Clinton seizes historic primary win
NEW YORK – The Associated Press
AFP photoPowered by a solid triumph in California, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton declared victory in her yearlong battle for the heart of the Democratic Party, seizing her place in history and setting out on the difficult task of fusing a fractured party to confront Donald Trump.
Clinton cruised to easy victories in four of the six state contests June 7. With each win she further solidified Sen. Bernie Sanders’ defeat and dashed his already slim chances of using the last night of state contests to refuel his flagging bid.
The victories allowed Clinton to celebrate her long-sought “milestone” - the first woman poised to lead a major political party’s presidential ticket. Standing before a flag-waving crowd in Brooklyn, the former secretary of state soaked up the cheers and beamed.
“Barriers can come down. Justice and equality can win,” she said. “This campaign is about making sure there are no ceilings, no limits on any of us. This is our moment to come together.”
Clinton had already secured the delegates needed for the nomination before the June 7 contests, according to an Associated Press tally. Still, Sanders had hoped to use a victory in California to persuade party insiders to switch their allegiances. Sanders picked up wins in Montana and North Dakota, but Clinton won substantially in California.
Sanders nonetheless vowed to continue to his campaign to the last contest in the District of Columbia on June 14.
“The struggle continues,” he said.
Clinton’s victory in California assured her a majority of pledged delegates - those chosen in primaries and caucuses. That’s notable because Sanders has argued that his White House bid remained viable as long as he stood a chance of winning a majority of those delegates. He would have needed a landslide June 7 to reach that goal.
Despite the pledge to solider on, there were signs Sanders was listening. In his typically passionate remarks, the socialist firebrand repeatedly noted “we are in this together” and argued that a tenet of his campaign was that “we will not allow right-wing Republicans to control our government.”
Sanders said he called Clinton to congratulate her on the victories.
U.S. President Barack Obama called both Sanders and Clinton late June 7, congratulating both on their campaigns. The White House said Sanders and Obama would meet June 9, at Sanders’ request, to discuss “how to build on the extraordinary work he has done to engage millions of Democratic voters, and to build on that enthusiasm.”
Clinton and Sanders are also expected to connect in the coming days, Clinton’s spokesman said late June 7. Their campaign managers spoke earlier in the day, signaling that conversations were underway about the road ahead.