Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois claimed the Democratic presidential nomination Tuesday night (Wednesday morning in Manila) to become the first black candidate ever nominated by a major political party for the highest political office of the United States. As the final polls closed on Tuesday night in Montana and North Dakota, Sen. Obama announced in a speech in St. Paul, Minnesota, the venue of the Republican National Convention later this year:
You chose to listen not to your doubts or your fears, but to your greatest hopes and highest aspirations. Tonight, we mark the end of one historic journey with the beginning of another – a journey that will bring a new and better day to America. Because of you, tonight, I can stand before you and say that I will be the Democratic nominee for president of the United States.
In a speech to cheering supporters in her home state of New York, Clinton said it had been:
An honor to contest these primaries with him. I am so proud we stayed the course together. I am committed to uniting our party so we move forward stronger and more ready than ever to take back the White House this November.
But Hillary stopped short of saying that she was ending her campaign. This would give her time and opportunity confer with party leaders and supporters and to ponder her next move, including a possible shot at the Vice Presidency.
Sen. Obama told reporters that when he called Mrs. Clinton to congratulate her on winning the Puerto Rico primary, he felt that:
Once the dust settled, I was looking forward to meeting with her at a time and place of her choosing.
In recent days, Barack lavished praise upon Hillary:
Senator Clinton has run an outstanding race; she is an outstanding public servant. She and I will be working together in November.
This seems to indicate that the party is coalescing behind a Obama-Clinton ticket.
But is such a team-up workable ?
Maureen Dowd dissects Barack’s options in dealing with Hillary, and cautions him against choosing her as his running mate as she could be a Trojan Rabbit behind the gates.
Dick Morris, the former Clinton adviser turned political enemy, warned that putting Mrs. Clinton on the ticket for vice president would create a ménage-Ã -trois.
Bill will be the unexpected roommate. Even if a President Obama can discipline Hillary and get her to play second fiddle, there is not the remotest chance that he can get the former president to accept such rules.
Ann Althouse, speaking to Mr. Obama, enumerates five reasons why he must pick Hillary as his running mate:
1. If she wants it, she’s earned it. 18 million votes. Tireless campaigning over endless months. Supporters who really love her. You can’t snub her and get away with it.
2. McCain is ready to embrace and absorb her supporters. All those women. All those flyover state white men that you disrespected.
3. Hillary looks positively radiant when she’s down. She’s at her best. If she has to take the second slot, she will look beautifully happy about it, and that will transform the mood of her disappointed supporters.
4. The 2 of you, united at last, will make the media ecstatic. They won’t be able to say the words “dream ticket” and “historic” (and “woman” and “African American”) enough times. You will produce fabulous pictures and press this week that will create a brilliant glow that will last all summer and make us forget about all the messiness of the last few months.
5. If you don’t pick her – if she wants it, and you don’t pick her – what will she do? What will she say? Even if she lies low and says nothing, every time anything goes wrong in your campaign, she’ll be over there, representing what could have been – and you know how people are when they start projecting their dreams onto someone.
McCain on the offensive.
Clinton to step aside and endorse Obama.