U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina thinks it is time Hillary Clinton changes her strategy from just winning the presidential vote on Nov. 8 to securing a Congress that can help pass her agenda.
While the Columbia Democrat focuses on other states, he notes it is the sort of strategic thinking that could push Democratic challenger Fran Person to victory over incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney in South Carolina’s 5th District congressional race.
Clyburn says a move by Clinton to shift her strategy would mean ignoring states that she can’t win, such as Utah.
Instead, during a phone interview Wednesday, Clyburn said Clinton should focus on five states in which she not only can bolster her support but also can help Democratic House of Representatives and Senate hopefuls into office.
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He added that without Democratic control of the Senate and House, it already is clear that Clinton’s proposed agenda will face the same Republican obstruction that has dogged President Barack Obama.
It is a strategy that goes beyond the first 100 days of a potential Clinton presidency.
Clyburn suggested Clinton focus her efforts in the last days of the campaign on Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Money and effort directed at those states, Clyburn said, could result in Democrats picking up a couple of U.S. Senate seats and a dozen U.S. House seats in addition to Clinton’s own victory.
“There are going to be a lot of exposed Democrats in the Senate elections in two years,” he said. “The best way to insulate those senators is with legislative success.”
Clyburn added while the prospects of winning electoral votes in unlikely states is attractive, the traditional leeway given to an incoming president riding a landslide vote already looks to have been rejected by House and Senate Republicans.
“The Republicans in the House won’t be working with her no matter how many states she wins,” he said.
During a phone news conference earlier in the day — on the need to support historically black colleges and universities — Clyburn made it clear Democrats “need to get out and make sure we get as many people to the polls as possible to elect Hillary Clinton.”
He said Democrats had made history by nominating a woman for president, and that shouldn’t be wasted.
“Just because we have already made history, we cannot rest on our laurels,” he said. “During these next two weeks, we must work as hard as we can to make sure that nomination was not in vain.”