Hillary's Team Talks Up Electoral College; She Used to Favor Abolishing It

On Sunday's Meet the Press, this exchange stuck out for me, where Hillary Clinton endorser Ed Rendell, the governor of Pennsylvania, expressed anxiety that Barack Obama could win the big states that lead to an Electoral College win. But wait, didn't Hillary favor abolishing the Electoral College in 2000? Yes, she did, at least grudgingly. Here's today's exchange:

MR. RUSSERT: Governor Rendell, if, in fact, Barack Obama goes to the convention in Colorado in August with the most elected delegates, having won more contests and a higher popular vote, the cumulative vote, could he be denied the nomination?GOV. RENDELL: Well, sure, Tim, because, number one, Hillary Clinton has won states with about 260 electoral votes. Barack Obama has won states with about 190. And we decide the presidency not by a popular vote, we decide it by the electoral vote. And the traditional role of the superdelegates is to determine who's going to be our strongest candidate.

Let’s return to Hillary on NBC on November 28, 2000, while Al Gore continued his Tallahassle in Florida seeking to recount a state he lost. Hillary agreed with the need to abolish the Electoral College, even if the goal wasn’t looking feasible. From Chapter 12 of Whitewash:

On November 28, Mrs. Clinton invited in two network morning shows to fawn over her new book on White House entertaining and decorations, An Invitation to the White House. She was the perfect combination of Martha Washington and Martha Stewart. Neither ABC or NBC had any tough questions for Mrs. Clinton, but made lots of room for compliments. Katie Couric spent most of a half-hour with Hillary. She began the girl talk by congratulating Hillary  and asking: "What are you most looking forward to? Obviously getting to work. But when--when you think of the array of possibilities before you...." She mentioned the fight between Bush and Gore in Florida. "What do you think about that?" She did ask if Dick Cheney was right that delaying a transition was a bad turn for the country, and Hillary disagreed. She asked, point blank: "Should the Electoral College be abolished, in your view?" Hillary said, "Well, I believe that," but it’s "unlikely."
Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis