The Clinton campaign is disputing a story put out by the Associated Press this morning that she will acknowledge that Obama has the Democratic nomination tonight. They have said that once Obama reaches 2118 delegates then they will call him the nominee.
Clinton campaign chair Terry McAuliffe said on the Today Show this morning, “I think if Senator Obama gets the number, I think Hillary Clinton will congratulate him and call him the nominee.” Since a statement was released by the campaign saying that they won’t concede, the AP has changed their story to reflect that Clinton won’t concede. In some ways, this is merely a matter of semantics.
If you read between the lines of what the Clinton campaign is saying today, they are admitting that they won’t formally throw in the towel yet, but they are going to use whatever leverage they have left to negotiate with Obama on issues such as healthcare, and they are waiting for Obama to wrap it up. This is a standard strategic move usually made by every second place primary finisher. This is only a hunch on my part, but I think she wants the VP slot. It is my guess that the Clintons want to be a part of this historic campaign. They want to be able to claim credit for an Obama November victory.
Obama is now 36 delegates short of the nomination. He has picked up four more superdelegates this morning, including House Majority Whip, Rep. Jim Clyburn leaving him only 39 delegates short of the nomination. All three of the top Montana Democrats, Sens. Tester and Backus, along with Gov. Brian Schweitzer, will all endorse Obama tonight after the polls have closed in their state. As many as 15 other Democratic Senators are expected to quickly follow suit.
If the candidates split the 47 delegates in Montana and South Dakota tonight, Obama will be about a dozen delegates short. If he can get enough delegates before Clinton speaks tonight, I think she will acknowledge that Obama is the nominee. The Clinton camp now says that people are still voting, and that she is considering challenging The Rules Committee decision on Michigan. This thing probably won’t wrap up until late tonight or early Wednesday.