Barack Obama effectively clinches Democratic nomination

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Barack Obama has reportedly achieved enough Democratic Party delegates to clinch the Democratic nomination to become the Presidential candidate to face Republican Senator John McCain in the November 2008 United States elections. Obama will be the first black candidate ever to stand for the United States presidency with the backing of a major political party.

Obama in South Carolina
Image: transplanted mountaineer.

While Obama needed another 40 primary delegates coming into Tuesday's final two primaries to secure the nomination with the required 2,118 total, he was considered to be likely to achieve this through the primaries in Montana and South Dakota. However, due to the superdelegates that have gone in favor of Obama, he has achieved the needed count ahead of today's primaries. According to two anonymous Clinton campaign officials, the New York Senator believed that Obama, the junior Senator from Illinois, had done enough to win the Democratic nomination.

Hillary Clinton's campaign has denied reports that she will concede the Democratic Party of the United States primary campaign to Barack Obama during a speech tonight in New York City.

The Associated Press first reported that two campaign officials stated she would announce her concession tonight. In a statement to the press, Clinton's campaign commented in two sentences: "The AP story is incorrect. Senator Clinton will not concede the nomination this evening."

Interviewed on CNN today, Clinton's campaign manager Terry McAuliffe called reports of concession "100 percent incorrect," but stated on NBC's Today that once Obama reached the crucial delegate count of 2,118, Clinton would congratulate him and "call him the nominee". She also told NBC that, "until someone has that magic number, we're going to continue to fight for literally those 17.5 million people."

On Monday, former President Bill Clinton was quoted as saying that "this may be the last day I'm ever involved in a campaign of this kind. I thought I was out of politics, till Hillary decided to run. But it has been one of the greatest honors of my life to be able to go around and campaign for her for president." President Clinton's aides later downplayed the statement.

The decision not to terminate Clinton's campaign officially was observed to give her a bargaining and leverage tool with Obama on various matters, up to and including the possibility of Clinton being Obama's vice presidential candidate. Speaking on conditions of anonymity, a Clinton campaign official stated that all Clinton campaign staff would be paid through June 15.

Called the "Comeback Girl" for her ability to come from behind to win states when the primary campaign showed Obama beginning to take both delegate and popularity leads, Clinton had campaigned late into Monday night for the chance of still taking a final come-from-behind victory in the final two primary elections. But today, Obama took the nomination ahead of the time frame analysts had predicted.

The Barack Obama campaign website has reported that there are 31.5 more delegates required before Obama receives the nomination.

A news report released by the Boston Globe has claimed that the Clinton Campaign is indicating that "she [Clinton] will gracefully exit the stage and won't take her fight to the convention." Sources close to Clinton hinted that if asked, she would be willing to serve as Obama's running mate.


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