Here we go. Today is the last day of the Democratic primaries and Obama has already raked in threee superdelegates before breakfast including the powerful Jim Clyburn, Majority Whip and the top African American in the House. Clyburn announced his endorsement on the Today Show this morning, saying: “Today the primary process draws to a close. From the beginning, I have made it clear that I would put the Democratic Party’s best interest first and remain publicly neutral as this process ran its course, but it is now time to make my preference known. Today I am pledging my delegate vote to Senator Barack Obama for President of the United States.”
Clyburn puts Obama 39 delegates away from the nomination. If he wins only half of today’s two remaining contests in Montana and South Dakota that puts him 26 delegates away and, as Karen noted earlier today, there looks to be a rush of superdelegates who will endorse as soon as polls close. Clyburn alone could carry with him many of the as-of-yet undecided House members who’ve been waiting for the House leadership to make a move.
So, nearly 16 months after he launched his campaign for president, today it looks like Barack Obama today will cinch the nomination. The General Election will be one third as long as the primaries, just five months, so for any of those campaign staffers or weary reporters hoping for a respite, any time off promises to be short. As we’ve seen already McCain has loomed large in Obama’s speeches for weeks. But tonight all eyes will not be on Obama’s victory speech in St. Paul, Minnesota, in the same room where McCain will be anointed in September. Tonight belongs to Hillary Clinton, giving what many are billing as a concession speech at Baruch College in her home state of New York (though that may be overly hopeful). Will she endorse Obama? And will she actively campaign for him? What of Bill, who said yesterday that he was delivering his last speech of the 2008 campaign? And, finally, is this the end of Clintonian presidential politics or could we see Hillary in 2012 and, even, Chelsea down the line? Or, even, as many hope, Hillary as Veep on this ticket?