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BREAKING NEWS: AP says Obama clinches Dem nomination

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BREAKING NEWS: AP says Obama clinches Dem nomination; When will Clinton concede?


On the final day with the last two Democratic primaries in Montana and South Dakota, the Associated Press is reporting that Illinois Sen. Barack Obama has accumulated sufficient delegates to clinch the Democratic nomination for president at the party's National Convention in Denver come August.


Now, the next question is when will New York Sen. Hillary Clinton concede?


When do you think she should give up? Now? Tonight after all voting? Tomorrow? Never, fight on? See Comments below.


--Andrew Malcolm


Photo: Associated Press

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US elections: Obama clinches nomination, AP reports


Daniel Nasaw in Washington, Tuesday June 3 2008 Article history

Hillary Clinton campaigns in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, with daughter Chelsea and husband Bill. Photograph: Elise Amendola/AP


Illinois senator Barack Obama has effectively clinched the Democratic nomination according to the Associated Press, having won enough superdelegate commitments to put him over the edge after the polls close in two final states tonight.


Meanwhile, Clinton told New York politicians today that she would be willing to join Obama's ticket as the vice presidential candidate, the AP reported.


An AP tally of the Democratic party insiders and elected officials, which includes some who have not publicly declared their commitments, shows Obama becoming the first black candidate to win the presidential nomination of a major US political party.


The reports came as the candidates turned the final page on the Democratic nomination calendar, and five months since voting began in the school gyms and community centres of frigid Iowa.


Voters in Montana and South Dakota headed to the polls, casting ballots that cannot effectively hinder Obama's march to the presidential nomination. The Illinois senator is expected to win in both states.


The stream of superdelegates into Obama's corner continued at a fast rate this morning, as James Clyburn, of South Carolina, third in the Democrats' House of Representatives leadership and the highest-ranking African American in Congress, formally announced his endorsement. Six other superdelegates endorsed Obama today, and former President Jimmy Carter was poised to endorse Obama as well.


"I think that, as I watch this campaign unfold, he is elevating the political rhetoric," Clyburn told NBC's Today Show. "He's elevated our party. He's energising our country. He is bringing to the process new voters, young voters, older voters, people who are in thirst of a new vision for our country."

More than 10 others gave Obama their nod this morning.


In continuing to fight on, despite a major setback over the weekend and at best a lacklustre victory in Puerto Rico on Sunday, Clinton has indicated she wants to peel those superdelegates from Obama.


To the extent the Democratic nomination fight continues past today, it will do so not before Democratic voters but in back rooms, on television talk shows and in the news media.


Between the portion of delegates won in the two votes and the continued flow of superdelegates - Obama won five new endorsements yesterday, compared with two for Clinton - Obama could take the nomination today.


Seeking to put the primary battle behind him, Obama has in recent days stopped engaging Clinton on the campaign field and has turned his rhetoric on the Republican nominee, John McCain, a senator from Arizona. McCain has reciprocated, and for his own part has largely ignored Clinton.


Tonight, Obama and his wife, Michelle, will hold a rally in St Paul, Minnesota, the site of the Republican party convention in September. Clinton will speak in New York, and staffs who have worked for her on the ground in Puerto Rico, South Dakota and Montana have been invited to attend the event or go home for further instructions, campaign aides said, according to the AP.


The slim polling taken in the two states shows Obama poised for victory, although a new poll yesterday showed him slipping in South Dakota. He has won the support of every South Dakota and Montana superdelegate who has endorsed, including the former South Dakota senator and one-time Democratic leader in the US senate, Tom Daschle.


Clinton's campaign is desperately short of money - it carried $9.5m (£4.8m) in debt at the end of April, not including about $10m she lent the campaign from her personal funds - and only $6.2m in cash available for the primary fight.


She has dramatically shrunk her entourage and scaled back on television advertising. Both the size of the press corps following her and the crowds at her campaign appearances have declined in recent weeks.


The rules and bylaws committee of the Democratic National Committee on Saturday quashed one of her last remaining hopes of overtaking Obama, when it halved the number of delegates allocated to Michigan and Florida, two states she carried in January. The states were punished for holding elections before February 5.


As the superdelegates flocked to Obama, the Republican national committee released a memo describing what it deems are his chief weaknesses heading into the general election against Republican nominee John McCain. The party said the prolonged nomination fight has left the party in a state of "disunity".


"He will inherit a fractured party that is deeply divided over his role as standard-bearer and his ability to be president," the memo read.


The party said that his support in primary contests has been eroding, and noted he has lost a majority of elections to Clinton since March 4.


"Obama is not wearing well as a candidate and has lost momentum since his high point in February," the memo read

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^Kool, good to hear the skinny brother is taking over one of the greatest party in America...


Generale, did you make your way to his Victory speech in St. paul, MN... I was reading the Indepedent newspaper today where they said he is set to deliver his victory speech over your corner, and how is the reaction among the Somalis in MN?

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^^^I was not able to get a ticket, I went to his last stop in Minnesota there were over 20,000 people. Obama is a rock star saxib.


People are happy, I dont think the community have yet realised that he has won. That news is just breaking and tonight after Montana and S-Dakota it should sink in.


An African Amerian candidate with the name Obama is heading to the real final against Mr Mcsame.

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i live and work 5 mins from the xcel Energy Center and have been debating wether i should go see Obama tonight or not..i heard people have been getting in line since this morning.

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General Duke- i dont think you need a ticket to get in.

last time he was at the target center, we stood in line for almost 3 hrs before we got not sure i want to repeat that...)

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Obama Becomes First Black Democratic Presidential Nominee

The Third African American Senator Since Reconstruction Makes History


June 3, 2008


RSS After a bruising battle, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., has won enough delegates to clinch the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, ABC News projects based on exit polls and reporting.


Obama, D-Ill., becomes the first African-American major party presidential candidate in the nation's history.


U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. announces his candidacy for president of the United States at the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., Saturday, Feb. 10, 2007.

(Charles Rex Arbogast/AP Photo)But the candidate emerges battered after a bitter, five-month fight against Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., who was vying to become the party's first female presidential nominee and was once considered the likely nominee.


Delivering soaring speeches tied to a popular message of hope and change, Obama's insurgent candidacy inspired record-breaking campaign contributions, record turnout by black voters, and wide support from independents, liberals, young voters, and high-income, better-educated Democrats.


Although he won the majority of primary contests -- 33 to Clinton's 20, not including Michigan and Florida -- the Illinois senator struggled to win the support of white, blue-collar voters, older voters and Hispanic voters.


The issue of race cropped up again and again for the man seeking to become the nation's first black president.


When tapes of Obama's longtime pastor excoriating America surfaced, the Illinois senator distanced himself from his pastor, and ultimately from his Chicago church, delivering a widely applauded speech on race and religion.


If Obama is elected president, he will be, at 47, among the youngest presidents in history. His Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., would be the oldest presidential candidate to win a first term in office at age 72.



Obama's Rise

No stranger to record books, Obama, became the fifth African-American senator in U.S. history and was the first black president of the Harvard Law Review.


Born to a white, American mother and a black, Kenyan father, Obama has spoken openly of his struggle to find acceptance in the black community.


First living in Hawaii, Obama's family moved to Jakarta, Indonesia, when he was 6, where he lived for a time with his mother and Indonesian stepfather. He has credited his upbringing for making him sensitive to America's flagging image abroad.


Attending Columbia University and Harvard Law School, Obama worked as a community organizer, a constitutional law professor, and a lawyer in Chicago before becoming a senator in the Illinois state Senate in 1996.

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