Hillary Clinton, the leading Democratic candidate for president, wants D.C. to become a state—that’s according to Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton.
According to a press release from Norton’s office, Clinton told the delegate after three congressional meetings they attended today, “I have always been with you, Eleanor. Of course I support D.C. statehood.”
We should all thank Secretary Hillary Clinton, who in a conversation with me today said that she supports #DCStatehood!
— Eleanor H. Norton (@EleanorNorton) July 14, 2015
Benjamin Fritsch, Norton’s director of communications, wrote in an email that the delegate had only a few minutes with Clinton, adding, “It was not a strategy meeting.”
“The Congresswoman assumes and hopes that [Clinton’s] enthusiasm means she would be an active supporter [of D.C. statehood],” he wrote. “But they could not get into the nuts and bolts of how she would carry out her commitment in a brief conversation.”
City Desk was unable to immediately get comment from Clinton’s team. (If we do, we’ll update this post.)
Regardless of whether Clinton is merely paying lip-service to D.C.’s heavily Democratic constituents, she’s not the first national politician to have signaled her support for equality for D.C.’s roughly 650,00 residents. Last year, President Barack Obama told people at a town-hall style meeting, “I’m in D.C. so I’m for it!” Like Obama, President Bill Clinton used D.C.’s “No Taxation Without Representation” license plates on his official limousine. (The plates were removed when George W. Bush came into office.)
Clinton’s opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders, is a co-sponsor of this year’s Senate version of the D.C. statehood bill. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who also wants to be president, also supports statehood.
The chances of D.C. becoming a state anytime soon are a long shot, as many who have advocated on its behalf have acknowledged. Would a second President Clinton, using her bully pulpit, be able to change that? It’s unclear for now, but we sure do hope “New Columbia” sticks.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery