Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Obama Seals The Deal!
Barack Obama effectively clinched the Democratic presidential nomination Tuesday, becoming the first black candidate to lead a major party into a campaign for the White House. Vanquished rival Hillary Rodham Clinton swiftly signaled an interest in joining the ticket as running mate.
Obama arranged a victory celebration at the site of this summer's Republican National Convention — an in-your-face gesture to Sen. John McCain, who will be his opponent in the race to become the nation's 44th president. The 46-year-old Obama outlasted Clinton in a historic campaign that sparked record turnouts in primary after primary, yet exposed deep racial and gender divisions within the party. In a campaign of surprises, Clinton's comments about joining the ticket rated high.
According to one participant in an afternoon conference call among Clinton and members of the New York congressional delegation, Rep. Lydia Velasquez said she believed the best way for Obama to win over Hispanics and members of other key voting blocs would be to take the former first lady as his running mate. "I am open to it," Clinton replied, if it would help the party's prospects in November, said the participant, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the call was a private matter.
Obama sealed his victory based on public declarations from delegates as well as from an additional 18 who had confirmed their intentions to the AP. The count also included five delegates Obama was guaranteed as long as he gained 15 percent of the vote in South Dakota and Montana later in the day. It takes 2,118 delegates to clinch the nomination.