Hillary Clinton clinched the Democratic presidential nomination on Tuesday, June 7 becoming the first woman in American history to top the ticket of a major political party and putting immediate pressure on primary rival Bernie Sanders to step aside.
Hillary Clinton celebrated her triumph as the first woman to lead a major party in a race for the White House, scoring big wins in California and New Jersey, New Mexico, and North Dakota to cement her grip on the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination. The former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state spoke to supporters at a raucous event in Brooklyn, New York, and placed her achievement in the context of the long history of the women’s rights movement. “Thanks to you, we have reached a milestone,” Clinton said in a speech. “We all owe so much to who came before.”
Marking the historic moment, Clinton said: “This campaign is about making sure there are no ceilings, no limits on any of us.” She also congratulated Sanders, calling his campaign and the debate he brought about income inequality good for the party – while also saying this is a moment to “come together.”
The Vermont senator has, however, vowed to keep fighting for “every delegate.” Far from bowing out, he vowed to campaign through the final primary next Tuesday in Washington, D.C., and then “take our fight for social, economic, racial and environmental justice to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,” the site of the convention.
She will become the first female nominee for a major US political party. Clinton had reached the threshold with a big win in Puerto Rico and a burst of last-minute support from super-delegates, AP said late on Monday night. Superdelegates are party insiders who can pledge their support for a candidate ahead of the convention but do not formally vote for them until the convention itself.
It has taken a long 227 years to get even this far. George Washington was elected president of a newly independent America in 1789. Forty-three men later (42 of them white) Hillary Clinton makes history today by being the first female nominee for the White House.
Hillary Clinton, a former secretary of state, New York senator and First Lady, leads Sanders by over three million votes, 291 pledged delegates and 523 super-delegates, according to AP’s count. She has won 33 caucuses and primaries to his 25 victories.
Sanders has argued that super-delegates — elected officials and other party leaders who are not bound to vote for the candidate their state selected in its primary contest — should not be counted in the final tally even if they have made formal commitments to individual candidates.
His campaign believes that they can still put the nomination within reach for the Vermont senator by convincing Clinton-backing super-delegates to switch their support to Sanders, who they note performs better than Clinton in hypothetical head-to-head contests against GOP presumptive nominee Donald Trump.
In a potential move toward reconciliation, the White House revealed that President Obama called both Clinton and Sanders Tuesday night – and plans to meet with Sanders at the White House on Thursday, June 9 to discuss “how to build on the extraordinary work he has done to engage millions of Democratic voters.”