Clinton is out, but won't back down
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Now that Barack Obama has finally sewn up the Democratic nomination, the question on everyone’s lips – what’s next for Hillary Clinton?
Hillary Clinton has congratulated Barack Obama for running an “extraordinary race,” but she is so far refusing to admit what everyone else has concluded – that Obama has finally locked up the Democratic presidential nomination.
Many believe her reluctance to formally admit defeat is linked to her statement to reporters Tuesday night that she would “consider” running as vice president on Obama’s ticket. “She is a proud woman,” says FRANCE 24’s international affairs editor Gauthier Rybinski. “If she intends to approach the vice presidency, she wants to do it from a position of strength. She wants to first sort out the problem of her campaign debts, and seal the VP deal with Obama, before she will admit defeat. I am absolutely certain she is already in talks with Obama.” (Read a piece on the "dream ticket " by FRANCE 24's International News editor Armen Georgien)
Armen Georgian, another international expert at FRANCE 24, believes that having Hillary on the ticket could be a good idea for Obama. “The Democratic party is dangerously divided at the moment,” he says. “Blue-collar workers, older women, and Hispanics want Hillary. Obama doesn’t have support from those groups. Hillary could help unite Democratic voters against McCain.”
The forgotten rival rears his head
After the months of media hype focused on the Democratic race, presumptive Republican candidate John McCain emerged to deliver a strongly worded speech Tuesday night in Kenner, Louisiana - one of his most forceful speeches in recent memory. He said that Obama had “the wrong change” in mind for America, adding, “I have a few years on my opponent, so I am surprised that a young man has bought into so many failed ideas.”
Part of McCain’s speech was devoted to denying that he was “running for Bush’s third term.” He enumerated the stances he has taken against the unpopular US president, and said, “Many of the policies of our government… have not acknowledged the end of the Cold War, the revolution of information technology, the change in our global economy.”
We’re number one
After sweeping Montana and earning votes of some previously uncommitted superdelegates, Obama enjoyed an eleventh-hour victory Tuesday night, bring his total to 2,165 delegates, narrowly surpassing the 2,118 required to secure the nomination, according to a count by RealClearPolitics.com. By tradition, the presumptive nominee becomes the official Democratic candidate at the Democratic National Convention, to be held this August.
“America, this is our moment,” he said in his victory speech Tuesday in St. Paul, Minnesota. “This is our time to turn our page on the policies of the past” - a remark apparently aimed at McCain, his Republican rival.
We’re not not number one
New York Senator and Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton, who delivered her own speech last night in New York, said she would be “making no decisions tonight.” At the finish line she had earned 1,923 delegates by RealClearPolitics’ count.
Since falling behind Obama in the number of state delegates – which determines who becomes the Democratic candidate - Clinton has sought to highlight the popular vote she has received in the primary voting. After beating Obama in the Puerto Rico primary on June 1, she exulted: "More people have voted for us than for any candidate in the history of presidential primaries." Independent counts differ over which candidate received more popular votes in the primaries, but in any case it is the delegate’s votes that count.
Along similar lines, Terry McAuliffe – Clinton’s campaign manager – reportedly told a journalist as Tuesday’s results came in: “Tonight was Hillary’s night! We won in South Dakota! We keep winning!”
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