. Urban areas and the counties that surround them are still solidly Democrat. But Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore? There’s people there who still think they are part of the Confederacy.

          • I don’t know how the details would work nor do I think anyone would go for it – just trying to clarify the concept for you.

          • How Maryland representatives would supposedly represent D.C. isn’t exactly a “detail.”

  • So as President she’ll do it? Why not as First Lady, Senator, Secretary of State or Presidential candidate?

    • **scratches head**
      Most First Ladies tend to focus on social issues relating to kids (like drugs, reading, school lunches) or chnaging china patterns There was this one once who really lobbied hard for universal healthcare, but it really didn’t work out well for her.
      Senators are technically supposed to represent the needs of their constituents, though there are a handful who have voted for pro-DC Statehood Legislation in the past.
      Secretaries of State are supposed to focus on international issues of state.
      Presidential Candidates are nothing more than candidates, what change can the affect? What more can the do that to just say what their position is?

      • Took the words right out of my mouth.

      • First, I don’t need a lesson from you on politics. A First Lady can focus on whatever issue she’d like, and she sure focused on many that were not kids-based, from tougher sentencing for criminals to historic preservation. She could and should have been an advocate for voting rights for DC residents during her career but she was never ever done so.

        And Senators can and should promote democracy in DC–they sure promoted democracy in Iraq and elsewhere, so don’t give me the BS excuse that they only represent the needs of their constituents when a significant portion of their attention is given to national, international and even DC affairs.

    • justinbc

      You might as well ask “why not as anonymous Internet commenter?” because the ability to do something in that position is about as much as those you listed, compared to a POTUS.

      • Ashy Oldlady

        Well you’re dreaming if you think that the President can just wave a wand and magically grant DC statehood. It’s just not that easy. Look at all the things that Obama failed miserably to accomplish or had to water down due to opposition or plain old lethargy in Congress.

    • You guys completely missed the point. If she cared about voting rights in DC, she would have advocated for it during some other part of her lengthy political career. This is just playing politics as usual.

      • She pledges to tell the truth henceforth.

      • As pointed out above, she voted for and spoke in support of S.160 in 2009 that would’ve given DC voting rights in the House of Representatives.

        • So she supported a bill that would have left DC residents without any vote in the upper house. And that’s the same as advocating for statehood? Which state has no senate vote?

          • west_egg

            You’re right, Brett. How is it that this awful woman hasn’t had the foresight to come down on the right side of every single issue, imaginable or no, since the first day of her career? Awful, she is, just awful!

    • Why hasn’t Sen. Sanders gotten us that right then? Why hold her to a higher account? He’s been a Senator, a Representative and a Mayor in VT. Why hasn’t he used those positions to secure me my constitutional rights?

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