Hillary Clinton capped her drive for the Democratic Party nomination for President by winning the biggest delegate state of 2016, as she became the first woman to lay claim to a major party nomination for the White House by winning four of six contests on Tuesday night.
The outcome in California was a devastating final blow to Bernie Sanders, who had pinned his long shot hopes on a victory in the Golden State.
But on Tuesday, Clinton won in California, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota, while Sanders took only Montana and North Dakota.
“I want to congratulate Senator Sanders for the extraordinary campaign he has run,” Clinton said to cheers, as she tried to swiftly reach out to his supporters and bring them aboard for November.
“Let there be no mistake, Senator Sanders, his campaign and the vigorous debate that we had about how to raise incomes, reduce inequality, increase upward mobility, have been very good for the Democratic Party and for America,” Clinton added.
As for Sanders, he was not sending a message that he was ready to end his battle against Clinton, which has aggravated a number of his colleagues in the Senate, who believe it is past time for that.
“Next Tuesday, we continue the fight in the last primary in Washington, D.C.,” Sanders said, as he vowed to fight to the Democratic convention in late July.
But back in Washington, the White House began to lay the groundwork for an expected endorsement of Clinton by President Obama, as Mr. Obama spoke with both Democratic candidates on Tuesday night.
“The President congratulated Secretary Clinton for securing the delegates necessary to clinch the Democratic Nomination for President,” read a statement issued just before midnight.
That same statement announced that the President will meet with Sanders on Thursday at the White House, as Democrats look to transition into talk of unity, to prep for a November fight with Donald Trump.
Eight years ago, it took Hillary Clinton four days to finally end her campaign after the final set of primaries.
Democrats hope Sanders will make that move as well in coming days.