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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Montana & S. D. Results - Live Blogging

George Wenschhof

Many different spins to the end of the democratic party primary calendar have been reported by the media today. We should call this the "Clinton Exit Watch". Earlier this afternoon, the AP reported that Clinton would concede the delegate race and that morphed into reports Clinton was conceding tonight. Some would argue that this is a minor difference, but to Clinton and her supporters, it is a significant difference. The Clinton campaign responded with a press release saying this was not true.

A few hours later,
AP reports Obama will have secured the 2118 delegates needed to clinch the nomination by the end of the day and that he is, in fact, the democratic party nominee.

One report indicates there is a major DNC fundraiser Wednesday evening in New York City and there is speculation it is here that Clinton will make a unity speech.

My guess is she will suspend her campaign tonight and announce Obama as the delegate leader and claim she has won the popular vote, along with major swing states, etc..... She will talk about the democrats uniting to win in November for Americans need a change from the failed policies of the Bush administration. In the meantime, the Clinton campaign posturing will continue working hard for financial relief to her campaign debt and also for the VP slot on the ticket with Obama. She will then be able to truthfully talk about how hard she will work for Obama for she will be on the ticket.

It is precisely because of the huge speculation of the Obama-Clinton Dream Ticket, that Obama must move quickly to announce who his running mate will be. The longer he waits, the nastier it will become. If it is to be Clinton, then he should announce that this week and if not, he should announce who his running mate will be. He can not allow this question to fester for too long.

6:00 PM ET MSNBC is reporting a slew of superdelegates have announced their support for Obama over the past hour and that at this point he is only 14 delegates away from the 2118 needed to secure the nomination. This now guarantees a speech from Obama tonight announcing he is the nominee for he is sure to win 14 of the 31 pledged delegates in the primaries today.

Exit polls - check back often for they will be updated.

7:38 PM ET - Updated total delegate Count - Obama 2107.5, Clinton 1912.5 Obama is now within 10.5 delegates.

9:00 PM ET - as S.Dakota polls close and the early numbers too close to call in that state, NBC calls Obama the presumptive democratic party nominee. This is really a historic moment as we knew it would be for either a Woman or an African-American was going to be the democratic party nominee. Let's hope the discussion from here to November between Obama and McCain focuses on the issues and not on race.

9:16 PM ET - Clinton is expected to address her supporters at a rally in New York City shortly. It is being reported that Clinton has asked for a private meeting with Obama - should occur before the DNC fundraiser Wednesday night.

9:24 PM ET - NBC projects Clinton as the winner in S. Dakota, 19% reporting, Clinton 57%, Obama 43% The best delegate split for Clinton will be 9 - 6, a plus 3 and it is too little, too late.

9:32 PM ET - Terry McAuliffe introduces Clinton who is accompanied on stage with husband Bill and daughter Chelsie - Let's see what she has to say..... - Thank you S. Dakota - you had the last word! Congratulated Obama and the race he has run, our party and our country is stronger as a result. It's an honor to have contested him - congratulate him for all he has accomplished. nice stuff, but short of conceding or saying he won. Now she starts talking about who will be the strongest candidate and best able to lead on day one-nearly 18 million cast their votes for me-carrying the popular vote - more votes won than ever in history ( as I predicted earlier) - all because you wanted to take back the White House- we won the swing states needed to win the electoral votes needed to do this.

She is proud we stayed the course together and because of that all states were able to vote - she is committed to uniting the party in order to take back the WH in November. She then went into some of the issues from her stump speech - This speech I expected, now how will she end it? People are asking what does Hillary want? She names health care, end the war in Iraq, etc. Public service is about helping people - comes back to universal health care - here she may be talking to Obama for she disagrees with his health care proposal - this could be part of the negotiation when she meets with him. The crowd is chanting Denver, Denver! She then rattled off all the states she won.

She then says where do we go from here? She will not be making any decisions tonight. She wants to hear from her supporters - go to her web site and let her know. She then said some thing to the effect that she will be consulting with party leaders to do what is best for the party and the country. Here is short video of the preceding statement. She then starting thanking those who worked on her campaign. She finishes with a story pertaining to health care for those in need.

A good speech - she knows it is over, but she stopped short of saying Obama has won - she is still angling for what she wants at the very end. Look to see an acknowledgement to come from Obama of her universal health care program - remember, although Elizabeth Edwards did not endorse Clinton, she liked her health care program better than what Obama was proposing. I also feel she wants to be the VP.

Montana polls close in a minute. 10:00 PM ET - NBC projects Obama the winner in Montana. He is expected to make his speech soon.

10:09 PM ET, Obama joined by wife Michelle step up to the stage in St. Paul, Minnesota. Thank You so much! - Thanks his wife and daughters, staff, volunteers, campaign manager David Pouffle - primary season has finally come to an end after 54 hard fought contests. Change must come to Washington, tonight we mark the end of one journey and the start of another journey - He can say tonight because of them he will be the democratic nominee for President of the U.S. of America.

He thanks the other democratic candidates for President, an incredibly talented and qualified group - they are leaders of our country-particularly true of Hillary Clinton who has made history in this campaign, not just because as a woman she has done what no woman before had done before her, but because of qualifications and dedication. He talks about her belief in helping people - he signals to Clinton that she will be central to the victory in universal health care. He is a better candidate for having the honor to compete with her.

For those who question let there be no doubt, we will unite to chart a new course for America. He then directs his speech to his republican opponent McCain - he stood with Bush 95% of the time while he was in the Senate. Change is not part of what McCain is all about. Change is not about a war that never should have been waged. We must be as careful getting out of Iraq as we were careless going in but leave we must. veterans must receive the benefits they deserve when they come home. Time to re-focus our efforts if foreign policy. Talks about the economy, improving our infrastructure, improving our schools, science, a new energy policy, and help for the working class. Change, that is why I am running for President of the United States! Crowd goes wild - "Yes We Can"! This is the moment!

A great speech! When I find the video, I will link it here so you can watch. Here is the full text. Here is Video.

The posturing between Obama and Clinton was obvious, look to see a quick resolution here. Clinton knows it's over and Obama knows he needs the women vote. I suspect they will meet tomorrow in D.C. prior to another fundraising event and perhaps a statement from her Thursday night at a DNC fundraiser in New York City of her support of Obama. However, it is doubtful that Obama would make a VP pick by Thursday night.

Let the Spin begin - goodnight and stay tuned.

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