By Patrick Martin in the USA:
Obama clinches Democratic presidential nomination
5 June 2008
Senator Barack Obama won the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination Tuesday as dozens of superdelegates—congressmen, senators, governors and party officials—rushed to endorse his candidacy on the final day of the primary campaign.
Obama split the last two primaries with Hillary Clinton, winning Montana and losing South Dakota, but the number of delegates at stake in those two lightly populated states—31—was dwarfed by the more than 200 uncommitted superdelegates who began to swing decisively to Obama as he approached the total of 2,118 delegates required for the nomination.
A joint statement issued Wednesday by four top Democratic Party leaders—party chairman Howard Dean, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader [Harry Reid] and Joe Manchin, chairman of the Democratic Governors Association—called on all still-uncommitted superdelegates to declare their presidential preference by Friday.
ABC News reported Wednesday evening that Clinton would officially drop out of the race and endorse Obama by that deadline. She deferred any such concession in her address to supporters Tuesday night after the polls closed in South Dakota.
The struggle for the Democratic presidential nomination was the most protracted in recent US history. Obama took a decisive lead among Democratic convention delegates in the last three weeks of February, when he won 11 consecutive primaries and caucuses. Clinton won nine of the final 14 primaries, but was unable to overcome the margin of more than 150 delegates that her opponent had accumulated.
Clinton entered the campaign with huge advantages over her half-dozen rivals, including far greater institutional and financial support, but proved to have been fatally weakened by her vote in October 2002 to authorize the war in Iraq. Her decision to give Bush the authority to invade Iraq reflected a double miscalculation: overestimating the power of American imperialism, and underestimating the degree of opposition to the war that would emerge among the American people.
From TPM Election Central:
A senior Hillaryland source confirms to us that reports Hillary [Clinton] will drop out of the race on Friday and endorse Obama are accurate.
Tom Hayden: Bobby [Kennedy] and Barack [Obama]: here.
Juan Cole on Obama: here.
Malik Miah on Obama: here.
Reactions from the Netherlands: here.