Barack Obama effectively clinched the Democratic presidential nomination Tuesday, based on an Associated Press tally of convention delegates, becoming the first black candidate ever to lead his party into a fall campaign for the White House.
Campaigning on an insistent call for change, Obama outlasted former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton in a historic race that sparked record turnout in primary after primary, yet exposed deep racial divisions within the party.
The AP tally was based on public commitments from delegates as well as more than a dozen private commitments. It also included a minimum number of delegates Obama was guaranteed even if he lost the final two primaries in South Dakota and Montana later in the day.
So, one would think that the natural thing for Hillary Clinton to do would be to offer her concession speech tonight as well. But this may not be the case.
Hillary Rodham Clinton will concede Tuesday night that Barack Obama has the
delegates to secure the Democratic nomination, campaign officials said,
effectively ending her bid to be the nation’s first female president.
The former first lady was not ready to formally suspend or end her race
in a speech Tuesday night in New York City. But if Obama get to the magic number
of delegates, 2,118, she was prepared to acknowledge that milestone, according
to aides who declined to be identified.