Posted: 6/3/2008 2:21:22 PM EDT
Also, the entire first page of Foxnews.com is dedicated to the douche bag.
| Barack Obama has won the Democratic presidential nomination, The Associated Press reports, based on superdelegate endorsements that have not yet been made public.|
The Obama campaign itself has not claimed victory, and is still waiting for polls to close Tuesday night in the final two primaries in South Dakota and Montana.
But the Illinois senator was rapidly charging toward the end zone of the Democratic race, poised to become the first black presidential nominee of a major party.
He has arranged a victory celebration in St. Paul, Minn., at the site of this summer’s Republican National Convention.
The AP tally was based largely on superdelegates who privately confirmed they would endorse Obama. There are 31 delegates at stake in South Dakota and Montana. It takes 2,118 delegate to clinch the nomination, and the AP claimed Obama had reached 2,123.
Hillary Clinton’s camp, meanwhile, resisted claims that she will bow out of the race Tuesday evening when she gives an address in New York City.
“The AP story is incorrect,” the campaign said in a statement responding to an earlier AP report that Clinton would declare Obama has enough delegates to win Tuesday. “Senator Clinton will not concede the nomination this evening.”
Clinton aides told FOX News that the only concession she will make Tuesday night is that Obama “has a slight lead in the delegate count.” They said Clinton plans to claim she has won the popular vote, and is working up a victory-type speech for her address in New York City.
“She is in this race until we have a nominee. We do not expect there to be one tonight,” Clinton spokesman Mo Elleithee said.
Aides notably left the door open for what would happen come Wednesday morning.
Elleithee said Clinton is spending “the coming days” trying to convince uncommitted superdelegates that she is still the stronger candidate to battle presumptive GOP nominee John McCain. And he said she is still “weighing her options” on whether she will appeal the Democratic National Committee decision to award disputed Michigan delegates in a way he said was “fundamentally flawed.”
But Clinton, once seen as a sure bet in her quest to become the first woman president, is not inclined to drag out the dispute over the unsanctioned Michigan primary, despite feeling shortchanged by the DNC’s weekend compromise, Clinton campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe said.
“I don’t think she’s going to go to the credentials committee,” McAuliffe told NBC’s “Today” show. Taking the matter to that committee would essentially extend the dispute into the convention and deny Democrats the unity they want to battle McCain.
Obama aides said they were confident they would roll out enough endorsements to claim victory after polls close Tuesday night.
California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Clinton backer, told FOX News she’s heard that about 12 uncommitted senators — who are superdelegates — will announce their support for Obama Wednesday. That report has been circulating on Capitol Hill.
Even if she loses the majority needed to win the nomination, The AP, citing two unnamed sources, said Clinton will likely stop short of formally suspending or ending her quest for the White House Tuesday night. The AP said she will pledge to continue to speak out on issues like health care, although the sources told The AP they acknowledge the campaign is basically over. The campaign is expected to release most of its staff on June 15, according to the report.
In another signal that Clinton might be coming to terms with her situation, McAuliffe said once Obama gets the majority of convention delegates, “I think Hillary Clinton will congratulate him and call him the nominee.”
Obama said a lot of superdelegates who have been private supporters of his but wanted to respect the process by not endorsing until the primaries were over.
“Once the last votes are cast, then it’s in everybody’s interest to resolve this quickly so we can pivot,” Obama said Monday.
In a defiant shot across the GOP bow, Obama, who returned to hometown Chicago late Monday, planned to hold his wrap-up rally in St. Paul, Minn., at the arena that will be the site of the Republican National Convention in September.
Seeing the cards fall into place for his November rival, McCain planned a prime time speech Tuesday night in the New Orleans suburb of Kenner, La., in what will essentially be a kickoff to his fall campaign.
Clinton is in New York, the state she represents in the Senate, and was planning an end-of-primary evening rally in Manhattan.
“I’m just very grateful we kept this campaign going until South Dakota would have the last word,” she said Monday at a restaurant in Rapid City in one of her final campaign stops.
Ahead of Tuesday’s concluding primaries, Obama sought to set the stage for reconciliation, praising Clinton’s endurance and determination and offering to meet with her - on her terms - “once the dust settles” from their race.
“The sooner we can bring the party together, the sooner we can start focusing on McCain in November,” Obama told reporters in Michigan. He said he spoke with Clinton on Sunday when he called to congratulate her on winning the Puerto Rico primary, most likely her last hurrah.
That fueled speculation for a “dream ticket” in which Clinton would become Obama’s running mate - but neither camp was suggesting that was much of a possibility.
In the AP interview, Obama was asked when he would start looking for a running mate.
“The day after I have gotten that last delegate needed to officially claim the nomination, I’ll start thinking about vice presidential nominees,” he said. “It’s a very important decision, and it’s one where I’m going to have to take some time.”